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Father Brandon's secret captain's log.

Discussion in 'Dev Journals' started by Father Brandon, Jan 3, 2006.

  1. zeus9860

    zeus9860 The True Followers of the Lost

    2,466
    2
    Feb 28, 2008
    Troll
    lolwut
    A character wipe was a thing supported in the past and never happened, back then i was against character wipes, the mod was kicking it with much more quality content and plenty of more people around to play with.

    Nowadays i do feel like a character wipe would be a solution for many things. I do even think that it should happen, IF ms:c ever gets added to steam. It's only logical to start anew just like everyone else that will be playing for the first time. Of course, alot of us would know where to go and what to do to get things done. This is something that can't be avoided unless the mod gets a complete rework, which is something i highly doubt will ever happen.

    So the best thing that could come out of this is proper balancing for certain items such as potions and fixing a broken economy.

    As far as i understand, a broken economy leads to not having certain aspects of the game become a thing in this game, like using gold to buy ingredients and create potions yourself, or buy ingredients to forge gear, or anything along those lines. Game should hand out a few coins every now and then rather than hundreds or thousands of coins per chest/kill. Items should be sold for smaller values than larger values aswell. Gear should be rebalanced based on the amount of time/effort it takes to get it, and it's level range. (eg: phoenix armour spawning in a medium tier map and its a endgame item right now, endgame being at least double the required level to get it)

    Adding content to low and mid tier is somewhat of a waste in this game, unless it's a challenge or a puzzle of sorts like the one map with the quest to get soups. Another reason its a waste of time is because the grinding on early levels go by so fast nowadays, there are xp bonuses while playing on FN and with additional players. Rare gear from 2008 is now common gear, making newcomers get these items pretty early and easily, speeding up the process of grinding. Essentially this game makes the player rush content early on to reach 600 to 700hp asap, by then it gets slower and more tedious. You will be farming dungeon raid maps over and over for xp and loot, this is ms:c in a nutshell. The only salvation is has without going through a major overhaul is focusing the content for high end players. It doesn't have to be on the extreme, but mind you. Thunder plains is planned to be on the highest level cap possible if im not mistaking, which is around 60. The current cap is 45. Anything after 60 is considered apostle tier, i think?

    The only way i see making a challenge towards players in a map of this kind is simply laying out traps and have challenges, surviving certain things thrown at your face that don't really rely on combat alone. Using ingame mechanics to get the job done for example, luring a critter from a cave to the open world and have it get hit by lightning to get it killed or overcharged into something deadlier that could give you something in return.

    Last tip i can give you would be, instead of focusing on a straight forward path that will lead you to the boss of the map, why not create multiple bosses/mini bosses hidden within the map that require certain things to be done in order to make them spawn.

    And i'm off to sleep, kinda went fast with this post and skipped some lines in your post, got to wake up in 6 hours to work. We can continue this tommorow, i would be glad to give you hints as to what you could do and what you should avoid.
     
  2. Father Brandon

    Father Brandon Member

    150
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    Aug 26, 2004
    Mapper
    Frosty North
    Thanks for all the information so far. In regard to a broken economy, a free game I have been playing for a few years has somewhat resolved it by making currency usable on crafting (Path of Exile is the game). For instance, there is no 'gold'. You find orbs of 'so and so' that alter items regarding crafting in some way (Always random within a specific parameter). You can also buy items from vendors with them. I heard about enchanting in MSC but not a lot about how its done. Would toning down gold rewards and requiring a huge lump sum of gold to enchant (or by making enchants semi random within a table) potentially work for eating gold out of the economy? A currency 'sink' of some kind.

    I only mention the Path of Exile crafting/currency system because I feel that it's the best one I have ever seen and should be at least a base model for dealing with economies in other games. It makes it take a very, very long time for currency to devalue as there is always a use.

    I am personally enjoying taking the game slow and barely scraping by with crappy gear so far as opposed to rushing to a high level fast with more refined gear, but this is also because I have not explored the vast majority of content.

    In regard to bosses, I was actually thinking about various mini bosses within the map scattered through different locations. It would be also interesting I think to have different bosses or events depending on if it's day, dusk or night. But that would require turning off the ability for people to change time using console, clientside. I look forward to discussing this more with you later! I keep going off-topic often because it feels like there is so much that can be discussed about this game. I'm sure I'll discover a lot more as I play.
     
  3. TheOysterHippopotami

    TheOysterHippopotami Source Developers

    960
    1
    Sep 6, 2009
    Unfortunately I have found it really quite difficult to make a high level map that is free roam, due to some of the unfortunate ways that the game has pigeon holed itself with OP potions and OP equipment, only to be "balanced" with OP monsters.

