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kingsal

Fan Mission: Volta II - Cauldron of the Gods by Kingsal (11/30/17) UPDATE: v2.0

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I must be one lucky bastard, because on my system it runs like a charm on both 2.05 and 2.06. The only problems I encountered are beta related, like sound cut-off, or bloom not working.

Bloom (r_postprocessing) not working in 2.06? :|

For me it's working.

Edited by lowenz

Task is not so much to see what no one has yet seen but to think what nobody has yet thought about that which everybody see. - E.S.

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Correction, it works, but something is different. It depends on material, but sometimes it's really subtle, like barely noticeable. I think it's also a bit more contrasty. Previous version was more like TES: Oblivion kind of Bloom, 2.06 is different.

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IMHO now it's really well toned (tuned?)


Task is not so much to see what no one has yet seen but to think what nobody has yet thought about that which everybody see. - E.S.

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Re: The spore bomb, I found it worked best if you hit the ground near the target, like a hard surface. That causes a decently sized cloud of gas to appear and knockout multiple enemies even. Also if you hold down the use key it throws the spore bomb further, I had no idea the throwing mechanics in TDM worked like that but it makes it a lot easier to throw knowing that.

 

 

I know the throw mechanics with holding it longer to throw further... just am really bad at timing the distance and guessing the arc - and it may be personal lazyness too (never trained that because i always had a lot of other options). I throw objects for distractions from time to time to spare precious equipment or reposition AI for easier blackjacking though.

To not discourage anyone else who is like me: This mission is perfectly playable without precision throwing.

 

 

 

- You wouldn't happen to have screenshots of the areas you got stuck would you? Because that would be pretty helpful.

- The stone door might be a 2.06 problem, but Ill take a look at it.

- The other stuff I may or may not address in an update.

 

 

Did not plan to report anything initially because of playing on unsupported 2.06 - so made no shots.

But i will notarget-noclip to the places i remember and do some shooting...

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Thanks for the feedback and for playing.

 

 

 

- You wouldn't happen to have screenshots of the areas you got stuck would you? Because that would be pretty helpful.

- The stone door might be a 2.06 problem, but Ill take a look at it.

- The other stuff I may or may not address in an update.

 

 

 

 

 

Played in 2.05, stone door did not open for me on multiple quickloads. Door just makes a clunk sound after using the key.

 

 

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Played in 2.05, stone door did not open for me on multiple quickloads. Door just makes a clunk sound after using the key.

 

 

Can you PM me your saved game that this is happening in? I'll take a look at this and try to figure out whats going on there. Sorry about that.

Edited by kingsal
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congratulations! i haven't finish it yet but i just came here to say how awesome this mission is, and i also like the new footstep sound :D, way better than the default one. well done.

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815/1942 and only 2 Secrets. <_< Overall the Mission is pretty amazing with some beautiful and intricate details to look at, both in the city area, the ruins and caverns. I enjoyed all the new elements added to the mission and I got scared the most with the one thing that couldn't hurt me at all. :laugh: I do agree with the poster saying some of the mushrooms were too bright and I say in some areas, cause in others they're perfectly lighted but in others they kind of obstruct some potential hiding places and also diminish that blueish moon/ambient light in specific parts of the caverns. Those pics posted don't do much justice to the atmosphere this mission brings and reminded me of Skyrim in a good way. Kinsal maintains his high level of quality and goes even further adding new and fresh elements to the game. I felt like this missions gave many hints for a third episode or was I missing something? ;)

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Great mission that reminded me of playing the Lost City missions in the originals. Apart from wondering how the mark got where he got unscathed through everything, the only thing that bothered me was

 

 

what the statue in the temple said? The pedestal is obviously something you can use something on, but with some outside noise, I couldn't hear what was said, and it didn't give any new objectives, and nothing I had with me at that point that I tried to use on it did anyting (and the previous save was before I entered the temple, so I didn't want to reload). Maybe it could give an optional objective, so if you for one reason or another can't either hear or properly understand it if you don't speak English that well?

 

 

Edited by Thieving Barbarian
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Thanks for playing everyone.

 

 

 

The mushrooms kind of stretch the boundaries of belief, but I need to make sure some areas get well lit. I'll try to address what I can in an update, but I'm not going to relight the level.

