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"Track"

What a mysterious feature. It seems like some users have it displaying all posts they comment in as well as their addon/module uploads, but it's not doing that for me. Might as well see if a blog post at least displays in it.

Update: So it does. That's a relief... or is it?

Update 2: Upon further investigation... Well, for starters, something weird is going on with the tagging system. The website is capable of adding doppleganger tags that group items separately from the originals, and there's no way to remove them or automatically added tags. Moving on, I believe that the tracker is leaving my addons out because they're uploaded through the game, which may not have been the procedure for veteran ToME modders. Jury's still out on how comments work.

Is this thing on?

Day three... ish... of Tales on Steam, and I've somehow managed to hit 21 on a Shalore archmage (Brother Badass!) on normal adventure. He died somewhere in the middle of Dreadfell to a certain acid-scarred dwarf who bore the same initials as my character. I have now resolved to play on exploration mode to learn a bit more about the game; the first thing I learned was that it's important to ensure you actually select exploration mode as opposed to adventure when you start out with the intention of playing an exploration mode character. Rest well, Explorio Cheatymage. Apparently, this is an easy mistake to make off the back of losing a beloved level 21 Archmage to a dwarf who spent an entire turn spewing up on the tower floor before striking the fatal blow. Easy for me, at least.

But hey, live and learn!

Uncle Whippy, Shalore archmage explorer extraordinaire, has now arrived to fill up the gaping holes in my knowledge of Eyal. At the time of writing, he has died more times than any other character so far (infinite lives, see) and not entirely because I was curious about how he'd fare against certain newly-encountered bosses. No, this time I seem to have gone about the early game in a way that's just different enough to throw off my expectations of what I was just becoming used to; Uncle Whippy was last seen tearing across the countryside trying to find a *nice* dungeon after having various pieces of himself handed back to him by a large red dragon somewhere in the Daikara. I could have sworn that volcano wasn't there last time I looked.

Onwards!

Best way to Play

I find that while guides are kinda cool and a proven way to WIN the game, the best way to ENJOY the game is just to make a chaaracter and run with them, play them with your own instintcs and build them the way that appeals to you. Winning isn't the point of this game I think. Having fun is.

Record of a Noobie's Growth vol 2

So close yet so far away is the feeling after my latest final death. The character this time around wad my Level 43 Dwarf Bulwark who met final death trying to topple his first arc pride. From what I gather that means I made it 4/5 though the base campaign! With only my second character no less!

His first death was due to drowning in the lake as no bubbles spawned close to the stairway you use to enter the ruins. So in short RNG screwed but that happens in rougelike.

The next one happened in Reknor to a rare troll who some how caused my encumbrance to spike, locking me in place, while several AOEs stacked doling over 600 damage in turn. When I died it happened so suddenly I wasn't sure how it happened a first. Not sure how I could have prevented it to be honest.

The next two happened when I tried taking on the dragon vault in Vor Armory. I was an idiot for opening it in the first place seeing as I just barely survived clearing out the armory in the first place despite having 60+ cold and fire resistance. That said, even at level 35 at the time, I still felt I could take those dragons if could fight them one at a time. I withdrew and planned to try again after a few orc prides fell.

Next was in Ruins of Tennin where I was crit spiked by six Undead. Again not much could have been done to stop it.

And the last two were the Necromancer pride. After looking over I figure they were due to me having relatively low blight resistance and as soon as I entered I got swarmed by 5 necromancer and a corrupter in a large room. Should have backed out and tried a different pride. Maybe grind farportal dungeons for a few levels.

Here is his character log if youwant to take a look: https://te4.org/characters/246275/tome/19ea4ba4-eff6-4bf3-8e45-df3266bf2667

In the end I feel I did far better than I should have given my world lack of experience but I am quite happy with how things went. I will say dwarf bulwarks or borderline overpowered in normal difficulty, especially if you have high HP regen.

During the course this play through I unlocked almost all the races in the default campaign with the exception of the ghoul and the Doom elf as well as majority of the classes. I still need to unlock psychic classes but that can come later.

My next class I'm thinking about is Alchemist and probably halfling when given how much they feature in the lore

Record of a Noobie's Growth

Well I'm new to the game, and I figured the best way to keep track of my development as a player is to record and dissect my play sessions when my characters invariably die permanently. After about 10 hours of play it finally happened and my Cornac Berserker ran out of lives. I ended up dying

two or three times in the Maze, as I didn't expect the difficulty spike when I started to enter IV 5 dungeons and got swarmed. I chalk this one up to suboptimal play, and not knowing what infusions I had equipped or not. As it seemed that every time I tried using it it said please replace an old one and I couldn't tell what the old one was.

