Eternal X 1.2

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Re: Eternal X 1.2

Post Jul 10th '19, 01:08

Thanks so much Lia! I hope this meets with everyone's satisfaction, and I really appreciate all the work and thought you've put in to trying to make everybody happy.
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Pfhorrest
California

Post Jul 10th '19, 01:41

First off, thanks for making a serious effort to address my complaints this time; those compromises actually sound like I might find them acceptable. I probably won’t have time to test that revision for the next couple of days – I’ve had a stomach illness that kept me up for half the night two nights in a row, so I’m going to need to sleep a lot more tonight, and I have some other commitments I need to get to during the daytime. That proposal actually sounds like it makes an honest effort to address my complaints, however, which 1.2.1b3 absolutely did not.

I want to emphasise that I absolutely have not been refusing to compromise about every change I find distasteful. There are several changes in recent revisions that I would honestly prefer to have completely rolled back, but I haven’t proposed that because that’s petulant and not remotely worth it. For various reasons, I suspect I preferred the 1.2.0 revisions of “Run, Coward”, “Third Rock from Lh’owon”, and “Second to Last of the Mohicans” to the 1.2.1 betas on balance, apart from maybe a couple of minor aspects like the addition of an oxygen recharger to the former, but I haven’t ever asked to have any of them completely rolled back, because I know they address complaints other people have had about the levels, and it’s not worth fighting about. I didn’t even ask to have the orb respawn rate in “Run, Coward” bumped back down to 21%, even though I still would prefer it to be knocked back to 0% – I just asked to have the respawning distributed more evenly and less predictably, and even offered to write the script to fix it myself.

(I actually legit take offence to the suggestion that I would have used that as an excuse to mess with the orb respawn rates, by the way – you can read Lua as well as I can, for starters, and know how the engine handles respawning, and thus would be able to tell damn well whether my code affected the respawn rate in any meaningful way. Even if that weren’t the case, and even if it weren’t likely that someone else would have noticed if you hadn’t, the thought wouldn’t have crossed my mind.)

I have been so vehement about “Unwired” because all the preceding beta versions completely destroyed my enjoyment of the level in ways I have already fully explicated, and none of them made what felt like even cursory attempts to address my complaints about them. Frankly, if you’re going to demand that I test a level that takes fifty minutes to play even if I successfully complete it on my first attempt, it feels flat-out rude to waste my time with something that completely disregards my complaints about previous revisions. The proposal at the bottom of the previous page actually sounds tolerable, however.

I’ll acknowledge that I was being quite stubborn about that particular segment of that particular level. I’ve let so many other things go, though, or proposed at most minor alterations to mitigate things that annoy me rather than asking to have them completely removed.

I should add that I am probably open to making many other segments of “Unwired” harder to make up for that specific segment. Some of them probably are too easy. I’d probably be fine with adding dozens more Lookers in every corner where the player can simply retreat back to a recharger, for instance. (I would, however, also suggest adding another 3x recharger in the southwest of the level somewhere, or at least another 2x, just because it’s a long slog back to the first recharger; adding another recharger would probably reduce average completion time of the level by another few minutes. I can do this myself at some point if needed, along with a few other minor tweaks I never got around to.)

I also want to emphasise that I feel Compilers should be used sparingly in settings where the player has little room to manoeuvre; they have homing projectiles that deal 1/3 full shield recharge’s worth of damage. That means that if you get hit by two of them with 1x shields (always a possibility given their overpowered knockback), you’re down to 1/3 shields. To draw a comparison, Rubicon’s Enforcers also have homing projectiles that deal 1/3 shields’ worth of damage, and virtually everyone agrees they are OP to the point of being completely obnoxious. They’re the reason almost no one likes “Not *This* Again”, for instance, even though it’s actually a good level when the enemies have reasonable physics. They’re also the reason it’s probably completely impossible to vid “The Descension Factor”. The Rubicon Enforcers have faster projectiles and a zap attack, of course, plus a shorter delay between attacks, but I feel it’s nonetheless a comparison worth drawing. Even though Compilers appear in the first levels of two of the games, they can be very dangerous enemies, which is why the original games only occasionally give you swarms of them, and only on levels which are intended to be at least fairly difficult (the title “Eat It, Vid Boi” probably gives that one away, for instance). Eternal already has one massive, unending swarm of them in “Heart of Fusion”, which might be enough of that for the whole scenario, honestly. I might be willing to live with a small number depending how the segment ends up playing, but the difficulty of the Compilers in certain situations goes a long way to explaining why I found 1.2.1b3 to be overkill.

