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Messages - EmperorSteele

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1
Completely unrelated / City of Heroes
« on: 2019-04-19 02:02:21 »
So, just wanted everyone's thoughts here on something going on in another corner of the gaming world.

The MMO "City of Heroes" was shut down by it's publisher, NCSoft (based in South Korea) several years ago, suddenly and with little notice. For ~6 years, the dwindling fanbase has been trying to get the game back in one form or another. Efforts to buy the IP failed miserably, and anyone involved forced to sign NDAs so we have no idea what really went on. Some people managed to use the local game files to set up a "chat room" using the game as an interface. No powers or bad guys or missions, but it's nice. Another team is working on their own server code, using the game assets to essentially play a "new" game. And then there's roughly 3 or 4 "teams" working on making amateur MMOs with a super hero theme (referred to as "successor" projects). So clearly, there's a lot of passion about the game.

Amidst all this difficulty and minor crumbs of content and updates, a bombshell dropped just the other day: One of the "pillars of the community", who also worked on two the aforementioned projects, actually had a fully-working server going this whole time! It was private, invite-only, and had a fight-club style rule that basically said if you discussed the server anywhere outside, you're banned. And so for years, a few hundred (to maybe a couple thousand) people manged to keep quiet that they all got to play a game that the rest of the fanbase was sorely missing. A lot of dirty laundry came to light, especially the fact that this pillar was apparently given everything needed to run the game, including everyone's character data, by... well, an inside source.

After a few days of the fanbase being REALLY angry and upset (and more than one person sending death threats unfortunately), the pillar has been slowly dumping the source code and assets to the (rest of the) community so that the more tech-savvy among us can make our own servers. It's been a roller-coaster couple of days!

I feel there's some parallels to our community here. FF7 modding has gone pretty smoothly, but only after Qhimm took great efforts to keep things clean and quiet as possible, seeing as Square was infamous for shutting down mods of its other games (Like a Chrono Cross remake, iirc). For the City of Heroes drama, that was far from the first (or last) MMO NCSoft shut down, and they were/are infamous for sending C&D notices to people making servers for their (dead) games, particularly a project called "Infinite Rasa", which was to be a server for the long-dead Tabula Rasa, which had been down for 4 years at that point. Where the parallels diverge is that, this community is semi-famous now, and I haven't heard of any attempts by Square to shut things here down, despite the publicity that the mods here receive (The FF7 page on steam? Just articles about the mods available. And heck, their latest FF7 PC releases are essentially using code developed by users here, iirc). Meanwhile, the CoH server would probably still be a secret if it hadn't been for a single whistle-blower, but we're uncertain what the future holds, as it's not a matter of WHAT NCSoft will try to do, but when and how.

There are a lot of details I haven't discussed here, because this alone is a lot to unpack. I feel like I need a semi-outside view on all this, and I figured my favorite community of gamers, programmers, and reverse engineers would be a good place to get some opinions on all that's going on =) I will, of course, fill in any details that I'm aware of if needed (some possibly by PM if a question requires a specific answer. Again, there are some legal issues involved here).

But yeah, thoughts and opinions, let's have it!

2
I think maybe he just had too much HP. It took forever for him to power up to 100% (I'm assuming a 7k hit is his full power, anyway...), and if he's that strong, he should be like, 1 or 2 hits away from death. But after screwing around with a cheat program, I saw that he still had around 50k left at that point. Yikes!

Also, the final Guard Scorpion fight in Corel? Auto-killing anyone you give a Pheonix Down to is just mean! I don't have W-Item yet and I don't keep Life 2 on each party member so I was kinda screwed there a few times, too.

I'm only complaining because you've said the intent of the mod was to be able to build your party in any way and still be able to power through. Well, I must have stumbled across the worst possible build and Materia combinations because DAMN am I having way too hard of a time with a lot of this stuff! Still enjoying it, though!

[EDIT] Did the "Dark Cave" side-quest, which was SUPER fun! But, I don't know if it properly finished, though? Dio is acting like I still have to go do it. Also, there were two ways out (and they both had 2 exit arrows with "Assist" on), but they both seem to lead back to the same place outside, and I can't go back in. Did I maybe do something wrong?

3
So, hey. If you're still looking at game balance stuff...

The big red dude in the northern crater? Who's name I didn't get because he can't be SENSE'd? The one who looks like a black cape at first and is encountered at the end of one of the paths before you reach the very bottom? Too hard. I spent almost a HALF HOUR fighting him before he decided to start dealing over 7,000 damage per hit. For the record, my guys are level 80-something and only have about 5-6k HP each. I couldn't keep barriers and healing up long enough to stay alive at the end. Even with him slow'd and my guys hasted. Real pain in the ass that he held on for that long and still just gets stronger. plz nerf.

[EDIT] and oh yeah, he wasn't there before, but now there's an "Ex shinra trooper" at the cave but he looks like Cid. Wrong model, maybe?

