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The Path of Chaos Online Save/Load Multiplayer RPG

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Level 31
Jul 10, 2007

About The Team

Veteran vJASS coder that has developed many systems, opened up Lua to Warcraftt 3, and has made tutorials for basic and advanced vJASS coding.

-Project Manger and vJASS System Designer. Primarily reviews all code. Handles recruitment.
Veteran vJASS coder that has been a prominent part of thehelper.net. King has created many different systems.

-vJASS System Designer
Secretary, Recruiter
Terrainer, Writer

Different Forum
tooltiperror putting up a different forum (we will see when he finishes)
System Work
Finished Simple Spawn.

Still working on Spawn for more advanced spawning. This will allow for creep camp management among other things.

The redesign of how inventory is done will allow for a lot of new possibilities. King is in charge of this project.

Given up on AttackIndexer. Will likely do full custom combat, but to really get this going, need to figure out some math.

Planned Updates: CliffBound, SlopeSpeed

Soon to be worked on systems: terrain cell manager

Story design: Act 1 underway

Positions (be talented and must have NewGen WE (Tutorial On How To Install It)

vJASS Coders
Lua experience preferred
2D Artists
Project logos, concept art, terrain tiles (regular tiles), and tiles meant to be used with ubersplat technique (single tiles).
Model Importers
recieve requests for models and search for models that suit those needs and then import them into the map and find a suitable destructable for them (or suitable destructables). Be able to modify the destructable so that it is ready for use.
Be able to make natural nice looking terrain. Know techniques such as making a cave using rocks, water reflection, natural coast lines, natural vegetation, interior design (cell based), exterior design, and cliffs using plateus. Other knowledge may be necessary for this position. Also, be able to identify which models may be needed to get the job done.

Be sure to have a good eye for natural looking sizes. For example, the human barracks building is much too small relative to a footman. Terrainers will be in charge of scaling the overall map (from models to terrain).

Also be sured to add notes as to what areas should have what effects (dungeon traps, cinematic effects, etc).
JASS Coders
Be able to take a small map that has units laid on it, open the jass script, go to the unit creation portion, rip everything out, and then make it so all the units are created relative to an origin and wrap it in a function.

When a unit is placed on the map, a line of code is generated for creating that unit. When dungeons are created, the dungeons will be created in little mini maps (not the actual map). The main map will generate that dungeon based on a script. Changing it so that all of the units, destructables, and etc are generated relative to a position and then porting that script into the main map will make it possible for that main map to generate that dungeon.

JASS coders will also be in charge of going through all of the notes terrainers write for effects and scripting out those effects.

vJASS experience is not required for this position.
Be able to create good looking models with small sizes (~50-75kb for units and ~3-10kb for items).
Story Writers
Be able to write an outline to a good looking story with no holes in the timeline. Be elegant and in some cases, specific.

For every portion of the outline, expand on it in detail.
Use fantasy cartography software to lay out the world (profantasy, photoshop, w/e). Cartographers will look at a script and then lay it out visually. Be sure to depict interiors, cities, fields, continents, and the overall world map.

Profantasy is preferred as that allows one to link maps together (click on a city in the world map and view that city's map, click on a building in that city and view its interior). I have the software, but I am terrible with the artistic stuff (takes me forever and a half).
Final Notes
Map design will be an open forum, so everyone will be able to take part in the creative process of actually putting the map together.

Background Story

A clear glass globe floats in a white heavenly space filled with the swirling waters of time. Whales slowly trek about the seemingly endless ocean singing their songs of joy. What monstrosities can be found within these waters?

There is a council, and this council rules all the planets gathered within the water. Each planet is protected from the waters, kept dry by a bubble-like shield. Ships protected by those same features venture about the waters visiting other worlds.

At the heart of the globe is a fountain that spews out life. It is surrounded by various ghostly figures: the Daolin. In their pleasant dreams they do so keep the fountain's glittering light flowing.

Within the fountain there lies another planet: the fountain's source of fuel and it's heart. This planet knows death and hardship and war. It is locked away from the rest of the worlds and the people of the planet know nothing of the outside, nor that the outside even exists. They are ignorant, and in their ignorant ways they continue to go about their daily lives.

