DOAEditor and Romhacking for Destiny of an Emperor

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Re: DOAEditor and Romhacking for Destiny of an Emperor

Unread postby Boneduke » Mon Jan 07, 2019 1:28 am

sonic.penguin wrote:Happened again after Liu Qi
https://www.4shared.com/photo/C_oVjoh_ee/Castle_Bug.html


Oh ok, thats Yanzhou. And I think thats the place you're supposed to appear at. For some reason, original DOAE seemed to always have gullwings and other such circumstances make you appear one space south of the actual castle entrance. I kept it like this is my ROM, but in the event there was water to the south I moved the location a little.
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Re: DOAEditor and Romhacking for Destiny of an Emperor

Unread postby sonic.penguin » Mon Jan 07, 2019 3:36 am

Man in the SE corner of XiangYang says "Beware Zhao Yun of Changshan". I think you're missing an "of".

Is it just me or are enemy officers severely lacking in tactics? Did you use officer profiles enhancement? j/w

In regards to finding the Yuan family stash, it wasn't that I didn't know what to do, your clues were pretty obvious that I needed it, however as to the location of the stash and where to use it escaped me for a minute. I like the clues everyone gives for the player that want to get it "on the way", but really, Cheng Yu should almost give it away at the end there with something like "If only we could present the treatise Yuan Shao held to the Jingzhou pirates, then we could certainly pass. Where could Yuan Shao have put it?" This would kill 2 birds with one stone. While it may seem obvious to some familiar with DOAE that this is significant to continue and how it would be used, I haven't modded in a few years even after all the other iterations and it even escaped me for a bit.

Not sure how much feedback you've gotten from people testing it outside of the modders, but this was a big complaint from most players in some of the work I did - when all else fails, you don't want players wandering around for countless hours where they ultimately quit playing your mod out of frustration because they cannot figure out the "one strategy that makes the game or battle possible".

When playing on the NES, I'll be honest, I never found Chi Tu Ma even after searching for hours and hours because the game never specifically says "WHERE" to start marching all the yards west and such. It was one of my least fond memories of DOAE outside of figuring out you had to WAIT on the menu for Zhuge Liang to wake up (which ironically happened by accident one day where i threw the controller down and.... YAWN. We cheered as it let us continue the game where we had been stuck for days...) Just keep in mind about frustrating your players too much. That's all I'm saying. If I'm the only one whose been stuck then perhaps its good I stay retired from modding :lol:
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Re: DOAEditor and Romhacking for Destiny of an Emperor

Unread postby sonic.penguin » Tue Jan 08, 2019 5:15 am

Just a reminder, despite my critiques, I am quite fond of all the new things you have done in this mod and all the hard work to create a different experience, so keep that in mind. :huohu:

My goodness. FINALLY got XIahou Dun. I'd have to say it has kept me quite on my toes wondering if he would ACTUALLY join the player party. It was kind of neat using him in multiple instances to 'lead from the sidelines' as everyone favorite pirate-eyed hero. I got him before going to Wu. Can't seem to get any decent weapons though be he does have valor.

I like the cave redesigns. I always had trouble moving caves around because of the multiple entrance/exit points in the rom in different locations that both needed to be updated.

Holy cow are Zang Ba's stats... high, although he's basically a glorified buffer when I got him. It continues to make me sad that Zhang Liao is relegated to a damage absorber and TP regenerator as his tactics are nothing really great compared with... (see below)

My biggest beef w/ this mod thus far - battles lack interesting things happening, heres an example:
Basically once I got Zang Ba+Yue Jin+ Xu Chu, every battle has lost what dyanamic nature it had. Every boss battle is now:
1. Valor on Yue Jin
2. Guard with Xu Chu
3. Arrows with Yue Jin
4. Defend with everyone else to regenerate TP in case of emergencies.

