You must be logged in to post messages.
Please login or register

Scenario Design and Modding
Moderated by Suppiluliuma, PhatFish, Fisk, EpiC_Anonymous, Epd999

Hop to:    
Welcome! You are not logged in. Please Login or Register.28 replies
Age of Empires Heaven » Forums » Scenario Design and Modding » Fixing 5 Glitched Granary Maps or Scenarios
Bottom
Topic Subject:Fixing 5 Glitched Granary Maps or Scenarios
rakovsky
Clubman
posted 08-21-20 07:37 PM ET (US)         
I tried playing 5 maps or scenarios in the Granary that looked good or turned out to be worthwhile on playing them that had a glitch that made them unbeatable. I'd like to see if they can be fixed. 4 of them I can fix myself and submit them myself as "________ Version 2.0". Normally it's best of course for the authors themselves to fix their scenarios, but I tried contacting all the authors and either they hadn't provided their addresses, their addresses no longer worked, or they weren't willing/able to fix it themselves and I'd like to fix it on their behalf. The maps or scenarios are:

#3 Meditteranean Sea 200 BC in the Map Pack [REAL] Maps / "8 real world maps" (http://aoe.heavengames.com/dl-php/showfile.php?fileid=2547)
This is an .SCX file, meaning that it's a Scenario file for R.O.R. When I try to Load the scenario either as a first person scenario for play or in my Scenario Editor, my ROR UPATCH game program crashes. After one such attempt, in order to get my ROR Game Program to even work with other Scenarios, I had to delete this Map/Scenario from my Scenarios folder. I don't know what the problem is, but it seems like a software programmer or someone skilled would have to look at the data in the file to diagnose the problem. I couldn't find any contact information for the map designer, Brainless_AOKH.

Drusus and Tiberius (I beat it in Rise of Rome. I met the Objectives in AOE1.0 but the game didn't end. I submitted a fixed "Version 2" to the Granary.)
(http://aoe.heavengames.com/dl-php/showfile.php?fileid=1723&ci=728f23f58cd1b1f725de6a04c14ee1acYToxOntpOjA7YToyOntpOjA7czoxNDoiU2VhcmNoIFJlc3VsdHMiO2k6MTtzOjM2OiJsaXN0ZXIucGhwP3N0YXJ0PTAmYW1wO3NlYXJjaD1kcnVzdXMiO319)
The Scenario has a faulty trigger that is supposed to give your side reinforcements after a while. Hidden under black fog, an enemy tower on the east side shoots three of your allies' standing elephants and after killing them the tower starts to shoot your lame priest standing nearby, which in turn activates three Gaia horsemen near the priest to join your side.

The trigger has two problems. One is that if you are playing on Easy or Easiest modes, the tower does not shoot your lame priest, so you do not get the reinforcements. And you need the reinforcements to complete an objective, so without them, you cannot win on Easy or the Easiest mode. The second problem that the trigger causes is that, as the designer Richard Ames told me, save games won't work if they have been saved while an arrow is shooting. And the trigger makes it so that the tower is constantly shooting arrows. So you can't save the game, regardless of the difficulty level. The result of all these problems is that you are stuck playing the scenario, which is already a difficult one, on the Moderate-Hardest modes with no saving abilities.


This Scenario must be made for AOE 1.0 because I typically play with 1.0c and I remember having trouble saving. On RockNROR-modded AOE 1.0c:
1. I loaded a savegame from not long after I started up, and got: "Out of Memory, Please Free some memory, then retry." ie. the Savegame was broken.
2. I played a bit, finding different Gaia units, set out for the east dock and saved. Then when I tried to load it, I got: Age of Empires has stopped working. A problem caused the program to stop working correctly. The savegame was broken.
3. This happened a third time, after I made a savegame when I was about to discover the troops in the SW red base.


On regular AOE 1.0, my first save worked from right before I went to the east Gaia dock.

The Readme doesn't specify whether this was made for AOE 1.0, so I would resubmit the scenario using 1.0c and take out the trigger so that you just start with the reinforcements. That way you might avoid the savegame problem with 1.0c and would be able to play on Easy or Easiest, as the trigger only works on Moderate or harder. I thought that probably it was made in the 1.0c version because this scenario came out later on, in 2005. Richard Ames the designer told me that he will have another look at the file, but otherwise I would like to resubmit the file myself with the glitch fixed.

