Book II Mod: Return to Bastion Spire

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Book II Mod: Return to Bastion Spire

Post by MyGameCompany » July 26th, 2014, 3:56 pm

Book II Mod: Return to Bastion Spire
By Troy Hepfner

After conquering Thaermore, the Taurax are preparing to invade Mistfell. Even now, their army is gathering somewhere to the south, and they have begun to send scouts ahead to look for invasion routes. But unbeknownst to you and the other citizens of Mistfell, the Taurax are also searching for a powerful new magic... one that they can use as a weapon, and they are close to finding it. Once they have it, Mistfell will fall before them with ease!

As destiny would have it, it's up to you to stop them. Make your way south from Mistfell, find a way past the invading Taurax army, and sneak through enemy-occupied terrirory to confront the Taurax leader in Bastion Spire. You must prevent him from acquiring this ultimate weapon - whatever it is. The fate of all Eschalon is in your hands!

HINT FOR FIRST-TIME PLAYERS

There are 2 access points to this new area: the Yoma Narrows (just south of your home in Eastwillow) and Port Edon (you can now blow up the barrier to open up the Eastern Road).

If this is your first time playing this mod, I recommend that you start at the Yoma Narrows. Find a way across the river, make your way back to the destroyed bridge, and then follow the road south. You'll soon come to a decimated wagon train, where there is a dying man lying on the ground. Speak to him, and he will get you started on your new adventure.

ABOUT THIS MOD

First, note that this mod is for Eschalon: Book II, not Book III!

This mod alters 2 maps in Book II: the Yoma Narrows map and the Northern Harpoon Bay map (where Port Edon is located). It also adds 11 new outdoor maps, several large dungeons, and lots of smaller caves and dungeons to explore.

This is a challenging mod designed for high-level characters. Although the Yoma Narrows map is relatively easy (since it is just south of your house in Eastwillow where you start the game), the mod quickly becomes more challenging as you venture further south. If your character is not powerful enough to handle Fathamurk or Talushorn, then you'll struggle with the new areas in this mod too.

All of the new maps are filled with hidden treasures and secret areas. I've used a variety of techniques to hide stuff, so explorers will be rewarded.

DISCLAIMER

You install and use this mod with the understanding that Basilisk Games is not responsible for any problems you encounter, and that this mod is not officially supported by Basilisk Games.

INSTALL

To install this mod:

1. Download the zip file from:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6Ufz- ... sp=sharing
2. Start a new game, and save it as soon as the game loads.
3. Navigate to your save game slot (see below)
4. Extract all of the files from the zip archive into the save game directory, overwriting any files if asked.
5. Return to the game, reload from you save slot, and enjoy.

Note: if you want to use an existing character, you can skip step 2, but it will reset the 2 official maps listed above.

On Windows 7, the save game slots are located in:
C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\Basilisk Games\Book 2 Saved Games

On Mac, the save game slots are located in your home directory under:
Library/Application Support/Basilisk Games/Book 2 Saved Games

HISTORY

v0.9 - Initial beta release.
v0.9.1 - Second beta release
- New maps for Nightwood and Nimmia River, plus a large new dungeon
- Hooked up final "quick travel" portal in the Magician's Tower
- Fixed loot level on most containers so they yield better loot
- Fixed some impassable doorways that were blocked with debris
- Fixed wagons so you can't walk through them
- Fixed unopenable door at first new "quick travel" point
- Fixed "quick travel" portals so they don't put you in infinite loop
- Fixed holes in mountains & ravines in Misty Pass and Gambit Valley
- Adjusted wording on stone stele guarding the path to Magician's Tower
- Disabled portal on the Misty Pass map and Bastion Spire interior maps
- Misc. minor bug fixes and tweaks
- Included some hints in the mod's readme file

Note: this is a beta version. I still have 3 outdoor maps left to complete. But you can complete the main storyline and finish the mod. I'm posting it early because I'd like some feedback on the difficulty level and the mod in general. Thanks, and enjoy!

