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Path of Evil Remastered?

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kamal
Path of Evil Remastered?

While testers have been busy finding bugs in Bedine, I've taken some time to give the first Path of Evil module a bit of a makeover in spots. Giving a few areas a visual makeover, adding/swapping content and tilesets where relevant (hello Cellar and Calister Sewers), and generally spiffying up a few things (daynight sets, making some npcs more active using my commoner ai).

I haven't decided if I'm going to continue with that, is it worth it?

Before pics:

 

And after:

 

 

 

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Nathan

Knock yourself out, i'd replay it immediately!

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Trixter

Is this NWN 1 or 2?

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kamal
Nwn2
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jmlzemaggo
jmlzemaggo's picture

Any link to give eventually a try to the actual module in its current shape? 

Salut!

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kamal

Since some of the things I would do for a remastering will include large visual changes to some areas, bugfixing of known bugs including companion quest bugs and stronghold bugs, some balance changes, and generally trying to make the stronghold actually useful... may I suggest my Crimmor module instead?

https://neverwintervault.org/project/nwn2/module/crimmor

However if you are interested in it as it stands, it's here: https://neverwintervault.org/project/nwn2/module/path-evil

I recommend waiting for the remaster if you have never played it.

 

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Clangeddin

My Biggest gripe with Path of Evil was that if you sent away a character you'd lose it permanently, the best fix ever to this mod would be to to make it possible to send them to a HQ and grab them back later when you wish. So you can do all the character's sidequests at your pace when you want.

Still, it was really a great module and with the above fix it would really become, imho, one of the best, if not the best NWN2 non-official campaign.

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jmlzemaggo
jmlzemaggo's picture

Crimmor then. I'm a big fan of rogues modules.

I never played evil but there is always a first. I might console change that in game, if it gets too much... 

Thanks. 

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kamal

Path of Evil doesn't have alignment changes (except for killing random commoners I think), so you could play as a paladin if you felt like. The campaign idea is to play the traditional big bad villian of a normal campaign as they rise to power and become the big bad villain. I tried to make sure the pc has options, so they can do things like free slaves with the rationale that their personal code of ethics says people should be free, or slaves just make poor labor so they should be free and paid in order to get higher quality work out of them. It won't be for everyone, since you are evil, but I did try to give some cartoon villainy options and people did say they liked that it let a pc being chaotic evil without being chaotic stupid.

 

Crimmor works perfectly fine for neutral characters, for reasons that are story evident based on Ed Greenwoods article detailing the city and the Shadow Thieves in it. There's even a minor questline for good characters (good aligned characters are assumed to be playing as Harper spies infiltrating the Shadow Thieves).

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Sabranic

Clangeddin: "My Biggest gripe with Path of Evil was that if you sent away a character you'd lose it permanently, the best fix ever to this mod would be to to make it possible to send them to a HQ and grab them back later when you wish. So you can do all the character's sidequests at your pace when you want."

"Still, it was really a great module and with the above fix it would really become, imho, one of the best, if not the best NWN2 non-official campaign."

_____________________________________________________________

^ That.  So much that.  :)

 

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kamal

The reasoning why they don't hang out and wait is they are generally supposed to have lives and interests of their own, which don't necessarily align with the player. Since there is no existential threat like the King of Shadows to cause them to wait around in case they might be useful, they would each need a rationale for hanging around. Only Kvas (best friend), the Tortured King (faithful servant), and Grutur (you could pay him to wait around) really have them. Some could rationally be recruited back later, but not from a central HQ, such as Mutasin who would follow his sidequest if not travelling with you and could theoretically be found there if you knew where he was.

I would have to come up with believable rationales for the rest to hang out. I have written out "epilogues" for what happens with every companion if they are in the party or not. Two of the companions try to kill the PC if they're not in the party, and many of them leave the PC and the stronghold even if they were in the party because their personal goals can't be completed during the game.

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kevL's
  • I would have to come up with believable rationales for the rest to hang out.

isAvailable?

RNG roll!

(think up the text later..)

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Sabranic

You could perhaps base it on the party leader's charisma - say a hefty charisma check when dismissing a party member, if they fail the NPC goes their own way.  If the party leader has a charming enough personality, he can convince them to stay.  Or you could base it on the leadership feat that normally has no use beyonf SoZ.  If the party leader buys that feat, he can keep the party together, making it a cool bonus feature for those that actually buy it.