Wu has been the least interesting so far because of this combo and battles go super fast. Incorporating this lethal combo should be limited by much higher TP costs or I would strongly consider giving the officer profiles and having more officers that you use the ever forgotten 'negate' tactic to counter this. You could also eliminate Valor until level 45+ and make it exclusive to a weak ass or one rare officer. I probably would have liked to have seen incorporated Guard/Negate sooner in this mod because you take so much punishment in boss battles and Xun Yu is relegated to a healer every single turn during boss battles making things somewhat formulaic for the first few chapters. The single person healers are pretty useless because you take damage so fast making Cao Ren also pretty useless and cloggins slots for people you actually want to use. This wasn't the only issue though. With officers only having 3-4 tactics to use anyways, surprises are pretty reduced outside of the random critical hit and Liu Bei using FuBing seemingly every turn. Every time I fight Zhuge Liang he does exactly what I don't expect Zhuge Liang to do - Nuke/Buff, Nuke, Buff, Physical Attack. Again, officer profiles - have Zhuge Liang buff other officers and when he does attack it should be Mislead, Mislead, Nuke, Mislead making the player their own worst enemy, especially if they buff with things like Valor. That is what I expect from Zhuge Liang.

I liked the item hunt for blowing up the wall. Your clues were spot on and were much easier to understand and I enjoyed going back to places I felt I could actually find rather than stabbing in the dark like the Yuan treasure one - which despite knowing what to do, was difficult to find IMO.

There seems to be a LOT more Shu officers available to fight. I can see where you focused your general pool.

Seems everyone has a white background? If you use some of my new portraits, you can give color to the outfits and backgrounds to make things more different. I noticed you changed the backgrounds to some of the background pallette schemes although some of them are so 'busy' that they take away from the truly unique officers, especially since everyone has them.

To be honest, I really didn't enjoy the Yue Jin acquisition quest even more so than the original Zhuge Liang quest. It was funny dialogue, but was WAY too far to keep going back and forth and turned into a major food sucker in an area that doesnt give you enough money for food. With all of the windy maps it made the journey difficult to remember the map for a new player. I'll be honest, I used cheat codes to eliminate battles and walk through walls to speed up this tedious part of the mod.

Again, don't take all of this as a total diss of your mod. Creating balance but also not making the game mechanics, especially the new ones, abusable, is a difficult job and hard to please everyone.

I was fighting Pang Tong.... after Wu fell? Maybe have Pang Tong in one of the earlier battles?

Anyways, moving onward to see what surprises are next.
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Re: DOAEditor and Romhacking for Destiny of an Emperor

Unread postby sonic.penguin » Tue Jan 08, 2019 2:30 pm

Finished Wu and I get what Lu Xun said meant go back for another food-wasting walk all over the map... Sima Yi won't let me pass as I lack worthiness and I have Sue Ye with no explanation as to how its used. I'm guessing it is the iron ore replacement but no clue where the weaponsmith is. Can't seem to gain access to Nan Jun either to get Chi Tu Ma.
Last edited by sonic.penguin on Tue Jan 08, 2019 8:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: DOAEditor and Romhacking for Destiny of an Emperor

Unread postby HeiYu » Tue Jan 08, 2019 7:06 pm

Sonic, have you completed the Qiao sisters quest?
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Re: DOAEditor and Romhacking for Destiny of an Emperor

Unread postby sonic.penguin » Wed Jan 09, 2019 12:08 am

I figured it out, thanks. Moving onto Shu and the game definitely took a turn from attempting to be historic to more fictional. I was looking forward to fighting Guan Yu at Xiang Yang and it turned out being Zhang Fei and his troupe :P

All of the extensive changes to towns has been quote fun to explore. All of the hidden caves and new warps are truly impressive, as are the changes done to caves and the splitting up of cave sections into their respective dungeons. The shadow cave was pretty unique and memorable.

I can tell a lot of thought went into arranging the map so that Wei's forces could follow a somewhat historical route. Even Ma Teng north of Chang'An was a nice touch.