Troy
Last edited by MyGameCompany on August 21st, 2014, 8:56 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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: Book II Mod: Return to Bastion Spire

Post by SpottedShroom » July 26th, 2014, 4:02 pm

Awesome! I'm psyched to play it.

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Re: Book II Mod: Return to Bastion Spire

Post by raverdave2k » July 28th, 2014, 6:15 am

Oooooh, will be installing this tonight :D
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: Book II Mod: Return to Bastion Spire

Post by MyGameCompany » August 1st, 2014, 10:49 am

<crickets>

No feedback at all? From anyone...?
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: Book II Mod: Return to Bastion Spire

Post by SpottedShroom » August 1st, 2014, 10:53 am

MyGameCompany wrote:<crickets>

No feedback at all? From anyone...?
I had to start a new game, and I haven't got to the new content yet!

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Re: Book II Mod: Return to Bastion Spire

Post by MyGameCompany » August 1st, 2014, 12:16 pm

SpottedShroom wrote:
MyGameCompany wrote:<crickets>

No feedback at all? From anyone...?
I had to start a new game, and I haven't got to the new content yet!
Oh, ok! At least now I know someone is playing it! Thanks!
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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: Book II Mod: Return to Bastion Spire

Post by SpottedShroom » August 2nd, 2014, 7:37 pm

Are you meant to be able to access the Middleton Ranch with a powder keg? I see you can also go around to where the fence is already broken.

There's a Widget (EMPTY) in the open chest on the Middleton Ranch.

The door at 47, 40 in Central Midlande is blocked, and I don't think it's supposed to be.

I love the grain silo! Multi-story buildings are usually implemented as multiple map files, though. It might also be fun to copy in some of the outside area from the ground level maps into the upstairs ones, like is done in the upstairs buildings in Port Kuudad.

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Re: Book II Mod: Return to Bastion Spire

Post by MyGameCompany » August 2nd, 2014, 8:45 pm

SpottedShroom wrote:Are you meant to be able to access the Middleton Ranch with a powder keg? I see you can also go around to where the fence is already broken.
No. My idea was for players to look for another way in, namely through the broken fence. I put a bit of narrative near the gate, if you walk up to it, that tells you to look for another way in. Of course, if you don't walk up to it, you won't trigger that. I didn't think about making the fence destructible, though. Good idea!
SpottedShroom wrote:There's a Widget (EMPTY) in the open chest on the Middleton Ranch.
Hm... I'll have to take a look at that. Maybe I had my caps lock on when I typed in "empty"...
SpottedShroom wrote:The door at 47, 40 in Central Midlande is blocked, and I don't think it's supposed to be.
Good catch. Thanks!
SpottedShroom wrote:I love the grain silo! Multi-story buildings are usually implemented as multiple map files, though. It might also be fun to copy in some of the outside area from the ground level maps into the upstairs ones, like is done in the upstairs buildings in Port Kuudad.
Yeah, I couldn't see spreading it out across multiple maps, since the silo was so small. There's always an annoying delay when loading a new map, and I wanted to avoid that for such a small building.

I don't recall too much exterior detail in the upstairs buildings for Port Kuudad - just the 2nd floors of the neighboring buildings. I'll have to look again to see what you're referring to...

Thanks for the feedback so far! Hope you're enjoying it!
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: Book II Mod: Return to Bastion Spire

Post by Painted Lady » August 3rd, 2014, 8:13 am

I've been building a character so I can play this mod, but he isn't ready for it yet. Can't wait to be able to download it.

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Re: Book II Mod: Return to Bastion Spire

Post by SpottedShroom » August 4th, 2014, 9:16 pm

MyGameCompany wrote: No. My idea was for players to look for another way in, namely through the broken fence. I put a bit of narrative near the gate, if you walk up to it, that tells you to look for another way in. Of course, if you don't walk up to it, you won't trigger that. I didn't think about making the fence destructible, though. Good idea!
I think you misunderstood. You can always blast through fences, whether or not they're marked destructible. I just figured from the text cue that you wanted people to find the side entrance.