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Clangeddin

Or you could just have them available all the time and let gameplay take precedence over lore/storyline/fluff. We're playing a videogame here, last time I checked. I tought we were supposed to have fun and this is a single player game, not everyone is into heavy RP, you know.

I personally don't see it a big deal of "it doesn't make much sense IC" as much of "it doesn't make ANY sense OOC".

Besides, I have a hard time believing that this is the real reason it wasn't implemented, or else, as Kamal already pointed out, this would be in for 3 characters already, even IC they have no reason to not wait you somewhere. There must have been some other reason (not enough time to implement, technical difficulties, ecc...)

But, in the end, this is my own answer to the question "Is it worth it?" asked at the beginning of the thread. If you implement this change (for me) it's worth it, otherwise I won't bother replaying it, this eventually drove me away the first time (I didn't finish the campaign) I don't see how it won't drive me away again.

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kamal

Ok, if it's going to be that popular I'll look at a way to keep companions around for swapping. Most of them officially had no reason to wait around for you at all, It was long ago but i think I had been running into issues with dismisal to a location that was in another module, so I just dropped it for everyone as I expected everyone would keep Kvas, most people wouldn't find the Tortured King, and Grutur wouldn't normally show up until the party was well established.

Grutur one who would hang out, but he was a last minute companion add in case the PC went straight to the strongold city somehow. The "official" party is the PC, Kvas, Tan, Carcarin, and Mutasin, giving the PC a companion fighter, rogue, mage, cleric. Laisera, Alira, and the Tortured King were secondary, and all the companions at the stronghold town were last minute additions (which is why the stronghold companions were pretty much one note characters). So I had two who had a reason to stay, one I figured wouldn't get dropped, and one I figured wouldn't be found.

 

Would it be interesting if the two companions that officially would try to kill the pc if they are dropped actually did so?

 

Also ideas on how to improve and better integrate the stronghold are welcome. I always felt the PC picked it up late and didn't really have a reason to return to it periodically as a base, which made it rather pointless from a running a stronghold perspective. My official epilogue does have the pc spending money improving the city, by building a harbor at the base of the cliffs, getting some armed ships, and basically exerting influence and bringing in trade and gold for themselves due to the city's location on the Sea of Stars near the mouth of the Dragon Reach and between the eastern/western portion of the Sea of Stars.

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Sabranic

You could allow the PC to collect taxes, stores with a rotating inventory based on perhaps time or upgrades to the keep, create a player "house" in a tower that can be upgraded with heaping ammounds of gold, gaining things like crafting centers, more storage and interactable objects that do things like cast long duration buffs or cleanse status ailments.  You could add a garrison where the player can buy henchmen that follow the party until they get killed or a certain ammount of time has passed.  You could add a training area, where players can test their skills disarming traps or shooting targets, tables to play cards, dart games in a tavern, a well stocked bar with drinks that do various humerous things, a brothel with some comedic encounters, gambling hall, a temple that sells healing spells using the Icewind Dale/BG:R cleric window.   You could have some spawning quests within the keep that test various classes skills, diplomatic meetings, killing rats in the food storage cellar, locating a thief stealing from people, researching lost lore in the library - little quests and such. 

You could have a trophy room, that you can hunt "legendary beasts" to aquire a trophy of on the wall.  So an epic boar quest for instance, and ocne you kill it, toggle the visability of the boar trophy in the trophy room.  You can create a "master hunter" who will send you out after progressivly more dangerous creatures.

Just some things I off the top of my head that we're workign with in our module to give players a reason to return to the main base.

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kamal
I already have a number of those things. The player can spend on stuff just like in the OC, including opening up crafting stations, an owners suite that helps the player advance, and to activate a teleporter that allows the player to travel to some maps that they cant get to any other way. If the player uses the stronghold enough time passes and they get to make some decisions via their majordomo ala the OC, but i dont think people ever did as they didnt have to use the stronghold enough (and there were some bugs).
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Sabranic

Excellent.

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kamal

I've finished the visual update of the Halruaa module.