Seems as soons as I get officers though I tend to lose them via events! That's cool though. Wish I had a few more choices of smart officers to pick from like Xun You, Cheng Yu, Hao Zhao, Man Chong, etc. as every officer seems to be a brute with limited tactics except for the exceptionally gifted Zang Ba :huohu:

Glad you reduced the item drop to 50%. My inventory still gets clogged from the drops but the few rare drops are nice every now and then.
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Re: DOAEditor and Romhacking for Destiny of an Emperor

Unread postby Boneduke » Wed Jan 09, 2019 1:04 am

sonic.penguin wrote:I figured it out, thanks. Moving onto Shu and the game definitely took a turn from attempting to be historic to more fictional. I was looking forward to fighting Guan Yu at Xiang Yang and it turned out being Zhang Fei and his troupe :P


Sorry for the delay, was travelling for work yesterday and today. Yeah I made this comment on the webpage, the game is kinda loosely historic up until the Wu chapter and then after that it goes off in a different direction (which kinda has to happen since Cao Cao doesn't get defeated at Chi Bi this time around :D

sonic.penguin wrote:All of the extensive changes to towns has been quote fun to explore. All of the hidden caves and new warps are truly impressive, as are the changes done to caves and the splitting up of cave sections into their respective dungeons. The shadow cave was pretty unique and memorable.


You mentioned changing cave warps above - yeah it is a huge pain. And there also seems to be a behavior where, in the case of a warp that has two tiles attached to it, when you update what I guess is the primary one it automatically updates the other. This has the annoying effect of breaking warps that you previously thought were fine.

Hehe the hidden cave is definitely one of my favorite things about the ROM. It introduced a lot of unintended consequences, particularly with the stack getting messed up - Midknight was very helpful in coming up with a unique solution to that. Lot of lessons learned as far as the cave editing goes.

sonic.penguin wrote:Seems as soons as I get officers though I tend to lose them via events! That's cool though. Wish I had a few more choices of smart officers to pick from like Xun You, Cheng Yu, Hao Zhao, Man Chong, etc. as every officer seems to be a brute with limited tactics except for the exceptionally gifted Zang Ba :huohu:


Point is definitely taken about doing some overhaul on the profiles. I agree many enemy units tend to have the generic "Officer" profile which doesnt have too much in the way of special abilities. I did this intentionally because I wanted it to feel special when you were fighting someone who was like the equivalent of one of your guys - e.g. going up against another Archer should feel like a rare and epic expereience. But it had the downside of making many of the Zhou Tai, Zhu Ran, Xu Sheng kinda guys feel not very special.

sonic.penguin wrote:My biggest beef w/ this mod thus far - battles lack interesting things happening, heres an example:
Basically once I got Zang Ba+Yue Jin+ Xu Chu, every battle has lost what dyanamic nature it had. Every boss battle is now:
1. Valor on Yue Jin
2. Guard with Xu Chu
3. Arrows with Yue Jin
4. Defend with everyone else to regenerate TP in case of emergencies.


Hehe funny that both of these are areas that I already made quite a few adjustments and still not happy with it.

Xu Chu's Guard was originally single target and he got it very early (around Xiaopei). But it felt kinda useless. So I changed it to multi-target and didnt award it til very late in the game (I think around level 42). Later I moved it to 25, because this was around the level I *thought* the player would be when they were entering Xiliang region and Xu Chu was getting retired. However I think many people have ended up a good 5-10 levels beyond where I thought they'd be at a given point in the latter half of the game. So I might delay Guard to level 35 or something. I dont know.

Yue Jin's arrow ability used to be even more devastating! I already cut the damage in half and doubled the TP cost. But I kind of figured that, he is likely to be retired somewhere between Yecheng and Xiangyang, so many players may not realize how useful he can be especially when paired with Rally until much later in Xiliang/Hanzhong when Moon bows become available for sale. And then you have a good run with him up until after Tianshui when he suddenly leaves. So - my goal was for him to be really awesome for a couple of levels between Hanzhong and Baidi kind of thing...but definitely not to the kinda scenario you described where he is a one-man-show from Wu onward.

