Version 1.05 and game play changes

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With the release of version 1.05, there are a number of game play changes that will have a major affect on the outcome of the game, so I wanted to discuss them in a little detail.

If you have already completed the game, then firstly, well done, but secondly, you might want to play the game through again to see how the changes affect the outcome.

Android users can start playing this version now, Amazon, iOS and Blackberry will need to wait until next weekend when they make it out of review.

Lords are now displaced correctly after losing a battle.

This is really about escaping. When a lord finally loses a battle and all his armies have been destroyed, if he is still alive he should have been displaced randomly to an adjoining location. This is important because that movement is free. Which means when you decide to retreat you have a one location head start from the enemy.

The affect of the Ice Fear on courage – not reducing it correctly.

Low courage characters like Lord Lothoril were gaining a massive courage boost when they were in the same location as Morkin. It means that they would have had a better outcome in battle or even the ability to attack when they shouldn’t have been able to so. This was caused by a negative courage being turned into positve.

Armies no longer recovery too quickly

Armies were regenerating their energy too quickly. Which means movement around the map without the need to rest, could be over a longer period, and more importantly, the armies were not suffering so much during long battles. The knock on affect during a battle would be that your armies would fair much better than they should have.

Doomdark’s armies no longer ignore lords on plains in front of their very eyes

There is code in the original Lords of Midnight that is used to look up to 3 locations in front for something of importance. This is just looking for something that is not plains. It is used when you are looking across plains to a location, so even though that keep in the distance is not directly in front of you, your view will be described as look toward the keep. This code is also used in the decision making process for the Doomguard wandering around the map. However, the bit I missed is that the original code didn’t actually use this function to check up to 3 locations in front; it was only using it to work out the location directly in front for the direction looking. So the Doomguard would scan a full 360 around themselves, and had they found a lord in one of those locations they would move into it. However, my implementation had two problems, the Doomguard would look a full 360 around themselves, and if they found a none plain terrain up to 3 locations away, they would start to move in that direction. Not only that, they would get there in one move. It means they could be distracted easily, and move too quickly.

Alteration to what you are allowed to do when Doomguard are at the same location

The options available to you when at the same location as the Doomguard have been brought in-line with the original. I made a mistake when interpreting these. Importantly, it means you can now exploit a quirk of the original which means you can attack the Doomguard at night with a single lone lord, and then immediately hide. This means that you affectively can get a free move at the end of the day. I will address this as a “quirk/bug” in a later version in that I will remove it as a difficulty option.

Now allowed to fight critters at night, as long as no Doomguard there

You should have been able to fight critters even though it is night. This is important just in case you get attacked during the night. Had you not killed the critters while you had an army could cause you a problem if you lose your army overnight.

Daytime game completion scenarios being triggered by Ice Crown destruction

This is purely an issue of the Ice Crown bring destroyed when Morkin is at the same location as one of the characters that can destroy it. The completion was being triggered on returning from the THINK screen. All this means is that it would have been difficult to achieve a complete victory without keeping Morkin away from those characters. And even then you would have to have brought the characters together and press NIGHT without having pressed THINK.

Removed left over AI difficulty code that would have Doomdark generating new armies that track down Morkin, Luxor, or head to Xajorkith

This was changed in the previous version. This was a problem that made the game a little more difficult because new armies were being re-generated when old armies were destroyed and these armies would often go after Luxor or Morkin. A version of this will be added back under difficulty levels at a later date.

 

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37 thoughts on “Version 1.05 and game play changes

  1. Excellent updates Chris. I know I am speaking for all the fans of the game to let you know we really appreciate the continued support. Tried the new version on Android and all seems great so far. I am really looking forward to the brand new extras for LoM and the DDR update.

  2. Looking forward to see the changes. After completing two games (iPad, LoM 1.0.3) taking Ushgarak, I noticed Doomguard ignoring Lords on plains, inability to fight critters when Lord is at night and Lords dying as soon as his army is destroyed and/or never retreating (addressed/mentiones in the post).

    I also noticed that riders seem to be comparatively less effective than warriors. Riders, seemed to me, were consistently causing less casualties even on plains (I assumed that warriors in keeps and citadels were more effective than riders – I am not sure if that is as intended), but riders seem to underperform even on the supposedly more favourable terrain. This was mentioned in the exhaustive comments by Mark Wright a couple of blogposts back. If there are changes in there in the new version, it might be worth pointing that.

    Thank you very much for keeping updating this great app. I am looking forward to Doomdark’s Revenge and quite curious about the purpose and extent of the scenario editor.

