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Post by ColdWind Tue Feb 04, 2014 9:32 am

The original idea was about "trap pit" with one entrance and one exit - through the hall of Zolaras  Twisted Evil , but later I recalled the mission from HoTU, where you defending drow fortress (my favorite one) and tried to remake it for this world.

Location: Sylvan realm, fortress (new location, medium size, with teleportation magic and walls magic blocking, like inside Techian Iron fortress). Wide bridge, breakable gates, 2 towers with some elven archers (which help you at the beginning, but can be killed later), captain (NPC-spawn trigger, which starts the invasion or teleports you to the same location (technically another one) with auto-spawns).

Spawns: The invasion of K'nort Scrar army, starts with lvl 2-3 goblins, 2-3 waves followed by the wave with semi-boss, next couple of waves with lvl 5-6 orcs followed by the wave with semi-boss and so on, till lvl 40 or higher mobs. At the end there should be waves with double bosses, tripple, etc (the last waves' boss should be equal to that main orc from iron fortress or even tougher). Each boss should replace the spawn of one melee mob to avoid server crashes, each wave should have different types of mobs (archers, priests, wizards, meleers).

Rewards: ALL mobs should be empty (you can imagine the lags caused by the endless remains), only semi-bosses should have some loot, preferrably "badges", which can be exchanged for reward later from another NPC (gold, exp, BoM, +3 books or something else, or the choice between different types of rewards - that could be discussed). Starting boss (goblins wave) with 1 badge, low lvl orc with 2-3, high-end bosses with much more badges. Probably, it would also be a good idea to add 10% chance for blessed pot of escape to each boss-loot for those who don't like to die at the end Smile 

Pros: This location should be for all PC levels, classes, both for soloing and parties (the badges should be tradeable to share reward between party members), good for different tactics (a party could place tanking PCs on the bridge or at the broken gates, archers/casters behind tanks).

Cons: I can't figure out the "good" ending, but probably it shouldn't have one  Twisted Evil
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Post by Ramana Jala Tue Feb 04, 2014 12:28 pm


I seem to recall a while back coming across an Elven fortress somewhere in the Sylvan Realm, that presently you can't get into and has no interactions, no spawns in the area.  I don't recall where it was, haven't seen it since, but Crideas and Ramana went there, and wondered why the Elves wouldn't let them in.  So that might be a good place to defend against some type of orc invasion (if the orcs can find a way to survive the border crystals).
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Post by MannyJabrielle Tue Feb 04, 2014 2:02 pm

That fortress is between the Rift and the sylvan realms I believe Smile

I like the idea.... a slugfest that all levels could enjoy.
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Post by RustyDios Tue Feb 04, 2014 2:38 pm

Sounds awesome.. maybe for the loot you could use the "horde pile loot thing"...

And yes the "empty" elven fortress is at the south end of the Great Rift...
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Post by ColdWind Wed Feb 05, 2014 9:06 am

Just checked that Arrowhead Keep. Its awesome Smile But it would require some modifications (in addition to teleport and walls restrictions) - flight restricion. It's an open air location and players can just fly on the top of the castle or towers, walls. The gates are in the east side, invasion should be from west, so we need another gates: west side, much wider to avoid mobs stuck, not double like on the east (uncomfortable camera view), wide "endless" stone walls (or river) to the north and south, instant death of PCs in case of breaking through east gates with the destruction of bodies - "game over" - to avoid using invisibilities and sanctuaries, players must fight, not hide at the corners. And much more space at spawning zone, its too narrow.
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Post by RustyDios Thu Feb 06, 2014 3:34 am

Yeah it's outside but as far as I know, there aren't that many NPC's with the ability of flight (or even transference/teleport)... if it were to be set up as an automated sequence spawning the generic monsters this just goes to give the players extra advantages.

With a bit of area manipulation I think this site would be ideal for what you are describing. On the occasion that a DM gets in to have some fun as well, that is when the flight/magic NPC's come in to play.. and that makes the DM controlled battle much more memorable then the repeatable script-spawned battle... ... ..

