Widescreen hack and some other fixes aka AiO Patch

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UCyborg
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Re: Widescreen hack and some other fixes aka AiO Patch

Post by UCyborg »

Re-uploaded the patch due to critical bug that slipped in last time I messed with Wartok Canyons. It wouldn't even occur if I didn't start from scratch since I had a feeling I messed something else up in that damned cave first time around and forgot there were 2 glitched spots in there, not just 1, after performing automatic layer visibility calculation in the editor. Anyway, the glitch was preventing progression with the side quest in the cave where Sword of Flame is eventually found. The floor with pushable stone opening the wall door wasn't rendered.

Also noticed another problem with the editor, if debug messages are enabled, the 3D engine takes a long time to start. Don't know the reason for delay, but my dinput.dll made the engine permanently hang in that scenario, for which there might be a potential fix, hopefully allowing to get rid of that timeout setting altogether. I'll do further testing some other time.
"When a human being takes his life in depression, this is a natural death of spiritual causes. The modern barbarity of 'saving' the suicidal is based on a hair-raising misapprehension of the nature of existence." - Peter Wessel Zapffe

UCyborg
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Re: Widescreen hack and some other fixes aka AiO Patch

Post by UCyborg »

I've been also wondering about when it comes to tweaking NPCs' player detection distance. Interestingly, Wartoks are blinder than Grulls, they only notice player at first when 12 units away from them, while Grulls see 25 units away from them. For perspective, the good old max fog depth setting of 100% means seeing 30 units from the current position.

Not sure if devs followed any particular formula, and I just couldn't decide if that means that for NPCs that originally detected player at 25 units, so 5 units less than the max possible viewing distance, whether it makes sense to increase it to 55, which is 5 less than the newly possible max visible distance from the player. I tried that change with the last update, it doesn't seem to break the balance and vanilla feel, there are few spots where it can be noticed a NPC tries to get to the player sooner. But given the diverse terrain in stock levels that NPC has to navigate, they do have problems with that, it doesn't make much difference in practice. I might be just nitpicking too much.

Though if one wanted to make the mod to make the game harder, there are few things to play with. Dragons can be made significantly more annoying in combat; firing at the player from longer distance, a bit more accurately and better dodging player's attacks. It would be possible to modify the levels to have more monsters in them, Doom/Quake has the concept of scaling monster count according to difficulty, Drakan only handles damage scaling and NPCs attack speed dynamically. There is a single player level called Trainings on Drakon Rider's server stored separately from the rest of the levels, it has a lot of Grulls and Wartoks to defeat, who vary in size and health. Nice seeing a nice number of monsters united against the player at once.

What's very strange, ballista canons just don't fire accurately at the Rynn riding Arokh from larger distances. But if Rynn is on the ground and Arokh is following her, they suddenly hit Arokh well. Or so I thought, the actual reason seems to be merely the fact that when Arokh is at the certain height, he can be hit. So the current situation is, we have to live with either the canons ignoring the player, even if player can see it, or player casually dodging attacks from the distance and taking them out easily. Latter is still better, gues Grulls are just bad snipers. :)
"When a human being takes his life in depression, this is a natural death of spiritual causes. The modern barbarity of 'saving' the suicidal is based on a hair-raising misapprehension of the nature of existence." - Peter Wessel Zapffe

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Diablonar
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Re: Widescreen hack and some other fixes aka AiO Patch

Post by Diablonar »

I distinctly remember cannons only targeting Rynn, not Arokh. That also goes for most other mobs, I recall seeing maybe one or two exceptions.

From vanilla unpatched, I also recall that Wartoks have a tendency to just stare at and growl at the player, despite seeing you from longer distances, they require more proximity in order to engage. This was a great mechanic, as it meant that instead of camping and hiding in places to lure the Wartoks in my favor, or towards the dragon, I had to actually get close enough that they could potentially run me down. I hope this is still a thing, as it made things hard.
It confuses me that you say Grulls have longer eyesight, but I might be recalling erronously.

The black dragons (I forget their name, but they have one) in the start are a bit easy, I don't mind them being significantly better at dodging player attacks, as well as firing more often and more precisely. At least in higher difficulties.
If you up the firing speed of dragon projectiles, that should have a significant impact.

The island dragons were better, but I think everyone could use a buff in the hardest modes. I wouldn't mind homing projectiles on some creatures.

It'd also be cool if you could make the poison shots for Arokh and enemies a little bit more interesting. Not only is the secondary fire completely broken because it bounces onto itself and stops, some angles outright disappearing (against walls for example), but it'd be cool if its poison gas had perhaps more range, and its secondary fire bounced more, so that you could actually use it. As it is, firebreath is way more effective, and secondary fire pretty much instagibs everything. Infact, secondary fire on flames should probably be nerfed slightly. The thing kills the last boss in seconds.
By contrast, IIRC the magma shots are weak/require much energy considering their tier level, and secondary fire on lightning is weak and retaliates slowly. I never use it because it drains my entire bar without dealing much damage. Perhaps increase the distance it travels.
Primary lightning was usually less useful than simply splash damage using magma or firebreath to deal with a crowd, and it didn't have much range, so it wasn't safe to use.

