Nov. 14, 2012: NBDE Removal & Quest System Testing

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Nov. 14, 2012: NBDE Removal & Quest System Testing

Post by The Amethyst Dragon on Wed Nov 14, 2012 4:45 pm

NBDE:

Due to the problems over the months (wait, years already?) that we've had with the use of the "natural bioware database extension" (NBDE) (things like losts semi-classes, quest statuses, journal entries, etc.), I'm working on removing all traces of it from Aenea. I get the feeling it just can't handle the amount of data Aenea's systems and players generate & store.

Starting today, I'm going through all the scripts and systems that use the thing. You may notice a small bit of lag when first logging in after the most recent server reset, as a new script runs through all the variables I've accounted for so far and copies them over to each character's database object (the tiny book item everyone has). I've also adjusted the scripts that call those specific variables to look for them in the new location. Here's hoping I didn't break anything too horribly. Razz

There is some data lost to this, unfortunately. So far, it's the journal entries. If you have lost your entries, you may need to replace them. The Wanderer's Portal riddles come to mind. Those can be replaced by going back and gaining them like you did the first time (by using the "clue objects"). Sorry. Most of the persistent journal code is beyond my understanding at this time (it does a bunch of stuff with counting entries and weird stuff with strings of data)...I can pretty much handle the variable saving and recovering, but the rest is a bit arcane to me.

Quest System Testing:

I am also doing away with the old scripting for pretty much all of the quests and re-writing a new system from scratch. The old system uses NBDE, so it's gotta go. All the quest data will be stored on the PC's database item. Plus, I've been wanting to recode the whole thing anyway for a long time. Looking at my notes and some existing scripts, I actually started doing the framework for this over a year and a half ago. Rolling Eyes

I've begun testing this today, with the quest to rescue little Elaine Mard, which works as planned. Anyone that wants to can do that quest again if you like. You'd be surprised how many of the bad guys spawn in that one place with a higher level character. Razz

I'm going to be reworking all of the other quests (and jobs) to use the new system over the next couple of weeks. The new system will use a lot fewer scripts (huzzah for freeing up more space in the module!), fewer conversations (thanks to the magic of stored text strings), and will allow for easier addition of new quests (finally!). I've got a list of about two dozen ideas from way back when, and will be able to come up with more once the systems is fully running every quest/job.

One or two bugs so far in the system, but nothing that affects starting or finishing the first quest. There will be some new VC commands to access information about quests...those will get added to the website, green crystal, and "help" listings (and a FAQ post) once I'm done fixing the last couple of functions (one for getting the status of any particular quest and one for a little bonus that comes with the new system).

Oh, and the new quest system won't use the journal anymore, since I anticipate it involving a lot of quests, which would stuff the journal and make it next to useless. VC commands will replace the journal, allowing you to look up current and completed quests/jobs...more details later once that function is working (in a day or so).

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Re: Nov. 14, 2012: NBDE Removal & Quest System Testing

Post by daveyeisley on Wed Nov 14, 2012 5:45 pm

For new players who have not come across this information, I do recommend at least one journal entry explaining it all, so should they go looking for quests in Ye Olde Journal, they get an immediate heads up on the changes and the syntax of the VC commands.
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Re: Nov. 14, 2012: NBDE Removal & Quest System Testing

Post by RustyDios on Wed Nov 14, 2012 7:18 pm

daveyeisley wrote:For new players who have not come across this information, I do recommend at least one journal entry explaining it all, so should they go looking for quests in Ye Olde Journal, they get an immediate heads up on the changes and the syntax of the VC commands.

Thumbs up!!

For new AND old players that might miss this update!
An old style journal quest entry that gets added on log-in would be ideal. Doesn't need to be remembered/ persistent. It doesn't have any future progress or work needed, no completion goals etc. Doesn't even matter that it gets added everytime you log in, game never remembers you had it ?(right?) ...

Code something like ;
Check if have Journal quest "blah" entry 1;
If not add entry;
else, do nothing...


