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Messages - Xusilak

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Oh, yeah, it's fun. It's just a matter of allocating the time for it. Not sure when I'll get it done, but I'll see what I can do.

Looks like I was the only one. Oh well. It was fun anyway.

If I were to optimize the run further (probably another 4-5 minutes or so cut off), would anyone be interested in watching it?

Submitted my own run of 36:03 a few hours ago, which you can see here. I was working on a much better run just now (a full 4 minutes faster thanks to better planning and better execution) but I kept getting bad luck on Exiguus and dying to his skeletons before I could pick up the orb. Unfortunately there's not enough time left in the contest to do another run, so I guess that's it for me.

Anyone else have any interesting speed runs to share?

General Discussion / Re: AA suggestions for upcoming release
« on: May 02, 2013, 04:03:57 PM »
I believe he had 45 base speed, and the lesser speed rings give +5 speed, so it's not hard to hit at all. Knights seem to be one of the slower classes. I think a rogue wouldn't even need speed rings to hit 55.

I'm curious if this issue is platform/DOSBox settings independent or not. Does anyone else experience speed glitches at 55+ speed?

On the topic of speed runs, I have a couple questions/comments:
First, are we allowed to stop and restart the recording during the game? This is the difference between what speed runners call a 'single-segment run' and a segmented run.

Second, it'd make timings much easier to figure out if AA had a built-in character lifetime stat. Do you think the next update could automatically count the number of seconds a character has been active (including in the hub/store if you want that to be counted in the speed run)? That way we could just reference that as a final, end-all statistic for comparing speed runs. It would also make cheating by speeding up DOSBox's timings impossible.

General Discussion / Re: AA suggestions for upcoming release
« on: May 02, 2013, 12:57:10 AM »
Has anyone else been able to use the exit on Quest 7 Map 1? It doesn't trigger when I enter it in the new version, but it works fine in the original version. I was doing a quick run to test the viability of doing a proper speed run, but this kind of brought it to a sudden stop.

Also, I've noticed a few people commenting on the run-as-default vs walk-as-default situation; I think modern games tend to have run as the default and walk as the special mode (and sometimes a short-duration sprint key on top of that), since needing fine movement control is much rarer than wanting to move quickly. However, I can see why people used to the original game might have an issue with it. Would it be possible to make a toggle to switch between run-as-default and walk-as-default in the new options menu?

One other note: that issue I mentioned with run speed only affects the new version. The mage with 120 speed (100 base + 2x10 speed rings) can run at top speed in the original version without problems, though controlling it is certainly interesting.

EDIT: After testing it a bit more on the new version with my level 11 Knight, movement works normally at 50 speed, but starts glitching out at 55. This is actually a bit inconvenient for a speed run, since obviously, movement speed is very useful there. Still workable, though.

General Discussion / Re: AA suggestions for upcoming release
« on: April 23, 2013, 11:42:39 AM »
Yeah, I figured as much. I didn't exactly reach level 40 through normal gameplay means. Since you base experience rewards on damage dealt rather than killing things, there are ways to earn experience very quickly (such as attacking things that won't die). I was bored one day about 10 years ago and decided to make use of that.

What factors affect your final movement speed? Just the speed stat, or does level itself influence it too? I don't think 100+ speed is all that hard to get, since there are rings that give +10 speed each.

General Discussion / Re: AA suggestions for upcoming release
« on: April 22, 2013, 08:40:47 PM »
The new release is pretty amazing. It's quite liberating to be able to move around freely with the new controls, although it does make the game a great deal easier. I'm really looking forward to the eventual "community edition" Windows release with modified game mechanics and such.

One issue I noted: While testing it with my level 40 Mage with 120 speed, moving around at run speed had... unpredictable results. I'm guessing the speed is exceeding some internal engine limitation. It tended to make me either get stuck or fly off in a random direction when I tried to move. Walking fixed this. I didn't test it all that thoroughly, so there could be some other factor at play.

General Discussion / Re: Visions of Jugurtha crash
« on: February 28, 2013, 08:37:03 PM »
The map's nodes were out of date and needed a rebuild.

