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60,000 passwords have been reset on July 8, 2019. If you cannot login, read this.

Shadow over Blackwood

Submitted by MoCo
This bundle is marked as pending. It has not been reviewed by a staff member yet.
[​IMG]

Hey everyone,

in this thread, I want to introduce my current Warcraft III project The Shadow over Blackwood.

The Shadow over Blackwood is my vision for an atmospheric and thrilling stealth RPG gameplay set within a dark vampire theme. The game is settled in a small town whose peace is threatened by a vampire scourge. Consequently, guards are patrolling the city at night and bounty hunters have come to the city to make some quick money. Imagine the game like a multiplayer RTS variant of the game Thief. Imagine the vampires as thieves, lurking in the shadows, waiting for the right moment to strike incautious town residents from behind, while the guards and hunters are trying to protect the civilians and strive to kill the vampires.

Currently, I am specially searching for feedback and good ideas for the end game. I will upload a map prototype here soon

Features Overview:
  • Playable with 1 – 9 players (up to 6 vampires vs. 3 hunters)
  • Original and novel game design featuring stealth multiplayer action-RPG gameplay
  • Line of sight system similar to games like THIEF (you can approach enemies undetected from behind)
  • Detailed medieval village and forest scenario with careful art design
  • Complex AI behavior with more than 100 NPCs being simultaneously active on the map
  • Crafting system (collect ingredients to craft potions)
  • Vampires can transform into different animal forms, including rat, wolf and bat

Screenshots:

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The Vampires:
Vampires need to bite and suck the blood of as much victims as possible to increase their power. At the same time, vampires need to avoid the guards and hunters as they won’t stand a chance in an open fight (at least not on lower levels). Therefore, playing as a vampire requires tactical lurking in the shadows, careful study of the environment and seeking out for a proper opportunity to strike an unprotected victim. The more blood the vampires suck, the stronger they get so that they will eventually become strong enough to defeat even the hunters.
Vampires can learn different magical spells and thus can specialize in certain directions. Important vampire core abilities are transformations into different animal forms, including bat, wolf and rat. Each form has it’s purpose, strength and weakness. For example, the bat is effective for fast escaping, invading and overcoming obstacles. However, the transformation is quite expensive and the bat is very vulnerable against archers on towers. The wolf form is well suited for travelling longer distances at higher speed and the wolf also makes a decent fighter. Though he can’t compete with a guard or hunter in 1on1, a wolf still may be effective in a group or for delivering a killing blow to a hunter that is already hurt. Then, there is the rat form which is usable for hiding and stealth tactics. In this form, the vampire can easily hide in bushes and dark corners as long as he wants and wait for the proper opportunity to strike at his target. In addition, rats won’t be automatically attacked by guards as long as they keep a certain distance. Finally, when reaching the highest levels, a vampire can learn the Overlord form which will be powerful enough to face and crush all enemies in an open battle.

Vampires also have access to a complex alchemistic crafting system that is powered by a vast array of ingredients. Some of these ingredients can be found in the forests, some are only found in the city or in crates, and some are exclusively sold by a mysterious and hard-to-find ghost merchant (sometimes he also sells some rare recipes if you are lucky). If a vampire has collected enough ingredients, he should search for a magical witch's cauldron (these are on different random locations each game) and mix up magical potions there. Potions have powerful effects, like increase of hero power, extending nighttime duration or temporary transformation into a human so guards do not spot the vampire and even open the gates for him. There is even a love potion, so a vampire can force another vampire to become a permanent ally of him (note that all vampires are rivals by default).


The Hunters:
The hunters are reckless soldiers of fortune who travelled to the city to make some fast money. Choosable vampire hunter classes include the Gunslinger, the Assassin and the Mage, while the mage can specialize in different magical disciplines like fire, frost, lightning and arcane. All the classes will feel and play quite differently.
While hunters can learn different abilities and skills, their power mostly relies on proper equipment. In order to have enough gold to buy powerful gear from the local merchants, the Hunters need to acquire gold by killing undead threats and maybe by doing other small jobs, like escorting, delivery, etc. The primary goal of the hunters is to kill all the vampires and to protect the civil residents at any cost since their deaths increase the strength of the vampires. If there are too many victims, the vampires may eventually become unstoppable for the hunters. However, if the hunters act wise and vigilant, the may be able to hold back the vampires and survive until daybreak.


Life in town - the AI system:
The core of the game is a complex AI simulation of the NPC behavior. For example, the AI system features guards holding certain positions, guards patrolling the roads, villagers running around, random events, villagers talking with each other, villagers running around in panic and alerting the guards, etc.
Moreover, there is a visibility system that checks if a vampire can be seen by an NPC. Nearly all NPCs can be unnoticeably approached from behind (with some exceptions like guards that are stationed on towers). Such backstab attacks will enable vampires to suck the blood of their victims.
I also want to include a lot of random mechanics so the game experience will be different each game. For example, guard positions can be different each game, routes are not necessarily predictable, etc. I'm also thinking about adding some dynamics as it concerns the city layout so, for example, a gate won't be open every time you play the map.
My goal is to create different and thus interesting situations from game to game, so both vampires and hunters need to stay attentive and actively react on the current situation in town.