Quest could even be called "Did you read this before complaining that there are no quests?" ... no one will likely take any notice ...
Quest entry reads;
Tales of your adventures in and around the land of Aenea are spoken and sung by bards and minstrels everywhere in every public drinking establishment, just so you never forget.

// OOC: Aenea uses a persistent journal database making extensive use of the custom Variable Chat (VC) command system. Just type ;;pj help to access this function and get more information for how to use your persistent journal.



Where pj stands for "persistent journal" and nearly every VC list/command/section/function has a very handy guide to its use with the help tag/descriptor added to the end of its abbreviation ....
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Re: Nov. 14, 2012: NBDE Removal & Quest System Testing

Post by The Amethyst Dragon on Wed Nov 14, 2012 7:52 pm

Yup, the plan is for a single regular journal entry with a brief introduction (VC commands, green crystal, keep an eye on the forum, etc.).

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Re: Nov. 14, 2012: NBDE Removal & Quest System Testing

Post by The Amethyst Dragon on Thu Nov 15, 2012 12:31 am

Initial version of the introductory journal entry. I'll be adding a bit about quests once the new coding is fully functional.


> Introductory Information

Welcome to Aenea.

You will find many things here that are different from a typical NWN gameworld. There are systems and items in place to open functionality and provide world-specific content. New things are constantly being added, and older things sometimes get updated. This entry should help get you a start in Aenea.

1. Character Creation: You first trip through the Astral Conjunction (the starting area of the game) will send you to another area where various options are set for your character, and where you can customize the look of your PC. Take your time and read about any options that are presented to you. At the end of this, you will be given enough XP to start out at 3rd level (2nd if taking a subrace).

2. The Green "PC Info" Crystal: A small widget in your inventory, it starts up a conversation where you can learn helpful information, and it's used to control ioun stones if/when you get them.

3. The VC Command System: Aenea uses many special commands and functions via the text chat bar. Commands can be found at the www.amethyst-dragon.com/nwn, via the green crystal widget, and by entering ";;vc help" (minus the quotes) in the chat bar.

4. Aenea is set to D&D Hardcore difficulty, which means spells like Fireball will hurt you and party members if badly placed.

5. At 2nd and 20th level, you will get an item that let's you re-level from 1st level (once per item) if you make a mistake during character advancement.

6. Healing potions and spells scale based on the target's hitpoints. See spell descriptions for specifics.

7. The first few levels for a character are difficult. Expect to die several times (or more if you are reckless). Don't be afraid to run away.

8. Spellcasters have a lot of options for spells, and many have had some alterations. Read spell descriptions.

9. Role-play is player-led. It is not enforced, but please let others role-play if they desire. If you feel like just playing hack and slash, that fits into Aenea as well. You decide which and how much of either to do, feel free to mix.

10. Aenea's players are a friendly and helpful bunch. We don't look down on inexperienced role-players, or slow typists, or players that don't have English as their primary language. All are welcome.

11. If you have ANY questions, feel free to ask anyone in-game, on the Aeena forums, or even via email (nwn@amethyst-dragon.com is the creator's address).

Too long? Too wordy? This will get added every time a PC logs in after a reset, so it's easy enough to change in the toolset.

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Re: Nov. 14, 2012: NBDE Removal & Quest System Testing

Post by Elhanan on Thu Nov 15, 2012 1:21 am

It might be beneficial if it is possible to make mini-quests for:

* Character Creation - to help guide a Player thru the process.
* VC Commands - typing ;;w, ;;t, ;;tool backup, etc being commonly used.

These among others could be seperated from the tip list, and given a little more attention as these additions are so different than most any other PW environment.
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Re: Nov. 14, 2012: NBDE Removal & Quest System Testing

Post by Eric of Atrophy on Thu Nov 15, 2012 5:12 am

Yes, I think I agree with Elhanan ... give the items that are the most modified their own journal entries, especially if these entries are the only things going into the journal. Maybe a separate note about the journal itself, as it is undergoing a fundamental change. I would say that the important stuff should have individual entries, thus stressing that it is important.

