Arcanum:WIP 6.0 now available

Discussion in 'Module Discussion' started by rroyo, Jun 8, 2008.

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  1. stylex

    stylex Member

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    Is rroyo the only one working on a module?
     
  2. Vorak

    Vorak Administrator Staff Member

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    rroyo: I used both.

    stylex: No, but rroyo is the only one doing beta testing. (Offended people who are beta testing that I have overlooked, you call those mods?)
     
  3. stylex

    stylex Member

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  4. rroyo

    rroyo Active Member

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    6.0 is now out! See first post.

    Since there was a mix-up with the change-log, here's what's new:

    1) Corrected a flaw in the backgrounds listings.
    2) Corrected gold reward at the Tarant warehouse. The rat had the gold.
    3) Reset the art on the Fireking Medalion.
    4) Fixed a typo in Ol' Fred's Dialog.
    5) Added an orange brick building to south Tarant. Restored stock art!
    6) Added the background corrections done by Viqsi.
    7) Added the trading post of Marcyona - just below the Lethe Wyvern Sighting.
    8 ) Added human-sized fletchers.
    9) Changed a pair of gravestone listings in the Fan Fens.
    10) Added Interlude by Ben Houge to the music list.
    11) Added the trading post of Merchants' Faire to the north lands.
    12) Added the trading post of Cotswold - southeast of Vooriden.
    13) Corrected a glitch with three of the new schematics.
    14) Corrected some graphical issues with the Old Mine.
    15) Added a new thieves' quest to Thaddeus Mynor.
    16) Added the Wolfsbane Estate for the Thieves' Quest.
    17) Added map-marking to The Atlas of Arcanum.
    18 ) Added The Tempter of Fate. Buy, sell and exchange Fate Points.

    Also - All the bug-fixes needed for the 5.0 & 5.1 releases.

    stylex: A nice try?
     
  5. stylex

    stylex Member

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  6. Russell

    Russell New Member

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    Question

    I'm new to modding for this game, in fact I'm new to the game in general... um where do I get the 1.0.7.4_EN patch? I'm trying to get this mod working.

    By the way, I wanted to suggest, maybe adding a .exe file that installs everything for you, which makes it easier for people like me?

    Even if you don't make one, I'm still capable of doing it with your instructions.
     
  7. rroyo

    rroyo Active Member

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    Welcome to the forum, Russell!

    Ok - the patch came be found in the downloads section.

    http://www.terra-arcanum.com/downloads/ ... n_1074.exe

    Install this before adding the 6.0 addition.

    As for the all-in-one exe: One of these days I'll learn how to do that, but I haven't gotten there yet.

    And to answer your question from the announcement thread - In a nutshell, my hack simply adds more places to explore, new toys to play with, and plenty of bug-fixes.
     
  8. DokEnkephalin

    DokEnkephalin New Member

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    I found Brandybuck pretty charming, a little different but not out of place among Victorian-period rural gentlefolk. Good town to get those small sized clothes and armor. And those halflings probably make the best food and beer in Arcanum. The overhaul of Wolfe's Cave is excellent, now it's got some interesting plot relevance and isn't just Yet Another Place of Critters and Loot.

    I had some problems with Vormantown that made me wonder who playtested it. You've got these long, winding passageways, which game designer makes to lengthen an adventure, but I've never seen it done this transparently and excessively. First there are a few Monthy Haul handouts in curious bunches, then goes into a reasonable progression of challenges before you hit a brick wall of opposition that breaks your weapons, limbs and companions. If you can't pass it you have to go alllllllllllll the way back without shortcuts or teleport. When you reach a point of character development when you can meet that challenge, who the hell wants to make that tedious trek back?! Especially if you know that on the other side is another smattering of low-level fodder, inexplicably. This bogs down the gameplay quite a bit. Maybe it should be clearer from the start of the area which level range it's intended for, and maintain a consistent challenge level, especially if it's going to dangle the player along the meandering assend of nowhere with no quick ride back.
     
  9. rroyo

    rroyo Active Member

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    Glad to hear you approve of Brandybuck and the Wolfe Cave.

    Even though I need to remodel the town a bit to make the town center closer to the center of town, I've been rather pleased with the result.
    Troika should have created a town like this, but since they didn't.....

    The Wolf Cave, in its original form, looked too much like an after-thought for my liking, so that's why it got the reworking it did.

    And I must admit, I agree with everything you said about the Vormantown mazes. The module could have and should have been done better, but I'm not going to re-design it.
     
