TorchModders

Mod Projects => Lord Nyriox's Playground => Topic started by: Lord Nyriox on May 15, 2018, 09:33:58 AM

Title: [CLASS] Emberdrake
Post by: Lord Nyriox 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 (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!
Title: Re: [TL2] Monster Class: General Questions
Post by: Viz 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.
Title: Re: [TL2] Monster Class: General Questions
Post by: steffire3 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!  :)
Title: Re: [TL2] Monster Class: General Questions
Post by: Phanjam 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
(http://i.imgur.com/LKgM45p.jpg)

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 (http://torchmodders.com/wiki/doku.php?id=affixes_and_effects_-_the_basics)

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).
Title: Re: [TL2] Monster Class: General Questions
Post by: Lord Nyriox 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 (https://forums.runicgames.com/discussion/comment/185469/#Comment_185469) 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 (https://torchmodders.com/forums/modding-questions/(tl1)-converting-boss-models-for-pets/) 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 (https://torchmodders.com/forums/3d-modelling-animation/(script)-automatic-mesh-and-skeleton-rebuilding-and-optimization/) 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. 
Title: Re: [TL2] Monster Class: General Questions
Post by: Phanjam 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?
Title: Re: [TL2] Monster Class: General Questions
Post by: Lord Nyriox 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 (https://torchmodders.com/forums/3d-modelling-animation/(script)-automatic-mesh-and-skeleton-rebuilding-and-optimization/). 
Title: Re: [TL2] Monster Class: General Questions
Post by: Kva3imoda 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.
Title: Re: [TL2] "Dragon Alchemist" Class
Post by: Lord Nyriox 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? 


Title: Re: [TL2] Monster Class: General Questions
Post by: Kva3imoda 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.
Title: Re: [TL2] Monster Class: General Questions
Post by: Lord Nyriox 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? 
Title: Re: [TL2] Monster Class: General Questions
Post by: Kva3imoda on May 20, 2018, 12:00:52 PM
Any advice?
Maybe you need 1 long animation?
Title: Re: [TL2] Monster Class: General Questions
Post by: Phanjam 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?
Title: Re: [TL2] Monster Class: General Questions
Post by: Lord Nyriox 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 (https://torchmodders.com/forums/kva3imoda's-playground/animation-keyframe-editing/msg2572/#msg2572), 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!
Title: Re: [TL2] "Dragon Alchemist" Class
Post by: Lord Nyriox 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 (https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=924025867)" 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! 
Title: Re: [TL2] Monster Class: General Questions
Post by: Sch123 on May 22, 2018, 05:32:03 PM
Hi @Lord Nyriox

I've tried your mod, it's looks very interesting.

- If I can give an opinion, I think the dragon's size is too big (at least please make not to exceed the screen). Maybe if you want to be that big, you can make it that way when the Charge Bar is fully loaded, that way it will grow in a few moments (Maybe after the charge bar is ready).

- For variations maybe you can give a colors on the dragon.

- For when you equipped melee weapons, the 1h weapon currently looks the best rather than 2h weapon. But it seems to be more suitable for a dragonoid than a dragon. :)

- Some of the Claw weapons also look good for those that have quite long razor claws (but still not look natural). Maybe you can make a dragon's claw covered with aura, to make the dragon's claw look a little longer (the color of aura depends on the element you give). ;D

- Long-range weapons do not seem to fit.

- But I found something nice when I tried to use Wand weapon. It's just looks weird when holding it. But the animation effect when dragons attack using wand is very good. Especially when a fireball is thrown from the hands of a dragon. I'm wondering if a dragon has passive skills where sometimes he can also fire a fireball attack might be good (not limited to fireballs only). :D

- Did you remove the skill to summon gargoyle when spraying fire?
Title: Re: [TL2] "Dragon Alchemist" Class
Post by: Lord Nyriox on May 22, 2018, 11:23:13 PM
- If I can give an opinion, I think the dragon's size is too big (at least please make not to exceed the screen). Maybe if you want to be that big, you can make it that way when the Charge Bar is fully loaded, that way it will grow in a few moments (Maybe after the charge bar is ready).