A few more thoughts:

The maps so far are gorgeous, with the farms and canals. It's bigger than any civilized area seen in the games before. They feel kind of empty, though. There's tons to explore but not much to find that I've seen so far. For the plot it wouldn't make sense to have tons of high-level loot lying around farm houses, but at the level you're ready to be fighting Tauraxes, anything less isn't much motivation. I know you can't add real quests or NPCs, but maybe some kind of mini-quest where you have to scour the ravaged farms for clues hidden on bodies?

You can also make fake NPCs that just say a single thing (like the dying man you implemented), which can change as the state of an unnamed quest changes. See my Book III mod for examples - it may not be a very good mod, but it does some cool things with the engine.

It might be nice to make the crops not barriers. Walking around them is a pain.

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Re: Book II Mod: Return to Bastion Spire

Post by SpottedShroom » August 5th, 2014, 7:32 pm

More notes as I explore.

It's possible to walk through the wagon outside the Trusty Sword Tavern in Western Midlande.

The door at 74, 115 in Western Midlande is broken. When you click it, it turns into a wall instead of opening, and you can walk through it when it looks closed.

There's a secret-ish area at 62, 85 in Western Midlande, but the bag there is empty. Is that intentional?

The Greymurks maps are great. I especially like the places where you can't avoid close quarters combat.

Hazel and Mazel's cottage is also particularly fun.

I just found the Magician's tower. Awesome!

I have to quit for now, but I'm very, very impressed. I haven't finished yet, but this mod seems nearly as large as Book III! With real quests, NPCs, and maybe some custom art it would be as close as we're likely to get to another Eschalon game. If I manage to work out a deal with BW to work on mod support, I'd like to add it to Book II as well so you can complete this excellent mod.

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Re: Book II Mod: Return to Bastion Spire

Post by MyGameCompany » August 5th, 2014, 8:54 pm

SpottedShroom wrote:I think you misunderstood. You can always blast through fences, whether or not they're marked destructible. I just figured from the text cue that you wanted people to find the side entrance.
Ah, I get it. Yes, that was the intent of the cue, but I didn't realize you could blast through fences. Now I have to think about whether to leave that cue in or not. I guess the tip helps players like me who don't know you can blast through fences, but it might confuse others who know you can blast open the gate. I personally don't mind if someone blasts through... I just wanted players to think a little bit about how to get into that area, and not just waltz right in.
SpottedShroom wrote:The maps so far are gorgeous, with the farms and canals.
Thanks! I put a lot of work into them. It's nice to know the effort is appreciated!
SpottedShroom wrote: It's bigger than any civilized area seen in the games before. They feel kind of empty, though. There's tons to explore but not much to find that I've seen so far. For the plot it wouldn't make sense to have tons of high-level loot lying around farm houses, but at the level you're ready to be fighting Tauraxes, anything less isn't much motivation. I know you can't add real quests or NPCs, but maybe some kind of mini-quest where you have to scour the ravaged farms for clues hidden on bodies?
Yeah, I struggled with that in the design. In fact, that was one of the last maps that I made - it remained empty for a long time, because I wasn't sure how to handle it. I wanted to remain true to the Eschalon world map, which meant there had to be some distance between Yoma Narrows and the Misty Pass. But that left a large area to fill.

Some of the bits that I read (Eschalon timeline, etc) suggested that it could be farmland, which made sense considering there were also farms around Eastwillow. But as you pointed out, farmers aren't rich and wouldn't provide a lot of good high-level loot. Besides, most of the farmers would be killed by the Taurax scouts in preparation for the invasion - which works great for the storyline and the fact that I can't do proper NPCs, but doesn't leave many possibilities for interesting places to explore or things to do, especially for a high-level character. Farms just aren't that exciting in games. And I had already used most of my best ideas in the surrounding maps.