    • I have check the warriors/riders issue and the code seems to show that riders would be getting the advantage. I think I need the current set of changes to settle down so that it can be reanalysed just in case any of the issues are skewing the results…

      • Then we will all have to play again the whole War 🙂 when the release is available and tell you.

        Thanks for the follow-up on the app.

  3. Looking forward to the next update! We all really, REALLY appreciate your continued commitment to improving the game and adding new challenges. 😀

  4. I am happy to say that I finally got my first Android phone and guess what my first software installation was? Yes, the Lords of Midnight! After close to eight years following you (or more, now that I think of it) there was not really anything else I could do… Lords of Midnight is like a big black hole.. something I ccan’t escape of, and provides some inevitable attraction. 🙂 Good job, Chris! I will write a report with some issues later, though, in case you need them…

  5. There seems to be a delay between movement now, about a couple of seconds before you can move again. I’ve tried it on swipe, push etc. anyone else notice it? I’m running ios 6.1 on iPhone 4. Also seems to be a delay when choosing select and recruit; not quite as long for as for movement but still a delay. Thanks.

  6. Having played a bit more, here are some issues not mentioned before I think:

    0. I tried to destroy the ice-crown with Lorgrim on the same square as Morkin with the crown but it didn’t work! They were both killed overnight as I didn’t bother protecting them as it didn’t use to need it. Do they need to be alive the next morning now?
    1. When a character is slain by animals both the animals and the character are eliminated form the map. The animals should surely remain.
    2. Lords fleeing when defeated now works, except for Farflame, who refused to budge from the ruin of Coroth when attacked. Is this a Farflame issue or a ruin issue?
    3. The auto-map maps two squares ahead even when things can’t be seen, e.g. in forests, lakes that are beyond the forest are mapped. Is there some kind of visibility function being employed?
    4. In the original if you already had a weapon and you seeked and found another one, the first would be dropped and could be seeked again either by you or someone else. Now, now the original is lost. This is a pain if you have Wolfslayer and find the less useful Dragonslayer, as you cant get Wolfslayer back.
    5. In the original Lorgrim starts with a horse but has half movement rate. I considered this a bug as it makes Lorgrim almost useless. Now Lorgrim starts without a horse but has normal movement. I think this is better, so if you did this deliberately don’t change it! 😉
    6. We need some kind of hint on the save-games as to which is which. The number of days passed would probably do it, but when I have a few I just cant remember which is which!
    7. On nexus 7 the select screen just a fraction to small to hold all the shields, and so a scroll-bar appears to scroll down the last 5 pixels or so. A tweak in shield spacing could fix this. I’ve also got a note saying that “a cross is cropped” on the screen but I cant for the life of me remember what that means! LOL.

    Issues remaining from before:
    1. “Utterly tired and cannot continue” not displayed
    2. Typos: “Doomdark has an army of none warriors and […]” or “[…] warriors and none riders […]”
    3. If you fought a battle last night then “Battle continues” still shows if you end up in battle again elsewhere
    4. Warriors and riders still mixed up in killing power! This is a biggie…

  7. Hi Chris. I was playing LoM on ipad 2 yesterday after downloading v1.0.5. There is a definite time lag between movements. For example after moving forward, or even turning left or right, in the landscaping, the app needs another 2-3s before it will respond again. There is a similar delay on some of the menu commands also.

    I’ll play with the options later to see if these have any effect.

    Looking forward to the trailer! Interested to see if you have a soundtrack and if so what songs!

    Thanks again. Love the game.

    Cheers

    Richard

  8. Facebook page, I’ll check it out thanks. Unfortunately the lag is back, it gets worse the more you travel and reveal the map I think. I started a new game and it was fine initially but I just travelled as Luxor as Far East as I could and it systematically got slower to the pint where the was about a 2-3 second lag before you can doing anything after a move…

    • Yes, I can confirm it’s a problem. I’ve been able to recreate on my iPad1 and fix.I just have the dilemma of when to submit the fix. I submit tomorrow, and you all get it next weekend. Or I submit next weekend, when I intended to submit 1.06 …

      • There’s been a persistent Nexus 7 problem where sometimes the screen taps (left/right/move) don’t register fully; they register enough to cause the arrow to flash but not enough to trigger the movement. You then need another 5 taps or so to force it though. This happen in both tap and swipe modes.

