Exodus update

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AuthorTopic: Exodus update
Off With Their Heads
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I've got v1.1.0 most of the way finished. I have a bunch more busywork — I had to change the SDFs used by all of the special spells, so now I have to go back through the whole scenario and fix everything — but there are only a couple of things left to do beyond that.

If there's something I've missed (the changes are listed below), feel free to mention it. Many things that people objected to are things that I'm not changing, though, because some of the criticisms seemed off-base, to say the least.

I'd like some input from the community on two things, though.

1. I've heard that the big fights with large numbers of creatures (for example, in the Parted River) run extremely slowly for some people. I just timed it for myself, and in the Parted River, the space between turns initially is about five seconds as I wait for other monsters to take their turns. It runs all the way up to ten seconds if I stand there for a while and let everyone summon at will, but that doesn't happen a lot.

This doesn't seem like a big deal to me — a ten second delay, at most, between turns — but some people claimed that this made the scenario unplayable. Is there something that I'm missing here?

2. Ephesos's CSR review had some cryptic references. What's wrong with the fact that Ethass's cell has her name on it in Thanopolen Tower? What's "messy" about the cutscene right before the Parted River?

A list of changes already accomplished:
Fixed archmage quest in Thassaka (again)Added mandatory freeing Britha in the Barbarian Fort to the walkthroughRemoved magically locked door in Barbarian Fort blocking way to BrithaFixed a bug in trap.txt that prevented learning special spell rewards when searching a trapAdded the ability to unlock the other impenetrable door in Manikoss from the insideAdded auto-death from 20+ level of Webbed (to prevent a baneful BoA response)Made the Mandrake deposit near Thanopolen check Nature Lore (instead of Luck)Fixed the memory cell number in Fekhthen's libraryFixed the erase_char in Avernoss Camp to prevent killing the party when everyone has leftSloped the hills in the Breeding PitRemoved the melee immunity on the slimesDeleted the non-functional Poison, Destroy Mind, Sleep Foe, ParalyzeTurned Orb of Flight into Flight spellAdded Major HealMade special spell energy costs consistent everywhere listedPrevented auto-kill at Bandit Camp by Thassaka with a block_entryFixed the north gate upon re-entry to AloraGave Kass the ability to remove a Dread CurseAdded to the walkthrough a guide to the one beam puzzleChanged the trap tiles under the Temple of Sothana to kill the character who stepped on themDocumented casting special spells on joined NPCs betterChanged Goblin Cloak and Rakshasa Cloak item numbers to increase ability to carry to another scenarioFixed the tattered posters that were not hanging on the wallsMade it more obvious that you must read the note in Lava Lizard Lair L2 and tell Kass about itIcy Longsword does cold damage nowChanges I'm going to attempt by the end of the day today:
Delete Slime Pit L2 and Kathaneth entirely and move their spells and artifacts elsewhereFlip Phaedra's creature number with the Berekh, hopefully preventing summoning Phaedra via Summon Shade — which appears horribly broken, so I'm not sure if it's going to workExplain better the reason why there's a portal to the Land of the Dead so near ThanopolenFix the couple of typos that Gizmo mentionedEDIT: Yeah, it's done. Get it here.

[ Monday, January 15, 2007 21:23: Message edited by: Kelandon ]

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Arancaytar: Every time you ask people to compare TM and Kel, you endanger the poor, fluffy kittens.
Smoo: Get ready to face the walls!
Ephesos: In conclusion, yarr.

Kelandon's Pink and Pretty Page!!: the authorized location for all things by me
The Archive of all released BoE scenarios ever
Posts: 7968 | Registered: Saturday, February 28 2004 08:00
Law Bringer
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quote:
Originally written by Kelandon:

2. Ephesos's CSR review had some cryptic references. What's wrong with the fact that Ethass's cell has her name on it in Thanopolen Tower? What's "messy" about the cutscene right before the Parted River?
Okay, the first just seemed strange. Why would barbarian sliths go to the trouble to label a prisoner's cell? And put the sign at the back of the cell, no less?

The second, mostly had to do with the fact that at the edge of the parted water, floor 27 gets displayed instead of open water (floor 23). Just looked odd... but I'm not sure how it'd be fixed.

Whatever. Doesn't matter.

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Gamble with Gaea, and she eats your dice.

I hate undead. I really, really, really, really hate undead. With a passion.
Posts: 4130 | Registered: Friday, March 26 2004 08:00
Shaper
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quote:
Originally written by Kelandon:

I've heard that the big fights with large numbers of creatures (for example, in the Parted River) run extremely slowly for some people. I just timed it for myself, and in the Parted River, the space between turns initially is about five seconds as I wait for other monsters to take their turns. It runs all the way up to ten seconds if I stand there for a while and let everyone summon at will, but that doesn't happen a lot.

