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Heroes Community > Heroes 4 - Lands of Axeoth > Thread: Special Terrains
Thread: Special Terrains This thread is 3 pages long: 1 2 3 · «PREV / NEXT»
Karmakeld
Karmakeld


Famous Hero
posted August 26, 2017 07:54 AM

Thank you very much for the info NimoStar.
I'll extract your modded terrains and do a compare. Perhaps I can enable the remaining ones, following your example.

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Karmakeld
Karmakeld


Famous Hero
posted August 26, 2017 08:57 AM

Sokoro said:
In Heroes 4 there is several special terrain types.
Magic Plains, Field of Life, Enchanted Stone, Cursed Ground, Scorched Earth, Magic Garden, Field of Glory.
What is purpose of these? Anything else than just asthetic on adventure map? Too sad they do not change asthetic in combat screen. Do they affect gameplay in any way?


A kind soul just send me this in a message:
@Sokoro, the answer to your question, posted by Jennifer Bullard from NWC.

Description of the new terrain types

Quote from the site:
Quote:
Mithrandir: About the size of the map, Some player consider that XL size is still too small. What are the maps sizes ? Are there any new kinds of maps ? And are there any new terrain types ?

Maranthea: The map sizes will still be called Small, Medium, Large and Extra-Large, but their actual dimensions have grown from Heroes III to Heroes IV. This was to accommodate the larger look to structures and to give us more room in general on the maps. There are six new terrain types, five correspond with the new types of magic, and one enhances the Combat and Tactics skills in the game.

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Baronus
Baronus


Supreme Hero
posted August 26, 2017 10:04 AM

So as you see they planned terrain for each magic and for tactics but HIV is unfinished like many NWC games.

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Karmakeld
Karmakeld


Famous Hero
posted August 26, 2017 10:30 AM

Well as for the terrains there could be more to it. Sure we know for a fact that many featured were planned, but we don't know for sure which were unfinished and which might have been post production ideas that got discarded along the way. From the interview I get the impression it was still post/early production ideas. While it might have made sense to enhance the magic terrains, I'm not sure it would've made sense to have terrain types boost your Tactics and Combat skills beyond your skill level. Could be they found the skills themself sufficient and boosting them with terrains might have made them overpowered. We can only guess.

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Baronus
Baronus


Supreme Hero
posted August 26, 2017 12:58 PM

For sure eg. they planned conlux (we have all or 7 units without magic elemental). Inferno and necro was planned as 2 cities we have heroes to inferno (black dressed in Asylium). And many, many others.
I checked terrain. Its raw but very weird. Terain in brush as you see is randomly generated and in def you have many scraps to generate ground.

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NimoStar
NimoStar


Promising
Famous Hero
Modding the Unmoddable
posted August 30, 2017 11:53 PM

Has anyone tried my method of "half archive duplication"?

It would be best to take a "full" terrain file, ranem it to for example "enchanted stone" file name, and pass the "enchanted stone" image to both what is (I think) the "map" (first) and "combat" (second) image.

I will try to make a "true" enchanted stone battlefield with it, but it might take more than a few tries until I get it right... I am also rusty, you see.


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Karmakeld
Karmakeld


Famous Hero
posted August 31, 2017 12:27 AM

Not yet. I only had a quick glimpse but need more deep comparison. I had hoped to extract your modded terrains, but I can't extract those from your mod file, it just reads the files as 0 byte size, so nothing to extract. If I have time, I might give it a try in the qeekend.

Hmm. I got the impression there are adventure terrains and combat terrains (separate), but I'm not sure atm. Using Namerutan's tool you could get a quick overview of wheter there are terrain files in 1 or 2 places in the h4r file.

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NimoStar
NimoStar


Promising
Famous Hero
Modding the Unmoddable
posted September 02, 2017 05:17 AM

As I see, the same looks of the terrain on map file is how it looks in battle... so for all we know, it could be the same file. It certainly is the same image.

But I believe battlefield, unlike mal, is randomly generated.

Which begs the question, why did they not make a randomized map generator if they could make a randomized battlefield generator -_-
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Karmakeld
Karmakeld


Famous Hero
posted September 03, 2017 07:34 PM

Well I guess time could've been an issue. I sense parts in some of the table files that indicate they could've planned such a feature. I recall there are parts that suggest you could determine amount of water and other settings suggesting it might have been foe random generated maps. There's also clear indications an artifact modding/creation tool was planned.

