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Old 10-31-2009, 04:25 PM   #1
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Default The Changing Auto-Cast Test

Auto-Casting spells are extremely limited. What hurts it the most is that Channel cannot be turned into an Auto-Cast spell even though there are fields that allow one to set it up as an Auto-Casting spell. However, there are certain ways that Auto-Cast can be used, perhaps in a future map.

The reason why I want to point this out is to see if people can explore on this idea: Perhaps Auto-Casting spells aren't as useless as we think they are.

In the example map I am going to attach, the Priest has Inner Fire that- when turning Inner Fire's auto-casting off, it will turn into Faerie Fire and vice versa.

The Sorceress in the map uses a dummy Slow ability that uses Fire Bolt. Upon toggling auto-casting, our Fire Bolt turns into Ice Bolt and vice versa. In order to make this work, I have given the dummy ability a custom Slow buff, so this doesn't interfere with the Slow buff itself. Plus, a duration of 0.01 suggests that there should be no way for a Spell Steal to occur.

Be aware of the facts:

1) You cannot base the Auto-Casting abilities off of the same Auto-Casting ability on the same unit. For example, the Priest's Inner Fire and Faerie Fire are two Auto-Casting spells with a different base order ID. If you try to make the on-change ability Inner Fire as well, the changing will not run correctly.

2) That being said, you can only have as many changing Auto-Casts as there are that already exist in Warcraft 3. This includes Inner Fire, Slow, Spell Steal, Bloodlust, Faerie Fire, Abolish Magic, Web, Curse, Parasite, Raise Dead and Carrion Beetles if you want to target corpses, and Phase Shift if you want an instant casting spell (unfortunately requiring that the unit shift for .01 seconds). Also includes the arrow abilities Searing Arrows, Poison Arrows (a deviant of Searing Arrows, but a different spell nonetheless), Cold and Frost Arrows, and Black Arrows.

3) Toggled abilities such as Immolation do not work for this test, because those are Toggle on/off abilities, not Auto-Casting abilities.

4) In my given examples, I've linked two Auto-Cast spells together. Theoretically, you can link as many you want, but remember this requires more triggering.

I realized that Auto-Casting abilities have ways to find out when the Auto-Casting spell is being turned on or off... So I decided to use these and toy with them. What makes it all the more interesting is the Auto-Casting rule that you can only have one Auto-Cast on at any point in time, so nothing breaks... Although, I think that's how it works.

Changing Autocast Test.w3x

EDIT: I forgot to change the Dummy Unit Caster's movement type to flying. Now it looks like the Sorceress is casting Fire Bolt, instead of something to the side.

Current Issues
1) Because abilities are added and removed, they don't keep the cooldown of the ability. An ability that has a cooldown of a minute refreshes when you change the Auto-Cast. I suppose a way to fix this is to disable the on-change trigger for the amount of time that the cooldown of the ability lasts. However, doing this means that you cannot use the second ability. For some this might be desirable, but not for others, where what if one would like to use the ability of one, change, then use the second ability and have both on cooldown? Any other ideas?
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Old 10-31-2009, 07:04 PM   #2
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So... you detected autocast turn on? And determined whether it was turn on or turn off?

That's been done quite a few times before. What I didn't know is that Channel can become an "autocast" spell. How do you do that?
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Old 10-31-2009, 07:10 PM   #3
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Uh... The point isn't to detect autocast. Of course people have done that. The point in the test is to obtain uses for detecting autocast.

Man, were you reading anything that I wrote, at all? You can't turn Channel into an Auto-Cast spell, even though it has all of the necessary fields. If this was possible, I would've never brought this up.
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Old 10-31-2009, 07:25 PM   #4
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>The point in the test is to obtain uses for detecting autocast.

Yes. And you've found one of them, but it has some flaws, which you have mentioned.

>You can't turn Channel into an Auto-Cast spell, even though it has all of the necessary fields.

Well, you didn't explicitly say that. I was thinking that you mean that it worked as an "autocast" skill, but a unit never actually tried to autocast it on anything.
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Old 11-01-2009, 04:39 AM   #5
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good idea with 'modes' by autocast state. i want to make a spell like this

you could probably monitor autocast status' for units, and trigger spells depending on the autocast status of a unit.

it is possible to have more than 1 autocasted spell at a time. it can be done in DotA: bone fletcher's searing arrows and death pact active at the same time, etc.