Trust me, the original dragon model was even worse, size-wise.  This is only 0.8-times the size.   

I have considered scaling the dragon even further down in size, but I am concerned that it won't seem like a "mature" dragon if I get it too small. 

As for the charge-bar, adding one is item one-million-and-two on my to-do list for this class—but the mechanic I was thinking of would be a "stamina" bar, which reduces combat effectiveness the more it is filled.  The dragon's massive firepower should come at a cost, no? 

EDIT:  I scaled it to about what I initially felt to look perfect during active play.  I too am annoyed that the character-select screen seems to cut off half the dragon's torso. 

I am considering scaling the dragon down to 0.6-times instead of 0.8-times (which should still be large, but not blot out a third of the screen).  What do you think? 

- For variations maybe you can give a colors on the dragon.

I have already made a dozen skin variations for the dragon model.  Unfortunately, actually making them selectable options is not nearly as easy for a class as it is for a pet. 

(Wardrobe-subsystem compatibility is a nightmare for monster classes.) 

- For when you equipped melee weapons, the 1h weapon currently looks the best rather than 2h weapon. But it seems to be more suitable for a dragonoid than a dragon. :)

Yeah, the weapon scaling is more than a little temporary (I just arbitrarily assigned them to 1.5-times their original size).  And the build I am currently testing uses a nicer-looking model for the (elemental) starting weapons. 

- Some of the Claw weapons also look good for those that have quite long razor claws (but still not look natural). Maybe you can make a dragon's claw covered with aura, to make the dragon's claw look a little longer (the color of aura depends on the element you give). ;D

Good luck with that.  I have not the slightest clue how to take a piece of a mesh like that. 

See above on what I am doing for the starting claws.  The model I changed to looks considerably better. 

- Long-range weapons do not seem to fit.

No kidding.  There is a reason I did not make the class able to use them (with the exception of wands). 

- But I found something nice when I tried to use Wand weapon. It's just looks weird when holding it. But the animation effect when dragons attack using wand is very good. Especially when a fireball is thrown from the hands of a dragon. I'm wondering if a dragon has passive skills where sometimes he can also fire a fireball attack might be good (not limited to fireballs only). :D

That is why I made the wands usable.

Technically, the animation is pretty much the same as the standard melee attack.  The dual-wielding animation for wands simply merges both hands in the same animation-file (with compressed timing). 

As for passive skills, I am currently planning to add elemental damage of all types to most skills (with a high-level bonus adding poison damage), but with additional costs (such as reduced attack speed). 

EDIT:  My primary focus at the moment is skills for this class.  Once I have a proper suite of skills for a "dragon alchemist", then I can work on the other ideas I have queued up.

- Did you remove the skill to summon gargoyle when spraying fire?

I did not actually implement that skill in the first place. 

I am, however, planning on adapting a player-optimized version of that skill eventually—along with an Ordrak-style "sacrifice" skill, killing your gargoyles to restore health. 

EDIT:  Version 16 should now include both an "acid breath" skill adapted from the ghost-dragon boss, and a prototype "gargoyle spawn" skill adapted from the Vyrax boss.  The summon needs retuning. 
Title: Re: [TL2] "Dragon Alchemist" Class
Post by: Kva3imoda on May 23, 2018, 10:36:45 PM
Lord Nyriox have you thought about just hiding a weapon? I think that the dragon's weapons are claws, fangs and fire. This is more authentic than a weapon in the paws.

As I see it: you can equip weapons in slots, but this only affects damage and attack speed. Attack 1 and 2 are used for all one-handed melee weapons. Attack2, FlySlam(to make it is shorter) and TailWhip for all 2h melee weapon. FireBall(short and long) for range 1h and 2h weapons.
For different weapon types you can make different special effects. Something like Boss Wraith uses - ghostly hammers, swords and axes - you can attach it to the tail.  :D

I'm not yet sure how to implement this in the final version, but I believe that this should work.
Title: Re: [TL2] "Dragon Alchemist" Class
Post by: Lord Nyriox on May 24, 2018, 01:15:17 AM
Lord Nyriox have you thought about just hiding a weapon? I think that the dragon's weapons are claws, fangs and fire. This is more authentic than a weapon in the paws.

