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Celtic Minstrel

Feature Suggestions, Bug Reports, and so on

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The Compiled Suggestion list is getting a bit long and cluttered, so I've decided to make a new thread for suggesting features and reporting bugs.

 

I'd like it if this could be kept mostly on-topic, in particular keeping any code discussion out of this thread. That said, the topic is very broad, so hopefully it'll be possible to keep on it. ;)

 

Other threads for discussing specific areas

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Originally Posted By: To Heck with a Handwave
—Alorael, who highly recommends a piece of paper or a text document rather than the in-game journal. The journal's organization is poor and it lacks both search and an index.
It's amazing how many good ideas come up outside of this forum! wink While this came up in the context of A3, I think it's relevant for any of the games, BoE included.

It may not be easy to do though.

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sylae   

Perhaps an option to export to a text file?

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Niemand   

Exporting to a text file wouldn't assist the player all that much, in that it would still be up to the player to assemble and organize the text, although it might be better than nothing.

 

Some thoughts on the matter: In order to index things neatly, they need to be labeled. Do you make the designer provide labels that are used when storing text? Do you attempt to auto-generate labels based on the context (Seems like a tricky thing to do, but impressive if done right)? Make the player enter labels when recording text? Do entries persist forever, must the player manually remove them, or are they automatically purged? For instance: what if the player uses the same party to play a scenario twice, possibly making significantly different choices the second time through?

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Would it be easier to improve the in-game journal? Maybe look at that first with an option to export the journal to a text file being added later?

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Possibly the game can automatically arrange entries by where they were recorded, which town or outdoor zone. Then have an option to sort by the game day that they were recorded.

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Originally Posted By: Celtic Minstrel
Does it not already do that? But sorting would be good, yes, and these other suggestions are useful...


I think it does to an extent. Not sure how much and how well it works though, since I've never used it lol.

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A few things, using Classic Win32 v1.0:

 

1. In dialogue, even when enabled, the text box does not have focus by default. I think it should. If you're going to enable it it probably means you want to use it.

 

2. A Small Rebellion is still called "A Mild Rebellion" in the Start Scenario dialog.

 

3. The bigger problems, regarding boats:

Outdoors, while in a boat, specials are called when you move toward a tile, even if the tile is blocked. This can be seen at the beginning of ZKR, with the rock on the south shore of the river, just to the east. Row into it from the west and the message will appear. I just tested, and this is not legacy behavior and does not happen in original BoE.

 

Also, in town, special encounters are not called while in a boat. This IS legacy behavior, but it's unusual and should probably be fixed, perhaps with a "Boat Unblock" node or something.

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Chokboyz   
Originally Posted By: The Almighty Doer of Stuff
1. In dialogue, even when enabled, the text box does not have focus by default. I think it should. If you're going to enable it it probably means you want to use it.

I see your point here ... Should be fairly easy to add wink
Edit : Done.

Originally Posted By: The Almighty Doer of Stuff
2. A Small Rebellion is still called "A Mild Rebellion" in the Start Scenario dialog.

I've not really looked for typos and such, so there may be others lurking around.
If the "Rebellion" scenario's title is wrong, I'll change it.
Edit : Done.

Originally Posted By: The Almighty Doer of Stuff
3. The bigger problems, regarding boats:
Outdoors, while in a boat, specials are called when you move toward a tile, even if the tile is blocked. This can be seen at the beginning of ZKR, with the rock on the south shore of the river, just to the east. Row into it from the west and the message will appear. I just tested, and this is not legacy behavior and does not happen in original BoE.

Hum, there's no message to trigger on the rock to the left of the town exit (check the scenario with the editor) ...
Also, i've dusted of my old copy of BoE and just checked : a message is displayed when trying to move into blocked tile while outdoor in boat (i.e this is indeed legacy behavior).

Originally Posted By: The Almighty Doer of Stuff
Also, in town, special encounters are not called while in a boat. This IS legacy behavior, but it's unusual and should probably be fixed, perhaps with a "Boat Unblock" node or something.

Yup, that seems a good idea ... To add to the suggestion/todo list smile

Thanks,
Chokboyz

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Actually, just a general "Boat Block" that lets you either block or unblock a node while in boat might be good. For instance, if you don't want a timer to call a node while you're in a boat, you can block it, but if you want a node to be called when you row onto it in town, you can unblock it.