Nimhdu, the designer of the fountain, sought endless energy to provide happiness and protection for the people. His true motivations are sinister, seeking to become a ruler of all of the planets. Serithis, one who knew of his plans, was locked away into the world at the heart of the fountain by Nimhdu in the hopes that he would die. Before being locked away, Serithis knocked the crystal, the very core of the fountain that made its waters glitter and sparkle, into the world so that its people may some day break free.

The crystal's vast power corrupted all but the most resistant of those who dared to touch it, and so Serithis could never use the crystal himself.

One man happened to find the crystal: Heknar. Serithis appeared before him and told him of the truth, and with that truth Heknar became mad. The crystal warped and corrupted him, turning his very being into something of a monster with the power of a demi-god. War broke out on the world of Dimiourgia. The council of the worlds, seeing that the fountain could possibly stop, worked to seal away Heknar. They constructed a vast army of dragons and sent them down into Dimiourgia to combat against Heknar. Nimhdu led this army as Astors and proclaimed himself to be a god that would save the people.

The dragons beat Heknar back and destroyed his armies, but many of the dragons died in these wars. Nimhdu told the people that Serithis was an evil god that had brought war to them.

In order to fix the tarnished world, Nimhdu created a new world that would serve as the heart of the fountain and sealed the old one away into an unstable dimension. He led the people of the old world into the new and left the surviving dragons with them to act as guardians. He placed the crystal into a container and took it with him, planning to place it back at the top of the fountain.

As he rode out and as the new world was being locked from the outside, Serithis grabbed the container and threw it back down to the world so that it was again lost.

As decades passed, Heknar slowly warped the dimension he was in, twisting it and tearing it, trying to break free into the new world. He eventually created a small tear, a portal, into the northern portion of the new world. From here, he sent in his twisted armies, and these armies were to infiltrate the world and find the crystal.

Beginning Outline of Intro

Far to the north, Heknar tears into the world. This activates the crystal. Kerosh senses the crystal's power and then pushes his forces south towards the island so that he can have that power. He attacks the kingdom of Kalinor, which forces them south into the kingdom of Ashton (they attack Ashton). The king declares war on Kalinor (having no clue what is going on). Since it was a surprise attack, they put together a powerful army to beat them back (partly a conscription army). They push the attackers back into Kalinor, but when they get there they see the roaming undead and much of the cities are destroyed. Almost all of the army is wiped out and the few survivors return to the capital to notify the king what is going on.

Meanwhile, the mages in the magical academy (those who didn't go to war) feel the crystal's presence as well. Instructors and students head to the south to investigate.

About The Map

Map Features
Terrain Features
Terrain will be using gravity in order to make steep slopes harder to go up and easier to go down. This will add strategy to the game for major battles, boss fights and the like.
Melee Combat
It is still unknown whether regular warcraft 3 attacks are going to be used or a full custom combat system will be used. While a full custom combat system would be cool, it would incur a lot of overhead, thus limiting what other things could be done with the map. Regular combat would be using what is called an attack indexer, which would allow regular warcraft 3 attacks to be fully customized. Attack indexing is still be developed and it is unknown as to whether it is really feasible or not, but I think most people on the current team are really pushing for this.

For full custom combat, the Dark Invasion 2 style seemed the best. It was both simple and entertaining while adding differences between the classes.
Hero icons will be used as the potion belt and their levels will depict remaining charges on the potions.
The project will hopefully be using a spellbook based inventory system. When a spellbook B with a spell in it is added to a hero and that spellbook is disabled, the spells inside of it are added to spellbook A. However, this could cause problems with custom abilities, so this is why it is unsure whether or not this approach will be taken. Full screen inventories tend to be cumbersome, laggy, and are hard to use while in the middle of combat. A multiboard inventory would be a better option than a full screen inventory. Even though it doesn't look as cool, it is easier for players to use as they can swap items out while fighting or running around (they will be able to see what's going on).
Spell Combat
Spell casting has always been based on intelligence. We strive to make a spell casting system that is based on strategy and knowledge. For example, imagine a game of chess with 1000 different pieces that all do very different things.

