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Author Topic: [CLASS] Emberdrake  (Read 3076 times)

Offline Lord Nyriox

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[CLASS] Emberdrake
« on: May 15, 2018, 09:33:58 AM »
Emberdrake Class

This project is an attempt to make a more or less lore-friendly monster class for TL2—in this case based on Vilderanese dragons.

The Emberdrake class blends alchemical magic, Firedrake combat ability, and Blight-powered mutations—shredding, blasting, and irradiating the battlefield around him or her. 

Eventually, the lore I wrote for this class may be used as the basis for a separate side-campaign.  That project, I am tentatively calling "the Dragon Trials".  Final name/content TBD. 

Class Lore

Scholars tell us that long ago, after the dwarves died out, a cult of Estherian zealots found enchained dragons—which the dwarves had once used as a source of magic—and in a twisted sort of worship, fed them tainted Ember, turning the dragons mad with corruption. When these maddened dragons inevitably became too dangerous to keep, the Estherians slaughtered them, leaving only the revenants now known as Spectral Dragons. 

Yet history has forgotten the few maddened dragons who escaped the ghostly fate of their brothers and sisters.  The handful of dragons that had found consolation in mortal logic, and learned to control the Blight consuming their bodies. 

These dragons went on to live isolated lives, meeting together only as necessity or nature demanded.  Over time, these dragons learned the art of Alchemy, and taught this same art to their young, who they fed Ember to as a rite of passage.  The few mortals who have witnessed these strange, reclusive dragons called them "Emberdrakes", in reference to their eerie aura of magical potency.  But as it has been many centuries since one has been seen, most consider such dragons simply legend, a tale told by firelight or hearth. 

But now, several generations later, the spread of the Ember Blight has brought the Emberdrakes out of hiding, hunting down the bearer of a heart that might once have been their own. 



Project Repository (Github):  https://github.com/LordNyriox/Emberdrake




Old OP
When answering these questions, please bear in mind that I do almost all of my modding by editing the DAT/LAYOUT files directly (i.e. plain old text editing), so examples consistent with that method are preferred over ones that rely on GUTS. 

Technical Questions:
  • Can I add an armor wardrobe based simply on skins?  As in, can I use the character's existing base-model as the wardrobe armor model, using different partial textures for the model as an "overlay" on top of the original base texture?  (Yes, I know it would look ugly, but could it work?) Thanks, @Phanjam!
  • Can a partial wardrobe be implemented?  As in, a wardrobe containing only faces and armor, but no hair or beard? Thanks, @Phanjam!
  • What is the best method to convert an existing monster skill to use 15-point scaling (like a regular class skill)? Thanks, @Phanjam!
  • Given only a set of appropriate animations, what would be the simplest method to implement a "fly to cursor" skill?  As in: you activate the skill; your character lifts up into the air; within the air, your character flies over the terrain to your mouse-cursor; then finally, your character lands back on the ground, safe and sound. Thank you for clarifying how difficult this would be, @Phanjam.
  • What is the simplest method to add tier-bonuses to existing skills (both active and passive)? Thanks, @Phanjam!
  • What kind of changes do I want to make or avoid if I want my class to be fully compatible with both vanilla and Synergies? Thanks, @Phanjam!
  • What would I need to do to port an entire boss monster (including all its original skills, particles, and other dependencies) from TL1 to TL2? And how do I verify whether I got them all? (Truthfully, I would settle for just Ordrak's skills and their respective dependencies, since that is all that I actually need in this case.) The fact that the only vanilla TL1 skills that are not also in vanilla TL2, belong to Ordrak, is rather telling.  I will probably skip over these for now.
  • How the heck am I supposed to fix broken skill-frames within the Skill-Tree UI (broken as in empty, but still visible)? Never mind; it turned out to be some weird GUTS error regarding some of the skills themselves.  (But thank you anyway, @Viz.)
  • What is the minimum I need to do to make my class able to use weapons?  Is it as simple as defining a model animation (under the ".animation" file) for each weapon?  (As in, clone one of the animations the monster model uses and rename the clones to what the human model names its own weapon animations?) Thanks, @Kva3imoda!
« Last Edit: July 29, 2018, 08:28:46 PM by Lord Nyriox »

Offline Viz

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Re: [TL2] Monster Class: General Questions
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2018, 01:02:35 PM »
1. I'm not good at UI but the skill UI can be fixed by copying another class skill tree layout.