This doesn't seem like a big deal to me — a ten second delay, at most, between turns — but some people claimed that this made the scenario unplayable. Is there something that I'm missing here?

There's more at play than just what the creatures do. If you have a slower computer, the wait times grow considerably. I usually had to wait anywhere from 1 to 3 minutes before my turn came around again. This happened in the River Fight, the Barbarian Camp, and the Berekh Hive, or any other large fights. Being used to waiting on my computer, it didn't really bother me that much.

Also, I think I figured out a way around the annoying health error, but it'll probably be far more work than it's worth. Basically, you turn down the critters' HP and crank up their resistances. However, you would have to go through everything to see if this move unbalanced any combat.

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I tried to think of something witty to put here.

Needless to say, I failed.
Posts: 2686 | Registered: Friday, September 8 2006 07:00
Off With Their Heads
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quote:
Originally written by Ephesos:

Why would barbarian sliths go to the trouble to label a prisoner's cell? And put the sign at the back of the cell, no less?
What, the vison-impaired wouldn't be able to see it over there? Why wouldn't they label the cell with her name? She's a rather important prisoner. Eh, I'll take it out, but this seems like a ridiculous complaint.

quote:
The second, mostly had to do with the fact that at the edge of the parted water, floor 27 gets displayed instead of open water (floor 23).
Because it's land. I did this on purpose. I'm removing it, though.

quote:
Whatever. Doesn't matter.
You couldn't be more right.

quote:
Originally written by Nioca:

I usually had to wait anywhere from 1 to 3 minutes before my turn came around again. This happened in the River Fight, the Barbarian Camp, and the Berekh Hive, or any other large fights.
A few questions:

1. Have you played Avernum 2? If so, did you have the same problem at the Ziggurat? It has the same thing. It would be useful to know if there's something particular to BoA that makes this happen.

2. Surely you can mess around with the preferences to fix this. Have you tried anything? It would be useful for me to know if there are preferences you can select (like turning off Play Special Effects and Play Sounds) that improve the situation.

quote:
Also, I think I figured out a way around the annoying health error, but it'll probably be far more work than it's worth. Basically, you turn down the critters' HP and crank up their resistances.
The health error doesn't come from monsters. It comes from the party.

Also, as much as everyone complained about this, in most cases, I didn't give monsters extra HP. That's just how much a level 80 monster has.

[ Monday, January 15, 2007 16:07: Message edited by: Kelandon ]

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Arancaytar: Every time you ask people to compare TM and Kel, you endanger the poor, fluffy kittens.
Smoo: Get ready to face the walls!
Ephesos: In conclusion, yarr.

Kelandon's Pink and Pretty Page!!: the authorized location for all things by me
The Archive of all released BoE scenarios ever
Posts: 7968 | Registered: Saturday, February 28 2004 08:00
Agent
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Thanks for the update, I look forward to playing this scenario for the first time when my party reaches the recommended level. However my party doesn't use spells, and based on what I've read about Exodus, I'm not sure if they should attempt it or not. Do you think it's beatable without spellcasting?
Posts: 1233 | Registered: Wednesday, October 3 2001 07:00
Off With Their Heads
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quote:
Originally written by Enraged Slith:

Do you think it's beatable without spellcasting?
At minimum, you'll need someone with one level of Mage Spells in order to cast Flight.

I think I heard that someone tried to do it with a non-spell-using singleton, which seems insane to me. There were some people (*cough* the contest judges *cough*) who complained that it was too hard, and I think that they had difficulty because they didn't use the special spells. The scenario is not supposed to be particularly difficult, at least not in the way that, say, Canopy is difficult.

Really, if you use the HLPM to make a level 55 party and use the Artifacts Hall to get Canopy and Bahssikava equipment, you should be fine.

[ Monday, January 15, 2007 16:13: Message edited by: Kelandon ]

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Arancaytar: Every time you ask people to compare TM and Kel, you endanger the poor, fluffy kittens.
Smoo: Get ready to face the walls!
Ephesos: In conclusion, yarr.

Kelandon's Pink and Pretty Page!!: the authorized location for all things by me
The Archive of all released BoE scenarios ever
Posts: 7968 | Registered: Saturday, February 28 2004 08:00
...b10010b...
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quote:
Originally written by Kelandon:

I think I heard that someone tried to do it with a non-spell-using singleton, which seems insane to me.
I believe Smoo has mentioned that he first attempts every scenario with a non-spellcasting singleton.

