Elemental Mod for MM7 -- v3.1 holiday release!

The role-playing games (I-X) that started it all and the various spin-offs (including Dark Messiah).
Tomsod
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Re: Elemental Mod for MM7 -- v3.1 holiday release!

Unread postby Tomsod » 05 Jan 2023, 12:00

rampage77t wrote: 04 Jan 2023, 15:21 Well yes, since version 3.0 I played a few games until completing the game, I don't see anything that this mod of the original game hasn't improved, maybe a little annoying that much more exp is required to advance in level, in fact I finished the game before to reach level 50, but the skill points they give you make up for it a lot so I'm not complaining.
In fact you get almost exactly as much skill points for a given amount of experience as in vanilla, I was very careful about this. HP and SP growth is slower, yes, but you can compensate with bodybuilding, meditation, and primary stats, which now give bigger bonuses at high character levels. I had to dilate the levels precisely because of this, otherwise characters would get way too beefy in the late game compared to vanilla.
rampage77t wrote: 04 Jan 2023, 15:21 I loved being able to create black potions without having to be a grandmaster in alchemy, otherwise I always had to create a druid to do it. As for the pure potions that increase your stats, if I'm upset that it doesn't increase you by 50 points as before, since sometimes it increases me less than 20 points and I can't use it again.
The variable increase is for balance reasons, to avoid too large a bonus too early in the game. If you increase the potion's power with a philosopher's stone, you'll get at least 75 (unless it's botched). The downside is, collecting 28 stones could take a while, so it's a late game benefit. If the increase was a constant 50, then everyone could (with some patience) brew the full set of stat potions in the early game and get +50 to everything, but now you at least need powerful reagents for that.
rampage77t wrote: 04 Jan 2023, 15:21 Another thing that happened to me in a game and I could never do it again, was to hire an npc in the stable that helped me to travel to places with less travel days and an inventory space, how does that work? I did it in Erathia's stable.
You had a Knight character, and they get to buy a horse after the first promotion. Different stables have different horses, by the way.
rampage77t wrote: 04 Jan 2023, 15:21 For now this is what occurs to me about the things that I notice the most, and ideas for now I can't think of, I still have to find all the new relics that you added, and since there is now a limit of relics per game I have to replay it to get them LOL.
You can also, in principle, read the new artifact spoiler, although it's not the same.
rampage77t wrote: 04 Jan 2023, 15:21 Perhaps an idea could be like in the MM7Rev4modR1 mod of using enchanted staffs that occupy a place to shoot from a distance, since for example the clerics, with the exception of the elves who have the bow, always have no damage at a distance throughout the game, and that would be a way that I could do it.
Clerics are the only class that can't use bows or throwing knives, yes. It's deliberate, they're healers and armor turtles, but not major damage dealers (until you learn Dark!) But I'd say wands are pretty close to enchanted staves, since they're also "sticks" that go into the bow slot. You can get enough wands to keep a cleric occupied until blasters become available, so it's bearable, I think.
rampage77t wrote: 04 Jan 2023, 15:21 By the way, playing the original game many years ago, it also occurred to me to turn the lich character into a human, I don't remember exactly how it was but I think my character died, I cured him in nighon being a zombie, and in another church I cured him and he became human again, maybe I'm getting confused and I actually revived him as a zombie with the reanimate spell as you mentioned before, I thought it was just a bug lol.
It is a bug, just a useful one. I actually fixed it in 3.1, as liches are not supposed to become zombies at all (how would that even work?) It was actually similar in nature to that Elixir of Life bug you've found.

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Re: Elemental Mod for MM7 -- v3.1 holiday release!

Unread postby Tomsod » 08 Apr 2023, 19:51

Hey, so I finally packaged that Elixir of Life bugfix from January, along with another fix I made since then, into a proper release (3.1.1). Consider upgrading if you're still playing 3.1 (just unpack the archive into the game directory, as usual).

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Re: Elemental Mod for MM7 -- v3.1 holiday release!

Unread postby kotgaf » 22 May 2023, 13:31

Hello. Quick review after game.
Race\Class rebalance is AMAZING!
Skill rework - is amazing too!!
Spells. Some are amazing too - like Aura of Conflict or Spectral Weapon.
My part almost never used offensive speels - they are too expensive for low SP pull of (Ranger/Archer/Paladin). So I'm not sure is 4 lich party still good.
New enchantments are great too!
And potions! At last there is point in upgrading alchemy.

