03 December 2013

The Last Guardian Update 1.02

I've updated my WarCraft III campaign The Last Guardian.

- New skill Concentrate replaces Attribute Bonus. Level 1: Shows visual aides at camera borders. Level 2: Also shows aides at some usable items and objects
- Multiple heroes can be controlled at the same time; fixed cameras and water walking
- Much more detailed descriptions of abilities, items, puzzles and so on
- More ingame help and helpful transmissions
- Many bugfixes

You can go to my new downloads page to find links to campaign.


Update 1.02: 137 fixes

Multiple maps - 20
- Added map victory cheat "-winmap" (cinematics, item-handling and abilities may become bugged)
- Added new ability Concentrate to Khadgar. Level 1: Shows visual aides at camera borders. Level 2: Also shows aides at some usable items and objects
- Replaced Attribute Bonus with Concentrate
- Repositioned Alchemy button
- Improved Flame Strike description to include trees
- Multiple heroes can now be controlled at once
- Quest items are placed automatically
- Heroes are revived with 100% mana
- Camera will only change on selected hero on maps with multiple heroes
- Cinematic areas in Karazhan will remain hidden
- It is no longer neccessary to step away from a chest to retry picklocking
- Decreased the amount of lock picks needed for most Chests by 1
- Extended description of Portal ability to include Runes hints: Red: Teleport Enemy, Green: Teleport Hero, Yellow: Teleport item
- Changed/added runes on Blighted Regions to appropriate colors
- Improved description of Realm of Time that it can only be used on "busy, distracted or demonic minds".
- Increased movement speed of Haste from 30/40/50 to 35/45/55
- Fixed and rebalanced attack speed of Haste from 20/20/0 to 20/25/30
- Improved description of Steal
- Reduced cooldown of Realm of Time from 3 to 2 seconds
- Fixed several typos

Chapter 1 - 18
- Improved a hint about general gameplay
- Repositioned a camera
- Repositioned some doodads
- Removed useless indestructible Rock Chunks
- Renamed player Environment to Strangers
- Increased experience gain at level 1 from 70% to 100%
- Decreased experience gain at level 2 from 70% to 50%
- Disabled experience gain at level 3
- Added one additional camera and changed some cameras at the weeds
- Added a hint for the Way Gate
- Improved description for Axe
- Removed a Brigand at the Candle
- Added transmission to pick up Candle once all enemies are defeated
- Zombie ritual can now be skipped
- Changed transmission before the mine field to "I wonder what this Circle of Power is for"
- Increased size for transmission region before entering the mine field
- Added a transmission when revealing the first mines
- Increased activation region for third Resurrection Stone

Chapter 2 - 11
- Repositioned a book
- Added hint to use the minimap to orientate
- Now all fountains provide the Filled Vial
- Reduced life of Greater Voidwalker from 750 to 500
- Removed Slow and Mana from Sludge Flinger
- A Rune of Mana is created for every third killed enemy in the Library
- Improved hint for Secret Ingredient
- Improved Medivh's AI when he is chasing Khadgar
- Decreased movement speed of Medivh when fighting from 240 to 170
- Decreased Medivh's damage base from 79 to 56
- Decreased time needed to survive from 100 to 80 seconds

Chapter 3 - 14
- Improved description for Bullfrog
- Removed one Grunt from the first fight
- Added different visual aides for the Dead Warriors
- Repositioned a Dead Grunt
- Can start conversations with Lothar by clicking on him
- Removed Dead Warriors when the Force Fields are deactivated
- Renamed Orcish scouts to Orc scouts
- Removed Shop Pawn from Keeper Statue
- Improved help in transmissions of Goblin Alchemist
- Removed hint to sacrifice the Color of Rainbows
- Improved description of Color of Rainbows
- Khadgar's life and mana will be refilled after fights
- Murloc will no longer spawn when Chest is opened
- Can use Haste and Alchemy as a Grunt

Interludium - 1
- Increased duration for some transmissions

Chapter 4 - 13
- Added option to skip Ismail's transmissions
- Increased duration of Ismail's transmissions
- Exclamation mark is now properly removed when beating the Flip Coin Guy
- Added transmission from Chester that Khadgar isn't allowed to go upstairs
- Added post sign to stairs in Bar
- Removed text "Schut up!" from a transmission by Lothar
- Fixed text for Signed Papers
- Exclamation mark will not appear on Tracey if Khadgar has the Fake ID
- Dialogues with Horace Kane, Albert Griswold and Duck Maylor can be skipped
- Decreased size of a tree at the mage quarter
- Changed some camera angles at the mage quarter
- Replaced an arched door at the mage quarter
- Improved hint on where to find Duck Maylor

Chapter 5 - 11
- Camera can no longer be moved manually after intro cinematic
- Important words in Order Messages now consist of capital letters
- Disabled Inventory and Haste only during Garona chase
- Added transmission on where to find the Banquet Hall when the key is found
- Added failsaife to move Garona if she moves out of the fight zone
- Added a transmission to suggest to steal the Demon Damage Amplifier
- Added description of Demon Damage Amplifier to include "Can be used with fire spells."
- Improved general hint for two heroes
- Increased level of Wind Walk for Garona from 1 to 2
- Removed Mirror Image from Garona after the demon fight
- Garona will start at level 5 and not gain experience

