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Development Stuff

Post  Karifean on Fri Aug 03, 2012 1:47 pm

I've recently gotten into developing this map again, and there's a bunch of stuff I'd like to talk to you guys about. The bazaar system is almost finished, though it seems my fellow devs have gone on vacation. This topic will probably contain a lot of spoilers if you don't want to know yet what's to come in 0.9.3.

1. Cactuars and Malboros (DONE)

2. Coliseum
The Coliseum or Battle Arena is something I specifically would like to see in 0.9.3. Problem is, it's a hell of a lot of work. I don't really want to cut it from the release, and cutting it would mean cutting a lot of new stuff, but it would certainly delay the release by a lot if it weren't. In case you're wondering, the Coliseum system is modeled after X-2's.

3. Class Rebalancing
Something I'm shooting for is having each and every class in the game have its own purpose even post-game. This is not easy to do, however, and there's a bunch of stuff that's hard to balance out. First of all, I'm unsure whether the jobs' attack rate should be generally reduced, since it is so easily maxed out and it kind of sucks when the delay between attacks is like 0.01 seconds. Secondly, maybe the stats should be balanced out. As is it, the Chemist's Strength, Agility and Intelligence is inferior to say the Sorcerer's in every way. What do you think?

4. Handicap Scaling
We already have a separate topic for this, I just wanted to remind you that the issue is not quite resolved yet.

5. FFERPG Wiki
I started this a long time ago when I was bored, but it's still up and you are free to contribute if you like. Props to prime_genx for a lot of contributions.
http://fferpg.wikia.com/wiki/Final_Fantasy_Epic_RPG_Wiki

Also, is there anything you guys really really want to see in the next version? Like something very important, not just a simple suggestion.
I'll update this list if there's more that comes to mind.


Last edited by Karifean on Tue Aug 28, 2012 3:22 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Development Stuff

Post  Zergling_man on Fri Aug 03, 2012 3:24 pm

Does chocobo breeding count as very important? Beyond that, I can't think of anything not on the list - oh, set items. You haven't mentioned them, but I assume they're happening. (Which will, to some degree, force a greater variety of top-tier items?)

1. I can't help here, because I know little about what they're coming from, and less than you about what they're going to. Hinisstin/Cobby may be of more use, he'd be speaking from the Final Fantasy side of the discussion. (He's currently without proper 'net, so give him some time to join in.)

2. "and cutting it would mean cutting a lot of new stuff"
I personally wouldn't be using the Battle Arena, except maybe for farming levels. (Which I'd probably do without it.) But this statement has me quite curious. What's it supporting?

3. 20 classes... Finding a place for each one would theoretically be easier than DotA. (Or any other DotA-esque game.) Still, a difficult but important task. I should chase down Darkmega and Kain_Xinth, so we can rehash what we got on the old forum, and then build upon it.
Stat rebalancing... Maybe, maybe not. Indeed, possibly the most important situation to consider is level 1980, but any changes we make should also be in light of "what will this do to pre-99 and pre-1980 etc.?" I'm initially against this idea, the chemist is the starter class, the sorcerer takes more work to get to, but pays it off in his power. Though it's true that the cost, once paid, is no longer an issue, while his power continues to be a benefit.
Designs I put forward will not all factor this potential change in, once we settle one way or another I'll work with that - even if I'm not entirely happy with it, I'll make myself happy with it.

5. Cool. I may spend some time poking at that soon. I'd like a discussion space for this to bring up the topic of spoilers on the wiki, yea or nay?
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Re: Development Stuff

Post  Karifean on Fri Aug 03, 2012 3:32 pm

Zergling_man wrote:set items. You haven't mentioned them, but I assume they're happening.
Unfortunately, they had to be cut. I think it turned out to be too much work. Chocobo breeding is already in there.

1. I can't help here, because I know little about what they're coming from, and less than you about what they're going to.
Well, it's just trying to find a good WarCraft 3 model for cactuars and malboros. Nothing else is really an issue at all.

Also I'm having problems testing out some things cause the game frequently crashes when I'm fighting Ultima Weapon.

