Planning for new mod: Large dungeons in west Astral Range

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Weird Heather
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Planning for new mod: Large dungeons in west Astral Range

Post by Weird Heather » April 20th, 2014, 3:47 pm

Please note that unmarked spoilers are possible in this thread.

I have been doing some planning for a new large mod, and I wanted to mention it here and solicit suggestions. This will be a large multi-map mod consisting of dungeons and some above-ground areas. The entrance to the dungeons will be somewhere near the western edge of the Astral Range. In the regular game, there isn't a lot going on there, so it seems like a good place to put something. Also, it could potentially connect to new above-ground areas north of the mountains. I don't currently have plans to build up all of that area (although I might eventually do it if nobody else does), but I could coordinate with another modder and perhaps provide a map for the other end of the dungeon network to connect with another person's mod for the areas north of the Astral Range.

This will be a very difficult mod designed for characters who are at end-game strength and who have played the other mods. It will probably be a lot harder than the end game sequence.

Here are the main parts of the mod.
[+] SPOILER
1. The dungeon entrance in the western Astral Range. This will be the only existing map to be modified.
2. A multi-path access to the interior. This will be split into six paths, each of which is a test for a different type of character. It will only be necessary to go through one path to access the interior, but it will be possible to go through all six (and there will be a very nice reward for completing all six). Each path will be large and will have its own map. Once a player has gone through one of the paths, an easy path to the interior will open. Each path will be a one-way path; a player who enters one of the paths will either come out through the other end or die trying.
3. The interior of the dungeon. I don't want to put a lot of details here since that would involve a lot of spoilers, but it will be a large area, perhaps occupying two or three maps, and most likely consisting of natural caves and constructed mines and dungeons. This will be a very dangerous and difficult place, but it will have a few nice surprises. I might try to work in some back story that will make sense in the context of the game.
4. Above-ground areas in the mountains. The dungeon will potentially have multiple egresses into isolated places within the mountains. Just how many there will be depends on how much time and energy I have. If somebody else wants to create one, I would be happy to provide a dungeon egress for their area.
5. Above-ground area north of the mountains. The dungeon will have an egress into the region north of the mountains. This area could be interfaced with other mods for this region. Until other north-of-mountains mods are created, it will be a small area and access to other above-ground areas will be blocked off. Another option - perhaps a good one if this area turns out to be incompatible with other mods - would be for this location to be an island instead.
6. Depending on how things go, possibly some other areas.
I plan to split this mod into three phases to make development easier and to allow me to release parts of it for people to play while I continue working on the rest.
[+] SPOILER
1. The entrance in the western Astral Range, two or three of the six entrance paths, and a small part of the dungeon interior (with a nice reward to make all of the trouble worthwhile).
2. The rest of the entrance paths, enough of the dungeon interior to reach one of the egresses, and a small above-ground area.
3. The remainder of the dungeon interior and the above-ground areas.
Here are my ideas for the entrance paths. I am interested in suggestions and comments for these. For those who want to wait until the mod is ready, I have put these in spoiler tags.
[+] SPOILER
1. For fighters and battle mages. This path will be loaded with many of the toughest monsters in the game.
2. For rangers (and mage equivalents). This path will require action at a distance (i.e. firing arrows or spells at monsters or things) and will be easier for those who have good mapping abilities.
3. For rogues and elemental mages with the appropriate spells. This path will be full of locks, traps, and spot-hidden checks. I might also try to place some of the monsters such that the ability to move silently and/or hide in shadows will come in handy for those who want to sneak past them.
4. The resistance path. There will be numerous ways to suffer elemental damage or to become poisoned, diseased, or possibly cursed, so characters with good resistance levels and/or the ability to cure such afflictions will have an easier time.
5. For those who can burn, bash, or explode their way through obstacles. Powder kegs, demon oil, and bludgeoning or cleaving weapons will come in handy.
6. For those of any character type who like to solve logic puzzles and riddles. I am trying to come up with some riddles and other wordplay puzzles for this path; I plan to use some classics, and I plan to lift some from old games, but I would like some original ones as well. Additionally, there will be logic puzzles - perhaps lever puzzles, math puzzles, and/or teleporter mazes. If anybody has suggestions, please reply to this thread and use spoiler tags.
In the first phase of the mod, I plan to build Paths 1 and 4, and I will release the mod when they are ready. Hopefully I can get this done in two or three weeks. I have been thinking about this mod for some time, but I wanted to wait until I was ready to start before creating this thread. I'm finally ready to start building it, so I'm ready for people's suggestions.