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The Empire Always Loses: This Time For Sure!
Posts: 9973 | Registered: Saturday, March 30 2002 08:00
Shaper
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quote:
Originally written by Kelandon:

Have you played Avernum 2? If so, did you have the same problem at the Ziggurat? It has the same thing. It would be useful to know if there's something particular to BoA that makes this happen.
Unfortunately, I never got to the Ziggurat.

quote:
Surely you can mess around with the preferences to fix this. Have you tried anything? It would be useful for me to know if there are preferences you can select (like turning off Play Special Effects and Play Sounds) that improve the situation.
If you turn everything off, it improves slightly. But the problem comes in because of the sheer number of critters it has to handle at once, it just bogs down. And if you have a computer where combat already runs slow... well, you get the idea.

quote:
The health error doesn't come from monsters. It comes from the party.
That can't be right. The same party that exited Exodus did a bit of testing on Agadia Isle, which is of similar level requirements, and never hit the error.

quote:
Also, as much as everyone complained about this, in most cases, I didn't give monsters extra HP. That's just how much a level 80 monster has.
You probably know this already, but the HP bonus can be negative, should you want to reduce a monster class's max health.

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I tried to think of something witty to put here.

Needless to say, I failed.
Posts: 2686 | Registered: Friday, September 8 2006 07:00
Off With Their Heads
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quote:
Originally written by Nioca:

quote:
The health error doesn't come from monsters. It comes from the party.
That can't be right. The same party that exited Exodus did a bit of testing on Agadia Isle, which is of similar level requirements, and never hit the error.

It is right, though. The error doesn't print until you hit the Stat-Targeters in Exodus, so I'm guessing that you just didn't use calls that caused BoA to notice that your stats were too high.
quote:
Originally written by Nioca:

You probably know this already, but the HP bonus can be negative, should you want to reduce a monster class's max health.
In the end, I may do this, but not today. I've done a few other things that should streamline combat a little.

--------------------
Arancaytar: Every time you ask people to compare TM and Kel, you endanger the poor, fluffy kittens.
Smoo: Get ready to face the walls!
Ephesos: In conclusion, yarr.

Kelandon's Pink and Pretty Page!!: the authorized location for all things by me
The Archive of all released BoE scenarios ever
Posts: 7968 | Registered: Saturday, February 28 2004 08:00
Shaper
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quote:
Originally written by Kelandon:

It is right, though. The error doesn't print until you hit the Stat-Targeters in Exodus, so I'm guessing that you just didn't use calls that caused BoA to notice that your stats were too high.
Yes, but it isn't till after I deliver a blow to the monster (thus causing BoA to check the monster's HP) that the glitch kicks in.

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I tried to think of something witty to put here.

Needless to say, I failed.
Posts: 2686 | Registered: Friday, September 8 2006 07:00
Warrior
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On the topic of the larger battles, I found turning off sounds does help.
Posts: 64 | Registered: Friday, November 12 2004 08:00
Law Bringer
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EDIT: Forget it.

[ Monday, January 15, 2007 18:12: Message edited by: Ephesos ]

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Gamble with Gaea, and she eats your dice.

I hate undead. I really, really, really, really hate undead. With a passion.
Posts: 4130 | Registered: Friday, March 26 2004 08:00
Off With Their Heads
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quote:
Originally written by Nioca:

Yes, but it isn't till after I deliver a blow to the monster (thus causing BoA to check the monster's HP) that the glitch kicks in.
Check your stats sheet. If your health is 0, it's you, not the monster.

If it's not you, I'd like to know.

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Arancaytar: Every time you ask people to compare TM and Kel, you endanger the poor, fluffy kittens.
Smoo: Get ready to face the walls!
Ephesos: In conclusion, yarr.

Kelandon's Pink and Pretty Page!!: the authorized location for all things by me
The Archive of all released BoE scenarios ever
Posts: 7968 | Registered: Saturday, February 28 2004 08:00
Shaper
Member # 7472
Profile Homepage #13
Never mind, you're right.

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I tried to think of something witty to put here.

Needless to say, I failed.
Posts: 2686 | Registered: Friday, September 8 2006 07:00
Off With Their Heads
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Well, for what it's worth, Exodus v1.1. I haven't been able to test everything as thoroughly as I would've liked, so let me know if anything doesn't work. E-mail is by far the best method to do so, but you can also post here.

One thing that I wasn't able to fix was Phaedra getting summoned via Summon Shade. I thought originally that this was a problem with her creature number, but it clearly isn't, because her creature number defaults to Unused. She doesn't have a summon class set, either, so it's not that. I have no idea why she's getting summoned.

[ Monday, January 15, 2007 21:27: Message edited by: Kelandon ]

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Arancaytar: Every time you ask people to compare TM and Kel, you endanger the poor, fluffy kittens.
Smoo: Get ready to face the walls!
Ephesos: In conclusion, yarr.