Anyways - its a v1...lots of tweaking to do. Balance is the hardest part (and also the least fun to work on, for me). Lots of good ideas coming out for a v2.

sonic.penguin wrote:Holy cow are Zang Ba's stats... high, although he's basically a glorified buffer when I got him.


Yeah his stats I'm sure are surprisingly high. One of the first things I set out to do when I started the ROM, was to make the original Zhuge Liang event associated with someone completely unexpected. Of course Sima Yi would be the obvious guess for many people. So after a lot of research, I really liked how Zang Ba's personality seemed to mesh with the ludicrousness of the event. And had to make him bad-ass too. So yeah. It doesn't really fit with the "typical" view of Zang Ba. But if I make more ROMs...he will always be a force to be reckoned with! hehe.

But yes I agree as well in many of my playthroughs he ends up just being used for Rally. Profile-wise I'd also wavered on whether to give Rally also to Xiahou Dun and at what level. It is currently 30. That is around the level when I expect the player to be finished Hanzhong (and before they even venture into Shu - which like most people you ended up doing much earlier - I think I will try to find a way to really discourage the player from heading that way out of order.) It's meant to go..

Jiangling - Jianan - Jianye (defeat Sun Quan)
Xiliang - Hanzhong (defeat Zhang Lu)
Yiling (defeat Huang Zhong, get Sue Ye)
Shu invading event
Nanjun (defeat Guan Yu)

But in your case sounds like you finished all the Yiling stuff before even doing Wu. And getting Xiahou Dun much earlier to boot. Unfortunately I ran out of ways to "enforce" the player not go in that direction...need to come up with a soft way to prevent/discourage it better.

sonic.penguin wrote:Every time I fight Zhuge Liang he does exactly what I don't expect Zhuge Liang to do - Nuke/Buff, Nuke, Buff, Physical Attack. Again, officer profiles - have Zhuge Liang buff other officers and when he does attack it should be Mislead, Mislead, Nuke, Mislead making the player their own worst enemy, especially if they buff with things like Valor. That is what I expect from Zhuge Liang.


Later instances of Zhuge Liang may be more devious. In his first incarnation (as "???"), he is an Instructor - like Guo Jia. Later he has his own profile "Chancellor". But yes I agree I should make him more dickish, maybe like Zhang Lu but not quite so annoying lol.

sonic.penguin wrote:To be honest, I really didn't enjoy the Yue Jin acquisition quest even more so than the original Zhuge Liang quest. It was funny dialogue, but was WAY too far to keep going back and forth and turned into a major food sucker in an area that doesnt give you enough money for food. With all of the windy maps it made the journey difficult to remember the map for a new player. I'll be honest, I used cheat codes to eliminate battles and walk through walls to speed up this tedious part of the mod.


Haha yeah to be honest the event is kind of intended to be even more annoying (and at one point Cao Cao rubs it in with some remark about "you've wasted enough time, recruit him already!" lol). I kinda took the stance that, hey its a DOAE mod, we all know that this event is designed to be annoying, I'm not gonna let the player off the hook I'm gonna escalate it. I also kinda have the attitude like, there is a new DOAE mod what every few years at best? Whats the rush - enjoy the frustration :D

Ultimately. Unless Zhuge Liang's house was literally located outside Guiyang and Cui Zhouping was his neighbor, the event is going to be annoying to some degree. I figured may as well have some fun with it.

sonic.penguin wrote:My goodness. FINALLY got XIahou Dun. I'd have to say it has kept me quite on my toes wondering if he would ACTUALLY join the player party. It was kind of neat using him in multiple instances to 'lead from the sidelines' as everyone favorite pirate-eyed hero. I got him before going to Wu. Can't seem to get any decent weapons though be he does have valor.