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NimoStar
NimoStar


Promising
Famous Hero
Modding the Unmoddable
posted September 03, 2017 09:35 PM

So... I have found another component to the puzzle.

My method, even if it didn't break the game, didn't work either.

Why?

I suggest it has to do with this...



As you see, there are many less "terrain" types in the obstacle table than actual terrain types. All of the others default to one of these.

Maybe if we can create more layers
(Example terrain.magic.all.1 and terrain.magic.all.2) and add it to this table, it has a chance of working.

But, although this is a fragment of the puzzle, it is far from being complete.

The way the table is laid out makes it seem as though there is those and only those fixed positions for the terrain, as below it shifts into other considerations such as obstacle adjacency and overlay.
This in turn seems to mean the number of "Positions" for terrain and other features are hardcoded to be read from the exe (for example, only positions 2 to 10 read as terrains, positions 11 to 40 read as adjacency of obstacles, etc.)

***

There is also an unused combat object, "sparkles, that, although included in the game files and table, is never told to appear.
This was probably intended for the more "magical" terrains.




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Karmakeld
Karmakeld


Famous Hero
posted September 03, 2017 11:59 PM

Was it your suggested "half archive duplication" that failed?

I stumbled upon these in the exe file at 006733bc (personal combat terrains) and 00684ea4 (special combat terrains). It seems some terrain types might've been prepared but not finished as layer files.

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NimoStar
NimoStar


Promising
Famous Hero
Modding the Unmoddable
posted September 05, 2017 03:44 AM

That's the thing that bugs me to a degree... it seems they are much more "unimplemented" than "unfinished". Much like the sparkles, all the information is basically there.   It just lacks enabling properly, at the very least on the real images and graphics are concerned.

For example, Tactical and Personal Combat files are there. They are complete. Radmutant got the "tactical" (Field of Glory) terrain to display ingame. Meaning it just lacks some letters (and possibly the table entry) to reference it. It WOULD BE POSSIBLE technically to enable it. We just don't know exactly how... yet.

Maybe search the .exe is "volcanic" and such table entries are referenced somehow?
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NimoStar
NimoStar


Promising
Famous Hero
Modding the Unmoddable
posted September 10, 2017 10:51 PM

So it appears most terrains are actually made of two very similar (but not always exactly) terrains, that overlap in a subtle fractal sort of way.

By replacing one of these we get "hybrid" terrains that appear in the random way Baronus (I think?) found in the code. I have been experimenting with this a bit.

Terrains are read from .h4d files without having to put them in .h4r files, unlike some other data.

This technique is nice to save work decorating maps. Also maps could come ith .h4d terrains to play with different graphics.

Look at this. It is done with just one terrain.

In battle, it also looks like this, giving more vibrance and variance.











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Karmakeld
Karmakeld


Famous Hero
posted January 10, 2018 04:51 PM

I think I've missed yor last post for months.
What I really wanna know is, if those 4 screenshots are using the same method Radmutant displayed early in the tread by renaming eg. Field of Glory to Grass or if these are indeed adding new terrains rather than replacing. Also a display of file name xx.h4d would be useful info.

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NimoStar
NimoStar


Promising
Famous Hero
Modding the Unmoddable
posted February 19, 2018 10:43 AM

This indeed is renaming a different terrain to become the "Other half" of an existing terrain.

It is possible to do so with terrains that have both .1 and .2 versions (see filename)

Other terrains like field of life are "single"; they don't have variations or fractal pattern, they just repeat the same pattern indefinitely.

These can be used as one half of an "hybrid" terrain, but aren't hybrid terrain themselves.

I have found no suitable references in the .exe to terrain types so there may be other tables, or the information is numerical/encrypted.

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Karmakeld
Karmakeld


Famous Hero
posted February 19, 2018 08:22 PM

Well then there's really nothing new since Radmutant69's test back on page 1 as of july '17.

I agree the images seems more likely to make hybrid between image 1 & 2 rather than one being the adventure and the other combat.
I took a look at the exe file and located all terrain types at 006733bc (for easier way to locate, search for 'cobble').

