Modding, Project Y4, Warcraft III

Blog 539: Project Y4 R02 Marches Onwards

Just in case you were wondering, R02 — the long-prophesied content-focused update for Project Y4 — is still in development. On and off. I got a little bit sidetracked by loads of stuff, but it’s still happening, I promise! (I totally didn’t just buy System Shock 2 either.)

Would you like to know about some more bits and pieces that are going into it? I’m sure you would, wouldn’t you? Wouldn’t you?!

Moar Equipment, Moar!

It always boils back down to equipment. After that pre-crimbo awkwardness where I unleashed the Aegis, Prox Mod and Projector Kit well ahead of their intended positions in R02, I naturally needed to add even more equipment to keep the changelog nice and long. As has been said before, I’m all about value.

The problem is that I’m running out of ideas.

Sure, Marseille’s Ricochet is still the poster-boy undercarriage mod — it’s working well, barring a few oddities where the dummy caster tries to walk around obstacles before launching the blade, and I can’t get it to play a special effect on each bounce impact. But one undercarriage mod isn’t going to carry an update, even if it does come with a whole new side area complete with a boss battle.

So I started with some very basic new equipment. There are now Amberite Shields to go along with the Amberite Swords you can get at the Foundry; nothing special about them, just a nice new look and a good bit of damage reduction. There are also upgraded Caustic Blades that become available from the gatehouse repair station after you’ve defended the Telegraph Core — very boring of me, but I might try to add in a few more of these “remixed” versions of existing items at this point for pure bulk value. Hey, it’s all new artwork if not mechanics!

A real new piece of weapon functionality comes with the G1 Cleavers, which secrete tar to reduce the attack and movement speeds of those you strike. Pretty cheap, but there aren’t any weapons that fill this niche at the moment.

Chunky like Yorkie bars.
Chunky like Yorkie bars.

Joining the ranks of the undercarriage mods along with the Ricochet will be the Spiderbot Assembler, which recycles the wreckage of fallen enemies (and friends) to produce hordes of the little blighters. Should be good for a few cheap laughs, if nothing else — you’ll get two or three bots per recycled unit.

To top off the equipment roster for now, I’ve produced a pair of blades called the “Mind Claws”, inspired by the Mind Claw weapon that was cut from Unreal II: The Awakening. I haven’t yet got the faintest idea what special power these will have, or even how to integrate them into the map; I just made them for shits and giggles. I guess they’ll be like the Dragon’s Tooth and be hideously powerful but require you to indulge in all the quests to get them. They look the business, though.

Maybe I should unshade the crystal parts so they stand out a bit more.
Maybe I should unshade the crystal parts so they stand out a bit more.

Don’t Tell The Boss

I’ve decided I want to do a few more things with some of the boss fights, just to spice them up a tiny bit more.

The HoverCon D now has Emergency Shields, which power up on its health falling below about 60% to bestow upon it a measure of damage reduction. The one’s always a short fight, so this should even the odds a little (at least if you tackle this quest quite early).

Joining the G1 Assault force will be an as-yet unnamed mini-boss, something occupying a similar niche to the Alpha mechs dotted around the facility proper — a heavy unit rather than a fully-scripted boss fight. This mini-boss will carry the G1 Cleavers mentioned above, so if you want to try them out you’ll need to go off on a small tangent.

16 damage reduction seems like it might be a little much, but I was trying harder to get a screenshot than to win... Excuses, excuses!
16 damage reduction seems like it might be a little much, but I was trying harder to get a screenshot than to win… Excuses, excuses!

I also want to do something extra with the finale. I’ve been considering some kind of plasma beam that sweeps round slowly (so lots of flashy lights and pretty easy to avoid), but picking all units in a line based on facing angle is crazy mathemagical stuff.

And then to compensate, Easy Mode might need some additional nerf. More power-up cannisters, perhaps? Or foreknowledge of what each cannister contains rather than a random effect? Your thoughts… let me have them. (Avoiding spoilers where necessary, natch.)