    There is a huge problem where players are essentially invincible if they drink a potion unless you make your map hard as balls, but then players are virtually required to drink a potion. The game is severely out of balance.

    I and others have been suggesting this for a long time but Thothie has never been open to the idea. Mainly because Thothie is in general disagreement with most of us about the quality of the content in the late game. Most of us do not really like any of the maps released in the last 7+ years, at least. We all wish the game would return to the style that the early game is in, but as a mapper, I've found it pretty difficult to capture that old vibe, mainly because high level players can just rush through every inch of a free roam map rather quickly, and because all the high level monsters and weapons and potions have created a vicious cycle of OP content that can only be remedied with more OP content.

    This really can't be fixed without both a character wipe and a complete rebalancing of the game, but I am afraid that is more work than anyone may be able to deal with.

    I have been dreaming of a Mastersword: Rennaisance (MS:R) for some time. This is honestly the only thing that I think can really save this game in the long term.

    This is another huge problem from my perspective. All of the best maps are essentially obsolete with the new XP bonuses, and all of the high level stuff mainly consists of a formulaic fight to the end, kill the boss, hope for good loot, rinse and repeat.

    The game needs something to do that gets us out of this trap. A cross map questing system might work, which I've been trying to get for a long time, but there have been so many unforseen obstacles, (like the game being severely hacked, or the fix for said hack breaking many existing features) which derailed basically all of the plans for a questing system and delayed the patch for almost two years now.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2017
  4. Father Brandon

    Father Brandon Member

    150
    9
    Aug 26, 2004
    Mapper
    Frosty North
    Definitely seems like it will be tough to get a well balanced end-game map going. A cross map questing system sounds really neat but it's unfortunate to hear about all of the issues that have been arising.

    In theory, would the most reliable way to improve the game in a new version be to 'quarantine' (plus also deleting a ton of items and rewriting stats on others) the game off section by section and balance those in relation to each other before expanding out bit by bit (starting with Edana/Thornlands/)? Players could play the quarantined content for testing purposes and progress further as patches are released for even more testing/feedback. It's still a ton work of course.

    Mastersword: Renaissance does have a nice ring to it for a name.
     
  5. TheOysterHippopotami

    TheOysterHippopotami Source Developers

    960
    1
    Sep 6, 2009
    Not sure. I feel like a simple exp cap that gradually lessens as you increase in level would have a similar effect.

    If a questing system were implemented, we could change where and how many of the OP items in this game are obtained. Combining that with a character wipe may be a somewhat efficient solution. Kills a few birds with one stone, at least.
     
  6. Father Brandon

    Father Brandon Member

    150
    9
    Aug 26, 2004
    Mapper
    Frosty North
    That idea sounds pretty good. I'm going to have to play further into this game a bit more before making more comments on gear and map balancing. Right now I think I'm shown as level 16-18 holding specific weapons (also around 180-190 hp). Game seems balanced at this level.
     
  7. Lucifer Majiskus

    Lucifer Majiskus Sons of Babel

    Early game, up until about level 30 (600-700 HP) the game is amazing.. Lots to explore, and finding new useable loot is awesome. Grinding nonstop for 1 piece of armor or 1 weapon, etc. is not so much fun.
     
  8. Father Brandon

    Father Brandon Member

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    Aug 26, 2004
    Mapper
    Frosty North
    A shout out to JM for helping me setup JACK for MSC mapping. I can now churn out some content.
     
  9. Father Brandon

    Father Brandon Member

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    Aug 26, 2004
    Mapper
    Frosty North
    I don't mind a grind. But if it's really boring because there is no risk to your character trying to get an end-game item then that could be sad.
     
  10. Father Brandon

    Father Brandon Member

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    Aug 26, 2004
    Mapper
    Frosty North
    I found the entire (I think) Lanethan here.

    I've also settled on Eswen Sylen as a location to create. If people like it/want another map and I can still make time for it I may contribute another location afterwards.

    Edit:

    What sort of enemies would you like to see in Eswen Sylen that you think would fit the location (No spiders. Maybe 1 or 2)?
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2017
  11. Hush

    Hush Developers

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    2
    Sep 14, 2004
    I personally think this is a very good decision. Most of the elven themed maps like Eswen Sylen, the Melanion Ruins and Kray Eldorad are eagerly needed to provide insights in the culture and lore of the elves, which are a little neglected till this day.