Chapter 6 - 33
- Added an additional camera at the cropfield
- Removed a fence at the cropfield
- Elixir of Water Walking is now a consumable item
- Heroes no longer need to move over water together
- Improved transmission at first peon
- Camera will properly adjust when intro is skipped
- Camera will properly change when Garona moves to region Bunker1
- Added a blocking doodad
- Garona will stop for a bit when nearing the first Warlock
- Reduced the length of a tranmission at the Orc Rider
- Can use Haste as a Grunt
- Added floating text to the Hungry Grunt
- Can no longer teleport to Hungry Footman
- Can no longer teleport to Gold Troll
- Added a small sequence and transmission when planting the mines behind the Gold Troll
- Added two Boulder Towers at Gold Troll
- Added a Circle of Power at the blight near the Gold Troll
- Changed Forest Troll Warlord speed to 320
- Tranmission to destroy rocks will be displayed properly
- Improved transmission of Orc Rider about working peons
- Dialogue about disguise will not be shown if quest is already completed
- Added additional and changed some old transmissions about the Towers that can see Garona
- Added dialogue to not try and teleport the sasquatches
- Increased angle of a camera
- Heroes will not be invulnerable when taking the Gold Bag
- Added transmission as to why the Gold Bag units see Garona
- Added transmission as to why the humans attack the heroes
- If a hero dies while carrying the Heavy Bag the game will fade out, reposition all orcs, humans, the bag, and fade back in again
- Added a Potion of Mana before the fighting group
- Reduced time to display Flame Strike hint from 60 to 45 seconds
- The first hero reaching the end becomes uncontrollable
- Last Floating Text will be destroyed
- Disabled Garona's experience gain

Chapter 7 - 15
- Added transmission that it is useless to kill rats, after 5 kills
- Improved transmission to go to the library after talking to the Main Hall Statue
- Renamed Blue Slime to Sludge Demon and Green Slime to Slime Demon
- More extensive information on how Statue Combat works, at the beginning the first fight
- Added floating texts for Khadgar's first move in Statue Combat: "Levi...", "Upo...", "Rene...", "Defo..."
- Cinematic before fighting Medivh can now be skipped
- Decreased life of Statues to 50% + 10% per previously beaten Statue
- Dropped all items from Khadgar's inventory and gave him the Rules of Statue Combat when confronting Medivh
- Added fire at the library exit when fighting the Slimes
- Removed some transmissions when talking to the Statues
- Added transmission to find a book about praying
- Added transmission on where to find the Museum
- Repositioned Chapel Swordsman
- Added a hint about new combos when fighting the second Statue
- Floating Texts when fighting Medivh in the second round will be destroyed

Epilogue - 1
- Readjusted duration for some transmissions

22 November 2013

New blog design, new portfolio

As you may or may not have realized, I have changed the theme for this blog to be more gamer friendly while still keeping some professionalism. The old one was very bright and very out of date in terms of usability. For example you had to scroll very far if you wanted to skip a news item. Now you can just click on the ones you are interested in. Also the sidebar to the right features buttons for popular topics, tags and the news archive. I removed the screenshot slideshow and added a main slideshow to the top of the main site. It features links to my main projects.

You should definitely check out my new portfolio site! I have added a lot of content for each project. It's all still in development, so you will see some broken images and styles. I'm also working on the date stamp for each news post.

04 November 2013

Started work on SotX Chapter 4

Shadow of the Xel'Naga - Chapter 4 is going to be a Tower Defense map. Each player controls a hero who can build 10 unique types of towers (per hero!) to block oncoming waves of enemies. The big difference compared to classic Tower Defense maps is that the enemies can actually attack the towers.

I've already created all the towers and most types of enemy units. The map has also passed the prototype phase, meaning, I've succesfully tested the general idea of this map. I'm currently fleshing out the map design, objectives and additional abilities. Once this is done I'll work on triggers.

I'll be working on this map until the end of the year. After that it will probably have to wait until summer to be continued.

27 September 2013

Chapter 3 finished

Guess what? Chapter 3 is ready for public testing. It's currently up on EU servers with the name "Shadow of the Xel'Naga III".It will stay there for about a week.

* Chapter 3 of the canonical storyline, based on the Starcraft book "Shadow of the Xel'Naga"
* Playable in singleplayer or two-player co-operative mode
* Tug-of-War-style of map with two levelable heroes, (new) upgradeable skills and item-shops



Q: What is this about?

A: It's my attempt to recreate the storyline of the book Shadow of the Xel'Naga. I combine my affinity for interesting gameplay mechanics with solid storyline which happens to be canon to the Starcraft universe. Check out my signature for my past work on Warcraft book-to-campaign-projects. Each map in the campaign has a unique gameplay idea, much more than Wings of Liberty or Heart of the Swarm, but not too much as not to alienate people.

Q: Chapter 3? Where's 1 and 2?

A: Chapter 1 and 2 had extensive testing a long time ago and won't be accessable until all 7 maps are finished. I'm not a fan of the episodical release format and one never knows when the next episode is actually going to be released. Holding back all maps will also help me polish them in the end.

Q: Why is this taking so long?

I'm studying and I don't have te time I used to. Sometimes I don't open the Editor for half a year or more. Everytime so much time has passed the editor feels all new and due to the complexity of the Editor (compared to the Warcraft 3 editor) it all takes much more time to get used to. I cannot give any ETA on chapters 4-7; they may take many years to make; but my passion for mapping has always been enough to finish any campaign I have ever started.

Q: What's so special about this map?

