Monday, December 22, 2008

Update (or lack thereof)

Yeah, I haven't touched the map recently. The holidays and all. Also, there's almost half a meter of snow outside. But not to worry, I still intend on getting Rev. 3 out before the end of the year. Ideally I'd also like to add Conjurer to the Fun Tavern, but summoning heroes take bloody forever to add without the Map Editor (Old Pudge took me waaaay longer than it should have).

Also, looks like I didn't fully remove my work-in-progress hero (Ramza) from the incremental map like I wanted to. Instead of modifying the tavern to remove the hero (the right way) I decided to just make the hero unavailable at startup (the lazy way), but the lazy way doesn't account for the fact that the Fun Taverns are repopulated with -repick (even though I modified -repick to do just that). Oops.

Consider it a sneak preview, then. I'm still working out some more abilities and job classes, as well as infrastructure for secondary skill selection (anyone who's played Final Fantasy Tactics will know what I'm talking about). I'm hoping to finish him soon, he's the most ambitious endeavour I've tried in the context of DotA to date. Even if he is broken as all hell.

Monday, December 15, 2008

By the way...

It should go without saying, but don't discuss this map on the official DotA-Allstars forums. You will get in trouble (and I might too!). If you want to discuss, feel free to add comments to the map post.

Also, before anybody posts any accusatory remarks, all hero designs were made up by either myself or my friends, and no, nobody "stole your idea". Though if you know who made that Cloud model do let me know, I downloaded the model a long time ago and it wasn't credited to anybody (shame, it's a fantastic piece of work). If you know who made it, let me know, as I'd love to give credit where it's due.

There are a few references in the stuff I added. +10 points if you get them all. I'll post about them later probably.

Ah, screw it

...I'll fix those old triggers later. This means I've included all of my extra stuff (except my WIP hero) in -fun. Note that this is NOT AN OFFICIAL REVISION OR RELEASE. This is an incremental build ONLY, for people to check on updates and for me showcase my stuff. =P I may make some posts in the future to describe or explain my creations, but in the meantime you'll just have to try for yourself.

Here's the first incremental build, change log is as follows:

Changelog (12/15/2008)
-Restored resource preloading on Invoker
-Lowered manacost on Direct Vengeance (Avatar of Vengeance)
-Fixed the position of Leragas the Vile on the Scourge side
-Rewrote Fly (Bat Rider) to address a few bugs

*Formless fixes
-Added a small cast point value for Formless to fix a timing issue between spell cast and effect trigger events
-Fixed a bug with copying Meld
-Fixed some issues with behaviour when copying Feral Heart and Spin Web with Formless
-Fixed some bugs with activating Reset while Freezing Field or abilities based on immolation are active
-Illuminate on Formless is now channeling (instead of the Spirit Form version)
-Aftershock or Static Field on Formless no longer trigger on "fluff" spells (only a spell that would remove Curse of the Silent will trigger it)
-Formless can now copy Impetus, Glaives of Wisdom, Last Word, Phantom Edge, Spell Shield, Flesh Heap, Overload, Burning Spear, Berserker's Blood, Refraction, Soul Assumption, Gravekeeper's Cloak, Blur, Split Shot (Medusa), Crippling Fear, Hunter in the Night, Devour, Backtrack, Storm Seeker, Feast, Time Lapse, Frostmourne, Borrowed Time, Dispersion (Spectre), Arcane Orb, Essence Aura, Heartstopper Aura, Kraken Shell, Stygwyr's Thirst
-Implemented a system that prevents Formless from copying two skills with the same base order
-Added new command -override that removes the aforementioned base order check

*Unofficial fixes
-Fixed Last Word to trigger on end of spell cast (instead of end of spell cast animation)
-Cleaned up the way Refraction buff icons appear to provide better feedback on when the buffs are actually active
-Fixed the tooltip for Storm Seeker

Download here:

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

On coding and incrementation

It's kind of interesting looking back on my older maps to see how my coding technique has changed over the past two years of working on various iterations of this map. I never really anticipated that I would ever rewrite the AI item system, or have several fellow players help me design individual hero builds, or overhaul the map framework. The only thing that got me started in opening up DotA in the first place was the notion that I might be able to create my own content to put in the game to share with friends.