Anyway, I feel about that particular room more or less the way you said you do about “Unwired” yesterday in Discord – I’m sick of arguing about it. If I still think it’s too difficult after trying b4 (or whatever it’s labelled), I’m just going to submit my own revision and request not to have that segment of the level touched again after my revision. I can probably deal with changes to make the rest of the level more difficult as long as they’re also not overkill.

In any case, thanks again for actually taking my feedback into consideration this time. I’m sorry this wound up so heated the last couple of days, but I guess we all have things that set us off.

ETA: found out after writing this that raven sent me a PM that resolved a number of additional complaints I’ve had over the last few days, so thanks for that as well.

also Eat S’pht and Die
“People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.” —V, V for Vendetta (Alan Moore)

“The trouble is that we have a bad habit, encouraged by pedants and sophisticates, of considering happiness as something rather stupid. Only pain is intellectual, only evil interesting. This is the treason of the artist: a refusal to admit the banality of evil and the terrible boredom of pain. If you can’t lick ’em, join ’em. If it hurts, repeat it. But to praise despair is to condemn delight, to embrace violence is to lose hold of everything else. We have almost lost hold; we can no longer describe happy man, nor make any celebration of joy.” —Ursula K. Le Guin, “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas”

“If others had not been foolish, we should be so.” —William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

Last.fm · Marathon Chronicles · Marathon Eternal 1.2 · Where Monsters Are in Dreams · YouTube Vidmaster’s Challenge
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The Man
Sarasota, FL

Post Jul 10th '19, 02:01

The Man wrote:if you’re going to demand that I test a level that takes fifty minutes to play


I never expected you to do that. Myself, I use a cheat script to fast-forward to an area of a level I want to test- make my self invincible and give myself a grav blade, speedrun to the last point with a save terminal before the point I want to test, wait for the invincibility to wear off if it hasn't already, save, and then just ignore the presence of blades in my inventory for the duration of my test. Then I can make a dozen tests or so of that specific area from the save without going through the whole level.
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ravenshining
Hawai'i

Post Jul 10th '19, 03:26

Watched your video - apparently, you didn't use one of the new shortcuts ;-) it saves you some lava swimming, but can be tricky to pull off as it involves a 0.4 WU step (don't stop on the stairs) and a narrow gate that doesn't look like it will allow the player to pass (press forward when it seems like you cannot)

Also, interesting to see how you play this level differently. At the expense of using ammo (or using fists to avoid activating triggers), I usually go all out trying to prevent as many S'pht deaths as possible (and to a lesser degree, F'lickta if they aren't a threat), both for story/moral reasons, and so I can count on their help later. Having S'pht survive the second room means they can help you out in the chip room, and against the first Juggernaut- although, watching your shootout with the latter was quite entertaining.

I'd like to add a passage that would allow saved S'pht from the first room to help you, too. Those twin doors before the jump should have opened later and earlier, and it appears I neglected to fix the two perched Enforcers. Next revision, if it comes to that.
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ravenshining
Hawai'i

Post Jul 10th '19, 16:10

I finished Chapter 5 yesterday (except for the very last level). I had very few issues with the chapter. Hard to believe not long ago, I refused to play the rest of the chapter starting with Deep Into the Grotto. My how things change. Here is what I have for you.

Level 43: These Caves Can't Be a Natural Formation

1. For some reason, the four Laser Turrets next to the steps where you start the level elevate themselves to a height where they are just shooting at the curved wall above the steps. I don't know what they are shooting at. But the effect is to have the Nightmares regenerating and clogging up the hallway where you have the 2x recharger and Pattern Buffers. In other words, the Laser Turrets become completely useless after a while. Or at least they did for me. The behavior started after I activated the enemies in the southern part of the level. Could they be trying to hit those Nightmares?

2. I assume you are given an Uplink Chip at the beginning of the level for those that wish to vid the level? I only ask because I have a chip left over at the end of level 50. The extra chip I have seems to originate with this level.

Level 44: Deep Into the Grotto

1. I am correct there are six switches that have to be activated to lower the force fields so one can smash the repair switch? If so, then I seem to be able to get by the force fields only activating five of them. When I played the level, I activated the first five switches (as labeled in the map) in the order #3, #6, #5, #4 and #2. After those five switches, I am able (most of the time) to walk through the doorway where the force fields are located. Not always. Sometimes it knocks me back. But not always. After I activate #1, then I have no problem. (I know there is an even quicker way. But I am not talking about it.)

Level 45: Frog Blast the Vent Core

1. There is a immobile Banshee on the post at polygon 1016.

2. A Skitter got stuck under the light at polygon 649.

3. The Nightmare (object 108) on polygon 805 is reluctant to move. It will fight, but only sporadically.

4. The Zero-Point Module (object 113) at the beginning of the level is checked to teleport in while the other ammo is not. But there is no Item Trigger polygon to activate it. So the player is cheated out of the ammo.