Then just replace all of their WIDGET NAME with the dragon skills string name. Then rename the copied layout accordingly to avoid conflict.


6/8.
- Give each skill a unique GUID
- If the skill has a summon unit, give a unique GUID to the unit too
- Make a unique string name of each skills
- Set the class unittype correctly
- Set the spawnclasses accordingly (related to quest rewards)

I hope it helps.

Offline steffire3

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Re: [TL2] Monster Class: General Questions
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2018, 06:23:35 AM »
I have no real experience in Guts however there are a few things I've noticed over the years from advising modders like Doudley.

I'm also going to ask @Phanjam to help give some tips since he knows something about textures and armor files.

At best I can only give theories yet that's better than nothing I agree.

(1)
The Human meshes definitely have a relationship between their skin files and their armor files.

If it's possible to get a Dragon mesh to wear the texture of armor then it's UV maps or whatever Guts calls it (the map that determines how the mesh reads a texture file) is going to have to be either modded (shaped to match the Human Armor Texture file) or just connected to the armor texture in some way (this would look rough).

(2)
By wardrobe if you mean the starting and permanent appearance then Pets alternate color choices certainly prove that this is possible.

(3)
I don't think Monster Skills are "converted" as much as they are "built" or in other words if 14 different varieties don't exist then all 14 other versions of that skill have to be constructed (the long way).

I think the only good news about that is the fact that it will be a truly custom class with new extensions for it's skills which is always appreciated (far better than just copying the vanilla skills although they might help to get started then heavily modify them into something that feels unique).

(4)
I have yet to witness a "simple" method when it comes to assigning animations in Guts. @Kva3imoda would have some experience with new animations for new monsters and that usually meant taking pre existing monsters animation bones then making it transparent assigning those animated bones to the new monster (or in this case applying those other monster bones to new skill animations for the dragon skills).

Very impressive when it works.

http://torchmodders.com/forums/mod-showcase/my-next-class-concept/msg6869/#msg6869

https://i.imgur.com/c2oZYY0.mp4

(5)
Tier Bonuses are usually Affixes assigned to those skills although Runic Games did add some more things to the vanilla tier skills like enabling bullets to bounce off walls or adding extra hit boxes and therefore visible animations of damage like the Flame Pillar from the Embermage.

Worth noting that every skill at rank 1 already has or should have an invisible (visible in Guts) tier 0 bonus that defines the skills attributes like how many projectiles and other interesting factors. Tiers 1-3 simply add to that pre existing tier 0.

(6)
New GU ID's are so important. Write new ones for every Skill and maybe check Chthon's Tag Fixer tool from the Runic Games Fansite.

(7)
Is that even possible? I mean like Affix for Affix a true clone from it's TL1 version? The TL1CP Mod for TL2 I think merely made an approximate port for the skills and particles meaning that they had to use the TL2 versions with the TL1 meshes.

(NstQ)
Anything Fire and anything Physical because Vyrax the Fire Drake in TL2 definitely fit those two damage themes.

Earthquakes, Breath, Rocks, Meteors, Wind Knock Back, Stomps, Fire Pools, Fire Rings, Fire Floor, Fire Gargoyles and other Fire Helpers, Sharp Claw Slashes.

In many ways Fire Drakes in this game act like Fire Spirit and Werewolf combat styles mixed together.

= = = = = = =

I admit that could have been more helpful if I actually knew the methods step by step required to achieve these goals however I hope my info helped!  :)
« Last Edit: May 16, 2018, 07:25:12 AM by steffire3 »
At this point after playing Torchlight 2 for 4 years original and modded... ignorant of mods and now wise with compatibility... the one thing I value the most-

-is being able to have "support" from the author of any mod.