 

As for outdoors, I must have done something wrong. Anyway, that would be another good use for Boat Block. Horse Block would be good too. Maybe combine them into Horse/Boat Block, and have Extra 1a be 0-Block when in boat, 1-Don't block/unblock when in boat, and have Extra 1b be 0-Block when on horse, and 1-Don't block/unblock when on horse. Also, Extra 2a and 2b could be Can Enter/Can't Enter for boat/horse.

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In BoA I have introduced town reports and outdoor reports, text files that print out the main features in the current town or outdoor zone, placed specials, area names and so forth. They are useful for things that are not printed in a list, like location of placed specials. I could introduce them for BoE.

If they are opened in something like Crimson Editor, every time you use the function in the Scenario Editor, the file will be refreshed in Crimson Editor. This refresh would work for any file, including the present ones.

While I am at it I will be tidying up the dimming out of menus.

The print out for towns have been started, a draft editor version is found at:

http://www.freewebs.com/ishadnha/2009BoEScenarioEditor.zip

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Chokboyz   

The town report feature is nice and functional, but please use the last version of the code, since lots of features/bug fixes are not present in your version ...

 

Or if you don't feel like doing that, share your code and i'll implement it when i find time wink

 

Chokboyz

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I have sent you a private messsage, I will need to join your group before I can commit.

I don't think I can download the source at:

http://openexile.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/openexile-read-only

I keep getting hit with 404 Not Found.

In the meantime I will finish the Town Report and then add an Outdoor Zone Report.

Edit:

Until I can join the group my source code is found at:

http://www.freewebs.com/ishadnha/2009BoESESource.zip

I may add a Scenario writeup that includes horse, boat, special node and item placement shortcut information.

 

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Chokboyz   

Like Celtic Minstrel said, you need a SVN program to download the source code (google SVN or Subversion. The TurtoiseSVN distribution is a nice SVN front-end if you seek one).

 

About joining the google group, i think the only thing needed is a google account (which is free to create). Celtic Minstrel has more experience than I in this domain wink

 

I'll try to check your source and add your reports functions ...

Edit : I've added the town report function (under the Town Advanced tab, though), but the Scenario Data Dump function is doubling the already present "write data to text file" function (more info is given by the latter). smile

 

Chokboyz

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I have SVN Tortoise for use with the 3D Editor repository, of which I am a member. I don't know how to use it for a group of which I am not a member, a repository for which there is currently nothing in my Windows Explorer.

In my latest rewrite of the Editor, I have returned the Data Dump to its original function of printing names of objects: terrain, monsters and items. The listing of outdoor zone names and towns has been moved to a new function.

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Change of subject, town reports. Printing the strings that go with the various node types, I mean strings 9,000 thru 10,130 from Strings.rc. I can't directly access them to place in a print out.

Dialog boxes are easier because there are worked examples available. Does anyone know how to code this?

I can always list the strings as I did for the stain and field names.

 

Edit:

The Zoom Editor used a case basis, a switch, when it ported BoE node information to a print out file. This may not be as good as a list of strings, because a list of strings can be used by many functions not just the one.

http://www.freewebs.com/ishadnha/BoEZoomEditor.zip

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Chokboyz   
Originally Posted By: Ishad Nha
Change of subject, town reports. Printing the strings that go with the various node types, I mean strings 9,000 thru 10,130 from Strings.rc. I can't directly access them to place in a print out.
Dialog boxes are easier because there are worked examples available. Does anyone know how to code this?

From one of my old comment at the top of the strings.rc file :
Quote:
For node x
name : 6600 + x + 1
ex1a text : 9000 + x +1
ex1b text : 9300 + x +1
ex2a text : 9600 + x +1
ex2b text : 9900 + x +1

You may want to use the get_str() function to fetch the correct string and put it in a char array (cf my implementation of your start_town_data_dump() function which use that method instead of the "special name string list" or the other dump functions).

Quick and dirty "man page" :

get_str(char *str,short i, short j)
Copy the i*300 + j string of the strings.rc file to the pointed str.