With the entrance at the west and the main gate at the east the mobs will either a)bunch up against the wall attempting to get to PC's they can't ever reach or b) circle around to the back (~going through any player laid traps whilst being pummelled by ranged weapons)... lets face it, the Ai is pretty stupid.... ...

EDIT:: Just thought about trigger conditions.. there could be a sign in the keep that reads "beware those who rest here, for upon waking the mobs will start their attack again".. and then the rest scripts could check when someone rests/sleeps in the area and start the mob-spawn sequence... this allows a party to get to the area, discuss tactics, set-up traps etc... when someone rests the battle starts... a variable on the area gets set so any further rests do not re-trigger the sequence from scratch... however there will be a ceasefire/truce switch/catapult that resets the variable and ends the sequence after the next mob... ready to start again...

This then gives a true gauntlet style battle with the players having the option of when they think they've had enough... ..
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Post by MannyJabrielle Thu Feb 06, 2014 4:38 am

Dragons have flight. Beholders as well will 'fly' when out in open spaces.  Winged NPCs such as fraxan demons, manticores, harpies, ect... not sure if the AI makes them fly, although they technically have the capability to do so.

NPCs do not make use of transference properly.  The AI does not target a proper location for transference.
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Post by ColdWind Thu Feb 06, 2014 2:31 pm

what I meant is the players' ability to fly.
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Post by RustyDios Thu Feb 06, 2014 3:25 pm

So you want to have players on BOTH sides.. the attackers and the defenders ?
Or do you mean it's not fair because players could just hide up on a wall and never have to do any "actual" combat, because the Ai will never make the NPC's go up there ? They could just sit there and snipe at the baddies all day long... ... ...
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Post by ColdWind Thu Feb 06, 2014 4:56 pm

RustyDios wrote: it's not fair because players could just hide up on a wall and never have to do any "actual" combat, because the Ai will never make the NPC's go up there
that part
same reason for teleports, transferrence (that area already has those restrictions) and walls magic
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Post by MannyJabrielle Thu Feb 06, 2014 10:28 pm

Well, there IS Ai compensation for walls.... I found this out when Horoxona smashed down a wall of stone my ranger threw up off a custom item.  They just can't take down walls of force (which require a mords or disintigrate to take down).

A viable counter too.... bulk up on the enemy archers.  They can shoot you through walls just as well as you can shoot them.

I would rather see that the enemy units have ability to compensate for flight/transference, as it IS an integral component of some builds (farstep masters/winged subraces).  The PC could use the ability, but wouldn't be a 100% safety net as the enemy could compensate with archer, spellcasters with ranged spells, ect.
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Post by ColdWind Fri Feb 07, 2014 4:09 am

Just how many bosses have the ability of ranged fight? I can't recall a single one... Not speaking of 100% ranged defences and spell mantles.
There are lots of possibilities to avoid hard hits of the bosses for a ranged PC, excluding walls and flights to unreachable places. You can kite, summon meatshield, surround yourself with ordinary mobs (which are not dangerous for you), party with tanking PC at last. I think flight/walls/transferrence would be totally unfair.
I tried to kill Horaxona without using of walls and sanctuary at all - killed her 2 times, first hiding behind bones (used transferrence to get there), second - just hid behind those goblins which were almost harmless. Both times easy fight, didn't get a single hit from her.
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Post by Ramana Jala Fri Feb 07, 2014 8:18 am


ColdWind wrote:Just how many bosses have the ability of ranged fight?
Dragons and beholders are the first ones that come to my mind.  Veleron flew over my wizard's wall of force a few months back.  It was the first time that I'd encountered an actually flying dragon, and I was tickled pink that The Amethyst Dragon had gotten flying creatures to fly.