Please reply with comments and suggestions, and put any specific puzzle ideas in spoiler tags so that people who might play the mod don't have to read them.

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Re: Planning for new mod: Large dungeons in west Astral Ran

Post by MyGameCompany » April 20th, 2014, 9:04 pm

It sounds like it will be a great mod. I like riddles. If you're looking for riddle ideas, there is of course The Hobbit, with the riddle game between Bilbo and Gollum. The old Sierra adventure game, Conquests of Camelot had some good ones too. http://sierrahelp.com/Hints/ConquestsOf ... ddles.html

I've been waiting to see if any other modders were going to tackle Fandugan before I did, so I don't have any immediate plans for a mod there. I've got some other mod ideas for Books I and II that I'm working on now.
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Check out my Book III mods: The Mystery of Rockhammer Mine and Expedition into West Mirkland

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Re: Planning for new mod: Large dungeons in west Astral Ran

Post by mercy » April 21st, 2014, 6:24 am

Basilisk did a fantastic job, but the problem with this game after about 24-30 hours of gameplay [thats what is says in the save menu] - after looting the hell out of chests and fighting monsters than it runs out of new things, touches the ground, plus:

- There should be impact hits from weapons that hurl the player and monsters backward
- lots of bigger monsters are needed
- area effect spells like the awesome fireball are needed.
- new tactical turn based elements
- collapsing structures, caves, pits
- demons from Hell
-

But of course that would require work no one is willing to do. And it can only be done by a capable team with strong funding and Art Direction. Good old physics effects found in Helherron (size of blood fountains signalling severity of hits), lots of monster summoning, stealing from people and from shops, tactical turn-based combat, all this combined with a graphics quality of an Eschalon/Pillars of Eternity mix. There is simply no good party based RPG with isometric view over the battlefield. Knights of the Chalice 1 is that with simple graphics, hopefully Knights of the Chalice 2 will satisfy this great need.

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Re: Planning for new mod: Large dungeons in west Astral Ran

Post by shylo32 » April 22nd, 2014, 8:11 pm

Will you be leaving slight clues in unusual places for some of your riddles?....love riddles by the way. I am playing with the 2 mods that you have done and the 2 that MyGameCompany did and having a blast with them. They are great...that tower is diabolical..lol...keep up the great work. Have a question for you, what approximately is end game strength or level of character that will be able to do this new mod? Didn't phrase that too well, but you probably know what I'm asking.
[+] SPOILER
How about a secret area somewhere that has a clue for a difficult riddle...said difficult riddle being made that way on purpose.
Please keep up the great work, husband and I love the mods so far. So from us to you, Thank you!!

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Re: Planning for new mod: Large dungeons in west Astral Ran

Post by shylo32 » April 22nd, 2014, 8:17 pm

MyGameCompany wrote:It sounds like it will be a great mod. I like riddles. If you're looking for riddle ideas, there is of course The Hobbit, with the riddle game between Bilbo and Gollum. The old Sierra adventure game, Conquests of Camelot had some good ones too. http://sierrahelp.com/Hints/ConquestsOf ... ddles.html

I've been waiting to see if any other modders were going to tackle Fandugan before I did, so I don't have any immediate plans for a mod there. I've got some other mod ideas for Books I and II that I'm working on now.
Love your mods also, so glad to hear that you will be doing more. Maybe you 2 should team up and do a few, that would be amazing. Thanks for what you've done so far.