The only downside for me was overall difficulty of mod. I played on normal (PAL/ARC/THF/RNG) and it's too easy. I'm not sure if hard will really change it.

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Re: Elemental Mod for MM7 -- v3.1 holiday release!

Unread postby Tomsod » 22 May 2023, 14:19

Thanks! About difficulty -- I was careful not to scare off my players by making it too hard, but I apparently misjudged my audience: everyone keeps saying it's still kinda easy. So for 4.0 I'll try to add more challenges (such as smarter AI, new monster abilities, better-aimed projectiles, and so on), all of which will be only enabled on Normal and Hard difficulties. Do you have any suggestions on what in particular should be made harder?

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Re: Elemental Mod for MM7 -- v3.1 holiday release!

Unread postby kotgaf » 22 May 2023, 18:09

Tomsod wrote: 22 May 2023, 14:19 Thanks! About difficulty -- I was careful not to scare off my players by making it too hard, but I apparently misjudged my audience: everyone keeps saying it's still kinda easy. So for 4.0 I'll try to add more challenges (such as smarter AI, new monster abilities, better-aimed projectiles, and so on), all of which will be only enabled on Normal and Hard difficulties. Do you have any suggestions on what in particular should be made harder?
I do. I hope some of them will be usefull for you.

1) Increase projectle speed (not 100% auto-hit, I think).
2) (this is great solution I encountered in another great mod, ReImagine) adding some more powerful monsters in company with old one. For example, adding few (1-4) Swamp troll in Harmondale castle will certanly add some spice to the battle for your new home. Having just one or two monsters which are much stronger than normal for area works just fine.
It would be great if this additional monsters spawn only on certain difficulty, but I guess it will be hard to implement.
3) adding some spells/abilities to mobs(you've mentioned). for example, goblin lords can use bless on them self.
4) creating slightly buffed "elite" version of monsters from time to time. They can be larger and have different color (if it is possible in MM engine)
5) making traps on most non-quest chests deadlier OR having additional effects - insane, poision, SP drain, zombification, sleep, items break.
6) this just a thought, In vanilla and other mods time is not matter. Bbut what if monsters will be getting stronger (until certain limit) with time passes by? then next point will make sense:
7)make healing at temple VERY expensive, but instead make most of conditions expirable after rest. Also,make some major spells like enchant, portal and some others limited per day.
8)rework some NPC? free identify and 5% experience seem to be in counterpart with your idea of item identification

UPD
9)make death penality. Now you can use death just as some kind of town portal (providing gold is stashed). Some permanent attributes penalty? 80% of character items break?
10) ! made difficult tweakable through ini file. So you can turn off or turn on some heavy impact changes.
11) another idea like point 6. With time passes, new, stronger monsters will apear in some areas. Vampires in haunted mansion, weak Titan near red dwarf mines.
12) good ore is too available and have heavy impact on your party gear. And save-scum can give you REALLY good items early game.
Some ideas of solution:
a) You give ore and will get items in Harmondale chests after some time passes (hard to implement, probably)
b) You must pay in order to produce item.
c) Most of easily accessable ore is removed. You can get it from ore veins in mines and from certain mobs as loot (luck and perception increase this chance).
13) arena reward is too generous. I had 20k gold and it was A LOT for me, and having beaten Arena on "knight" gave me enormus 14k gold!
14) make invisible and fly more costly and fleeting
15) make all chests locked if there are monsters nearby
16) give shield (as a spell) to the most part of melee only monsters

I'm not native, so if something is confusing please tell me so I can paraphrase my thoughts)

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Re: Elemental Mod for MM7 -- v3.1 holiday release!

