MMVII Maestro Mod / Rev4 Mod impressions

The role-playing games (I-X) that started it all and the various spin-offs (including Dark Messiah).

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Istrebitel
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MMVII Maestro Mod / Rev4 Mod impressions

Postby Istrebitel » Feb 7 2012, 15:52

Hey there.

So, i tried the mod. I didnt get far yet, i'm yet to experience the "omfg so hard monsters" people were talking about (looking forward to that, actually). I'd like to express what i found so far:

Positive notes:

1) New classes.
Maestro did a great job changing the classes, since, to be honest, before classes were too straightforward, too "standart", or maybe we just got used to them after playing the MM games over and over again? Still, it always bothered me somehow that only one class can GM all elemental schools (and all at once he must, he cant GM one or two, its all or nothing), same for only one class GMing self schools.
This combined with Rev4 built-in dual class system should provide for much more diverse team making, and let you experiment with lots of new possible powerful or interesting otherwise compositions.

2) Difficulty.
Its good and bad, but some changes are definetly for the good, for example, out of sudden emerald isles proved quite a challenge. I love how some monsters now are quite fast, able to catch up to you. Love em being generally more offensive (more ranged attacks) and appearing in bigger bunches (holy cow thats a LOT of troglodytes)

3) Graphics.
While not all graphics fit nicely (some just look crappy without anti-aliasing i think, dragon doll is kinda wierd especially when wearing a cape, and the girl having wrong hair color, i understand the project files got screwed, but it is possible to just hue-edit the image of the doll, which is just one frame i belive, not animated, and change her color?) overall the graphics overhaul is great. I love new sprites. Love the idea of "runes" since helmets sometimes look awful, covering pretty faces. And love the new races, especially female dwarf with "childish" voice now being a dragon is so fun...

4) General overhaul of quests
Well, it does get boring to play over and over when you know all quests, all monsters and their location, everything. The change of quest lines, some trainers moved, it all provides a renewed gaming experience.


Unfortunately, so far the amount of negative sides outweights the positives:

1) First of all, i dont understand. Did NOONE care to lend Maestro a hand at english? I mean, even being native russian, it hurts to read all those item descriptions, they are just SO riddled with typos. And i understand Maestro is not to blame, he did his best, obviously he hasnt got good english education. But did noone care to send him corrected versions of the texts? I mean its so simple? People were talking about how they want new MM games, new MM mods, yet noone cared to do at least that? This mod would be SO much more enjoyable if it wouldnt constantly hit you in the face with so many typos...

2) I do not understand why were some sounds and little other details changed. Like, sounds from WCIII used at the arena... why? Why rename Wizard Eye to "Senses" in active spells and remove this COOL sound effect (FZZZZFZZZZZ....AHAhhh!!!!)? As a long term MM player i just got used to this sound effect and i really miss it! And so on... i dont understand the reason to change it.

3) Rev4 innovation i belive, and it really screws the game. Those "free expert skill" barrels is what i'm talking about. They are a very bad idea for numerous reasons:
- first, they make the game that much easier. If before it was a whole planning process on who will you make do what. It was so much fun planning it to be like "one person right-clicks items, repairing and IDing them, other person right-clicks objects in the world, using perception and Id monster and disarm traps". Now its "ah i'll get it for free anyways". If before you had to chose to increase your combat skills or your miscellaneous skills, like "can i afford to spend those points on combat skills now or do i need more disarm trap/id item?", now you just /nocare. I dont know if it was done for some special purpose, but for me it dumbs down the game ALOT. It removes some depth from character development... A lot of depth!
- second, it makes you hesitant to spend skill points at all. I mean, "What if i get a barrel later that gives this exact skill at 8 expert to everybody? And i suffered, i had to carry on without increasing my damage output just to get this one to expert on this character... and now i have it for free for everybody, GJ game..." And there you go never upping your misc skill because you think you'd get it for free... somewhere... and maybe not? who knows?
- third, its just not really needed. It brings no good. At least in this form. Maybe if you'd get less skill points per level or monsters'd give less xp, and you'd get informed up ahead at game start somewhere that "such and such skills can be got for free somewhere in the world"... but the way it is, its just... dumbing the game down and making it easier and simplier, in a bad way
- last, when you couple that with a quest available right on the EI that says you will get expert fire magic at level 8 for FREE when you complete it, it makes you hesitant to spend ANY skill points. It almost feels like "maybe those carnage bows would carry me far enough to get those other magicks to 8 expert for free, no need to spend skill points and gold for them now?" and there you go, your party that was planned to be magic-heavy mops the crowd with those carnage bows just because you are hesitant to waste points on something you will get for free later. And maybe you WONT? Thats the problem...