I also died twice to a random raiding party on the world map. Not much to say about this really other than to say I wasn't high enough level up or or well-equipped enough to deal with them. I'll try better to avoid them in the future.

And the last death came from multiple randbosses spawning from a chest and being caught in a cave in as I was running Sand Worm Nest. I think I didn't use my infusions well enough and my teleport room didn't work as well as I'd like.

Despite all this I feel I did fairly good for a new player and unlocked the transmogrification chest my first playthough as well as the Arena. So I'm happy with my progress so far.

I think my next character will be a dwarf bulwark

Here's a link to that characters data if anyone wants to look over my build and give me critiques on it: https://te4.org/characters/246275/tome/054fef0a-a997-41bd-a9d6-4d2bcd3a81ca

Thank you for taking the time to read an idiot new players Blog

Happy B'day ToME

ToME's birthday. 9 years old. Happy B'day ToME.

Congratulation

I got the word while I was playing my first character that made it to lvl 50 in
adventure mode. I got the Badass talent and went to work. I was in Erdis out in the
sand. I'd been here before in Explore mode, but I didn't find the Sun Paladin and
didn't want to use a Far Portal blind.

This time, I did though and got the word. Off to the Charred Scar for the first
time. The Pallies there said "don't worry about us - run and stop'm". But me, being
a 50 lvl cursed - I see a stack of 12 orcs and I think, good warm up. I jump the
pally wall w/ a Blindside and clean'm up proper.

Actually, I just didn't pay attention to the text and I thought you were supposed to
go North. Really.

Once I got headed in the right direction, all that Fire Resist from the Planar
Beacon came in handy. I had no idea I was under a timer, but the whole point of this
character's run, for me, was to hate play the game and this little section was just
perfect. I got totally absorbed in bashing through wave after wave. Gradually, I
worked out how and when to use the Badass talent in my rotation. Then, I started to
experiment w/ how to get the most out of it. Or to see if a spree would extend it.

All this made the run through CS, quite pleasant, but all good things must come to
an end and at the last plank, I carefully step through the rocks to see...

An aside...

I am new. I had just reached the 'end' w/ a 'zerk in explore and massssively rage
quit due to the 'end' room's being impossible. at the very moment I stepped through
those rocks, I was aware of ...

having a good time
there's a boss fight coming
be careful

... and I step through to see two figure which I quickly inspect and see who they are
and immediately out of my mouth...

NOT THOSE TWO D!**H*L3S!

I was not ready to ruin this experience. I stopped right there. I had to think about
this for a while. I finally decided to go to the wiki and read about the Charred
Scar. Thus assured, I returned and proceeded to fight their Guardian. As the fight
wore down, with a Slash and a Frenzy ready to finish it. I hit badass.

Slash.
Frenzy.
Bad Ass 100 creature achievement unlocked !

I kid you not. Perfect timing. Some much win. Thanks for this experience, dg.

Happy Birthday ToME.
Much love.

Today is the 9th Anniversary of Tales of Maj'Eyal first line of code!

So today, not sure why, I was looking at the very first commit on the game's code and it turns out it was done on the 17th November 2009! Making the code exactly 9 years old today!

So I thought I'd make a little retrospective of how things where at the very beginning at the 1 day, 1 week, 1 month, 6 months and 1 year marks. This way you can see how things started, including some screenshots of stuff I'm probably the only one to ever have seen ;)

Oh and if you log ingame this week, you will get a little special celebration event! Yayz!

For each step we will also count the number of files and lines of code of the game (for simplicity of counting this includes libraries too, this is mostly important for the C code).

But first, a little anecdote of how the game came into being.

Tales of Maj'Eyal was born as Tales of Middle Earth 4, set in a Tolkien setting. It was meant as the successor of my old game aptly named .. Tales of Middle Earth 2 (and the aborted 3), itself being the evolution of Tales of Middle Earth 1 and Pernangband, which was started a long time ago in 1998.

After Tales of Middle Earth 3 had mostly failed due to trying to make old non adaptable code into something new I stopped doing anything with it for a few years. Before that however Tales of Middle Earth 2 was a well known game in the, then way smaller, roguelike community. So a few years had gone by but I kinda always felt guilty to abandon my players, but I just couldn't force myself to work with such old inflexible code anymore where every new feature felt more like a struggle than a joy to add.