General Discussion / Re: AA suggestions for upcoming release
« on: February 20, 2013, 11:45:52 PM »
Hmm, I'm not seeing much problem with release the HMI sound .lib since HMI appears to be totally gone.  The only links I can find are here

It would appear HMI went out of business in 2002 and there does not appear to be an owner to the IP.
Just be careful. I'd hate to see legal problems complicate this project. If it looks like you can release it, that would be great, though.

Progress so far looks very good. I'm impressed with how quickly you got the rendering engine working in windows. I'm assuming you're using the SDL drawing functions and not OpenGL yet?

General Discussion / Re: A&A Dev Blog Started
« on: February 18, 2013, 01:30:32 AM »
Ah, nice blog. Looks very promising so far. Glad to see how active you are with this.

As far as I can tell, the mailing list worked properly for me; I got the activation email and then subsequent welcome email. I haven't gotten any other emails yet, though, so I don't know if it's working otherwise.

General Discussion / Re: AA suggestions for upcoming release
« on: February 13, 2013, 04:29:31 PM »
Cave_Johnson asked me to post this for him:

Quote from: Cave_Johnson
Proposed Roadmap for Amulets & Armor:

The following features are liable to take large quantities of time and/or introduce substantial new bugs, and should be defered to phase 2, IMO; phase 1 (AKA milestone 1) should be set up to complete within a few months or less, after which effort can immediately move on to phase 2.

* Ports to any new OS
* Significant mod support, including any file format changes
* Significant netplay modifications
* ALL balance modifications (which should wait until after mod support has been improved, possibly even a phase 3)

Features that should be planned for phase 1:

* New keybindings: Move Left, Move Right, Toggle Run, Toggle Mouselook, Mouselook Use Item, Mouselook Cast Spell.
 (Toggle Run should simply invert the effect of the Run key each time it's pressed, and ideally the current state should be saved to config.ini so that if the player was last in run, they'll be in run when they restart the game, too.
 For the keybindings, in config.ini, you can either add them to the end of keys2 = or make a new keys3 = entry; a new run = under [keyboard] would probably be optimal for saving last run state.)
* The tap-toggle function Xusilak suggests for the Sneak/Run button would be nice, but I think an obvious separate Toggle Run would help ensure users know the function is there better. Both is best, and with the run state saved to config.ini, once the user enters run mode it will pretty much function as he suggested.
* Use the HotU version or something equivalent to it (original full master?) as the base, but roll in my Library level fix and if possible the missing CD .MUS music (worst case these can be backconverted from wav from the mp3s, I've done it before.)
* Remove CD check if applicable, along with the huge copy protection file.
* Include the latest DOSBox, preconfigured to run AA well, with batch files to join the main IPX server or start a private one.
* If it's trivial enough, make the guild lobby support at least 32 (or 128, or 256...) simultaneous players chatting; in-game support can remain at 4. This should ideally eventually be done with dynamic allocation so there's no limit but memory, but a quick array size increase should suffice for phase 1.
* Have a core DOSBox IPX server running for everyone to use for netplay.
* If possible, make available at the same time as a separate download as many of the original, relatively unmodified development tools and full source to both the game and tools; item/script-data compilers, their source files, that sort of thing. This can give potential developers a strong feel for what the engine is capable of unmodified, and what would be easy to mod in.

Most likely an AAHELP.BAT should be used, run by the DOSBox config (Just put AAHELP under [autoexec]) and after each other batch file (including AA.BAT) exits. Example:
ECHO  Type AASETUP to configure the game or play a netplay game once connected,
ECHO AASERV to start your own netplay server, AAJOIN to join the master netplay server,
ECHO or AA to play single-player.

And then AAJOIN.BAT can be something like this:

Obviously AA.BAT and AASETUP.BAT would run the appropriate commands and then run AAHELP on exit.