 

 

Great mission that reminded me of playing the Lost City missions in the originals. Apart from wondering how the mark got where he got unscathed through everything, the only thing that bothered me was

 

 

what the statue in the temple said? The pedestal is obviously something you can use something on, but with some outside noise, I couldn't hear what was said, and it didn't give any new objectives, and nothing I had with me at that point that I tried to use on it did anyting (and the previous save was before I entered the temple, so I didn't want to reload). Maybe it could give an optional objective, so if you for one reason or another can't either hear or properly understand it if you don't speak English that well?

 

 

 

The statues says, "Bring forth the remains of the burned priest". Ill make sure you can frob the statues again to hear what it says in an update. Sorry about that.

 

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Just completed it. A nice difficulty balance, everything flows together really naturally and it's super pretty to look at. Probably a top 10 mission for me, great work. As others said I think there was a tad bit too much light. Certain places were basically impossible to pass because of the mushrooms. Maybe have them be destroyable with broadheads? I only used them for distraction so that would have given me more mileage out of them.

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Just completed it. A nice difficulty balance, everything flows together really naturally and it's super pretty to look at. Probably a top 10 mission for me, great work. As others said I think there was a tad bit too much light. Certain places were basically impossible to pass because of the mushrooms. Maybe have them be destroyable with broadheads? I only used them for distraction so that would have given me more mileage out of them.

 

Thanks for playing! Destroyable mushrooms is an interesting idea. I'd worry about it unbalance the level a bit, but it's something worth trying.

Edited by kingsal
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You can always limit the number of broadheads in the shop / starting inventory ;)

I'm not worried about that, but more so the player having too much control over the encounters. I'd have to rethink a lot of the level and probably put in some non-breakable light sources like the glowing crystals or something. Its an interesting idea, but would take a lot of work.

 

EDIT: The other option would be to add more torches that can be doused, which might be fun.

Edited by kingsal
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I would not even think about destroying squishy mushrooms with broadheads. Would use stones for that. There are plenty on the ground all over the mission and they always come in pairs of two...

 

Torches are always a good way to eat some performance (and they are fun of course). You would have to replace mushrooms with torches (totally fine, but atmosphere altering). Maybe some more static clutter could make it harder to navigate around AI in some "rooms". Then there do not have to be that much light sources and therefore you could replace some with dousable torches.

 

I killed everything for what i had the impression that i would have to pass it twice though (there are plenty of sniper points that are unreachable for AI)...

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Congrats on the release! This is going to blow people's socks off. :)

 

Already blowing my socks off, similarly to Volta and the Stone mission, and I just barely started :)

 

It is as if I am playing Thief2 FM, the way the level is layered out strongly reminds me of some good fan missions.

This seems to be a mission made with a lot of attention for the detail.

 

Damn, why do I have to get to work tomorrow? :D

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updated to 1.02 - Apologies for the frequent updates if you have a game in progress.

 

- Fixed bug where people weren't able to open ancient door

- Ancient key is no longer removed from inventory

- Added impulses to water

- Adjust the lighting on mushrooms and added clusters of them in brighter areas

 

See the readme for a full-list

 

 

I kind of feel bad that we didn't do more structured tests. I focused mostly on technical stuff and show-stoppers, I didn't have more time for gameplay-related suggestions.

 

Naw, you guys did great. Bugs are bound to slip through in a map this size. Its partly my fault- I had to expedite the beta/ release because of my work schedule in december.

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Hey kingsal, a pleasure to play one of your maps, as always. :smile:

 

I must admit I thoroughly enjoyed this one, and certainly didn't expect the Volta series to turn in this direction.

 

As for the rest of my post, I'm afraid It'll have to go under spoilers, since I have a lot on my mind that might warrant such a tag.

 

 

I adored the lost city theme. After spending a good whole afternoon mapping every possible inch of the place to get an almost intimate feeling for it, it took me a while to remember that the mission started in a sleepy city street during a festival, that there was life not far above, and just how thin the veil was between an unsuspecting population above and ancient horrors lurking below. I did feel a bit let down after realising there won't also be a bonehoard section in it (the intro mentions undead down there, and there were crypts marked on the map, but as this mission has shown us, what people spread around as gossip in Bridgeport does not always have to be true, or even remotely accurate).

