Shadow Realm – Brainstorm

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Home Forums Modding and Map Making Shadow Realm – Brainstorm

This topic contains 1,098 replies, has 37 voices, and was last updated by  Refineus 2 years, 2 months ago.

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  • #273558

    HousePet
    Member

    Why a detrimental effect for the Forge of Dreams battlefield?
    Wouldn’t something that improves the weaponry of the guardians make more sense?

    Also, I’m not necessarily against a MCU from the Forgotten Throne. It just seems odd for the Thrones of certain Wizards to allow summoning an Elder Eldritch.

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 4 months ago by  HousePet.
    #273583

    Hiliadan
    Member

    Why a detrimental effect for the Forge of Dreams battlefield?
    Wouldn’t something that improves the weaponry of the guardians make more sense?

    Mmh why not but Magma Forge has a detrimental effect, so why should a Forge of Dreams be different? 😛 The idea of the current battle enchantment is to show the inherent instability and magical power of the Shadow Realm. I think Gloweye liked it very much earlier in the thread.
    Gameplay-wise, I also prefer detrimental effects to boosting effects (like Mass Bless).

    @housepet: what do you think about the other questions here http://aow.triumph.net/forums/topic/shadow-realm-brainstorm/page/35/#post-273555 ?
    Same questions for everyone else. 😛

    Also…

    Umbral Weaver
    If we give them Mounted & a chariot… I guess they should get Charge and 36 MP, right?

    #273584

    Bob5
    Member

    If we give them Mounted & a chariot… I guess they should get Charge and 36 MP, right?

    Not necessarily. Frostling Ice Queen has mounted but 32 MP and no Charge.

    #273591

    HousePet
    Member

    @housepet: what do you think about the other questions here http://aow.triumph.net/forums/topic/shadow-realm-brainstorm/page/35/#post-273555 ?

    I presume the question about the Umbral Weaver is just to make it clear which is the legacy unit? Surely Umbral Weaver Charioteer, not Chariot for the new one. Or just rename the old one to Umbral Weaver Old?

    Shadow Gates underground seems fine to me.

    For the Forgotten Throne MCUs, I just can’t see Artica, Nimue or Yaka using Elder Eldritch Abominations. But I could see them using something like Ice Dragons, King Serpents and Phoenixes.

    #273593

    Hiliadan
    Member

    Or just rename the old one to Umbral Weaver Old?

    The old unit will still be used in game for some defender set so it needs a real name. 😛

    Shadow Gates underground seems fine to me.

    That may be because you didn’t playtest the expansion yet, and I hope you’ll join the next game that I’ll open for the closed beta! 🙂
    Even after the reduction of the number of Shadow Gates, I’m afraid we’ll have too many of them and the number of links created will allow big shortcuts and make it really hard to defend. In particular, the Shadow Gates can allow shortcuts between UG and surface through 2 Shadow Gates and I’m not sure of the strategic value of that.

    For the Charioteer Weaver, ok it sounds better to make it 32 MP and no Charge.

    #273594

    Draxynnic
    Member

    Possibly Disrupted Equipment for the Forge of Dreams?

    I’m visualising it as some of the equipment turning incorporeal (and thus less effective), so it could even be coupled with an effect where the penalties don’t apply (or are compensated for with some other bonus) against incorporeal creatures.

    On the Umbral Weaver, now that we have the chariot, I’m inclined to leave it at 32mp without Charge.

    As for the old one… hrrrmn. Part of me wants to call it a Penumbral Weaver, making it a lesser form of the Umbral Weaver. One thing we might consider, though, is repurposing the model.

    #273604

    Gloweye
    Member

    Umbral Ghost ?

    #273606

    Dr_K
    Member

    As for the old one… hrrrmn. Part of me wants to call it a Penumbral Weaver, making it a lesser form of the Umbral Weaver.

    That’s a good one.

    Shadow Demon units should be more appropriately sized. However I did notice something odd about the Shadow Demon Lord. The bottom of his face seems to not always move with the rest of it resulting in stretched textures. Minor compared to the harvester issue. See attached

    We need a different version of the Shadow Elf Racial Icon, the one that is the same size as the unit icons is too small. See Attached

    I also updated the Shadow Demon Lord’s sound effects to be much less dainty than they were. If there are any other sounds that seem out of place on units, make a note of it and we can change them in the unit’s FMD settings.