As a spell is cast, different components are built and put together. Spells can be obstructed in many different ways and other spells can be cast to counter them. In this way, similar to Magic the Gathering, spell casting turns into a game of strategy and wits.

Every component is built a certain way, and it is up to the player to remember and learn every possible component, thus making them a better spellcaster.

Currently, the gameplay is still being designed as previous designs made spellcasting take much too long.
Every single bit of damage has a type associated with it, and every attack is made up of different damages. For example, an attack may be made up of both lightning and poison damage. When a unit takes damage, they resist or absorb a portion of that damage. All combat will be flowing around this, so facing different monsters or players requires different strategies.
Unique Battles
Most RPGs in general have the same types of fights. A monster comes around and does attacks and the player does attacks and the first one to lose all of their hitpoints is the loser. In this project, every monster battle should be unique, like a mini game. For example, facing a wild boar is very different from facing a bear. This will be done with an array of custom abilities that have certain strengths and weakness. For example, a charge ability might charge forward, unable to stop, but deal great amounts of damage. A sweep ability might damage the area of half a circle. It is this way, plus other factors, that will make each battle with each monster very unique. Boss battles become even more unique as there are many more factors in play, such as possible minions, traps scattered across the arena, and possible invinicibility until certain conditions are met.

It is RPG meets Platform combat.
Equipment Concept
Items are tools, and different items are better at different things.

In the case of spell casting, mana leaks whenever a spell is cast. This mana leakage makes the spell require more mana. For example, if a spell costs 5 mana and there is 95% spell leakage, then that spell would require 100 mana rather than 5.

Spell casting gear can hold a max charge of mana, but the greater the charge it can hold, the more mana it can possibly leak. The greater the charge a spell casting item can hold, the more mana it can output per second. Furthermore, spell casting items require a minimal charge to even get through it (like how a river requires a certain amount of water to move). This means that the more powerful the item, the more mana is required to even make it work in the first place. This means that if an absolute beginner level 1 character wouldn't even be able to use master level gear, it'd be useless to them.

The body by itself would allow for infinite mana instantly, but it would leak vast amounts (possibly 95% or more). Something like spell casting gloves would only hold a very tiny charge but would leak very little (possibly <1%). This means that melee caster hybrids would have to be very careful with the gear they'd use and players would have to use gear suitable to their style and their power.

Weaponry is the same way. Different weapons have different weights, and these weights coupled with strength and dexterity effect how long the cooldown takes. The skill with the weapon effects the overall damage that weapon can deal. This means a master level weapon that might be nearly weightless would little better than a beginner level weapon in the hands of a basic character.

Some weapons can intake mana (magical weapons), which is useful for hybrid classes (melee + spell casting). These weapons coupled with spell gloves allow the user to enhance their combat.
Save/Load Code
The project will be using Encoder for save/load codes so that the smallest save/load code possible can be outputed.
Dungeon Concept
By creating cells across a map, infinite dungeons can be achieved. In these cells, destructables and monsters would be placed in order to generate a dungeon on the fly. This would allow for greater amounts of content on the actual map (dungeons take up less space) as well as greater amounts of dungeons.
The entire map is underwater at the moment to provide the most natural terrain possible (slowly raise via raise terrain). No cliffs (cliff level tool) will be used. The map is 480x480.
With the use of CliffBound, we will be able to have multi-level interiors of buildings with stairs and etc. Pathing blockers won't be necessary.
Smart Imports
By only utilizing small model files, the map will have much more content (1000+ models and a map that is still <4 megs).
Level Progression
There is no real level progression. It is based entirely on the players' skills and gear. Say goodbye to the grind fest and play the map through for fun. Preparedness for a battle as well as strategy will determine the victor, not op characters.
Dynamic Crafting
Any type of item can be crafted. Objects are defined by sets of properties, so quite literally anything is possible. Every action has its own task associated with it. Nothing is done by random numbers or character skills! It's all on the player!

An item can only store a limited amount of power. Furthermore, characters must have the capabilities to create the item and the player must have the capabilities to support the character.
Crafting Magical Items
Action Abilities, or Instant Spells (1 node+catalyst) for quick spell action with melee characters and responsive spells for casters.