MannyJabrielle wrote:
I would rather see that the enemy units have ability to compensate for flight/transference, as it IS an integral component of some builds (farstep masters/winged subraces).  The PC could use the ability, but wouldn't be a 100% safety net as the enemy could compensate with archer, spellcasters with ranged spells, ect.

I agree that there are many builds that simply must be allowed to use their flight or transference in order to play according to concept and be fun for the player.
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Post by ColdWind Fri Feb 07, 2014 10:22 am

I haven't seen a beholder-boss, and dragons... well... they have breath weapon and some casting abilities. I'd call it "semi-ranged", and their flight ability is their main weakness against ranged classes - when you see it fly, you just run away from your current position, make an attack round, repeat till the end...
Everyone can get flight through ascending/boots/cloak and transferrence through an amulet with no restrictions. Race/class just makes it faster and easier... And it wouldn't be the first location with such restrictions, looking back to that Iron Fortress.
I just look at all this not like roleplayer, more like analyst, known with game mechanics  Rolling Eyes
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Post by MannyJabrielle Fri Feb 07, 2014 11:31 am

You are assuming everyone takes the ascension route, everyone has a cloak of flying, assuming everyone has or uses a small horde of jumper's amulets.

That's a huge number of assumptions.

You're more looking at it as a powergamer with utter min-maxing detail than someone familiar with overall game mechanics.  And a huge problem with that is assuming that everyone goes the AA route with +10 or greater DR penetration and super high ranged AB and UMD.  And no, it's not being a "roleplayer" by not going for that particular route.  Separate the concept of roleplaying and powergaming as mutually exclusive as they simply aren't.  With the exception of specialized weapons, only a few classes are capable of achieving greater than +5 enhancement for the purpose of DR penetration, and of those, the AA's get their +6 the second fastest (only soulfire warriors can get +6 pre epic) and can get higher than +6 the easiest (every other class is limited to +6 except the ranger, who's dragonbow spell improves AB at half the rate of AA's enchant arrow improves).  AB wise, enchant arrow also stacks with AB bonus on the bow, granting a MUCH higher overall attack bonus than any other class can achieve.  Weapon masters only get +1 AB every 4 levels? Every 5?  And that's just AB.  Enchant arrow gives +1 AB and +1 damage every 2 levels.

With that real knowledge of game mechanics, you begin to see how unique the AA class is, and how you really cannot rate combat solely by one's experience with an AA based PC.

Flight mechanics may not be perfect, but few things are in the NWN engine.  Artificially breaking the mechanics to satisfy powergaming min-maxing is not an answer however.  Areas that are teleport magic blocked is one thing, as there's no set parameters for what can or can't be teleport blocked.  What areas are flight capable or not is set however.  Outdoors areas.  Indoor areas are flight blocked, and is a logical and consistent game mechanic.

That a player can run-n-gun a flight enabled creature is simply a benefit of their flight mechanics.  It's no different than the easy way a mage can use bigbie's spells on targets to keep them at bay, or cloud of bewilderment, or grease, or entangle, or stonehold, or a number of other disabling AoEs or disabling single target spells (hold monster, flesh to stone, ect).

A far more equitable way of confronting the tools a player has at their disposal is rather than saying "you just can't use that" is to give the enemies viable counters, and group them in diverse squads. An archer, a spell caster, and a meleer would give that lone dragon a very nice range of backup power, and the PC's attention would be divided.
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Post by ColdWind Fri Feb 07, 2014 12:11 pm

I understand that, I also understand that 90% of players won't even use the abilities to fly/trans, because they are meleers/don't have penetration with ranged weapon (no AA levels)/won't even think of that possibility. But, speaking of programmers, I think module creation is quite close to programming, and each program should be tested before production. And tester's job is to find errors/bugs/disadvantages which 99.9% of ordinary users won't even notice, ever.
So, I'm not insisting on that, it's just my opinion, but " An archer, a spell caster, and a meleer..." (C) - I'll ask again, "Just how many bosses have the ability of ranged fight?". I don't care much of ranged mobs, any mobs actually.