From vanilla, I also did think that Grulls won't detect you easily at all. Wartoks seem way harder to sneak up on, as well as more aware of their environment, but as stated, they don't always approach immediately. They might growl for a while first, walk slightly sideways, and then attack.

Sneaking should still be a mechanic, so making it too easy to detect the player could be bad. Wartoks are also still really hard to deal with, and if they've got a shield, I still don't know how to defeat them without taking some hits, unless I'm using ranged or magic weaponry.
I mean, I can move around them and force them to repeatedly turn around, but they still attack while turning. Don't tell me if there's a better way :D

UCyborg
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Re: Widescreen hack and some other fixes aka AiO Patch

Post by UCyborg »

I realized those damn canons are unable to hit player in some cases even when firing in the range of original distance. I think they fire at whoever they detect first, be it Rynn or Arokh.

I haven't changed anything regarding Wartoks, just Grulls see you a bit sooner if they have you in their field of view (at 55 units instead of 25, Wartoks still have it). So it doesn't affect sneaking from behind at all. And some other NPCs that had that distance set at 25. For this change, I'm not sure whether it makes sense or not, player seeing 60 units ahead instead of 30 wasn't the thing with vanilla. And all player created levels have that distance at 30. Perhaps, for vanilla feel, maybe it's still better to leave it as it is, ignoring the player's ability to see farther. And only keep the dragons' distance higher, so they don't just sit at one spot when player sees them at first and waits. Volcano level still has to be updated for better visibility, not sure when I'll get to that.

Either way, I'll take a look at that remaining issue with editor this weekend and add a note about 2 different NPCs.odb file. Just the relation between player's ability to see farther and how soon should NPCs detect them bugs me (particularly the ground ones, whether to keep their default detection distance at 25, or if 55 would be better).

About the possible mod for greater challenge, dodging of enemy dragons can be improved a little, their accuracy as well, but their attack speed is hardcoded it seems. It's a bit faster at Too hard and this seems to be it. None of those settings can be tweaked in editor for different difficulties, unless I missed something.

Arokh's weapons: those are also hardcoded, there doesn't seem to be much interesting parameters exposed in the editor. The trick with poison gas balls reflecting better would certainly require code changes, just the smoke radius is tweakable it seems. Your ideas are good. I was using the fire breath throughout the entire game as it's simply the most efficient. Poison gas is definitely the clunkiest, one would expect it to be like it is for NPC dragons. Although all other breaths seem to be similarly different compared to NPCs' ones.

Wartoks are good combatants, love their shields as well. Running around them is my strategy as well when equipped with good old sword. And don't forget about one nasty trick they have, if you manage to chop their arm off, they can kill with their head melee attack. The one with heavy armor is also generally more aggressive than the rest.
"When a human being takes his life in depression, this is a natural death of spiritual causes. The modern barbarity of 'saving' the suicidal is based on a hair-raising misapprehension of the nature of existence." - Peter Wessel Zapffe

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Diablonar
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Re: Widescreen hack and some other fixes aka AiO Patch

Post by Diablonar »

It's always fun to jump into them and see if they instagib you with a shield hit. They cause Rynn to sometimes bounce against a slope and die.

I frankly think the game would have been much better designed if the first breath you had was poison. Its limited use is mainly for small caves, where it's good to shoot or gas around corners. And it's a very low damage alternative, and certainly fire is overkill for anything you encounter in the start.

You should be forced to use gas until the level where you obtain Ice breath. Fire, as it is, is too powerful for even that level, but if secondary is nerfed, I guess it makes sense to unlock it at ice level.

Ice is my favorite element, since lightning just.. fails to hit things.
I also think red dragons could have more projectile velocity. They're mainly encountered at the islands, where there's plenty room.

UCyborg
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Re: Widescreen hack and some other fixes aka AiO Patch

Post by UCyborg »

Current version can be uploaded on the site. No more updates planned for the foreseeable future.
"When a human being takes his life in depression, this is a natural death of spiritual causes. The modern barbarity of 'saving' the suicidal is based on a hair-raising misapprehension of the nature of existence." - Peter Wessel Zapffe

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Arokhs Twin
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Re: Widescreen hack and some other fixes aka AiO Patch

Post by Arokhs Twin »

Ill update it now. Ill playtest it too over the next few weeks if I get a chance.
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UCyborg
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Re: Widescreen hack and some other fixes aka AiO Patch

Post by UCyborg »

I also haven't had the oppurtunity to play the game straight from start to finish, just testing individual parts like crazy. At least the code shouldn't have any more regressions, besides that oddity with minimizing the game while in fullscreen in multiplayer mentioned in Known issues. I realized the problem occurs whenever player spawns, so it's not restricted to level transitions, but also those levels that make the player automatically respawn. In some cases, player is continously spawn-killed.

The rest of the quirks that sometimes occur are tricky and common with the 445 version. Yesterday, I somehow managed to make Arokh refuse to fly when I was messing around in Alwarren with 'floy' cheat, even though he had enough space to take off.

