Re: Eternal X 1.2
Posted: May 6th '20, 21:09
Huh. Why didn’t my test of “Babylon X” desync then? It should’ve desynced immediately if that’s the case.
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I suppose someone more versed in C++ than I am can look in the source code and see if this hypothesis is correct.I don’t have much idea why this wouldn’t desync the level, since it should be calling the game’s internal RNG each time it creates an effect, because the sequence used for precipitation on this level is set to “display a random frame”, which would immediately call the game’s RNG. My hypothesis is that the RNG for “display a random frame” may be a separate function; Bungie may have used a separate function for this to prevent films from desyncing if someone edited a shapes file to add another frame to a sequence of random frames. Films could still desync if people edit shapes files in certain other ways, but this would prevent some film desyncs. I don’t know. It’s weird.
Thanks for keeping up work on this while I've been buried in pandemic-induced life problems.
1.2.1 was only supposed to be a bug fix in the first place, and we only decided to call it 1.3 because while we were fixing bugs you and others made a bunch of other feature improvements that you didn't want to push back to the then-planned 1.3 (that's now planned as 1.4). Last I looked before the pandemic hit, we had nearly finished off my list of bugs to fix, and you had come up with a huge list of other bugs, and I was just waiting on you to finish those before we called it final. So whenever you think all the bugs are gone, I'm happy to look it over and ship it.Overall, the amount this game has improved since even 1.2 is pretty considerable. The amount it’s improved since 1.1 is borderline incalculable. We’d arguably be justified in just fixing the bugs we’re aware of and releasing it as is.
The fusion cannon isn't just a reward for exploring. It's supposed to be a big huge gift when you get it in the midst of the big battle in chapter 2. Since it's possible to get it in the prologue if you want to, I really don't think it should be made mandatory and ruin the whole slow reveal of a new weapon (mostly) each chapter.The fusion cannon improves the opening chapter so much that I’d strongly suggest making it mandatory. I get that it’s there to reward players for exploring, but if I got to “A Friend in Need” and then found out I could’ve had a weapon that awesome eleven levels ago, I’d be pissed. If we still want to reward players for exploring, we can add some more ammo somewhere else, maybe. And I get that this will reduce the challenge of the early game a bit, but since it’s the early game, I’m not sure how much I mind that.
I agree with the principle here and this is a part of the planned revision of the dream levels and prologue/epilogue, wherein realism wouldn't be a problem (because the new prologue would be a dream).I’d still argue pretty strongly for breaking up the first terminal. I get the argument about realism, but (1) having terminals activate actions on the level introduces players to the mechanic that terminals can do things other than teleport them around, and (2) breaking up the flow of text across multiple terminals will make it so players aren't hit with a massive text dump before they even leave the opening room, and make the massive expanse of the level feel less empty.
I don't have any strong objections to thess if nobody else does.The mechanism from “Septococcal Pfhoryngitis” of having the chip teleport in one of three locations isn’t fun and sometimes doesn’t even work: players have reported that the chip sometimes won’t spawn in any of the three possible locations. I don’t understand why, but I’d suggest just going back to having it always spawn in the same place; this reduces frustrating RNG and also helps lessen the likelihood of players getting confused and frustrated on one of the earliest levels in the game. It also eliminates the problem of Hathor telling you the chip is in a location that, two times out of three, is incorrect. She’s certainly not a reliable narrator, but there’s really no story justification for making it a matter of RNG whether she’s telling the truth here. (I suppose we could just rewrite the terminal to have her make a vague reference along the lines of “It got teleported into the sewage somewhere”, but I still prefer the “get rid of the RNG” approach.)
Since we can now use “Terminals Stop Time” as a flag on levels, I’d suggest adding it to every level. It would particularly improve “Sahkmet Rising” so that players won’t suffocate reading the wall of text on that level (as actually happened to Rampancy – though I guess that might not affect net games, but maybe it’s possible to add a Lua script specifically to prevent oxygen usage while players are reading terminals during a net game, too).
Speaking of having terminals activate level events, is there any reason whatsoever to do that on “Core Done Blew”? It just introduces unnecessary, unintuitive backtracking, and Tycho’s terminal doesn’t really add anything to his characterisation. There’s at least an arguable justification for it on “The Incredible Hulk”, but none that I can see here.
If we can think of even a nominal excuse for why the Pfhor are able to teleport in afterward but not before, I'm fine with that. Maybe some of the something you smash or switch inside breaks the teleport-jammers or whatever and then they can start beaming in after that?“Roots and Radicals” and “Heart of Fusion” would benefit from something to do in the AI cores besides punch switches. I understand that the argument is that the Pfhor wouldn’t have been able to get in before we opened the core, but we’ve got Pfhor and S’pht teleporting in elsewhere in the level; I don’t see any reason they can’t teleport into the cores as well, once the player opens them up. It’d make the sections less tedious if we added some Fighters or something, so you’re not just running down a bunch of corridors punching switches.
That's all fine with me. (Fusion seems to do something electrical as well as heat-based, so maybe these ancient F'lickta are still vulnerable to nerve damage from it or something.We need to rebalance some of the monsters, given how difficult they are on lower difficulty settings. Ticks are the biggest offender; they’re nasty even on Kindergarten. Right now, one Tick attack does as much damage as a running fist punch, which is ridiculous, particularly given how quickly they attack. That should be nerfed. It’s also not set to do alien damage, which it certainly should be. Lastly, it’s probably worth introducing Major and Minor variants, seeing as how every Lh’owon level has custom physics anyway. The current Tick slot can be made into the Minor Tick, and the current Wasp slot can be made into the Major Tick; since Ticks and Wasps never once appear on the same level, it won’t be an issue.