Chapter 3 is a lot like the Breakout mission from WoL (where you controlled only Tosh), but adds Tug-of-War-typical gameplay elements like levelable heroes and skills, and items. The gameplay is a lot more action-oriented than previous maps in the campaign. I also have a passion about making the experience as smooth, clean, bug-free and user-friendly as possible. My aim is to make it feel like it's a Blizzard-map and not just another custom map.

Q: So what do you need from me now?

Testing has been going very well so far. The map is a bit smaller than the previous maps in the campaign. I also have a lot more experience. But I have yet to test the 2-player-cooperative mode. If you have a friend who's interested then tell him to play with you. Bear in mind: Some two-player-features need testing (Loading Heroes as Cargo into the other player's ship). Two-player-mode may not work at all. I need to know. You can write your feedback in this thread or leave it directly on Battle.net as a map review.

25 September 2013

Shadow of the Xel'Naga: Chapter 3 - first teaser

Chapter 3 of my StarCraft 2 campaign Shadow of the Xel'Naga is almost finished. The only thing missing is the Victory cinematic along with some bugfixes. I really hope to be done by the end of the month, as I'll start my university internship on October 2nd.

Here's a teaser showing the overview of the map.

(Click to enlarge)

I'll post reals screenshots along with detailed gameplay information once the map is finished. I haven't decided on how to approach public testing yet.

Chapter 4 is probably going to be a Tower Defense map. But no ETA on that one. Chapter 3 took almost two years to make, due to personal time constraints.

18 September 2013

Lord of the Clans Update 1.03

I've updated my first Warcraft 3 campaign Lord of the Clans. You can get it from The Hiveworkshop.

Highlights of the update are:

Less watching, more playing!
- New skill Rage makes Thrall a more effective warrior
- Removed annoying, slowing enemies
- Removed arrow keys-control in minigames
- Added temporary skills for the elements quests

- Increased stats for Thrall
- Removed enemies and replaced many enemies
- Added new Ultimate skill for the endfight
- Final boss better balanced and more active
- Removed time-requirements for many quests
- Added more items
- Balanced the infamous Pigs quest
- Thrall keeps experience and items

- Fixed timings for cinematic dialogue
- Removed/Changed some boring scenes
- Numerous bug and spelling fixes

Ful changelog:

Update 1.03: 153 fixes

Multiple maps - 11
- Fixed the player name
- Added map victory cheat "-winmap" (cinematics and item-handling may become bugged)
- Added a new spell named Rage. Rage works like Bloodlust but is a levelable hero skill
- Replaced Thrall's Evasion with Rage
- Increased Grunt Thrall's starting mana from 50 to 100
- Increased Grunt Thrall's intelligence from 14 to 17
- Increased Grunt Thrall's mana regeneration from 0.66 to 0.80 per second
- Thrall will keep his items and experience from previous chapters
- Baby cloth no longer drops on death
- Fixed numerous typos and translation issues
- Floating texts will be destroyed properly

Prologue - 6
- Improved terrain in the raven flight scene
- Removed the traveling scene to the outside fire camp
- Fixed the timings for some transmissions
- Removed some transmissions
- Increased field of view for Doomhammer cameras
- Removed a stone

Chapter 1 - 11
- Renamed player Durnholde to Guards
- Defeat now working properly
- Thrall now starts with Storm Bolt instead of Evasion
- Increased Thrall's starting hit points from 250 to 400
- Removed some enemies units
- Decreased the target aquisition range for a footman
- More enemy units will drop Runes of Mana or Healing
- Increased number of switches that need to be activated for the Gate to open from 1 to 5
- Game will no longer pause for any pressed switch but the last
- Player will no longer lose control of the Dog if it tries to get out of the city; It will just move back a bit
- Not killing innocents is now a proper defeat condition

Chapter 2 - 17
- Renamed player Camp-Soldiers to Guards
- Renamed from 'Wrong Time...' to 'Lethargy of the Orcs'
- Removed/replaced all Mud Golems
- Added a Fountain of Mana to the Kobold camp
- Food now heals life and mana
- Smoothed the terrain in the capture scene
- Removed some human enemies
- Repositioned some trolls
- Removed some trolls for the Volbir and Bolvir quest
- Reduced the necessary amount of lumber for the Volbir and Bolvir quest from 16 to 12
- Removed the Lumber Leaderboard for the Volbir and Bolvir quest
- Speaking to the unfriendly orc is now mandatory before speaking to Kelgar
- Added exclamation marks to the unfriendly orc and Kelgar
- Removed and repositioned some Kobolds
- Added a Rune of Healing to a Kobold
- Increased some camera times in theVolbir and Bolvir cinematics
- Disabled sleeping for all creeps

Chapter 3 - 8
- Reduced life of Rock Chunks
- Transmission at the grain farm will only appear once
- Removed transmission at the slums
- Removed some enemy units
- Repositioned a Food quest item
- Added a blockade to the northern parts of the village
- Not killing innocent people is now a defeat condition
- Horses and dogs are no longer citizens

Interludium - 1
- Renamed from 'A Hell's Scream' to 'Hellscream'