 I strongly believe that the above will fix the easiest-to-fix and, within that, most problematic things keeping more people from playing the game. Lack of WASD/mouselook are the most common complaints I've always heard, and packaging everything people need in one finished product will make it a lot faster for them to get started playing; as long as DOSBox is bundled well enough, it should be pretty close to equivalent to a basic windows port in all but things like support of higher res, which is somewhat dubious in a game with graphical assets as low-res as AA anyways. The dev package should help start stirring interest among the people you're going to need to make the increased mod support worthwhile; ease of modding and map distribution is no use if there's no additional content to use it with. It will also give 3rd parties something to start documenting game mechanics in earnest off of, and thus propose better balance fixes based on in time for the first phases with balance changes.

 Ideally the first release should use the HMI sound library still; if you can't release the .lib and .h files needed to make it compilable for 3rd parties, that's probably still an acceptable sacrifice for phase 1 as long as you can release the product .exe. Not changing more than necessary will keep the bugs to a minimum. Dealing with rolling in Allegro's sound support can wait for phase 2 if it's even necessary. Similarly, ideally all the .RES files should be unchanged, unless a singificant bug is found in one; I don't think there are any unless you count the spell listed below.

 Consider making the CD .MUS files an add-on download, so the core one is really small.

 Consider checking the possibility of including working Linux and Mac OS DOSBox versions as well as the Windows one, to allow a single cross-platform release package; hopefully the executable is the only difference among them, and those should be small enough to just bundle in. More users supported out of the box should help grow the community faster, since Linux and Mac users are comparatively short on games they can play anyways.

Less important fixes:
* Add caps on innate health and mana regen at the maximum representable values, so these don't overflow when leveling really high (for high regen classes this can probably happen before level even rolls over.) 32767/800=40.95875 per tick and 32767/400=81.91750 per tick respectively I believe. May need to cap when applying regen bonuses as well if not using 4-byte int by that point, though just changing the calcs to use 4-byte for in-memory would probably be the better option there; but changing the character file format should be avoided until absolutely necessary.
* Add a simple check to the level-up code so it stops leveling-up once already level 255 rather than leveling you up to level 0 in a potentially infinite loop. This will fix the lockup when you go too high, and if you've gained enough XP to reach that, well, there isn't much problem with allowing it (it's possible to reach about level 160 before rollover hits you; 40 or 50 is about as high as you get in sane periods of time.)
* Fix the Arcane version of the Locate Object spell's runes. Probably easier to make the actual runes match the scroll than vice-versa; the 2 middle runes are swapped. If memory serves, the scroll isn't actually placed, so this isn't essential yet.

General Discussion / Re: AA suggestions for upcoming release
« on: February 13, 2013, 08:33:36 AM »
Oh, and in the interim where you're just starting to add mouselook and such, you just need to add a few new keybinds to the list:
  • Move left (default A)
  • Move right (default D)
  • Toggle mouselook (default Q)
  • Use item in hand while mouselooking (default leftclick)
  • Cast spell while mouselooking (default rightclick)
In addition, it'd be cool if you could switch from "default walk, press 'run' key to run", to "default run, press 'walk' key to walk." Players generally prefer to run at all times, unless they have a reason to move slowly (stealth, not falling off ledges, etc). I would suggest shift as the default "walk" key, which would later be the "sneak" key.

These changes would get a large portion of the benefit of the full keybinds list, but with far less work.

General Discussion / Re: AA suggestions for upcoming release
« on: February 13, 2013, 07:13:55 AM »
Okay, I wrote up my ideal control scheme for AA. This is what I'd use if I could have everything I wanted. This is going to be a bit overwhelming, so I apologize in advance.