Then, in the middle of November 2009, I caught a bad case of the flu, I was forced to stay home for a week and well, felt like crap, sweating and being in pain in my bed for no reason. But I simply can not stay put and do nothing, I don't work this way and thus I decided that given I'd feel like crap, I could also feel like crap on my computer and work on something. All the guilt I felt of abandoning my old players, and the fact that no roguelike at that time gave me an acceptable pure spellcaster experience, made me decide that I wanted to start on Tales of Middle Earth 4, but on my own term, on my own code, starting from nothing and building from there.

I spent some hours thinking of how I'd like the main structures of the game & engine to work and articulate and then started coding it. This is probably one of my proudest code moments because the structure I devised back then handled the test of time very well and is still today the foundation of Tales of Maj'Eyal and still feels adapted to whatever new strange ideas I have for the game.

So without further ado, let's have a quick look at the first commit!

First Commit
Stats: 4 lua files totaling 104 lines and 105 C/C++ files totaling 42822 lines.

The first ever commit saw the introduction of a very (very) basic map and entities code on the Lua side, and very basic SDL display & keyboard code on the C side. There was no yet any concept of modules, but a commented line in the lua engine code shows they were planned from the starts, as it says 'dofile("/game/modules/tome/")'.

First Day

Stats: 8 lua files totaling 237 lines and 103 C/C++ files totaling 42627 lines.

On the last commit of the first day, the modules system was now working. All game tests, map example, ... were done in the "tome" module, split from the engine.
The number of lua files, and lines, had more than doubled already and was showing no signs of slowing down as you will see in the next time mark.

First Week

Stats: 53 lua files totaling 4660 lines and 137 C/C++ files totaling 47997 lines.

By the one week mark, most of the important engine's structures which still exist today, identical but much enhanced, was in place and working. This also saw the beginnings of an UI layer as seen in the screenshot with the tooltip and basic combat log. The engine also saw many additions, map generators, specialization of entities into actors and grids and so on.

The tome module was also starting to show signs of a structure that is still used to this day. with zones split into their own folders and so on.

Oh and please, delight your eyes at the magnificent player tile I drew myself! Such art, much talent! ;)

First Month

Stats: 116 lua files totaling 11413 lines and 156 C/C++ files totaling 52296 lines.

The magnificent player tile is obviously still present! But a lot of things have changed or evolved, too many to list them all but let's have a look at a few of them.

On the engine side the two biggest additions, because of how far reaching they are, are the serialization code and the temporary values code.

Every single object in memory gained this capability which for non-coders can be explained as being able to generate some text that represent the object in memory. Using this important feature the engine could now "dump" it's memory into a file and reload it later, effectively giving savefiles. And what's important about those is that they would automagically record any change to anything without me having to plan for them to save. This is extremely freeing on the design side and helped a lot to get wild with things later on.

The temporary values code of entities is a bit technical too but basically, imagine that any actor/grid/object/... has a whole bunch of properties (color, weight, price, damage, life, whatever). This system allows any part of the code to tell an entity "ok now you add X to the value of this property of this object". This is rather easy and basically just adding two numbers; but the other side of the system is that later on the code can say "ok now revert *this specific change* and not the rest". Effectively the engine remembers every change to every property of every entity and thus is later able to revert them individually. This is heavily used by all talents and timed effects code (and much more). For example, every single time you use a regeneration infusion in game, this system is used.

On the side of that the engine also saw the addition of other important systems like multiple, switchable, map generators, the further specialization of entities into objects, and thus an inventory system, the ability to have either turn-based or realtime game modules, and the talents/timed effects code.

Six Months

Stats: 461 lua files totaling 50739 lines and 238 C/C++ files totaling 82574 lines.

While up to the first month all I had to fight "ingame" were dragons of death, the next months would see the addition of actual playable game data. The screenshot even starts to look like a game at that point. On it the most notable thing we can see is the addition of a tileset instead of using ASCII tiles. But this is not all at all!

The engine started to support sounds and musics, the switch to LuaJIT code for more speed, the support for customizable options and keybinds. It also saw the birth of the "boot" module. This is what you see when you start the game: the main menu where you can set options, start a new character, load one, and so on. This is actually a game module like any other!

It is also the first time the number of lua files (but not the number of lines) passed the number of C files, good times!

On the game side there was much progress made, and could be recognizable by players today (even though the game had not yet transitioned to its own setting yet). It had multiple playable zones, many objects and NPCs, a whole bunch of classes (the wilders being the latest added at the time) and even some quests working.
Also for fun, notice how on the screenshot there is a potion of lesser healing listed. Yes at this time the inscriptions system didn't exist yet.

