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Re: Vom's adventures in Rivendell [Re: vometia] #657601
08/12/19 06:31 AM
08/12/19 06:31 AM
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I found healing auras to be handy for topping off HP while exploring, etc (though if I hadn't stopped distributing attribute points after level 15, my natural healing rate could have been faster). I mostly relied on random levels on loot, but when replacing a belt with the only healing aura I had at the time, I added level 10 to the replacement; IIRC I tried it without the healing aura for a while, decided to add it, then not long after found a better belt.
I got a level 10 healing aura on level 24, after taking over the battle tower (after entering the Master's chambers, picking up the 'Note from Maxos' completed a quest, and one of the optional rewards was a bracelet with a level 10 Healing Aura).
I bought a few pieces of equipment to get the enchantment formula, as well, selling them after removing it.

Re: Vom's adventures in Rivendell [Re: vometia] #657610
09/12/19 03:13 AM
09/12/19 03:13 AM
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I just did pretty much that, i.e. buying a weapon and a piece of armour for their enchantments and potentially paid less for them than I would had I found the actual recipe for sale somewhere! atm I have just the one healing aura and I seem to be finding life a lot less difficult in Aleroth, which is strange because I thought I'd played FoV post-DKS patch, but maybe not. Maybe later I'll start getting pwned again! I'm not objecting particularly, dying constantly wasn't much fun, and that was on easy rather than normal. Maybe I'm just a bit more clued up about where to invest my skill points, though it all feels a bit arbitrary.

Yesterday's adventures included the dungeons under Madam Eve's (who also got a pair of (in)appropriate spiky heels on the way) and the encounters with Folo and especially Prince Michael were even funnier than I remembered; and the wonderfully-named chef Bourdain (I didn't know about the late, great American chef and presenter back in the day) and his coq bourré, which I'm guessing is some sort of cultural in joke.

[Linked Image]
Heels!


I'm also wishing I could remember more about playing DD as I'm sure there're various references to the old Aleroth, and heard the moany, layabout builders in the Ministry confirming that the city took 50 years to build ("We built this city! We built this city on Gor-gom-beeeeerrrt!" How did Jefferson Airplane sink so low?)

Edit: I just realised I can see a lot of the coastline the Orobas Fjords area and beyond from the battle tower (though on at least one platform the compass directions are messed up) which I may attempt to incorporate into my map. I'm not entirely sure how and I may need to just roughly sketch it as best I can, but I think it fortunately matches (well, in the broadest sense) the lumpy bit I added between Sentinel Island and Luculla which still needs a lot of work anyway, at the least to make the Dark Forest look a lot more substantial.

Last edited by vometia; 09/12/19 03:33 AM.

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Re: Vom's adventures in Rivendell [Re: vometia] #657621
09/12/19 08:42 AM
09/12/19 08:42 AM
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That's curious: I was convinced Talana was voiced by the same actress who did Malady, but turns out that Sally Willis and Amelia Tyler just sound the same. Though others may disagree, my idea of "the same" is often its own thing. Maybe I just have weird hearing: I was also convinced that Greedfall's deSardine was voiced by Alix Wilton Regan because I apparently think she and Cassie Layton sound the same.


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Re: Vom's adventures in Rivendell [Re: vometia] #657627
09/12/19 03:58 PM
09/12/19 03:58 PM
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For once I thought I'd try the save/reload thing with a malachite vein but it just came up with the same stuff every time, i.e. 8 pieces of ore and no gems. Even going back to the autosave at the start of the area (the Maxos Shrine in Aleroth) still produced the same stuff.

My experience of malachite veins is that fewer than half produce any gems at all, and none has ever produced more than one. Is this by design or am I just really unlucky?


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Re: Vom's adventures in Rivendell [Re: vometia] #657630
09/12/19 05:47 PM
09/12/19 05:47 PM
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I also noticed in my "Heels!" screenshot a book I didn't pick up, so I finally went back and read it. Although it's officially(?) inspired by Poe's Murders in the Rue Morgue, "Murders in the Rue Lanilor" always made me think of Iron Maiden's song of the same name. Sure enough, the book mentions Charlotte the Harlot, a song from the previous Maiden album. I always preferred the Paul Di'Anno stuff anyway.