Example : get_str(var_name,22,town.specials.type + 1) copy the name of the town special i type to var_name (indeed, 22*300 = 6600, and we've seen above that node name is 6600 + type +1).

Originally Posted By: Ishad Nha
I can always list the strings as I did for the stain and field names.

Those strings were not included in strings.rc so the list was a good idea and has been kept in the current version of the code.

By the way, i assume you're aware of the "Scenario Specials Dump" function that already dumps all that is related to specials (scenario, outdoor or towns + timers) ...

Hope it helps,
Chokboyz

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I tried the get_str method but my phrasing was off, so it didn't work. I will be devising reports for the current town/outdoor zone/scenario only, they will be relatively comprehensive.

I will alter the functions so they only print if there is a string listed in Strings.rc, that will remove extraneous clutter.

Edit:

For some reason I am having trouble with upload authorization, so I will post a revised version at:

http://www.freewebs.com/ishadnha/2009ClassicBoEScenarioEditor.zip

Minor changes:

' [ ' is an additional zoom in/zoom out key.

Ctrl + Arrow keys introduced for loading previous/next town and for outdoor zones above/below/left/right.

Added a comment about which Ctrl + Letter shortcuts were still available.

Town menu was rearranged.

Graying out of menus has been updated.

Version date is now shown in the Help > About Blades Scenario Editor dialog.

 

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sylae   

Just a quick idea, sorry if it's been suggested before, but what about custom PC graphics? For example, the user could be present with a dialog when creating/editing a party, and they could upload a single (4-slot) monster graphic to use as their PC? Then, the graphic would be stored in the .sav file for use later.

 

I mean, it's possible to just edit the bitmap in the graphics folder, but this'd be much nicer, and make prefab parties way more fun.

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I planned to support custom PC graphics, but I didn't plan to add a mechanism to give a PC a custom graphic when creating a party. (I simply wanted to be able to have NPCs join the party as a full member while retaining their icon.)

 

But once that support exists, I'll consider your extension of it. It's actually a fairly decent way to do it, I think.

 

 

 

Speaking of prefab parties, what would people think of having official support for them? That is, the ability to associate a savegame file with a scenario in such a way that starting the scenario either automatically loads the save file or puts up a dialog allowing the player to switch to that save file.

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sylae   

That'd be awesome, but if it happens, please don't force the use of the prefab party. I for one like running though with my own singleton after running through with their singleton tongue

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I have had the idea of prefixing every item in the Scenario Editor menus with a letter: A,B,C,D...These will act as hotkeys. I have introduced this into a personal version of the Editor, the link to which is found in my post above: #182271 - Sep 22, 2009 9:50 PM

I think it would look best if the menus had three columns rather than the present two. Frequently the start of each column is not properly aligned, proportional not monotype fonts are used after all. Plan would go: first column has the letters, the second column has the menu labels and the third column includes optional shortcut keys. So I will need to introduce this feature.

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Dueck: Okay, second version then.

 

Ishad: Not gonna happen. I'm going to get rid of the menus completely. You'll be able to choose items and monsters from the terrain palette area instead (after switching it to show items or monsters rather than terrains).

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Chokboyz   
Originally Posted By: Ishad Nha
For some reason I am having trouble with upload authorization, so I will post a revised version at:
http://www.freewebs.com/ishadnha/2009ClassicBoEScenarioEditor.zip
Minor changes:
' [ ' is an additional zoom in/zoom out key.
Ctrl + Arrow keys introduced for loading previous/next town and for outdoor zones above/below/left/right.
Added a comment about which Ctrl + Letter shortcuts were still available.
Town menu was rearranged.
Graying out of menus has been updated.
Version date is now shown in the Help > About Blades Scenario Editor dialog.

Is the code at http://www.freewebs.com/ishadnha/2009BoESESource.zip up to date ?
If so, i'll gladly incorporate your changes (and i just checked, permissions are set for you to upload, so it must a Tortoise client-side problem or a password related problem confused).