Here is the town of Riverbridge in the daytime, since it's Halruaa there's the obligatory skyship (you can't do anything with it).

Here is the original Riverbridge, a prefab available here:

original

Original Path of Evil version:

before

After, same time of day and toolset settings:

More trees, improved texturing and a texture swap to have the grass better match the fall trees, changed daynight setting, replaced waterfall with custom waterfall vfx, more grass, improved placed lights.

after

 

 

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Sabranic

That's looking quite sharp.  I really like the texturing on the ground/  Very subtle transitions going on, big improvement. 

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kamal

Finished with the visual update for the mpass module. It's a small module and the name doesnt have anything to do with the campaign, it was just named after some of the prefab areas in it.

The updates were both minimal and big. The big one was remastering revealed an issue with the master 2das used in my tileset project, they didn't include the Pit Crypt tileset even though the tiles for that tileset themselves were in there. So when I went to the master 2das from the original Path of Evil 2das, all of a sudden large important chunks of several maps disappeared. Whoops. Fixed that in the tileset project. Also a snowy cave now has snow/ice textures and I took advantage of tileset project floor textures in a few areas.

There's an issue where some of the Crypt Pit tiles don't tint the same manner as the normal tileset tiles, but I don't see any difference in them in gmax. It's a mystery I tried to hide by color choices. Finally I fixed an issue in the platform cave metatile from the tileset project by removing the polys for the graffiti in the default tile since they aren't apparent ingame anyway.

So basically remastering this module meant mostly fixing some bugs in the tileset project. I've uploaded the updates for that.

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Sabranic

Thanks!  I am excited to play this once you get it touched up.

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kamal

Murann and it's associated content have been finished up. This didn't actually take all the time since my last update, I've been playing Pillars of Eternity and Shadowrun: Dragonfall. I can recommend both, especially Dragonfall. smiley

 

Next up is the Calimport Muzad module.

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kamal
When I'm working on these modules i just go area by area from the area list. One of the first in the list happened to be a drow interior. Rjshae's drow tileset conversion really spiffied up for the better. The thickness of the walls in the tileset forced some reconfiguring because the area previously used the estate tileset. Also drow interior doesnt really look appropriate for a kitchen or storage, too ornate. In any case there were a lot of visual changes to the area, including my making some custom vfx to have purple candle flames. Would a pack of different color candle flames be useful? I'm playing The Dwarves, since i took a chance and backed it on kickstarter. They advertised it as a rpg but it's more a retelling of the book it's apparently based on, combined with battle sequences that feel more like the "hero missions" from real time strategy games. Your characters dont get any loot other than an occaisional potion, and each develops in a basically linear way except you can occaisionally choose one of two special attacks. The game itself is not very good compares to pillars of eternity or shadowrun.
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Friar
Friar's picture

I'm still looking to dive into Pillars of Eternity but it just seems so long and my time gets eaten up by other things.

I haven't finished Shadowrun: Dragonfall but I do like a particular UGC a player who calls himself Southwind created called Shadowrun Unlimited. It's non-linear and open world almost like the Sega Genesis Shadowrun but he adds his own flair.

I swear, I think people think Rockstar Games invented "open world."

pfft

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kamal

With the right decisions in the Muzad, you could get yourself a bit into the Underdark and find a drow outpost. Since it was pretty sparse before, it gets a big upgrade. Interiors take advantage of the Drow tileset rjshae ported.

Before:

After:

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Friar
Friar's picture

Man, you really had some fun with that, looks great!

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kamal

The changes for that area are:

decided the drow made their slaves pave the area (replaced floor texture with brick)

changed coloration of lights in area

added rws cliffs and stock boulders to make the area look more like it's in a big cave

added more detail all around such as placeables and vfx, removed other placeables

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kamal

More before and after pics of the drow:

Before: Pretty plain, I used the estate tileset because I figured they are drow and like the ornateness of the floor. And this was long before rjshae's drow tileset so I had to do something for a drow interior.

After: then thickness of the walls of rjshae's drow tileset forces me to tighten things up in the forging area, which also gets glow vfx over the forge coals and better lighting along with the custom pruple candle vfx. The reading area gets custom glowing red chandeliers and the added bookcases to make it look more natural..

