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Heroes Community > Heroes 3.5 - WoG and Beyond > Thread: Artillery Artifacts - Era 2 Mod
Thread: Artillery Artifacts - Era 2 Mod
JimV
JimV


Responsible
Supreme Hero
posted February 22, 2013 08:35 PM
Edited by JimV at 00:34, 05 Mar 2013.

Artillery Artifacts - Era 2 Mod

MOD NAME: "Artillery Artifacts" (demo map "ArtilleryDuel.h3m")

INSTALLATION:

Download the self-extracting archive "ArtilleryArtifacts.exe" from this folder and execute it to build the mod in your Era 2 folder (Era 2 must be installed first, see the Era 2 sticky thread.) It was developed under Era 2.41. Play the short demo map to assess the worth of the new artifacts and develop strategies for using them.

DESCRIPTION:

This Era 2.4 mod adds five new, artillery artifacts. It has been tested together with the Yona, Secondary Skills Scrolling, and (standard) WoG mods - other mods may contain unknown interferences. The new artifacts replace existing ones, as described below. This will make it convenient to use the new artifacts in the Map Editor, by referencing the originals. The properties of the original artifacts are retained, but their pictures, descriptions, cost, status (four changed to major, one changed to relic), and in some cases equipment slot, have been changed.

When equipped, each of the new artifacts adds an artillery piece to the side of the equipped Hero in battle. They are equipped in the Hero's Miscellaneous slots, and each slot corresponds to a different battle location. If all five Miscellaneous slots are equipped with one or more of the new artifacts, five artillery pieces will be used by that side in battle. To make room for them, all obstacles are cleared from the battlefield, and the locations of the battle troops are changed slightly. Exceptions: these pieces are not used in battles triggered by a Creature Bank (e.g., Dwarven Treasury), Derilict Ship, or Dragon Utopia, and in a siege battle, the defending side can only use two of them inside the Town walls. If more than two are equipped, the two which are placed are chosen automatically based on the pieces' priorities. AI players who have these artifacts and have empty Miscellaneous slots will have them equipped automatically by priority at the start of a battle also. From lowest to highest the priorities are:

Ice Cannon: replaces the Bird of Perception; fires iceballs which explode into Ice Bolts if there is a live enemy target on the hex where they land, and then continue exploding into a Frost Ring into the surrounding hexes. Targeting is random within the quadrant which contains the most targets, out of the range of the cannon. That is, its range of hexes is divided into four quadrants and the most target-rich quadrant is selected. A cannon can reach from two rows above its front wheels to six rows beneath its front wheels, and from three columns in front of its front wheels to the other side of the battlefield. The Power of its spell damage is based on the Hero's Power (P) and Water Magic skill (M), and the number of shots it can fire depends on M and the Hero's Knowledge (K), as follows:

Shot Power = [(M+1)*P+2]/4, but with a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 10*M+5 (M=0 for no skill, 3 for Expert skill)

Number of Shots = [(M+1)*K+2]/4. but with a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 5*M+5

All cannons are fired at the start of each of the Hero's troop turns, until they run out of shots, at which point they are removed from the battlefield.

These shooting conditions are the same for all five artillery pieces, except that the Magic skill involved varies. (All of these conditions could be changed for any or all artillery pieces if improvements are suggested. The specific values were chosen in hopes of making the artifacts useful but not unbalancing.) Due to the random targeting and automatic equipage for AI Heroes, they should not be a big disadvantage for the AI - although humans can learn strategies for them.

Plasma CyclopsHead of Balor (a robotmagic head which shoots plasma beams out of its single eye): replaces the Stoic Watchman; fires a plasma beam which explodes into a Fireball at the target hex. The power-effect of Fireball has been increased from 10 to 15 in this mod, to match the Ice Bolt/Frost Ring effect of the Ice Cannon. It uses Fire Magic skill for M.

Stun BeamerEye of Horus: replaces the Emblem of Cognizance; fires an electric ray which explodes into a Lightning ball if the target hex contains a living enemy, and stones the enemy stack for five rounds. Because it hits only a single hex, its "shot" is defined as three beams per turn. It uses Air Magic. (Although it only hits three hexes per turn and the other pieces can hit more, it does more damage per hex than most of the others, and can never hurt a friendly troop, which the spread of the other pieces can.)

FlamethrowerFlame Cannon: replaces the Statesman Medal; it sprays burning promethium which explodes into an Inferno at the target hex. It uses Fire Magic.

