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Report RSS Aaaaaaaand, I'm Back

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I'm back in the USA, and have internet again--God bless broadband.

This means I'm also back to work on le Mods, but for now here's an update on all things Underlord related:

The guys over at Strategy Informer decided to be awesome and host Underlord 1.2 over in their hood. Check it out here: Strategyinformer.com

Secret Place Contest
2 of the secret places have been discovered, and first places have been awarded.
Zero_X was first on the Blood Cave
Galefury was first on the Dark Forest

Congrats to both players.

The contest remains open as no one has discovered the entrance to Duister. But don't kick yourself if you don't find the entrance anytime soon. It's not obvious, or intuitive. If you're new to Titan Quest, it may be easier for you to find it if you consult a wiser friend who's been in the game from the beginning--maybe they can shed sun light on the mystery.

I've also decided to leave the contest open until someone finds Duister, whenever that may be. Remember, you must send me a screenshot of the entrance to Duister (munderbunny@gmail.com).


Underlord 1.3 Patch

The next patch may arrive sooner than you expect, but it will primarily be a bugfix patch. I've already updated the buglist post Jiaco started in the news section of the Underlord Page (modpages don't have their own blogs). Most of those bugs will be fixed in 1.3. The map bugs will be held over for 1.4, which will likely come out in January. The reason for the delay on those is the map bugs require a lot of map editor usage which is taxing for my laptop (won't be back to my home until January 4th), and creates a large patch file (+250MB). So, I would rather try and accumulate more map-related fixes before I dump another huge update on players. 1.4 will also feature some balancing changes, and a possible addition or two (depending--more info to come later).

The list of hold-overs is:

  • Anapaest appear in crystal ante-chamber in non-Uber
  • East-most section of Sanctuary reveals unfinished end of map.
  • Boss Supremacy showing in Normal where Epic/Legendary-only bosses appear.
  • Pathing through impassible areas at entrance to hades palace.
  • Chest in ToEL gives legendary equipment in normal difficulty.
Almost all others are easy fixes and will result in a very small patch file. I have yet to consult Yerkyerk about a 1.3 patch installer, but for sure there will be a manual 1.3 patch file, as well as a full Underlord 1.3 manual install package for players who were unable to get the installer to work correctly.

What won't be changed:

Difficulty - the difficulty will not be further reduced. While I know there are newer players to Titan Quest, even today, the mod was developed for players like me, who've already played through TQIT a few times, have played other mods, etc.. While the game may seem balanced your first time through Act I, it is ultimately far too easy. I also won't be scaling up the difficulty to Uber levels, though if you want an Uber preview, just find the Blood Cave. ^^

As malroth said on TQNet:

malroth wrote: These are horrible unholy spawn that are destroying and ravaging everything before them while the people see no possibility of hope. If you want to have any hope of victory over them you have to be smarter than these things that run faster, hit harder and outnumber you. Standing still and trading blows is a tactic which is doomed to failure even from its conception. Strike where they are weakest, escape before they can retaliate. Poisons, chokepoints, reinforcements, terrain advantages, traps, confusing your enemies, returning after healing yourself, use your opponents resorces to your own advantage, strike multiple enemies at once, these are basic tactics that must be mastered when facing a superior force and a failure to learn them will only doom yourself and the people of greece to a horrible death.


With regard to the secret areas, I know a few players are finding them too difficult. If you are dying a lot, go level up and come back later. One thing I debated with Yerky early on was closing the Blood Cave after you entered, so after your first death you would find the entrance blocked off, and wouldn't be able to even teleport back in with a friend in there. In order to get the door open again, you'd have to either beat Typhon, or find the Underlord (never decided). The idea was prevent impatient players, or newer players from trying to battle through it when they weren't ready. I saw this happen a lot with Uber, where players new to TQ would log 60 deaths trying to get out of Helos. I decided not to in the end, since even good players will die at least 2-3 times as they learn the new monsters and how to counter them. And, I knew I would get endless complaints. So, instead I decided against health fountains. It worked well with the original Secret Place, since it was such a long run back that after a few deaths you would give up and return later. The monsters are balanced to be roughly a little more difficult stat-wise as monsters in the surrounding area (tigermen, dragonians, etc.), but are obviously tougher for their skills and combinations. I obviously can't be responsible for how you play, but in general you shouldn't die more than say 5 times. If you haven't even gotten through the Blood Cave and you've logged 5 deaths, you're not ready for it. Be aware it's not part of the main-quest and will not impede your progress; you CAN come back to it later, though it's a bit of a hike. ;) In 1.4 I will be adding a portal to return you to the main path after beating Leinth, and I will be looking at a way to get players out of the Temple without them having to go back so far (right now it sucks).