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Friar
Friar's picture

Really like the library in that last screen.

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kamal

This underdark area is getting a complete makeover. It now has a stream running through it, complete with lots of glowing plants and mushrooms.

before;

after, I think I may need to dim the pinkness of the vfx glowing grass a bit. :

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kamal

The visual update for the Muzad module is finished. That took some time since there were a number of areas that needed major work. The underdark areas I showed already, as well as some sewers which got rebuilt with Kalister sewers, and the Calimport Muzad itself, a 20x20 size city area that had been split into two areas for performance reasons. It remains split, but gets better texturing, more detail, and better lighting.

Before (The giant building is the Temple of Old Night, a temple to Shar officially located in the Muzad), you can see how the lighting gets cut at tile edges because I used too many lights because I didn't know better:

 

 

And after, among other things the Temple of Old Night gets new texturing on the BCK parts, and there are lots of pieces from my placeables projects:

 

 

Here are the sewers after, showing how neat Kalister's sewers are:

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kamal

Overland East and Overland West are finished. Virtually nothing needed for them since they were prefabs. Basically check the areas and make sure nothing is visually broken.

 

Pros is also complete. This was another module that was mostly prefab areas and so didn't need too much work. The only thing that needed a lot of work was the city exterior itself. I had used the Allyndn's City prefab. For Path of Evil, it had basically gotten a new daynight set. Remastered, it gets new lighting since it was breaking the six light limit and causing light issues, it also gets custom vfx "window lights" that simulate lights, and a new daynightset. Wherever I could get away with it I also converted the city hak stuff to environmental objects to try to help performance.

 

Before (at sunrise/sunset):

 

After (sunset/sunrise):

 

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kamal

The visual update for Al-Qasr (the desert town) is finished.

Before, daytime in the town, as you can see there is way too much bloom (I used bloom for a desert heat effect), and the shadows are terrible. I used scaled up estate wall placeables for the town walls, I figured both that Calimshan is big on displaying wealth, and that they might use large stone slabs. This was also before the RWS Adobe stuff:

 

This interior is pretty good, I used the estate tileset because Calimshan is supposed to be flashy with wealth, so I figured even smaller houses would use the estate tileset.

 

Upstairs in the town inn. As you can see, I had no idea about shadows. Those placed lights have a shadow intensity of 1. I must have built everything with shadows off in the toolset.

 

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kamal

Al-Qasr after the visual update pass:

The town gets the daynight set I established for Bedine, and a combination of RWS Adobe and my own arid placeables. It looks more like a desert town. All those shadows are fixed as well.

 

Many interiors got switched to the Adobe tileset textures, placeable windows (from an RWS pack) also let me have windows only where i wanted them. The "window glow" vfx I made for Pros also gets a blueish version to handle how the Estate tileset has blue windows. Lighting is more dramatic.

 

The blue "window glow" vfx gets used extensively in the inn, and shadows and lighting is much better. The inn retains it's stock estate tileset texturing since it's one of the three fancy places in town (along with the temple and the local ruler's house).

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Trinital

That glow vfx is a greation solution.. thanks!

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Thezibaim

Very good idea to remaster PoE ! I hope you'll finalize these modifications ^^

Suggestions :

- Custom or vanilla musics, I don't care but for God's sake, add them to the areas  smiley

- Alignment shifting system because even a Paladin can play this module without becoming evil

- Clock from MotB

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Sabranic

This is looking stunning Kamal.

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GamerX51

Does anybody know how I can open up the module files in the toolset? I'd like to poke around in this module's guts and take a look, but it's all folders.

If you're going through hell, then just keep going.

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kevL's

first thing to do when opening the toolset for the first time is TURN OFF AUTOSAVE. it's in the Options (it's really annoying and can screw things up, so yeah turn it off pronto)

then, under File menu, Open Directory ... browse to and select the directory, Ok


note, If for any reason you want to save the directory, use simply Save (not Save Directory -- save directory is only for converting a .mod to a directory) note2, changes will not take effect for a game in progress; files in /Override will tho.

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kamal

The visual updating is complete, barring my inevitably looking at an area and deciding it really needs something, which I do a lot.

 

Next up is addressing known bugs. Mostly those are related to the stronghold.