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 4 months ago by  Dr_K.
    #273612

    Hiliadan
    Member

    We need a different version of the Shadow Elf Racial Icon, the one that is the same size as the unit icons is too small. See Attached

    Ok, it looks like it needs to be in a separate .ddss as a 128×128 picture, going to see with Lordoflinks or The Mentat if they can re-export it.

    However I did notice something odd about the Shadow Demon Lord. The bottom of his face seems to not always move with the rest of it resulting in stretched textures. Minor compared to the harvester issue. See attached

    Yes, I’ll try to work on the weight painting at some point, for the Lord it looks like it should not be too hard. For the Harvester, it looks much more complicated. But I’ll keep that for much later.

    I also updated the Shadow Demon Lord’s sound effects to be much less dainty than they were

    Ok nice! What sound did you use? Would you be able to copy/paste the sound of AoW:SM in \Dropbox\AoW3-Shadow-Realm-expansion\sounds? Would make a lot of sense to re-use sounds from there for the Shadow Demons, but also for some structures, like the Shadow Weed.

    EDIT: planning to release an updated .taf by next week end, maybe sooner if the RMG mod is updated sooner. That would then allow to look for other closed beta testers. Right now, as the RMG is not yet updated, I’m not advertizing the closed beta too much as for instance it would not make sense to play it in competitive live MP or PBEM.

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 4 months ago by  Hiliadan.
    #273631

    Hiliadan
    Member

    Proposal of article for the launch of the closed beta, let me now what you think:

    Shadow Realm Community Expansion: closed beta launched!
    Following seven months of design, development and tests, the Shadow Realm Community Expansion is moving out of alpha phase and entering a more mature “closed beta” phase! The team grew further and now all areas are covered, from sound to icons to particle (FX) effects. If you can’t wait for the release any more, you can apply to join the closed beta right now!

    About 100 bugs and issues corrected, 3 alpha test PBEM games with the development team, 1 development journal with about 30 short log entries revealing bits of the expansion, the alpha phase has seen a lot of progress! Most of the content designed for the expansion is now implemented and working. The custom campaign is already on good tracks: the 1st of 3 scenarios is completed and the story for the other two has been broadly drafted.


    The Shadow Demons are coming!

    Goal of the closed beta:
    – finish the last bits that need to be designed or polished
    – improve balance
    – test the compatibility of the expansion with other mods and adjust things to increase compatibility

    If you’d be interested to test the expansion before anyone else and help us achieve the goals above, please contact Hiliadan, comment this article or post on the forum.
    Let’s seize the opportunity of this article to acknowledge the huge contribution of Gladis to the alpha phase (hours of systematic testing!) and thank many times all the other testers: Marcuspers, BBB and Markymark!

    A manual of the expansion is available online on a dedicated page on the AoW3 Wikia. The fantastic team behind the expansion is listed, as well as all the content and concepts from the expansion! Speaking about content, the team of volunteers working on the expansion decided to drop the Dark Elves. They remain playable as a separate mod but won’t be integrated in the broader content.


    The Mentat is contributing brillantly to the Community Expansion by designing sorely missed icons for new abilities!

    The plan is to move to open beta in a few months, and then release the expansion on the Steam workshop a few additional months after.

    #273640

    Dr_K
    Member

    Ok nice! What sound did you use? Would you be able to copy/paste the sound of AoW:SM in \Dropbox\AoW3-Shadow-Realm-expansion\sounds? Would make a lot of sense to re-use sounds from there for the Shadow Demons, but also for some structures, like the Shadow Weed.

    I don’t remember what I used for each sound, but I changed the footsteps to be the same as a Stone Giant, since that was the original thing that caught my attention as not having enough heft. The other sounds I believe were pulled from one of the King Serpents and the Eldritch Horror.

    I don’t see why we wouldn’t be able to use the old sounds. However, I’m not sure if there is a quality difference that will be noticeable. I’ll play around with them this week and see.

    and adjust things to increase compatibility

    I would remove that part or add a “possibly” into it. The only solutions to incompatibilities are to remove what we added that introduced the incompatibility or create a bunch of separate compatibility patches. The latter might be doable depending on just how many mods end up being incompatible out of the box.

    #273641

    Refineus
    Member

    If needed any in-game picture of Heroes, leaders or the campaign for the article I can arrange that.

    #273645

    Gloweye
    Member

    I think we shouldn’t worry about compatibility before we get our own stuff working. Like, no ToW crashes and such.

    I just saw the Harvester, though it might be an outdated version. I would suggest moving it a bit forward in it’s hex – it almost looks like it’s in the hex behind the one it’s really in. Otherwise, i must say it looks better than I expected.