For those who are unsure if they're ready, here's a little Secret Place primer:

Blood Cave -
Level 35-40.
Can teleport into.
Respawn fountain at entrance.
If you're struggling, go beat Typhon first and get some better gear. Stay away from the river unless you're ready to cross. Only creatures can trigger the bulging vessles. You will need to figure out a way to deal with them to cross the second bridge; face-planting over and over again is a fail-plan.

Temple of Eternal Love
Level 35-40
Can teleport into.
Respawn fountain at entrance.
You will face a multitude of physical attacks here significant enough that armor and shields will be necessary to get through. If you're struggling too much here, just let it go; port out and go level.

Sanctuary of the Bloodborne
Level 40+
Cannot teleport into.
No respawn fountain.
This is a ridiculously long gauntlet of champion Blood Cult. Much like the secret passage, dying far along means a long-ass run back to where you were. This isn't an accident. It will take more than just good gear as well; you will have to use positioning and baiting to make it through without dying. If you struggled to get here, don't even bother trying for at least another 4-5 levels.

Dark Forest, 800x600, Source of all Suffering
Level 45-50
Cannot teleport into.
No respawn fountain.
For reasons obvious to those who've found it, you cannot port in or out of the Dark Forest. This is not an accident. That being said, with great risk comes great reward.

Duister
Level 1+
Can teleport into.
:D

Uber

After the 1.3 patch, I'm going to create an Uber patch for Underlord. I will only be making Uber 1.1 for Underlord, though I will release the working files at the same time. Expect this soon--very shortly after 1.3 release. I'd like to get it into players hands as soon as possible as I'd like to update it after feedback in January when I release the larger patch for Underlord 1.4--balancing is a little trickier with Uber over Underlord, as Uber 1.0 was originally scaled based on vanilla TQ balance.

I'll create a separate modpage for Uber as I have done for Underlord.

Other Mod Integration

Because Underlord is a game patch, other mods can be run on top of it. And, if a mod has a record conflict with Underlord, a simple database patch is all it takes to create a compatible version of the mod, meaning instead of having to download 2gigs of Lilith again just to play with Underlord changes, you can download a 20mb file.

Jiaco has been working on a Lilith patch to allow for Underlord play. You can follow his progress on TQNet. Most mods should not be a problem. Galefury has created an XMAX database for Underlord (you can find it over on TQNet as well). Those of you playing with other mastery mods should be fine. If you're beta testing a mod, like Paths, I recommend you continue to do so over vanilla as that's what they're being balanced against. After they get out of testing, talk about Underlord compatible versions (if necessary) can commence. But, until then, please don't test those mods over Underlord then report bugs to either of us.

Informatics

I am going to try and get as much info online as possible, maybe in the feature section of the Underlord page. This will include a lot of spoiler info, including stats and names on new items and affixes, etc.. I discussed the possibility of an item database with the new items stats with Jiaco a while ago, and he seemed to feel it was very doable and something that wouldn't take him a ton of time, so that is something we'll explore again in the coming weeks. Also I saw some talk on an updated version of the "Occultulator" on TQNet, and possible integration with something Vorbis has been working on--a sort of multi-functional offline item database with the Masteries Calc and the Occultulator built into it. I will update as more information becomes available.

However, full disclosure will have to wait until I return to my home proper and have access again to OneNote (I managed to forget to bring my OneNotes with me) and have only the spreadsheets I used during development.

Outro

Thanks to everyone for their kind words and bug reports. I'd like to add that I forgot to mention in the release credits that Yerkyerk was also the mapper who made the Dark Forest and 800x600 maps, and guided me through many challenges I came across with the map editor.

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