I was thinking that this is a dragon that has been "civilized" by Ember (the way Ordrak must have once been).  Otherwise, how could the dragon communicate with humanoids (accepting and completing quests)? 

I deliberately unhid weapons as an extension of this.  If a dragon can talk shop about magic with your neighborhood Alchemist, would not the dragon at some point at least experiment with using the same kind of tools as his or her humanoid acquaintances? 

As I see it: you can equip weapons in slots, but this only affects damage and attack speed. Attack 1 and 2 are used for all one-handed melee weapons. Attack2, FlySlam(to make it is shorter) and TailWhip for all 2h melee weapon. FireBall(short and long) for range 1h and 2h weapons.
For different weapon types you can make different special effects. Something like Boss Wraith uses - ghostly hammers, swords and axes - you can attach it to the tail.  :D


If you want to try adding such things, be my guest 

On the other hand, I suppose an Ember-infused magic-wielding dragon could simply meld any equipment into its body with a sort of "magical augmentation" procedure (which would explain why armor is invisible).  :P
Title: Re: [TL2] "Dragon Alchemist" Class
Post by: Kva3imoda on May 24, 2018, 02:22:02 AM
I was thinking that this is a dragon that has been "civilized" by Ember (the way Ordrak must have once been).  Otherwise, how could the dragon communicate with humanoids (accepting and completing quests)? 

I deliberately unhid weapons as an extension of this.  If a dragon can talk shop about magic with your neighborhood Alchemist, would not the dragon at some point at least experiment with using the same kind of tools as his or her humanoid acquaintances? 
Well, in many stories, dragons can communicate with people - be it speech or telepathy. It's not a problem.
But I do not know dragons using weapons. I know such creatures in the Divinity Original Sin 2 game, but they are more like lizards than real dragons. In other worlds, dragons turn into people to use human tools and weapons.
Title: Re: [TL2] "Dragon Alchemist" Class
Post by: Lord Nyriox on May 24, 2018, 04:32:56 AM
Well, in many stories, dragons can communicate with people - be it speech or telepathy. It's not a problem.

Unfortunately, however, this is not true in Vilderan. 

All these "firedrakes" flying around show signs of significant intelligence—but do not ever bother to attempt direct communication with all the humanoids scurrying around.  Community members have compared their intelligence to that of dolphins when discussing lore. 

Ordrak, on the other hand, was quite capable of communicating with humanoids on their own level—his taunts were in more or less standard English.  He also organized a whole host of mostly-humanoid minions in a fancy palace around him. 

But at one point—sometime in the mists of centuries past—Ordrak had been just an ordinary dragon that was addicted to Ember.  Over the centuries, as he continually imbibed hit after hit of Ember in the deep caverns in which he had come to dwell, Ordrak gradually mutated into a twisted form, not particularly resembling the form of his birth. 

All of this is standard Torchlight lore—and I wish to keep my class consistent with it. 

But I do not know dragons using weapons. I know such creatures in the Divinity Original Sin 2 game, but they are more like lizards than real dragons. In other worlds, dragons turn into people to use human tools and weapons.


Your wording suggests that you are comparing my class to dragons from other games—but not to dragons from books or films.  I actually spend more time reading about dragons in books, than I ever do playing with them in games (Legend of Spyro notwithstanding). 

In stories where dragons stand on all fours (which is almost all of them, if you do not count wyverns), your statement does indeed hold true. 

But the dragons in Vilderan seem to be more or less bipedal—and the few stories I have encountered in which dragons are both civilized and bipedal (yes, they do exist), do in fact have the dragons using weapons in their natural form.  It is also worth noting that, lore-wise, there is no established precedent in Vilderan, of a dragon that can shapeshift into a humanoid. 

Claws are great, but a sword has better reach, and a longer edge.  Why do you think humanoids invented them in the first place? 