And speaking of Wind, AA-based character, do I look like masochist?  Very Happy I'd be the first one shooting from the wall. Just fighting for justice  Wink 
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Post by MannyJabrielle Fri Feb 07, 2014 2:17 pm

What do you consider a "boss"?

High level NPC, typically several HD above the average baddies found in it's residing area and usually a single creature, or at best 3 of the type with a mob of 10 to 20 lower level cohorts?

Vorshlag/dracoliches, Nemesis, Horaxona, Ancient dragons, beholder elders, Ancient divine mummy, vampire elder, corpse eater, Gron, The Elder brain, Necronius, Ancient calithian mummy.

So to answer your quesiton: Half of them.
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Post by MannyJabrielle Fri Feb 07, 2014 2:20 pm

And those found normally in the server, not counting the DM specials or creatures that simply have not been added to anywhere as of yet.

Oh, one more, Greyskull has wings I think... he would be able to fly if not indoors.  So over half.

As for prodction procedure, yes, Aenea is a live server, and new systems/additions do not get thoroughly tested prior to release.  I do not think The Amethyst Dragon has the hardware set up for running a second "beta server" for testing.  Beta testing is done on the live server, and it's usually us the players who ferret out the bugs and such.  To be blunt, The Amethyst Dragon is only one man, who has commitments outside of running this server.  It is a perfectly acceptable tradeoff that we assist in the free creation of our little playground here with betatesting our goodies.
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Post by The Amethyst Dragon Sat Feb 08, 2014 12:14 am

"Testing"?  "Beta"?

Yeah, here in Aenea...everything new get's run live on the server.  There is no offline module that runs for checking scripts/encounters/plugins/etc.  So much depends on the database information stored on the server and on the characters themselves that trying to run the module in single-player mode to check things out is basically useless.

And yes, additional mechanics like flight and player build/play choices will almost always trump NPC AI...it just can't be as smart as Aenea players. Razz

I sometimes make characters which I specifically decide against using flight or teleportation magic.  It slows things down so that I pass through the "small stuff" more often.

As far as the castle there near the southern end of the Rift...there's a reason the gates are on the side of the castle away from the orcish lands.  A gate is a weak point in a castle wall, so it's on the side farther from the enemies.

I do agree that I could flesh it out some more.  It's on my 5+ year long list of things I want/plan to get added to Aenea.  Bigger, more planned out battles do sound like something that could be used, if I could get the scripting all planned and written out right.

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Post by ColdWind Sat Feb 08, 2014 12:09 pm

See, that's what I'm talking about. I am totally agree, that it's better when players can use all possibilities, but it's impossible to make AI react properly for custom added stuff. The Amethyst Dragon made flying, teleporting system, but how you can change AI for all of that? It's a closed code. So let's just leave those possibilities for travelling uses, like it was called, "travelling magic".
And what I call a boss - it's a concept of the strongest guy in an area. It could be a skeleton warrior among the simple skeletons for low level players, or it could be the elder brain (all right, that one is totally ranged, I agree) among mind flayers, or even a mind flayer among a bunch of cave goblins, all depends on a module builder's ideas, and no, it's not a group of beholder elders amond a larger group of beholders, because the area is not properly set for calling them bosses - random qtty spawn etc.
It's kinda hard to explain what I exactly want to describe, it's because of my language issues, so you must excuse me for that long topic Smile

added:
answering your question. It's just my point of view and it is connected to area setups on aenea at this moment:

MannyJabrielle wrote:What do you consider a "boss"?

High level NPC, typically several HD above the average baddies found in it's residing area and usually a single creature, or at best 3 of the type with a mob of 10 to 20 lower level cohorts? yes

Vorshlag yes/dracoliches no, Nemesis partially, but yes, Horaxona yes, Ancient dragons no, beholder elders no, Ancient divine mummy that one with scimitar? yes I guess, vampire elder yes, corpse eater yes, Gron I guess I missed that one, but if he has the name..., The Elder brain totally, best example with Horaxona, Necronius ?, Ancient calithian mummy yes.