Husband and I are patiently waiting for someone to do some mods for Book 2 also. HINT..HINT...lol.

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Re: Planning for new mod: Large dungeons in west Astral Ran

Post by Weird Heather » April 22nd, 2014, 9:17 pm

I am hoping to make this mod reasonably challenging even for a character at about Level 20 who has retrieved the nice loot from the other mods. Since there is a limit to monster difficulty, I'll have to try to come up with other challenges. Some challenges, such as puzzles, will not depend on the character's level or skills, but will instead depend on the player's problem solving ability and general experience with games of this sort.

As for the riddles, whether or not there are clues will likely depend on the difficulty and familiarity of the riddle; some of the easier old classics probably don't need too many clues, and logic puzzles should be possible to solve through application of logic alone. The riddle/puzzle entry path will probably take me some time, so it won't likely be included with the preliminary release.
[+] SPOILER
Putting clues in hidden areas seems like a good idea; I'll consider doing this for the more difficult riddles and puzzles.
The new features that Mercy (and I'm sure many others) would like are not generally possible with the editing tools in their current state. The best I can do with monster difficulty is to increase their numbers and have them attack a player in a location where the player can't easily hide or run away. If the tools eventually provide the ability to create new monsters, then it will be possible to add some very nasty ones to a mod like this.

Collapsing structures and similar features are potentially feasible with the current editing tools through the use of some creative scripting; I will investigate the possibilities there.

I have thought of two more possible entry paths. Depending on how much time and energy I have, I might implement them.
[+] SPOILER
1. The Path of Wealth - A player with lots of wealth can purchase easy access to the interior of the dungeon, but the price will be very high.
2. The Path of Poverty - A player must get rid of gold, gems, and gold bars before starting down this path. Scripting for this path might be challenging. A test in one of the temples in Ultima VII Part 2 gave me this idea.
I have begun editing the map where the dungeon entrance will be. I probably won't get a lot done during the work week, but I hope to have the entrance and parts of one of the six entry paths completed this weekend.

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Re: Planning for new mod: Large dungeons in west Astral Ran

Post by MyGameCompany » April 22nd, 2014, 9:23 pm

shylo32 wrote:Love your mods also, so glad to hear that you will be doing more. Maybe you 2 should team up and do a few, that would be amazing. Thanks for what you've done so far.

Husband and I are patiently waiting for someone to do some mods for Book 2 also. HINT..HINT...lol.
Thank you! And I'm working on a Book II mod now. It's a huge mod, so will probably take awhile, but I think it will be worth the wait...
Troy
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Check out my Book III mods: The Mystery of Rockhammer Mine and Expedition into West Mirkland

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Re: Planning for new mod: Large dungeons in west Astral Ran

Post by raverdave2k » April 23rd, 2014, 2:56 am

shylo32 wrote:
MyGameCompany wrote: Husband and I are patiently waiting for someone to do some mods for Book 2 also. HINT..HINT...lol.
Hi,

See my signature for links to a couple of mods I made for Book II a few years ago.
My modifications for Eschalon Book I: RaverDave's Book I Mod
My modifications for Eschalon Book II: Port Kuudad Tower - Now Open, Treasure Of The Orakur

All previous versions avaliable here

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Re: Planning for new mod: Large dungeons in west Astral Ran

Post by shylo32 » April 23rd, 2014, 4:36 am

raverdave2k wrote:
shylo32 wrote:
MyGameCompany wrote: Husband and I are patiently waiting for someone to do some mods for Book 2 also. HINT..HINT...lol.
Hi,

See my signature for links to a couple of mods I made for Book II a few years ago.

Hi! Sorry, I didn't realize someone had done mods for Book 2. We will definitely check them out, thanks for letting us know.

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Re: Planning for new mod: Large dungeons in west Astral Ran

Post by Lord_P » April 24th, 2014, 1:03 am

If you want a good list of mods, head to xolotl's site for a good list of Eschalon mods for all three games.