It's a real let down having the scenario end. I do look forward to the final release. My hat's off to the entire team. It will always rank as one of my favorite scenarios to play.

John
DrJohn

Post Jul 10th '19, 16:46

Thanks so much John! I'm glad you've enjoyed it so much, and your feedback has been very helpful.

When you say you skipped the very last level, I assume you mean the epilogue level The Near Side of Everywhere, just because it's basically a copy of The Far Side of Nowhere? Or you have yet to finish Where Giants Have Fallen?
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Pfhorrest
California

Post Jul 10th '19, 17:01

Yes I meant The Near Side of Everywhere. I did play Where Giants Have Fallen and had no issues with it. BTW, there is an inactive terminal in the level We Met Once in the Garden. Is there some way to activate that terminal while you are playing that level?
DrJohn

Post Jul 10th '19, 18:22

If I'm recalling correctly, that's the terminal right next to the exit? I think that that was just put in by the mapmaker under the assumption that there would be an end-of-level terminal message, but there was no story reason to put anything there so I just decativated the terminal. Maybe I should have just deleted it instead, or made it a pattern buffer (if there's not already one there, I don't recall now) instead.
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Pfhorrest
California

Post Jul 10th '19, 19:06

Yes there is a Pattern Buffer next to it. That's fine. I just wanted to make sure there was no way to activate it. Thanks!
DrJohn

Post Jul 13th '19, 09:07

Lia linked me to this earlier this evening:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d4q0CIvPDp0

Rampancy.net's first Let's Play of Eternal 1.2. It was load of fun to watch!

Sounds like they're planning to schedule them for Thursdays and Sundays at 7PM Eastern. I definitely won't be able to make the Sunday ones, but I hope to pop into the chat (maybe a little late) for the Thursday ones.
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Pfhorrest
California

Post Jul 15th '19, 01:04

Episode 2, Narcogen and Blackstar playing Sahkmet Rising and Unwired:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nd7vzwX6ODw

I kinda held their hand through Unwired but they did well all things considered. Combat was no trouble although they do play on Normal. Elevator 842 was a nightmare and I really think we ought to move the switch that activates it so you can see what it does, or set the elevator to never deactivate.

They're going to take a week off, so don't wait for them this Thursday, Pfhorrest.
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ravenshining
Hawai'i

Post Jul 15th '19, 17:56

Unfortunately the next Thursday they do will be the one Thursday that I definitely won't be able to make, because that's my 37th birthday and I'll be out of town.

Coincidentally it's also the 775th pre-anniversary of the attack on the Marathon, and therefore exactly exactly 886 years to the day prior to the prologue of Eternal.

Might be worth mentioning that to them so they can commemorate the event on that day.
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Pfhorrest
California

Post Jul 19th '19, 22:46

A couple days ago Pfhorrest PM'd me, asking if I would do some new skybox pieces and potentially a sprite-set for Hathor.

I have a test render of the daytime lh'owon skybox here:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1xolYy ... vl0zTrKoTT
Low res:
lowon sky.png


I haven't fully populated the landscape with buildings and other features yet. At this stage it would be good to know what things need to be there (like ships in the sky or buildings) and if there are going to be different versions (for example: before and after the pfhor show up, or with and without K'lia in the sky) Speaking of, the moons are added in post so switching them out or moving them is no trouble.

I also have a beta model of Hathor that I will post later, once I clean up a few things.

*edit*
Ok later is now, so here is what I have for hathor so far:
Hathor preview.png


I am unsure how to get this to fit in with the other creature sprites, as I don't know how to replicate the hand drawn look in either rendering or post-process. I'll do some research and try to figure something out.
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General Tacticus

Post Jul 20th '19, 05:08

Awesome start! Will have to reply in more detail later but for a first pass I would say just to replicate the existing landscapes with whatever detail improvements you feel are warranted.
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Pfhorrest
California

Post Jul 20th '19, 08:35

Landscape looks nice, but it's very dark, almost as dark as the current nighttime landscape.

Personally, I envisioned Lh'owon as being more fertile at the time period we visit it in Eternal, as it is still being inhabited by a thriving S'pht civilisation, and that's why I spruced up this terminal pic - there's still lava in there, but also a small lake and greenery on the mountains. However I understand if you interpret differently.

01204.jpg
01204.jpg (55.36 KiB) Viewed 1197 times


Like the scintillating armour on Hathor, but something about her face reminds me of Barbies
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ravenshining
Hawai'i

Post Jul 20th '19, 17:53

Good point about Lh’owon vegetation Lia.
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Pfhorrest
California

Post Jul 20th '19, 19:25

Ok, I will adjust accordingly.

