Wednesday, 21 January 2015

New NWN2 Let's Play by AhTravesty

Our good friend AhTravesty has begun his first Let's Play series of 2015 with coverage of Risen Hero. Checkout the videos here. Like all of his Let's Plays, a new video is added daily.

This is a fantastic (and very rare) resource for players and builders, so make the most of it. If you like what you see, download the module from NWN2 Nexus/NWN Vault.

Monday, 19 January 2015

Another Crafting Walkthrough - Potion Brewing

Another subset of the crafting system I have been meaning to add was finished today. Players will now be able to brew potions! Like the previously discussed Item Upgrades, there will be three tiers of potion crafting and two of these will be available in Umbral Abyss. Potion Brewing will require ranks in Craft Alchemy and will allow you to create all manner of familiar elixirs along with some new ones for Umbral Abyss.

As with the crafting system as a whole, I have kept the grinding approach to resource gathering firmly out. A player who likes to explore will have no difficulty collecting the various herbs for potions on their travels.

Other desirable things I would like to add when time permits would be a more dynamic generation of healing potions and poultices, with the healing power of the successfully generated item reflected by the heal skill of the creator. I see this as a good alternative to the simple creation of pre-determined items. But thats something for another day. Another thought was to allow increased resource collection for those with a certain feat, or say for Elves. Decisions, decisions...

Anyway, here is a walkthrough of the Potion Brewing side of crafting.

First off, we will be using this very nice Herbalist's Store Sophie left lying around since last March. It will shortly be added into Dale.

As usual, we will need to learn how to create potions. This recipe opens up all Tier 1 potions, which equates to approximately 20 craft-able items.

Recipe Learning Menu

Tier 1 Potions has been added to our Craftworkers Journal

Examining the recipe page in our Craftworkers Journal. The Elixir of Empowerment is an old favourite. We will make this.

We place the required components on the Workbench.

We use the Mortar and Pestle tool on the workbench and we see that we were successful. This Dwarf cheated, but as you can see, DC 15 for Tier 1 potions is very straightforward and even half-skilled characters may stand a chance at a few successes.

Our completed item.

We will make one more Tier 1 potion. This time, one of the new ones for Umbral Abyss. Surefeet. This potion can give us a handy immunity to knockdown at the price of some movement speed. Trolls? What Trolls?!

And there it is.

We have found a new recipe, time to make use of it's contents. We learn as we do all recipes.

And here is the recipe page. Tier 2 is tougher and a more dedicated rank of Craft Alchemy will be required.

We have decided to make one of the new potions. The Elixir of Courage will grant us Greater Heroism. The components go on the bench.

And success. I can think of a few occasions where this will come in handy.

And that's Potion Brewing. After a few days tinkering with these little crafting subsystems and wrapping up some dialogues, I think it's time to crack on with the remaining two quests for Chapter 2.

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Crafting Upgrades - In action!

So I gave the theory to this part of the crafting system. After a long day of messing with scripts and testing everything out, I have a little image showcase and commentary of the upgrade system in action. As it stands, melee weapons and armour can be upgraded. This may expand, but such a change is low on my long list of jobs right now. For sure, I will be adding additional properties one can add to items. The emblem components will be FINITE resources, so use them wisely and hunt far and wide for them!
As with the crafting system as a whole, the player must learn a recipe before they can make it's relevant items. A recipe always covered a range of items. For instance, Iron Weapon means that the player can craft all Iron Weapons. In this case, Tier 1 Upgrades means just that - all of them. Learning requires gold (to represent the time and effort spent) and more potent recipes require more gold, but the cost is generally quite low with respect to the potential of the knowledge. Once the player has learned the recipe, all of your companions will know it too, so whoever the crafts-person is in your party, they won't lose out.
We have confirmation of a new recipe learned. There are currently over 40 recipes to learn in Umbral Abyss.
Forgive my goofy typo. We have examined one of the Emblem items - a core component for any upgrade. We are going to perform an upgrade with this emblem.
A quick reminder here that your character will also carry a Craftworkers Journal which contains all of your learned recipes.
Examining a typical recipe page in the Craftworkers Journal.
Back to our earlier planned upgrade. We want to upgrade our dagger with D4 fire damage.
We use the smithing hammer and our character gets to work.
And the upgrade is done. We get some XP and (the screencap missed this, but you'll see later) an opportunity to change the name of the item.
There is our renamed item.
And here we can see that our D4 of fire damage has been added.
Now we will use this same emblem on a set of armour. We wish to add a 5 point resistance to fire.
Another completed upgrade. This time the item name editor box is visible.
As you can see, you can call your items anything, but im sure you'll be more imaginative than me. And we can also see that our armour now carries a /5 resistance to fire damage.
We have discovered a new recipe which will allow us to perform even better upgrades. As with all recipes, use the special power ability to bring up the learning menu and learn the recipe.
Education is all about money these days...
There's our confirmation
And there is the recipe added into our Craftworker's Journal.
As we can see, it is going to require a fair bit more skill to make these upgrades. With the aid of skill boosting items or maybe the inspiration of a certain Bard, it is not impossible.
We are looking for something more exotic this time. We wish to add a very rare damage bonus of D6 Divine to our Halberd. The forces of darkness shall flee in terror.
Upgrade added and as usual, change the item name if you so wish.
New properties. (The property has since been adjusted so that it is exclusively vs Evil.)
For one last upgrade, we will upgrade a set of armour with this Tier 2 emblem which will grant us a /10 resistance to electrical damage.
Note how this particular armour already has some improvements (Damage Reduction). There are no damage resistances, and it only has 2 properties, so we can add one more.
Items placed on the bench.
And here is the resulting items, complete with obligatory silly name.
One last thing to show; Now that the armour we just improved has three properties and a damage resistance property, here is what happens when we attempt to be greedy and try to upgrade the armour with a potential /10 resistance to cold. No can do. This is largely in efforts to strike a balance between potency of player-made items and those unique items found across the game.