Chokboyz

Edit : ok, i've seen it has already been uploaded.
I've changed several things in your commit :
  • Deassigned the shortcuts "Ctrl+V" and "Ctrl+A", since they would prevent the "paste" and "select all" shortcuts from working (in the same way, the shortcuts "Ctrl+X" and "Ctrl+C" should not be used).
  • Cleaned the new "object_..." function declaration : all you need to do when creating a new function is to declare it in the corresponding header (files in .h). No needs for extern definitions smile
  • Remove some "short" before the variable in loops. The variable are defined at the top at the function, so there's no point in redefining them.
Also, shouldn't the new Scenario Object Data Dump be under the "Scenario" tab with the others and not under the "Additional Features" tab ?
Apart from that, it's nice and running wink

Edit 2 :
Originally Posted By: Celtic Minstrel
Can we keep this thread just for ideas and discussion thereof, and move technical stuff such as code discussion or commit troubles elsewhere?

Yeah, this thread http://www.ironycentral.com/forum/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=176307#Post176307 is the one that should be used wink

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Celtic Minstrel wants to get rid of all menus, what about the Scenario and Additional Features menus? Hotkeys would apply to any surviving menu.

"Is the code at http://www.freewebs.com/ishadnha/2009BoESESource.zip up to date ?"

No it is not, it is old and clunky.

Could we incorporate some features from the 3D BoA Editor into the BoE variety? Listing the number and name of the currently selected terrain type for instance.

Edit:

The code is now updated to yesterday's version.

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I only want to get rid of the monster and item menus. The Additional Features menu should probably also go, by merging it into more appropriate menus.

 

For hotkeys, you should probably stick with Ctrl-whatever for now. We want the hotkeys to be the same on Mac and Windows except for replacing Ctrl with Command or vice versa.

 

As for custom sized towns... that's in limbo.

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Just a little suggestion... Acid needs a damage cap! As it is right now, even very weak acid-spitting monsters are incredibly lethal; a few spits quickly stacks up to 100+ damage per turn. Sure, you can survive by leaving the dungeon, but I think the lack of any cap is still game-breaking.

 

(FWIW I'd suggest a cap of 40 or so per turn, stacking faster than poison. We still want the stuff to be nasty, just not unbalanced-nasty.)

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It's Magic-type damage that zaps affects you each turn, stacking with each acid attack up to 32767 damage per turn IIRC. Acid-protective items can block it and acid-curing items can remove it, but are rare. The "Cleanse" and "Major Cleansing" spells do *NOT* remove it.

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Originally Posted By: Miramor
It's Magic-type damage that zaps affects you each turn, stacking with each acid attack up to 32767 damage per turn IIRC. Acid-protective items can block it and acid-curing items can remove it, but are rare. The "Cleanse" and "Major Cleansing" spells do *NOT* remove it.


Yeah, that sounds vastly overpowered. It should perhaps be more powerful than poison, but not by that much.

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Outdoor Zone/Town Area Rectangles:

In the original editor blank rectangles were recorded with top, left = (0,0) and bottom, right = (0,0). In the new editor the notation is (-1,-1) and (-1,-1). In deciding if a given rectangle is empty, Dialog screen uses a test of right coordinate is equal to -1 or not. (There is something about str_do_delete too.)

Anyway, a scenario that was created under the old editor will have all its blank rectangles shown as being in use. Could change the criteria for empty to mean that all four coordinates are less than 1.

I have not checked the two sets of source code on this question.

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What does Town Difficulty (0-10) actually do?

 

I'm testing some lockpicks, and my test character with no stats or advantages is using strength 1 lockpicks on strength 4 doors (the strongest they can be before being magically locked) in a difficulty 10 town, and he picks the locks about 90% of the time. He also has almost the same luck bashing doors, despite being level 1 with only 1 Strength.

 

I know in the Exile trilogy I've frequently come across doors that were very difficult but not impossible to open through physical means, so why isn't that possible in BoE?

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Town difficulty is supposed to proportionally increase the difficulty of locked doors. It may also affect frequency of monster spawns, I'm not sure...

 

 

Actually, here's the description from the docs:

Quote:
This is a number from 0 to 10. The higher the number, the harder the town is, i.e. the faster wandering monsters appear and the more challenging locks and traps are.

 

So it's supposed to affect the trap node type too...

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I tested the original BoE and it behaves in the same way. A level 1 character with 6 HP, 1 each of STR/DEX/INT and no other stats, equipped with a strength 1 lockpick, will successfully pick strength 4 locks in a difficulty 10 town about 90% of the time. With a strength 10 pick it seems to be 100% of the time. Why bother investing in lockpicking then?