And now look where it is. Who would have guessed?

Looking back at some of my old heroes, I realise how clunky and unwieldy some of those triggers are. As such, I'm thinking of having incremental builds that I'll release periodically that will have some extra -fun content that I've updated to not be so deprecated. Target of first incremental release will be this weekend, with Formless post-several-fixes, as well as my Marine hero and one or two "tribute" heroes, which is my endearing term for heroes that I created based on my friends' personalities/playstyles/suggestions (Overflow designed one that's pretty solid and coded more-or-less properly, so if it's okay with him I'll probably put it in).

I still need to fix Bat Rider. Speaking of coding...I had to rewrite his other triggered abililties because they just didn't work, even in 6.00 alpha. Didn't rewrite Fly, since it looked good at cursory glance, but as many people have been anxious to point out, it is anything but good. Guess it's back to the drawing board to think of a proper way to do what he's supposed to. The quick fix I can think of is to remove the "take-off" animation, which should address several of these metamorphosis issues. Note to all: Metamorphosis is a terrible base skill for triggered abilities. One of my custom heroes has a metamorphosis-like ability but uses unit replacement instead of metamorphing. It works quite a bit better...but breaks your control groups (anyone remember old attribute-changing Morphling?).

I should probably also fix the super-creeps-not-moving bug at some point. I'd almost completely forgotten about that mode. I'm pretty sure I haven't used -sc more than 5 times ever.

There is something weird about coding all day at work and then doing it at home. Hell, I'm not even a computer major. I graduated with a music degree.

Ah well, more to come later. Probably descriptions of the heroes I've put in, as well as updates and such.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Yay blog yay

So I decided that I should probably create one of these blog thingies so people can know what's going on with the whole AI porting/Fun Tavern without me having to fill up the forum threads with useless posts.

This, however, seems like a fantastic place for useless posts.

So, things that will probably appear on this blog sometime in the future:
-Updates (obviously)
-Some explanations on triggers I write/modify and how they work, maybe somebody will find them useful and be our next AI scripter (one can hope)
-Map downloads, possibly including in-progress maps and the map with which I've added several extra heroes and items because I spent a lot of time on them and I'd like to share with people but I know it'd be shot down fairly quickly over on the DotA Allstars forums
-Anything else I find interesting to share, which may or may not be DotA-related

For future reference, the map without my stuff in it will be referred to as the "normal" map. The one with my stuff in it will be the "special" map. I can't use the phrase "official" because technically neither map is official.

I'm hoping to get 6.57b Rev. 3 (normal) out before the end of the year. I think some DotACN people wanted to translate it, but there's a lot of extra crap that's in the map right now (content from my special map which is in the normal map but locked), so I'm working on taking it out, as it takes up space and lots of strings but has no bearing on map functionality. This also means that you can expect to see some reduced map size in Rev. 3 (for those people who care about that kind of thing).

Made some fixes to Formless for Rev. 3. Added a dynamic trigger system that allows custom orbs and most triggered passives to be copied, and working slowly toward complete compatibility with all heroes (though I wouldn't expect to see this completely done for a while). Copying Meld no longer gives you that speed bonus - a bug that's a result of using a custom ability used by one of my custom heroes (good thing it wasn't one of the other ones...those tend to be on the "imba" side). I'll probably post a copy of my special map sometime this week, if enough people are interested.

I guess I should go ahead and make the existence of this blog known to those people in the AI subforum. Bug reports should still go there.

DotA-Allstars Forums, AI subforum:

And yes, I realise this blog currently looks like crap. Hooray for default templates.