    Regarding the lore by Lanethan, this partly silent forest might by mostly inhabited by magical creatures, elves (Torkalath, Eshu und Felewyn) and the "Lurks". The last ones are not defined more precisely and I don't know if there is already a concept for them. Maybe Thothie can tell when/if he comes back.

    As for the general layout of the map, I could imagine a similar layout like the one of "underpath", where there is a easier path, which leads to the city of Kray Eldorad and a more challenging path deep into the forest. On the first path the player may encounter some "magical wildlife" creatures and a patrol of Felewyn elves (who might attack if the players darkness level is too high).

    If the players decide to venture deeper into the woods away from the well guarded path, they might find a tribe of the more nature and balance orientated Eshu elves. The way the players act with them and their sacred objects could affect the way if they are neutral, friendly or hostile toward them.

    Caves and root tunnels, which are conntecting the forest with the Melanion Ruins, could be the dwellings for the Torkalath elves.

    So, in short:

    Friendly/Neutral:
    • A settlement the of Eshu elves, living in the trees and maybe threatened by the Lurks and the Torkie elves
    • A patrol of Felewyn elves, who guard the way to Kray Eldorad

    Neutral/Hostile:
    • "Magical Wildlife"
      • Maybe some of the current wildlife creatures like boars, bears, wolfs, eagles, snakes, bats and dragonflies spiced up with a little bit of magic
      • Something like fairies (maybe just represented by a light sprite to save the modelling effort)
      • Dang, I should have donated that Unicorn model ;)
    Hostile:
    • Greater Magical beats like a hydra, an improved giant bat or a keeper
    • Torkalath elves in all flavours
    • the Lurks, whatever they are
     
    littleaznboi and Father Brandon like this.
  12. MS:C community

    MS:C community Member

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    Jul 7, 2011
    "NO" to rainbow maps
     
  13. Father Brandon

    Father Brandon Member

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    Aug 26, 2004
    Mapper
    Frosty North
    Thanks for all the insight and ideas! There is currently a main path planned on the map that leads into a giant, hollowed out tree which contains a pulley system wooden lattice lift to reach the higher areas/branches (and to reach the entrance to transition to Kray Eldorad). I have another few passages that still lead to the same hollowed out tree but will start planning a dangerous deep forest excursion from them. I'm still laying out the basic brushwork with only a few textures but I can't wait to start posting more fleshed out updates for feedback.
     
  14. Kanta

    Kanta Member

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    Jan 24, 2013
    Could you define rainbowing for the unenlightened thakwaws?
     
  15. MS:C community

    MS:C community Member

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    Jul 7, 2011
    I already did, but if the above isn't clear enough:
    'Rainbowing' a map means populating it with monsters of (almost) every element available. This flies in the face of consistency and is generally just really really annoying.

    MS:C has some notorious rainbow maps. They all have in common that they suck completely. One of the rare few maps that does stick to a theme is, and I'll just mention it again, Shadahar Palace. Lightning-based temple/fortress map = lightning-based monsters. It really is that simple. And Shadahar Palace is harder than most maps so sticking to a theme (i.e. making your map not shit) doesn't automatically mean it'll be a pushover map.

    Putting Rammata te Mal (Torkalath-following Elves) in Eswen Sylen would be a bad idea for two reasons:
    • When used together, they're some of the most notorious rainbow monsters ever made. If you stick to only two, maybe three different types, it might not be as bad, but then I haven't even mentioned yet how OP most of them are.
    • According to the lore, Rammata are killed on sight by 'normal' (Felewyn-following) Elves. It wouldn't make sense for them to be so close to Kray Eldorad, the capital of the Elves. That "Whispers of Fallen Elves" tidbit in the lore could easily refer to Eshu (Urdual-following) Elves, since they're also considered fallen by normal Elves; they're just not hunted actively.

    But back on topic, here are some of my suggestions on how to populate the map:
    • Black or brown bears (monsters/bear_cub_black, monsters/bear_black, monsters/bear_giant_black, monsters/gbear_black_hpoly, monsters/bear_cub_brown, monsters/bear_brown, monsters/bear_giant_brown, monsters/gbear_brown_hpoly)
    • Wolves (monsters/wolf, monsters/wolf_alpha)
    • Ogres (monsters/ogre)
    • Swamp Keepers -- Just rename to "Keeper" because nothing about this monster implies it should be used exclusively in swamps anyway (monsters/swamp_keeper)
    • Green slimes (monsters/slime_green, monsters/slime_green_large, monsters/slime_green_huge, monsters/slime_bomber)
    • Gloams -- Kind of on the fence about these, as their hitboxes are shit beyond belief (monsters/gloam1)
    • Shamblers (monsters/shambler1, monsters/shambler2)
    • Foliage that tries to kill you -- Yes, foliage that tries to kill you (monsters/doom_plant3, monsters/vine_poison)
    • Venomous bone abomination -- If you really wanna get mean (monsters/abomination_venom)
    • Venomous demon wing -- Also not very friendly (monsters/demonwing_venom)
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2017
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  16. Father Brandon

    Father Brandon Member

    150
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    Aug 26, 2004
    Mapper
    Frosty North
    An early WIP screenshot of detailing the main inner tree area that contains a pulley system lift to a 2nd and 3rd floor.