The Spell Scroll, which stores a crafted spell (invoke targeting an empty spell scroll), for responsive and powerful spell casting. Crafting + spell casting.

The Potion: Stores spells in a liquid state to apply their effect over time. Crafting + spell casting.

Spell living in Item (weapon, etc): Stores a spell seal into an item so that it can be instantly invoked given the user has the mana to do so. May be a constant effect, meaning that it would constantly train its cost (life? mana? endurance? etc?). Crafting + enchantment (spell casting).

Crafting may be performed by multiple characters (many crafters, many casters, etc, all specializing in various fields).
Challenging and Entertaining
Make each aspect of it both entertaining, challenging, and reflective of what it portrays (mini-game of spell casting portrays what could be considered as actual spell casting).
Mix The Player and Character Together
Many RPG games rely solely on the character, only providing simple hot keys and abilities to make gameplay easy (thus making the game more of a virtual chatroom than anything else, boring and tedious). We hope to make the game rely entirely on the player's skills. The character will allow the player to interact more and more with the world. As the character grows more powerful, the player's choices grow more varied. For example, in spell casting, a character might be able to support more complex spells as it grows stronger, but the player has to learn and master those spells. Nothing in this game is automated, everything has to be done by the player, from melee combat to casting spells to even crafting.
No More Grinding
Remove anything to do with standard leveling (from completing challenges to killing monsters to w/e). We aspire to make it so that as a player becomes more in sync with their character, their character will grow more powerful. As a character grows more powerful, it requires that the player master new things (more complex spells, etc), thus pushing both character and player together. When a player reaches new heights in their skill, they are rewarded with a more powerful character.
Progressive Story
One of the most fantastic elements to any RPG is its story. Many newgen RPGs, which try to have an open and expansive world, end up having a chaotic jumble of stories (Oblivion, and etc), resulting in what appears to be a mish-mash of mini RPGs. The goal in this is to have a central progressive story that can be manipulated/changed by the players in expansive and dynamic ways while saving their current position in the story. About the only possible way online RPGs could even begin to achieve this in the past was by segmenting the game up into acts (Diablo 2). We hope to come up with a new design that makes the world appear open and dynamic. Final Fantasy Epic RPG tried to do this by just having a central quest, but we find that design to be poor. Currently, we am still working on how to properly achieve this.
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Level 31
Jul 10, 2007
If you need terrainer MEEEE !!!! ...

I looked at some of your work and you spam a lot of grass =).

We shall see ;D. Can you whip up a quick concept of how you envision Laos or the village on the island? Just a very small tidbit (maybe 20 mins) will suffice ;D.

Someone is apparently writing background info on Laos atm (not quite sure), but given its semi unique setting, I'd like to see what you come up with =). Again, just do a really small scene (don't take too long on it at all).

If possible? you can count on me here in return =)

You... focus on your map >: O
Level 31
Jul 10, 2007
check out my latest project maybe I can terrain for you

Pretty decent except for that last scene ^)^, but I'm a noob with terraining so what do I know ;D

How would you terrain a ship? For example, being on the upper deck and being able to look out at the water as well as the sides of the ship?

I look forward to seeing what you come up with =).

You don't need to do the whole thing, if you even just show a small portion of the top as well as the sides so that the technique can be seen and the final product can be envisioned, that'll be good enough.

I'm sorry for the hassle, but I'm just making sure that everyone is able to do what will be needed to be done for the map. I'm not sure how difficult the stuff is, but I know to me a lot of the terraining that will need to be done in the map is exceedingly hard ^)^.

You should be able to clearly see the curve of the ship in the front (one thing I'm especially curious about seeing).

You can only use destructables for the ship (interiors use destructables only, and the ship would be treated as an interior ^^).
Level 31
Jul 10, 2007
First, some news.

We got dizzt doing some concept art for various characters and background story as well as cartography for Laos (perhaps concept art for it as well) and the island (perhaps more concept art ^^).

Next, I'm going to try taking a different approach with the story...

Kerosh is attacking the surrounding cities and I didn't think about using that. Perhaps refugees are coming down from the north (remember Laos is about as far south east as you can go). It is known that an island harbors a very powerful weapon, but the island is unwilling to keep it up.