Chapter 4 - 20
- Fixed the timing for some cinematic transmissions
- Repositioned Raiders at the start of the Raider vs Gnolls quest
- Destroying one Rock Chunk will destroy all Rock Chunks at the start of the Raider vs Gnolls quest
- Raiders will now attack the proper Rock Chunks in the Raider vs Gnolls outro
- Reduced life of Rock Chunks in the the Raider vs Gnolls outro
- Removed some Towers and Ogres at the Ogres/Pacman quest
- Removed some enemy creeps
- Increased pathing space at the Ogres/Pacman quest
- Removed keyboard controls for the Pacman quest
- Reduced Base Damage of Ogre Maulers in Pacman quest from 200 to 100
- Replaced all Runes of Healing with Runes of Speed in Pacman quest
- Removed the Pacman music
- Item Lord of the Alliance is no longer marked as usable
- Camera will no longer change at the Pigs quest
- Reduced time for Pigs quest from 3 minutes to 2,5 minutes
- Reduced random movement speed for pigs in Pigs quest by 20
- Increased time between pig spawns in Pigs quest from 15/10/8 to 20/15/13
- Added blocking terrain at the Pigs quest
- Trap damage in the Book quest reduced from 200 to 125
- Changed hint at the Pigs quest to tell player to stay close to the hay

Chapter 5 - 20
- Added ability Feral Spirit to Thrall during the Wild quest
- Changed terrain of the Wild quest so Feral Spirits can attack the Deer
- Removed Blink from Thrall in the Wild quest
- Removed ranged attack from Thrall in the Wild quest
- Removed the timer in the Wild quest
- Removed keyboard controls for the Water quest
- Added ability Blink to Thrall in the Earth quest
- Removed the timer in the Earth quest
- Added ability Immolation to Thrall in the Fire quest
- Removed two Firebeetles
- Replaced Hellfires with Skeleton Archers
- Increased pathing space at the Fire quest
- Removed the timer in the Air quest
- Removed some hippogryphs and towers in the Air quest
- Increased time period between hippogryph movement from 3/4/5 to 4/5/6
- Earthkeys leaderboard is now properly destroyed
- Added a Rune of Mana in the Fire quest
- Cinematic mode will deactivate when intro is skipped
- Thrall's life and mana will be set to 100% before each element quest
- Thrall can use all of his skills in the endfight

Chapter 6 - 14
- Increased maximum level for Thrall and Hellscream from 7 to 8
- Renamed quest 'The Orc's Rescue' to'the Internment camp'
- Rescuing the orcs is now a seperate optional quest
- Can no longer fail the mission by death of a fleeing orc
- Attack-move order for Hellscream and Doomhammer now much closer to home base
- Increased Hellscream starting level from 4 to 7
- Freeing Grunts/Peons will replace them with normal Grunts/Peons
- Mana of Thrall and Hellscream set to 100% before Langstom appears
- Level of Langstom decreased from 10 to 8
- Removed Divine Shield from Langston
- Increased level of Holy Light for Langstom from 1 to 2
- Repositioned a Camp guard
- Increased time between displaying starting quests and hints
- Ankhs of Reincarnation carried by Thrall or Hellscream will be removed at the end of the level

Chapter 7 - 17
- Destroying one Rock Chunk will destroy all Rock Chunks
- Added exclamation mark to and shared vision with Zeppelin
- Increased amount of gold in Gold Mine from 12500 to 25000
- Added a Fountain of Healing
- Added a Leaderboard for the Towers built in the Reinforcements quest
- Removed leaderboard for destroyed enemy main buildings
- Reinforcements message will be played when Zeppelin is found, if it hasn't already
- Reduced amount of enemy Gryphons attacking from 3/6/9 to 2/4/6
- Increased maximum level for Thrall and Hellscream from 8 to 9
- Removed some Towers from enemy bases
- Increased pathing space at Reinforcements ramp
- Reinforcements ramp can be reached on foot
- Can no longer lose Reinforcements quest
- Placed Dog near Taretha's cave
- Removed Rifleman at Reinforcement cliffs
- Removed a scene in the Zeppelin cinematic
- Added destructible Rock Chunbks to the Reinforcement cliffs

Chapter 8 - 26
- Thrall's maximum level increased from 9 to 10
- Thrall's experience gain now always at 100%
- Added Evasion as an ultimate spell for Thrall
- Decreased maximum life of Iron Gates to 50
- Brood Mother now drops a Rune of Restoration instead of a Greater Rune of Healing
- Removed several spiders and bandits
- Removed items from Aedelas Blackmoore
- Decreased Aedelas' damage sides per die from 6 to 5
- Increased Aedelas' attack cooldown from 2.2 to 2.6
- Increased Aedelas' intelligence per level from 0.8 to 1.6
- Increased Aedelas' life regeneration rate from 0.25 to 1.0
- Removed healing water
- Life and Mana of Thrall set to 100% before endfight
- More Runes of Healing spawned in endfight
- Reduced size of fire regions in endfight
- Runes will glow before their fire region is activated
- Reduced item spawn time during Endfight from 5 to 3 seconds
- Blackmoore will now try to take spawned items
- Mechanical sheep will now move towards opened gate when switch is pressed
- Added an Enforcer
- Added a Rune of Healing
- Increased time between Blue Flame Trap spawns from 1.75 to 4/3/2 seconds
- Removed Orb of Lightning in the endfight
- Removed cinematic scene with a Flesh Golem
- Fixed the bottom right switch not triggering properly
- Changed player name Aedelas Blackmoore to Lord of Durnholde

Epilogue - 4
- Thrall is now clearing stating what item he is giving to Hellscream
- Merged all map creation credits
- Replaced all non-orcs appearing in the credits with versions of Thrall
- Added World of Warcraft to Music credits

