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Old 05-13-2006, 08:50 PM   #18
CaptainPicard
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Join Date: May 2006
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Approved Map: The Story of the Norj'Hal Elves

Default Changes made

Well, if you download the new version of the map I've made as many suggested changes as I can.

The cinematic with the Owl flying through the volcano is triggerable by any unit, because I don't want units getting into the volcano without seeing the cinematic first. It does respond to the presence of a particular hero on the map (i.e. if Aria isn't there, then Lan'Inthas will speak instead with different lines). But, I can't really change that cinematic too much. The overall style to this point has been to maintain continuity between the units in the cinematic and the units in the game (e.g. don't have them in one place for the cinematic and then find them back where they were after the cinematic closes). That's why the hero projections appear in certain cinematics.

The Vyra Drakes (in the volcano) now shoot fire. Looks much better.

The Frozen Mist ability summoned unit (not exactly a dummy unit) no longer has a shadow. FYI: these spells are trigger boosted lightly, but often in ways that aren't absolutely necessary for the spell to work. Frozen Mist, in particular, will evaporate over lava very quickly, but before it does it will severely damage any of the magma creatures that come within range. Not related to trigger-boosting, the Frozen Mist will not harm Ice Revenants, Frost Revenants, Ice Golems, and Snow / Frost Witches. On the flip side, Fire Traps will do double damage to units that Frozen Mist can't harm, and unless it kills a unit outright Fire Traps will give a net hp bonus to magma creatures. Subtleties that I leave it up to the user to figure out (but the game is perfectly playable even if you never do).

I've improved the explanation of your three-character saved-game ID. In theory, it allows multiple users to paly separate games on the same computer.

Ah, yes, the text fade filter. The reason I display the text subtitles is that there is some sort of bug that causes some of the text cards not to display. Actually, waiting for a few seconds as I do to show you the opening credits seems to mitigate the effect, but I would like to retain the subtitles just in case.

There are no memory leaks that I know of. The map loading takes a long time, I think, because of the number of triggers, which is partly due to the creep management system. To change that would be hard, but I can promise that Act II will be better in this regard.

Lag jolts do happen, at the start of each map in particular, because certain units are being placed. This happens so that the game can detect how strong your heroes are (they're not on the map at startup) so that it can place appropriately strong creeps. I could remove some of this lag, but since it's right at the map loading phase it hardly interferes with gameplay. Also, I do pre-place certain units to avoid lag spikes in cinematics. In the cinematic where the Drakehorn bosses appear, the units are pre-placed. Also, in the cinematic where Xan'Timus emerges from the dimensional gate he's pre-placed (in both cases, the units are simply invisible to begin with). Not sure how much else I can do to mitigate this effect without seriously running up the number of active unit variables in each map--and that would become a drag on future editing efforts. In Majh'Nam, a lot of units are pre-placed. Edit that map and see how long it takes to specify a unit variable there versus how long it takes in any of the sub-maps. Might want to go make yourself another sandwich.

I carried out your suggestion for the red sky over the light-blue fog. Doesn't work. But I did change the fog to match the sky for that particular scene.

During a test run an hour ago, I also found a bug that could seriously mess up the big cinematic in the volcano. It's only happened once in the twenty or so times I've viewed that cinematic, but I added a safety mechanism to make sure that it doesn't foul up future executions.

Lastly, I made the gates in Drakehorn more accessible and put a hint about them on the map. Should work fine now.

Download the new version from my site in a half hour or so, and it should be ready to go. Thanks for hosting my map--it's good to have it in a database of high-quality projects.

I don't know when Act II will be ready, but in addition to the improvements I've already stated, I will be looking for voice actors and going for a level of cinematic quality comparable to Anitarf's "professional" style. The opening cinematic will set the stage for the first movement of Act II, where Aszune raids the Norj'Hal capital of Dajh'Onnar to discover the location of the dragon who has her heart. Aszune's spells will be much more trigger-boosted than those of the existing units, but I shouldn't ramble...

Thanks again!
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