Thursday, 20 November 2008

Another Small Step Forward ...

At the end of last year I gave an outline of some of the ideas I had in mind for the Life Essence in this post. At the time I mentioned the following:

  • 1st Level (All PCs) - Soul Protection. (The PC is protected against untimely death.)
  • 2nd Level (Craft Skill PCs) - Maintain Equipment. (The PC with the crafting skills can also maintain their equipment if they are damaged.)
  • 2nd Level (Wizard PCs) - Arcaene Lore. (PC can create "Arcaene Lore Scrolls" enabling powers similar to earlier Colour Magik.)
  • 3rd Level (All PCs) - Empower Attributes. (PC can recover lost or increase attributes. Scaling cost per point.)
  • 4th Level (All PCs) - Enhance Life. (PC can trade Life Essence for real experiences - Increase XP.)

Well, since then I have managed to code nearly all these aspects ... and a few more. In particular, Soul Protection was coded very early on when I coded the Death System. Readers who have been following the blog closely may already have an idea how this will work. If not, you will know all about it by the time it comes to play.

The Maintain Equipment is almost complete. There is one small change here to the original plan, however, and that is to allow PC's of any level maintain their equipment, as long as they have the appropriate crafting skill. More details of this will be given in the game and on the website, which I hope will be ready to upload at some point in the future, even if it has to coincide with the release of the module itself.

The Arcaene Lore code was established quite early on, but continues to be a work in progress. It has grown as an idea since its first conception and will, hopefully, continue to develop further as I get the time. One off-shoot of this system was the announcement at the time that most material components for spells would no longer be required. Well, I can now add that I have decided that the new era will not require any spell components for the standard spells. I will still have the player meet certain requirements for special case spells, but this will be made clear as part of an adventure.

Over the last few days I have been coding the system that handles the ability to Empower Attributes. I won't go into details about how this is done, as the astute player will learn more about this when they get the chance to play. What I can say, however, is the coding was a bit trickier than I first thought it was going to be. (Isn't it always!) My first idea of using XML code to do the job did not work out, and in the end I was left with two alternatives: The first involved allowing the player to increase attributes in a similar fashion to the equivalent Epic Feats that do a similar thing, or, alternatively, have attributes altered that would still be affected by what the PC had in the way of other attribute altering magik. The main difference is that the former would allow attributes to stack with magik items, where the latter would not.

In the end, I went with the latter, as it fitted in better with the idea I had in mind, and left the Epic Feats untouched as another goal for the player at later levels. As my idea was to allow the player a way to have more control over their PC's very soul, then having a system that was still affected in some way by other items made for a more interesting/tactical gaming experience. For example, when this method is discovered, the player will not only be able to raise some attributes, but also have the ability to lower some. If the PC who is doing the altering of their attributes finds and uses a magik item that duplicates the same attribute benefit, then they may chose to drop the said attribute and increase another instead (because the two benefits on the same attribute do not stack). There are costs involved of course, and there are other reasons why the player may chose to play this part of the game differently. After all, this particular method of increasing an attribute will not be tied to an object that could theoretically be lost at some time.

In the coming weeks, I hope to write the code for the last idea in the list: Enhance Life. I already know how to do this, and is fairly straight forward. And once this part has been done, the core ideas for the Life Essence (which should carry between each module) will be finished, leaving me more time to continue with the story itself.

Ranges

One other aspect I have been looking at today was to do with the range of vision, spells and weapons. I have always preferred to give both the player and monsters a bigger range with respect to all these aspects, as it can allow for some interesting long range combats, as well as help prevent the player's PC creeping forward to cast a spell or use a weapon, just because they are "not in range".

Having altered some of the figures in the ranges.2da, I have managed to improve the distance of vision, and I believe spells work better (I have only tested a couple), but I do not see a great improvement in ranged weapons, like bows.

I even tried altering some of the figures in the baseitems.2da, where it makes reference to minimum and maximum ranges of weapons and ammo, but even this did not appear to make any difference. So, if anybody has any other ideas, then please let me know. :)

5 comments:

dirtywick said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dirtywick said...

The ranges.2da did what I was suggesting. Sorry. Kind of looks weird if I don't say anything after leaving a deleted comment.

Lance Botelle (Bard of Althéa) said...

Hi Dirtywick,

Thanks for commenting. It's always good to have a comment. :)

I am going to look at some of the figures in the ranges and baseitems 2das again, in case I just missed something. I'm sure I tried everything though. :(

Lance.

dirtywick said...

One thing you can do, as far as the AI is concerned, is to write a custom attack that goes beyond the range of a bow. It'd operate much like a spell that does a ranged attack and creates an arrow projectile and you can even add an arc to the arrow.

With the pathfinding as poor as it is, it makes me wonder if a line of sight between the objects is being established because of the distance. I wouldn't be surprised if that was the problem.

Oh well, good luck.

Lance Botelle (Bard of Althéa) said...

Hi Dirtywick,

You may be right about the line of sight. I still have to retest the 2da file, but I think there is probably an issue I am missing.

I am trying to avoid any major rewriting of combat code, but maybe its something I can consider if all else fails.

Thanks again.

Lance.