    My version might be outdated, but it seemed like the Warband Camp had no model.

    (My version is a bit over a week old, I think. And I may have cross-contaminated it a bit.)

    Something we should think about – if seals are enabled, do we want them on the SR ? At first I thought not, since it makes totally no sense lorewise. After all, if the seals could be broken from that side, the storyline would have been totally different.

    However, gameplaywise it might give a very nice angle of gameplay. Something to think about.

    I could even see a gameplay mode where everyone starts at the surface, and it’s a race for the SR seals, as you could easily disable spawning them on the surface if you so choose. (just remove their generation passes). So right now im slightly inclined to put them in, but let me know what you guys think.

    #273646

    Gloweye
    Member

    Some reason, forum thinks the content of this post was unsafe. I don’t have a clue why.

    Read my post here:

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/mbw0we7ila8mc2g/Forum%20forbidden%20post.txt?dl=0

    Addition:

    • – Shadow gates spawn again. Gonna reduce them some more, then it should be ready for the beta.
    • Shadow Weeds should perhaps be Shadow Weed, like in SM
    • Shadow Gate Teleporter should be just Shadow Gate.
    • Probably already known, but the alpha layer for some icons, like the crystal mine, doesn’t seem to be good yet (im seeing the entire square)
    • This reply was modified 2 years, 4 months ago by  Gloweye.
    • This reply was modified 2 years, 4 months ago by  Gloweye.
    • This reply was modified 2 years, 4 months ago by  Gloweye.
    • This reply was modified 2 years, 4 months ago by  Gloweye.
    #273663

    Dr_K
    Member

    I just saw the Harvester, though it might be an outdated version. I would suggest moving it a bit forward in it’s hex – it almost looks like it’s in the hex behind the one it’s really in. Otherwise, i must say it looks better than I expected.

    My version might be outdated, but it seemed like the Warband Camp had no model.

    The entire harvester model probably needs to be shrunk a bit, but I was going to wait until the issues with the legs are sorted out before fine tuning its position.

    The warband camp model is just small. It needs to be increased in size. I’m not sure if that is a model change or an option in the mod.

    Read my post here:
    19:29:09][ERROR][WORLD_ACTIVATE]Cannot randomize alignment for independent city`

    This one seems to occur once for every shadow elf city I generate. Should I look into this ?

    I’ll take a look tomorrow evening. It’s probably not an RMG issue, but a city settings issue. I think it’s the error I’ve seen a while ago when spawning Archon Dwellings on custom maps.

    However, gameplaywise it might give a very nice angle of gameplay. Something to think about.

    Stupid question. Do seals spawn UG or are they surface only?

    #273665

    Gloweye
    Member

    I just saw the Harvester, though it might be an outdated version. I would suggest moving it a bit forward in it’s hex – it almost looks like it’s in the hex behind the one it’s really in. Otherwise, i must say it looks better than I expected.

    My version might be outdated, but it seemed like the Warband Camp had no model.

    The entire harvester model probably needs to be shrunk a bit, but I was going to wait until the issues with the legs are sorted out before fine tuning its position.

    The warband camp model is just small. It needs to be increased in size. I’m not sure if that is a model change or an option in the mod.

    Read my post here:
    19:29:09][ERROR][WORLD_ACTIVATE]Cannot randomize alignment for independent city`

    This one seems to occur once for every shadow elf city I generate. Should I look into this ?

    I’ll take a look tomorrow evening. It’s probably not an RMG issue, but a city settings issue. I think it’s the error I’ve seen a while ago when spawning Archon Dwellings on custom maps.

    However, gameplaywise it might give a very nice angle of gameplay. Something to think about.

    Stupid question. Do seals spawn UG or are they surface only?

    both, if what I saw was accurate. But it might depend a bit on map settings, I didn’t look into it to deep. There’s a seperate pass for “Seals – Underground Islands”, so it might be just spawning UG if the map is on islands.

    And yeah, the alignment issue is non-rmg related, im confident of it.

    #273710

    lordoflinks
    Member

    I’m very very very sorry, but I think I am going to need to take a break from AoWIII modding for a few weeks at least. I am just feeling fatigued and unmotivated and can’t get myself motivated to deal with the game. I am worried if I forced myself to do it now I would not do my best work, or I would get burnt out. Once again, I am very very sorry for this. I’ve created wiki versions of all the Shadow Elf icons, so those can be used to finish the broken ones if someone gets time.
    Sorry…. I wish you all the best, and I hope I will be feeling a bit more motivated in a few weeks.