"Roman Expansion into Britannia" Campaign (Scenarios #1 & 3 are glitched in AOE 1.0 & 1.0c but not in ROR. I fixed the glitches and submitted it as Version 2.)
(http://aoe.heavengames.com/dl-php/showfile.php?fileid=861&ci=ce7a7dd69039c82fd09c6be6aa7ce01eYToxOntpOjA7YToyOntpOjA7czoxNDoiU2VhcmNoIFJlc3VsdHMiO2k6MTtzOjM3OiJsaXN0ZXIucGhwP3N0YXJ0PTAmYW1wO3NlYXJjaD1oYWRyaWFuIjt9fQ==)

The Campaign was made in the 1.0 version because this campaign came out in 1998, only about a year after the game itself did, whereas 1.0c came out in 2002.

The Campaign was well designed, but for some reason even when I met the objectives in Scenarios 1 and 3 in AOE, the game does not end. I used the Editor to check the Victory Conditions and they look fine and precise, yet meeting them for some reason does not win the game. I emailed the designer Sean Egan, but the email bounced (picassoj@yahoo.com). I don't know if he is the same as the Google programmer mentioned on Wikipedia by the same name. In any case, I'd like to do-over or streamline the same victory conditions so that they work and then resubmit the campaign file.

The Eagle (I uploaded a fixed version to the Granary as Version 2)
(http://aoe.heavengames.com/dl-php/showfile.php?fileid=2440)
This ROR Scenario has a few glitches or issues. I emailed the designer West Coast Customs (sexygeorgia1997@hotmail.com), but the message bounced. West Coast Customs is now a well known car customizing company founded in 1994 that has worked with Microsoft. I guess that they could be related to the Designer.

One is that the instructions require you to take the war chest from the Brown team in the north back below Hadrian's (your Red Ally's) wall. The obvious way to do this is to bring the chest through the "T" entrance north of your Red Ally's (Rome's) main base. The problem with this is that it's very narrow, only about a wall space wide, so that at any time only one or two infantry can fit width-wise from wall to wall in the "T" entrance. Red soldiers practically always go to stand in the T entrance and not go anywhere, leaving not enough room to bring the chest back through that northern entrance. The only practical way to get them to move is to fight them, and if you try to fight your way through the northern gate your units get creamed, mainly because of the multiple ballista towers there. So the T entrance should really be widened to let the war chest fit through.

A second way to get your war chest back is to chop a path through the forest below the Brown base. If you turn on "reveal map", you can easily see this path south of the main brown base that runs from a clearing south of the brown base down to the western end of the Red Player's walls. To get your ark to the path, you have to chop through the trees. But this path is actually not visible enough to the player due to the black map fog over it. The only way the player would even realise that it's there without using the Reveal Map cheat is by either randomly chopping down tons of forests to see what would happen or else maybe choose for some reason to declare war on Red and break Red's walls to see what would happen.

Looking at the map in the Scenario Editor, it looks like this second route could have been the author's intent, ie. he might have decided to put in a path through the woods here. Plus, if we are basing this on the movie, then the story would basically end after the protagonist captured the relic and defeated the Picts in battle. To make the player bring the relic back on the same circuitous route that he came would be anti-climactic. It looks like the author might have wanted to make a hidden, simpler route back home. So something should be mentioned about the existence of this route in the Hints section. Like the player should be told where to chop down the trees to get to the path or the BMP map should mark this.

However, there is another problem with the second route home: it is blocked by your Red ally's wall. Maybe the map designer thought about adding a gate there but didn't know how to do that in a way that would keep the Player from taking advantage of it when he started and using it as a simple, quick way into the Brown base instead of getting to the Brown base through the eastern long route. The designer could have addressed that problem by adding a victory condition where some units must do something on the eastern long route, or he could have added an instruction that they have to leave by the eastern route. If he wanted to make the second, western path route back an option, he could have put a line of "blue" walls where the Red western wall went that your character could simply delete when he was ready to go back through them.

All in all, it looks like it would be closer to the author's purpose to just widen the eastern "T" entrance to the Roman base instead of fixing the western wall issue.