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Lilith   

Please don't do anything that will make doors harder to unlock in general: a difficulty-8 door in a difficulty-10 town is already much too hard to unlock.

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Chokboyz   
Originally Posted By: Ishad Nha
In the original editor blank rectangles were recorded with top, left = (0,0) and bottom, right = (0,0). In the new editor the notation is (-1,-1) and (-1,-1).

Yup, that's one of the changes I've implemented (see Changelog.txt).

Originally Posted By: Ishad Nha
Anyway, a scenario that was created under the old editor will have all its blank rectangles shown as being in use.

Indeed, the old scenarios have not been fixed (and shouldn't). Clicking the delete button will effectively deletes the (wrongly supposed) defined rectangle.
New scenarios will have the description rectangles defined to (-1,-1),(-1,-1).

Originally Posted By: Ishad Nha
Could change the criteria for empty to mean that all four coordinates are less than 1.

You could ... but documenting the legacy scenarios case seems enough. Besides, won't a rectangle put at (0,0),(0,0) wrongly be displayed as empty ?
The best approach would definitely be checking for (0,0),(0,0) (like in the legacy editor) or (-1,-1),(-1,-1) depending on the scenario program make version. smile

Originally Posted By: The Almighty Doer of Stuff
That's what the documentation says it does, but what does it actually do?

From a quick glance through the code :
  • the town difficulty increase the chance of a town wandering monster to appears.
  • the town difficulty increase the difficulty of unlocking a door using Unlock spell.
    Formula : r1 = (Random number between 0 and 100) - 5 * (Adventurer's Intelligence adjuster) + 5 * (Town difficulty) + (Door difficulty) * 7 (if door difficulty is 10, then the next test is set to fail automatically)
    If r1 < 135 - (Adventurer's level adjuster) then the spell worked.
  • the town difficulty increase the difficulty of breaking fire/force barriers using Dispel Barriers.
    Formula : r1 = (Random number between 0 and 100) - 5 * (Adventurer's Intelligence adjuster) + 5 * (Town difficulty /10) (if is a fire barrier, substract 8 to r1)
    If r1 < 120 - (Adventurer's level adjuster) then the barrier is broken.
  • the town difficulty increase the difficulty of any trap disarm attempt (skill check reduced by "Town difficulty")
  • the town difficulty increase the damage dealts by any trap triggered.
    Or it should but given that (Town difficulty / 14) is checked, then the result will always be 0. So the town difficulty doesn't affect the damage outcome (and that should be fixed).
  • the town difficulty increase the paralysis time of a "purple ray" trap triggered (this one is working).
  • the town difficulty increase the difficulty of picklocking a door.
    Formula (incomplete, for example doesn't take the "Nimble" trait into account) :
    r1 = (Random number between 0 and 100) - 5 (Adventurer's Dexterity adjuster) + (Town difficulty) * 7 - 5 * (Adventurer's lockpicking level) - (lockpick's strengh/level) * 7
  • the town difficulty increase the difficulty of bashing a door down.
    Formula (simplified, for example doesn't take magic door, which are not bashable, into account) :
    r1 = (Random number between 0 and 100) - 15 (Adventurer's Strength adjuster) + (Town difficulty) * 4
As always, i may have overlooked/misunderstood something wink

Hope it helps,
Chokboyz

Edit : thanks ADoS, i've just found two gems for you :
  • The door difficulty setting is reversed in that the hardest door to picklock is the one with 0 (!!!) difficulty and the easiest is the one with 4 difficulty.
    To reverse back to a correct behavior without changing the chances, the line
    if ((unlock_adjust >= 5) || (r1 > (unlock_adjust * 15 + 30)))
    should read
    if ((unlock_adjust >= 5) || (r1 > (90 - unlock_adjust * 15)))
    but that's not actually a problem since ...
  • the c_town.difficulty variable is never set (and therefore is (hopefully) set to 0 and useless). In fact, it should be set to c_town.town.difficulty during each town loading but is not.
    So, you are basically right : town difficulty does nothing (and just checked with difficulty enabled and the difference is significant. Can't open a difficulty 4 door with level 6 lockpicks and a rookie adventurer ...).
Note that, the bashing formula is also plagued with the "reversed difficulty scale" problem (Unlock is fine).