Any Other Issue

Well, there are still bugs to iron out, though I’m still mighty pleased by how short the bug-fix list is considering how nobody except me touched the map until R01 hit the shelves.

Probably the most obvious change is that Alphas no longer have such a terribly low acquisition range that they basically ignore you. The purchasable nuke was also broken and impossible to detonate, so it’s back to having a 10 second timer like the plot-nuke in the intro. (The intention to make it detonate by pulse cannon or artillery shell fell on its face, apparently.)

Easy Mode is also being made a little bit easier, as I’ve increased the respawn time for drones. Now clearing out a route and then dying will give you much a better chance of being able to slip back along it while the way is still fairly clear. Basically, the game is quite fiendish so I’m going to keep gently nerfing Easy Mode until people can actually be bothered to complete it.

(Of course, I’m making the fatal assumption that the difficulty is the problem, and not the complete and utter lack of signposting, or the horrendous graphics, or the pretty much non-existent plot, or maybe just the fact that it’s a space fantasy. Either way, I’m not going to blame the ModDB download mirrors seeming to be a bit wobbly for a lot of people.)

Your Thoughts… Let Me Have Them

If there’s anything you’d like to add… I would say “now’s your chance”, but R02 isn’t exactly going to come out tomorrow. Take your time, look around…

18 thoughts on “Blog 539: Project Y4 R02 Marches Onwards”

  1. How about a hardcore mode for the adventurous and those who need a challenge? No respawn crystals would be a tough challenge.


    1. Are you crazy? It’s already horrendously difficult on Normal mode!

      ON THE OTHER HAND, I have been considering an alternative mode where, instead of the AP-AM, you get a rival corporation’s equivalent vehicle. E.g. the HoverCon RM2a would be faster moving and attacking, but couldn’t use shields; the G1 Something-Or-Other might be more heavily armoured but unable to use artillery mods; the Cybrid Stalker might have guns instead of swords… These were originally ideas for making Arena Y4 a bit asymmetric, but in the end I didn’t want to overcomplicate that project.

      But since the boss fights are all fairly specifically designed to subvert the different equipment factors, I’m not sure if removing any one of them might just make one or two bosses impossible. Food for thought, at any rate.


      1. Well, it is crazy, and thats why I suggested it. It’d be fun to see how far I can get without dying!


      2. The game is not that hard , I finished it on normal and only died twice , a higher difficulty would be nice.


      3. Out of interest, what sort of equipment were you using? It may be that I need to nerf some things and/or make them harder to acquire.

        I’ve never managed the game with anything like as few deaths as that, but I guess I’m always impatient to test it rather than playing it safe.


      4. I used the repair undercarriage to prevent my health from dropping , the ammo regeneration artillery mod so I never run out of ammo for artillery ( super useful as I can just stay far away from enemies and blow them to smithereens with artillery ) , the best armour and swords I could find ( I think it was the one’s which stun which you can only buy at the counter weapon spawning point and the blue shields you buy from the factory area when you give him the asteroid ore ) , I also had the artillery range increase , all upgrades that improved health , movement and attack speed .I also go the mod that increases your pulse cannons stun duration.

        The end result:
        1.Never run low on health
        2.Never run low on artillery ammo
        3.Can use over drive permanently because of health regeneration
        4.Can almost perma-stun anything that gets close
        5.Can kill anything at range
        6.High speed allows me to avoid sticky situations and dogged attacks
        Easy 😀

        Only died at the final boss once and somewhere else ( probably from an alpha shot )


      5. I also played the game several time to discover all the secrets.
        How to defeat all the bosses , get the best gear and avoid dying
        The game is awesome 😀

        Waiting patiently for next version


      6. More info ( sorry for spam comments )

        My health was 144 , 28 damage reduction , 40 damage.

        I noticed several bus / errors

        1.If you load a game , go through a cinematic or into a new area the overdrive effect stops working , it still shows the buff icon but the buff effect stop working so you have to switch it off and on again ( the horror :O )
        2.If you skip a cinematic the camera still moves as if the cinematic is still running.

