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Messages - Forral

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The Last Days / Re: Best Good faction to start with?
« on: February 19, 2012, 04:20:38 PM »
Of course, balance and multitude of choices is important, it's just that these principles shouldn't be applied in a generic fashion.
Agreed.  :)

The Last Days / Re: Best Good faction to start with?
« on: February 19, 2012, 11:11:08 AM »
Why should the balance between them be fine-tuned in a non-multiplayer game anyway?
I see this argument popping up quite often. To me, it doesn't make sense. I feel its similar to saying: "Why should the windows have curtains when I have an ice-cream?" Don't bother trying to make any sense of what that actually means, because it doesn't mean anything. I used that example because single-player balance has nothing to do with fairness, as multiplayer balance does, it's just not related; Dale won't be upset and throw rage tantrums over having worse cavalry than Rohan, and Dol Guldur won't post about Mirkwoods overpowered archers.

Single-player balance has an altogether different purpose. It is there so there will be a way to justify the choices you present to the player. If you offer the player the choice to wield axes, spears or swords, there should be equally justifiable reasons to wield in them in the scenarios that he will encounter. One might say: "Hey, the spear is awesome against cavalry," but if said spear sucks against everything else and the two-handed sword does nearly as good a job against horsemen, choosing to wield the spear is a just a bad choice. If one looks at the skills in the game, there should ideally be justifiable reasons to develop them all, and the selection you pick should define the strengths and weaknesses of your character rather than defining whether or not he sucks, because the player did or did not, pick a selection of skills that are considered best.

Single player balance allows replayability through experimentation, without forcing the player to make intentionally bad decisions just in order to achieve a different experience. That's why balance matters, in my opinion.

I apologize, by the way, for continuing this discussion beyond its best-before date. I just feel that balance achieves much more than people give it credit for.

The Last Days / Re: Best Good faction to start with?
« on: February 18, 2012, 02:46:08 PM »
Now, that said, of course in any game there are many compromises and situations where realism should be discarded. But the "gamey" vs. "realistic" combat is not such a situation and it is not as straightforward a choice as you portray it to be.
It isn't always, no, but there are times when realism works against the gameplay experience you are trying to achieve. Such as for instance the comments preceding my post about the weight of arrows, and how too many of them would be unrealistic to carry. These are the situations where I feel realism should just be thrown out the window, because it no longer helps the designers create a diverse and interesting experience, it just prevents them from doing things in any other way than what would be "realistic."

I think its important to remember that the game doesn't actually incorporate all the layers of combat that the real world does. So until a game is capable of portraying the deeper layers of combat, any attempt to emulate reality too closely with the tools at our disposal would be vain, because the only place where things actually play out in a realistic fashion is on the damned spreadsheet. You're not seeing troops in heavy armour grappling and stabbing their knives through the weak spots of their enemy's armour, you're not seeing feints and ripostes in swordplay, and well... It's not reality, so the means with which you achieve a sense of immersion is not by trying to emulate reality fully, but by letting reality inspire you.

The Last Days / Re: Best Good faction to start with?
« on: February 18, 2012, 09:03:49 AM »
I'd say this kind of realism is largely irrelevant when you're talking about gameplay balance. If one archer unit type is supposed to be validated by the large amount of arrows they can carry, while others receive increased melee potency through shields or better melee weapons, it is only natural that the former type of archer actually get said amount of arrows, in order to not simply be inferior.

I actually feel that the M&B community's fascination with realism weakens mods more often than not. Not because realism is bad, but because within the framework of an existing engine and the gameplay it provides you can only feasibly model a few limited aspects of realism, which doesn't really generate realism at all.

One weapon type may, for instance, manage to have its strengths magnified by realism but another weapon only feels the burn of its weaknesses in its transition to a 'realistic' approach, because the strengths of the second weapon can't feasibly be portrayed properly by the game. So it might cause a 'realistic' amount of damage, weigh a 'realistic' amount, have a 'realistic' speed, but still suck really bad which isn't actually realistic when compared to its real-world counterpart. Suddenly it might get very difficult to justify the use of weapon X as opposed to Y, and light armour may turn entirely useless compared to heavy. In nearly all cases I've seen, balance is skewed in the favour of heavily armoured cavalry, diminishing the player's choice in how he wants to approach combat and reducing replayability.

Realism is only desirable as long as it allows a designer to enrichen his world and its gameplay. When it stands in the way of said undertaking, it should be promptly ignored.

