Okay, now I am taking liberties. NEHZ’s MountainStruggle AoS is, as the name suggests, an “Aeon of Strife” type map, where two teams of up to five heroes assist waves of spawned units as they battle down lanes to destroy the opposing base. Ever since I first played it with NEHZ and the rest of the Clan WCM crowd, this take on the AoS genre captured my heart more than any other with its tight, multi-layered landscape and Soulstone system.
Most importantly, however, it has bots — so while everyone else moved on with their lives, I could keep playing alone. And the AoS genre is about controlling a single hero against the world, as they gain experience and use abilities, so technically it’s still an RPG…
Today: the inimitable MountainStruggle AoS by NEHZ
This one is going to be controversial, because this map is not a dedicated singleplayer map: it’s co-op, for up to 7 players (odd number, but who am I to complain?). However, it can be played quite happily alone, and I do, with potentially shocking regularity. Why? Because it’s procedurally generated, that’s why! Every play-through is different!
So while this does not strictly qualify for the SPRPG Diaries by being a dedicated singleplayer map, it is a map that’s stayed with me and that occupies much more of my brain than it should. I think, therefore, it deserves some attention and discussion.
Today: the endlessly varied Warcraft Rogue by Polaris0082.
Since long before I started work on Exon, I was gripped by one action-RPG ideal: that if your sword intersected an enemy, then it should damage them. I suspect this arose from the likes of Morrowind‘s secretly dice-roll-based combat, where visually hitting somebody was no guarantee of actually hitting them.
Exon is broadly a game of melee attacks, so obviously when I started building the game I immediately implemented a system that does exactly that: using physics colliders, sword blades deliver damage as soon as they intersect a viable target.
Objective achieved, job done. So why does this system cause me so much concern?
Wait a minute. I reviewed Tomb Raider when I bought it off gog ages ago. How can I…? Oh, yes, of course — this isn’t Tomb Raider, it’s Tomb Raider (2013). Much as I can’t stand the existence of reboots that have the exact same names as their progenitors, they gave this one away for free, and, well, I had heard good things.
It’s a new decade, and Exon is officially six years old. That’s three times as old as my previous record holder, the WC3 total conversion Project Y4, which clocked in at two years. And it’s not even done yet! Not even close to done!
The Arena, however, is done. You can jump in, smash up some bots, and either win or lose. Which means it’s time to FEATURE CREEP YEAAAAAAAAAH! (It’s not feature creep if they were planned all along.)
So, did you hear that Warcraft III is getting a big fancy-pants HD remaster? No, I’m not remastering my maps, but I do want them to remain functional. Maybe I also kinda want to make something new, or finish off something old? Either way, there are some fixes that need to be done to things that did make it out into the sunshine.
I’ve been told that in recent patches, Henrik’s backpack attachment (of all things) has started wigging out. Luckily, I still remember my MDL mad skillz and took a look — turns out, the model is utterly broken and really should never have worked in the old world, let alone the new one (all its vertices were assigned to a group that didn’t exist — top marks if you know what those words mean!). A simple fix, but one that will require me to replay the entirety of both WtFSA and This Wreckage to make sure there aren’t any other bad models that have slipped through the cracks. (And yes, I’ll literally have to buy and wear every single item at least once to confirm any issues. Guess I’ll be heading for grindy-town!)
In the mean time, Jayborino had some fun playing When the Freedom Slips Away and highlighted… a couple of things I might… make slightly less obtuse… in any patch release… If you can’t be bothered playing, why not watch him do it instead?
(Not gonna lie, these videos have given this site the biggest spike in activity for a long time! Thanks, dawg!)
I’ve been replaying The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. I’ve been thinking about level scaling — the way the game adjusts the power of enemies to match your own, so no matter where in the world you go, you’ll get an appropriate level of challenge.
I don’t think it works.
I have some thoughts.
My favourite joke format at the moment is this: “It’s only X if it comes from the X region of France, otherwise it’s just sparkling Y.” In this case, “it’s only artificial intelligence if it’s from the AI region of France, otherwise it’s just sparkling if statements”. I can dunk on AI hype, you see, because I’m programming AI for my game again.
I’ve done quite a bit of AI programming already. The bots have fairly well-developed situational awareness — if they see an item they want they’ll move to pick it up; if they see an enemy they will attack; and if they are fighting they’ll use their abilities.
What they lack, however, is strategic awareness. Seeing as the Arena will have bonus objectives, and the same logic will power boss fights and full characters in the campaign, bots are going to need to that extra layer of intelligence.