The third problem (after the ones with the two potential paths mentioned above) is that even if you do succeed in getting your war chest back home, the instructions don't say where exactly to get your chest. The answer, based on what is shown in the scenario Editor, is actually that the Destination Area for the chest is the rectangular area inside Red's main base where the Town Center is located. The instructions should be specific about this.

The fourth glitch (and the only one that is a pure "glitch") is that even if you get the chest to the Destination area, the Scenario does not end. I found this out because I was actually able to get the chest to the victory rectangle by declaring war on the Red team and breaking through the western end of the wall along the second path above. The reason that this happens is that the designer checked "Allied Victory" on the Diplomacy menu. The "Allied Victory" setting imposes a requirement that all of your allies' victory conditions must be met in order for you to win the match. The designer had not set any Individual Victory conditions for your allies, so what that in effect means is that you must defeat all the teams who you are enemies with in order to win. In turn, this means that you must defeat both the Brown and Red teams, because you have to switch the Red team to be your enemy in order to break through their western wall. To fix this glitch, someone must just uncheck "Allied Victory" in the Diplomacy menu in the Scenario Editor.

The fifth problem is that the instructions say that you have an alternative victory strategy whereby instead of bringing home the war chest, all you need to do is wipe out the Brown Player. Specifically, it says, "instead of doing two objectives you can choose Objective 3: Destroy Seal Prince's army and capital (Very Hard)". However, first of all, this is pretty hard due to the enemy's Mirror Towers. You would need a bunch of catapults and monotheist priests to take them down, and the Scenario doesn't give you enough gold to both research monotheism and make many priests, and in fact the siege workshop is disabled from your build menu. But even if you could somehow take down the Brown team, this would not actually give you a Victory. I tried using the Kill4 Command and the game did not end at that point when I did. Plus, when I checked the Victory Conditions in the Scenario Editor, there was nothing about taking down Player 4 (the Brown Player).

Actually, I doubt that there is any way that you could use the Scenario Editor to create an "Alternative" Victory setup whereby the player would EITHER bring a war chest to an area OR Destroy Player 4 to win. More broadly, the Editor doesn't seem capable of setting up alternative independent victory conditions involving the "Individual Victory" menu. For instance, in a "Standard Victory" setting you can win by building a Wonder or defeating all enemies, but if you choose an Individual Victory condition, then the game demands that you meet that Individual condition, whether or not you also chose to impose one of the "Global" Victory conditions.

So when he wrote the instructions, the scenario designer either knew that the Player wouldn't be able to beat AI Player #4 and meet this alternative victory condition and the designer wanted to suggest an unachievable optional challenge, or the designer mistakenly thought that AOE games automatically end when the Human Player wipes out his enemies or that checking "Allied Victory" would automatically give you a victory if you met your allies' victory condition of defeating the Brown team. Probably the last explanation is true and the designer was thinking of the Standard Victory condition where you have an option to either A) capture and hold artifacts that look like the War Chest for a set period of time or B) Destroy all enemies.

[This message has been edited by rakovsky (edited 08-28-2020 @ 09:51 PM).]

AuthorReplies:
rakovsky
Clubman
posted 08-22-20 02:28 AM ET (US)     1 / 28       
I just submitted The Eagle, Version 2.0 to the Granary with the glitches that I described being fixed. Here it is in the Granary: (http://aoe.heavengames.com/dl-php/showfile.php?fileid=2794)

[This message has been edited by rakovsky (edited 08-22-2020 @ 10:34 AM).]

Fisk
Champion of AoEH
(id: Fruktfisk)
posted 08-22-20 04:31 AM ET (US)     2 / 28       
I'll approve your file. I think it's nice that someone goes back through our archives and attempts to fix those things which are broken or just could be a bit better, so as long as you remember to credit the original author I think it's all fine. Unfortunately for some things I believe may not be possible to restore, or simply outside our area of expertise. One thing which I've always wanted to fix is Jimmy2's Battle for the ark, but I think getting the AI on that map to operate the way the author intended may be an impossible task.