Do you honestly think a dragon that acts human is going to be squeamish about using any tools it can get its taloned hands on? 
Title: Re: [TL2] "Dragon Alchemist" Class
Post by: Kva3imoda on May 24, 2018, 04:51:00 AM
Well, I just offered my opinion about the dragons. Use the fury and strength of the dragon in battle and ignore the primitive human weapons, what could be better?  :D This gives a new experience and originality of the class.

In any case, this is your mod and your decisions.
Title: Re: [TL2] "Dragon Alchemist" Class
Post by: Lord Nyriox on May 24, 2018, 07:43:55 PM
Use the fury and strength of the dragon in battle and ignore the primitive human weapons, what could be better?  :D This gives a new experience and originality of the class.

Umm.  If I wanted the "fury and strength of dragons", I could simply use the "dragonborn (http://www.runicgamesfansite.com/mod_downloads/classes-tl2/download-477-dragonborn.html)" class mod. 

What I wanted was to play as a dragon, within the parameters of established official Torchlight lore.  The "lore-friendliness" aspect is important to me, since I have not even played TL2 yet, and do not want my first playthrough (in which I will be using this class) to be marred by the feeling of my character not really fitting into the role he plays. 

Yes, I am a lore nut as well as a dragon nut.  ;> 
Title: Re: [TL2] "Dragon Alchemist" Class
Post by: Kva3imoda on May 24, 2018, 08:41:32 PM
I do not know what kind of lore you're talking about, but in the game no one dragon(art, monsters, statues, skeletons) which I saw does not carry/equip a weapon.  :-[
Title: Re: [TL2] "Dragon Alchemist" Class
Post by: Kva3imoda on May 24, 2018, 09:38:05 PM
Previously, we talked a lot about the lore. I believe that Ordrak is the Sixth Guardian - The Guardian of Stone.
http://forums.runicgames.com/discussion/comment/494627/#Comment_494627

http://tidbi.ru/eng/item.php?item=bone_01_amulet_f_alt_b

This is one of the reasons why he can talk. All Guardians very willingly communicate with all people.


Spectral Dragon
The dragons are all but gone from the world. In the waning days of the dwarven empire, when Ember became scarce, the noble beasts were hunted, enslaved, and harnessed, so that the dwarves could siphon off their energy to power their machines. Then, after the dwarves died out, an ancient cult of Estherian zealots found the enchained dragons, and worshipped them as captive gods, feeding them tainted Ember, until they were mad with corruption. The dark Estherians slaughtered the dragons when they became too dangerous, but it was too late: Their Ember-fouled spirits lingered on as Spectral Dragons—maniacal, feral spirit-dragons, with an insatiable hunger for magic ... and for those who use it.
http://www.runicgames.com/blog/2011/04/08/monsters-of-torchlight-ii/

Here is another discussion, sad that the pictures are gone.
http://forums.runicgames.com/discussion/56312/lore-a-world-map
Title: Re: [TL2] "Dragon Alchemist" Class
Post by: Lord Nyriox on May 25, 2018, 12:52:47 AM
Previously, we talked a lot about the lore. I believe that Ordrak is the Sixth Guardian - The Guardian of Stone.
http://forums.runicgames.com/discussion/comment/494627/#Comment_494627

http://tidbi.ru/eng/item.php?item=bone_01_amulet_f_alt_b

This is one of the reasons why he can talk. All Guardians very willingly communicate with all people.

While that would be a fun theory to explore in an expansion mod, note that the term "retcon" was mentioned.  In other words, at the time of TL2's release, this was not official lore.  It was a user proposal for future content, but one that did not actually end up in anything posted by Runic Games. 

Spectral Dragon
The dragons are all but gone from the world. In the waning days of the dwarven empire, when Ember became scarce, the noble beasts were hunted, enslaved, and harnessed, so that the dwarves could siphon off their energy to power their machines. Then, after the dwarves died out, an ancient cult of Estherian zealots found the enchained dragons, and worshipped them as captive gods, feeding them tainted Ember, until they were mad with corruption. The dark Estherians slaughtered the dragons when they became too dangerous, but it was too late: Their Ember-fouled spirits lingered on as Spectral Dragons—maniacal, feral spirit-dragons, with an insatiable hunger for magic ... and for those who use it.
http://www.runicgames.com/blog/2011/04/08/monsters-of-torchlight-ii/

It is my understanding that (in official lore at least) Ordrak was supposedly once one of these tainted dragons, but escaped execution, and went hunting elsewhere for Ember to consume (winding up in the caverns beneath what would one day be Torchlight).