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Re: Vom's adventures in Rivendell [Re: vometia] #657646
10/12/19 10:42 AM
10/12/19 10:42 AM
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Hmm, the sky's gone red; is it supposed to do that?

Edit: it's stopped being red now. That was quite unpleasant so I'm glad it's gone away!

Last edited by vometia; 10/12/19 11:01 AM.

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Re: Vom's adventures in Rivendell [Re: vometia] #657654
11/12/19 02:08 AM
11/12/19 02:08 AM
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caninelegion Offline
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Funny how this sort of thing can happen; sometimes it's fun instead of unpleasant. In Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines, on the Santa Monica beach, on one play-through, I actually saw a large smiling face in the clouds/sky. I checked it from different angles, etc - it was there. Now, if I had indulged in certain things, that may have explained it but I hadn't. I never saw it again. I sometimes wonder if developers don't have something like that pop up on occasion at some low odds just because. smile

Re: Vom's adventures in Rivendell [Re: vometia] #657655
11/12/19 02:53 AM
11/12/19 02:53 AM
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tbf, it's the sort of thing I might do to randomly wind people up!


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Re: Vom's adventures in Rivendell [Re: vometia] #657662
11/12/19 02:00 PM
11/12/19 02:00 PM
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Well, just about finished. I'd left the Gula, playhouse, asylum and House of Secrets sidelines until the end thinking they were all bigger diversions than they were: I guess they all seemed quite prominent but didn't take that long! Can't really complain, Aleroth is a well-realised city with lots of interesting nooks and crannies and plenty to do, and tbh it's probably about he right length: it's left me with the feeling that I really enjoyed it and I'll finish having wanted more rather than eventually running out of steam, feeling meh and not finishing the game, which often happens. Though that isn't an argument in favour of shorter games!

What I really wish was the case is that it didn't totally and permanently close off entire areas, both in terms of the game's built-in restrictions and storyline because sometimes I just like to unwind after the end of the MQ and mooch about in the places I came to know and love. Though I'm not generally a fan of random quests I think some respawns and crappy fetch quests from a still accessible Broken Valley would've been really nice. I guess I'm still hoping for a Mended Valley at some point in the future.

I think I have stretched the game out a lot with my assorted pointless modding which is so inconvenient that even small alterations are time-consuming. biggrin I've written a few utilities for modding stuff which make life a lot easier, including finishing Blender's NIF exporter (well, kinda: it's still quite tedious), my DDS-into-NIF repacker and a DV2 extractor. I'm currently working on expanding the latter to also create DV2 files and it's largely complete, though as I suspected it's unlikely to happen before I finish the game. I may attempt to finish the DV2 writer anyway as nothing immediately comes to mind in terms of what I can play next and I need something to fill my time! I kinda wish I'd done it earlier as the one I downloaded years ago is quite slow, though I dunno how much of that is the program vs Windows/NTFS: my extractor is very fast, but that might just be because FreeBSD with ZFS has much better file handling than Windows. But I digress as usual.

Unless I've forgotten something, I don't have much else to do with myself. I'm most of the way through the dungeon leading to, er, Berlin's prison (can't be bothered to look up the weird spelling of his name) and after that I think it's just the notorious Zeppelin escort mission and the final showdown with Ygerna.


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Re: Vom's adventures in Rivendell [Re: vometia] #657664
11/12/19 07:52 PM
11/12/19 07:52 PM
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Ugh, Zeppelin escort mission. Although I'd remembered that it was tedious and not at all enjoyable, I'd actually forgotten how bad it is: the human mind is not capable of comprehending something so frustrating. Although I'd played through with a sort of confident bravado that even if all else failed there was F11, even F11 won't save me. I suppose I knew it would end like this.