So perhaps it is about stealing the crystal from the island?

I really gotta think more about this, but this sounds like it's more on the right track and is much better =).

So if people have ideas for how to launch the players into the game (I think my guild one really sucks) and for getting the players to the island and back to Laos, go for it ; O. If you do well, you are totally accepted as the lead writer ^^. I've waited like 2 weeks on this one guy to write something and I'm done waiting ;D.

So here is the pretty concrete stuff (you'll see lots of really big holes that need to be filled, this is pretty much just the setting for a story). While I try to write something, I'm going to imagine myself being in this setting so that I'd end up writing what I'd do or what I'd think a character would do =). I think that's a pretty good approach.

Perhaps the story starts even farther back than Laos. The players might be scattered across different towns/cities. Kerosh attacks the towns, so the players in those towns then head to the capital perhaps to petition the king to do something. At this time, a war council is going on and they are looking towards the island's mysterious power to battle Kerosh back.

Somehow the players end up heading down to Laos where they board a ship to an island in search of that power =P.

Really, writing is not my forte grrr.. I'm much better with settings and games (like puzzles, game mechanics, cities, history, and etc).

Towards the center of the continent is Kerosh, a lich. He controls a major area (a wasteland from his poisons and so on). Around that area is a forest of dead trees that then gives way to a regular forest. To the east of it is a village headed by a priest named Ahruman (it is near the coast).

Down south (maybe 1000-1500 miles down) is Laos.

Kerosh has been attacking the cities all around and the one with Ahruman in it is the closest (considered front line).

Farther south and east is an island. Somewhere is some sort of ancient civilization or temple and in there is a crystal on a necklace.

At some point, a village on that island comes under attack from a sea serpent, a guardian to an underwater race around that island that fell into legend. Players are around for the attack and end up in the civilization or w/e (underground), happen upon the crystal, take it with them back out, encounter the serpent again, and have the serpent run away from them.

They first head to Laos from the island, and then to Ahruman's place (don't remember the city name atm, but it's totally up for change). The city's story was originally done in a small thing called Ahruman's Crest.

Remember that Laos is a major trading city, pretty much the center of the world for commerce. Much of the city is on boats and there are two large gates, one to the north and one to the west. Towards the front are various guilds that provide services. Caravans can be seen coming in and out of the gates. Outwards are floating ship towers and many ships can be seen coming and going.

Laos is virtually a floating city of interconnected ships.

The island was the place where the crystal fell when Serithis took it back from Astors. It has been known as a place of mystery and power. Perhaps the people there are very religious?

It is very mountainous, but also has much forestation. The village itself is located on the face of a cliff.

Those are the only boundaries for the beginning thus far >.<... well, that and obviously following the background story and weaving that in =).

Only go up to the portion where the players are back in Laos after the island.
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Level 31
Jul 10, 2007
With ragingspeedhorn joining the team as a writer, we are finally starting to have a definite story being pieced together, and I will let you guys know that it is looking awesome with a sense of epicness.

Here is the start to our outline ^^

Far to the north, Heknar tears into the world. This activates the crystal. Kerosh senses the crystal's power and then pushes his forces south towards the island so that he can have that power. He attacks the kingdom of Kalinor, which forces them south into the kingdom of Ashton (they attack Ashton). The king declares war on Kalinor (having no clue what is going on). Since it was a surprise attack, they put together a powerful army to beat them back (partly a conscription army). They push the attackers back into Kalinor, but when they get there they see the roaming undead and much of the cities are destroyed. Almost all of the army is wiped out and the few survivors return to the capital to notify the king what is going on.

Meanwhile, the mages in the magical academy (those who didn't go to war) feel the crystal's presence as well. Instructors and students head to the south to investigate. On the island, they find a cave and they have to make their way through an ancient abandoned civilization filled with traps in order to get to the crystal.

When they retrieve the crystal, they get a message from the capital that there is an undead force marching upon Ashton. They are told to investigate a mythical underwater race on the island and the surviving soldiers are sent to the island to help. The mages make their way out of the civilization and meet up with the soldiers where they all head underwater. There, in the deepest depths, they find an underwater city. Guarding this city is a gigantic sea serpent, one of the ancient dragons of Astors. The crystal helped in forming this alliance.