4) Further dumbing the game down is the availability of supreme quality eqipment early. Emerald Isles are piece'o'cake after you find that Day of the Gods pedistal (my CDSS party just WIPED everytthing with their starting weapons in melee after touching it... was fun and difficult before i found it though). Three bows of carnage from day 2 are you kidding me? Whole Harmondale + castle is just a freeway after that. Infinite money from arena, just use those bows and you're good to go on last difficulty.. it was actually a challenge before, now its a free win. And many other IMBA items given for free at start of the game... I mean, i get it "game got harder". Well, what point making game harder, and THEN making it easier by giving the player way better items?
What this achieves is removing a lot of progress feeling from the game. If before you'd gradually go from +1 weapons to +2, to +3, etc etc... now you get +7 or +10 from the start. If before finding ONE bow of carnage was something you'd remember for a day or two like a pleasant suprise it was, now you are nearly FULL on those right from the beginning... Same goes to armor. It just remove the senese of item progression from the game right from the beginning... sure you still need to fill those ring and misc slots and you can find better enchanted gear too, but a lot is already "gone" by giving you so good items at start.

5) Further dumbs the game the increase of barrel output. I mean, its a good idea to give +5 to a stat from a barrel at SOME point through the game, because like 1/3 into the game barrels just become irrelevant (when they give +2 and you need +25 for the next breakpoint).
However, since now you got day of the gods at EI, it makes stat distribution kinda pointless at game start. At EI you'd rock because you have DotG, then you'd sweep the castle because you got powerful items, then you get 2 bows of carnage and sweep the map to find a third one, and all your stats are way over 25 as well after drinking some harmondale castle barrels... what point carefully spending starting stats now?

6) I like the idea of the new classes, how you can get some skills at higher mastery without promotion. However, there are some severe imbalances now.
- If GM Body is good to have, M Air is just overpowered. Maybe it was supposed to give you some hard quest before you can get it (elemental rings or something?), but for me it just promoted me to M for 4k gold. This gives you two INSANELY powerful spells - Flight (aka ignore all monsters on the overworld map and kill them if you want to w/o any problems, especially with bows of carnage now in stock) and Invisibility (allowing very fast Nighon mountain access, among other uses). This coupled with GM Alchemy available without promotions lets you brew black potions right at the start of the game, right after killing goblins to open up stables! Not to mention other neat trainers available at Nighon which you can easilly reach at VERY low level now thanks to invisibility.
- Barbarian, the new knight, loses to Crusader hands down. Its in fact now a useless class, since Crusader does everything better. Crusader has relatively same damage output (and only needs to master sword to do that while barbarian needs to GM axe/mace AND master sword) but has GM spirit, GM merchant to bring to the table, wears better - plate - armor and can as well heal and even expert at light/dark magics.

7) And of course, crashes. The game was stable before. What can you do wrong with enemy drops to unstabilise it now? I mean, every monster you loot seems to have a chance of CTD. It happened with numerous guys now (with spectres at barrow downs, with goblins at harmondale, ....) so it seems to be generic problem. Why not keep the previous drop system that did work, flawlessly? I dont think constant fear or getting CTD'ed is worth the "new improved balanced drops" or something?