Chaos Cannon: replaces the Diplomat's Ring; it fires a bloody hellball, which moans with the sounds of the demons of the damned, and explodes into Implosion if the target hex contains a living foe. Then the debris rains down in a Meteor Shower. Engraved on its barrels in the hellish glyphs of Chaos are these words: "I will smite thee with great vengeance, and you will know that my name is Lord Khorne!" (The Chaos God of Battle.) Sometimes the tools of the Chaos creatures must be used against them, but beware the taint it may place upon your soul!

TECHNICAL NOTES for "Artillery Duel" (useful for planning strategy):

Eisenhorn will face Air/Storm Elementals first, then Water/Ice, then Fire/Energy, then Earth/Magma. Between each set, he will be able to visit a Conflux, Magic School, and Black Market. The Confluxes contain Magic Universities which teach Elemental Magic skills, an Artifact Merchant who will buy artifacts, and some creature barracks. The Magic Schools and Black Markets can be visited as many times per day as you have gold. The Black Markets always contain the five new artifacts in the third through seventh slots.

The "Remove Obstacle" spell will remove one of an enemy Hero's artillery pieces. Due to its increased usefulness, its mana cost has been doubled in this mod. Do not forget to use it.

The map must be wogified to load the script which powers the new artifacts. It also contains some custom scripts used to set conditions for the map (such as ever-visitable Magic Schools). These built-in scripts are not a general part of the mod.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: while any errors and inadequacies are my own, I could not have attempted this mod without the tools and information generously supplied by Bersy, OxFEA, Salamandre and others.

Examples:


Flamethrowers on the battlefield, about to fire:


The two back locations are for Misc. slots 1 (top) and 2 (bottom), the middle front location is for Misc. slot 3, the top front is for slot 4, and the bottom front is for slot 5.

Update - artifact changes to Eyes of Horus and Flame Cannons:


Update (March 4, 2013) - added battle-bone obstacles, when there is room for them:

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Storm-Giant
Storm-Giant


Responsible
Undefeatable Hero
On the Other Side!
posted February 22, 2013 08:40 PM

Crazy idea, but very interesting

Thanks for the job Jim!
____________

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Salamandre
Salamandre


Admirable
Omnipresent Hero
Wog refugee
posted February 22, 2013 09:42 PM

Looks absolutely crazy and delicious. We are fortunate to have such creative minds in our forgotten forum.

QP! Wait, there are no more given. Gratitude then.

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Salamandre
Salamandre


Admirable
Omnipresent Hero
Wog refugee
posted February 26, 2013 11:24 PM

I tried it:

Concept is great, sounds and animations are good. The only problem which could raise, in my opinion, is that the battlefield gets squeezed temporarily and creatures are replaced in vulnerable positions. I can imagine that some impossible fights could be quickly done by using the invulnerable artilleries as dummy force fields, but also other fights could be screwed because our units are easily reachable.

Now, it is common sense that artilleries are in the back, so I would not suggest putting them in front, but the Atlantis option could be considered, where objects are placed outside the grid. Probably graphics should be smaller in that case, but only by a few.

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JimV
JimV


Responsible
Supreme Hero
posted February 27, 2013 12:24 AM
Edited by JimV at 00:28, 27 Feb 2013.

Thanks for all of the previous comments.

I was thinking about a battle to be called "Medusa's Forest", in which the Medusa Heads shown in the SND/HS thread would appear up in the background (top of the screen) in various locations, and then disappear after firing. Artillery which was part of the background could be done similarly, but the positioning would not look as natural (to me) as placing them on the battlefield. Also, there would have to be many custom battlefield pictures, to display all the combinations of attacker/defender artillery (unless they appeared and disappeared like the Medusa Heads).

I agree a bigger battlefield (smaller hexes and creatures) would be more suitable for the use of artillery. However, in most cases in a random map a Hero would not have more than one or two artillery artifacts (since they have been redefined as major/relic), and human players always have the option of not equipping some or all of the ones they have, depending on the battle circumstances. Enemy pieces can be removed by Remove Obstacle.

One of the artillery pieces (Stun Beamer) only occupies one hex. The others could be reduced in size, but I worry that they would look like toys. It would also be possible to make some or all of the hexes which they occupy passable, but again this might sacrifice some realism.

