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#1 Rob38

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 07:01 AM

If you have any good ideas or thoughts about Helm's Deep Last Hope and what you would like to see in it, please let me know in this topic.  Now, just a FYI, just because you post something does not mean it is going in the mod.  I would like to hear any feedback or thoughts from the community and fans though as I am willing to consider other people's ideas.

 

My first focus (once I get my new computer all set up) is to really delve in the major gameplay mechanics of the mod.  I can work on all the artwork and models, but if I cannot implement them successfully into the mod, then there is little point to it.  Mt. first hurdle is figuring out how to manage the large Isengard army.  As most of you already know, EA handled this by creating “waves” of enemies.  The first waves were relatively easy but they became increasingly harder as the game progressed.  There are two problems though I have with EA’s wave system.  First, you never got the feeling that a massive Isengard army was laying siege to Helm’s Deep.  Instead, it felt more like multiple small independent armies attacking in succession.  Second, there was periods in-between the waves of little to no action.  At least for me, what made the Isengard army so dangerous to Rohan was its relentless pursuit to achieve their objective.  In EA’s version though, you got a breather multiple times during the level.  The last time I checked, Aragorn did not have time to stretch his legs and take a restroom break :p

 

So now comes the question on what can be done differently to resolve the above issues.  Obviously, simply spawning 10,000 enemies and having them move towards Helm’s Deep will lead to a complete and horrible mess.  There is no way the SAGE engine (and even many modern games) could handle this.  There has to be some level of structure and control so that the engine does not get overwhelmed by commands.  I have several ideas to try and develop this effectively.  What they are, I will keep secret for now until I test and see if they are even feasible.  If anyone though has any ideas that I can look at testing, I am all ears.


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#2 Mathijs

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 08:44 AM

One thing you could consider to ease the stress of spawning a huge number of units is to mix the regular models with lower-poly models used on lower settings.


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#3 Rob38

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 06:12 PM

It shall be tested to see if it effects lag substantially at all.


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#4 Mathijs

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 06:47 PM

You could also try to make the waves continuous. Have them spawn just outside of the map and run in, so it seems they came running in from the brunt of the army.


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#5 yams in a can

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 10:30 PM

Can you create a trigger that occurs when a certain amount of Uruk Hai have been killed? That way, another wave of Uruk Hai will come when there are too few attacking the wall.

 

How are you planning to implement the shield block of Uruk Hai that attacked the gate in the movie? BFME2 made the shield wall formation of the default Uruks almost look like the formation the Uruks in the movie used to attack the gate. If you could just make the rear Uruks lift their shields over their head, that would be awesome!

 

Any decision on what you are doing with the units. Haven't looked through the forums in a while, but I remember that you were trying to decide the horde sizes: between individual units, smaller hordes, and the larger hordes of BFME2 and ROTWK. I personally think that only the Isengard army should have those large hordes. The Good Faction should have the smaller BFME1 hordes.

 

Multiple camera angles would also be very nice. 


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#6 Radspakr Wolfbane

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 12:06 AM

I have animations for a testudo formation based on the Easterling animation you can have those if you want Rob.


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#7 Rob38

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 02:58 AM

You could also try to make the waves continuous. Have them spawn just outside of the map and run in, so it seems they came running in from the brunt of the army.

 

That is one of the main things I am going to do some testing on and see how it works and looks.

 

 

Can you create a trigger that occurs when a certain amount of Uruk Hai have been killed? That way, another wave of Uruk Hai will come when there are too few attacking the wall.

 

How are you planning to implement the shield block of Uruk Hai that attacked the gate in the movie? BFME2 made the shield wall formation of the default Uruks almost look like the formation the Uruks in the movie used to attack the gate. If you could just make the rear Uruks lift their shields over their head, that would be awesome!

 

Any decision on what you are doing with the units. Haven't looked through the forums in a while, but I remember that you were trying to decide the horde sizes: between individual units, smaller hordes, and the larger hordes of BFME2 and ROTWK. I personally think that only the Isengard army should have those large hordes. The Good Faction should have the smaller BFME1 hordes.

 

Multiple camera angles would also be very nice. 

 

I could but I rather have the uruk-hai army be merciless.  Didn't kill enough uruks?  Shame on you because more are coming :p

 

Yes, the shield wall formation is going to be in the mod.  Way back (it's been several years now), Cahik_ actually made me some animations for this.  I know I have them buried in one my storage drives so I plan on seeing if I can use them.

 

Yeah, individual units may look prettier but in terms of gameplay mechanics, it is more difficult.  For example, if you wanted to target a specific type of unit such as crossbows, having to click each enemy unit individually would be a pain.  I could look at seeing if I can set up default commands where you can tell a group of your units to target a specific group of enemies instead of just that one unit.  I'm still thinking how to best address this.  If hordes are used, then Rohan will definitely have small hordes (generally five per horde) while the Isengard army will have bigger hordes (12-15 units).

 

The camera system has been in the mod and will remain in the mod (with some minor adjustments if needed).

 

I have animations for a testudo formation based on the Easterling animation you can have those if you want Rob.

 

I would love to take a look at them to see what they look like.  Like I said before, Cahik_ made me some animations years ago, but if I like yours better and with your permission, I would greatly appreciate having them in my mod.


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#8 {IRS}Athos

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 03:04 AM

This is still on? That's great news! :good:

 

For my part, I'd maybe like to see a range tweak for the Uruk-hai Crossbowmen vs. the Elves/Rohirrim. In the movie, due to the height of the walls, the Uruk-hai could really only hit the archers from right below the wall, whereas the elves and Rohan archers were able to get in a couple of good volleys on the charging army before they even reached the walls. It might ease up the pressure a little bit, but with all of the siege ladders, probably not too much.