27 August 2013

Day of the Dragon Update 1.02

I've been busy with my studies this year but I did manage to do some mapping. Over the last couple of days I spend time to update my Warcraft 3 campaign Day of the Dragon, hoping to kill that dreadful Chapter 5 bug. You can download the updated campaign from hiveworkshop.com. Read further to see what changes I made:

Update 1.02: 122 fixes

Multiple maps - 13
- Added map victory cheat "-winmap" (cinematics and item-handling may become bugged)
- Rhonin (Spirit Priest): Hero can will no longer die when possesed host is killed. Instead Spirit Control will be cancelled
- Rhonin (Spirit Priest): Hero will remain at position of possesed unit when unpossesing it with Spirit Control
- Rhonin (Spirit Priest): Time out between Spirit control possesion and unpossesion reduced
- Vereesa: Replaced Cold Arrows and Dodge with Searing Arrows and Shadow Strike
- Vereesa: Sleep Arrow cost reduced from 75/75/75 to 75/60/50
- Hammer of Titans can now attack Air units
- Cooldown of Krasus' Medallion, Deathwing's Medallion and Demon Soul reduced from 90 to 70
- Old Floating Text on Trap Damage will be destroyed before new one is created
- Increased Fighter damage from 14-15 to 15-17
- Added evil quests counter "-bad" to count number of optional quests completed as evil
- Fixed count of number of optional quests completed as evil
- Added cheat "plusbad" to increase number of optional quests completed as evil

Prologue - 1
- Reduced text to fit time contraints

Chapter 1 - 14
- Removed barrels near Scepter of Elementals
- Can no longer fail Main Quest when Outro is playing
- Fixed a typo in the Meeting Place quest description
- Changed Farmer message from "...filthy scum!" to "...filthy beast!"
- Removed and moved some spiders
- Villagers' life will be reduced to 1 periodically, if Quest Alignment is evil
- Scepter of Elementals no longer inside a barrel anymore
- Patroling Bandits will stop when attacked
- Troll huts will no longer drop items when destroyed
- Replaced a Scroll of Healing with a Scroll of Mana
- Reduced amount of wolves that need to be killed in Wolf herd quest from 10 to 8
- Killing the wolves will reward a Tome of Intelligence +2 and a Tome of Agility +2 instead of a Tome of Strength
- Removed a few bandits in the Dragon Attack quest
- Added warning messages for how many cizitens are left

Chapter 2 - 5
- Removed a few Grunts from the Tower/Alarm region
- Removed second Ogre
- A Grunt will drop a Rune of Mana
- Moved Elune's Lie to a more visible location
- Reduced amount of Blue Flame Trap Damage from 125 to 100

Chapter 3 - 19
- Removed a few Creeps
- Murloc will drop a Rune of Greater Mana
- Removed enemy units and building in the first orc base
- Moved Hammer of Titants to a more visible location
- Changed terrain to be more beautiful and have more space when landing a boat
- Added Pathing Blockers to the shore in the east
- Removed a Red Drake
- Ogre will drop Rune of Restoration
- Removed an Advanced Boulder Tower
- Removed an Orc Frigate
- Removed a Watch Tower
- Reduced Life of Bronze Dragon from 2200 to 2000
- Reduced Base Damage of Bronze Dragon from 45 to 40
- Talismans of Mutation will no longer take space in inventory. Created Leaderboard instead
- Rescuing dwarves and ship is only possible after completing the Steam Tanks quest.
- Changed hint text "Find the means to get back to the dwarven outpost." to "Find resources to buy a zeppelin."
- Added some pathing blockers
- Removed orc wood cutters
- Reading Little Daniel's Letter no longer disables user control

Chapter 4 - 23
- Changed Rhonin's frog message to "The switches might turn off if I could get enough frogs on them."
- Secret exit better visible
- Increased kill range of Barrel of Explosives
- Added hint on how to use items with objects in the game world
- Replaced Summer Tree with Fall Tree and changed description on Map
- Can get and transform ID Card before talking to Peon
- Can get Mushroom before talking to Volbir and Bolvir
- Shovel exists on map initialization
- Special Books will no longer take space in inventory. Created Leaderboard instead
- Disabled user control during shipmaster video
- Added Leaderboard to track Murder quest progress
- Added hints to the Murder quest
- Can no longer ask police station about wrench before asking the Goblin Bouncer
- Rhonin is instantly moved after shipmaster video
- Removed the transmission "I found a bottle with green liquor"
- Hint displayed when player has enough gold and a boatcard
- Optional quests will now be marked as failed when their respective island is left too early
- Crystals will no longer take space in inventory. Created Leaderboard instead
- Moved Ring of the Sun to a more visible location
- Added runes to help visualize Hop, Malt and Wheat
- Will remove useless boulder on various occasions
- Hint to check Log (F12) will also be displayed during first and second isle
- Changed hint text "Wheat and Chicken might help" to "Find Wheat and use it on Chicken."