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Re: Vom's adventures in Rivendell [Re: vometia] #657672
12/12/19 01:39 AM
12/12/19 01:39 AM
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The funny thing is, if it weren't timed (via surviveability of the zeppelin), you'd probably be able to eliminate the entire armada. So, back to my original argument - why the heck couldn't they wait until I cleared the way then deploy the zeppelin?

Last edited by caninelegion; 12/12/19 01:42 AM.
Re: Vom's adventures in Rivendell [Re: vometia] #657677
12/12/19 03:39 AM
12/12/19 03:39 AM
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I think the implication is that you're travelling into the centre of Damian's territory so any path you clear would simply be closed up by his overwhelming numbers which may as well be an infinitely large horde; the path you take is most likely the most vulnerable to his forces. But I admit it isn't depicted that way.

I think the aerial battles are one of the game's few weaknesses: I feel weak and vulnerable as a dragon compared to being in human form, and the Zeppelins seem ridiculously fragile given that they're actually extremely heavily armed flying gunboats. It could be the case that however seriously lethal they are otherwise, they still fulfil basically civil duties as their job is to transport goods and people as much as it is to patrol whereas a warmonger like Damian instead pours his entire efforts into going on the offensive so his fortresses are going to outgun it no matter what, but again the depiction seems to be more on the vulnerability of the Zeps, not helped by them even being brought down by goblins who seem to be more of an irritation than a credible threat.

That aside, the cinematics of the opening part of that section were very impressive with the Zeps emerging from Aleroth's aerial "ports", and confirmation (well, reminder, but I'd utterly forgotten) that the thing about Champion Harbour is in fact a viaduct-of-sorts through the mountains to get to Aleroth: the cutscene after Farglow went through the deeper part of the fjords as Farglow's obviously a diversion from the usual route.

Also interesting that the "shipyards" where they're made is in Rivertown: as a town with no rivers (! As it was shown in DD) obviously they would have a vested interest in alternative modes of transport, necessity being the mother of invention and all that.

I'll likely have a few other sweary attempts to escort the Zep. Reading the online guides, other suggestions were to use F11 to turn off cooldown times so if that applies to the Zep as well I can just get it to blast its own way through. Not sure if lowering difficulty will help as it's not clear whether it only lowers the damage and armour of enemies or if it's all non-player characters.


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Re: Vom's adventures in Rivendell [Re: vometia] #657678
12/12/19 04:59 AM
12/12/19 04:59 AM
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It took a couple of tries, but ultimately I found it relatively easy if I flew out in front of the zeppelin and took out everything on the platforms along the way (I even forgot about the dragon dash function, which would have helped). Even if you don't disable cooldowns, using the nuke skill as soon as possible on the largest group of targets nearby is key to clearing enough structures to safeguard the zeppelin (they can deal with flying opponents themselves, though I did try to keep the summon up as another distraction for them). Part way through you get a skill to direct the zeppelin's attacks, but I never used it (figured they could use it better themselves, and if they were close enough to help me, I'm wasn killing stuff fast enough).

Did you review That Zeppelin mission...?

Re: Vom's adventures in Rivendell [Re: vometia] #657681
12/12/19 07:14 AM
12/12/19 07:14 AM
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Well-remembered! I recalled moaning about it but had entirely forgotten I had done so in an actually useful amount of detail! I remembered I had done it (twice, as I also remember trying again to see if I could save the Zeppelin) but have long since forgotten the techniques. I'm not so shy about using God-mode etc this time through, partly as I know I completed the mission without it and partly as I've had to use it anyway for the bugged boss battles. Talking of which, I still wonder if that bug is level-dependent as I only saw it a couple of times.

I think not using the nuke skill was one of my failings, and not being diligent enough with clearing a path, mistakenly assuming that making a dent in their defences is enough. My main problem is that my RL speed and dexterity are not awesome and definitely aren't assets when time is of the essence...