        (not a true bug more of a spoiler)
        3. You can see into some areas if you stand on the edge of a wall which can be a bit of a spoiler alert (I have seen the dazzle Alpha , pirate base and some other area )

        Should artillery work underground and in buildings , doesn’t make much sense.


      7. Interesting. Well, I guess that’s what I get for not balancing the game very well — rampant abuses! I’d say you’ve chosen the most boring loadout, but that’s what the mad equipment variety is there for!

        1. Hmm, I’ll fix that.
        2. Which cinematic(s) did this happen in? I expect it to be a localised issue rather than a wide one, no doubt I’ll have a few skips in the wrong places.
        3. Ahhh, you’re seeing them from inside the final bunker? I’ll add some more black mask regions for when you’re in there.

        Yes, artillery should work underground and in buildings — it’s actually fairly short range (the game is to scale), and the buildings are all huge high-ceilinged warehouses and caverns.


      8. During the cinematic just after you have purged the core when the G1 cooperation comes in .If I skip it my camera goes hay wire and if I don’t skip it the drones that spawn during the cinematic kills me.

        I have also just replayed half of the game and have found that I the beginning of the game there is a very small variety of types of shields a I used the same shield for over 30 minutes (basic shield) and only got a better shield after defeating Hovercron and/or after purging the core .It would be nice to have more variety in selection as I only had 3 different types of shields to select from .
        Methods to combat rampant abuse of weapon load outs
        Sorry if my previous comment offended you , I prefer picking the most straight forward and efficient load out.

        1.Change the duration of maxed out pulse cannons so that the stun duration is shorter that the recharge
        2.Make Overcharge create heat so that you cannot keep it on forever

        Keep up the good work


  2. How about a hacking\control chip of sorts? Temporarily taking control of enemy units sounds like fun. It needs to be balanced, of course, so no bosses, Alphas, or some of the unique\tougher mechs and bots.
    …Unless, of course, something like that already exists. 😛

    And speaking of people who didn’t finish the game yet… I know I’ve bitched about this enough already, but the only thing that prevents me from fully enjoying(and completing) the game is the lack of This Wreckage-esque music. I really don’t see why not just implement at least some placeholder music. I know that at least one person even offered you to help you with this, so why not take him up on it?


    1. Maybe I’m being coy about the music because I don’t want to jump the gun and put pressure on the guy, even though he’s already given me an absolutely sumptuous draft piece and promises more soon? There will be a new teaser trailer when everything is confirmed to be ready. Until then, just turn off your computer speakers and put some bangin’ techno on the hi-fi, you’re not going to miss anything.

      A hacking undercarriage mod seems like a nice idea, but then again, you can already just buy some Deltas from Factory Control — and, as you say, bosses would need to be unhackable, so you’d never get the chance to run around with more fun units. I’ve thought about it before with the caveat that hacked units would turn hostile again if you dropped the mod, but considering the relative fragility of all units I wouldn’t expect you to carry any army around for long…


  3. A deployable turret would be great as an undercarage mod .This would be a great help when you have to defend points and during the game .It could have a rapid fire low damage attack .


    1. Ahh, yes, a deployable turret. I have thought of this before, but there’s a question of how to implement it — would it be a heavy turret that you can only carry one of (i.e. using it makes it disappear like the bomb but it’s got some staying power), or would it be something smaller and weaker but more numerous?


      1. Why don’t you give the option of choosing one of sevral turrets for finishing a suvival/defence mission where some of the turrets are used so you can see them in action.


      2. The armaments will be the same as existing enemy units, so it’ll be fairly obvious what does what. I’m leaning towards the XMech rifles to start with, maybe expand into more expensive shard/rocket/cannon versions if the design turns out well. I think turrets will be sold by Factory Control, so they’re fairly handy for the Telegraph Core defence.


  4. How about something to drop distracting waggling bots or projections to slow down the opposition while you try to run away.


    1. Hmm, a decoy ward with Taunt or something? That’s not a bad shout — probably something cheap for the early-game while you’re still quite weak.


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