Unread postby Tomsod » 24 May 2023, 21:37

Thank you for the ideas! Some are very interesting.
kotgaf wrote: 22 May 2023, 18:09 1) Increase projectile speed (not 100% auto-hit, I think).
Yes, I'll probably do just that in the next version. Also worth a try to have monsters predict where you'll be in a moment based on your current speed, and aim there.
kotgaf wrote: 22 May 2023, 18:09 2) (this is great solution I encountered in another great mod, ReImagine) adding some more powerful monsters in company with old one. For example, adding few (1-4) Swamp troll in Harmondale castle will certainly add some spice to the battle for your new home. Having just one or two monsters which are much stronger than normal for area works just fine.
It would be great if this additional monsters spawn only on certain difficulty, but I guess it will be hard to implement.
Well, this is the problem: I want difficulty to be switchable anytime (except in combat), so I can't have monsters (dis)appear when it's changed -- especially in an ostensibly cleared area.
kotgaf wrote: 22 May 2023, 18:09 3) adding some spells/abilities to mobs(you've mentioned). for example, goblin lords can use bless on them self.
Yep, gonna add a lot of those -- not that hard to disable them on Easy.
kotgaf wrote: 22 May 2023, 18:09 4) creating slightly buffed "elite" version of monsters from time to time. They can be larger and have different color (if it is possible in MM engine)
Not impossible, but see point 2. Also I'm not sure it's what I want my mod to be? I try to stay true to the "spirit" of the game, as I understand it, and lack of bosses looks intentional.
kotgaf wrote: 22 May 2023, 18:09 5) making traps on most non-quest chests deadlier OR having additional effects - insane, poison, SP drain, zombification, sleep, items break.
Good idea! Poison from poison clouds, broken items from fire, paralysis from lightning, something like that. Added this to my notes, thanks.
kotgaf wrote: 22 May 2023, 18:09 6) this just a thought, In vanilla and other mods time is not matter. But what if monsters will be getting stronger (until certain limit) with time passes by? then next point will make sense:
7)make healing at temple VERY expensive, but instead make most of conditions expirable after rest. Also,make some major spells like enchant, portal and some others limited per day.
Hard to balance, but could possibly work. I'll think about it, at least. FWIW, temple healing price is already increased compared to vanilla, although not that much.
kotgaf wrote: 22 May 2023, 18:09 8)rework some NPC? free identify and 5% experience seem to be in counterpart with your idea of item identification
Yes, Scholars will grant only +5 to ID Item skill in the next version. Some other hirelings also need adjustment.
kotgaf wrote: 22 May 2023, 18:09 9)make death penality. Now you can use death just as some kind of town portal (providing gold is stashed). Some permanent attributes penalty? 80% of character items break?
Makes sense, but on the other hand, wouldn't everyone just reload the last save then?
kotgaf wrote: 22 May 2023, 18:09 10) ! made difficulty tweakable through ini file. So you can turn off or turn on some heavy impact changes.
I'm not a big fan of ini files, and besides everything we're discussing now will be disabled on Easy difficulty. Maybe if I add some controversial difficulty feature it could be worthwhile, though?
kotgaf wrote: 22 May 2023, 18:09 11) another idea like point 6. With time passes, new, stronger monsters will appear in some areas. Vampires in haunted mansion, weak Titan near red dwarf mines.
Someone already proposed increasing monster count on respawn to keep it from being boring, but actually upgrading the monsters is even better! The only real problem with both ideas is how to determine when the usual monster population becomes too easy for the player. Still, good idea.
kotgaf wrote: 22 May 2023, 18:09 12) good ore is too available and has heavy impact on your party gear. And save-scum can give you REALLY good items early game.
Some ideas of solution:
a) You give ore and will get items in Harmondale chests after some time passes (hard to implement, probably)
b) You must pay in order to produce item.
c) Most of easily accessible ore is removed. You can get it from ore veins in mines and from certain mobs as loot (luck and perception increase this chance).
Amusingly enough, I just spend over a month implementing something like this: you can now order specific items in shops, but this costs both ore (up to six chunks) and a lot of money, takes several days as well, and enchanted items require extra "ingredients" (e.g. Day of Gods scroll for an item "of The Gods"). Vanilla ore smiths will be removed.
kotgaf wrote: 22 May 2023, 18:09 13) arena reward is too generous. I had 20k gold and it was A LOT for me, and having beaten Arena on "knight" gave me enormous 14k gold!
In my defense, vanilla reward was clearly too stingy, and even now it's still half that of MM8. But yeah, maybe I should tone it down a bit.
kotgaf wrote: 22 May 2023, 18:09 14) make invisible and fly more costly and fleeting
Already reduced the duration of both! That said, I'll probably disable Invisibility on Hard altogether, since it's #1 sequence breaker in the game, and isn't really mandatory anywhere.
kotgaf wrote: 22 May 2023, 18:09 15) make all chests locked if there are monsters nearby
Ha! That'd be nasty. But since monsters can get stuck in the walls, probably not a foolproof idea. Opening chests already dispels Invisibility, so that's something.
kotgaf wrote: 22 May 2023, 18:09 16) give shield (as a spell) to the most part of melee only monsters
For some monsters it makes more sense than ranged attacks, yeah. But maybe it's even better to let them "sprint" quickly into melee -- I intended to increase monster movement speed on Normal/Hard for 3.0, but it's tricky (for one, I don't want them running away with the same super-speed like in MAW). Still intend to do it somehow.

