Well, it's certainly been a long time since I've been active on here. And while I'm sure a lot of people declared this project dead, and while they would have been right for awhile ... I am back! I left Bloodlines for awhile to pursue other interests, but something about this game always calls me back to it.
That said, I've been quietly working on the next edition of Clan Quest Mod, version 3.1. Here's what can you expect to find in this new version:
Integration with Unofficial Patch 9.2
Many players always wish to be using the latest version of the Unofficial Patch. While CQM 3.0 was using 7.9, the UP has grown in size and scope over the last several years. CQM 3.1 will include these new changes and improvements ... with a few exceptions.There's a few things you won't find, specifically:
- The werewolf is not fightable. One big change the UP made was the ability to actually damage and kill the werewolf. While it's still nearly impossible to kill the lycan, it's my opinion that this changes the dramatic purpose of that scene. The player is meant to outrun or ourwit the werewolf, and making him killable changes that. It's also confusing for new players that don't realize how impossible it is to fight him toe-to-toe.
- No Sabbat ending. Another big change in the UP is the ability to tell Andrei that you wish to join the Sabbat, and in the game's final scene he'll show up to coup LaCroix. However, in my opinion the ending is poorly executed. There's no real new dialog for any of the NPCs, and the shift in allegiances doesn't really affect the game's story at all.
- No use of Scholarship to identify occult items. UP+ changes how occult items work, in that you need a high enough Research feat to use them. While playtesting the new UP, it became apparent to me that this dramatically shifts the game balance towards putting points into Scholarship, an ability which is already overpowered as it's needed to read books and use persuasion. In the interest of keeping some game balance I removed this feature. Additionally, as the game has only a discreet number of items in the game, this new feature monopolizes many of them which could be used for another new quests and content.
- No turnstile in the Confession club! Anyone that has played the newer UP knows how difficult this makes it to get in or out of the club!
Just to set the record straight, I am not making these changes to criticize Wesp, the man that has tirelessly maintained the UP for years, but simply because I have a difference of artistic opinion in regards to the above points. The Unofficial Patch is a masterpiece and a laud his efforts to keep the game bug free and up to date.
Additionally it came to my attention that the UP+ was never properly integrated into CQM in previous editions, so some of the features of UP+ would bleed into a standard installation. This has been fixed; that means no more blood heal in UP, standard.
Easier to Install
Since dusting off this mod, I've come to find out leaps and bounds have been made in the community which mods this game. One such major advancement is the ability to actually install the mods as mods! CQM 3.1 will implement this new technique for installing the mod. What does this mean for the player? For one thing, you can install CQM alongside other mods that use this technique without them overwriting each other - a problem that has plagued Bloodlines fans for years! Additionally, if you make changes to the base game, such as installing custom music, those changes may be preserved.
Trimming the Fat
The CQM installer in previous versions was a little .... complicated. There was perhaps an overabundance of options available when installing the mod. UP? UP+? PnP mod? Dozens of custom skins? While a lot of options is nice for more advances users, it's also very confusing for more casual players. Many of the integrated mods didn't work very well together, either. The next edition will remove the Pen and Paper mod, the Music Mod, Pop's Combat Mod, Histories Mod, as well as most of the custom skins and models that came pre-packaged. In that same vein...
Camarilla Edition Lite
In the next version of CQM, the Camarilla Edition mod will still be available, albeit a bit slimmed down. It will include changes from the most recent version of CE, but the only feature that will be part of CQM are:
- The blood loss timer
- New skins and models for PC and NPC characters
- New disciplines, histories, and rules for abilities
Now you might be wondering what's up with these changes. If anything, this seems like there's less things being added in this subsequent edition, right? Well, you might not be wrong, but I guess you could say that I am taking a different approach to Clan Quest Mod, philosophically. In the past, besides making my own additions to the game, I've tried to take all of the amazing work other modders have done and make it all function together. While this is all well and good, there's a number of issues with this. For one thing, the additions don't always work well together. It's also a logistical nightmare to coordinate. What one modder changes might affect what another modder has also changed, and you find yourself spending a lot of time tracking down weird bugs on account of the fact that two mods are trying to do two mutually exclusive things to the game. Finally, and most importantly, it distracts me from what I really enjoy about working on Bloodlines: having creative input! If I spend time making sure CQM is up to date with the latest version of the Unofficial Patch or trying to make all the things in the newest version of Camarilla Edition work with UP and CQM (even when players have only a subset of those installed), it takes away from the time I could spend making actual new content for the game.
With that in mind, in addition to announcing my return to working on Bloodlines, and a forthcoming release date for CQM 3.1, I'd take this opportunity to highlight the fact that you can expect more new and exciting things ahead! As I'm no longer binding myself to keeping CQM up-to-date with UP or the other mods, I will have a lot more energy to put towards making new content for Bloodlines. Check out the preview picture on this news item, a teaser picture of a new map I'm building as a token of good faith that I'm working on something new and exciting. I don't want to say too much about what's to come just yet, but I have also started a twitter account that you can subscribe to to keep up to date on the kinds of things I'm working on and also that ... I'm still alive and engaged!
New Twitter account here: Twitter.com