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Old 11-01-2009, 07:19 AM   #6
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ignitedstar
Current Issues
1) Because abilities are added and removed, they don't keep the cooldown of the ability. An ability that has a cooldown of a minute refreshes when you change the Auto-Cast. I suppose a way to fix this is to disable the on-change trigger for the amount of time that the cooldown of the ability lasts. However, doing this means that you cannot use the second ability. For some this might be desirable, but not for others, where what if one would like to use the ability of one, change, then use the second ability and have both on cooldown? Any other ideas?

for this issue, I will use Engineering Upgrade in a disabled Spellbook, but two auto-cast abilities that are used for changing should be based on the same auto-cast ability.

For example: you want to change Inner Fire into Faerie Fire, the Faerie Fire must be based on Inner Fire (I'm not too sure if you don't, what kind of bug(*) may occur, I just recommend you )

the Engineering Upgrade will upgrade Inner Fire (1) to Faerie Fire (Inner Fire 2)

when your unit is ordered to turn on (auto cast) of the Inner Fire 1, add the disabled spellbook to it. So the Inner Fire 1 will be changed to Inner Fire 2 with maintained cooldown.
when the unit is ordered to turn on (auto cast) of the Faerie Fire (Inner Fire 2), remove the disabled spellbook. Now the Faerie Fire will be changed to Inner Fire 1 with maintained cooldown, of course.

maybe after change the Inner Fire 1 to Faerie Fire, the auto-cast of the Faerie Fire would be on (because these two abilities have the same order) so use a 0.0s timer to order the unit to turn off the auto-cast.


I will provide a test map asap
---
About the bug (*) above: this Engineering Upgrade ability is... weird, (this is not the word I want to say but... I will just use it ). When you upgrade an ability to another, it keeps... the nature of the old ability. ("nature", I mean it is active or passive)
For example: you upgrade a passive Storm Hammer to an active Storm Bolt, after upgrade, you can't cast Storm Bolt, it become a passive now.
that is what I found with my own test

=----=
EDIT: demo map attached, a simple example: Inner Fire <-> Faerie Fire
Attached Files
File Type: w3x [Demo] Auto-Cast change.w3x (9.8 KB, 25 views)

Last edited by Tom_Kazansky : 11-01-2009 at 01:21 PM.
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Old 11-04-2009, 09:23 AM   #7
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Hah. Nice!

Not only did you make a shared cooldown, you did it with the same number of abilities and less code. Props to you, Tom_Kazansky. Or maybe I'm just that bad at triggering.

I will surely be using your example in the future. I wonder what sort of fun I can make out of varying mana costs, cast ranges, casting times, and cooldowns.

I'm curious, though. Why does Change Fires (the Engineering Upgrade) have four levels? Is this in case it flakes out for reasons unknown?

About the last note on your findings... Could we... perhaps... Use this "nature" of Engineering Upgrade to turn Channel into a true Auto-Cast ability? Or anything, really... Although, I'm assuming that it won't work for normal abilities because they are not supposed to use the on/off auto-casting fields. Looks like I have something new to play with, now.
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Old 11-05-2009, 11:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
I'm curious, though. Why does Change Fires (the Engineering Upgrade) have four levels? Is this in case it flakes out for reasons unknown?

yea... I think. But I have encounter some bugs with many levels Engineering Upgrade (when all the fields "Ability Upgrade" are not filled), well, I'm not sure but I think one level Engineering Upgrade won't have any problems.

Quote:
About the last note on your findings... Could we... perhaps... Use this "nature" of Engineering Upgrade to turn Channel into a true Auto-Cast ability? Or anything, really... Although, I'm assuming that it won't work for normal abilities because they are not supposed to use the on/off auto-casting fields. Looks like I have something new to play with, now

you can try it yourself
I guess the "nature" of the "Channel" is based on the auto-cast that it is upgraded from.
my test: Searing Arrows is upgraded to Channel, the field Data - Follow Through Time (DataA1) of the Channel will be come the damage bonus for the attack (DataA1 is the Data - Damage Bonus of the Searing Arrows

anyways, these:
Quote:
mana costs, cast ranges, casting times, and cooldowns
are enough, right ?

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Old 12-17-2009, 08:56 AM   #9
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Yeah, yeah, this is quite old, but looking at it now makes me realize a few things.

I've been trying to understand it works the way that Tom_Kazansky does this. Thinking about it some more, when you give a unit two abilities with the same base id, it will cast one of them, but not the other. But, both spells will go on cooldown. Ah... So this that how that works.

However, with that explanation above, I'm afraid I don't understand why you use Engineering Upgrade. Hmm... I'll keep this thought up in the air.