The brightness problem was technical oversight on my part, I mixed up the color settings I was going to use.

How does the idea of volcanic wetlands sound? I could see some Cyanobacteria filled pools a-la Yellowstone with marsh plants mixed in adding some nice colors.
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General Tacticus

Post Jul 20th '19, 19:37

That sounds awesome, and fits right into all the canon about how how the S'pht inhabited marshes!
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ravenshining
Hawai'i

Post Jul 20th '19, 23:39

That sounds great to me, too!
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Pfhorrest
California

Post Jul 21st '19, 21:07

General Tacticus wrote:Ok later is now, so here is what I have for hathor so far:
Hathor preview.png


I am unsure how to get this to fit in with the other creature sprites, as I don't know how to replicate the hand drawn look in either rendering or post-process. I'll do some research and try to figure something out.


Nice render of Hathor. She reminds me of SHODAN during her boss fight in System Shock 2.
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Lion O Cyborg
UK (which is IN EUROPE!)

Post Jul 21st '19, 21:10

Pfhorrest wrote:Unfortunately the next Thursday they do will be the one Thursday that I definitely won't be able to make, because that's my 37th birthday and I'll be out of town.


I won't be able to make this coming Sunday's one as I'll be at My Own Private Lh'owon for a week. My brother's coming home for it.
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Lion O Cyborg
UK (which is IN EUROPE!)

Post Jul 22nd '19, 20:20

All of that stuff above looks great, though I'm still not sure how I feel on being able to actually see Hathor's face. I kind of liked having the appearance of her face, like the Security Officer's, be a mystery, but if people think it would be weird to conceal her face, I'm fine with having it visible. The new models look amazing.

I'll also try to get around to testing some of the new versions tonight. Sorry I've been largely absent - I've been dealing with grief, which I'll expound on more in the Chronicles thread soon enough, and just trying not to burn myself out again. I'll start taking a look at the chapter 4 levels, since they were the ones I was least satisfied with in 1.2, when I feel up to working on game content again.
“People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.” —V, V for Vendetta (Alan Moore)

“The trouble is that we have a bad habit, encouraged by pedants and sophisticates, of considering happiness as something rather stupid. Only pain is intellectual, only evil interesting. This is the treason of the artist: a refusal to admit the banality of evil and the terrible boredom of pain. If you can’t lick ’em, join ’em. If it hurts, repeat it. But to praise despair is to condemn delight, to embrace violence is to lose hold of everything else. We have almost lost hold; we can no longer describe happy man, nor make any celebration of joy.” —Ursula K. Le Guin, “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas”

“If others had not been foolish, we should be so.” —William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

Last.fm · Marathon Chronicles · Marathon Eternal 1.2 · Where Monsters Are in Dreams · YouTube Vidmaster’s Challenge
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The Man
Sarasota, FL

Post Jul 22nd '19, 21:07

Bear in mind that this body we see Hathor in isn't her original body or even one she's had for the course of the game, it's just some random [?operator] of the Jjaro sphere into whose brain she fled when you killed her in the Grotto. So it's not really "Hathor's face" at all.

That said, I'm not opposed to that [?operator] having a visor or something if people feel that the face (or any face) is weird.

Actually, the more that I think about it, some kind of dark visor sounds cool, adds significant menace to the image.
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Pfhorrest
California

Post Jul 22nd '19, 22:30

Yeah, I think there's something to be said for adding menace to her appearance. She's supposed to be a significant threat, after all!

I should've added that I really like the hair. That's way cooler than anything I had in my imagination for her.
“People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.” —V, V for Vendetta (Alan Moore)

“The trouble is that we have a bad habit, encouraged by pedants and sophisticates, of considering happiness as something rather stupid. Only pain is intellectual, only evil interesting. This is the treason of the artist: a refusal to admit the banality of evil and the terrible boredom of pain. If you can’t lick ’em, join ’em. If it hurts, repeat it. But to praise despair is to condemn delight, to embrace violence is to lose hold of everything else. We have almost lost hold; we can no longer describe happy man, nor make any celebration of joy.” —Ursula K. Le Guin, “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas”

“If others had not been foolish, we should be so.” —William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

Last.fm · Marathon Chronicles · Marathon Eternal 1.2 · Where Monsters Are in Dreams · YouTube Vidmaster’s Challenge
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The Man
Sarasota, FL

Post Jul 22nd '19, 23:41

Thanks for the input, I will make sure to add some kind of face mask. The sorta blank "doll" look lia mentioned is hard to avoid in rendered faces, so it's probably a good idea to cover things.

Currently I am wrestling with ways to make reeds and brush en-masse without blowing up my video card. I might end up painting some of it manually.
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General Tacticus

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