Other than that, in Drusus and Tiberius, I think it's a bit strong to say the trigger is "faulty". It works the way the author intended and it fires correctly 100 % of the time, which is actually better than some things I've done. While it's true that it doesn't fire on Easy difficulty, this is just because the scenario wasn't meant to be played on that setting in the first place. It's actually a well-known phenomena that many campaign won't function as intended under Easy difficulty, which is why we have the "difficulty" field for our uploads, it's supposed to tell the player the recommended setting for the campaign, and most of the good material falls in the Mod-Hard range. While the save bug is a nuisance, I think that in our day and age, you can actually patch that with Chab's RockNRor.

//The warrior of Isola

"I lack quotes that demonstrate Humor Intelligence or anything about me."

Pineapplefish
Cleidopus gloriamaris
rakovsky
Clubman
posted 08-22-20 10:48 AM ET (US)     3 / 28       
Thanks for approving the file, Fisk. I have used RockNROR before to play AOE 1.0 in Windowed Mode in order to keep the game from freezing every 15 seconds. A made a thread about that here: http://aoe.heavengames.com/cgi-bin/forums/display.cgi?action=ct&f=1,6567,,10

Do you remember what kind of RockNROR setting fixes the anti-saving bug?
rakovsky
Clubman
posted 08-22-20 02:48 PM ET (US)     4 / 28       
For the "Roman Expansion into Britannia" Campaign, my guess is that the problem is the Designer's unique AI and PER files, and not the VCs. I say this because I tested each VC individually and they each work. Plus, I've played very many Scenarios and this is the one where the Scenarios do not end if you beat the VCs and the Campaign folder is unusual because it comes with unique AI and PER files for AI Playstyles labeled "Britons" and "Pirates". Further, when I used the Editor to gve Player 1 a ton of resources and 9 villagers right in Britain, and then played the Scenario in the Tester, I rather quickly beat all the objectives and got the victory screen. Also, if I used the KIllX cheat soon after loading the game in the Tester, it quickly went to the victory screen. But when I played the game in the Tester using the normal method where you have to bring your units from France to Britain, it took rather longer to meet the VCs, and the game wouldn't end, even when I used the KILL X command against all enemies. My guess is that the difference is that in longer games the enemies have to rely on their AI and PER files in strategizing against Player 1 and that this somehow interferes with the game's ability to end normally.

My suggestion for fixing this would be to look at the designer's special AI and PER files and see which of the standard game's AI Playstyles (eg. CARTHAGE) matches those AI and PER files the closest. Otherwise, I would make a guess based on what I saw the AI making: The Red "Pirate" team would have to rely on a ship strategy (eg. PHOENICIA- SHIPS) and the Britons would rely on both chariots and swordsmen. The Official ROR Scenario for Caesar's Invasion of Britain uses the Phoenicians for the Britons and the Greeks for the Picts. But I notice that the Official Britain Scenario says Britain P3 and Britain P5 for the Strategy and Personality of those two Players, even though there are no such AI and PER files by those names.

I notice that Scenario 1 sets Player 3 to use the "Britons" Strategy and Personality, but the file does not come with a Britons AI file, only a Britons Per one. Would that affect the game play, Fisk? "AI" files are for the Players' Strategies.

However, that would not explain the problem with Scenario 3, because the AI and PER files are included in the Designer's folder (Picts AI and Britons3 AI and PER).

[This message has been edited by rakovsky (edited 08-22-2020 @ 04:10 PM).]

Fisk
Champion of AoEH
(id: Fruktfisk)
posted 08-22-20 04:50 PM ET (US)     5 / 28       
I think the save bug fix is part of the default bugfixes when you install the thing but I'm not entirely sure. There are just a few things in there which may mess with classical designs exploiting old bugs, so in that case you may just consider downgrading to 1.0b, which also doesn't have the save bug, though that may get bothersome in the long run.

As far as AI files go, they basically only give the computer a build order. Odds are if there isn't an AI file the designer didn't mean for the Computer to build anything. It shouldn't have any impact on the victory conditions. If you have the stuff open in the scenario editor already you might just try to set the victory conditions again and overwrite the old ones and see if it makes a difference, but otherwise I'm out of ideas.

//The warrior of Isola

"I lack quotes that demonstrate Humor Intelligence or anything about me."