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sylae   

OK, here's an idea that might be a little out there, but what if we could add a 'scenario browser' to the custom scenario dialog? My idea is that, when the user clicks the 'custom scenarios' button, there'll be a link at the bottom of the dialog box that says 'Get more scenaios...' or some such.

 

When the user clicks on this, then are presented with a window containing a table/listing of scenarios. This data would come from an XML file pulled from a url (this url would be configurable in the ini file, so a user could switch between 'The sub-official Community-updated database of scenarios' or, for example, 'Celtic Minstrel's uber-awesome list of utility scenarios' (or perhaps we could have an array of them stored, and users could pick the used file from a dropdown in the dialog box)). My idea of the XML structure is shown below. Anyway, the user could click a scenario to see more info about it (author, version, a link to CSR, etc.) or be able to sort and filter the choices. Then they pick one to download, and BoE getss the archive of the scenario from the URL given by the XML file, unzips it into the scenarios folder (you'd have to have a way to prevent overwrites and the like), and (if there is a readme) gives a prompt to open the readme file and/or start the scenario, or keep downloading scenarios.

 

Click to reveal.. (Proposed XML structure)

I'd be more than happy to develop, host, and commit a PHP script to generate this XML file, if this idea gets anywhere. Even if it doesn't, a third-party scenario browser could use this fairly easily.

Code:
<!-- Put your usual XML crap here, doctypes and such --><scenlist>  <meta    name="Official Openexile Scenario List" <!-- The name of the scenario, displayed to the user -->    author="Openexile Crew" <!-- The author of the list -->    url="http://example.com/blades.xml" <!-- just for consistency...possibly help w/ error handling? -->  />  <reviews <!-- Optional, only if review data is included with the actual data -->    type="community"      <!-- 'community' or 'individual', this tells whether the numbers      are aggregations of multiple reviews or just someone's      Top 10 list -->    scalebase="1" <!-- The lowest possible review -->    scaleroof="5" <!-- the highest possible review -->  /><scenario  id="768"    <!-- Don't know if this is needed, but...    A unique identifier for each scenario.    This would have to be universally agreed upon    so nobody gets duplicate scenarios    I'd suggest something like it's    SV CSR thread number for older scenarios    and the new CSR thread number for new ones    if it gets ported to BoE    anytime soon. -->  name="Bob's Epic Scenario" <!-- The name of the scenario -->  by="Bob" <!-- Author -->  mail="bob@example.com" <!-- optional, remove at author request but keep up-to-date otherwise -->  rating="4.25" <!-- optional -->  reviews="10" <!-- Only use for 'community' type ratings. number of reviews for the scen. -->  revurl="http://example.com/boe/epicbob.txt" <!-- Optional. Url for the textual review. For example, a url to a SV CSR thread -->  download="http://example.com/boe/epicbob.tar.gz"    <!-- I'd suggest tar.gz or .zip, but the    structure should be consistent -->  version="2.11.0" <!-- possibly to update scenarios? -->  readme="epicbob.txt"    <!-- Optional. if filled, BoE will ask to    open the given file after it unzips -->  tags="Worthwile Scenario, Epic, Linear" <!-- for filtering -->  site="http://bob.example.com" <!-- Optional. Url to the designer's website to get more info -->  <!-- Prolly some other stuff that I missed, but meh -->/><scenario  <!-- yadda yadda yadda -->/></scenlist>

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Lilith   
Originally Posted By: Chokboyz
Note that, the bashing formula is also plagued with the "reversed difficulty scale" problem (Unlock is fine).


If I'm reading the logic of the Unlock spell correctly, doesn't being higher level actually make it harder to unlock doors? That seems like a problem.

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Chokboyz   
Originally Posted By: Thuryl
If I'm reading the logic of the Unlock spell correctly, doesn't being higher level actually make it harder to unlock doors? That seems like a problem.

Actually no, because the level adjustement factor is decreasing with the level : combat_percent[20] = {150,120,100,90,80,80,80,70,70,70,70,70,67,62,57,52,47,42,40,40}

Chokboyz

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