I think this is a great project - breathes life into an old journal!
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Re: Nov. 14, 2012: NBDE Removal & Quest System Testing

Post by Ramana Jala on Thu Nov 15, 2012 8:23 am

I do agree that character creation can be a little confusing for someone new to Aenea. A little more stepwise elaboration of what's going to happen, could be very helpful. It would probably be better to put it into floaty and chatbox text, other than in the journal, though, as it wasn't in my mind to look at my journal while navigating character creation. Or a prompt to look at one's journal.

Otherwise I like that introductory entry, comprehensive and friendly.
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Re: Nov. 14, 2012: NBDE Removal & Quest System Testing

Post by odbo255 on Thu Nov 15, 2012 9:42 am

Ramana Jala wrote:I do agree that character creation can be a little confusing for someone new to Aenea. A little more stepwise elaboration of what's going to happen, could be very helpful. It would probably be better to put it into floaty and chatbox text, other than in the journal, though, as it wasn't in my mind to look at my journal while navigating character creation. Or a prompt to look at one's journal.

Otherwise I like that introductory entry, comprehensive and friendly.

I think there is an instinct for the first time player to just rush through character creation because they want to "hurry up and get to the game."

To satisfy that urge somewhat and perhaps make it more likely that the player will take the character creation process a little more thoughtfully would be to place the trigger on the sleeping dragon door. This would allow the player to get in the game for a little and *then* go to character creation. Just a thought.

The journal entry looks great!

A little feedback:

Move #7 (it's hard) to just after #3 (this is how you interact with the PW). The earlier this info is relayed to the player the better. People tend to glaze over if presented with a lot of information all at once and I think by the time the reader gets to #7 (if they make it that far...) they've lost a lot of their willingness/ability to continue to absorb much information.

Perhaps even start off with #7 followed by #4 before continuing onto what is #1.

#11 has a typo for Aenea.

I'm really excited to see these changes! I've got on my "todo" list to go do the goblin quest. Glad it scales better now for epic!
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Re: Nov. 14, 2012: NBDE Removal & Quest System Testing

Post by Eric of Atrophy on Thu Nov 15, 2012 11:44 am

Yes, and I look forward to integrating the new vc options into the VC Text Friendly thingie! Already added! Woohoo!


Last edited by Eric of Atrophy on Mon Nov 19, 2012 6:49 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Nov. 14, 2012: NBDE Removal & Quest System Testing

Post by daveyeisley on Sun Nov 18, 2012 1:21 pm

The new journal entry with introductory information references the command:

;;vc help



This command does nothing. It should be listed as:

;;help
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Re: Nov. 14, 2012: NBDE Removal & Quest System Testing

Post by The Amethyst Dragon on Sun Nov 18, 2012 2:36 pm

Thanks, Dave.

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Re: Nov. 14, 2012: NBDE Removal & Quest System Testing

Post by The Amethyst Dragon on Sun Nov 18, 2012 2:50 pm

I've updated several quests so far to the new system (Darla, Farmer Swift, Farmer Mard, Priestess' Brother, and Old Man on the Hill). Next up will be some of Kerril's job postings. Yup, trying to hit the "closer to start" ones first.

I'm currently adding to the VC commands page on the website with the new commands for the updated quest system. Just waiting for the module to save (about a 3-5 minute process) before I upload the new copy of the page. The commands all worked for me in testing the last few days.

;;quest help - brings up the new quest/job system help list
;;quest list - lists your PC's current and completed quests/jobs
- - - current quests/jobs are in white text
- - - completed quests/jobs are in grey
- - - each quest/job has a 4-digit code at the end of the title
;;quest status xxxx - replace xxxx with 4-digit code to get a window with quest information
- - - replaces journal entries so that journal isn't always so full at every login
;;quest start - if you've Selected a quest starting item or job posting, this command will officially start the quest/job for you
;;info karma or ;;k - get an instant quest karma reading
- - - quest karma comes in three types (blue, purple, red)
- - - higher karma will give a small bonus to xp gained

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Re: Nov. 14, 2012: NBDE Removal & Quest System Testing

Post by The Amethyst Dragon on Sun Nov 25, 2012 5:33 pm

Kerril has a new system for jobs. Select a job posting and use the ;;quest start VC command. You only really talk to him about a job when your ready to get paid.