Pineapplefish
Cleidopus gloriamaris
rakovsky
Clubman
posted 08-22-20 06:09 PM ET (US)     6 / 28       
Fisk,
Thanks for your replies. For Roman Expansion in Britain, I found that I was able to beat Invasion of Britania today in AOE:Rise of Rome. That's weird because it was made in AOE 1.0 and I've been careful to keep my AOE 1.0 file in its original condition without modding it. Any time that I used any mods on my AOE files I always used Backups for those files and then restored them when I finished using the Mod. The problem with playing this Campaign in AOE:ROR is that it uses map sharing with allies, whereas the campaign was designed for you to explore your allies' territory.

Thanks for explaining about the lack of an AI file not affecting whether you can beat the Scenario.

For Drusus and Tiberias, you suggested AOE 1.0b as an option because it does not have the save bug. However, I am pretty sure that I got a save bug on that Scenario whether I use AOE 1.0 or 1.0c to play it. Do you mean that the save bug happens on 1.0 and 1.0c, but not on 1.0b? That's not what I would normally expect, and anyway this is the only Scenario that I remember getting a save bug on, even though I certainly have saved games before while arrows were being shot.

[This message has been edited by rakovsky (edited 08-22-2020 @ 06:18 PM).]

Fisk
Champion of AoEH
(id: Fruktfisk)
posted 08-22-20 06:35 PM ET (US)     7 / 28       
Yeah, it's actually a well known fact that the missile save bug was introduced with the 1.0a patch and the dummies at MS were too busy with AoK to fix it or something to the degree that our download page mentions it as one of the primary reasons to downgrade. As I said these days I believe RockNRor should resolve the same problem (along with some other savegame bugs), but I don't know for sure what works for AoE without the Expansion, which the scenario was designed for. If you still encounter the crashes with 1.0b then the cause is likely something other than the missile save bug.

//The warrior of Isola

"I lack quotes that demonstrate Humor Intelligence or anything about me."

Pineapplefish
Cleidopus gloriamaris
chab
Clubman
posted 08-23-20 10:00 AM ET (US)     8 / 28       
Yes I confirm RockNRor includes the "missile bug" fix when loading a savegame.

As for the mediterranean scenario file, it seems it's just corrupt. I'm not sure we can do anything about it.
Fisk
Champion of AoEH
(id: Fruktfisk)
posted 08-23-20 04:21 PM ET (US)     9 / 28       
Thanks Chab

In that case I suppose the crash must be something unrelated, as I can't seem to reproduce it here. Do you experience this issueall the time intrying to reload saved games Rakovsky?

Otherwise if it is just the difficulty, personally I'd just recommend playing the thing on Moderate. It's no easy scenario to be sure, but it will be rewarding to challenge yourself. If you must change it, I believe it might be possible to get the trigger to work as intended just by reducing the distances between the tower and its targets, as I think on Easy diff the reaction distance is reduced by a percentage. For the trigger to work though the elephants must still be closer to the tower than the BLP for the trigger to work.

edit: Just out of curiosity, when you say Richard Ames "told you" about the save bug, does that mean you were successful in getting in touch with one of the old masters of Scenario Design?

//The warrior of Isola

"I lack quotes that demonstrate Humor Intelligence or anything about me."

Pineapplefish
Cleidopus gloriamaris

[This message has been edited by Fisk (edited 08-23-2020 @ 04:22 PM).]

rakovsky
Clubman
posted 08-23-20 11:32 PM ET (US)     10 / 28       
Dear Fisk,
It is nice writing to you. To answer your questions, the Drusus scenario is the only specific one where I remember having save game trouble. It could have happened on a few others, but that would be very rare, because I've saved a ton of files. I plan on trying it with RockNROR to see if that will fix it and playing it on Moderate, and I'm glad that you haven't had a problem.

Have you or Chab had any trouble beating the "Roman Expansion into Britain" Campaign (Scenarios 1 and 3)? In case you want to run through it quick, you can play it on Easiest and use the cheats to give you lots of resources. The problem shows up in Scenario 1 after you sail up from France and have been fighting the enemy and building a base for a while. If you just load up the game and use the KILLX commands, you won't notice the Victory problem.

Yes, I got in touch with Richard Ames again a few days ago. A few years ago I had emailed him to see what kind of "Easter Egg" he was referring to in the Rome v. Parthia "Annex of the Two Rivers" Scenario. He must have been referring to the lightning from St. Francis, because it's a surprise not mentioned in the Instructions. I can put you in touch with him if you need it.