Modernized, mouselook-centric control scheme:
  • Move forward: W
  • Move backward: S
  • Move left: A
  • Move right: D
  • Toggle mouselook: Q; holding down Q brings up the quick rune selection mouse menu.
  • Use/activate/open door/etc: E
  • Talk: T
  • Sneak: Shift; This replaces the run key entirely. Running is the default. Tapping shift once toggles between sneaking and running. Holding down shift temporarily makes you sneak until you release shift.
  • Jump: Space
  • Use item in hand: Leftclick (in mouselook mode only)
  • Cast spell: Rightclick (in mouselook mode only)
  • Rune selection: Numpad, Q; Holding down Q would bring up the quick rune selection mouse menu. Numpad still enters runes like it always did, for those who want to stop and enter runes.
  • Inventory, equipment, etc: The specifics aren't terribly important, but the various inventory, equipment, stats, etc boxes should have logical hotkeys, like "i" for inventory.
  • Options menu: Escape; Pressing escape brings up a big text menu in the center of the screen with a list of options like many recent games. This includes video settings, audio settings, game settings, the Abort Level command, and an Exit Game command.
  • Pause game: Escape; Pressing escape should pause the game while the menu is up.
  • Map commands: These should probably be handled through clickable mouse cursor controls located on the map, rather than a bunch of hotkeys, like how most games have +/- zoom buttons on their minimaps. This would free up the number keys for other things.
  • Scroll messages: Again, this should have mouse controls, but it doesn't hurt to let page up/down continue to scroll them as well.
  • Time of day: Time of day reporting should be rolled into another menu, like the Escape menu. It's a bit superfluous to give it its own hotkey.
  • Gamme correct: Gamma correction should be moved to the video settings menu.
  • Action bar: Number keys 1 through 0; Activate action bar slot 1 through 0.

When the mouse is in cursor mode, it interacts with the world and the UI like it always did in AA-classic.

Quick rune selection mouse menu definition:
Holding down Q while in mouselook mode will cause your cursor and all 9 of your runes to appear in the middle of the screen. Then you can quickly click each rune for the rune combination you want. Releasing Q will finalize the input and return you to mouselook mode, saving it as your currently loaded spell for use with rightclick. You can still move around while entering a spell, but you can't easily turn because your mouse is in cursor mode. I feel this is a better option than my earlier suggestion for the quick rune menu. Other suggestions for how to quickly enter runes while in mouselook mode are welcome.

Action bar:
This is a relatively advanced feature, but it'd be nice to have an action bar like in many RPGs, where you can place items and spells and such in a slot on it and then press the associated number to instantly activate them. Obvious use is for potions and scrolls, but it'd also be great to be able to save spell combinations to it as well to instantly cast them. This would make things like buff spells far more accessible. For reference, see

Sneak makes you move slowly, but reduces the chance you'll be detected. Rogue classes get a large bonus here. Refer to the class balance post for more details.

Hard to say just what mousewheel should do. It could do a variety of things. I think my favorite option is to cycle through every weapon in your inventory, placing each one in your hand in sequence. However, I realize this may be impractical, so I'm open to other options.

Mouselook mode:
Mouselook mode causes the camera to be controlled like any modern first person game. The mouse's horizontal axis turns the camera left and right, while the mouse's vertical axis turns the camera up and down. While in mouselook mode, projectiles you fire do not auto-aim. They go straight ahead, unless they're homing, in which case they home on the target normally. In cursor mode, projectiles you fire do auto-aim.

Note, this control scheme only makes sense for players that want to use mouselook. You may want to continue to support a classic control scheme and allow the user to easily switch between the two default sets.

General Discussion / Re: AA suggestions for upcoming release
« on: February 13, 2013, 05:11:18 AM »
I wrote up some details on how to help balance out the classes and make them more useful in a group. Being under "gameplay modifications", these should wait until after the data files have been converted to a text format. I figured I might as well voice them now, though. Feedback and suggestions from other users is welcome. This list will likely be updated over time.

Mage spells:
  • Death Ward is way too good. Suggestion: make it terminate when your mana hits zero.
  • Invulnerable is also way too good. Suggestion: It should last for no more than one second. This would make it a good "blocking" ability, but be completely useless for godmoding your way through everything.
  • Perhaps add some area-of-effect buffs like increased mana regeneration and haste (increased attack speed with melee/crossbows and increased movement speed) to give mages more group utility?