The F’lickta being immune to fusion might be justifiable story-wise, but it’s not fun. I can see a case for them to still be immune to the N-cannon, since they’re also immune to fire, but making them immune to fusion greatly increases the amount of tedious weapon-switching players need to do; it’s not really interesting or challenging, just annoying (particularly since it turns exploration into a guessing game of “will this room have enemy Defenders, F’lickta, or both?”, and also greatly increases the RNG factor). Furthermore, it poses a much larger problem for players who vid-start one of the first three levels of chapter three, since fusion is the only weapon they’ll have any ammo for.
That sounds great.As much as I love “She Is the Dark One” overall, many of the straight, narrow corridors are indistinguishable from one another, and it’s really easy to get lost in them. We should probably add more detailing to the level to make them more distinctive, either by adding some more caverns between them or by adding some light fixture polygons to the ceilings in some of them or something. This is arguably also a problem for the underground rooms of “S’pht Happens”.
That's all fine with me too.Locking the citadel doors on “S’pht Happens” can trap players in network games (or players in solo games who grenade-jump out the window). I’d suggest either adding a way for players to get back into the citadel (a terminal from the S’pht asking something along the lines of “What are you doing out here? Get back into the tower”) or just removing the lock and adding a note from the S’pht/Leela that they’re locking the tower. I think I might’ve already made an Issue about this, but just in case I didn’t, it came to mind just now.
There are far too many switches on some levels. I get that they're there because mapmakers wanted players to visit the whole level, and to some extent I understand that. But here's an example from “The Incredible Hulk”, which is otherwise a great level:
The Incredible Switch Hunt.png
I count thirteen switches (circled in magenta) required just for the opening of the level. That’s ridiculous. We could cut that in half and there’d still be too many. Most of them are wholly unnecessary: the four at the top left can be converted to a set of wires that, when destroyed, activates all four platforms; most of the switches circled at the bottom probably aren’t even necessary, etc. Eliminating many of these switches may require rebalancing the level a bit, since there’ll be multiple troopers attacking the player when the door beneath the pattern buffer activates. But that’s fine. Some of these are really just monster closets; requiring the player to actually visit each of them is probably excessive.
The four levels I can justify having ridiculous numbers of switches are “Roots and Radicals”, “Heart of Fusion”, “Dread Not”, and “This Message Will Self-Destruct”; you’d expect AI cores and ship self-destruct mechanisms to have a lot of failsafes. (And actually, “This Message Will Self-Destruct” has a perfectly reasonable number of switches even despite that.) “Deep Into the Grotto” sort of fits into this category as well, but it still has too many switches – or at least too many that are easy to miss. “S’pht Happens” probably also has too many. “My Kingdom Pfhor a Horse” also has too many, some of which are completely unnecessary since the natural progression of the level always forces the player to visit those rooms. “Unwired” also has far too many switches, but that’s among the least of that level’s problems, and I might just want to completely overhaul how it works for 1.4. “Babylon X” is less of an offender, since you can at least do most of them in one counterclockwise trip, but I might still remove a few. “Unpfhorseen” also has a lot of switches, but they don’t feel as excessive; I think it helps that the rooms that contain them are at least more distinctive. We already nerfed the switch puzzle from “Killing the Giants as They Sleep”, so the main problem with that one is the illegible automap (sorry).
We might want to add a few more zero-point modules throughout chapter four, either as secrets or just scattered along the player’s path in Jjaro levels. We obviously don’t want to allow players to one-shot everything with the wave motion cannon, but it’s such a cool weapon that allowing them a few more shots with it probably won’t hurt anything.
I'm worried that it could be because of physics getting out of sync, since you've not been using github properly, so changes that I made earlier and pushed to git may not have come through to you correctly, and when I manually merged your later changes in I might not have seen some details I wasn't expecting to change, which would have then overwritten my earlier fixes, etc.I think the gravitronic blades are still blowing up enemies. I need to figure out why.
Yes please! I haven't even had time to look at the new weapon animations yet. Big thanks to Tacticus for them, and to you for integrating them.I haven’t figured out why animated idle weapon sequences are janky. This goes here because it’d be a particularly big help for the gravitronic blades.
I wonder if this could also be because of changes getting lost in manual syncing. Possibly also because of VML/Vasara saving switch state, and the need to flip a bunch of switches in this level to get around, unless you write down the right poly #s to manually teleport to instead.I’m not 100% sure we fixed “I’ve Got a Bad Feeling About This”; it might still be impossible to complete. I might’ve already noted this in the bug report, but I’ll note it again here. This is the most crucial thing to fix.
I don't think that's really necessary. It can just be a dream of Hathor's last message before they left.
I still think that since it's already possible for those who want to to get the cannon in the prologue, there's no need to make it mandatory. Those who didn't get it early get the big surprise when they get it in ch2 (like Rampancy.net did), and those who really want to (who know what they're missing) can just pick it up in the prologue.I get the idea of wanting the fusion cannon to be a big reward, but… hm. The early game just feels a lot more sluggish without it. Chapter two already gives you a new-ish weapon with the redesigned M2 alien weapon. I suppose an argument can be made that it’s not really a new weapon, but… it sort of is, since being able to reload it, carry 49 clips for it, and tell how many shots you have left before reloading makes it way more powerful than the original. Granted, that might not be new to anyone who somehow played Chronicles before Eternal, but I heavily doubt any such people exist.