Fisk, I am sorry to say that now I have a new problem. While I was running a "Test" game on the Invasion of Britannia Scenario that we discussed in the Scenario Editor, I clicked Save, so that I saved the round that I was testing. Now whenever I Create a New Scenario or Edit an existing Scenario and then click Test, the Invasion of Britannia Scenario comes up as the PlayTesting game.

So let's say that I click Create Scenario in the Editor and then get a new fresh map and then click Test. What will automatically come up is the Invasion of Britannia Scenario with some editing that I had done on it.

Can you please think of any way to fix this problem? to try to fix the problem, I deleted all the Invasion of Britania Scenario files and savegames in the Scenario and Savegame folders, but this did not work.

[This message has been edited by rakovsky (edited 08-23-2020 @ 11:35 PM).]

chab
Clubman
posted 08-25-20 11:54 AM ET (US)     11 / 28       
If you "TEST" your scenario from scenario editor, at least under some circumstances, the scenario is auto-saved as "default0" scenario file (or something like that).

Maybe it is linked to what you observe ? You may try to delete this file from scenario folder.
rakovsky
Clubman
posted 08-25-20 02:00 PM ET (US)     12 / 28       
Thanks for writing back about this. I am going to try that, Chab.
----------
Wow, that actually worked. It had saved as "Default1" and there was a file by that name both in the normal AOE Scenario folder and in the Scenario folder that you get when you click on "Compatibility files" at the top of the normal folder in Windows 7. I don't know why the system has two Scenario folders like that in two separate file paths, but deleting both Default1 files fixed the problem.

Good job noting the Default1 file problem as the cause.

[This message has been edited by rakovsky (edited 08-25-2020 @ 03:03 PM).]

rakovsky
Clubman
posted 08-25-20 05:50 PM ET (US)     13 / 28       
UPDATE FOR "The Eagle":
It looks like with my Version 2 you do have an Alternative Victory Condition where you can actually win either by bringing the war chest home or by destroying Player 4. I set all the allies' Individual VCs to bringing to the chest home, kept Allied Victory "ON", and Playtested that successfully. I also used the Kill4 Command to get victory by Destroying Player 4. This all shows that there is actually an Alternative Victory situation in my Version 2.0 where you can do either one as the Designer intended. I updated my "Version 2" file today in the Granary accordingly.
rakovsky
Clubman
posted 08-25-20 05:58 PM ET (US)     14 / 28       
I was able to fix Scenario 1 of the Invasion of Britain for AOE 1.0. I reset the Victory Conditions for Player 1 and changed Player 2 and 3 to have Standard Victory as their goal under the Global Victory. My changes worked because I playtested it successfully. The original 1998 Scenario has the enemy players, Player 2 and 3, set to "Custom" Victory, with "Any one" checkmarked, meaning that if the enemy got any of the possible Custom goals, the enemy would win. One of the custom goals is set to "Explore" "0" of the map, which would seem to automatically give Players 2-3 victory, since they begin with more than 0% of the map explored. I don't know if this is a possible cause, because it feels like I've played scenarios successfully that have had "Custom Victory" with "Any one" selected as the enemy's Global Victory Condition.

I want to bundle this fixed version with Scenarios 2 and 3, and fix 3 and reissue it as a Version 2 campaign.
rakovsky
Clubman
posted 08-25-20 10:16 PM ET (US)     15 / 28       
Scenario 3, Hadrian's Wall, has a weird little bug issue.
The instructions say:
The engineers have marked off the areas in which to build the wall, and marked off where to build towers with flags. (The markings are at places interrupted. The wall continues in a straight line across the entire map.)
MISSION OBJECTIVES:
-Build Fortifications in places marked by "desert tile."
-Build Ballista Towers in places marked by flags.