Another possible alternative would be to make creatures into artillery, by giving them bazookas, flamethrowers, or other heavy weapons which would fire automatically at the beginning of a turn like the artillery artifacts.

I am sure the graphics and sounds could be improved by many people here. Maybe even by me, over time. But I did spend a month or so working on them, so I am relieved if they are not too bad.

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artu
artu


Promising
Undefeatable Hero
My BS sensor is tingling again
posted February 27, 2013 09:02 AM

I think this would be a really usable mod instead of a crazy fun idea if the new weapons were medieval stuff instead of plasma gun, stun beamer etc etc.

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Salamandre
Salamandre


Admirable
Omnipresent Hero
Wog refugee
posted February 27, 2013 09:15 AM

Graphics are easy to replace, script will work.

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Galileo
Galileo


Known Hero
posted February 27, 2013 09:54 AM

The theme looks quite Forge-inspired, so yes, it doesn't fit too much.
And battlefield looks empty. Maybe that could be solved by not removing the obstacles and allowing to player to choose the machines' positions, like a tactical phase.

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JimV
JimV


Responsible
Supreme Hero
posted February 27, 2013 02:26 PM
Edited by JimV at 19:54, 02 Mar 2013.

Thanks for the additional thoughts.

The location of artillery pieces is controlled within a limited set of choices by their location in the Miscellaneous slots, as explained in the first post, which allows for the development of placement strategies. Allowing them to be be moved anywhere on the battlefield would allow the creation of barriers similar to long-lasting Force Fields, as Salamandre mentioned.

I consider the pieces to be either magical, in the case of Ice Cannons and Chaos Cannons, or as the remnants of higher technology left in a post-apocalyptic era, in the case of the Plasma Cyclops (could also be magical), Stun Beamer, and Flamethrower. In my experience with the Might and Magic series, this fits within its broad genre. (There were Blasters in M&M VII.) Of course, everyone is free to come up with their own mythos in which certain things fit or don't fit.

P.S. It would be possible to add some random obstacles to the battlefield, however this would involve the choice of suitable obstacles which would not block movement too much and would fit the terrain or terrain-overlays, so I did not want to delay the release to add this feature, in case I got hit by a truck in the meantime.

(Despite such protestations, I am somewhat open to suggestions for improvement, but it may take more than one request to overcome my inertia.)
_________________________________________________________
To adhere to a magic theme, the Stun Beamer might become the Eye of Horus:

(A couple hours work for a poor artist.)

The Flamethrower might become a mechanical dragon - not beyond the capabilities of a powerful medieval wizard to produce (for fantasy values of medieval).
________________________________________________________
Or maybe a magical Flame Cannon:

And if it is not sufficiently magical, the Plasma Cyclops could be renamed to "Head of Balor" (see Celtic Mythology).

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Salamandre
Salamandre


Admirable
Omnipresent Hero
Wog refugee
posted February 27, 2013 07:54 PM
Edited by Salamandre at 19:54, 27 Feb 2013.

The comments about what fits or not are out of place, here is modding forum, experiments, examples to read from and homeworks. What matters is the final result, if someone wants to use laser beams he will have to adapt his map/mod graphically to that idea. I even saw a F-14 bombing alien wraiths on a battlefield, nothing shocks me if well done.
____________
All my Era II mods

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JimV
JimV


Responsible
Supreme Hero
posted February 27, 2013 08:09 PM

Quote:
I even saw a F-402 bombing alien wraiths on a battlefield ...


That could be made so much better now. Even in WoG 3.58f it could be done a little bit better, but now in Era 2 the F-402 could shoot rockets. Everything I see evolves (for better or worse). Nothing just poofs into existence in a perfect form.

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Salamandre
Salamandre


Admirable
Omnipresent Hero
Wog refugee
posted February 27, 2013 08:16 PM

Umm, I am more open to suggestions on how to improve Amazons strip session under Era.


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Salamandre
Salamandre


Admirable
Omnipresent Hero
Wog refugee
posted March 05, 2013 01:28 AM

IMO not good idea to add manually battle obstacles, matching terrain will be difficult, in the screen they look crowded with all the things around. The decision to keep battlefield empty was best I think.

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fred79
fred79


Promising
Undefeatable Hero
posted March 05, 2013 02:10 AM

the artillery is a nice idea, i think. one suggestion tho: add a little more contrast to the objects. the new two need more than the first, but they all need contrast added so they blend better with the battlefield, fighters, and heroes.