I noticed something else while taking a second look at your test map. I just realized that the Faerie Fire you use is just Inner Fire with negative values. This... sort of does what I want to do. But now, I am wondering if there is is a way to completely change the spell into another ability with a different base id rather than one with the same, and hope that the result stays the same.

Hehee... I decided to do more tests to see if this relationship via Engineering Upgrade holds true for all Auto-Casting abilities. Result: It does. I'll attach the map. It is directly based off of Tom_Kazansky's demo map with some changes. As in matter of fact, I think I saw a demo of this at the Helper (by you, Tom?). At first I was skeptical, so I decided to use the Lich to mimic a Searing Arrows that could change into Cold Arrows. At first I couldn't get it to work, but it looks like a second try yielded a success. You can freely change between Cold Arrows and Searing Arrows both keeping the cooldown of what was used before. This further exemplifies Tom's original case, because Cold Arrows and Searing Arrows have different base ids, whereas Inner Fire and Faerie Fire that Tom made is actually just two versions of Inner Fire.

I did another test to see if this holds true for Auto-Casting abilities that don't share similar properties. In this case, instead of having the Archmage using an Inner Fire/Faerie Fire link, I changed it to a Faerie Fire/Searing Arrows link. Tom's original trigger can be found in the Triggers section- just don't leave that FiresAbilitiesChange on and IFtoSAChange on at the same time (who knows what happens...).

The funny thing is, Tom's observation about the nature of Engineering Upgrade holds true: The first ability, when switched with the second ability, retains fields of the first.

You can guess what that means, can't you? Instead of Inner Fire targeting an ally giving +10% attack damage and 5 armor, I got an "Inner Fire" that duplicated the DataA1, Data B1, and Targets Allowed fields of Searing Arrows. Let's look at this in a comparison:

Inner Fire
Data A1 - Increased Damage : 0.10
Data B1 - Increased Defense : 5
Stats - Targets Allowed: Air, Ground, Friend, Neutral, Self

Searing Arrows
Data A1 - Damage Bonus: 50.00
Data B1 - N/A (Data B1 does not exist in Searing Arrows)
Stats - Targets Allowed: Air, Ground, Structure, Enemy, Neutral

Now, let's copy Searing Arrows' fields into Inner Fire.

Searing Arrows turned Inner Fire
Data A1 - Increased Damage : 50.00!!!
Data B1 - Increased Defense : zero/null/N/A
Stats - Targets Allowed: Air, Ground, Structure, Enemy, Neutral

Yeah... Searing Arrows has become Inner Fire, targeting only enemies (and structures!), multiplying their attack damage by 50 (possibly 51). I am going to assume that if Searing Arrows is the first ability, then Inner Fire retains the fields of Searing Arrows. Thus, if reversed, Inner Fire would turn into Searing Arrows and have a bonus damage value of 0.10, effectively dealing no damage at all. How's that for fun? To conclude this small test, I am confident in saying that it seems like Stats - Targets Allowed did not transfer from Inner Fire to Searing Arrows (in that Searing Arrow'ed Inner Fire could not target allies and hurt them).

Targets Allowed isn't the only field that doesn't transfer over. More tests reveals using Inner Fire/Searing Arrows that Searing Arrows did not acquire the cooldown or mana cost of Inner Fire. Inner Fire has a cooldown of five seconds and a mana cost of 35, yet Searing Arrows keeps its original cooldown and mana cost values of three seconds and 15, respectively. Further testing shows that Cast Range and Casting Time aren't affected, either.

Current Discoveries:

A perfectly functioning, changing Auto-Cast spell that retains its cooldown is indeed possible, but not without certain side effects:
  • Tom_Kazansky discovered that Engineering Upgrade makes it so that the first ability, when switched with the second ability, retains fields of the first.
  • More emphasis on that: It seems like the DataA#, DataB#, and so on retains its values from the first ability as you switch to the second.
  • Targets Allowed, Cooldown, Mana Cost, Casting Range, and Casting Time do not transfer from the first spell to the next.

The critical question is: Can we turn a Non-Auto-Casting spell into an fully functional Auto-Casting spell that seems to be originally meant for it? The ability that I am specifically referring to is Channel. I haven't looked at Channel's fields, yet, so my current hypothesis for now: Channel is the only ability that allows you select what kind of target you want, or if you even want one at all. I've never actually checked before... What's the raw code for Channel's field for picking a targeting type? If it's a DataA1 or something like it, how does is this field affected by numbers from another field? And, if reversed, how does channel's targeting options affect a data field that only accepts numbers? I'm thinking that will Warcraft will crash.