I think the only advice I can give is that you don't burn yourself out. ^_^

Offline Phanjam

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Re: [TL2] Monster Class: General Questions
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2018, 11:25:20 AM »
Sorry these are going to be very "quick and dirty" answers...

Quote
1. Can I add an armor wardrobe based simply on skins?  As in, can I use the character's existing base-model as the wardrobe armor model, using different partial textures for the model as an "overlay" on top of the original base texture?  (Yes, I know it would look ugly, but could it work?)
Yes you can make a new armor set via re-texturing and assigning that new texture in the item's unit .DAT file.  Look for the [WARDROBE] code lines in those files, you will see what I mean.

Spoiler


re-texture of...i forget whichmodels xactly, but these are all vanilla models
EDIT - this is providing the model's .MESH has been set up for wardrobing in the first place - if not, then it will have to be edited to set up it's "materials" properly (which is very very not simple)

Quote
2. Can a partial wardrobe be implemented?  As in, a wardrobe containing only faces and armor, but no hair or beard?
Yes, faces and hairs (which includes beards) are not actually WARDROBE items anyways (they are, however, called "WARDROBE_FEATURES" lol)

Quote
3. What is the best method to convert an existing monster skill to use 15-point scaling (like a regular class skill)?
Notice how every skill has "level blocks" ( starts with [LEVELx] and ends with [/LEVELx] )? you just clone those all the way out to 15 and set up the AFFIXES within each block to give each level that "increased benefit" effect.  More abut affixes here

Quote
4. Given only a set of appropriate animations, what would be the simplest method to implement a "fly to cursor" skill?  As in: you activate the skill; your character lifts up into the air; within the air, your character flies over the terrain to your mouse-cursor; then finally, your character lands back on the ground, safe and sound.
This is doable, but the way im thinking isnt simple (of course there's always more than 1 way to do something). i'd make the skill summon an invisible "dummy" unit where you click. the dummy unit casts a pull skill on your char which "pulls" them over to the dummy (where you clicked). will also require at least one customized animation - a "looping" animation to put between teleport_start and teleport_end ( since you wont hide the mesh like a regular teleport). also lots lots lots of trial and error with this...

Quote
5. What is the simplest method to add tier-bonuses to existing skills (both active and passive)?
back to that part about "level blocks" in 3 above - at level 5 (tier1), level 10 (tier2) and level 15 (tier3) just be sure to add in some snazzy new affixes as your tier bonuses

Quote
6. What kind of changes do I want to make or avoid if I want my class to be fully compatible with both vanilla and Synergies?
basically do not simply re-use too much stuff (like point new skills to just re-use vanilla layouts or particles) as this increases the likelihood that someone else's mod will mess up yours. instead take the time to make your own stuff - this can be as simple as just cloning whole files and renaming them without any changes except of course if they point to some new files that you also cloned (commonly, skill .DAT files pointing to .LAYOUT files which in turn point to particle files) and any GUIDs if present.
specific to your example of vanilla and synergies, your challenge will not be compatibility but rather the fact that anything strong enough for synergies will very likely be OP for vanilla :P

Quote
7. What would I need to do to port an entire boss monster (including all its original skills, particles, and other dependencies) from TL1 to TL2? And how do I verify whether I got them all? (Truthfully, I would settle for just Ordraake's skills and their respective dependencies, since that is all that I actually need in this case.)
combination of above answers for #3 and  and #5 (sorry about that)

lastly, about "getting the wind in your sails" with modding - dont go flying off in all directions - set yourself one challenge and nail it (we'll all help) - trying too much can cause you to burn-out (also makes it a lot harder for others to help).
« Last Edit: May 16, 2018, 11:41:33 AM by Phanjam »



Offline Lord Nyriox

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Re: [TL2] Monster Class: General Questions
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2018, 12:17:35 AM »
EDIT - this is providing the model's .MESH has been set up for wardrobing in the first place - if not, then it will have to be edited to set up it's "materials" properly (which is very very not simple)

Huh.  According to this comment by @SixShotOverdrive, fixing wardrobe support should simply be a matter of renaming the material labels in both the ".material" file itself, and the ".mesh" file with which it is associated. 