    #273712

    Hiliadan
    Member

    No problem Lordoflinks, it’s perfectly OK if the icons stay like they are for the next few weeks. Take your time and looking forward to when you feel better. The icons you did so far looked great IMO.

    #273719

    The Mentat
    Member

    The icons are basically done anyway, right? If you’re ok with it then I’d just put them together in a clb. The only issue is that I couldn’t find the gimp files for Theocrat and Sorcerer. I could use the png files too but gimp would be easier…

    #273752

    Bob5
    Member

    I finished my first draft design of the Spawn Larva ability FX. Please let me know what you think on how it looks, it should show up in the upcoming build. I’m still playing around a bit with the sound effects, they’re not perfect yet, and I’m planning to have a little bit more FX trailing the Larva model. Also, please take a look at how the effect lines up with the Harvester, I can’t see that in the mod editor.

    Overall I think I have a good baseline, but I’d like to make it slightly more brutal and gory as it were, it’s just the SFX needs to support it and I’m not sure how it’d look if the Harvester doesn’t have a supporting animation. It’s a lot of experimentation.

    One more thing, I’m using the scale multiplier for the Larva Model in this FX so that the spawned Larva in the effect ends up at the same size as the actual Larva in tactical. If anyone changes the size of the Larva figure, please send me a message so I can adapt the effect.

    #273875

    The Mentat
    Member

    The icons for the shadow elf abilities are now done and I’ve uploaded a clb-file in icons > abilities.

    There’s also a pdf that shows for every icon to which ability it belongs. (For Inflict Blind the already existing icon for Blinded could be used.) But I guess I shouldn’t try to link these icons myself in the editor, right? (If this is even possible with the acp file I have)

    #280174

    Hiliadan
    Member

    The icons for the shadow elf abilities are now done and I’ve uploaded a clb-file in icons > abilities.

    Dr_K integrated them, they’ll be in next build of the mod (.taf), that is scheduled for 20 July more or less.

    – Shadow Weeds should perhaps be Shadow Weed, like in SM
    – Shadow Gate Teleporter should be just Shadow Gate.

    I agree with the 2nd one and that’s how they’re called in the Wikia: https://age-of-wonders-3.wikia.com/wiki/Template:Hiliadan/Shadow_Gate
    I add this to the list of issues to fix.

    On the first one, I guess you’re right too. On the Wikia, it’s also Shadow Weed.

    Something we should think about – if seals are enabled, do we want them on the SR ? At first I thought not, since it makes totally no sense lorewise. After all, if the seals could be broken from that side, the storyline would have been totally different.

    Seals are not UG. So gameplay-wise, I think it’s better to keep them only on the surface. If it makes more sense lorewise, then everything points to keeping them outside the Shadow Realm.
    The game mode you describe could be interesting but is it possible to create a new game mode in addition to Unifier and Seal, e.g. by choosing something else in “game speed” or whatever option in the settings? I don’t think so?

    I would remove that part or add a “possibly” into it. The only solutions to incompatibilities are to remove what we added that introduced the incompatibility or create a bunch of separate compatibility patches. The latter might be doable depending on just how many mods end up being incompatible out of the box.

    Just to clarify what I had in mind about compatibility: I was thinking about 2 types of compatibility issues that can be fixed:
    – if we put some new content on certain lines that are already used by other mods, I believe it would cause conflicts? Then we can move our lines.
    – sometimes there are two ways to achieve the same effect and one can have less risks of conflicts, so if we discover conflicts, we can change things. For instance instead of modifying base Ancient Ruins, we could create a duplicate and replace all Ancient Ruins by our duplicates (though here I’m not sure how the other mod would be able to put old Ancient Ruins on maps 😀 but you see the idea).

    Still lacking opinions on the latest batch of questions: http://aow.triumph.net/forums/topic/shadow-realm-brainstorm/page/35/#post-273555

    So far, the results would be:
    Replacement for Warp Equipment for the Forge of Dreams
    Call it Disrupted Equipment.

    Umbral Weaver
    Call the new unit Umbral Weaver Charioteer or call the old one Penumbral Weaver.

    Forgotten Throne’s MCU
    Either:

    3) Implement duplicate Altar of Elder Eldritches which are identical, but each requiring a different Forgotten Throne, and make them mutually exclusive to build. The problem is that if you have multiple Thrones in the same city domain you’d see them all pop up in the build tree initially which would be weird, also in the ToW.

    or

    4) Implement different variants of the Altar of Elder Eldritch, each giving a different unique buff to the city depending on the wizard. It’s the most time-consuming solution since we’d have to come up with unique stuff for every wizard, but might be the most appropriate.

