Simple mods that vastly improved the game (for me)

By on August 28, 2010 9:58:39 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Gnilbert

Join Date 03/2003
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    PREFACE: I'm not yet ready to gather all the files and share them, since I'm expecting there's going to be a few big overhauls in the next week or two that will pretty much render my mods obsolete, but I wanted to describe them briefly, since I'm hoping some of those overhauls may incorporate the changes I made. I'd like to note that, much like the "Breath of Fire" spell I wrote a tutorial on HERE, there are no new models, graphics, etc. I'm just reusing existing resources.

 
   UPDATE: I decided to go ahead and release a subset of these mods. The download link and description for what's inside is included HERE.

Magical Staves.
What: I created a set of magical staves that give the equipped unit (the Sovereign or designed units) a ranged magical attack that's not as powerful as a spell, but doesn't cost any mana and is based on Intelligence. This does away with the whole "I'll just give my Sov a bow" thing, making him more effective (and just cool!) in combat right from the start. When you get right down to it, it really is a bow with a spell animation instead of an arrow. 

How: Basically, I created new GameItemTypes copied from the "Staff" item in CoreWeapons.xml. I made four versions: Fire, Lightning, Ice, and Stone. Each one provides +1 Attack (you need Attack>0 to initiate combat!), another stat bonus based on the element, and uses "UnlockCombatAbility" and "UnlockRangedAction" for a custom "spell" that I created for each staff. I changed the particle effect and sound effect for a weapon hit to match existing effects/sounds from appropriate elemental spells/attacks.
    I created the attack abilities by duplicating Flame Dart, Ice Strike, etc, and then setting the to cost 0 mana and marking them as special abilities. (I was suprised to find out that Auto-Resolve does use the granted abilities). Finally, I updated the city hubs to add these items to the shop window. This took about an hour, all told.

Next: I'm going to create a wider variety of more powerful staves, and tie them into the research tree. The more powerful versions will likely require a certain number of shards, like the Elemental Disciple items (below).

Special Training.
What: I added equipment that I've called "Special Training" that can be used during unit design. Examples include:
- Assassin Training: Gives the unit a 10% chance for double damage (+10 Assassination). Unit can use the Poisoned Attack ability.
- Precise Striking: Gives the unit +2 Attack and a 10% chance to ignore armor when attacking (+10 Daring)

How: Essentially, these are all items based on the Pioneer's Kit. I made them expensive in gildar/extra turns to recruit, and not buyable in the shop. This took a little less than an hour, since only one of them granted a special ability.

Next: I'm going to add more advanced versions of each, and tie the whole thing into the tech tree. Right now, they're all available from the start in the unit designer.

Elemental Disciples.
What: This is the best one! I created new armor items (copied from the base items) that I call "(Novice, Journeyman, Master) vestment of (Fire, Life, etc)." The idea is that as you build shrines to the elements, those tiny tenders in the tile are priests/mages of that element, and wearing this armor represents their faith/training/occupation (you pick). 
   The armor grants minor defense (think cleric/mage), an element-related stat bonus, a non-damaging (custom) special combat ability, and 3 essence so they can use it (each use costs 1 mana). The advanced versions give better/additional abilities and essence (depending on the element). The life ability heals, fire increases friendly attack, death decreases enemy stats, etc. The good news is that, since they're chest armor pieces, you are limited to one per unit. The best part is that I made them "cost" 1/2/3 (Novice/Journeyman/Master) of the elements shrines (making shards useful, except the Life/Death which don't have shards).

How: Same as above, really. Cloned the original, created a few new special abilities and tied them to the armor. Honestly, the most time consuming part is adding the items to the shops when they're done. Oh - and testing to make sure that making an item "cost" shards wasn't going to permanently remove the shard's mana resource from me when I created the unit! This took about 2 hours.

Next: I'm going to make the ability strength increase with the number of shards controlled, and I'm considering adding some new, more "paladin of element" type armor or weapons that are more offensive in nature.

That's all I've done so far. Any comments, feedback or additional ideas are welcome! When the dust settles from the initial round of SD-driven updates, I'm going to publish whatever features of mine that aren't redundant.

Gnilbert

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August 28, 2010 10:15:57 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

That's pretty awesome and does increase the fun factor quite a bit. Now if only the AI was decent...

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August 28, 2010 10:24:21 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Damn Gnilbert, these are some really good stuff. Just send your work over to the devs so they can implement it straight off.

Tomas

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August 28, 2010 10:27:02 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

This gives alot of hope to the game knowing that things like this can be modded in easily...I've been able to make a few gameplay/building mods I thought make things more interesting as well. 

 

So how about those stave files?

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August 28, 2010 10:35:16 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Wow. Nice job Grilbert.... and thanks.  

 

 

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August 28, 2010 10:43:26 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

  Theres help.  Theres hope.

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August 28, 2010 11:23:49 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Wow sounds like you have done a really good job... I think you should give some thought to releasing these files... I would certainly download them.