We, developers, choose gameplay over realism every day of the week. If diversion from realism helps us make game more diversified, troops more special e.t.c - we sacrifise realism willingly. It's a fantasy world after all :)

The Last Days / Re: Best Good faction to start with?
« on: February 16, 2012, 03:14:10 PM »
I would actually suggest starting with Dale. They can field a balanced force of infantry, archers and cavalry and start with lots of allies nearby. The Dwarves of Erebor, living pretty much at your doorstep, will likely be close allies throughout the campaign, and the Mirkwood elves aren't far either. The war in the North seems to shift in a much greater pace than the sluggish southern war too, allowing you fight and destroy several different factions, like the Goblins of Gundabad and Rhun, before shifting your attentions to aid Lothlorien in their fight against Moria and Dol Guldur.

That's assuming you're asking for the best (good) faction to start with, and not simply the (Best Good faction) to start with. Dale isn't nearly the best faction by any stretch of the imagination, but they provide a fulfilling and varied experience that doesn't wholly focus on a single unit type like Lothlorien or Rohan, i.e. all cavalry or all archers.

The Last Days / Re: TLD 3.1 - Bug Reports
« on: February 16, 2012, 03:27:36 AM »
This situation was resolved before actually posting the question, but in case someone else suffers similar problems I thought I would post it regardless. The solution is shown at the end of the post.

The following problem is encountered using: Version 3.1, Hotfix 2, the "Requisition Point instead of Influence to recruit followers" modification, and RCM through the Iron Launcher.

Quite simply I can't seem to actually be able to hit elves. Playing as an Orc of Gundabad, both my arrows and my scimitar seem to swish right through them. The only way I can actually damage them or even affect them is by riding over them with my warg.

I had previously encountered the issue on a Man of Dale save, when sent by Thranduil to kill an elf in Mirkwood. At the time I didn't think much of it as the Elf happened be called Merlkir, and I simply assumed it to be an intentionally impossible battle- an easter egg of sorts. Yet, it seems that is not the case. I had no further issues then because I didn't encounter any other elves in battles - mostly men, dwarves and goblins.

Regardless, given that the forum is not full of people complaining about the same issue, I'm guessing I must've done something wrong at some point. I didn't have any issues of this kind with version 3.0, but elf skeletons were changed between 3.0 and 3,1, correct? Was there some sort of special thing you needed to do that I missed? I didn't use the patch, but downloaded the full version of 3.1 and applied the hotfixes and mods to that.

Pre-Post Addendum:
Rather than finishing the post and waiting for someone to magically know the answer to my question, I resolved to ditch the Iron Launcher and instead manually copy the files to the correct location, as shown in the manual, and the problem was resolved, i.e. I could now properly hit the elves in combat.

I found this odd, especially since I had no such issues with the previous version of the mod and the Iron Launcher wouldn't just suddenly stop working. So I had a look to see where the desktop short-cut for the Iron Launcher pointed and lo and behold, it pointed to the version of the Iron Launcher I had in the directory of the old TLD version, before the Elf Skeletons were updated. Though TLD is the first time I've ever used the Iron Launcher I can only assume that was bad. I'm guessing, and I might be wrong, that the directory from which the Iron Launcher is run determines which mod it preps to use, correct?

So, long story short, if you have the problem I mentioned, either make sure you copy the files properly, as outlined in the manual, or make sure to shortcut the right version of the Iron Launcher.

As (iirc) the Manual says, the Iron Launcher must be placed in the TLD folder. ;)

Forral: Yeah, reading comprehension FTW. It just didn't occur to me it could've been a problem.  :P

The Last Days / Re: TLD 3.1 - Bug Reports
« on: February 02, 2012, 04:33:57 PM »
Apologies if this has been previously mentioned. I didn't read the thread but it wasn't listed in the known bugs in the opening post.

There however appears to be a problem with the character generation. I started a new game, deciding to play as Gondor, and further chose to be a Clansman of Lamedon. Before selecting my gender I changed my mind though, remembering that I played my last game as Gondor too and I'd rather play as Dale. So I chose to go back instead of picking my gender and switched to play as Dale instead.

Upon spawning in the game-world I found myself wearing the armour of a Clansman of Lamedon, suggesting that the items associated with that choice was still retained even though I picked another one.

To verify that this was indeed a problem, I made another character. I chose to be of the Dunedain, went back and chose to be from Dol Amroth, changed my mind again, and in general behaved like an indecisive teenager. Ultimately my character spawned with a whole heap of equipment messages spamming my interface. Most of the items I would have received according the messages did not show in my inventory, but despite finally selecting to be from Pelargir, my character elected to spawn with the boots and armour associated with the Dunedain, and the Spear and Shield given to Gondorian troops.