Leaving aside that aspect, what if some enterprising Estherian decided to go trap some dragons, and fed them non-tainted Ember as an experiment?  Would it be so far-fetched (given the myriad symptoms of Ember influence), to have the dragons in such an experiment begin to demonstrate humanoid traits? 

Mind you, I was thinking more along the lines of: some long-isolated monk-like sect of dragons that feed their young Ember (to enhance their abilities), which has only just now come out, in response to the rising prevalence of Ember Blight.  (Simpler is better for class design, in my opinion.)

Here is another discussion, sad that the pictures are gone.
http://forums.runicgames.com/discussion/56312/lore-a-world-map

This might be a thread to explore later for lore-expansion ideas, but not particularly for this class. 

Title: Re: [TL2] "Dragon Alchemist" Class
Post by: Kva3imoda on May 25, 2018, 01:27:51 AM
While that would be a fun theory to explore in an expansion mod, note that the term "retcon" was mentioned.  In other words, at the time of TL2's release, this was not official lore.  It was a user proposal for future content, but one that did not actually end up in anything posted by Runic Games.
Yes, these are assumptions, but the Guardian of Mana talks about this: "Ordrak was once a Guardian, of sorts, and his heart is more powerful than they imagine."

In any case, I'm just trying to explain why I have proposed the "wild dragon" class. Just because it is more logical for the TL2 world as I think. Also, all animations perfectly fit into this concept.
Title: Re: [TL2] "Dragon Alchemist" Class
Post by: Lord Nyriox on May 25, 2018, 05:03:26 AM
Yes, these are assumptions, but the Guardian of Mana talks about this: "Ordrak was once a Guardian, of sorts, and his heart is more powerful than they imagine."

Indeed. 

Of course, one can quibble on the significance of the "of sorts" qualifier (because the phrasing seems to imply Ordrak was guardian of something other than an element), but I do see your point. 

In any case, I'm just trying to explain why I have proposed the "wild dragon" class. Just because it is more logical for the TL2 world as I think. Also, all animations perfectly fit into this concept.

When I first began working on this class, "wild dragon" was what I was thinking, too. 

But then, the dialog of the first quest really nagged at me (since it effectively implied that my character could talk), and I had to come up with some kind of lore-friendly explanation for that, so it wouldn't feel as jarring. 

Which got me to thinking about the official TL1-era lore for Ordrak (which I more or less summarized at the beginning of this debate)—and so I decided that my dragon character must have been doping up on Ember.  ;} 

I found I rather liked that idea in terms of both lore (stopping the Ember Blight becomes a whole lot more urgent when you are practically a carrier of it) and play-style (what could be more destructive than a dragon that wields magic?). 

From there, I came up with this idea of a small sect of dragons that feed their hatchlings Ember to make them more magically inclined (and coincidentally more humanoid in thinking), which sent some of its members out to stop the accelerated spread of Ember Blight.  Hence all the chasing after the Dark Alchemist (or whatever his official title is). 


Going back to the original subject (since we could argue the lore aspect for months), the true original reason I made the weapons visible was "because I could".  On a purely aesthetic level, not many monster models actually look more or less decent with weapons in their hands—and when I found that the firedrake model was one of those few, I could not resist taking advantage of it. 

That being said, I could easily make two releases of this mod—one with visible weapons and one with them hidden.  But having at least an option to see weapons is a must for me, given the above statements. 

Title: Re: [TL2] "Dragon Alchemist" Class
Post by: Lord Nyriox on May 30, 2018, 02:52:50 AM
Sorry for the recent radio silence on this project.  Development has slowed down to a crawl lately, due to a number of factors—one of which is limited free time. 

The project is not in a safe-to-build state at the moment, due to a significant restructuring of the mod's internals (which is still in progress). 

Besides that, much of my focus, right now, is on adding the "magic skills" to the class. 