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August 28, 2010 11:29:17 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting ,

Magical Staves.
What: I created a set of magical staves that give the equipped unit (the Sovereign or designed units) a ranged magical attack that's not as powerful as a spell, but doesn't cost any mana and is based on Intelligence. This does away with the whole "I'll just give my Sov a bow" thing, making him more effective (and just cool!) in combat right from the start. When you get right down to it, it really is a bow with a spell animation instead of an arrow. 

How: Basically, I created new GameItemTypes copied from the "Staff" item in CoreWeapons.xml. I made four versions: Fire, Lightning, Ice, and Stone. Each one provides +1 Attack (you need Attack>0 to initiate combat!), another stat bonus based on the element, and uses "UnlockCombatAbility" and "UnlockRangedAction" for a custom "spell" that I created for each staff. I changed the particle effect and sound effect for a weapon hit to match existing effects/sounds from appropriate elemental spells/attacks.
    I created the attack abilities by duplicating Flame Dart, Ice Strike, etc, and then setting the to cost 0 mana and marking them as special abilities. (I was suprised to find out that Auto-Resolve does use the granted abilities). Finally, I updated the city hubs to add these items to the shop window. This took about an hour, all told.

Next: I'm going to create a wider variety of more powerful staves, and tie them into the research tree. The more powerful versions will likely require a certain number of shards, like the Elemental Disciple items (below).

I've been playing around with Staves that increase Intelligence instead of attack power, so you can boost your spell damage the way melee sovereigns boost their melee damage by finding a new sword. I'd love to incorporate what you're doing here. Please post it as soon as it's ready.

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August 28, 2010 1:30:15 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Thank you for creating mods to improve the game's combat.  It has increased my faith that even if Stardock refuses to improve the tactical combat, mods may come in to save the day.

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August 28, 2010 3:31:47 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Very nice ideas. I'd call them "a must have", especially the Special Training ones.

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August 28, 2010 4:05:21 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

How did you accomplish putting passive abilities as a bonus from an item?

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August 28, 2010 4:14:36 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Awesome, when and where can we try these?

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August 29, 2010 11:33:31 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Waiting for those too! I've tried to follow the steps described to create the magical staves, but I think I need an example of the code first. (translated: no, can't do )

Great ideas, Gnilbert!

 

 

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August 29, 2010 5:11:45 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Wow! Thanks everyone for the feedback!

I decided to go ahead and upload a subset of my (constantly evolving) mods. The thread where I provide the details and the download link is HERE.

Gnilbert

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August 29, 2010 5:15:46 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Wintersong,
Very nice ideas. I'd call them "a must have", especially the Special Training ones.

The secret is in CoreUnitStats.xml. The passive abilities I note are simply attributes that all units have that appear to be marked "don't show the value to the user." I'm honestly not sure why, since they include cool things like:
- Chance to avoid defense
- Chance for double damage
- Health/Mana regen in and out of combat
- etc.

I have my items apply GameModifiers with ModType=Unit, Attribute=AdjustUnitStat, StrVal=Stat Name, Value=Net adjustment

Gnilbert

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August 29, 2010 5:47:24 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Stuff like that is what gives us hope - this game will be good - it just needs some help - keep up the good work.

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August 29, 2010 6:01:52 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I like it!!! Keep up the good work 

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August 29, 2010 6:10:30 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Very nice.  I hope Stardock pays attention and implements things like this in the base game.

 

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August 29, 2010 6:22:20 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Question, 

Does the mod automatically alter the game or do I need to load it within the game? If so - where?

 

Or do you download the mods within the folder in program files or in my games? I have two directories of the game

 

UPDATE: well i have checked Use Mods in options - but still doesnt work

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August 29, 2010 6:41:32 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting lswallie,
Question, 

Does the mod automatically alter the game or do I need to load it within the game? If so - where?

 

Or do you download the mods within the folder in program files or in my games? I have two directories of the game

Here's what you do:

First, in the Options screen, find the "Use Mods" option, and make sure it's checked.
Close out of the game. On a 32 bit machine, you'll unzip the files to C:\Program Files\Stardock Games\Elemental\Mods. On a 64 bit machine, they’ll go in C:\Program Files (x86)\Stardock Games\Elemental\Mods.
Now, start the game up. You'll need to create a new sovereign to give him one of the new talents or the magical staves, and start a new game.

Have fun,

Gnilbert

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August 29, 2010 7:13:08 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

This is a Great Mod... Thanks 

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August 29, 2010 7:40:10 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

excellent.  very nice job.  its amazing what can be done so soon.  in 6 months i bet there will be some truly epic overhaul and pack mods.

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August 29, 2010 8:09:38 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Wow.  This is some nice stuff you've done here.  Thanks!  

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August 29, 2010 8:16:33 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Awesome mods. They need to incorporate these into the game.

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