They manage to get the underwater city to help and take the sea serpent and an army back with them to the capital. The capital is already under attack.

And this is about where we've gotten.

So at the beginning, the story branches into two things. Magical players get to go to the island to solve puzzles and etc as well as learn magic. The ranged/melee players get to go to war and come back as survivors. Later, they meet up on the island and lots of stuff happens in the underwater city.

Anyways, the story is looking a lot better with the help of ragingspeedhorn : D. This is just the outine as well, so I'm sure that when he begins writing it, it is going to get even better ^)^.

For this outline, we ended up bouncing ideas back and forth. Ragingspeedhorn would suggest something and I'd end up expanding on it and then he would expand on my idea and etc until we came to something. We're still debating about the split in the story ; D.
Level 31
Jul 10, 2007
So reworked intro even more... a lot better methinks.

Better names, better intro, better everything. Yea, I know it's not much, but the writing has been going by very slowly... draft after draft of rejected ideas, rewriting everything constantly, it has been crazy ; (.

So just putting this up to show that the project is not dead >: D.

This little rough draft outline is going to be reworked a bit obviously as some ideas in here are still rather bad, but it's still much better than the previous ones we've had =P.

Crystal initially fell, created a vast underwater crater

Ages pass, the underwater nation of Teja holds the crystal as a national artifact.


south east tip

more densely forested


goes out into rolling plains and some lightly forested areas

farther northwest

goes into more forests, harsh wasteland, scattered villages

much farther north, bit west

desert of kayamila

north east

Crystal has been asleep for ages as it was sealed. Heknar tears into the world to the far north, breaking the seal. The crystal's power can be sensed.

Caeris, being closest to the crystal's location and specializing in magic, picks up the crystal's presence at the Academy of Magical Studies almost immediately.

Kerosh, an ancient Lich Lord, also picks up the crystal's presence almost immediately.

An expedition is planned at the Magical Academy. Students are excited at the possible prospects of being taken on the team.

Verzuk and Ballamier have typically had bad relations with each other. Bellamier is a neutral nation.

Bellamier picks up the crytsal's presence a bit later.

Various groups from Bellamier head to the south to seek out the crystal.

Kerosh begins plowing his way down to the crystal's location, sending undead hordes outwards. Verzuk comes under attack. Verzuk heads east to its ally, Uea.

Uea and Verzuk pull back so as to split Kerosh's forces between the remaining Verzuk forces, Uea, Bellamier, and Caeris.

Caeris sends an envoy to Bellamier in order to attempt to make a treat with them so as to join forces against Uea and Verzuk and possibly help each other find the crystal. This is in response to Verzuk's primary forces moving east to Uea. They don't yet know of Kerosh (Kerosh has only hit Verzuk so far).

Caeris sets up a blockade directly to the north to try and block off Verzuk's and Uea's forces. Bellamier agrees to join.

Meanwhile, to the north, Heknar's forces advance on Waergon, trying to move south towards the crystal. While trying to determine the identity of the unknown forces, Waergon figures out that they are after something far to the south of them. Waergon is virtually a kingdom of fortresses scattered across harsh mountains. They block off Heknar's forces thinking of themselves as the protectors of the rest of the world. Envoys are sent from Waergon to southern kingdoms to warn them about an unknown enemy that appears to be after a powerful artifact to the south.

One envoy heads to Uea and tells them about the unknown force and how they need an artifact to defeat them. Uea and Verzuk jump at the idea that they can use this to defeat Kerosh and take over Caeris and Bellamier.

Kerosh's forces expand outwards towards Uea.

Caeris and Bellamier now know of the attack on Verzuk and realize that Kerosh must be after the crystal as well. They prepare a blockade all across Verzuk's south eastern border to try and hold Kerosh back until they can get the crystal.

Verzuk and Uea send the envoy back and begin advancing on Caeris while holding off Kerosh's forces.

On the code size, I've been upgrading security on Encoder.

Eventually, when we start really getting into more of the combat design, I'll start working on a combat system.

I'm planning to fix up Position next for the upcoming combat system as well as for a side project ; D.
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