But so far today I've only done a load more coding for my "simple" DV2 packer. I'm not sure it really needs such a functional directory tree walker as I've just written: my rationale is that I can then use it elsewhere, but the precise reason it's taken much longer to code is that I'm hopeless at keeping a repository of handy code fragments I can reuse so everything ends up being written from scratch. Which is very tedious in C, often leaving me feeling I'm getting too old for this, but it's really just a case of being too disorganised.


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Re: Vom's adventures in Rivendell [Re: vometia] #657688
12/12/19 03:04 PM
12/12/19 03:04 PM
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Meh. Spent all day finishing my DV2 creator only to find that the compression doesn't work. Well it does work, but DKS doesn't like it for some reason. OTOH it likes my DV2 files just fine as long as I leave them uncompressed.


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Re: Vom's adventures in Rivendell [Re: vometia] #657698
13/12/19 10:19 AM
13/12/19 10:19 AM
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I did the Zeppelin thing last night and actually once I knew what I was doing it didn't seem so difficult. I did leave god-mode on even though it probably wasn't strictly necessary because I am aware of how quickly you can lose health as a dragon, which means dying if you don't keep a constant eye on the health-bar, and I simply don't have enough concentration for that and the Zeppelin's health bar and the wyvern's status and keeping an eye out for stuff I may have missed and seeing what I need to deal with and checking the Zeppelin's route and keeping an eye on the Zeppelin's current location and trying to do all that in three dimensions when I can't remember which way is up at the best of times.

For some reason the magic "no cooldown" button didn't seem to work, butit turned out to not matter. I also forgot to turn off god-mode when I encountered Ygerna but it didn't seem that difficult a fight anyway. I saved right at the start so I can go and redo it if I want.

I'm still spending way too much time buggering about with my DV2 program. I still can't figure out what's the problem with my compressed version, but the zlib stuff is quite poorly documented and example code I've found to date is often poorly written and seldom very clear so I don't really know what I'm doing. I can decompress my own but DKS will CTD whether before the menu and on load. Might be a bug, more likely that it's expecting a particular compression scheme and I've no idea how to analyse the vanilla files to see the schema used to compress them in the first place. But it is properly happy with my uncompressed ones, finally, since I realised I needed to put the component files on 32K boundaries. I think it's probably time to stop faffing about with it, no point in being perfectionist about something that'll see such limited use from now on. Well okay, "perfectionist" is a bit much since it's quite far from perfect!

Dunno what to do with myself now. I guess I'll use the developer mode to go and explore to see if I missed anything cool. Which is very likely tbh.


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Re: Vom's adventures in Rivendell [Re: vometia] #657704
13/12/19 12:00 PM
13/12/19 12:00 PM
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As I couldn't simply leave it alone, I now have the compressed version working properly too: turns out it was programmer error as I was clueless about using zlib. This is the offending code should anybody be interested. It's probably crap and may well have bugs lurking as I rewrote it so many times to try to get it working and I now have too much of a headache to properly sanitise it. It also doesn't compile on Linux (at least not mine) because of either an old compiler or flags that I really can't be bothered to figure out: when I have to start setting things like -D_XOPEN_SOURCE=whatevs I figure life's too short.

Code
static int copyzfile(filelist_t *fp, FILE *fo)
{
	FILE *fi;
	z_stream zs;
	char filename[BUFSIZ];
	unsigned char deflate_in[DV2_BUFSIZ], deflate_out[DV2_BUFSIZ], *ptr;
	int zr;
	int bytes, bytesin = 0, bytesout = 0, zbytes, flush = Z_NO_FLUSH;