Divine spells:
  • A series of new "affect other" and "aura" spells along restoration and protection lines, such as Heal Other, or Shield Other, would give the divine casters more group utility. Particularly fun here are "aura" type abilities; you cast them, and any party members within, say, 20 meters of the caster gain the buff. This combines well with resistance spells, so you could have Acid Resistance Aura: anyone that stays within 20 meters of the caster gains resistance to acid. Auras that regenerate hitpoints slowly or cure poison or other such things would be pretty neat, too. Auras should either cost a ton of mana to cast, or continually drain mana while they're active. This would make them very hard for Paladins to keep up persistently, by design.

  • Priests are currently pretty weak compared to Paladins and lack purpose. However, if the Paladin's mana regeneration is reduced and new party-friendly spells like auras are added, this may change. If this isn't enough, perhaps something should be done specifically for Priests.

  • Currently, Paladins are better than Knights at pretty much everything but raw melee damage. I think, as part of a focus on group gaming, the Knight should have its melee damage bonus replaced with a damage reduction bonus; Knights would take significantly less damage when being hit than any other class, even given the same armor levels. The melee damage bonus seems inappropriate on a Knight-style character, and the extra damage reduction would help them perform better as the "tank" in a group.
  • With more of a focus on co-op play, I think Knights should fill the role of a group's "tank". Knights could be given a passive ability that makes enemies prefer them as targets to other players, similar to the 'taunt' abilities in MMOs, but passive to keep the focus on arcade/action gameplay. This effect should be much stronger than the Paladin's version of it.

  • Paladins are currently basically immortal. This is because their mana regen, defense, and HP allows them to heal through basically anything. Suggestion: Reduce their mana regen scaling by half. This would force them to conserve mana for heals better, and make it significantly easier to kill them.
  • With more of a focus on co-op play, I think Paladins should fill the role of a group's "tank". Paladins could be given a passive ability that makes enemies prefer them as targets to other players, similar to the 'taunt' abilities in MMOs, but passive to keep the focus on arcade/action gameplay. This effect should be much weaker than the Knight's version of it.

Rogue classes:
  • Currently, stealth classes are not very good. I think all classes should gain the ability to 'walk slowly' (or sneak) with a new keybind, which would reduce how much enemies notice them, still scaling by your stealth stat. Rogue classes would gain a bonus here. Rogues would be basically impossible to see while sneaking unless they're right in front of an enemy; Magicians and Sailors would be easier to notice, but still difficult; Mercenaries would only gain a small bonus. It may be worth adding Citizen to this list, as well.
  • To further help Rogue classes, all classes should gain the ability to perform a 'backstab' when behind an unaware enemy. This should do massive damage, enough to instantly kill normal enemies.

  • Boosting the speed of crossbow bolts dramatically while simultaneously giving them a ballistic arc due to gravity should help make Archers both more powerful and more fun to play. It should be noted that having a ballistic arc will mean that auto-aim will need to account for the drop in the projectile's trajectory to hit the target. Otherwise they'll always miss after some distance.
  • The "Accuracy" stat scaling up the damage of bolts should help, too.
  • To further distinguish Archers and make them useful in groups, I suggest making the bolts they fire unable to do damage to players (excepting PvP modes). Mages would have the honor of blowing up their own party by accident; Archers would have the honor of being refined snipers that don't kill their own friends.

General Discussion / Re: AA suggestions for upcoming release
« on: February 12, 2013, 11:31:07 PM »
BTW, the Orb of Defense was NEVER intended to be kept by the players and was just a fun item.  I believe the bugs in multiplayer quests are causing this.
Yeah, I know. My issue here is that there are already a bunch of Orbs of Defense floating around on player characters because of this bug, and even if the bug were fixed, you can easily edit an Orb of Defense onto your character by just modifying your save file. The only way to stop that is to nerf the Orb of Defense itself. Perhaps make it so it only works on the final level of quest 3? That way, there is no purpose to taking it outside the level.

Sure, but my attempts to follow the above link to the irc keeps giving me a " Could not resolve hostname." error.
Strange. Try this instead:

Additionally, if they aid in arena style combat, I cannot ignore that.  (NOTE: Arenas are a great way to get an idea of class power balance).
Heh, I've had quite a few duels with other people in AA. I determined pretty quickly that my level 40 Mage cannot die to anything.

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