The Voice from the Shadows:
There is a mysterious dark voice that regularly talks to the vampires. For example, the voice gives hints or comments on the vampire's last actions. Rumors are that it even plays off the vampires against each other sometimes. Maybe, this is because only one vampire can finally become the prophesied dark champion who fullfills the mission of the shadows.


End Game - Your ideas are welcome!
The first vampire who reaches a specific (high) level gains a powerful overlord form. Other vampires may try to kill him and then get the overlord form themselves. However, only one single vampire can have the overlord form at a time. The overlord form makes a vampire powerful enough to kill the baron of the lands. This is not an easy task, but it makes it possible for this vampire to win the game.

However, currently I am not fully pleased with this type of end game. So maybe you have some suggestions.
Basic requirements shall be as follows:
- If one vampire reaches the overlord level, he should have best chances to win the game
- However, it should still be possible for other vampires and maybe also the hunters to win the game
- Endgame gameplay shall be different to the normal gameplay before
- Hunters win as a team, on the vampire side, however, only one vampire is the winner

I have also some other concepts for the endgame like vampires are striving for eternal night, while hunters want to push sun rise. Anyway, I would like to have an epic battle at the end.

I’m curious what you think about this idea and I'm happy about any suggestions, ideas and other feedback.
Contents

Shadow over Blackwood (Map)

  1. Antinous

    Antinous

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    Ok. First things first : wow. Aesthetically, it's beautiful. I played it once, alone, on Reforged, and beside the Vampire form who's really low-poly next to the others models, I really enjoyed the scenery.
    Gameplay wise, since I played alone, just to quickly discover the gameplay of a Vampire, it felt a bit slow. The default MS of the Vampire form (I know the Wolf form has a higher MS) is maybe a bit too slow by default considering the size of the map. But it probably just because I was playing alone so I was basically just exploring the map.

    Little suggestions & issues :
    -When in another form (rat, wolf, bat, ...) since there are a lot of available abilities slots, it would be enjoyable to have directly access to the Vampire form without opening the spell book. (it'd just be one less hotkey, but that's what one of the first thing I thought about when I changed form for the first time)

    - The casting bar when changing form : really nice thing, but dark border, dark-blue('ish?) color of the bar, on your vampire model (I played as purple, not the brightest color, I admit) on nighttime lightning... too dark.

    - The tooltip of Bat form doesn't indicate that the transformation is temporary.

    - Probably unnecessary work to consider, but it would be nice if the icon of every ingredients inside the ingredients spell book would display the number of ingredient you have. It'd probably require to make copies of every ingredients abilities, but having to hover the icon of an ingredient to check how many you have feels... old school ? (I'm no longer used to War3 custom maps though, so I'm just being picky)

    - Using the moonstone didn't pause the ingame hour. But maybe it postpones when the day rises ? Anyway, I expected it to function like the default NE item moonstone, and it didn't, that's probably why I suspect this to be a bug.

    - At some point, I had all the ingredients for the « Elixir of Wisdom » except the Ghost Essence, but the tooltip still displayed that it could be crafted (but I couldn't craft it, as intended)

    - Dark Spawns can find themselves stuck. I think they spawned there from the beginning. One on the little island, and another one on the left, clipping with the tree foliage (I didn't took the screenshot at the best moment, sorry)
    ShoB_spawns.jpg

    - I'm not quite familiar with the new Reforged doodads models for building, so I don't know if it's a custom model or a Reforged one, but anyway, the collision near those buildings really didn't match the visual. On this screenshot for example, I could not come closer to the building, therefore not going behind the guard (but that's ok, the thing I consider an issue is what wrongfully appear to be a free space to walk on)
    ShoB_collision.jpg

    - Flying Elite Archer ?
    ShoB_flyingnpc.jpg

    - Certainly an issue only with Reforged model, but really that guard, just at the beginning of the map, hid under the lampost doodad... It may be intentional, a way to greet new players and force them to be more careful, but that guard was really tricky to spot :
    ShoB_undercover.jpg

    - Just a detail, but visually that Mushroom spawn location is weird. I still could pick it up.
    ShoB_lostshroom.jpg

    - No chat commands to change some of the camera values ?


    - - - - -
    I could not really enjoy the map because I was just testing it solo, but it really looks fun and I hope I'll have opportunities to play it with other people. For what I saw, it looks really good, and a fun map to play without any doubt. That's the kind of custom maps that I usually enjoy.
     