    With possibly a Emperor Shock Serpent for Nimue, a Phoenix for Yaka, a King Ice Dragon for Artica. (so 2 new units to design)

    #280198

    gladis
    Member

    Bob5 wrote:
    Something I want to bring up is the Altar of Elder Eldritch. As it is now in the mod it can’t be built. It’s a MCU but MCUs can only be linked to a single Strategic Map structure as far as I can tell. The Forgotten Throne comes in various different varieties, there’s one for Artica, one for Nimue, one for Yaka, and so on. There are several solutions to this, but I’m not sure which one is most wanted:

    What about having different Altars (Arctica´s Altar of Elder Eldritch etc) which all unlocks the same Elder Eldritch? But the difference is a small buff to all produced Units in the City (Inflict Frostbite etc.) or a Battlefield Enchantment like due to the Defensive Buildings?

    #280204

    Hiliadan
    Member

    What about having different Altars (Arctica´s Altar of Elder Eldritch etc) which all unlocks the same Elder Eldritch?

    That’s solution 3) above.

    But the difference is a small buff to all produced Units in the City (Inflict Frostbite etc.) or a Battlefield Enchantment like due to the Defensive Buildings?

    That’s solution 4) above.

    So make your choice. 😛

    #280206

    The Mentat
    Member

    Here’s a suggestion for the picture of the shadow realm community expansion. I couldn’t meet all the criteria from the corresponding post (there are a bit too many 😉 ) but at least the stated characters are included.

    The resolution is unfortunately not very high; this is due to the way I had to edit the screenshots of the characters.

    #280209

    Refineus
    Member

    Here’s a suggestion for the picture of the shadow realm community expansion. I couldn’t meet all the criteria from the corresponding post (there are a bit too many 😉 ) but at least the stated characters are included.

    The resolution is unfortunately not very high; this is due to the way I had to edit the screenshots of the characters.

    I think its great start for a promo picture and front cover. Good job, turned out better than expected and I like the teal coler of the text

    #280260

    The Mentat
    Member

    Yeah, the text color fits to the skin of the shadow elves.

    In this context: The skin of Werlac seems actually a bit too dark, I might change that… any further suggestions?

    #280261

    Hiliadan
    Member

    Yeah, Werlac’s skin is very dark compared to my memory of the mission playing Larissa when you face him (if I remember correctly).
    This picture is really great! 🙂 It would of course be fantastic if it was possible to get it in higher resolution but I understand it’s a technical limitation due to the way screenshots have to be taken.

    I hope to get some additional feedback on the 4 topics mentioned here http://aow.triumph.net/forums/topic/shadow-realm-brainstorm/page/35/#post-273555 to move forward. One big topic to work on is finalizing the sites and in particular balancing the distribution of income.

    #280265

    HousePet
    Member

    One big topic to work on is finalizing the sites and in particular balancing the distribution of income.

    I’ll try to get back on to that soon. At the moment it looks like the generation has some issues that will need cleaning up first, but that isn’t too big a deal as I’ll need to look into that to properly calculate the income differences.

    #280284

    Dr_K
    Member

    The resolution is unfortunately not very high; this is due to the way I had to edit the screenshots of the characters.

    Looks great!

    Only minor nitpicks/suggestions: Is it possible to not use one of the male SE heroes/leaders that have the Face/Arm color mismatch issue for the center figure? Also, should the center leader and Sundren be in different poses?

    – if we put some new content on certain lines that are already used by other mods, I believe it would cause conflicts? Then we can move our lines.

    I don’t think that causes conflicts, and I believe that having the same new ids as other mods gets resolved in the game. I might be wrong on that. The only issue that I know would cause conflicts are two mods editing the same already existing entries in the original game.

    With possibly a Emperor Shock Serpent for Nimue, a Phoenix for Yaka, a King Ice Dragon for Artica. (so 2 new units to design)

    I like the varying forgotten throne idea better even though it’s more work. We could even do different buffed units for each wizard and leave the Elder Eldritch for the Forgotten Throne of the Wizard King.

    Phoenix for Yaka and Ice Dragon for Artica definitely make sense.
    Other thoughts on the base units
    Nimue – Would a buffed Lord of the Deep or Giant Lost Mariner make sense for Nimue given her association with Humans
    Nekron – Buffed Bone Collector or Dread Reaper
    Mab – Buffed Stone Giant
    Arachna – Some spider as the obvious choice

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