A quick update on the CRPG…
Work on the final dungeons continues, inch by inch. I got maps drawn up and I now need to populate them with monsters, treasure, transactions, and so forth. It’s slow going because I’m trying not to hurry; I don’t want placeholders for something better to come along later. I got some good ideas for the Volcano Fortress! After that only the Dark Tower remains…
I also did several code changes to transactions to allow for linear sequences of mob updates. When you find yourself writing the same command over and over with one variance, that’s a clear sign you could probably collapse it into a single operation. Now I can just say “Change mobs 5-17 to a MobMonster” rather than each one individually. It saves a few bytes in the file and is more efficient to write as a command.
From a more “generic CRPG engine” standpoint, I would get better mileage if you could provide a list of mob numbers OR a range, and just store those individually in the architecture. But if I just structure my data in the necessary blocks, I don’t need to do this. My goal isn’t to create a CRPG engine, just an engine that drives my specific game. 🙂
But in other news… World of Warcraft Classic came out this week… And yeah, I’m playing it. 🙂
I’m honestly amazed how much I missed the original game. I’ll cover the differences in broad points:
- Money is scarce. Part of this is because the game just started, so there are no high level players dumping money into the lower-end of the economy yet.
- Flights are expensive at low levels, you often find yourself going “A silver piece? Eh, I’ll walk.”
- Walking everywhere, and not having mounts until much later, has the effect of making the entire game much slower-paced, both for leveling and for questing.
- Flight points are relatively rare, there is typically only one per zone, and in the case of starting zones, none. A zone like Stranglethorn Vale becomes very difficult to quest in because there is literally only one flight point there, at the southern tip. (For Alliance, anyway.)
- There is also only one graveyard for each zone. This is a pain in the neck, really; it must have been after the first expansion that they added additional graveyards per zone to speed up corpse-running.
- The slower pace has the effect of making you pay closer attention to all the fun details in the game. I love going into the inns and just noticing the furniture and decor rather than racing through.
- Mana runs out FAST. At some point in regular WoW, they just decided to disable the entire mana mechanic, and use spell cooldowns only as a control. Bah. I like the dependency. Spellcasters are typically DPS, so the cost of doing more damage is exhaustion of mana.
- The point-based talent system is far more customizable. I missed having arcane spells with my fire mage. Granted, you can make a pretty broken or useless character, but isn’t that part of the fun?
- Some spells require reagents, which aren’t always purchasable. I missed that! Now I remember why it was good to get tips to open portals…
- Quest items are not always “quest items”, they are sellable. And EVERYTHING takes up bag space.
- Many mobs of regular monsters are placed so that they will all aggro if one is attacked. This makes solo questing more difficult, and encourages party play. I hadn’t recognized this as a design decision in the old days.
- I love the classic zones as they once were… Westfall, for example. I hated the revision post-Cataclysm, with the elemental damage everywhere and the hokey C.S.I. Miami references.
I love Classic WoW. It feels like an actual world, not a game. And probably the best part is that I’m gaming with my brother again. The two of us, with friends, played a lot of WoW back in the day, and it feels good to have that connection again. 😀
I figure at some point we’ll both get bored or frustrated and quit. We disliked the dungeons a lot, because it required teaming up and we were pretty bad at it to start. (We wiped dozens of times in the Deadmines.)
Also, the middle zones (level 30-50) aren’t as fun to play in. They are hard to get to and have far less quests. Some even have broken ones. (Dustwallow Marsh comes to mind, with it’s abruptly aborted narrative about the burned down inn.) So once I get to 30 I’ll have to see if it’s still fun to keep going or not.
What I’ll be interested in seeing is how popular Classic remains, after the initial surge dies down. Will players say they prefer the old over the new? Will that influence Blizzard’s design decisions? Will the schism in WoW’s cultural base create two fan bases both fighting for resources and attention? That would be a far more dire and interesting faction split than the Alliance and Horde ever were.