The original source for each skill is listed in parentheses. 
Title: Re: [TL2] "Dragon Alchemist" Class
Post by: Phanjam on May 30, 2018, 09:39:53 AM
Hi @Lord Nyriox will the DL link in the OP go to your latest build version (just before the "internal overhaul" you mentioned)?
Title: Re: [TL2] "Dragon Alchemist" Class
Post by: Lord Nyriox on May 30, 2018, 09:58:16 PM
Hi @Lord Nyriox will the DL link in the OP go to your latest build version (just before the "internal overhaul" you mentioned)?

Always. 

Just use the file with the highest revision number.  ;}


None of the skills mentioned above are in any build, mind you.  They are all WIP (renaming and relocating all files associated with a skill can be quite time-consuming, after all). 
Title: Re: [TL2] "Dragon Alchemist" Class
Post by: Lord Nyriox on June 03, 2018, 08:42:36 AM
Just an FYI:  Build 17 of the Emberdrake class is finally out. 

Besides the many internal refactors, this version has a totally new Skill-Tree layout, a whole slew of added Skills (both Active and Passive), and significant rebalancing of many existing Skills. 

I also further optimized the model data using the updated version of my "Mesh and Skeleton Rebuilding (https://torchmodders.com/forums/lordnyriox's-playground/(script)-automatic-mesh-and-skeleton-rebuilding-and-optimization/)" scripts, which should translate to slightly better performance in-game.  Every bit counts.  ;} 

There are still a ton of things I have to do on this class, but I might soon wind up taking a break for a bit (I might actually try playing this class for more than a 15-minute testing session eventually).

Title: Re: [TL2] "Dragon Alchemist" Class
Post by: Phanjam on June 03, 2018, 01:18:59 PM
Alright! Will try this out and give u feedback soon as i have some ;thumbsup:
Title: Re: [TL2] "Dragon Alchemist" Class
Post by: Lord Nyriox on June 03, 2018, 04:33:39 PM
Build 18 is now released!

This release includes two skills that did not make it into the last release (forked from "Chain Snare" and "Emberquake", respectively). 

It also includes a couple new animations, to better support the variety of skills used by this class (several of the original Firedrake animations had baked-in particle effects, which I removed in these alternate versions).

The "Earth Destroyer" legacy skill has been disabled in this release.  It probably will not return.



Alright! Will try this out and give u feedback soon as i have some ;thumbsup:


In these more recent builds, I have started to use a less traditional Skill-Tree layout.  There are now separate "Active Skills" tabs, and "Passive Skills" tabs, with no direct crossover between the two. 

I would love to hear your opinions on this, and what you think might be improved.  ;} 
Title: Re: [TL2] "Dragon Alchemist" Class
Post by: Lord Nyriox on June 04, 2018, 03:12:04 AM
And now for Build 20.

Build 20 of my Emberdrake mod includes a major new feature:  A Pet version of the class, complete with all the active skills! 

This "Drakeling" pet also has additional equipment slots, adapted from the "Human Followers (https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=138876271)" mod by "kriss_gjeng".  These are fully functional slots (though they are not compatible with class items at the moment). 
Title: Re: [TL2] "Dragon Alchemist" Class
Post by: Lord Nyriox on June 05, 2018, 06:21:58 AM
New Default Textures:

Aaaand of course, because I cannot stop tinkering, I just had to try my hand at a more theme-appropriate texture for the Emberdrake.  It turned out surprisingly well, considering the circumstances. 

Mind you, it looks a whole lot better in-game than it does from the character-select screen, so it does have that downside.  :\ 

You'll find the new textures in Build 21 at the usual link. 



For those who care, the new texture was made using "Ostagram (https://www.ostagram.me/)", an online image texturizer, based on the neural-net visual transformation tool "deepdream".  I set one of my dragon textures as the base, and the Ordrak texture as the filter. 