I really love to have an option to experience a renewed MM7 experience, but unfortunately, the new changes seem to be breaking game more than renovating it. I am seriously considering re-starting and never touching those "free skillup" barrles, never learning master air spells "flight" and "invisibility" before first mage promotion, never touching that DotG pedistal on EI, never touching those bows of carnage (let them swim in the harmondale lake), etc... And still, constant save hassle (oh my what if this next corpse i loot will CTD my game and i lose 10 minutes of progress?) will eventually just ruin the mood :(

And again, why isnt this mod supported anymore? Noone cares? I can offer spellchecking help, if no english-speaking fellas care to. Obviously, the issue with CTD when looting can be tracked and fixed as well (it mustnt be that hard to find out why it happens, because before game just never crashed on looting). Also, i am sure the game can be balanced without giving the player THAT supreme gear at day one and two. It can still be hard, but it would retain the feel of progress and gear improvement that often drives forward your interest and enthusiasm. Same for the classes, classes can be balanced around multiple choices for dealing melee damage, multiple choices for dealing ranged damage,....

This could be such a great mod.... Really!

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vladimir-maestro
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Postby vladimir-maestro » Feb 7 2012, 17:34

thanks for your afforts and oppinions.

maestro mod was mine first try of modifying mm game. i've cheated alot, didn't pay attention to texts and translations...there are alot of mistakes and bugs as well :devil:

actually i know english quite well but sometimes too lazy to spend alot of time to pay attention to gramma and spelling + i'm typing fast and can misprint something :D
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but own future mod "echo of destruction" we will try to pay attension to english version.
You can contact me here:
maestro_mod@yahoo.com
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Site about MODs: http://www.mmgames.ru
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if you wish to upload some materials for this site - let me know.

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Postby the beavers1 » Feb 8 2012, 0:47

First Off you think those powerful weapons are there for the hell of it? Get to Borrows Downs, the Rock Cavern (Where the Troglodytes were) or the Gauntlet, and THEN tell us how easy the game is. The crashes have something to do with autosave and usually, at least for me, only happened when I was using town Portal and rarely at that (the entire game maybe 2-3 times...). This game may seem much easier at the beginning but It Does a 180 shift in difficulty later on. If I had been a noob at playing this it would have taken at least 2 weeks to beat this game. As a Huge fan MM RPGs I am seasoned at playing MM Rpgs and This game took me 3-4 days of constantly playing.

Istrebitel
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Postby Istrebitel » Feb 9 2012, 14:38

2 the beavers1
Well, about power, that's what i'm talking about. Look, whats the difference if you deal 10 damage per second and monster has 60 health or you do 20 damage per second and monster has 120? By giving better items and making monsters harder, all that was achieved is that item progression was greatly hastned. Is it good? For me, it isnt, since for me M&M, an RPG game, is the game of exploration and improvement. Skipping the whole progression from using +0 crossbows to +10 bows/bows of carnage is removing some depth of improvement. Same for +6 to +26 leather armor, same for +0 to +7/10 (dont remember) maces, etc.
Game is easy when you dont need to apply effort to progress. Game is hard when you need to apply effort, and its fun if the effort you apply fits your persona (like, some tend to love just farming/grinding, some love tactical/chesslike challenges, some love reaction challenges, some love puzzle challenges etc). Of course if your opponents are high HP, high damage, and you're enclosed in tight area (barrows) you would call this NOT easy.
IM ALL UP FOR HARD GAME! But what i'm talking about, is that you didnt need to cripple the item progression in the process of making the game hard.

Unfortunately my problem isnt with autosave (never had autosave problem). Its definetly crashing when i loot, the moment i press SPACE. And this is most disturbing because in MM you loot ALOT. And in this game, when amount of enemies is increased, you'll loot even more... which means, you have to save like constantly...

On the other hand, maybe i'll just make a macro in MacroScheduler that'll press save quickbutton each 10 seconds to counteract that...

2 maestro
well, i understand the first attempt, but why did you stop then? There is alot to improve (not develop/enchance, just improve, fix typos, release working skill tree patchers so people dont have to ask in PM's for exe's, catch that crashes and eliminate them, tweak balance maybe). I mean, there are people playing and will be people playing your mod, so i think the effort to make this mod more stable and more balanced and less typo'y wouldnt definetly go to waste!

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the beavers1
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Postby the beavers1 » Feb 9 2012, 14:57

Okay, It seems you havent gotten very far yet, Because there are certain parts of the game where your new weapons and armor, DONT MEAN ****!!! As to your crashing problem you must have downloaded a faulty version of the game or something. This is Where I downloaded it: http://mmgames.ru/index.php?option=com_ ... 91&lang=en
Hope This Helps!