  2. MoCo

    MoCo

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    Enjoy and let me know what you think



    Changelog

    v1.0 beta:

    -Terrain improvements to prevent dark spawns from being unable to reach the town
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jan 10, 2020
  3. matin45

    matin45

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    I just played the map two times solo and frist I defeat, but second time I killed the general in 25 minutes. I listed something below.
    Ideas:
    1.You can improve NPC and AI
    a)People don't run. when see a decay
    b)People don't run when you suck blood of another people nearby, even with 50 range.
    c)Make guards look around sometimes.
    2.Add a cinematic for the end of game, that shows the vampire lord captured city and vampire spawns find everywhere.
    3.I think Xp gain rate of sucking blood of humans should be higher than animals.
    Questions:
    1.Where you said with killing that general game ends?
    2.Why game ends istantly?
    3.Why number of crafting places is low?
    4.How sucking blood result spawning a vampire spawn? You wrote this.

    Anyway ignoring its end, it's a good map and I think it's fun enough if play with players. However I didn't tested the hunter, but in my opinion it's Approved
    But I'm not a staff, awaiting for a staff.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2020
  4. fantocan

    fantocan

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    Very cool map and concept, tested it single very nice, just fear the timer will be a pain specially for unexperience vampires that will not make the moon crystal to add time, making that potion easier to make would be good, maybe less ingredients or a longer night or both. Oh and I never found the love potion.

    I have an End Game for you: After the Baron dies he drops the city deed and the player whom gets it turns intu acting Baron/Mayor/Prince and can feed freely on the peasants, but if another peasant see him feeding he will revolt and turn hostile. Maybe at that time hunters from other cities hearing of the rumor of the vampire lording over Blackwood would come to save it (making it playable for hunters that are now OUTCASTED by the new Prince) and the player holding the deed dies the deed drops and there can be a new prince and so on and so forth, if a hunter get it he could be a good Baron and get a free gold income as taxes.

    And for that I suppose lives system would be better as the game would have a potential to last longer with longer night and the cool chance of a vampire Prince, and the Prince getting atacked by the hunter army would need aid so he could use his Lordly powers to temporarily pardon other vampires so they also get allied to the city. But the end game is still the same when the hunters are all dead the Prince would turn on the Vampires so there would be some backstabbing going on.

    Wich would even open the possibility that the Prince not to be the Overlord, how cool would that be the overlord fighting the city forces aided by their lord, or even the Prince fighting the hunter army, two big battle scenarios there.

    Hunter army could also be a Church army like crusaders or Inquisition, or Kings army coming to save his people.

    Anyhow great map I will try to play is on Bnet, and let me know if you hosting it.
     
  5. MoCo

    MoCo

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    Thanks for the quick feedback.
    I'll try to find some time to address the points asap
     
  6. fantocan

    fantocan

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    Just played a full house, man that assassin hunter (archer) is just too op, mid game she was level 16 when the rest of us were 5, top vampire was 7, she sure snowballs the game and is just too fast plus wind walk is just impossible to beat, she sure needs some serius nerf.

    She is not just super fast but she buy net item in wolf or bat form impossible to escape.

    Also would be cool for last level of Bat form to be permanet.
     
  7. tulee

    tulee

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    Two of my favourite maps when I first started playing Wc3 were FM Vampire hunters and the 11th Vampire, so I am excited when I read this map description, especially the part about the advanced city AI. Really looking forward to playing this when I get the chance.
     
  8. fantocan

    fantocan

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    2 new bugs:

    - A vampire could not transform intu anything after he died.
    - I put a bunch of traps around the Baron when the overlord step on it he started teleporting from one trap to another, as if they were triggering mutiple times and pushing him to them in a funny tornado, but he still could atack and kill the Baron.



    Edit: Also found an exploit, when guards come atack you can pass them and feed on their back. Don't know if it was intended, cuse if well used can make vamps farm a lot of blood early and guards not a big problem anymore, I suppose it can be fixed by expanding the not feeding area to behind them, or make them impossible to feed on if in combat or something.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2020
  9. MoCo

    MoCo

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    Thanks for the good feedback. I hope that I will find time soon enough to work on the points
     
  10. fantocan

    fantocan

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    Also when one vampire kills the Baron all Vampires get the Victory message, but they should not as only one vamp should win, again back to my Make a Vampire Prince idea would solve that.
     
  11. MoCo

    MoCo

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    Thanks to you all for some nice feedback and suggestions, I hope I'll find time to push another update soon
     
  12. matin45

    matin45

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    I just tried playing as gunstlinger, I don't know why, but I fired 30-40 bullets without any reloads.
    Also, why assassin need reload? Another thing, why you changed icons of vampire hunters?
     
  13. fantocan

    fantocan

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    At one point you run out of arrows. Assassin is pretty op already, so don't try to make her more.