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Mordor XP: The Demise of Dejenol April 2008 Update

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April Fools?

Only a fool would want to miss this update!

Art Changes

Over the past year or so, the art direction has generally changed. Originally, all of the item art was done in 2-D. Slowly, we moved toward using a mix of 2-D and 3-D, and now almost all of the item art is done with 3-D models. Stylistically, this doesn't seem to be a problem. The new art style undoubtedly looks better, but some of the older pieces are also dwarfed in comparison. This means that we will have to touch up on some art, while other pieces will remain untouched.

Recently, monster art has been heading in the same direction. More pictures are in 3-D than we originally expected to be. It seems that there is a wide variety of artistic style regarding monster artwork now. Some pictures remain true to the Mordor 1 style of artwork, while others diverge in a new direction. Quite honestly, we are unsure whether this is a problem or not. A major difference you will notice in monster pictures is that even monster pictures usually have backgrounds as opposed to the plain, gray background most Mordor 1 pictures have. In case you are worried about seeing some extremes, maybe you should first see what the differences look like for yourself. Here is an example:

ZBrat - something looks familiar...
Ice Demon - it looks cold!
user posted image
user posted image
Tree-like creature - a mix of the old and the new.
Bubbling Horror - a fresh look at the new!
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user posted image

Keeping in mind that monster models usually take considerably more time, creativity, and effort to create than item models do, we would like to know how the community (that means you!) feels about the wide variety of art we have presented thus far. Does it vary too much? Is it just right? Input is always appreciated.

Balance Issues

If you have been keeping up with the updates, you may know that we are trying to deal with some balance issues in the game. For instance, advancing in the early game was too difficult. This can certainly be a discouraging thought. For now, we dealt with the issue by having new characters begin with 20 hit points rather than 15 hit points. If this proves insufficient, or is too much, we will make more adjustments.

Even so, other balance issues exist. Hit point progression is still irrational. Many players essentially follow the same progression to maximize the amount of bonus hit points gained from having a high constitution. The bonus only applies to the guild's maximum level. This means that it will take more time than it really should for some fighting guilds to overtake a guild like the Nomad in hit points. For example, with a constitution of 21, a seeker does not overtake a level 30 nomad until level 56. Ninjas won't catch up till level 63 under this condition. And this is under the assumption that the nomad is not leveling up after it reaches level 30. We find this to be unreasonable, and will certainly be making some adjustments to the algorithm. Attack/defense progression will be undergoing a similar overhaul. In general, we will be working to make fighting classes more useful than they currently are in comparison to their usefulness in Mordor 1. For the most part, spell casters easily dominate over fighters in the later stages of the game, and even more so now that monster defense is properly taken into account. This certainly appears to be unfair to our fellow fighters, doesn't it? We will be sure to keep you up-do-date with changes and new additions we make to resolve the issues we have come upon.

Cleaning up the view

We are looking to insert some more 3-D- views and transparencies to the dungeon (similar to in Mordor 2). For example, falling in pits would actually show the pit; fog would actually fog up the screen rather than blot the entire screen out; quicksand wouldn't creep up on you out of nowhere. Nothing is planned for a teleporter model just yet - we don't want to completely take away the challenge of accidentally stumbling into a teleporter and finding yourself lost in panic! To get a feel for what I am talking about, take a look at what a patch of quicksand ahead of you looks like:

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Other minor quirks include a new method of displaying secret doors. If you look closely, you will see a thin outline of a secret door on a wall. It is usually difficult to spot a secret door if you are not looking for one, but it can certainly be seen. For convenience's sake, we also added a message to notify you if you have detected a secret door. Look closely:

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Interested in joining the project?

We are not looking for any positions to be filled in particular at the moment. However, it never hurts to offer help! Look in the [\"\" new recruitments thread] thread for details.

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