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Re: Development Stuff

Post  Zergling_man on Fri Aug 03, 2012 3:41 pm

Karifean wrote:Well, it's just trying to find a good WarCraft 3 model for cactuars and malboros. Nothing else is really an issue at all.
Yeah. And I'm saying, I don't have enough knowledge of what they are like in FF, or enough knowledge of WCIII models, to be able to help very much. For cactuars, I can only suggest searching the desert doodad pallets for some sort of cactus. (I have no idea what a malboro is... I should probably ask Google Images.)

Karifean wrote:Also I'm having problems testing out some things cause the game frequently crashes when I'm fighting Ultima Weapon.
You probably already know this, but debug debug debug. Trace messages at every function beginning. Trace messages at every function return. If it might be related to something he does, rule out things he doesn't crash the game with.
But again, you probably already know this... I'm putting my money on an obscure WCIII bug we'll never find. Whenever I get a break, which may be in about a month, I'll offer to trawl code for you and see if I can spot anything. (Which would probably result in me doing overall QC in the hope that it magically disappears.)
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Re: Development Stuff

Post  prime_genx on Thu Aug 09, 2012 6:06 am

the stats should be balanced out <--- that doesnt sounds bad
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Re: Development Stuff

Post  Sworddragon on Wed Aug 15, 2012 5:58 pm

Karifean wrote:2. Coliseum
The Coliseum or Battle Arena is something I specifically would like to see in 0.9.3. Problem is, it's a hell of a lot of work. I don't really want to cut it from the release, and cutting it would mean cutting a lot of new stuff, but it would certainly delay the release by a lot if it weren't. In case you're wondering, the Coliseum system is modeled after X-2's.

The map development is pseudo-dead. If you make too much at once you will maybe get demotivated too and we have to wait another year(s) until somebody else wants to try to revive this map again. I recommend to choose a shorter release-cycle, maybe a month or a few of them. This would revive the map and you shouldn't have any disadvantages if big things are comming later.


I have a few suggestion which are containing only bugfixes:

- I would like to see the saving problem to get fixed (builtin). Surely we have an own implemented saving system but for single player it has some disadvantages. It is uncomfortable and you loose the revealed parts of the map.

- If the game runs many hours (~1 day) it will have some heavy performance impacts. If I remember correctly this is because of garbage monsters (and maybe other map related garbage).

- This is maybe related to the previous bug. After this long time a cheat protection triggers (false positive) and ends the game.

But all these problems does only affect single player and I haven't much hope that any of these problems get ever fixed.

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Re: Development Stuff

Post  Zergling_man on Thu Aug 16, 2012 12:52 pm

Your argument for a shorter cycle is a good one; having more players is our best chance. Also, putting a link to this forum could help - there may be pockets we don't know about that also don't know about us.

For saving, if it's possible (which I highly doubt, especially after 1.24), is to link up to a server and save characters by username or something. (Have a password, and make username/password unique, rather than username itself. ^_^)
But, in lieu of that, what we have is probably our best. Of course, having a shorthand for level 1980 with a specific item-set would be cool. It'd be safe because checksums. (Until someone gets bored enough to figure them out. Or just hacks open the map and looks.) It's not like getting there is particularly hard. Just time-consuming, and annoying with the thing of having to spend ages collecting shards. Or restarting the map a couple of times.
Hmm... Can you open files for reading/writing? I'd assume everyone would do it if it were possible, but hey, I'm still going to hope. Encrypted text files = fun times. Just be sure to iron out all the save bugs first.

The cheat protection can bug out at all sorts of times... I've had it happen within 4 hours (I think). Possibly less, but I don't remember those.
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Re: Development Stuff

Post  Sworddragon on Thu Aug 16, 2012 7:40 pm

I have asked a short time ago (a few months) on another map if it would be possible to connect to a webserver from a map but they negated it. I have many years programming experience with many languages like C, Python, PHP, MySQL and many more but I'm unexperienced with the Warcraft 3 map editor. Is it really not possible to connect to a webserver?

If it would be possible this could solve many problems and enhance some things. An authentication system could be implemented which would allow global saving of characters. Even more and detailed things could be saved and characters could be converted if a new version would make them incompatible. But only an authentification system wouldn't prevent cheating but it would be theoretically possible (with too many effort for a Warcraft 3 map).