  10. DokEnkephalin

    DokEnkephalin New Member

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    Arcanum5 extends the amount of xp needed per level, probably in proportion with the expanded content, but there doesn't appear to be any changes quest xp. So the bulk of xp is expected to be earned through damage dealing.

    The problem with this is that it minimizes rewards for involvement in the plot and encourages the grind: the go-there-stomp-that-gameplay repetition that can be fun sometimes...but not always. Secondly, it doesn't do much for non-combatant playstyles, so advancement for thiefly types, diplomat types, passive attackers and support skills, etc, becomes nut-wrenchingly arduous.

    Expansion is good, but should it narrow the variety of viable builds that can experience it?
     
  11. rroyo

    rroyo Active Member

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    The build is not done yet. I'm finally getting the experience needed to be able to script something more than hack-n-slash adventures.

    There's been a steady call, all the way from the pages of the forum to the back of my mind, for adventures that require brains rather than brawn to solve.

    I'm still uncertain how many I'll add, but there needs to be at least five new negotiation quests added - from simple to complex, and one or two more complex no-kill thieves' quests just to get the minimum of what I'd like to do with Norleigh, Monaco, and the Half-Ogre quest expansion working right. Each of these will be adding experience points based on the level of difficulty.

    These are coming, but the support structure (locations) haven't been built yet.
     
  12. DokEnkephalin

    DokEnkephalin New Member

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    I don't know how sophisticated Arcanum scripting can get, but is it possible to give bigger xp rewards for using non-combat skills, just to balance it out for people who spent their character points there? Maybe Underground jobs would be worth more xp if done by thieving, that way non-thieves don't have any incentive to do them, unless it's to keep the loot, but thieves can earn more serious advancement through them?

    Or a quest reward would be larger for using non-combat means, for example if you talked Pettibone's price up and/or persuaded the dark elves to let you past or leave, then the end of the job would be worth more exp. I noticed some Master quests do the opposite; give you a massive xp reward after giving you the opportunity to reap large amounts of xp and loot, but you get no credit if you finish a magic mastery trial using only that school of magic; ie illusion or white necromancy for those appropriate trials.
     
  13. rroyo

    rroyo Active Member

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    Certainly. I can set things up to award as much or as little XP as the adventure difficulty dictates.
    I just need to be a little more diligent about doing so.
     
  14. DokEnkephalin

    DokEnkephalin New Member

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    These complaints are kind of the same I had with the original Arcanum, both Vorman's layout and the imbalance of xp-earning potential of skills.

    With the original Arcanum, they did mitigate this somewhat, in the sewers there were multiple, spaced access points, and in the BMC they left you a Scroll of Exiting. Vormantown does sell scrolls of Exiting, but for the first time player, the 200-300% markup doesn't look that attractive until after you've had your first boring trudge back from the forest. But what's wrong with a mundane secret passage that opens up back to the beginning? It's an old game design trope we can all see through, but we're all relieved to see a short trot back after a climactic battle, instead of a tedious crawl through plundered territory. It's also nice to have some of these at designated 'minibosses' of an area, in case you don't have the option to fight them because you don't have the capability, but can shorten your trip later when you're ready for the fight.

    And the lack of xp generated by so many non-combat skills pretty much implies that they designed less legitimate ways to spend your character points ("Oh, you got an anesthatizer and a roll of bandaids, how nice...well fuck you, you still have to fight, with your lack of combat skill or nifty equipment!")

    EDIT: And the Scroll of Exiting doesn't do anything but get consumed. I thought the designer might not be so dense, so I looked around at EVERYTHING, thinking, "Is that a lever? Is that a portal? A blimp, a chocolate rooster, a lifeline, anything?" Nope, the long hike back, while my followers gather an herbologists' goldmine that none of us can use and no one will buy, so I get to end the expedition with the thrill of inventory management...Oh, can I please have some more hours of right-clicking on leaves?
     
  15. DokEnkephalin

    DokEnkephalin New Member

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    Lynchbany...I did not see that punchline coming. You set up some good storytelling with your quests, makes the hack-n-slash more compelling and the setting richer.

    ah, Tempter of Fate is a bit Monty Haul isn't it? Where you spend limited character points is a hard choice, trading precious Fate Points for character points is a hard choice, but dumping 50k for the equivalent of 25 levels of power -- not a hard choice at all!