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Re: Elemental Mod for MM7 -- v3.1 holiday release!

Unread postby kotgaf » 25 May 2023, 05:47

Glad you've found something useful. Looking forward to the next release!

About last point, increasing monsters speed over players speed can lead to undesirable side effect - it can make fireball spell useless against them.

Just a thought about bows.
In some cases you just devastate everything with bow, and, well it's not feels right. Maybe adding ammo which (like for throwing daggers) refreshes on rest will make thing better ? And bow skill will increase this amount in addition to other bonuses. Or maybe it's against your vision of mod.

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Re: Elemental Mod for MM7 -- v3.1 holiday release!

Unread postby Tomsod » 25 May 2023, 19:54

I did have an idea in my notes to add arrow quivers which would boost bow damage for a limited amount of shots, but I never implemented that -- I don't even remember why! Although it never occurred to me to make arrows mandatory. Ultimately I suspect it's a wrong fix to the problem: bows generally aren't strong weapons, and they only feel OP because a lot of monsters have no ranged attacks at all. Giving monsters projectiles, or spells, or the Shield buff, or just an ability to sprint like I just wrote could be a better fix. And don't worry about fireballs: I intend to allow aiming (almost) any spell in any direction, not just directly at monsters, so with some skill exploding attacks can be aimed at a wall or ceiling, damaging nearby enemies but not the party, even when the enemies are in melee range.

Gray Magic Expert
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Re: Elemental Mod for MM7 -- v3.1 holiday release!

Unread postby Gray Magic Expert » 04 Jun 2023, 07:50

Hello, Tomsod! Just wanted to thank you for this mod and share some observations.

I played this MOD for quite about half-a-year ago.
Keep in mind that right now I don't have a proper Elemental Mod installation on gaming PC, so I won't be able to quickly check stuff in game, I write everything from memory.

My favorite stuff:
- really intriguing magic skill re-balance between classes. Archers, Paladins and Rangers feel much more fun now.
- Many, many great new artifacts. The Serpent Staff looks cool enough to build a staff-wielding Knight, for example!
- Barrows are no longer a place with "All the money you need till level 30-something", and offer their bounties in powerful items instead.
- The ghost enemy rework is fun and immersive.
- Taxes from Harmondale! Finally, being a Lord has some in-game benefits!
- All races play well with almost all classes. Elven champions/paladins/clerics? All worthy characters! Goblin wizards? Sure, there is a reason to have one in a party! And humans/dwarves are better all around too.

Some things, which felt a bit un-optimal:
- Town portal on master water is almost pointless now. Getting to the last town visited is very weak in mm7. Maybe add cast limit of 3 recalls for master town portal instead?
- Throwing knives in early game were subpar. They deal negligible damage without either enchantments or major strength investment. Both the bows (for those who can use them) and not bothering with ranged attacks at all (for pure mages) felt like better alternatives. (Ammo system is not a problem, however. You get enough knife sets in early game to use them in combat)
- Only Wizard class can get Master Fire before 2nd promo. Druids no longer get it. This limits build variety a bit, I think. Maybe archers should get master fire after 1st promo, instead of the second one? Master fire feels appropriate for a Warrior Mage, after all.
- Druids are all around more fun now. However, losing master spirit on first promo makes going Light Druid even more tempting than in vanilla MM7. Both Rise Dead and Shared Life are very useful spells, and light Druid promotion is achieved much faster than the Dark one. There are two potential ways to address this: 1) give master spirit after 1st promo, like it was before. 2) instead of master spirit, give GM alchemy after the first Druid promotion. This will provide plentiful Rise Dead potions and other fun stuff to aspiring Warlocks long before the Land of Giants becomes unlocked.
- GM perception requirement. By the time you find all obelisks, GM perception loses its value. Maybe it would be better to require 9 or 10 obelisks instead?