I added the eyes and glow-maps by hand—based on the Dragonkin and this new texture, respectively.  ;}
Title: Re: [TL2] "Dragon Alchemist" Class
Post by: Sch123 on June 05, 2018, 10:57:26 PM
I do not know, I feel the Dragon normal attack distance is very close, maybe because he uses a claw type weapon. I think the attack distance should be adjusted to the length of the arm of the Dragon. So it can attack the enemy within reach of his arm attack :)


By the way the Dragon skin color is good :D
Title: Re: [TL2] "Dragon Alchemist" Class
Post by: Lord Nyriox on June 06, 2018, 03:54:48 AM
I think the attack distance should be adjusted to the length of the arm of the Dragon.

I noticed that issue myself.  Unfortunately, I am not sure what tag controls that aspect.  "REACH_BONUS"? 

By the way the Dragon skin color is good :D
 

I, personally, do not care for the way the belly got bleached blue—but otherwise I agree with you.  :P
Title: Re: [TL2] "Dragon Alchemist" Class
Post by: Lord Nyriox on June 16, 2018, 04:55:42 AM
Build 22 now released!

Build 22 of my Emberdrake mod has a whole lot of changes from the previous build—one of them being another significant refactor of the mod's internals (hopefully for the last time). 

Changelog (non-exhaustive): 
Title: Re: [TL2] "Dragon Alchemist" Class
Post by: Phanjam on June 16, 2018, 07:28:10 PM
Thanks @Lord Nyriox downloading now ;)
Title: Re: [TL2] "Dragon Alchemist" Class
Post by: Sch123 on June 17, 2018, 05:57:35 AM
Hi @Lord Nyriox , I asked permission to use the Emberdrake skin for Pet Dragon on Variant Pet Mod :)
Title: Re: [TL2] "Dragon Alchemist" Class
Post by: Lord Nyriox on June 17, 2018, 03:27:18 PM
I asked permission to use the Emberdrake skin for Pet Dragon on Variant Pet Mod :)


You may use all of my Emberdrake pet skins (some are closer to the original "Firedrake" style than others, but I made about a dozen different dragon skins, each with a different flavor). 

Most of those skins were originally intended for dragon pets anyway.  ;}
Title: Re: [TL2] "Dragon Alchemist" Class
Post by: Sch123 on June 17, 2018, 05:16:45 PM
Thank you very much @Lord Nyriox for allowing to use skin from "Emberdrake". ;)
Title: Re: [TL2] "Dragon Alchemist" Class
Post by: Phanjam on June 18, 2018, 12:36:03 AM
yeah thanks @Lord Nyriox !
Title: Re: [TL2] "Dragon Alchemist" Class
Post by: Sch123 on June 18, 2018, 04:20:58 AM
If I'm not mistaken there is a white dragon Pet skin in Clouddancer (http://torchmodders.com/forums/variant-classes-mod/variant-(class-compilation)/?action=dlattach;attach=812) Mod, and a black dragon Pet skin in Mamba Pet (https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=176373745&searchtext) Mod
Title: Re: [TL2] "Dragon Alchemist" Class
Post by: Lord Nyriox on June 18, 2018, 05:41:20 AM
If I'm not mistaken there is a white dragon Pet skin in Clouddancer (http://torchmodders.com/forums/variant-classes-mod/variant-(class-compilation)/?action=dlattach;attach=812) Mod, and a black dragon Pet skin in Mamba Pet (https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=176373745&searchtext) Mod

Well, I know for absolute certain that there are only color-tinted dragon skin textures in MPC, Synergies, and Xev's Pets. 

They really look like someone dumped a bucket of paint on the vanilla dragon texture and called it a day. 

I have not checked the Clouddancer yet, but that will be on my list of textures to check.  Thanks for the tip.  :} 
Title: Re: [TL2] "Dragon Alchemist" Class
Post by: Lord Nyriox on June 18, 2018, 05:51:40 AM
Build 23 now released!

Build 23 of my Emberdrake mod includes a few additional skills, reworked model and unit data, and a new skin for the female Emberdrake. 

Changelog (non-exhaustive): 

Try the build out at the usual link.  ;}
Title: Re: [TL2] "Emberdrake" Class
Post by: Lord Nyriox on July 04, 2018, 09:32:33 PM
Project Delayed:

Sorry for the long radio silence, but progress on the Emberdrake has slowed to a pace comparable to "molasses in January". 