    Bac7UDf.png
     
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  17. MS:C community

    MS:C community Member

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    Jul 7, 2011
    Looks pretty rad. Might I suggest you consider using the 'forest' skybox? Relevant thread
     
    Father Brandon likes this.
  18. Father Brandon

    Father Brandon Member

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    Aug 26, 2004
    Mapper
    Frosty North
    Thanks man! That's an awesome thread.
     
  19. Father Brandon

    Father Brandon Member

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    Aug 26, 2004
    Mapper
    Frosty North
    Another WIP screen of a different angle from the same room: jK0ARSp.png
     
  20. zeus9860

    zeus9860 The True Followers of the Lost

    2,466
    2
    Feb 28, 2008
    Troll
    lolwut
    Looking good!
     
  21. Father Brandon

    Father Brandon Member

    150
    9
    Aug 26, 2004
    Mapper
    Frosty North
    WIP entrance to the main inner-tree plaza from the outside:

    e8Y8an7.png
     
  22. Lucifer Majiskus

    Lucifer Majiskus Sons of Babel

    <3
     
  23. Thothie

    Thothie Administrator Staff Member

    14,637
    12
    Apr 8, 2005
    psycho-oligist
    lost
    Damn, missed the grand return...

    Dunno if we have a nice rope & wood texture that could make the tower look less like a radio-tower, though I suspect, much like the current map, they'll look a bit less like that in game, and I suppose physics would pretty much demand some metal be involved for such a structure. Might be able to cook something up. Beyond that, looks awesome though.

    In regards to some of the other comments not related to the map... Bleh, seems this thread is too full to address them all just now... I'll snag a few:

    Yeah, the Felewyn elves who occupy the elven capital of Kray Eldorad would sooner burn down the forest that surrounds them than let Torkalath worshippers live within it, however, they do put up with an enclave of Urdual worshippers known as the Eshu (if barely). These are your "nature wood elves" type, unlike the city dwellers which are your high-elf types. They would be fairly friendly and likely have decorative ewok style villas among the treetops. Both the forest and the city, however, have some hidden passages to the Melanion Ruins that run beneath them, and that's where you'll have various opportunities for baddies - Ramatta elves may boil up through some of those as well. There's probably good hunting in the forest, in addition to the darker bits, with various fetch/rescue quests being possible throughout. Like the Melanion Ruins, it could easily be divided up into multiple maps, though some of them should have the walls of Kray Eldorad visible - possibly one with the front entrance.

    The newer elf scripts offer a lot more non-elemental variants than the old set did, but at the same time, those that do use elements are a bit spammier with them. But yes, please avoid using more than two element types in an encounter - does tend to defeat the purpose of having an elemental resistance system, in addition to being rough on the servers.

    There's further descriptions of Kray Eldorad and Eswen Sylen, among other lore world maps that may interest you, in the beta map thread:
    https://www.msremake.com/threads/beta-worldmap-discussion.998/

    I do believe we have the source for the Keledros you seem to be in the process of remaking here somewhere... We have a slightly dated version of Keledrosprelude as well.
     
  24. MS:C community

    MS:C community Member

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    6
    Jul 7, 2011
    Yesterday I saw Blade Runner 2049 and I was absolutely blown away and speechless.

    Now, after reading this, I'm also quite blown away and speechless.

    Mappers, take note!
     
  25. Father Brandon

    Father Brandon Member

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    Aug 26, 2004
    Mapper
    Frosty North
    Heya Thothie! Good to finally meet you.

    The only other ropey-woody textures I found (in the allinone_fixed.wad) were of rope bridges. Feel free to make anything you'd like to contribute for the map and I'll find a way to include it.

    Thank you for more information regarding the elves and Melanion Ruins. Got some more ideas flowing through my head now about adding the start of some cave systems. My Eswen area can be a hub for the rest of the area (Melanion Ruins, Kray Eldorad, and a darker woods area possibly if I can not fit it into my map).

    If you can PM me a download link for my older map files I would really appreciate it!
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017

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