Chapter 5 - 16
- Decreased string size for maps, folders and variables to stabilize sub-map loading
- Added cheats to load submaps: "-ysera", "-malygos", "-nozdormu", "-dalaran"
- Added multiboard to keep track of Nozdormu's tasks
- Fixed a typo in Nozdormu quest description
- Changed transmission "I can get a signed letter from the Altar of Kings." to "I can get a signed letter from the Keep."
- Taretha will get the Signed Letter from the Keep instead of the Altar of Kings.
- Changed transmission "I've got the letter." to "I've got the letter. I should return to it Krasus."
- Shortened a conversation between Krasus and Taretha
- Krasus can move before a conversation is finished
- Moved region where Watch Tower will spawn in cinematic
- Sharing vision with Wisps after base is rescued
- Increased time between attacks by the Burning Legion
- Reduced amount of enemies send by the Burning Legion
- Barrow Dens can train Furbolgs
- Reduced time for the first conversation between Krasus and Taretha
- Moved Signed Letter hint to entrance of Durnholde

Chapter 6 - 9
- Added hint to check nearby crates for lost items
- Enemy unit production time periods increased from 70 to 90
- Move the Scout Tower in the second base closer to the Guard Tower
- Added another Scout Tower to the second base
- Added a Barracks to the second base
- Increased amount of gold in each Gold Mine from 3000/6000/12000 to 6000/12000/24000
- Renamed Ogre Chieftain and Gnoll Chieftain to Ogre Warchief and Gnoll Warchief
- Added hint that the third optional quest is alignment dependant and will not be completable.
- Removed a few enemy units at the final orc base.

Chapter 7 - 7
- Vereesa and Falstad will start at Level 8 instead of 7, if they cannot be restored from game cache
- Reduced hit points of Power Generators from 300 to 150
- Changed Deathwing message from Don't act stupider than you are." to "Stop acting foolish."
- Removed a Skeletal Orc Grunt
- Added rescuable Fighters to the holding pens
- Deathwing's Scale is no longer created twice
- Alexstrasza is technically no longer rescuable

Chapter 8 - 14
- Added map victory cheat "-winmap2" for alternate ending (Outro shown this way may be bugged)
- Rhonin will start at Level 9 instead of 8, if he cannot be restored from game cache
- Deathwing no longer regenerates health (Healing spell still works)
- Orc attacks will start 30 second later
- Reduced time until first Caravan arrives from 14 to 13 minutes
- Changed countdown timer text from "Rom dies/Caravan leaves" to "Rom/Caravan"
- Added hint when activating alternate epilogue
- Removed Red Dragon at the orange orc base
- Added invulerability to Krasus during FreeAlex cinematic
- Alexstrasza can use Healing Light to heal herself
- Increased chance for Nozdormu's Item Steal to work from 5 in 8 to 5 in 6
- Decreased time between Grim Batol Tower pings from 40 to 20 seconds
- Increased Frost Shiled armor bonus from 20 to 120
- Decreased time between Dragon Aspects rounds

Epilogue -1
- Increaded the time for a cinematic transmission

08 February 2013

Games I Played 2012

Unranked - Dear Esther
Unfortunately this was more of a visual audio book than an actual video game. It did not entertain me much but I wouldn't give an actual score. There was almost no interaction at all except for some locations you can choose to visit. Most of its entertainment value comes from interpretating the things you hear and see (some of which is visually stunning).

22 - Deadlight - 75%
A really nice looking 2.5D jump & run set in a zombie/infected game world. Unfortunately it doesn't bring much new to the table, but it mixes jump & run and shooting nicely. Suffered from an uninteresting storyline and too much trial & error.

21 - Sniper: Ghost Warrior - 76%
If there is one thing I love about First-Person-'Shooters" its sniping, headshots and stealth. Sniper: Ghost Warrior provides all of these three in a graphic environment that rivals the likes of Crysis. Unfortunately the game also provides an AI that can't seem to balance between 'stupid' and 'unfair' and there are levels which are classic Shoot and Run that don't fit into the overall experience.

20 - Haunted - 77%
In case you didn't know, it'S a 3D point and click adventure about ghosts set in victorian London. It's an average game and there is nothing about it that it does particilarly bad. The use of ghosts as items is nifty and the storyline is interesting until the end.

19 - Back to the Future - 78%
I played these games the same week I saw the movie trilogy, and I highly recommend doing so. The designers added a ton of references to the movies. After the excellent Sam and Max: The Devil's Playhouse Telltale proves again that they can create intriguing stories. The fifth episode offers some of the best writing, taking advantage of the paradoxon of time travel. I also didn't mind the easy riddles. So why only 78% you ask? I thought some characters and the overall look and humor were too childish and off. It didn't fit with the movies and reminded me too often of a cartoon.

18 - Secret Files 3 - 79%
Another point and click adventure that takes the player around the globe. The story revolves around the number Pi and some interesting myths. The locations are diverse and the riddles are interesting as they often revolve around the myths. On the bad side, the engine shows its age as the character movement is stiff (the game fades out whenever a more complex animation is supposed to happen) and the cahracters are too black or white.

17 - Driver: San Francisco - 80%
A spiritual journey into ones self. Uhm, the protagonist is in a coma and the whole storyline plays out in his head. This way he can take control of drivers all around the city. It makes for very interesting gameplay, because when you chase someone you can't control you can always take control of cars in the traffic going in the opposite direction to create traffic accidents. It's a lot of fun.

16 - Modern Warfare 3 - 81%
I like the linear cinematic approach of Modern Warfare 3 but I hate how so many other games copy its style. It makes the Call of Duty series seem less fun than it actually is. There is nothing special to say about Modern Warfare 3. It does everything it sought out to do. Its loud and linear, but still fun. Unfortunately not as memorable as other games in the franchise.

15 - Dead Island - 82%
Dead Island has many interesting features. It's an open-world first-person zombie hack & slay game. You can improve items and gain levels to spend on skill points. You can solve many side quests and also play it with three other friends. Unfortunately the enemies respawn way too often which diminishes the feeling of actually accomplishing something. Also the fighting is way too repetetive.