Friday, 16 January 2015

Crafting System Update - Upgrade those items!

Today I will be putting together the item upgrade system, an expansion to the crafting system already in place. This feature will allow your character to give certain items a much needed edge, particularly as the challenge of the game moves up a notch in later stages. It is also a nice opportunity to further personalise your character, if that is the sort of thing you aspire to.

To discuss the system further: As opposed to the basic crafting system elements, there is no success/failure check when making upgrades. The components required for upgrades are found in finite numbers and are rather expensive when bought, so the upgrade system will require arbitrary skill ranks of craft weapon/armour. The currently redundant "Craft Magic Arms and Armour" feat will be re-employed and will be a requirement to perform upgrades. It is one of the more obscure feats, so to give it a touch more exposure, we will be making it available to one of several "teacher" style Npc's somewhere in the game, much like we did in Indanthrine Prince with certain other feats. Yes, this time it will be possible to have your companion take a lesson instead of your main PC.

The key component in the upgrade process is the Emblem component and Umbral Abyss will support 2 tiers of Emblems; here are some of the planned upgrades so far:

* Tier 1:
 - (Weapon) Add D4 damage of Emblem type (e.g. Fire/Cold/Elec)
- (Armour) Add /5 Resistance of Emblem type
- (Weapon) Add Keen

* Tier 2:
 - (Weapon) Add D8 damage of emblem type
- (Armour) Add /10 resistance of emblem type
- (Weapon) Add D6 damage bonus vs evil

Once this base is in place, there are other upgrade types I'm looking into. There are a couple of restrictions to this system. Items which already have 3 properties on them cannot be upgraded. Also, if the item or armour already has a damage bonus/resistance of the same type (e.g, fire), it cannot be upgraded.

Finally, a quick run through of the crafting process:

 1. Place on Blacksmith's Bench: Weapon/Armour item + Desired Emblem

2. Use Smithing Hammer on Bench

3. Game will now check that this is a valid item (see above restrictions). Checks for feat and skill rank. If OK, go to step 4.

4. Desired property applied, emblem removed. XP awarded (in this case it will be crafting DC x 2. Regular crafting is DC value award).

And, if I work it out, you will get the option to rename the item, if desired. Progress report to follow!

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Erebor Extra!

Following on from my Exploring Erebor piece, here are a few more shots following a session of further fine-tuning.

Exploring Erebor

Much of the work on Erebor is now complete, along with one of the side quests I have been looking forward to making. Erebor is an important location in chapter 2; several quests give you the need to visit and the city itself boasts merchants with exceptionally fine wares. It is also a location where special elements of the crafting system can be used, such as item upgrade. If you wish to learn some of the finer crafting recipes, Erebor is the place to visit. I will be adding further details over the next day or so. After that, it's time to do some mopping up of chapter 2 so we can get to work on the final segment of the game. Time-wise, we are looking good - but that can always change...