Remember the long drawn-out debate we had over models last year?  Well, when @Anarch16sync suggested converting meshes to XML (for editing), I ended up creating a small suite of recursive Windows command scripts to fully automate that process (which all use the official OGRE command-line tools). 

Since the Vyrax mesh only has one material definition, I only have to edit that one line (in the ".mesh.xml" file) to follow wardrobing syntax (i.e. "Model_Name/Component", then run my recompile-script to make the wardrobe system recognize it properly.  ;} 


lastly, about "getting the wind in your sails" with modding - dont go flying off in all directions - set yourself one challenge and nail it (we'll all help) - trying too much can cause you to burn-out (also makes it a lot harder for others to help).

Yeah, right now I am primarily focusing on giving the class its own unique flavor.  However, I have to hybridize a huge number of assets from various other sources to create the effect I am going for (hence this massive topic). 


EDIT:  Cleaned up some poorly-filtered commentary.  Half-awake posting—gotta love it.  ;> 



P.S.:  I have linked a copy of the scripts I use to rebuild (and optimize) Torchlight meshes.  They are currently rather basic (I could do a lot more with the MeshMagick command if I really wanted to), but for tweaking names and improving game performance, they get the job done. 

Use them as you will. 
« Last Edit: July 29, 2018, 09:05:13 PM by Lord Nyriox »

Offline Phanjam

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Re: [TL2] Monster Class: General Questions
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2018, 08:34:02 AM »
P.S.:  I have attached a copy of the scripts I use to rebuild (and optimize) Torchlight meshes.  They are currently rather basic (I could do a lot more with the MeshMagick command if I really wanted to), but for tweaking names and improving game performance, they get the job done. 

Thanks very much for sharing these @Lord Nyriox ! Not to nitpick but could you write a short note about what each script does pls?



Offline Lord Nyriox

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Re: [TL2] Monster Class: General Questions
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2018, 02:17:45 PM »
Thanks very much for sharing these @Lord Nyriox ! Not to nitpick but could you write a short note about what each script does pls?

EDIT:  Moved this explanation (and DL-link) to its own topic
« Last Edit: July 29, 2018, 09:05:53 PM by Lord Nyriox »

Offline Kva3imoda

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Re: [TL2] Monster Class: General Questions
« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2018, 05:14:08 AM »
What is the minimum I need to do to make my class able to use weapons?
Have you thought about creating a Tutara class? Yes, it's not a dragon but it looks cool.

About weapon animations. Well, creating a real animation will be very difficult. But we can cheat here. The dragon has 2 types of animations - melee and ranged attack. Technically for all types of melee weapons we can use a melee animation and hide weapons.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2018, 05:19:58 AM by Kva3imoda »

Offline Lord Nyriox

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Re: [TL2] "Dragon Alchemist" Class
« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2018, 05:41:48 AM »
Have you thought about creating a Tutara class? Yes, it's not a dragon but it looks cool.

Once I have finished with this dragon class, I would not be opposed to drafting a "Tutara hunter" class (specializing in ranged weapons / skills).  That might actually be fun. 

About weapon animations. Well, creating a real animation will be very difficult. But we can cheat here. The dragon has 2 types of animations - melee and ranged attack. Technically for all types of melee weapons we can use a melee animation and hide weapons.

So to verify, all I have to do, is clone the "claw slash" animation Skeletons twenty times (or however many melee weapon animations there are), then rename each clone to match a different melee weapon? 

I don't have to fiddle around with some other files, like I would have to with the wardrobe? 