I burned myself out thoroughly during the last several months of modding.  There may not be another public build (of any of my mods), for at least another week. 

I apologize in advance for any inconvenience this may cause.  :\


Here is a list of changes that may be included in the next build:   


List of changes (WIP): 


 
Title: Re: [TL2] "Emberdrake" Class
Post by: Phanjam on July 05, 2018, 02:07:45 PM
Perfectly understandable @Lord Nyriox and, unfortunately, all too common among modders :( take all the time u need to get the motivation back
Title: Re: [TL2] Emberdrake Class
Post by: Lord Nyriox on July 20, 2018, 04:40:54 AM
Now on Github! 

The Emberdrake project (along with two other modding projects) is now on Github

Current releases of the class may be found there (eventually).  The old MEGA links have been removed. 

https://github.com/LordNyriox/Emberdrake/releases (https://github.com/LordNyriox/Emberdrake/releases)
Title: Re: [TL2] Emberdrake Class
Post by: Phanjam on July 20, 2018, 08:44:50 AM
Nice one @Lord Nyriox !

Me, I'd be kind of ashamed to use GitHub - my archives are messy! old unused files still in there :P

You set-up is so neat in comparison Nyriox! :D
Title: Re: [TL2] Emberdrake Class
Post by: Lord Nyriox on July 20, 2018, 03:23:22 PM
Me, I'd be kind of ashamed to use GitHub - my archives are messy! old unused files still in there :P

Why do you think I never released the source of my mods until now?  I am no better.  :P 

In particular, the Lazarus Pack is a total sloppy mess.  I still have no clue of the direction I want to take it, so I wound up throwing the kitchen sink in there—along with almost all of my WIP prototype code.  :\ 

You set-up is so neat in comparison Nyriox! :D

Given that I do not keep consistent track of my own modding work—and therefore all my commits are labeled by creation date rather than content—I do not really think I am worthy of the label "neat". 

Maybe "NEET", but not "neat".  :\ 
Title: Re: [CLASS] Emberdrake
Post by: Lord Nyriox on July 29, 2018, 05:03:14 PM
Not on Github! 

Ran into some technical issues with the Github platform, so I had to scrap my Github repositories until I can figure out a workaround for them.

I apologize for my sloppy modding. :\ 
Title: Re: [CLASS] Emberdrake
Post by: Phanjam on July 29, 2018, 10:54:16 PM
Lol nothing to apologize for, youre a lot neater than most of us! :D
Title: Re: [CLASS] Emberdrake
Post by: Lord Nyriox on December 22, 2018, 07:00:55 PM
Build 24 now released!

Sorry for the long radio silence (again)!  To thank you for your patience during these long months, I am posting a build of my current progress on the Emberdrake.

Note that this is very much WIP, and not all features work correctly. 

You will find v24 is now attached to the OP.  (7z archived for filesize restrictions.)


List of changes: 



Notable bugs: 

Title: Re: [CLASS] Emberdrake
Post by: Lord Nyriox on January 21, 2019, 09:08:23 PM
Emberdrake Project Suspended

I realize now that I had made a significant miscalculation, when I insisted on making the Emberdrake class my first TL2 mod. 

In particular, there is not really much of a "central theme" to the class, as of this moment.  It fights like Ordrak on steroids, dies like a wuss (in casual mode no less), and needs serious debugging on every single one of its skills—all because I was clueless about TL modding when I dreamed it up. 

I am seriously considering rebuilding the whole class project from scratch—because that would truly be easier than trying to manually fix the million and two things I managed to break in my cluelessness.

Lore-wise, the class is a mess as well.  When I started the class concept, I had barely read any official TL2 lore (let alone actually played the game), and thought I could tie my concept in to random half-understood snippets.  At no time was this more apparent than when I tried to defend my ideas against @Kva3imoda, perfectionist and lore nut—and managed to somehow sound more deranged than clever.

Effective immediately, I am suspending the Emberdrake project, in favor of developing some variation on the concept that integrates properly with both gameplay and lore. 


If you have any ideas on how to believably frame a playable dragon in TL lore…now is the time to bring it up.