14 - Half-Life 2: Episode 1 & 2 - 83%
I never liked the Episode format that Valve approached, so I always told myself to not play these Episodes until on of the following three happened 1.HL3 is released. 2.Black Mesa is released. 3.Episode 3 is released. When option 2 finally happened I played Black Mesa, then HL2 again and finally Episode 1 & 2. Maybe I waited too long but I didn't really get that unique Half-Life feeling very often. Episode 1 seemed like a rehash except for the part when you have to guide Alyx with a flashlight. Episode 2 was better because it allowed more play time to breath and offered more variation with riddles, beating waves, boss enemies and driving.

13 - Rayman Origins - 84%
Rayman Origins is a fast-paced jump & run, with many environments, flawless controls and numerous gameplay ideas Every level seems to over something new (skate on ice, swim under water, take control of flying mosquitos, become really small or run from scary monsters). Also the comic look fits the game perfectly and its so addictive when playing with friends. It's a bit difficult when playing alone, since there's noone to revive you and the story has no real value. Nontheless, the flow of the gameplay was enough to keep me playing for hours.

12 - Risen 2 - 85%
Not many people outside Germany like the RPGs made by Piranha Bytes, hell, I barely know anyone here who likes their games. But I can easily understand why. The gameplay is slow. Fights are clumsy and the open-world environment is the opposite of limitless. Anywhere you go foes can squash your tiny character. Any quest you try seems to be either out of reach, too hard or missing a key item you can't afford or fight for. But still, there is something really satisfying about finally accomplishing a quest, finally gaining that skill point or armor to beat the crap out of an enemy. It's a bit like how people talk about Dark Souls, a really hard but rewarding game. The environments in Risen 2 are amongst the most organic in any game world. There is always something to see. Also the game world is filled with nasty pirates who swear and drink, and treasures to find, and arses to kick. If there is one bad thing to say about this game is how the developers dumped down the mage class compared to Risen 1. There are a couple of skills you can chose but not much to make you feel like an actual wizard.

11 - Black Ops 2 - 85%
Like Modern Warfare 3 its loud, linear and fun, but its also memorable. the storyline is more personal. As a player I felt more involved with the things happening around. The main villain is cool and the the plot twists really had me shocked. I'll make myself really unpopular here amonst the so-called hardcore gamers: The Call of Duty franchise is a well-oiled machine that will hopefully keep continue to produce the types of games it does. But please, dear developers of other game companies: Don't copy, do your own thing! It's not like Resident Evil 1-3 or Dead Space 1-2 sold badly, did they?

10 - FarCry 3 - 86%
Another shooter. FarCry 3 takes the best of FarCry 1 and FarCry 2 and adds a wicked story on top of that. From FarCry 1 it takes the ability to take out a camp any way I like. I can assault full-frontal, I can snipe with or without a silencer or I can hide and knife enemies from up close. It's my choice and I like it. From FarCry 2 it takes the open world but manages to fill it with interesting, albeit repetetive, side missions. I can go hunting, play poker (best video-game poker ever), liberate camps, climb radio towers or drive vehicles from A to B within a limited amount of time. On top of that the game has many crazy/creepy characters and the main missions can become almost as explosive and loud as in a Call of Duty game.

9 - Alan Wake - 87%
Probably the best told storyline I had ever experienced in a video game until up to that point. Every character is life-like, but also really movie-like. Every chapter is like its own episode in a TV show, accompanied with introductions (previously on Alan Wake...), cliffhangers, outro music and inner monologue. The visual sound effects are great. It can become really creepy at times, since you never know where the enemies will strike from next. On the downsidde, the gameplay is one-dimensional. The level design is linear and the fights are repetetive, although it took me some time to figure out that I should only shoot them when their shields were down, after I targeted my light on them.

8 - Diablo 3 - 88%
One of the most dissapointing best games I have ever played. Right from the first video I was there with the naysayers, cursing Blizzard for what they had done to my beloved game. At least visually. Gameplay-wise I was always open-minded towards any gameplay changes and I didn't mind if the ideas came from World of WarCraft or Pokémon. After some time I got used to the visuals as well, but in the end it was something different that bothered me: In Diablo 1 and 2 the levels were generated randomly, but in Diablo 3 a lot of the overground environment was not. For a game that relies so heavily on replayability this was a killer for me. I only played through the game five times. Once for each character. And I will probably not touch it again until I buy the addon. Yes, it's still high-quality entertainment but not as much as I had come to expect from Blizzard.

7 - Deux Ex: Human Revolution - 89%
I was playing the original Deus Ex until a few days ago, so I have a pretty good understanding of how the new installment compares to the original game, which is considered to be one of the best of all time. Human Revolution is an excellent addition to the franchise. The story is rich and well-told, the level design and skill design offer numerous solutions to any problem. It's really rewarding, trying to accomplish every side mission and trying to catch all the details. There is a lot to read, many people to talk to and many places to discover. It also has a lot of playtime, although I can't say exactly how much it is. The first time I played it I had to stop for a couple of months, due to my studies, and when I had picked it up again I decided to restart so I wouldn't be overwhelmed by the story. Sadly, DX:HR is not as good as it could be. Most of the boss fights don't allow to fight them the way you would want to. Direct confrontation is the only solution. Also, I'm not a fan of the graphics. While I'm notery obsessed with the lack of details, it bugs me that there is this gold-filter all over the game.