Kelandon's Pink and Pretty Page!!: the authorized location for all things by me
The Archive of all released BoE scenarios ever
Posts: 7968 | Registered: Saturday, February 28 2004 08:00
Shake Before Using
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Clearly Phaedra thinks she is a Shade now. :P
Posts: 3234 | Registered: Thursday, October 4 2001 07:00
Shock Trooper
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I may be completely wrong in this but maybe it's Phaedra's creature number that's making her a shade (179). Maybe Summon Shade works weirdly so that the better version of divine shade (creature number 178) is the next creature number. Also god parties summon high priests.

This is a little more than a wild guess. When I made a whole number of custom floors, the floors 194 and 195 were automatically signs. Notice that terrains 194 and 195 are in fact signs. I know this isn't the same thing as the mess with Phaedra but it got me thinking.

quote:
I believe Smoo has mentioned that he first attempts every scenario with a non-spellcasting singleton.
Not anymore. I thought it was pointless to use a level 78 character to battle through a beginner scenario. Nowadays I'm all about four non-spellcasters which I've played to level 45 and have saved their progress after each five levels they gain.

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These are my scenarios. I may have too much free time but I really don't care.
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Posts: 211 | Registered: Sunday, January 30 2005 08:00
Off With Their Heads
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Smoo: I made the same speculation but didn't have time to test it. It doesn't really make a lot of sense, given that the creature number that Phaedra has is not used by default, but it's remotely possible.

If anyone can actually test this and let me know why the heck Summon Shade summons what it summons, I'd be grateful.

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Arancaytar: Every time you ask people to compare TM and Kel, you endanger the poor, fluffy kittens.
Smoo: Get ready to face the walls!
Ephesos: In conclusion, yarr.

Kelandon's Pink and Pretty Page!!: the authorized location for all things by me
The Archive of all released BoE scenarios ever
Posts: 7968 | Registered: Saturday, February 28 2004 08:00
? Man, ? Amazing
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Man. Everyone wants to be Rentar.

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quote:
Originally written by Kelandon:

Well, I'm at least pretty sure that Salmon is losing.


Posts: 4114 | Registered: Monday, April 25 2005 07:00
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Summon shade at levels 1-3 summons creature with number s+119, where s is the spell level. This gives creatures 120-122, the shade, greater shade, and vengeful shade. At level 4 and higher the number of the creature summoned is s+173, giving the fierce shade and divine shade, then creature type 179, 180, 181, 182 (slith archmage), 183 (wyrm) and so on. So unless we want to never use creature types with numbers higher than 176 in our scenarios, we're going to have problems with summon shade.

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Überraschung des Dosenöffners!
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...b10010b...
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quote:
Originally written by Niemand:

So unless we want to never use creature types with numbers higher than 176 in our scenarios, we're going to have problems with summon shade.
Better still, avoid giving out Summon Shade at any higher than level 5.

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The Empire Always Loses: This Time For Sure!
Posts: 9973 | Registered: Saturday, March 30 2002 08:00
Off With Their Heads
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Ah. I don't give out Summon Shade at a level higher than 5 in Exodus, so this must be a problem only for parties that come in with a too-high level of Summon Shade to begin with. In that case, I'm not going to worry about it.

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Arancaytar: Every time you ask people to compare TM and Kel, you endanger the poor, fluffy kittens.
Smoo: Get ready to face the walls!
Ephesos: In conclusion, yarr.

Kelandon's Pink and Pretty Page!!: the authorized location for all things by me
The Archive of all released BoE scenarios ever
Posts: 7968 | Registered: Saturday, February 28 2004 08:00
Guardian
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Isn't there some creature attribute in the docs that fixes this? Something in the creature definition that makes it a 'unique' creature?

EDIT: Or something that sets the minimum spell level a PC needs to have before it can summon the creature?

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Xykon: Wages?!? But I don't pay them in the first place!
Redcloak: That does seem to be the crux of the issue, sir.
(OotS #37)

[ Tuesday, January 16, 2007 07:17: Message edited by: Dintiradan ]
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There's cr_summon_class (which does both, I think), but it automatically defaults to creatures not being summonable. Since I don't see it set for Phaedra (and there's a clear command, so it's not being set elsewhere), it must not be working properly.

Dikiyoba.
Posts: 4346 | Registered: Friday, December 23 2005 08:00
Off With Their Heads
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Summon Shade doesn't check the summoning class. Most of the other summoning spells do, but Summon Shade doesn't.

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Arancaytar: Every time you ask people to compare TM and Kel, you endanger the poor, fluffy kittens.
Smoo: Get ready to face the walls!
Ephesos: In conclusion, yarr.

Kelandon's Pink and Pretty Page!!: the authorized location for all things by me
The Archive of all released BoE scenarios ever
Posts: 7968 | Registered: Saturday, February 28 2004 08:00

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