Maybe I can build up the pumping station near the big bridge. I could add a dungeon beneath it with some decent loot and some interesting challenges. And maybe add a destroyed caravan somewhere along the main road, which could have some decent loot. And a few small caves or ruins out in the fields could also provide some interest and challenge.
SpottedShroom wrote:You can also make fake NPCs that just say a single thing (like the dying man you implemented), which can change as the state of an unnamed quest changes. See my Book III mod for examples - it may not be a very good mod, but it does some cool things with the engine.
I've already done some of that (like the tavern owner in Western Midlande, the dwarf mine foreman in the Blackrock Mine, and a group of villagers hiding in Eastern Midlande), but the limited scripting only goes so far. I'll definitely take a look at your mod, though - I could use some fresh ideas. Hopefully, the scripting commands you used are also available in Book II.
SpottedShroom wrote:It might be nice to make the crops not barriers. Walking around them is a pain.
Yeah, the editor did that automatically. I thought keeping the fields relatively small and adding some gaps in the rows would be enough, but perhaps not. I'll revisit.
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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: Book II Mod: Return to Bastion Spire

Post by MyGameCompany » August 5th, 2014, 9:11 pm

SpottedShroom wrote:More notes as I explore.

It's possible to walk through the wagon outside the Trusty Sword Tavern in Western Midlande.
Oops! Good catch! Thanks!
SpottedShroom wrote:The door at 74, 115 in Western Midlande is broken. When you click it, it turns into a wall instead of opening, and you can walk through it when it looks closed.
Hm, I thought I fixed that. Maybe I forgot to copy that map over from my Windows virtual machine...
SpottedShroom wrote:There's a secret-ish area at 62, 85 in Western Midlande, but the bag there is empty. Is that intentional?
Nope! I'll fix that.
SpottedShroom wrote:The Greymurks maps are great. I especially like the places where you can't avoid close quarters combat.

Hazel and Mazel's cottage is also particularly fun.
Yeah, I playtested the maps as a ranger, and felt it needed some places where distance-based attacks wouldn't help. I figure that if you have a high-level character build that you've been successful with, then you need to be tested in some new ways. Requiring a secondary attack strategy or putting the character in situations that don't play to their strengths is a good way to challenge them.

And I had fun building that cottage - it's one of my favorite places. It's one of the few times I was able to use the existing scripting to build the exact scenario that I imagined! :D
SpottedShroom wrote:I just found the Magician's tower. Awesome!
That was one of the first places I built, and it's another of my favorite locations. It's meant to be one of the first places that the player visits. The dying man by the side of the road tries to direct you there, but of course, there's nothing stopping players who want to charge on ahead. But I tried to make it a fun and rewarding place to visit.
SpottedShroom wrote:I have to quit for now, but I'm very, very impressed. I haven't finished yet, but this mod seems nearly as large as Book III! With real quests, NPCs, and maybe some custom art it would be as close as we're likely to get to another Eschalon game. If I manage to work out a deal with BW to work on mod support, I'd like to add it to Book II as well so you can complete this excellent mod.
Wow, thanks! It would be great to expand on it with some proper NPCs and quests. I'd also love to build a few custom enemies for it... I'd love to have a few Taurax officers that are tougher than the regular Taurax, as well as one or two other special monsters for areas I don't think you've found yet (so I won't spoil it for you).

Have you encountered the Taurax army camp yet? :wink:
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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: Book II Mod: Return to Bastion Spire

Post by SpottedShroom » August 6th, 2014, 11:07 am

MyGameCompany wrote: I'll definitely take a look at your mod, though - I could use some fresh ideas. Hopefully, the scripting commands you used are also available in Book II.
...on second thought, it looks like you're right: most of the cool stuff I did in my mod was based on the blast keyword, which lets you trigger switches and chain together scripts, and is not present in Book II.

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Re: Book II Mod: Return to Bastion Spire

Post by raverdave2k » August 10th, 2014, 7:21 am

Whoops, I can't believe I had completely forgot you had released this :oops: , will try and make a start tonight. Don't think I have any Book I saves though so will be a new game, probably be the weekend before I get far enough to see the new content.
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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