So yeah, there appears to be a problem with the way that the character generation options are remembered.

TLD.808 / Re: TLD: Suggestions
« on: June 22, 2008, 06:20:20 AM »
What's the deal with those wierd springs on the sides anyways? Are those supposed to be somekind of decoration? Like coiled up snakes or somesuch? I dunno, but it looks silly to me at least.


TLD.808 / Re: TLD: Suggestions
« on: March 02, 2008, 05:54:33 PM »
While waiting for the new version, open up the module.ini file in the TLD folder with a text editor, and change "skill_leadership_bonus" to something higher when playing orcs. This gives you the advantage of numbers against the Free People.

I don't know about v 0.808, but for 0.903, that doesn't do anything. It seems easy to set the multiplier to "skill_leadership_bonus" and have it working. I say that the bonus should depend on which faction you join and the module.ini file.

The reason it's not working in 0.903, as far as I know, is because the ini value gets overridden by scripts in the Native game to incorporate your renown and such into your maximum troop allowance. Neither those scripts or renown exist the current TLD version, so the ini edit works fine.

I think the renown business was added in the 89x series of M&B, and only then did the leadership bonus settings in the ini get screwed up.


TLD.808 / Re: TLD: Concept Art
« on: November 02, 2007, 05:38:12 PM »
-Snip- people are too easily amused.

And that's a good thing, because people are also lazy, and if it was harder to amuse ourselves, chances are people would just generally be bored instead - and that'd be bad.


TLD.808 / Re: TLD: Concept Art
« on: November 02, 2007, 08:11:26 AM »
I like that helmet  :)
But...I first interpreted it as an easterling helmet, I think it would make a great vairag (sp?) gladiator helmet, or some other kind of easter infantry.

Easter Infantry?

Edit: Yeah, sorry. The things that amuse me... ::)


TLD.808 / Re: Traits --spoilers
« on: October 10, 2007, 10:58:18 AM »
So do you have to *start* battles at low health, or would it be okay to be hit in the battle to low health and simply play like that?


TLD.808 / Re: Ways to improve game
« on: October 01, 2007, 06:41:12 AM »
Or, if you're already using RCM, reverting to the native combat model could also change your experience enough to grant you a different enough experience to keep your games fun.

Personally, I try to incorporate some various house rules at the start of every campaign I play. Such as self-imposed permadeath when my whole party is oblitterated, or restircting myself to particular weapon types or armor types, not raising particular skills and the like.

Most of these things aren't the kind of things you'd be able to incorporate midway through a game, but could quite significantly change the experience of one character to another, and let you fully enjoy playing the various factions.

Something I tried that was kind of neat, was playing as the good guys with the factions strength severely dropped to the brink of extinction, and the war starting immediatly, whilst reducing the combat capabilities of the orcs units significantly as well. With all four hosts of mordor active, it made for a quite neat - heroic experience, where every battle mattered. Perhaps not very balanced, but kinda cool still.

Apart from that, I'd advice against importing characters into the game. All that accomplishes, in my opinion, is that you're powerful from the start, and things continue to be pretty much the same way throughout the game.


TLD.808 / Re: TLD: Suggestions
« on: September 24, 2007, 05:04:05 AM »
Completely unrelated to the starting location discussion, there's a little something that I had planned to suggest long ago.

Much like how your companions can get wounded when you fall in battle, I'd like to see something similiar for the PC himself. So if you fall in battle, you could recieve a wound that untill healed would have a negative impact on your stats. Perhaps even doing it like with your companions, so if you fall in battle and have wounds already you run the risk of dying (Game Over style)

This would likely have to be something you could toggle on and off through the old man, but it would add some extra spice to my experience, that's for sure. :)


TLD.808 / Re: Cheap Tricks and Good Tactics
« on: September 24, 2007, 04:55:12 AM »
If you're fighting all infantry units, and have a horse with a good charge value you cannot be defeated. Even by, say, a group of Uruk Pikemen. There's a cheap trick that buggers up their AI and their abilities to actually strike you.

Simply ride up close to them, and hold your buttons to turn left or right, and simply ride forward. Make sure there's no trees nearby or any steep hills. Then just ride in that circle without turning or adjusting your path and hack left and right whenever you get a chance. None of the enemies will hit you - ever - and if they try to chances are they'll just stab the air behind you.

You could basically win a battle like this with your eyes covered.


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