Several of his job postings do have requirements, which are noted at the end of the description for each. For instance, you have to do the "find the source of the undead unrest" before you can do the "destroy the source of the undead unrest" one.

More job postings are being added as I get older ones re-coded to the new system and newer ones written.

Oh, and people that don't like bandits might want to go find the guard captain in the city of Macedone. Smile

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Re: Nov. 14, 2012: NBDE Removal & Quest System Testing

Post by odbo255 on Sun Nov 25, 2012 10:26 pm

The Amethyst Dragon wrote:
;;info karma or ;;k - get an instant quest karma reading
- - - quest karma comes in three types (blue, purple, red)
- - - higher karma will give a small bonus to xp gained

What is this and how does it work?
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Re: Nov. 14, 2012: NBDE Removal & Quest System Testing

Post by odbo255 on Sun Nov 25, 2012 10:46 pm

Remi just went and picked up the Mayoral quests that have been posted.

I'm very impressed with the new system, I like it lots!

It looks like two postings kind of contradict each other and could be fixed by a cosmetic reword in one of them.

Unrestful Dead


Let the Dead Rest


Unrestful dead seems fine, no change necessary.

The Let the Dead Rest quest posting seems to imply that the Unrestful Dead quest is already completed (suggested revision below):
Wanted: one or more brave souls

The source of the dark magic that disturbs the dead in the graveyard has been discovered. The mayor of Valorian's Vale is offering a bounty of gold in return for proof that the source of evil that has been disturbing the dead has been destroyed.
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Re: Nov. 14, 2012: NBDE Removal & Quest System Testing

Post by The Amethyst Dragon on Mon Nov 26, 2012 9:53 am

Thanks, odbo255. Your rewording looks better.

As far as quest karma goes...

When you complete a quest, you get a little bit of one of the three types of karma. When you get up to a certain level in one type of karma, you'll start to earn a little bit of bonus xp during your adventures. The type of karma awarded will depend on the type of quest/job. In general, you can think of the blue karma as "good", purple as "neutral", and red as "evil".

As I add more quests/jobs to the module, there will be more opportunities to earn the different types of karma. Yes, this does mean there will be "evil" quests.

The ;;info karma / ;;k command will give a general reading of the levels of all three types of karma, but will not give specific numbers.

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Re: Nov. 14, 2012: NBDE Removal & Quest System Testing

Post by odbo255 on Mon Nov 26, 2012 4:02 pm

The Amethyst Dragon wrote:
As I add more quests/jobs to the module, there will be more opportunities to earn the different types of karma. Yes, this does mean there will be "evil" quests.


Yay, YAY, YAAAAY! To more quests!

Evil Quests, uber-yay and...


Bet you won't be able to get that image out of your head for the rest of the day...

..evil snicker
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Re: Nov. 14, 2012: NBDE Removal & Quest System Testing

Post by daveyeisley on Mon Dec 03, 2012 11:15 pm

When you enter the command:

;;help

There is no listing of the help command for quests:

;;quest help
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Re: Nov. 14, 2012: NBDE Removal & Quest System Testing

Post by daveyeisley on Mon Dec 03, 2012 11:17 pm

Portal quests (last I checked) and the macedonian guard captain 'bandit slaying' quest are no longer functional (probably still working off the old journal system)

Just a note, is all.
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Re: Nov. 14, 2012: NBDE Removal & Quest System Testing

Post by Ramana Jala on Thu Dec 06, 2012 10:01 am

I tried to pick up Darla's quest for to the mine, again (because as per my comment somewhere else, my quest states had gotten wiped --several times, I think), in order to finally investigate her further option for the Scale Armor. After a reset I went back, and Darla recognizes that I indeed do have the quest. And ;;quest list also lists that I do have the quest.