All the special terrains are listed there, but Radmutant said he already tried adding the missing ones to the combat table file and it didn't work. So we're left with the only options of doing these 'hybrid' replacements.
If for some reason ppl. would want to be able to still do 'all grass' adventure terrain without the hybrid terrain type displaying as well, I guess we should look into trying to make terrain decoratives. Baronus already suggested something similar in another tread, I just checked an it would look okay. But I don't know if there would really be any use for such decoratives...
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NimoStar
NimoStar


Promising
Famous Hero
Modding the Unmoddable
posted February 20, 2018 12:05 AM

Radmutant didn't know hot it worked or why combat/adventure, thus his experiment was useful, yes, but didn't reach the same conclusions, for example mine do explain...
Quote:
This usually works but eg. the 'Field of Life' looks very bad, filled with black rectangles.


As I said some terrains are composites, other ones are not.

Quote:
All the special terrains are listed there, but Radmutant said he already tried adding the missing ones to the combat table file and it didn't work.


What I tried to say is that the exe numbers the "entries" in the file that refer to terrain types.


I think those decoratives would have niche use. They would have some disadvantages with respecto to the "real thing" like not being able to be curved from elevation.

Anyways vegetation and grass on brushes can already be used for a similar purpose...

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Karmakeld
Karmakeld


Famous Hero
posted February 20, 2018 06:56 PM

NimoStar said:
Radmutant didn't know hot it worked or why combat/adventure, thus his experiment was useful, yes, but didn't reach the same conclusions, for example mine do explain...
Quote:
This usually works but eg. the 'Field of Life' looks very bad, filled with black rectangles.


As I said some terrains are composites, other ones are not.


I'm not gonna go into an irrelevant discussion about what Radmutant knew and who concluded what, all I'm saying is, it's fairly simple to see which terrain types are composed of 2 files and which only has 1 - Simply open the H4 ResHelper and look. It displays it quite nicely And you can see Field of Life aka Magic - Life only has 1 image file.



Quote:
All the special terrains are listed there, but Radmutant said he already tried adding the missing ones to the combat table file and it didn't work.


What I tried to say is that the exe numbers the "entries" in the file that refer to terrain types.

I think those decoratives would have niche use. They would have some disadvantages with respect to to the "real thing" like not being able to be curved from elevation.

Anyways vegetation and grass on brushes can already be used for a similar purpose...


Well that depends on how well you want the ground covered (vegetation).
True it won't do any good on elevated terrain, but it would allow you to make paths and other stuff, that normally would be merged by the terrains and we can create new terrain types.

But they should be rather easy to make, so I can add that to my list. Ideas are welcome though.

Btw. here you stated you were able to mod the files to keep the original adventure terrain and only  change in combat
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NimoStar
NimoStar


Promising
Famous Hero
Modding the Unmoddable
posted February 21, 2018 01:40 PM

Never said it was difficult to know which terrains are simple and which are composite... I already put the screenshots of that and explñained it. If they have .1 and .2 on their files they are composite, otherwise unnumbered they are simple. I am not sure why you want to linger on this...

I said "adventure map" not "adventure terrain". I meant the actual mini-map :V - values there don't take into account composite terrain. You can have half-volcanic desert and if the base terrain was desert, it will still fully display as desert on the minimap.-

Well, at least your idea of terrain overlays seems good enought. I specially like the possibility fof creating animated terrain. For example waves on the sea etc. It's incredible h3 had waves and a moving volcanic terrain with lava veins, and h4 doesn't...

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Karmakeld
Karmakeld


Famous Hero
posted February 21, 2018 11:47 PM

NimoStar said:
....I am not sure why you want to linger on this...


You know what, beats me too  

NimoStar said:

I said "adventure map" not "adventure terrain". I meant the actual mini-map :V - values there don't take into account composite terrain. You can have half-volcanic desert and if the base terrain was desert, it will still fully display as desert on the minimap.-


Now you say ... Don't blame me for being inaccurate

NimoStar said:

Well, at least your idea of terrain overlays seems good enought. I specially like the possibility fof creating animated terrain. For example waves on the sea etc. It's incredible h3 had waves and a moving volcanic terrain with lava veins, and h4 doesn't...


I'm totally with you on those, but it would require someone with artistic skills to do the animations. Sadly none of the water objects contain anything resembling waves or running water. The waterfalls are most likely not useful in that matter. The Lava flows do move a bit and so does some of the pools, so perhaps they could serve as a base for moving water/lava or for minor lakes. I'd also love to see some waterspray from waves.
If you can find useable animations that can be borrowed from other games, we could try to add those.
Also ideas for any other kind of terrain that would be nice to add, is much welcome..

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