Zergling_man wrote:The cheat protection can bug out at all sorts of times... I've had it happen within 4 hours (I think). Possibly less, but I don't remember those.

Without server-side validation there is no real cheat protection. All things in the map are client-sided and can be manipulated. Unprotecting the map and removing the cheat protection or modifying the game in an own way should be the easiest part. If the pseudo cheat protection makes more trouble than it helps I recommend to remove it (the server-side validation as said above would make this cheat protection maybe obsolete).

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Re: Development Stuff

Post  Andrenden on Fri Aug 17, 2012 2:23 am

Sworddragon wrote:I have asked a short time ago (a few months) on another map if it would be possible to connect to a webserver from a map but they negated it. I have many years programming experience with many languages like C, Python, PHP, MySQL and many more but I'm unexperienced with the Warcraft 3 map editor. Is it really not possible to connect to a webserver?

If it would be possible this could solve many problems and enhance some things. An authentication system could be implemented which would allow global saving of characters. Even more and detailed things could be saved and characters could be converted if a new version would make them incompatible. But only an authentification system wouldn't prevent cheating but it would be theoretically possible (with too many effort for a Warcraft 3 map).


Zergling_man wrote:The cheat protection can bug out at all sorts of times... I've had it happen within 4 hours (I think). Possibly less, but I don't remember those.

Without server-side validation there is no real cheat protection. All things in the map are client-sided and can be manipulated. Unprotecting the map and removing the cheat protection or modifying the game in an own way should be the easiest part. If the pseudo cheat protection makes more trouble than it helps I recommend to remove it (the server-side validation as said above would make this cheat protection maybe obsolete).
It may not be possible to connect to a webserver for the simple fact that the map is going from your PC to Battle.net and then out to other users PC's its not sending its data to a 3rd party beyond that and thats battle.nets doing. They keep a pretty closed loop for battle.net if they can help it.

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Re: Development Stuff

Post  Zergling_man on Fri Aug 17, 2012 6:26 am

Which in itself isn't a bad thing. But not so useful for us. That said, pretty sure SC2 has better support for internal save codes. Though I think that's only local stuff, so it only really saves you having to copy it out and in.
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Re: Development Stuff

Post  Andrenden on Fri Aug 17, 2012 11:09 am

Zergling_man wrote:Which in itself isn't a bad thing. But not so useful for us. That said, pretty sure SC2 has better support for internal save codes. Though I think that's only local stuff, so it only really saves you having to copy it out and in.
Bankfiles are easier to change then trying to crack the in game text saving system though so thats a downside in a way, its never fun playing with people who just modded everything to max but don't know alot of the actual content of the map

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Re: Development Stuff

Post  Zergling_man on Fri Aug 17, 2012 11:32 am

Not sure what you're talking about there. Bankfiles are SC2's code saving thing? Unless it's plaintext, I don't see how it could be easier.
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Re: Development Stuff

Post  Andrenden on Fri Aug 17, 2012 9:58 pm

Yeah bankfiles are what allow Starcraft 2 to have easy saving, as long as your bankfile is valid the games load it from there, its like a autosave feature and when you start the map up it just loads from there, the problem is they arn't protected in the slightest, you go in and change a few values and suddenly everything has changed, at least with these you have to crack the map and take a peak inside. *Those bankfiles corrupt all the time on their own as well*

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Re: Development Stuff

Post  Zergling_man on Sat Aug 18, 2012 3:37 am

>aren't protected in the slightest
>corrupt all the time on their own

Wow... So, does SC2 allow you to make a custom "bankfile" system? 'Cause I swear, if I did a half-assed job I'd do something better than that.
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Re: Development Stuff

Post  Andrenden on Sat Aug 18, 2012 4:50 am

If you making a map you create the bankfiles, if your playing the map the bankfiles are created for you, you just edit the values in there. Prime example is the startcraft 2 map "Mineralz" They have an achievement point based reward system with 500 being the max, if I went in and just set my achievement points to 500 then suddenly I have all the rewards with none of the actual achievements unlocked. A google search leads to youtube videos and links to programs that allow you to find and edit bankfiles from the maps.