But absolutely nothing is written in my journal about it. And I don't see any new quest vc commands that give me all the info on this quest, as I without the journal entry I can't remember whom I need to go see.

[EDIT] Ah, I discovered how to get the info, ;;quest status 0004 !

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Sensate and practitioner of the Way of Pleasure.

Other Character : Ranara Duauth -
A being created by shadow and water, a wizard.
Is actually another persona of Ramana.

Other Character. : Dae, the panther,
companion to both Ramana and Ranara,
and the best real eye-witness to the
strange circumstance of those alternating personae.

Other Character.. : The Personae of Ramana Jala
NWN Username : Ramana Jala
Time Zone : US Eastern Time
Registration date : 2011-08-29

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Re: Nov. 14, 2012: NBDE Removal & Quest System Testing

Post by odbo255 on Sat Jan 12, 2013 7:47 am

It looks like the portal clues are still being lost on reset?

I picked up the clue for the forge a few days back and today it was no longer in my journal.

I noticed because today I picked up a couple of others. I'll check and see if they disappear after reset too.
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odbo255
Pureblooded Aenean
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. : Dungeon Master
Male Number of posts : 447
Age : 46
Location : Washington State
Main Character : Fren Hilg
Other Character : Isk Mool
Other Character: Remi Ferrand
NWN Username : odbo255
Real Name: JT
DM Name : Dungeon Master Beowulf
Time Zone : PT
. :
Registration date : 2012-06-22

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Re: Nov. 14, 2012: NBDE Removal & Quest System Testing

Post by The Amethyst Dragon on Sat Jan 12, 2013 10:28 am

Strange. The journal entries should now be restoring themselves after each reset.

I'll check on the Forge one. I may have missed the code for that one...I forgot that it's done by a trigger area instead of a placeable object.

_________________
.
------------------------------------- The Amethyst Dragon -------------------------------------
Creator of Aenea | Custom Content Maker | Dungeon Master | Builder | Scripter | Writer | Player | Sleepless
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The Amethyst Dragon
Ludicrous Level
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. : Creator of Aenea / Dungeon Master
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Age : 43
Location : probably on the computer or wrangling his offspring
NWN Username : amethystdragon
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Registration date : 2008-06-02

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Re: Nov. 14, 2012: NBDE Removal & Quest System Testing

Post by odbo255 on Sun Jan 13, 2013 12:41 am

I have found two more sets of codes that disappear after reset:

Spoiler:
Tesh and Macedone when obtained at the library.


Related question, is the page in the journal for player notes persistent?
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odbo255
Pureblooded Aenean
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. : Dungeon Master
Male Number of posts : 447
Age : 46
Location : Washington State
Main Character : Fren Hilg
Other Character : Isk Mool
Other Character: Remi Ferrand
NWN Username : odbo255
Real Name: JT
DM Name : Dungeon Master Beowulf
Time Zone : PT
. :
Registration date : 2012-06-22

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Re: Nov. 14, 2012: NBDE Removal & Quest System Testing

Post by RustyDios on Sun Jan 13, 2013 5:19 am

odbo255 wrote:
Related question, is the page in the journal for player notes persistent?