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Re: Planning for new mod: Large dungeons in west Astral Ran

Post by Weird Heather » May 3rd, 2014, 10:24 pm

Here is a brief status update.

The modifications to the western astral range map are complete. The dungeon entrance and the areas leading to it are done and tested. I have decided to call it the Catacombs of the Mithril Clan. I'm still working on the back story, but it is essentially a large burial ground for an ancient clan of dwarves (and their friends/allies), along with other associated areas.

The main level of the dungeon is in progress. The room that contains the doors to the multiple entry paths is complete, and the doors are all set up to go to the paths as I create them. A few temporary hallways connecting everything together are also in place. As soon as I have two or three good entry paths completed, I'll release an alpha version.

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Re: Planning for new mod: Large dungeons in west Astral Ran

Post by leonxim » May 11th, 2014, 12:28 pm

If possible... please add some small tribal kind of city in it. not in the dungeons but in open. like higher northern lands where we could trade also.
[+] SPOILER
don't let us spent our single piece of gold for entrance :twisted:

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Re: Planning for new mod: Large dungeons in west Astral Ran

Post by Weird Heather » May 11th, 2014, 3:30 pm

At this point, it isn't possible to create new NPCs, so any city would have to be abandoned and/or full of monsters. It is a worthwhile idea, however; a small isolated village in one of the above-ground areas would be a good addition. I'll probably add an abandoned one for now, and if the editor eventually allows us to create new NPCs and dialogue trees, I'll populate it.

I have found that it is possible to create simple vending machines using scripting; there are a few of these in my alchemist's tower mod. This method is far more limited than a merchant, but it does provide a way to make critical items, such as potions or food, available. There will likely be a few vending machines in this mod to provide food, potions, healing, training, monsters to fight, or other goods and services.
[+] SPOILER
There will be eight parallel entry paths; one or two may deprive the player of wealth, but others may enrich the player. It will only be necessary to pick one to get into the dungeon, but there will be a nice reward for people who are brave or stupid enough to go through all eight.
I'm still picking at it, but I don't have an alpha release yet. I will be very busy next week and next weekend, so it will probably be two or three more weeks before I have a few entry paths ready for people to try out. The full development of this mod could be a lengthy process.

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Re: Planning for new mod: Large dungeons in west Astral Ran

Post by leonxim » May 12th, 2014, 7:06 am

Weird Heather wrote:At this point, it isn't possible to create new NPCs, so any city would have to be abandoned and/or full of monsters. It is a worthwhile idea, however; a small isolated village in one of the above-ground areas would be a good addition. I'll probably add an abandoned one for now, and if the editor eventually allows us to create new NPCs and dialogue trees, I'll populate it.

I have found that it is possible to create simple vending machines using scripting; there are a few of these in my alchemist's tower mod. This method is far more limited than a merchant, but it does provide a way to make critical items, such as potions or food, available. There will likely be a few vending machines in this mod to provide food, potions, healing, training, monsters to fight, or other goods and services.
[+] SPOILER
There will be eight parallel entry paths; one or two may deprive the player of wealth, but others may enrich the player. It will only be necessary to pick one to get into the dungeon, but there will be a nice reward for people who are brave or stupid enough to go through all eight.
I'm still picking at it, but I don't have an alpha release yet. I will be very busy next week and next weekend, so it will probably be two or three more weeks before I have a few entry paths ready for people to try out. The full development of this mod could be a lengthy process.
Sounds great :) Please take your time :wink:
i remember only one machine in Alchemist Tower which was located in the northwest of the last room. its a good idea, i'll be waiting.

While reading some posts here yesterday i realized that i missed the Scorpion Cave in southwest of Rockhammer. i played it & again one of the barrel made me laugh the same way it happened with me in Alchemist Tower. Thanks for that & again it was a brilliant idea. i don't reckon any such event happening while playing other games that i suddenly laugh. Appreciate that innovation :)

Totally Insane :lol:

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