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Re: Development Stuff

Post  Zergling_man on Sat Aug 18, 2012 6:20 am

So does its language have any functions that allow you to directly read/write files, use encryption, etc.? I would avoid using the bankfiles, and do it entirely manually, just because it would actually work.
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Re: Development Stuff

Post  Sworddragon on Sun Aug 19, 2012 11:37 pm

I remember that in the other forum somebody telled me that the Warcraft 3 map editor is able to save to local files. If this is true the saving system could be heavily improved. Just use some sort of encryption for a pseudo protection to gain the same security level we currently have.

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Re: Development Stuff

Post  psxlover on Wed Aug 22, 2012 12:41 am

Karifean wrote:Also I'm having problems testing out some things cause the game frequently crashes when I'm fighting Ultima Weapon.
It crashes how? Is it the same like when fighting odin with a squire? Or like the one you had with the Dark Summons? I never got to reproduce that.

Sworddragon wrote:
- I would like to see the saving problem to get fixed (builtin). Surely we have an own implemented saving system but for single player it has some disadvantages. It is uncomfortable and you loose the revealed parts of the map.
The fix is really simple Smile


There is no way to make a connection from within warcraft (at least not any legit ones). The only thing that could be used to make saving easier is an exploit that can be used to save things on the hard drive, but that could be fixed and make the map unplayable like the 1.24 patch did.

Also if starcraft has a way of saving/loading custom stuff, it doesn't matter whether it encrypts the data, because the map maker can encrypt them himself, kind of how the save here is (it used to be easier to understand, it was just the level of each job, the money and a code for each inventory item along with a checksum all seperated by "-" but it was a lot longer than it is now.
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Re: Development Stuff

Post  Zergling_man on Wed Aug 22, 2012 12:01 pm

I remember that code format. I didn't know the checksum function though, so I couldn't cheat with it. I was too lazy to make something to test every value.

About SC2: Exactly! That's what I've been saying. SC2's inbuilt system appears to be really crappy, so hopefully it provides the required functions to make one yourself. If you can do that, then you should always do that.
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Re: Development Stuff

Post  Pfeffer on Tue Aug 28, 2012 2:36 pm

Sworddragon wrote:I remember that in the other forum somebody telled me that the Warcraft 3 map editor is able to save to local files. If this is true the saving system could be heavily improved. Just use some sort of encryption for a pseudo protection to gain the same security level we currently have.

This files are only created in single player mode, not in multi player mode. You create a hashtable with a name, and it would be automatically created as a file, if not playing online. But that is no solution, or was no solution for me. Since single player is crap.

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Re: Development Stuff

Post  Zergling_man on Tue Aug 28, 2012 3:09 pm

So giving us a code really is the best possible option?
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Re: Development Stuff

Post  Sworddragon on Mon Jan 21, 2013 3:49 am

Randomly I have found a map which saves its code into a textfile: http://www.epicwar.com/maps/220848/
I have tested this in the Battle.net and it works there too. This way a slot saving mechanic could be implemented for example if you type "-save savefile_1" and in the next game "-load savefile_1" the data in this slot will be loaded. This makes it even possible to store much more things since the user doesn't need to type long and complex codes anymore.

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Re: Development Stuff

Post  Pfeffer on Tue Jan 22, 2013 5:30 pm

Would be a nice help for the people who can't accomplish making screenshots or using the CaptureX tool.

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Re: Development Stuff

Post  psxlover on Tue Jan 22, 2013 6:12 pm

Pfeffer wrote:Would be a nice help for the people who can't accomplish making screenshots or using the CaptureX tool.

Huh? It was you who said that we shouldn't use that hack in-case blizzard decided to patch it...
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Re: Development Stuff

Post  Pfeffer on Tue Jan 22, 2013 8:00 pm

psxlover wrote:
Pfeffer wrote:Would be a nice help for the people who can't accomplish making screenshots or using the CaptureX tool.

Huh? It was you who said that we shouldn't use that hack in-case blizzard decided to patch it...

You sure we talk of the same stuff? I never knew this API calls to write files. There was some other thing to save locally, but that didn't worked in multiplayer.

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