Yes, it is stored on your Computer in the NWN/Localvault folder as a simple text file with your characters name. It can even be edited outside the game in standard windows notepad... unfortunately this has the side effect that if you play on multiple computers with the same characters they will all have different Journals unless you update/synchronise between them...
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RustyDios
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Age : 34
Location : England // Getting lost in Aenea
Main Character : Jay Braysin, The Wandering Shadow, Protector of Nektaria, Talon's Eternal Foe
Other Character : Shouri Braysin, The Shimmerstar's Moonlight Sorceress
Other Character. : Grace Fularras, Walking Library , Cleric of Mystara
Other Character.. : See my sig ... And here too ...
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Re: Nov. 14, 2012: NBDE Removal & Quest System Testing

Post by Ramana Jala on Sun Jan 13, 2013 9:10 am

Odbo, I was going to offer that I could send you my file of all the portal codes which you can just copy-paste into your charactername.txt file in your local vault. I would have posted them spoiler-style in the forum, but I've gotten the feeling from other discussions that it's too much of a give-away to just have them all posted. But I think that just sending it to you would be okay, since it's for mitigating the frustration of this disappearing clue game issue.
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Ramana Jala
Epic Level
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Female Number of posts : 1032
Location : Earth, Sol system, in the Mutter's Spiral galaxy
Main Character : Ramana Domefarar -
Publicly a Ranger, privately an Opportunist.
Lay Follower of Jewel,
Sensate and practitioner of the Way of Pleasure.

Other Character : Ranara Duauth -
A being created by shadow and water, a wizard.
Is actually another persona of Ramana.

Other Character. : Dae, the panther,
companion to both Ramana and Ranara,
and the best real eye-witness to the
strange circumstance of those alternating personae.

Other Character.. : The Personae of Ramana Jala
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Re: Nov. 14, 2012: NBDE Removal & Quest System Testing

Post by Eric of Atrophy on Sun Jan 13, 2013 11:09 am

RustyDios wrote:Yes, it is stored on your Computer in the NWN/Localvault folder as a simple text file with your characters name. It can even be edited outside the game in standard windows notepad... unfortunately this has the side effect that if you play on multiple computers with the same characters they will all have different Journals unless you update/synchronise between them...
This is one of my favorite playing tricks, makes it especially easy to customize vc commands for each PC. I use it heavily, heavily, heavily!
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. : Dungeon Master
Male Number of posts : 3882
Age : 45
Location : Hollidaysburg, PA, USA
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Re: Nov. 14, 2012: NBDE Removal & Quest System Testing

Post by Eric of Atrophy on Sun Jan 13, 2013 11:11 am

Ramana Jala wrote:Odbo, I was going to offer that I could send you my file of all the portal codes which you can just copy-paste into your charactername.txt file in your local vault. I would have posted them spoiler-style in the forum, but I've gotten the feeling from other discussions that it's too much of a give-away to just have them all posted. But I think that just sending it to you would be okay, since it's for mitigating the frustration of this disappearing clue game issue.
I can't speak for The Amethyst Dragon, but in my humble opinion, this is fine. As you said, it is to neutralize a mechanical issue, so that makes me say "cool." Personally, I don't use the portals, because I could never figure out the clues. Teleport scrolls all the way!
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Eric of Atrophy
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. : Dungeon Master
Male Number of posts : 3882
Age : 45
Location : Hollidaysburg, PA, USA
Main Character : The Vault of Atrophy
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Re: Nov. 14, 2012: NBDE Removal & Quest System Testing

Post by odbo255 on Sun Jan 13, 2013 11:32 am

RustyDios wrote:Yes, it is stored on your Computer in the NWN/Localvault folder as a simple text file with your characters name.

D'oh I knew that...

..slaps forehead


Ramana Jala wrote:But I think that just sending it to you would be okay, since it's for mitigating the frustration of this disappearing clue game issue.

I appreciate the offer, I'm not frustrated. Fren gets along just fine with teleport scrolls. Portals just allow her to not reserve as many slots.

Reporting the issues so they can get resolved to prevent *other players* from getting frustrated. Thanks again!
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odbo255
Pureblooded Aenean
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. : Dungeon Master
Male Number of posts : 447
Age : 46
Location : Washington State
Main Character : Fren Hilg
Other Character : Isk Mool
Other Character: Remi Ferrand
NWN Username : odbo255
Real Name: JT
DM Name : Dungeon Master Beowulf
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Registration date : 2012-06-22

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Re: Nov. 14, 2012: NBDE Removal & Quest System Testing

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