Somewhere along the line the first alpha was sent to some of my old players and later on public beta started.

First Year

Stats: 1283 lua files totaling 138612 lines and 278 C/C++ files totaling 132743 lines.

Potions are gone! Inscriptions are in! Yes, one of the very important ToME system was never planned to exist; it only came into being when a player suggested it'd work better than spam quaffing potions like other games did. And it did work so much better.

Oh yeah an other thing that is gone: the Tolkien setting! Replaced by my own custom one. While I really love Tolkien's work it wasn't fitting anymore for the wild stuff I wanted to do. Also I had been bitten by a C&D letter long ago with Pernangband and I didn't really want to repeat the experience. And doing my own setting was liberating! "Eyalverse" is my baby now, the more stories and facts I write for it, the more ideas I get! It is both great and frightening because I can easily see myself adding new stuff to it in 20 years ;)

Aside from that the game was now really starting to feel like an actual big game with many zones, quests, classes, races and so on. Lore notes started to appear, providing insight into the past of the game's universe, or npc's motivations, or simply random fun bits like the minions of The Master writing poems to his glory!
Oh and it could be won, which is kinda important too ;)

Some of the whacky classes were already in, like the chronomancers. Funny thing about them too: remember the serialization code I talked about much earlier that is used to make savefiles? This is also the very basis of time spells that let you go back to the past! And that cool See the Threads spell were you can live three different timelines and choose your best? Yup that too! When you do choose at the end, you actually have 3 copies of the game world inside the game!

The engine received even more additions, to AI and pathing (distance maps, A*), to map generation and so on and so forth. But the two huge additions are most certainly the switch of the whole graphical stack using OpenGL directly instead of SDL and the addition of a particles system to display spell effects.

The first online features also started to appear, namely the saving of your unlocks, achievements, .. online. There wasn't yet any ingame chat or character's sheet upload though.

This is also the first time that there are more lua code lines than C code lines. And you have to understand that the C lines include many third parties libraries I use while the lua code have very little, so that's a whole bunch of custom lua code ;)

Nowadays

Stats: 2467 lua files totaling 382106 lines and 466 C/C++ files totaling 230310 lines.

And finally this brings us to today, as you can see the lua files and line count has the C side thoroughly beat and this is not including any official addon or expansions. If those were to be used the counter would skyrocket!

I will not even try to list all the changes that happened in 8 years, there are far too many but it's been a wild ride, full of joy and sometimes annoying bugs. What's more, and best, about it is that I have not been alone for this amazing ride, I've always had the support of a great community and out of it along the years many individuals have stepped forward and gave their time and energy to contribute many important stuff to the code. I can not list them all here (they are in the credits in any case) but they, and all players, have my thanks!

As for the future? Well, as long as players keep loving the game and getting even more friends to play I'll happily keep developing it. If one thing is certain is that I do not lack ideas about new stories to tell in the "Eyalverse", only time is lacking! So watch out for a huge 1.6 patch coming to you! Also know that the next expansion is already being work on and will focus on stuff that happens on Eyal at the same time as the main campaign but... elsewhere.
Hell there may even be some new cool stuff coming to Embers of Rage... did anybody say new class? No ? Oh I thought so..

But for now I feel like I've written more than enough and if you managed to read it all and not get utterly bored, I thank you and will see you soon!

Have fun in Eyal!

Notice: All characters services are back online!

My minions!

The update, while it took a bit longer than planned, is now up and running. Actually it's been running for a few hours now :)

Have fun deaths in Eyal!

Notice: All characters services are on readonly mode for a few hours

Heya minions!

Starting now and for at least a couple hours, all characters services are switched to read-only mode. This means the profile server is still up and running along with the chat, but no charsheet will update, no new characters will register online.

I'm updating the underlying data structure and converting a bunch of things to make things faster in the future, so hang on tight!

You can play the game just fine though don't worry, but if you have an inbound winner that you'd like to make sure will register, better to wait for the notice that all is back up as normal.

Have fun while I work relentlessly for your enjoyment! ;)

About the "contact" with other players

I received a mail that said some player has sent me a message via my contact form. And just to understand what he tried to say (it didnt make sense to me) I texted them back with the box "send yourself a copy" checked but nothing came. I cant see the messages anywhere either. I dont mind getting messages tho dont get me wrong. I just wanna know if I was able to send one.

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