        • I think it’s a move thing… the minimum distance required to decide you are going from a click to starting to drag. I think the number may be too low. Will do some more testing on this…

      • No rush Chris, the last thing you need are a load of us baying for ad hic releases etc! A bit of lag just makes me appreciate the landscaping even more. When I used to play as a kid I would have a character sheet for each character with stats and notable er notes, maybe I should resort to that…but then again that was when I was 11…

      • I would also like to mention, it is very unresponsive on an iPad1. I did not notice any problem with the previous versions.
        Probably, it is related to the move issue (and clean up previous saves, if I have understood rightly), so it will be fixed. This happens not only when you move but also when you fight [critters], when attack (sort of move) and when seek, and it worsens as the game advances. As I say, hopefully you would have dealt with all this with your fixes.

  9. My favourite scenarios are:

    1. Lords protect only their homelands: Lords care not for Luxor and instead defend their homeland keep/citadel to the last. They are allowed to move nearby to recruit troops from nearby keeps, but they are not allowed to desert their home, and when an enemy approaches they *must* move home and defend to the last. If they survive defeat they are allowed to retreat to the next major stronghold back towards Xajorkith. Anyone who starts with no army can go anywhere. Military victory necessary. This is very difficult!

    2. Ultimate speed for military victory. I’ve taken Ushgarak in 11 days (see here: http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/midnight/message/5723 ) but I reckon 9 days is probably possible. Probably worth waiting for all the bug-fixes before trying this, as the current warriors/riders issue will skew results.

    • I have tried a couple.

      1.Every character can only recruit one other. Requires planning and a notepad and pencil at the moment.

      2.Fey can only recruit Fey, Free only recruit Free, etc. Much easier than the above and no pencil required.

      3. Hold all Citadels you start with plus Keep of Blood. Not managed this yet. I always lose one of Marakith or Shimeril.

      I have attempted to take back every keep and Citadel in the past but usually end up giving up due to constant Utterly Tired and Cannot continue messages, it is feasible to take all Citadels though. Looking forward to trying that on ‘Hard’. I’m sure there must be others.

  10. 1. When a character is slain by animals both the animals and the character are eliminated form the map. The animals should surely remain.

    Definitely can’t recreate this. Used morkin to follow corleth around from the start of the game. Everytime corleth died to the critters, they were still visible to morkin.

    4. Warriors and riders still mixed up in killing power! This is a biggie…
    Need more info on this. I’ll try an expand out the logic for this so that we can talk about it.
    I’ll also try and create some unit tests. So any ideas on scenarios to test that would hilight the issue would be helpful.

      • None at all. The only snag being that the game will cost me £205.98 in total. Now that may not seem excessive, but when you consider the original only cost me £9.99, it really show’s how the cost of living has risen by quite a bit.

  11. I am finding that most times when I press to turn left/right, the arrow lights up but my view does not move. This gets a bit annoying after a while. Other than that, the game looks great.

    • I have tried swipe/push and all other settings but I am finding it very unresponsive on all of them, and on more than a few occasions I have press to turn left and the view has turned right.
      I also have a problem with the shield icon, top right of the display. I keep pressing this by accident, when meaning to press right turn. I feel it needs to be smaller or higher up the screen.

      Also, once when booting up the game, it shown only the bottom part of the display in the top part of the screen. I think this was when I turned the screen horizontal while the game was booting. It got stuck like that and I had to kill the app.

      Hope my bit of input helps with perfecting the game Chris. 🙂

      I am playing on the NEXUS 7.

      • Surprised you would feel it unresponsive. The Nexus7 is my Android test device so I’ve played it a lot on it. It can be a little too sensitive, thus the problem with the left right click detection.
        With regard the shield, get in the habit of clicking low! I only go high when I want to use drag move.
        Try dragging really slowly just to get a feel for it, or try quick swipes in the middle.

        • I find ‘push’ works best for me. Push/swipe seems to get confused and swipe I find hopeless.
          I play using my thumbs, I would think most people do the same.

          Try this: Tap left 5 or 6 times then tap right. You should find that there is no response. It also does this tapping in either direction.

          Funny thing is, that the arrows light up, so you would think it would respond to this action.

          • Nope, simply can’t make this go wrong… You’re not trying to press while it’s moving are you?

            Regarding thumb playing – I’m not sure this is the norm. Most people I have spoken with play holding the device in one hand and using the other hand to control.

          • I am having more success by pressing lower down the screen, but still doesn’t feel quite right for me. I must have funny fingers.

            Anyway the game is great so I’m not all that bothered. Excellent work Chris. I am getting that same old thrill I got all those years back, I just love it.

  12. Does drag look work ok? In tweaking the values in the next version so hopefully it will fail less.
    I think the problem is due to detecting the start of a drag. It actually takes very little movement of the finger to trigger movement.

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