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4760

I just started playing it. Should I wait then?

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kamal
Yes, i suggest waiting. There are many excellent things out there in the meantime. If you insist, i can make the visually upgraded but not bugfixed or anything files available.
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4760

I'll wait then. But if you happen to need beta testing or bug hunting, I'd be glad to help.

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kamal

I've been busy with other stuff, so not a lot of progress other than kevL helping with the cleric domain issue and us getting that sorted. But we got things sorted and the clerics now have proper domains.

 

To get companions waiting at locations when kicking them from the party, I am switching the way they are handled over to the SoZ system since I used that for Bedine and am more familiar with it. Finally got my test companion joining correctly after spending over an hour trying to figure out why he wouldn't join.... there was an extraneous space in the tag, doh!

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kamal

I've finished adding the request for dismissable companions that can rejoin.

All companions now will leave for their hangout spots and join again if asked, as the Storm of Zehir companions do. Like SoZ, companion hangouts change over the course of the campaign, they automatically change their hangout to the stronghold once you aquire it for instance. Generally they have a hangout in the module where you find them, a hangout on the overland map outside the area where you find them (for player convenience, to save you having to load through several maps to get to them), and a hangout in the stronghold.

The next step will be adding the SoZ "guestbook" to allow party creation. The introductory Neverwinter module will still have required companions as they are required to be present for the story, but after that you can dismiss them and have a full custom party.

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kamal

SoZ style party creation is in. It is the standard "guest book" like SoZ, with locations in inns and a few other places that made sense.

 

Stronghold bugs are also fixed: Stronghold time stuck at 25% (confirmed this in my stronghold demo, it was because I hadn't fixed the stronghold time progress function to remove OC references), Guard/Wizard tower now completes correctly, the architect refers to the refers to the Temple being complete but the Tower being unfinished when the reverse is true. Funnily enough that last bug was caused by a undisplayed dialog bug in the OC:  "|Church is open|{Excitement}The old guard tower is rebuilt already - so what are your plans for the church?" The dialog line identifies the church as being open in comments that do not display, and I'd mistakently set the variables based on that comment.

Those stronghold bugs turned out to be much easier to track down than I had anticipated. I still have to track down bugs with the hired soldiers not equipping their stronghold improved weapons/armor.

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kamal

I've tracked down the last stronghold bugs I am aware of.

 

Also added this modified version of the SLS light system Rod of Light, it's available at stores for 1gp:

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kamal

It should be all fixed up now, I currently lack the motivation to add any new content to it other than maybe sticking an Otyugh in the Calimport sewer. There's no new quests or areas or npcs. I considered letting the player open up and build docks on the beach below Ekkathys, then maybe some seaborne adventures, but I am not motiviated to build out a new module of stuff currently and have a lot of real life stuff keeping me busy.

I'd propbably make a save when entering the various cities (al-Qasr, Calimport Muzad, Pros, Ekkathys) in case anything broke walkmesh wise. I don't expect anything to have, but you never know.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B7gdhDfhjwa5TDBrS0N3T3NadU0

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B7gdhDfhjwa5alBZam5USUNpU2s

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Kaprikorn Schultz

I downloaded the files for the remastered version of Path of Evil today (from the links above) and installed them immediately (yes, I completely removed the older version I had), but sadly I couldn't play more than 20 minutes because of a bug.

There seems to be a problem with Kvas' dialogues (in the intro module at least): each time he should interact with an NPC (with the couple with the broken wagon, at the brothel, at the homeless camp, etc.) the game exits the dialogue instead of Kvas speaking his lines. The green "Kvas speaks" appears, but everytime I click on it the dialogue just ends. I also noticed Kvas doesn't say anything when I find the dead junkie behind the temple. Conversations between my PC and Kvas work fine (he seems to say all the lines he's supposed to), but interactions between Kvas and other NPCs or the environment don't work.

My PC is trying to find the evil cleric's holy symbol (or something) at the brothel, but I can't get past the woman at the reception since Kvas doesn't reply to her when she says "Hi".

Please fix this soon

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kamal

Sounds like when I updated the companions to removable I must have changed kvas's tag. That will be pretty straightforward if a bit time consuming to get fixed.

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