4
my pc is OOC currently so i cant check the scene, but if i recall correctly is a rare drop/steal. Equip theives gloves to increase your chances. If I recall correctly the enemies with weapons have a common steal/ morph weapon, and a rare steal/drop weapon. I do know that you can get both in 1 encounter though.

Thieve's gloves? I've never seen that. Where/when does one acquire this item? (It if's after the Huge/Mega Materia quest, just say as much so I don't get too spoiled =) )

5
So, question/minor problem:

In the documentation folder, it has a list of all the available e-skills. It says that Mu use/give L5 Suicide. Except they don't seem to use it. They use something called "Quarry Fuse", which DOES end up in the e-skill list (but isn't mentioned in the text file). But this leaves me with a problem: Chocobuckle can only be attained using L5 Suicide. This new ability doens't seem to work for that purpose, and I seem unable to Manipulate a Mu to look at its ability list.

Also, the Midgar Zolem is using Beta, not this "Alpha" ability that's listed, which I seem unable to find anywhere. Again, I cannot manipulate him to see what he's got.

Any hits on how to fill out my E-Skill materia?

And oh yeah: I've seen some mentions of an "Arrange" mode. What is that? I can't find anything about it in the documentation =/

6

Work Glove is responsible, it has a unique damage formula (same with all the Ancient/Joke weapons like Nail Bat, Rocket Punch, Mop, etc.) that uses character kills to modify damage dealt rather than the standard physical formula. While this is handy for Morphing as it avoids the penalty, it isn't made clear in-game and I'm going to be changing these at some point. Sorry for the confusion.


Ah! That explains it, then. Cool, thanks!

7
So hey, I noticed something which I have to question (maybe its the game itself and not the mod, but...)

Anyway, Cloud, Barret and Tifa are all level 51, and while farming for X-Potions against Hungrys, their damage output seemed... odd. Here are the relevant stats:

Cloud: STR 133, ATK 170, EQUIP Organics. Damage: 732-770
Barret: STR 95, ATK 131, EQUIP Chainsaw. Damage 480-516
Tifa: STR 122, ATK 172, EQUIP Work Glove. Damage 514-535

Tifa's STR is 11 less than Cloud, her ATK is 2 MORE, and yet her damage output is barely any higher than Barret, who's attack stats are pretty lousy. Why/how is Cloud doing more than 200 damage than the other two?

8
Oh, and I -think- there's an omission in the steal/morph/drop spreadsheet: The commanders in the Fort Condor battle should you choose to fight them! Also, the Guard Scorpion @ Mt Nibel doesn't seem to be listed, either.

9
Ahh, ok, that explains why when I opened with Shiva, Jenova didn't even get her spawns out before she went down! The other stuff I had kinda figured out, but I wasn't 100% sure if it worked like that!

Non game-play question: When the party reaches Coasta Del Sol, there's a cutscene where Rufus and Hediegyahaha are supposed to leave the boat, and Rufus gets on a helicopter. But in the mod, they both get off the helicopter (?) and then Rufus gets back on. Is there a reason this was changed (other than Heidegyahaha being in position to toss the Shinra Manager off screen XD)?

And possible bug: When first visiting the Gold Saucer, if you go to the roller coaster ride where you meet Dio for the first time, the "chase" music plays instead of the normal GS theme. I know the music plays there when you're chasing Cait Sith around later on, but maybe look into that?

And finally, part of my previous issue was that I wasn't using the level-up sources! Like, I would see "Check SP" when at a save point, but I didn't know how to spend the points. I thought I had to back-track to the cave, but when that didn't do anything, I had to double-check the documentation which DOES say there's an option in the Save-Point interface, but I never saw it. It was THERE, i just... never looked UP >_<  Perhaps as a possible QoL thing, have the option to "Spend SP" underneath "Check SP"? Also, when I did that, it did Cait 3 times, is that normal?

10
Dammit, I had to ask -_-

11
Yeah, I actually leveled up some more, went in with all limits charged, made sure I had her weaknesses tied into my weapons and just wailed on her. It worked =)

Oh, but before i get too far: Does she morph into anything?

12
You may have hit one of the level soft caps (these occur every 10 levels or so, at lv.21, lv.31, and so on). This helps prevent overleveling early on in the game as some players like to look for new randoms and do what's available. Enemies give exponentially increasing exp and ap as you progress through each area, and bosses should help push through the soft caps.

Yeah, I noticed the cargo ship enemies giving a ton of XP (though I did have the EXP Materia equipped), though they're also nearly boss-level fights in their own right (4-6 hits to take out a single character, all while waylaying the party with sleep, silence and petrify, yikes!). Jenova TPK'd me in like 2 turns, so now I'm spending 3+ hours at this point just grinding in the cargo area. I don't know if that was your intention or not, but I feel like if you're going to stop people from leveling at level 21 before they get on the boat, maybe don't make Jenova capable of killing a nearly level 30 party (took her 4 turns this time =P)? Otherwise they just have to grind to 30+, which is like, the exact opposite point of the mod I thought?