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#9 The Splat

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 05:01 AM

Hmm so spawning a lot of units and have incredible speed at the cost of less processor power right ?

 

Oddly ages ago when I was in {IP}  little attention was given to the power of good scripting in the editor and more was given to ini and scripting in those terms.

MANY maps exist that use these spawn mechanics SADLY most use the same versions.

However some don't , examples of better techniques include using a MIX of timer and area triggers ,

Maximising the if then else commands not forgoing the else.

Turning on and off scripts to free up resource space , enable disable script commands are awesome.

 

 

Side note if you could perhaps turn off a feature I once mistakenly had suggested to EA as a awesome idea (turning off the UPGRADE tags of team scripting ability would invariably allow easier scripting and faster as the program wont try and run 16-26 subroutine upgrade scripts which slows the team scripting a lot and forced most faster maps to revert to unit scripting menus due to those not loading up the subroutine scripts for each unit in the team.)

 

Subroutine scripts are a balanced yet incredibly hard to use option for one reason they stay active so its important to have minimal amounts of these to keep things running smoothly.

 

Try this example :

Have a unit "boss" model .. doesn't matter which one you pick... name it boss , change it default health value , change its team to neutral hide it off map border someplace

 

ADD a script like this lot

 

If wave=4 then

 

(have unit change team) unit "boss" joins team player X(x being the enemy player location)

{we add another thing to do}

enable script "spawner"

 

spawner ------ named script   subroutine enabled disable upon success disabled. active disabled -evaluated every change to something suitable

IF unit "boss" exists and is alive

------you can go two ways here simple and or advanced so ill do both

*simple*

then

spawn unnamed unit of type men gondor soldier at waypoint "enemy location"

have team player X hunt.

 

ELSE disable script spawner

 

*advanced*

IF unit "boss" exists and is alive

then

enable script wheres my boss

enable script location1

ELSE

Disable script spawner

Disable script wheresmyboss

disable script location1

 

 

script wheresmyboss -remove disable on completetion

 

IF unit "boss" is in trigger area "selection1" then flag named location1=true ELSE enable script "insert next area here"

 

script location1   -remove disable on completetion

 

If flag named location1 is true then

spawn unit at waypoint "location1"

have team x hunt

else activate script "insert next test here"

 

 

 

 

Sure this all sounds hard.. but its all a matter of patience and understanding ...

 

example understand the engine has many bugs , so somethings done by one script can understandably effect another.

For instance too many scripts firing at same time = OOS

AI scripts can unduly fire at times making some bugs seem to occur at different times for the same problem.

INI doesn't fix your games speed ratio unless its used in combination with good scripting practises.

 

Some things like water adjustment will only allow one line in your script or it wont work.

trial and error are good things to use along with a methodical bug reporting/testing system.

 

Checkout a few scripted maps inner workings to find out more advice.



#10 Rob38

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 07:01 AM

For my part, I'd maybe like to see a range tweak for the Uruk-hai Crossbowmen vs. the Elves/Rohirrim. In the movie, due to the height of the walls, the Uruk-hai could really only hit the archers from right below the wall, whereas the elves and Rohan archers were able to get in a couple of good volleys on the charging army before they even reached the walls. It might ease up the pressure a little bit, but with all of the siege ladders, probably not too much.

 

Absolutely this will be adjusted.  I plan on adjusting attack ranges and other stats so that all the units do not feel the same.  Siege ladder mechanics will also be changed so that enemies do not simply run up the ladders in the dozens.  I never liked how that worked or looked.  

 

@ The Splat - Thanks for the post.  I 100% agree that good scripting in Worldbuilder is absolutely essential for quality mission maps like Helm's Deep.  It can be a tedious process at times, but I find it rather interesting and an area with tons of potential.  I have reviewed a lot of EA's scripts in their campaign maps.  One of the main issues I had with their scripts though is overly complicating things.  I felt that they were checking for so many different conditions that the scripts themselves lost their effectiveness and ended up getting drowned out so to speak.  I understand that they wanted to make sure that nothing became too buggy and they did not want too many units on the map, but they micromanaged it to such an extreme that the end product felt underwhelming.   


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#11 The Splat

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 04:51 PM

much appreciated :) now EA maps are not bad..they just never had enough time nor cared to make multiplayer AOD style maps.

This in turn leaves it to state clearly you should be looking at some user made maps..

here a few names of peoples stuff you should check out (other then my own maps which most i'd redo better these days)

Redwarrior (tower wars), moria by alexyz , the great race by {IP}Notorius , Helms deeping wall by {IP}eliec , clough , jbv .

 

Please NOTE you can feel free to checkout my waves style map which was a mixture of my old methods and of cloughs set out design. ( side note I spent about 8 -12 weeks trying different designs out in order to get a decent result that was one of the better results of about 8 redo's to get it less laggy )-- I do know that specific method is not as good as another way which uses an object list method .. but that's a touch complicated and to be honest im sure that you could alter my old maps scripts to suit this purpose... and save lots of time.

 

So .. what else do I have to say ?... hmm oh yeah I can animate some basics though I don't have the w3d export tool enabled as my setup is for w3x .. but maybe I have something useful ? what sorts of new animations not already in game were you considering adding ?

*edit*

I am working on a mod for c&c 3 tib wars myself so anything I do would be slow and squeezed in between life ,work and my own mod.
 


Edited by The Splat, 31 March 2014 - 04:55 PM.


#12 Rob38

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 06:55 PM

For animations, thanks for the offer.  I will keep you in mind.  As of right now, I do not know exactly what I need until I really start delving into the mod again and figure out what I already have and what I believe is still needed.


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