Some things, that felt fair, but weird:
- Dark paladins getting master arm-master strongly encourages going Dark paladin on a light path! This is fair, but silly from role-playing perspective. Maybe it would be better to give both paladins master arm-master, and add something else for dark paladins? Like master bow (ranged combat is un-heroic!), or master Earth (stone skin for an additional buff, telekinesis, slow, deadly swarm for Villainous plans, and Deyja flavor)?
- Black Knights appear worse than champions at a first glance. Curse status is nebulous, while master bow and additional skillpoints to all weapons are definitely cool. Maybe provide Black knights with +10% or +15% crit chance to all attacks? Crit-based GM arm-master looks terrifying, and it also fits together with double damage chance of Dread Knights from Heroes 3.
- Difficulty names: instead of easy/normal/hard, it would make more sense to name difficulties normal/hard/unfair. Firstly, both bonus difficulties change the base stats of the game. It is strange, when "normal" has not-normal stats! Secondly, Hardest difficulty changes gameplay in radical ways. Its name should reflect this, I think.

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Re: Elemental Mod for MM7 -- v3.1 holiday release!

Unread postby Tomsod » 05 Jun 2023, 07:46

Thank you for your review! It's very helpful.
Gray Magic Expert wrote: 04 Jun 2023, 07:50 My favorite stuff:
- really intriguing magic skill re-balance between classes. Archers, Paladins and Rangers feel much more fun now.
- All races play well with almost all classes. Elven champions/paladins/clerics? All worthy characters! Goblin wizards? Sure, there is a reason to have one in a party! And humans/dwarves are better all around too.
Yeah, my main goal was to make inferior classes and race options worthwhile. Glad it worked!
Gray Magic Expert wrote: 04 Jun 2023, 07:50 - Many, many great new artifacts. The Serpent Staff looks cool enough to build a staff-wielding Knight, for example!
Could work, but mostly it's intended for Monks.
Gray Magic Expert wrote: 04 Jun 2023, 07:50 - Barrows are no longer a place with "All the money you need till level 30-something", and offer their bounties in powerful items instead.
Technically the huge gold piles were a bug, although I don't know if MM7Patch will adopt the fix (Grayface is often reluctant to fix exploits).
Gray Magic Expert wrote: 04 Jun 2023, 07:50 - The ghost enemy rework is fun and immersive.
You know, I've been convinced to make monsters more challenging for 4.0 (depending on difficulty level); if ghosts worked well, maybe I should think of making other enemies more special, too.
Gray Magic Expert wrote: 04 Jun 2023, 07:50 Some things, which felt a bit un-optimal:
- Town portal on master water is almost pointless now. Getting to the last town visited is very weak in mm7. Maybe add cast limit of 3 recalls for master town portal instead?
You forget that even without town choice Town Portal is an excellent "panic button", allowing you to instantly escape combat gone sour. In fact, the mod boosts it in this aspect, as at Master it used to always fail near monsters, while now there's a good chance of success. Besides, it's still useful for teleporting from Tatalia to Erathia, or from Avlee to Tularean, and so on. In MM6 you also could not choose the town before getting 12 Water skill, and nobody complained! Mostly, I wanted to make stables and stuff more relevant, as in vanilla this spell made them almost obsolete too quickly. That said, it's not great how fully Dark parties are now forced to take a Lich for Town Portal's full effects. I'll see if I can fit GM Water on Bounty Hunters -- teleporting to town halls even fits thematically!
Gray Magic Expert wrote: 04 Jun 2023, 07:50 - Throwing knives in early game were subpar. They deal negligible damage without either enchantments or major strength investment. Both the bows (for those who can use them) and not bothering with ranged attacks at all (for pure mages) felt like better alternatives. (Ammo system is not a problem, however. You get enough knife sets in early game to use them in combat)
Well, yes, they're supposed to be worse than bows or spells early on. Basically I wanted spellcasters to use attack spells more often instead of spamming free arrows, and the knives are merely a backup option for when you run out of mana. That said, they can in fact pack some punch if you use Fire Aura -- especially since they're 50% faster than bows, but fire damage stays the same.