    This defeats the purpose of extending the exp to level, since anyone could scavenge all the clutter in reach for cheap points rather than earn levels, which gets pretty tempting given the frustratingly slow advancement pace. Hagglers/gamblers get an obscenely huge advantage, and the whole Ancient Gods quest is completely devalued.

    If you trade for anything, it should be something unique, and hard to acquire. For example, you can never trade Gilbert's journal or the camera for the crash site than once. Bonus points for things that are potentially valueable to certain players, such as the Jewel of Hebe, Harrow, and especially the Staff of K'an. Or the Tempter could require you to perform tasks that may reverse your alignment or aptitude, alienate needed allies, anger powerful forces, or give other gameplay disadvantages; ie, lose half your resistance, intermittent spontaneous armor decay, random Ancient halfling attacks, pheremones enrage opposite sex, etc.

    Making this kind of deal should be a hard choice, but it could also be entertaining and make each character as unique by their in-play choices as by their initial background choice.
     
  16. rroyo

    rroyo Active Member

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    Thank you. As much as I'd like to take credit for the punchline, Alan Dean Foster is the one who created it for the first Spellsinger novel. I kinda stole it from him, then changed Bany from a thief to a tragic mage.

    Gentle Giant, over at the Russian site, came up with the original idea but his was a simple 2-for-1 trade of the fate points for character. I liked the concept and, as you saw, I expanded it conciderably.
    It seemed like a good way for players to level up before heading into the Void.

    Your comments have started me thinking of a suitable way to make the Tempter known only in the latter part of the game. Maybe if I add a note to Thanatos....

    I less sure about adding penalities to him though. Let me think on that some more.
     
  17. DokEnkephalin

    DokEnkephalin New Member

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    The problem with trading coin at any stage is that it's freely available and getting it doesn't take much accomplishment. Is answering a trivia question in a pub really worth half a fate point? Gilbert Bate's journal is a good trade because there's only one, and to get it you either have to have the dedicated skills and timing to use them, or risk turning the household against you. Jewel of Hebe is also a good trade because again it's unique, and some rely on it to counter negative reaction or keep another teammate.

    This can stay balanced through-out the game as long as it's based on accomplishments and sacrifices. Trading coin for char points just creates an exploitable system that cheapens the game.
     
  18. DokEnkephalin

    DokEnkephalin New Member

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    Spider cave: There was a decent action pacing, but not much challenge for anyone who's made it past Hardin's Pass. Why so long? No challenge, no plot, just lots of twisty maze full of far more loot than reasonable. The only difficulty was encumbrance redistribution.

    Oh, and blocked teleport (and this isn't the last time I'm going to rant about this.) Teleport and scroll of Exiting exist for considered gameplay purposes, so you must have some considered reasons for overriding them. Some excuse to give those people who spent their precious character points learning the spell. Does your map meet one of these requirements?

    1. Does this place have story purpose, with a tightly sculpted layout to best frame plot significance with minimal distracting interlude?

    2. Does it require puzzle-solving to escape from?

    If the answer is "far from it!" then I'm afraid you're completely without justification for blocking teleport.
     
  19. rroyo

    rroyo Active Member

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    The Spider Cave: You're dead-on with your assessment. This was not one of my better ideas.

    Teleport & exit: I'm assuming you're still going on about the entire Vormantown adventure being blocked. This had to be done because the entire adventure is on one map and it wasn't the main map - which is where the spells are scripted to send you.

    There's only one effective way I can think of to make teleportation workable for Vormantown and that is to recreate all the exterior scenes onto the main Arcanum map. Otherwise, if you use teleport to exit a dungeon, then the closest place I could have sent the player was to Melloncamp's cabin and then you take the dinghy back to Vormantown again.....

    I did try various other means in hope of setting up a jump and bounce point to let teleport be used, but in the end, I just took advantage of the reported weird phenomenon happening at Ivory Lake and disabled teleportation.
     
  20. DokEnkephalin

    DokEnkephalin New Member

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    Teleport was also blocked in the Spider Cave and Acererak's Tomb.

    There's no way to set a point for scroll of Exit to work? I know that if you use one in any town, it returns you to the entry point of that town, for example in Tarant you return to the west of the bridge, in Shrouded Hills you go to the plaza in front of the temple. If this is doable in Vormantown too, it would make the quest a lot smoother.

    Btw, what I was saying about slow level progression wasn't an exaggeration but a strange bug; at level 36 I needed over 600k to level, which didn't match up with the xp_level file. This corrected itself at level 37, so it looks pretty reasonable, for primary damage-dealers at least.
     
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