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alisapa1211
alisapa1211


Famous Hero
posted March 05, 2013 02:25 AM

How about you can only have one Artillery?! I agree with Sal because things looks too crowded here, and it messes up the battle positions as well. You can make it up by increasing the Artillery power and make it rarer/relic, also each Artillery can have different effects rather than just damage type.

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JimV
JimV


Responsible
Supreme Hero
posted March 05, 2013 02:46 AM
Edited by JimV at 03:11, 05 Mar 2013.

The screen with the obstacles was taken from "Artillery Duel" which is a custom map with lots of Artillery Artifacts. I am playing an XL random map with the mod now. First I started the map with no edits and didn't see an AA anywhere, so I added a random major artifact in front of my home Tower. I had to restart the map about a dozen times before I finally got an Eye of Horus which wasn't wogified into something else. I have played for about two months of game-time now and haven't seen another AA anywhere (there may be some in the Dragon Utopias). So I think the chances of having eight AA's in a non-custom-map battle are very, very small. The bone obstacles are placed so as not to form a continuous barrier with the edges or with any of the cannons, so they do not restrict movement too much. However, it will be much easier to take them out of the script then it was to add them, so if anyone who downloads the current version wants them removed, just remove these lines in the ERM Script Editor (currently at line numbers 473-489):

!!FU&v10<>0:E; exit if seige
* add Battle Bones obstacles (maybe)
!!FU&v32<>0/v33<>0/v34<>0/v52<>0/v53<>0/v54<>0:E;
!!VRv9:Sv1000*144+v999*144+v998; random seed
!!VRv8:R1/v9; set seed so battles at this loc. have same obstacles
!!FU7087:P; get v704 obst. hex for O83
!!FU&v704<1:E;
!!BF:O83/v704;
!!FU7085:P; get next v704 obst. hex for O12
!!FU&v704<1:E;
!!BF:O12/v704;
!!FU7086:P; get next v704 obst. hex for O29
!!FU&v704<1:E;
!!BF:O31/v704;
!!FU7086:P; get next v704 obst. hex for O29
!!FU&v704<1:E;
!!BF:O31/v704;

P.S. in response to the comment immediately above, which wasn't shown on my system when I first submitted this -

As mentioned in the first post, the artifacts retain their original properties (scouting radius, diplomacy), in addition to their artillery functions. Human players can chose where the cannons are placed and if they are not placed in the back (Miscellaneous slots 1 and 2) they will not affect troop placement. As with any new feature, strategies can be developed for how best to use them. For example, placing them in front concentrates their fire more, but allows enemy troops to "get under the guns" more easily. In the unlikely event (outside of "Artillery Duel") that you get Artillery pieces for all five Miscellaneous slots, you can elect not to equip all of them if that seems more advantageous for some reason.

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Witchking
Witchking

Tavern Dweller
posted March 05, 2013 09:26 AM
Edited by Witchking at 10:02, 05 Mar 2013.

Maybe you use this:


http://www.mediafire.com/?zg7qmrfzwda9qp0


http://www.mediafire.com/?59hs8rch6dvc9az




http://www.mediafire.com/?al8p95yu3d1wrjl

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Salamandre
Salamandre


Admirable
Omnipresent Hero
Wog refugee
posted March 05, 2013 10:34 AM

The third is good, others are meh.
____________
All my Era II mods

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artu
artu


Promising
Undefeatable Hero
My BS sensor is tingling again
posted March 05, 2013 11:12 AM

Cool replacements, also JimV, while I was downloading this I noticed update of Hidden Spells, reloaded it but the updated version gives a corrupt file message. Not an antivirus alert, winrar says file is corrupt.

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JimV
JimV


Responsible
Supreme Hero
posted March 05, 2013 01:57 PM

Witchking - thanks for the suggestions. Of course any one is free to modify the h3sprite.pac with their own obstacle DEF's (OBxxxx.def) as long as the replacements are the same size. The Artillery Artifacts on the battlefield are also obstacle DEF's, with their firing animations supplied via ERM and XFiles, so they would be much more effort to replace. I thought collections of bones might fit any battlefield (even Clouds, if battles take place there) whereas a nice rock might not, but as I have said before, everyone is entitled to their own mythos.

Artu - WinRAR opens my HiddenSpells.exe and there have been several other downloads of it since it was last tweaked, so it may have been a download glitch - but maybe not, so I have re-packed the entire file and re-uploaded it.

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