I'm going to do this after I get some rest, though. It's two in the morning. Another day, another discovery.

EDIT: Not attaching the map. I want my final results first. X_X
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Last edited by Ignitedstar : 12-17-2009 at 10:11 PM.
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Old 12-17-2009, 11:19 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ignitedstar
The critical question is: Can we turn a Non-Auto-Casting spell into an fully functional Auto-Casting spell that seems to be originally meant for it? The ability that I am specifically referring to is Channel. I haven't looked at Channel's fields, yet, so my current hypothesis for now: Channel is the only ability that allows you select what kind of target you want, or if you even want one at all. I've never actually checked before... What's the raw code for Channel's field for picking a targeting type? If it's a DataA1 or something like it, how does is this field affected by numbers from another field? And, if reversed, how does channel's targeting options affect a data field that only accepts numbers? I'm thinking that will Warcraft will crash.

trigger it with a periodic timer, ordering the unit to cast your spell every x sec to an unit in an special aoe around the caster.
--> works, but looks awful in UI (no yellow things floating around the icon when activated)
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Old 12-18-2009, 12:07 AM   #11
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Haha. This is more like a test on how to abuse Engineering Upgrade, now. Regardless, I'm going to start a Channel test, today.

Before that, I want to point out some things that I hadn't written before hand.

When dealing with Inner Fire and Searing Arrows, Searing Arrows became Inner Fire. The same happens in the case of Cold Arrows and Searing Arrows. When Searing Arrows is the initial ability, Cold Arrows no longer slows the target and only deals its 25 bonus damage. However, when Cold Arrows becomes the initial ability, Searing Arrows gains a slow effect, using the missile art of Searing Arrows. But, since the Duration - Hero and Duration - Normal for Searing Arrows is zero, the duration of the cold effect is infinite. We already know this, because any buff duration is infinite when the Object Editor sets them to zero. Plus, even though the Engineering Upgrade ability is disabled by triiggers that turns Cold Arrows into Searing Arrows, it still appears?

In a case like this, my previous method (after being touched up a notch) works perfectly fine. The problem that my first method has is that it doesn't preserve the cooldown of each ability as their are in cooldown. But, most Auto-Cast arrow abilities have little to no cooldown, anyway. Plus, instead having a duplicate of the same ability with different field values, the unit has two, three, or as many arrow types, each retaining their fields and special values so long as spell ids don't overlap

Well, at least the above test proves that Duration - Hero and Duration - Normal are independent.

As for Channel, I've looked up its fields and it does interesting stuff.

Data A - Follow Through Time
Data B - Target Type
Data C - Options
Data D - Art Duration
Data E - Disable Other Abilities
Data F - Base Order ID

Target Type and Options, when displayed as raw values, convert into integers. Nifty. However, the Base Order ID must take an order string. Only problem is, a lot of abilities don't have a Data F1... And out of the ones that do, I'm pretty sure they don't take an order string. Data E1 is a boolean, so it converts into zero(false) or one(true).

Oh, well. Let's see what happens to Channel when the initial spell is Inner Fire.
Result: As expected, Channel becomes Inner Fire. The Follow Through Time (of 180.00) converts into Inner Fire's Damage Increased, therefore the damage of the Archmage multiplied by 180 (or 181). That's not very helpful... Since Channel isn't an Auto-Cast spell in the first place, it's impossible for this to work the other around. That's probably wrong, but I don't to explore it any further because even if it did, it would produce an Inner Fire that would act just like Channel. That's no good, either. We might as well put two Channeling spells together and they'll behave exactly like this. However, since Channel is neither toggle on/off (which you can trigger) or auto-cast (as Tot suggests, you can trigger), it doesn't seem like it'll work.

Conclusion:
The Channel Auto-Casting test is a complete letdown.

How I thought it would work: All I wanted was for Channel to adopt the Auto-Casting nature of an Auto-Casting ability, then I could turn off the trigger that made the switch possible, thereby giving me a Channel with the ability to Auto-Cast.

What actually happened: What actually happened was that no matter what Auto-Cast ability I used (Inner Fire, Raise Dead, Phase Shift), even though Channel got the ability to Auto-Cast, it basically became the spell it was initially. By the looks of it, while Channel is an exception that allows you play with how it targets enemies and the base id you can play with, abusing it with Engineering Upgrade makes it no different than another ability. That's too bad.