So to answer your quesiton: Half of them. no  Very Happy 
Manny, you can make a fighter-wm pc andgive him a bow, very nice, mighty bow, and with your pc's great strength you would hit very hard from it, with good enough attack, at least against simple baddies, but can you call it ranged-oriented pc? By calling one ranged, I mean that its main attacking potential is ranged, not just he has some limited abilities of ranged fight (like dragons). I'll write it again - best example is The Elder Brain
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Post by MannyJabrielle Sat Feb 08, 2014 12:55 pm

But flying is not magic... O_o

Transference is yes, a short range teleport, but I somehow cannot see it being SOLELY as teleporting.  It's a tactical tool just like flying up onto a cliff side, or the other side of a river or chasm, ect.  The primary difference is one can work indoors, but can be blocked either by area setting, or by the teleport barrier spell (which is yes, a way for the AI to compensate).  It's really incredibly inefficient as "travelling" magic.

And I really do not recall where anywhere it's described as "travelling" magic with absolutely no other intended use than purely out of combat travelling.

If the goal is to deny PCs of use of their abilities based not on any other logic than "the AI can't respond very well", you'll also have to logically deny the use of more than just flying/transference.

The AI will barrel through AoE's such as grease rather than run around them.  Can't react well, so that earns the "artificial ban" criteria.

AI archers will switch to melee weapons if they have them, but otherwise stand at melee range with PCs, opening themselves up to AoOs rather than running out to range like PC archers will do..... ban.

Melee AI will easily get stuck behind terrain obstacles or placeable obstacles, and still try to "get at" the PC archer rather than saying "hmm, let me run around the corner and make him chase me, I got a bunch of buddies over there who'd help me mob him".  Ban.

Yes, the AI is incredibly stupid.  The answer isn't an artificial ban on the abilities of the PCs, but to tweak the NPCs to better handle the specific situations, either on an individual basis, or in the group composite.

There is AI for handling walls (except for force walls).  Throw in handling of force walls (add in NPCs who'll nuke them with disintergrates and mords), and tweak general AI to beat down stone/ice/iron walls like Horoxona, that covers the wall spells.

Transference.... a caster with teleport barrier.

Flying... yes, it's very easy to have a dragon chase you around and get in free shots.  Not so easy if that dragon has a horde of minions with it also chasing you/shooting you from ranged.

I'd even say a suggestion that if a PC "flies" in combat with a dragon or other flyer, the enemy flyer automatically takes flight along with the PC, and gets a 'mid air tackle' chance, knocking the PC back down to the ground with some damage, preventing them from freely going to where they wanted to go, and the enemy flyer lands next to the PC they engaged in mid-air.

The closed code is not permenantly closed Razz
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Post by ColdWind Sat Feb 08, 2014 2:46 pm

Come on man, it's just a dream, and we're talking of real things. You just can't make a script which would react on my flying to the wall, and let's get back to the story, flying orcs? Really?
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Post by The Amethyst Dragon Sat Feb 08, 2014 5:56 pm

Flying orcs?   Twisted Evil

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Post by MannyJabrielle Sat Feb 08, 2014 7:55 pm

Hrmm... flying orcs....

There's orc druids.... wildshape....

New idea for a new epic baddie.... epic orc shifters with dragonshape.... hrmm... Gotta go test that in my build module.... Very Happy
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Post by Angel of Death Sun Feb 09, 2014 5:07 am

Orc riders flying on wyvern- or dragonback?! A deadly rain of arrows and fire from above!  Twisted Evil
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Post by Mecheon Mon Feb 10, 2014 1:46 am

The Amethyst Dragon wrote:Flying orcs?   Twisted Evil
I assume orcs can get winged as much as a player race
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Post by MannyJabrielle Mon Feb 10, 2014 5:02 am

Indeed they can....

Which makes you reconsider the phrase "when pigs fly...." Laughing
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