I really liked the aspect too! He is always kinda one step ahead of the player - Chang'an, Yanzhou, Yecheng, Wu, and Yiling - I felt like the obvious choice would be to make him one of the Guan Yu/Zhang Fei generals who joins at the very beginning. So wanted to do something completely different with him (and Xiahou Yuan) that would keep the player guessing. And he is meant to join after Cao Ren leaves, as he also has high LDR.


sonic.penguin wrote:Seems as soons as I get officers though I tend to lose them via events! That's cool though. Wish I had a few more choices of smart officers to pick from like Xun You, Cheng Yu, Hao Zhao,


Yeah can look at it for a next version. Of course, I am fresh out of generals to use so it would have to be at the expense of someone else. But I had originally tried to work in Hao Zhao - didnt end up finding a useful way. Anyways, can talk more about that one after you finish it, since it relates a bit to where the storyline goes.

Sounds like you are coming close to finishing the Shu chapter. You're almost certainly going to get stuck in Zhuge Liang's cave maze, which to date I dont think anyone has managed to solve outside of using brute force/sheer willpower lol. So I want to improve the hints given about how to pass through it. This is the text I am currently working on. When you are told to go to Jianye and ask a "master of mazes" from the past, you can replace what he says with this:

Zhuge Liang is a
devious man.[>]

Consider that he
may have embedded
clues in the very[>]
architecture of
his maze.[>]

Does a wall or
chest seem out of
place?[>]
Or perhaps a bit
too deliberate?[>]
Zhuge Liang does
everything for a
reason![>]

And remember.[>]
Sometimes the way
to go forward, is
to retrace your[>]
steps.[END]

It's probably still nowhere near obvious. Nonetheless, give it a go.
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Re: DOAEditor and Romhacking for Destiny of an Emperor

Unread postby sonic.penguin » Wed Jan 09, 2019 9:17 pm

Not many officers have under 100INT other than Xu Chu and Meng Huo it seems. Even rebel and nanman forces have INT in the +100 range. This totally gimps the tactic system as its not even worth using single target tactics due to the high probability of failure. Not sure if my math is totally correct due to the way the game calculates, but wouldn't an officer with an INT of 127 have a 50% success rate if someone w/ 255INT used a tactic on them?

Not sure what Meng Huo meant when he asked if I was of the same kidney?

So I thought Zang Ba had high stats... Cao Zhen, sheesh. Only 12 less STR than Xu Chu and 10 less than Xiahou Dun and LDR higher than Zhang Liao, leader of the 5. Even better stats than Zhang He. Hmmm...

Zhuge Liang maze... entered a room by going
NW, NW, SE, SE path
. But by the time I got to this room I took the bottom right hand stairs and things went completely black (see image below). No way to get out except a chariot. Not sure if this was meant to be that way?

https://dc588.4shared.com/img/X4cvoFnqfi/s24/16834728920/Broken?async&rand=0.40859081316622203
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Re: DOAEditor and Romhacking for Destiny of an Emperor

Unread postby Boneduke » Wed Jan 09, 2019 11:18 pm

sonic.penguin wrote:Zhuge Liang maze... entered a room by going
NW, NW, SE, SE path
. But by the time I got to this room I took the bottom right hand stairs and things went completely black (see image below). No way to get out except a chariot. Not sure if this was meant to be that way?

https://dc588.4shared.com/img/X4cvoFnqfi/s24/16834728920/Broken?async&rand=0.40859081316622203


Ah nice - did you figure out the path from the clues or find it from random experimentation?

The screenshot - that is the second part of the maze. There is also a way through that (I think, actually much easier than the first part!)

Lets talk more about Cao Zhen a little later...
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Re: DOAEditor and Romhacking for Destiny of an Emperor

Unread postby sonic.penguin » Fri Jan 11, 2019 9:23 pm

Well the first part I figured out by experimenting, but then thought I should try and analyze what was really meant, which I then figured out. Didn't know if the totally black one was on purpose because in editing I often found myself creating warp points that did stuff like that and it was not on purpose. So just checking.

I'll have to revisit it.
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