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Equipment Restrictions & Balance
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Ever wanted to play Descent 1, 2, and Vertigo in a single mission? That's what we're trying to create.
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TOPIC: Equipment Restrictions & Balance
#183
Equipment Restrictions & Balance 2010-06-06 23:35, 9 Years, 4 Months ago Karma: 5
In this mission, the levels of the Solar System are supposed to emulate those from the first game, and therefore I decided that no D2 weapons, missiles and equipment should be included in these. This will allow the player to come very close to experiencing the feel of Descent 1 (amplified only by new enemy robots), and then rapidly switch to the D2 game style proper, when levels outside of the Solar System are accessed. This will also work wonders for the difficulty level, as those used to, for example, having Gauss around, will have to stick to Vulcan for the time being. Since weapons like Vulcan, Spreadfire and Lasers lvl 1-4 become obsolete once their D2 upgraded equivalents are obtained, the lack of such weapons in the Solar System levels will let the player use the basic ones til' his heart's content.

There will be two secret levels in the Solar System, both of which will be heavy, difficult levels like in D1, also set in the Asteroid Belt. The first level will come about halfway through the Solar System, and I think it would be a good thing to include some Descent 2 supplies there, but only the ones that a player can run out of, like flash missiles, smart mines and guided missiles. The numbers will be 8, 4, 4 respectively, and these will be the only Descent 2 supplies available until the second secret level, which takes place after the last regular mine of the Solar System is cleared, anyway. The second secret level will contain liberal amounts of Flash and Mercury missiles (thanks to Sidearms and Seekers), and also 8 Smartmines, but other than that it'll still be all Descent 1 weaponry.

Powerups like the Ammo Rack, Energy=>Shield Converter, Headlight and Afterburner are also forbidden in regular Solar System levels. The Headlight and the Converter will be placed in the first secret level, while the Rack and the Afterburner will be found in the second.

Once the Zeta Aquilae levels are reached, Descent 2-exclusive cannons will start appearing, so Super Lasers, Gauss, Helix, Phoenix and Omega will all be found in time. Guided Missiles will be included from there on, and enemies wielding Flash and Mercury Missiles will also start appearing, as well as the missiles themselves in packets. The introduction of Omega and the Earthshaker should be in the third secret level, but only with a single missile. In the regular levels, shakers should start appearing around level 35, not earlier.
Xfing
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Last Edit: 2010-06-06 23:54 By Xfing.
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#186
Re: Equipment Restrictions & Balance 2010-06-07 07:25, 9 Years, 4 Months ago Karma: 2
I definetely agree with this... imo D2 Counterstrike gave out the powerful weapons and inventory way too soon. D3 did a good thing in that you lose the energy/shield converter when you progress levels... in D2 you get too used to it... Case in point: I use it whenever I can, so I almost never have enough energy to use the helix or phoenix cannons.

Do you think the player should only get the D1 demo weapons by the time they face the first boss in the D1 style levels?
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#189
Re: Equipment Restrictions & Balance 2010-06-07 14:52, 9 Years, 4 Months ago Karma: 5
Hmm. That's definitely a possibility to consider. We'd have to place the boss early enough, though.

I'm learning about HXM and V-HAM files. If we made a V-HAM, it would be possible to add robots instead of replacing them. We could easily extract both the bosses from Vertigo (and any robots for that matter if we wanted to), and create new ones, that being the D1 bosses. To that end, we could simply pick the template of the Red Fatty Boss for example, change its model, texture, weapons and all other stats to match those of the original D1 boss (we could rely on the data from D2.HAM for this one, dabbling in D1 files wouldn't even be necessary).

This way we could have 10 bosses throughout the mission. Thrilling as hell, if you ask me
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#194
Re: Equipment Restrictions & Balance 2010-06-07 15:25, 9 Years, 4 Months ago Karma: 2
Xfing wrote:
Hmm. That's definitely a possibility to consider. We'd have to place the boss early enough, though.

I'm learning about HXM and V-HAM files. If we made a V-HAM, it would be possible to add robots instead of replacing them. We could easily extract both the bosses from Vertigo (and any robots for that matter if we wanted to), and create new ones, that being the D1 bosses. To that end, we could simply pick the template of the Red Fatty Boss for example, change its model, texture, weapons and all other stats to match those of the original D1 boss (we could rely on the data from D2.HAM for this one, dabbling in D1 files wouldn't even be necessary).

This way we could have 10 bosses throughout the mission. Thrilling as hell, if you ask me


The downside is that players will need to have the Vertigo Series installed. And that's pretty hard to aquire nowadays.
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#196
Re: Equipment Restrictions & Balance 2010-06-07 15:33, 9 Years, 4 Months ago Karma: 5
Alter-Fox wrote:
Xfing wrote:
Hmm. That's definitely a possibility to consider. We'd have to place the boss early enough, though.

I'm learning about HXM and V-HAM files. If we made a V-HAM, it would be possible to add robots instead of replacing them. We could easily extract both the bosses from Vertigo (and any robots for that matter if we wanted to), and create new ones, that being the D1 bosses. To that end, we could simply pick the template of the Red Fatty Boss for example, change its model, texture, weapons and all other stats to match those of the original D1 boss (we could rely on the data from D2.HAM for this one, dabbling in D1 files wouldn't even be necessary).

This way we could have 10 bosses throughout the mission. Thrilling as hell, if you ask me


The downside is that players will need to have the Vertigo Series installed. And that's pretty hard to aquire nowadays.


No, I don't think they'd need the Vertigo Series at all. All the data would be extracted from the D2X.HAM file found inside D2X.HOG. The two Vertigo boss robots would be extracted entirely, and put in another V-HAM along with the renewed versions of the D1 bosses. The v-ham would go into the mission's HOG, so all the needed data would be already there.
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#197
Re: Equipment Restrictions & Balance 2010-06-07 16:20, 9 Years, 4 Months ago Karma: 2
But I think you need to have the Vertigo Series for D2 to be able to read the V-Ham (I believe it's a slightly different format because using a normal HAM would overwrite everything.)

I'll see if I can check this. The only mission I know that used V-Hams was Entropy 2 Vengeance (it required Vertigo), but unfortunately it's impossible to contact Luke Schneider.

EDIT: Can the full map be included in D1 levels? Imo it should have been in D1 to begin with, and I'm like DFW in that I try to put one in all my levels (though I could make an exception if I had to.)
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#218
Re: Equipment Restrictions & Balance 2010-06-07 21:48, 9 Years, 4 Months ago Karma: 5
Alter-Fox wrote:
But I think you need to have the Vertigo Series for D2 to be able to read the V-Ham (I believe it's a slightly different format because using a normal HAM would overwrite everything.)

Nah. It's the HXM's that overwrite everything. Having a HAM inside of a HOG just adds stuff. We could as well copy the d2x.ham and have all the Vertigo robots at our disposal too. Nobody would sue us

Nah, but seriously. We could use the Vertigo bosses at least. Including the rest of the robots is open for discussion.
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#249
Re: Equipment Restrictions & Balance 2010-06-11 00:36, 9 Years, 4 Months ago Karma: 1
I'd include the rest, but I've never gotten Vertigo to work. With robots, the more the merrier. (types).
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