« Last Edit: May 23, 2018, 01:55:12 PM by Lord Nyriox »

Offline Kva3imoda

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Re: [TL2] Monster Class: General Questions
« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2018, 09:24:47 AM »
I don't have to fiddle around with some other files, like I would have to with the wardrobe?
Create a non-human race is not easy in any case. It is necessary to solve a lot of problems.

Offline Lord Nyriox

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Re: [TL2] Monster Class: General Questions
« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2018, 05:31:30 AM »
@Phanjam, @Kva3imoda, @Anarch16sync

Hmmm. 

Is it possible to run two character animations from within the same skill: one at the beginning and one at the end? 
« Last Edit: May 23, 2018, 01:55:56 PM by Lord Nyriox »

Offline Kva3imoda

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Re: [TL2] Monster Class: General Questions
« Reply #11 on: May 20, 2018, 12:00:52 PM »
Any advice?
Maybe you need 1 long animation?

Offline Phanjam

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Re: [TL2] Monster Class: General Questions
« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2018, 02:31:20 PM »
Are you using the 3 animations method?

a. Skill_animation_start
b. Skill_animation_loop
c. Skill_animatiin_end

At the beginning of the skill?



Offline Lord Nyriox

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Re: [TL2] Monster Class: General Questions
« Reply #13 on: May 21, 2018, 05:46:02 AM »
Are you using the 3 animations method?

a. Skill_animation_start
b. Skill_animation_loop
c. Skill_animatiin_end

At the beginning of the skill?

EDIT:  Hmm.  Not much luck here. 

This is not a looping skill--simply a cloned "Frost Phase" like teleport skill, which happens to look seriously distorted when used with the "Special_Takeoff" animation.  Since the "Special_Takeoff" animation seems to be designed for some kind of scripted despawn event, it ends with the dragon way off in the distance, resulting in an ugly "backwards blur" when the teleport completes. 

EDIT 2:  Never mind.  Using Kva3imoda's Retimer, I simply cut the original "Special_Takeoff" animation down to just its first 0.7 seconds (after trying several different cutoff points), and the jarring "backwards blur" effect is now no more. 

Thank you anyway, @Phanjam!
« Last Edit: July 29, 2018, 09:03:42 PM by Lord Nyriox »

Offline Lord Nyriox

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Re: [TL2] "Dragon Alchemist" Class
« Reply #14 on: May 22, 2018, 04:33:18 PM »
@Viz, @Anarch16sync, @Kva3imoda, @Phanjam

OK, so animations are more or less complete. 

Leaving aside Gun animations (which I left out deliberately) and Emotes (which I am unlikely to even try), all the other significant player actions (including fishing) have been assigned appropriate animations. 

Using MeshMagick, I have scaled the class Dragon mesh (along with its collision mesh) to 0.8-times its original size.  So the character model no longer takes up half the screen, but without the visual oddities that come from in-game scaling overrides (like particle animations being bigger than the visual model size). 

I have begun to implement some class-specific items for this class (and more are likely on the way).  Currently, they are a little overpowered. 

And speaking of items, melee weapons look beautiful (scaled to 1.5-times their model size) in the hands of a dragon.  They do not look odd at all.  Shields, on the other hand, remain invisible (and with good reason). 

I have not actually tested the appearance of ranged weapons (such as pistols and shotgonnes) with this class, but I deliberately did not implement animations for them, since they are effectively redundant for a class that can teleport freely (with a teleport skill hybridized from several sources). 

Also, inspired by the Vindicator (zealot) class from TL1, I added tweaked versions of the vanilla Portal and Identify skills directly to the Emberdrake's skill list, plus a tweaked copy of doudley's Auto-Rumble.  In addition, there is now an isolated copy of the General Passives skills taken from steffire3's "Skills Expansion" mod. Other skills TBD. 


Reminder:  You can test the latest builds of my class-mod by taking the newest file from the MEGA link at the bottom of the first post. 
I would like to see some feedback on the class itself, if possible. 


Thanks again, folks! 
« Last Edit: May 23, 2018, 01:49:42 PM by Lord Nyriox »

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