Though i DO thank you for allowing non-active party members to keep pace with Cloud! I was worried I'd have to keep swapping people =)

13
Yeah, I can confirm, I got the Yuffie scene (and was laughing my ass off!), and it seemed to work perfectly. But now I wish I could always have all my party members fighting at once!

Though I have a concern: The enemies on the world map in the Midgar-to-Farm area: They are a bit challenging, but don't give much XP. Is this to discourage xp-farming?

Also, not letting the Zolom "Beta" me for an early e-skill? That's mean! He kept kicking me out of the swamp... then got tired of my strawberries when I tried to cross the swamp on foot and ate my party. This mod is hilarious, and I congratulate everyone involved!

14
So hey, finally downloaded and installed this mod, and I just gotta say, great work so far, but... who's the goofball who made Aries' line at the pipe "THESE guy is sick?!"XD

15
Graphical Modding / Re: [WIP]Motorball
« on: 2013-07-26 06:54:28 »
This looks great so far! Keep up the good work!

16
. . .

What... the HECK is he doing with that sword handle?! XD

17
OWA is "lb2" (for Last Boss 2), and yes, it has words.

And playing it in VLC, it stops just as the chorus is chanting "Sephiroth", and like I said the run time seems too short by a couple minutes.

I noticed in the changelog that the author removed "lb2_awe" in the latest version... perhaps the files are linked in some way?

18
The title pretty much sums up my question.

I ask, because for all the work that's been done around here, and for all the things we're trying to do or haven't been able to do yet, perhaps there are others who've progressed in those areas and we just don't know about it?

I realize we're fairly international here, but it's hard for me to imagine that this is the -only- site working on the game. Granted, Squeenix is openly hostile towards modification, and it's a lot easier for them to shut down sites closer to home if ever there were any... but still. Has there been any effort to find other such communities and sites, perhaps to spread the workload a bit? Or are we truly alone in this endeavor?

19
Hey, in regards o the last line of the OP, are we sure that the music "loops seamlessly"? Because I played a few tracks in VLC and some of them loop terribly. "One Winged Angel" ends in the middle of the word "Sephiroth" (about 4 minutes in, even though the full track is supposed to be around 6 minutes) and goes back to the start. Or does the game take care of looping?

20
I'm just wondering how this got discovered. The poor dude must have not saved at ALL between Junon (or wherever he found Yuffie) and Diamond Weapon (or whichever scripted battle this occurred in)

My best guess would be something along the lines of the "fatal battle"s coding still being in RAM conflicting with the script that runs after the "mystery ninja" battle, IE the field screen where you get to talk to Yuffie. Though how that translates into the script looping and/or allowing you to turn into different objects is beyond me.

21
General discussion / FF7-Universe news
« on: 2009-11-18 01:18:35 »
Hey guys 'n' gals!

I was a semi-regular way back when. I see a couple familiar faces, and a lot of new ones. Good to see FF7-modding is still alive and well =)

Anyway, as the webmaster of ff7-universe(.com), which kinda-sorta used to be a depository for mods and faqs and has been linked around here a few times, I feel obligated to tell anyone who's interested that the site will be closing its virtual doors soon. I haven't touched it in almost two years, have no plans to do so, and will be canceling future payment to my webhost.

I say this for one main reason: if there's anything off of there that anyone still needs (like 0.6 of the NPC restoration project, the high-res patch, or any other patches/mods/FaQs i have on there) they should grab them and/or change any links NOW. The site will continue to be up until sometime in December or January, but I wanted to give a heads up.

As a related aside, if anyone wants ownership of the URL before that too, expires, and knows how we could transfer it, let me know.

Either that or convince me to keep it open, w/e. At this point, I only care because I don't want people linking to it, then have some porn site grab the URL and suddenly someone looking for game info gets a face full of squick. I'd feel bad.

22
General discussion / Re: STICKY: FF7 Customising
« on: 2008-06-28 04:19:55 »
..well, shizznit.

Now it's working FINE.

It's down for over a week, i go through all the channels to get it back, that fails, so I declare it's down... and it comes back.

Goddammit, i hate my host =P

23
General discussion / Re: STICKY: FF7 Customising
« on: 2008-06-25 20:13:01 »
Hey guys, just a head's up:

My site (ff7-universe) is down indefinitely.. my host is being unreliable.  If anyone has wiki access, please remove/replace any and all links leading to ff7-u.

This has probably been going on for a while, but i was just made aware of it recently. =(

24
Archive / Re: IDEA! Turks patch!
« on: 2007-11-19 03:45:45 »
...when the f*** did i post this?  Was I drunk or stoned or something?

[edit] oh god 2004?  Thread necromancy wtf?!

25
Have you guys tried cranking up AA and AF in your video card's control panel?  How about turning them off?  Playing with other quality/performance settings?

All I know is my FF7 works great... without grid lines.  *shrugs*

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