I wonder if anyone noticed the redundant geometry when you look in the sky is gone in the area in Grimstone Mines where Wartok is killed by rock avalanche he caused by hitting that wooden thing.

When I come back to Drakan I'll definitely play it, I mean it this time!
"When a human being takes his life in depression, this is a natural death of spiritual causes. The modern barbarity of 'saving' the suicidal is based on a hair-raising misapprehension of the nature of existence." - Peter Wessel Zapffe

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Diablonar
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Re: Widescreen hack and some other fixes aka AiO Patch

Post by Diablonar »

Nah, you and I are gonna patch this thing till it's a perfect game. And then we'll develop the sequel, "Dreken" to avoid copyright issues ;o

Lemme know when/if you feel ready/man up to challenge me in Multiplayer.
*edits own breath attacks first* ;D

I managed to balance/experiment with the Poison breath (Ha), here's a preview. This is great stuff.

https://youtu.be/2jfx8IrHX6Y

UCyborg
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Re: Widescreen hack and some other fixes aka AiO Patch

Post by UCyborg »

Good luck with your mod! And keep in mind such modifications belong in the Drakan Level Editing and Game Mods section.
"When a human being takes his life in depression, this is a natural death of spiritual causes. The modern barbarity of 'saving' the suicidal is based on a hair-raising misapprehension of the nature of existence." - Peter Wessel Zapffe

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Reith
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Re: Widescreen hack and some other fixes aka AiO Patch

Post by Reith »

Just to let you know looks like Qtracker is closing down. Message from their forums: "Gamespy emulation is going down on 8/1/2017. The forums are down temporarily so I don't have to listen to people complain."

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Diablonar
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Re: Widescreen hack and some other fixes aka AiO Patch

Post by Diablonar »

Just a joke, UCyborg :) But I do genuinely hope we can balance poison to be more useful.
Like I suggested earlier, if you can find a way to make lifetime parameter work, that'd be great. I had no luck till now. Not sure if some other parameter might have to be disabled or set to 0 for it to take effect.
It might also be that the parameters for the projectile and gas itself must be set tactically for one not to disable the other. For all I know, there's some strange bug that forces you to also alter the powerup itself and that's the only way it works. You never know with this game.

EDIT:

Well shit. Is it possible to get QTracker hosted on a filehost, or perhaps on this website? We need it to play with eachother using serverlist, right?

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Reith
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Re: Widescreen hack and some other fixes aka AiO Patch

Post by Reith »

Yes, QTracker was hosting serverlist after GameSpy shutdown, but since then I've never seen any server hosted there. The last time I played with people was on AXE's server long time ago.

UCyborg
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Re: Widescreen hack and some other fixes aka AiO Patch

Post by UCyborg »

Like I suggested earlier, if you can find a way to make lifetime parameter work, that'd be great.

Agreed. Besides perhaps the parameter being overridden by something else, maybe devs accidentally haven't used it in the code and put the default number in there directly, effectively making the parameter useless.

Well shit. Is it possible to get QTracker hosted on a filehost, or perhaps on this website? We need it to play with eachother using serverlist, right?

You would actually need the same software they have on Qtracker that keeps track of active servers and make the list available via some URL.

Tunngle still works I think, just need an account and their app. Then you can join the Drakan room and if any players in there are hosting the server, the server shows up in the server browser. Tunngle emulates LAN and Drakan does support multiplayer over LAN.

That would be the easiest way for players to find each other, the only problem is there's no players. The host probably must have Tunngle's port forwarded to their computer if behind router.

The last time I played with people was on AXE's server long time ago.

Must have been when there were still people out there. Sometime after AiO Patch came about, AXE hosted it again, but I was the only player on it. I wonder what's the reason for shutdown.
"When a human being takes his life in depression, this is a natural death of spiritual causes. The modern barbarity of 'saving' the suicidal is based on a hair-raising misapprehension of the nature of existence." - Peter Wessel Zapffe

UCyborg
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Re: Widescreen hack and some other fixes aka AiO Patch

Post by UCyborg »

Did another update, mostly out of the necessity because of the small layer visibility glitch in Grotto, that cave guarded by the Giant, the part with Scavengers wasn't rendered until the player got past the hole in the wall. Also optimized all the surrounding area so the engine doesn't waste cycles rendering the valley on the other side of the level. There was also a glitch present in the original level file, on the way towards the room with the ladder with the switch to open the gate leading to Werokh, at the end of the catwalk, facing certain directions made some parts of that area invisible.

Edit: Noticed the news about Qtracker, I only saw the note on forums the last time. Apparently it's closing down due to a minority of people being jerks, sad.

Edit2: Now that I'm so into the layer visibility glitches fixing, I'll take look at Ruined Village. There are few spots at the beginning where they can be noticed, will make another post when it's done.
"When a human being takes his life in depression, this is a natural death of spiritual causes. The modern barbarity of 'saving' the suicidal is based on a hair-raising misapprehension of the nature of existence." - Peter Wessel Zapffe

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