The ringing sound when you enter the Cauldron, the architecture, the pagan beasts (yaay!!!), the glowing mushrooms, and oh god those blood trees, everything is just plain delicious. What really made me experience profound, chilling dread while playing this mission and made me think more about the setting as a real place with a history instead of just a setting for the mission at hand were those piles of bones ground into dust all over the place. At first I did not notice them for what they were, but once I realised what they were, and remembered that only those piles made that specific crunching sound underfoot, I was like HOLY F*ING SH*T. They were everywhere; this place is literally a tomb of this entire civilization. There were some truly sick details in this mission that take a special kind of mindset to enjoy, and that is a truly great thing, and for some reason those piles of bones occupied my mind the most. Just how old was this place? How long have those bones been gathering there? What happened to this place? After that realization, I couldn't help but wonder just what kind of horrible fate befell the now silent city and its people. We are left only with a few notes from the builders and their holier-than-thou conjectures contained within, but the truth? We will probably never know. That was the part that intrigued me the most.

At this point there are a few ancient civilizations buried underneath Bridgeport that existed for a while before being brutally ended, and they were no less brutal and horrible before their demise (the crypts in Penny dreadful, the underground city in Requiem, and now this place). Speaking of Requiem, are these ruins somehow related to that civilization? I know they belong in completely different stories, but playing this mission, I got the same horrible feeling of wrongness as I had while playing Requiem, and makers of Dark mod FMs have been known to address the work of other authors before. And what is the story behind these beastmen? Are they lycantrope or something? Were they the things the ancient civilization had dealing with, as the builder explained in his burned notes, or were they a result of breeding between the humans of old and some other mostrosity lost to time? Or are they perhaps the demons from beyond the veil mentioned in the first mission? The blood tree grove beyond the portal could be a different plane of existence in my mind, just like the Maw was a seperate realm from the world of Thief. All in all, the mission left me with more questions open than closed, and while I'm not sure most of them will be ever adressed (after all, we'll probably never get to know why most ancient civilizations did what they did in real life), I at least hope some will. Will the beast men return to annoy our friendly thief once more, or were they just a remnant of some long forgotten world, a one shot idea at best?

 

Oh, and some technical nitpicks. The shrine near the blood tree in the lower crypts demands the remains of the strangled priest, but the bones are labeled "poisoned priest's remains". Or something like that. And this mission was very dark. So dark I had trouble seeing details in complete darkness. When you light your lantern, it seemed to me that the general brightness would go up, even outside the area illuminated by the lantern, but exactly the opposite happens in real life: Your eyes adjust better in the dark and see a bit better, not worse. Also, when you knock the beasts out and pick them up, it should read unconscious. Unconscience is a state without a conscience, what happens here is a lack of consciousness.

 

Anyways, keep up the good work, you've really kicked off with this one. I will await your next work with great anticipation. :smile:

 

Edited by Silverflame3
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Hey thanks Silverflame, A appreciate the review and I am really glad you dug the mission!

 

 

The volta story/ setting isn't necessarily set in Bridgeport or the same world as other FMs, but I guess there isn't much in the way of saying it's not either. The player can interpret that as they see fit :) If I had to point to a fictional reference outside of Thief, I would say the missions are inspired by the Book of the New Sun series by Gene Wolfe which may have even been an inspiration to Looking glass and Thief's fiction. The apebeasts and the even "The Eye" seem to be cousins to elements mentioned in Book of the New Sun. I'd recommend those books to anyone who's a fan of the Thief universe.

 

Good catch on the priest's remains, I remember changing the names a few times and probably forgot to update. I've also fixed the spelling errors in the latest update. Thanks again!

 

 

 

 

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Found some time to revisit the mission and shoot the promised screens.

In general, ramps and uneven terrain seem to attract the most bugs but modules featuring groups of stones could also profit from some clip. Would also recommend to avoid pitch black ambient lighting and fake water reflections.

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Amazing mission! I'm almost done, but ran into a possible bug.

 

 

I have Bellero, brought him up the elevator to the City door, but the objective won't trigger

 

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