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vladimir-maestro
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Postby vladimir-maestro » Feb 10 2012, 3:55

Istrebitel wrote:2 the beavers1
2 maestro
definetly go to waste!


thats because i'm not a programmer - i'm graphic artist. i cannot fix game-code bugs. and in mod are bugs that even a programmer cannot understand :D 4example - why some people crashes while open inventory\spellbook in deja/tularean and some people not.
You can contact me here:

maestro_mod@yahoo.com

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Site about MODs: http://www.mmgames.ru

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if you wish to upload some materials for this site - let me know.

Istrebitel
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Postby Istrebitel » Feb 10 2012, 10:56

2 the beavers1
You seem not to understand me, or perhaps i'm bad at explaining... I'm using the version that maestro sent me, because his skill tree patcher doesnt work on mok/grayface executable (says that it didnt find class data at the offset) and if i apply tree patcher first and mok/grayface patch after, skill tree is reset.

2 maestro
Well, i'm a programmer. I'm not good at disassembling programs (that is what i belive is done with current MM8 rework mod) but i can tell you that obviously, if you didnt change the exe (your mod is playable without exe skill change, amright?), and it started crashing (but it didnt before), you obviously changed somthing in the data files that you shouldnt have or that exe doesnt expect (or you created a consequence of events that discovered a faulty code, that wasnt ever executed before in unmodded game).

Like, first idea out of my head is that the game has a limit of memory dedicated to objects to display on screen, and opening a spellbook generates more objects to display, and since your mod added more monsters (that spawn more monsters = many more monsters) that might be the crash cause - it just cant add another sprite to the game (to show a spell icon or something in the spellbook). Why some people do not - well, they may be more careful and not let monsters spawn alot of adds (like, some people'd just fly around deyja to get skill training, others would clear the area out, obviously first kind of people would have much more monsters in the area than the rest). Its just a guess, but... then again, your mod is popular and i belive there are people around who love to dig the mm code... why not collaborate with them?

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the beavers1
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Postby the beavers1 » Feb 10 2012, 14:06

The only thing I can Think of is that skill tree patcher.... I have not heard of that. I only used greyface nothing more but Ive had absolutely no problems with any sprites... and how would the problem be to add more sprites than the memory can handle if the crash only happens when picking up the sprites of dead monsters. That would be taking sprites away not adding them.

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vladimir-maestro
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Postby vladimir-maestro » Feb 12 2012, 6:49

@Istrebitel
you are mistaken. spellbook doesnot affect sprite-monster limit. game can crash if you enter a location at first time -> i didn't increase monster spawn points so you got original monster groups -> problem is still a mystery.

but there is a monster cap while some use summoning ability! if you let them summon too much - game will crash too. picking up dead bodies and grayface's patch helps much.

in maestro mod there was no works with EXE, only hex-editing in LOD files.
You can contact me here:

maestro_mod@yahoo.com

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Site about MODs: http://www.mmgames.ru

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if you wish to upload some materials for this site - let me know.

Istrebitel
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Postby Istrebitel » Feb 13 2012, 9:20

2 the beavers1
So you play with MM7 original classes? Well i play with maestro's classes, the barbarian, alchemist, acolyte etc.

2 maestro
Well of course i'm most likely wrong, it was a random guess. But if you didnt change the exe, its obvious that some combination of data file changes you introduced causes this crash. Its only a matter of tracking it down. Guessing correctly can just save you some time, if you guess correctly...

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Postby GrayFace » Feb 14 2012, 2:46

I haven't heard of the looting bug. Maybe it's new in Maestro mod. If you're playing with my patch, send me the ErrorLog.txt to check.
There are 2 hard places in Rev4 mod - a dragon cave in which dragons spawn each time you enter (I didn't know that and got a very big crowd there) and The Gauntlet. I'd recommend you playing on level 1, never leveling up.
My patches: MM6 MM7 MM8. MMExtension. Tools. Also, I love Knytt Stories and Knytt Underground. I'm also known as sergroj.


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