	snprintf(filename, sizeof(filename), "%s/%s",
		fp->f_dir->d_name, fp->f_name);
	if(!(fi = fopen(filename, "r")))
		syserror("unable to open %s for reading", filename);
	memset(&zs, 0, sizeof(zs));
	zs.zalloc = Z_NULL;
	zs.zfree = Z_NULL;
	zs.opaque = Z_NULL;
	if((zr = deflateInit(&zs, DV2_COMPRESSION)) != Z_OK)
		error("deflateInit failed: %d", zr);
	while(flush == Z_NO_FLUSH) {
		bytes = fread(deflate_in, 1, DV2_BUFSIZ, fi);
		bytesin += bytes;
		zs.next_in = deflate_in;
		zs.avail_in = bytes;
		if(feof(fi))
			flush = Z_FINISH;
		do {
			zs.next_out = deflate_out;
			zs.avail_out = DV2_BUFSIZ;
			if((zr = deflate(&zs, flush)) < Z_OK) {
				if(zs.msg)
					warn("deflate error: %s", zs.msg);
				error("deflate of %s (%d bytes) failed: %d",
					filename, bytes, zr);
			}
			for(zbytes = DV2_BUFSIZ - zs.avail_out,
				ptr = deflate_out;
			    zbytes;
			    zbytes -= bytes, ptr += bytes, bytesout += bytes)
				if(!(bytes = fwrite(ptr, 1, zbytes, fo)))
					syserror("fwrite(3) failed for %s",
						filename);
		} while(zs.avail_out == 0);
	}
	if(ferror(fi))
		syserror("fread(3) of %s failed", filename);
	fclose(fi);
	if((zr = deflateEnd(&zs)) != Z_OK) {
		if(zs.msg)
			warn("deflateEnd error: %s", zs.msg);
		error("deflateEnd failed: %d", zr);
	}
	if(bytesin != fp->f_size)
		error("%'d bytes does not match declared size of %'d for %s",
			bytesout, fp->f_size, filename);
	debug("deflated %s: orig=%'d, new=%'d",
		filename, bytesin, bytesout);
	return bytesout;
}


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Re: Vom's adventures in Rivendell [Re: vometia] #657724
14/12/19 06:19 AM
14/12/19 06:19 AM
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Posts: 27,920
Canada
Raze Offline

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I mostly ignored the zeppelin's health, once I figured out the strategy for that section. There are several gaps in the Black Ring forces, so I would pause each time I finished a section and check the zeppelin; if its HP were down, I missed a tower / ballista / nest, and probably needed to reload and redo that section (being more careful), otherwise I could save and forge ahead. After starting to fly out ahead of the zeppelin, I think I only had to reload twice for missing something that could do a significant amount of damage.

Re: Vom's adventures in Rivendell [Re: vometia] #657725
14/12/19 07:45 AM
14/12/19 07:45 AM
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I think perhaps some of our respective differences come down to how methodical we are in our respective approach! Mine sometimes being to just throw myself at a problem and hope for the best, at least when it comes to gaming, so I'll go "argh!" if it doesn't work and maybe come back (much) later. But I think even though I now understand the basic strategy for getting through this stage, there're still way too many variables for me to ever be comfortable with it.

Now I need to find a useful save point to go and explore the rest of the world in the dev console. The final one in Aleroth doesn't seem so useful from that point of view and I did wonder why my previous "exploring" save was at level 35, which is because there's nothing much to explore otherwise.

In other developments, my dv2 program now compiles on Linux, so it's also usable by anyone not using a FreeBSD system: I'm aware Linux is a lot more commonplace and "most" people probably have one handy. It involved having to write my own version of nftw(3), so this morning saw the creation of vftw ("Vometia's file-tree-walker") which is mostly compatible and importantly it compiles and runs correctly on Linux! Thanks to that, the program now weighs in at over 2,000 lines of code which is slightly larger than I'd anticipated, but it seems to work nicely. Benchmarks on my FBSD system for just over 600MB of data (the contents of Patch.dv2 and various things I've fiddled with) are 0.37 seconds to read the files (as there're almost 1,000 of them that's probably just the OS time to deal with them as my drive array isn't that quick!) and 0.31 seconds of CPU to generate an uncompressed archive, 9.65 seconds' CPU to compress them all, based on a Ryzen 2700.


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Re: Vom's adventures in Rivendell [Re: vometia] #657756
16/12/19 06:37 AM
16/12/19 06:37 AM
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Visiting various areas through the console, I've just found the otherwise inaccessible memorial. That was rather poignant.


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