How this could work: Simple. If Engineering Upgrade didn't keep the Data-letter-number field values of the initial ability, it would work exactly like I wished this would have worked. If successful, I would have a Channeling ability with the auto-casting properties of Inner Fire, which is that it automatically casts when nearby allies of allowed target types are damaged, without actually turning Channel into Inner Fire. I would have a blank Auto-Casting ability that would let me target whatever I want according to the nature the auto-cast ability I based Channel on. And, no matter how many Targets Allowed I have, the nature of the auto-cast ability would use the ability in certain circumstances, but not in others.

The closest "Blank" Auto-Casting ability we have is Phase Shift, but it requires that your hero phase out for 0.01 seconds. Since you hero is non-existent within that 0.01 seconds, enemies that are attacking the unit can't target the unit, so they target whatever is closest (if anything). Even if the unit that phase shifted is the only unit within range, the 0.01 seconds forces the enemy attacking the unit to stop it's attack animation (because there's nothing to attack), then restart as the unit phases back, making the attacking unit repeat the time it takes for its attack animation to complete and deal damage over and over again. It's done in such a small amount of time that our eyes can't catch it, but if you cast it too many times within a small period (i.e. rapid non-stop clicking) sometimes the unit disappears and it looks choppy (thus it looks badly made).

Try this in the map: it's a strange occurrence, but explainable. Go up to an enemy, and have it attack the Archmage. Have the Lich attack the Archmage. Have the Archmage keep casting Phase Shift, it has a 0.01 shift with no cooldown. Try it two ways: First way is just experiment alone by having the Archmage phase shift by rapid using the ability, then reduce your clicking speed. Second way: Get an enemy and keep using Phase Shift in its face. Have the Lich attack the Archmage, too. The unit that is attacking will act like a broken record, but the Lich will attack the Archmage flawlessly, most likely because- while the Archmage completely disappears to the enemy, since the Archmage is your unit, you- as the player, can see him, thus can all of the units you own, allowing any of your units to attack the Archmage whether he is phase shifted or not. Apparently, Phase Shift only makes the unit disappear to enemies. It's really not unknown, though. You can still attack invisible units that belong to you or your allies, too.

This whole thing is obsolete in more ways than it isn't others, even if it did work. It's easy to make an Auto-Cast spell do what you want, provided that the buff duration is 0.01. But, it's really too bad that this isn't possible. We would be able to have a spell that you could left-click to activate, then right-click for something else. That's easy to do with triggers, but as far as I know, I don't think there's an auto-cast ability that targets a point. Even further, Non-Auto-Cast spells can't right click. In order to obtain an equivalent of this, you would need a dummy ability that would switch two abilities for you or make it so a trigger changes them every time you cast them (I believe there is a hero in EotA like this).

Channel should be the baby when Auto-Cast abilities and Non-Auto-Cast abilities decide to marry. Sadly, the closest thing I got was a clone of the parent that said, "Me first!". While we can easily trigger all of this nowadays, one of the many purposes was to do this within the confines of the Object Editor (and with as little triggers as possible).

Test Map:
[Demo] Auto-Cast change v2.w3x
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Last edited by Ignitedstar : 12-19-2009 at 12:12 AM.
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Old 12-27-2009, 05:07 AM   #12
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Well, i just had the most brilliant idea ever. You can probably add those fields like Data F if you edit the ability data .slk using a program like excel. I mean I've used a folder called Units in my wc3 folder and i put ability data .slks in it with all the abilities show in editor to true. Results are I can now access abilities not normally found in the editor like AHer = Hero level up graphic changeable etc. You can probably add ability fields to abilities by changing the dashes(-) to zero(0)'s.

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Old 12-27-2009, 11:58 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Switch33
Well, i just had the most brilliant idea ever. You can probably add those fields like Data F if you edit the ability data .slk using a program like excel. I mean I've used a folder called Units in my wc3 folder and i put ability data .slks in it with all the abilities show in editor to true. Results are I can now access abilities not normally found in the editor like AHer = Hero level up graphic changeable etc. You can probably add ability fields to abilities by changing the dashes(-) to zero(0)'s.

where did you find these .slks?
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Old 01-01-2010, 12:15 AM   #14
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I found them under a Units folder in one of the wc3 mpq files. You just gotta look for the one that has the biggest filesize.

Edit:
I just checked, it was from the war3x.mpq . It's named AbilityData.slk . If you open it in excel you can read the categories and they are pretty self-explanatory.

Last edited by Switch33 : 01-01-2010 at 12:38 AM.
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Old 01-01-2010, 01:41 PM   #15
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Tot will become famous soon enough (53)Tot will become famous soon enough (53)

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tried 10 times, always crushed we...me==to stupid...
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