Gray Magic Expert wrote: 04 Jun 2023, 07:50 - Only Wizard class can get Master Fire before 2nd promo. Druids no longer get it. This limits build variety a bit, I think. Maybe archers should get master fire after 1st promo, instead of the second one? Master fire feels appropriate for a Warrior Mage, after all.
Admittedly I balanced the classes around the second promotion, so I'll consider your suggestion. That said, what's so great about M Fire for you? Fireballs work well enough on Expert.
Gray Magic Expert wrote: 04 Jun 2023, 07:50 - Druids are all around more fun now. However, losing master spirit on first promo makes going Light Druid even more tempting than in vanilla MM7. Both Rise Dead and Shared Life are very useful spells, and light Druid promotion is achieved much faster than the Dark one. There are two potential ways to address this: 1) give master spirit after 1st promo, like it was before. 2) instead of master spirit, give GM alchemy after the first Druid promotion. This will provide plentiful Rise Dead potions and other fun stuff to aspiring Warlocks long before the Land of Giants becomes unlocked.
I feel like Warlocks not being able to revive dead is thematically appropriate. Instead they now have Reanimate! (Remember that it works on party members, too.) And obviously, if one of the second promotions doesn't have the skill, neither can the first one. Additionally, Great Druids are very much supposed to be better at support, while Warlocks are much stronger offensively. So no. As for the potions, remember that you CAN brew black potions at Master, they just explode most of the time.
Gray Magic Expert wrote: 04 Jun 2023, 07:50 - GM perception requirement. By the time you find all obelisks, GM perception loses its value. Maybe it would be better to require 9 or 10 obelisks instead?
Good point! I was low on ideas when doing that part, yours is probably better.
Gray Magic Expert wrote: 04 Jun 2023, 07:50 Some things, that felt fair, but weird:
- Dark paladins getting master arm-master strongly encourages going Dark paladin on a light path! This is fair, but silly from role-playing perspective. Maybe it would be better to give both paladins master arm-master, and add something else for dark paladins? Like master bow (ranged combat is un-heroic!), or master Earth (stone skin for an additional buff, telekinesis, slow, deadly swarm for Villainous plans, and Deyja flavor)?
Hmm, are Villians really that much better? You know, I was in fact worried that too many classes have M Armsmaster now, maybe replacing with Bow would be more fair.
Gray Magic Expert wrote: 04 Jun 2023, 07:50 - Black Knights appear worse than champions at a first glance. Curse status is nebulous, while master bow and additional skillpoints to all weapons are definitely cool. Maybe provide Black knights with +10% or +15% crit chance to all attacks? Crit-based GM arm-master looks terrifying, and it also fits together with double damage chance of Dread Knights from Heroes 3.
Cursed monsters miss half of the time (50% lower DPS) and take more damage from all attacks. So, like the Champion perk, and similar to GM Axe, this ability benefits the entire party. The difference is that Champions are mostly good for melee-heavy parties, while the Cursed damage bonus also applies to spells. That said, I'll think about some additional bonus for BK -- need to crunch some numbers first, maybe cursing is indeed objectively inferior.
Gray Magic Expert wrote: 04 Jun 2023, 07:50 - Difficulty names: instead of easy/normal/hard, it would make more sense to name difficulties normal/hard/unfair. Firstly, both bonus difficulties change the base stats of the game. It is strange, when "normal" has not-normal stats! Secondly, Hardest difficulty changes gameplay in radical ways. Its name should reflect this, I think.
I initially wanted to do just that, but let's face it: the vanilla game IS easy, and my mod actually makes it slightly easier on average! Also, it's "medium", not "normal", for precisely this reason. And yes, "hard" is hard, in the ways easy/medium are not, that's why it's named as such. Maybe I could change "easy" to "classic" or something like this, but ultimately it's of minor importance.

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Re: Elemental Mod for MM7 -- v3.1 holiday release!

Unread postby Tomsod » 02 Oct 2023, 18:18

Hey all! I've published a new minor release with a few bugfixes (armor skills were broken a bit, so were Lloyd's Beacon autosaves, and some chest items generated pre-identified). Download here, just unpack it inside the game directory like always (either vanilla install, or some 3.X mod version).


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