6 - Black Mesa - 90%
You all know it. You all love it. The original Half-Life, now with improved graphics and some changes in level design. I was a bit irritating when I didn't get the crowbar when I expected to, but once I had it, I understood that the creators took some liberty with the level design, and I didn't mind it at all. Black Mesa was a good reminder of the old times, when the game wasn't controlled by scripted events all the time and you actually had to use your brain from time to time to pass by a situation. Half-Life/Black Mesa also had the right mix of horror, science fiction and military combat.  After finishing Black Mesa I played the Xen levels on Half-Life: Source (the original Half-Life remake, that had only improved physics and water) to complete my Half-Life experience. I really hope the creators of Black Mesa revamp the Xen levels as much as possible. All this jumping in low-gravity wasn't fun in the original game.

5 - Dishonored - 90%
I didn't pay Dishonored much attention until after some time of its release. I thought it would be like Dark Messiah of Might & Magic. Linear level design with lots of possibilities to kill enemies. But I couldn't have been more wrong. The open level design, the readable books, the NPCs you can listen too, the possibilities to dispose of enemies and the sneaking were all reminiscent of some of my favourite games of all time: The Thief series. My favourite feature about Dishonopred is how the side missions are worked into the main mission. If you do them the game opens up more ways to approach a main objective, either through another route or by giving you more options to dispose of targets. Collecting all the items is also really motivating for a similar reason. You get more skills and more options to eliminate enemies. Also, the world, the atmosphere, the storyline are really cool. But I didn't care much for the comic graphics which looked washed-out.

4 - NBA 2K13 - 91%
I love basketball. I always told myself that it is the only thing that can take me away from video games. As a LA Lakers fan I used to watch the NBA from time to time but I missed a lot of it since the time Shaq moved away. I also used to play A LOT of NBA Live 97 and some of its follow-up titles. The gameplay then was pretty basic and repetetive, but more than once I played full seasons of 82 games With 12 minutes per quarter. With the recent aquisition of Dwight Howard and Steve Nash for the Lakers the basketball flame inside me burned once again and I have only missed about six games since the pre-season. I also got NBA 2K13 and I have played around 2/3 of a season so far (5 minutes per quarter). What fascinates me the most is how much the flow of the game and the realism has improved. In NBA Live I could beat the AI with the same move over and over, but in 2K13 each play is different and reminiscent of real basketball. The game also follows the idea of easy to learn, hard to master. You only need two or three buttons to do shooting, rebounding, passing and so on, but in combination with the other buttons you can set screens, do alley oops, steal, call plays, block out, provoke an offensive foul, do crossovers and all the other tricks you can watch on TV. I love it!

3 - Mass Effect 3 - 92%
I believe most people don't like the ending because all those choices made during the Mass Effect trilogy didn't have any effect on the end. You were basically just pressing a button to choose one of several endings. My opinion is that it doesn't matter. Those choices felt important when I made them and they never affected one another too much. The ending was merely the ability to make the ultimate choice. Ironically I accidentally made a choice I did not want to make, so I saw an ending sequence I had not intended to see (until a later playthrough). I should say that I had not played the game until the extended cut and a couple of DLCs were available, but I wouldn't rate a game solely on its ending, even if it is the most important part of a game that is so heavily based on story. Combat was repetetive, but it served its purpose so it was fun for the most part. I think there were a couple more RPG elements than in the second game, but nothing important. In the end Mass Effect 3 ends the trilogy on a high note, playing to the strengths of the Mass Effect universe, which are strong characters, a rich fictional background and all those choices. But honestly, I can't imagine a Mass Effect 4. The ending(s) in ME3 was(were) perfect.

2 - Max Payne 3 - 93%
The Max Payne games are amongst my all-time-favourites. I played each of them over a dozen times, especially in combination with different Matrix mods, a movie I am crazy for. Now, you might think If I know and love Max Payne so much, how can I rate Max Payne 3 so high, knowing tha it's so different from its predecessors. I am well aware of all the changes they made to the character, the storytelling, even the gameplay, which adopted a Cover-System where you can't bullet-time as much. The best thing about Max Payne 3 is how it dropped loading screens in favor of cutscenes. Just like the title hero the game never let me catch my breath, punching me from one level to another. There was a certain delight in playing the game as stressful as possible. Also raising the difficulty level helped a lot. I must have died over a hundred times, but I was always getting back up to try a different approach on a situation. In the end I had figured out that the Cover-System helped from time to time, but the best thing I could do was jump straight into the middle of the action to unleash pure chaos onto my enemies and myself. One should also mention how much Max has matured in this game. More cynical, but also vulnerable. In my opinion Max's voice actor turned him into the most believable character ever witnessed in a video game.

1 - The Walking Dead - 94%
I can't go too much into details with this game without revealing spoilers. You probably have already heard how this game is an emotional roller-coaster. It doesn't offer a lot of gameplay. You pick up items here and there, use them on people or the environment, but mostly you talk to people and deal with unordinary situations due to the zombie apocalypse or people having their way. I would even go so far to say that this game is on par with the series aired on AMC. the characters are as likeable and life-like, situations become more tense because as a player you feel more involved. There is also more action and less of the boring dialogue sometimes seen on TV. After some time you won't even notice anymore that this is a game with comic graphics. You'll just sit there with your mouth open and talk to yourself "Did that really just happen?".