Normally, "desert tile" means the square tile that is fully desert, not grass tiles with desert spilling over onto them from the side.
On this map, the desert tiles go from the sea on the upper left to the southeast edge in a line 1 space wide, interrupted by some grass patches in the yellow city and by the forest next to the city. The Designer referred to this when he said that the markings are interrupted but that the wall continues. The implication is that the wall should be built even on the forest and grass spaces so that the wall goes from the sea to the SE map edge.
In the Editor, the Designer has marked off a strip three tiles deep that runs along the desert tiles from the lake to the map edge and set the number of wall units to be built at 180. However, in counting the 180 units, the computer doesn't count the one wall unit built directly on the eastern half of the map. So the player following the directions builds across the whole map (minus the lake) and doesn't get a victory announcement.
One solution is to say in the instructions that they must build the wall at least two tiles thick in at least two places and not to mention that the missing space is on the far east edge. On playtesting, I set part of the wall requirement to 140 tiles and the rest to 50 tiles, built the wall in a full line all the way across, and then to get a Victory screen, I put an extra tile on one space. This is the solution I chose. The main drawback is that it could sound confusing to the reader what I mean by an extra tile on one space.
Another solution is to set the number of wall units to 179. In that case, if the Player put the ballista towers up before the wall, there would be a one tile gap in the wall when the Victory screen appeared, but not if the Player put the wall up before the ballista tower. In that case, I can say in the instructions that the player is allowed to have a one tile gap in the wall on the section of the wall to the east of the Britons' town.

[This message has been edited by rakovsky (edited 08-25-2020 @ 11:48 PM).]

rakovsky
Clubman
posted 08-26-20 02:35 AM ET (US)     16 / 28       
I just fixed the problems in Roman Expansion into Britanniaand submitted the Campaign File as "Version 2." You had good advice about resetting the Victory Conditions.
rakovsky
Clubman
posted 08-26-20 08:42 PM ET (US)     17 / 28       
To update regarding Drusus and Tiberius, the save feature appears to work on AOE 1.0 and not on 1.0C or even the RockNROR-modded AOE 1.0c. On the RockNROR version:
1. I loaded a savegame from not long after I started up, and repeatedly got: "Out of Memory, Please Free some memory, then retry."
2. I played a bit, and saved. Then when I tried to load it, I got: "Age of Empires has stopped working. A problem caused the program to stop working correctly."
3. This happened a third time, after I made a savegame.


Also, I was able to load the Scenario in my Editor in AOE 1.0, but the Editor crashed when I tried to load it in AOE 1.0c.

On regular AOE 1.0, my first save worked from right before I went to the east Gaia dock. What seems to be happening is that so long as I keep my AOE 1.0 Game Program open, the save games tend to open. Otherwise, I am having trouble even with AOE 1.0. For a whole series of saves that I made, pretty soon after loading the saves, a message comes up saying "You have been defeated". It turns out that the technical reason that it does this is because Red's Allied Victory box is unchecked and it has one single victory condition: Bring Alexander to the area in front of his stone box. In other words, Red alone wins if Red's Cavalry Hero Alexander moves outside Red's box. The reason that the Designer made it like this was because he wanted Alexander to stay in his box until your horse archers bring the enemy Hector to Alexander's box. Normally this would not be a problem, because Drusus/Alexander's Player is set to Passive, so that he just waits where he started. However when you load a Savegame, Red's stationary units in his supplybase on the far left, as well as Alexander, start moving. In Alexander's case, he trots out of his box.

In order to try to address this issue with AOE 1.0, I tried mounting AOE 1.0 with ROCKNROR, but I think that ROCKNROR is only designed for 1.0a or later, not for 1.0. The RockNROR website says that it's for 1.0a and when I tried to mount the AOE1.0 EXE file, it says that it is not compatible or locked.

So this Scenario is severely bugged. It's not just a problem with the missiles interfering with the savegames in AOE 1.0c, as even AOE 1.0 has lots of trouble running this program. AOE 1.0 crashes during play and if I reload the saved games that I had made on AOE 1.0, the savegames don't work even on that version.

I get the idea of being a skilled player and beating this hard game on moderate difficulty, and I made "Walkthrough" notes for the best strategy. I feel that I am getting a handle on it, but the problem with beating the Scenario without saves is not just the difficulty in terms of strategy. The Scenario also is also a harder to work with than normal because of how much nice eye candy the Designer used. The problem is that on AOE 1.0 the pathfinding is so primitive that the units have trouble getting around little rocks. And the open spaces here between objects are often narrow.

With a Scenario with quirks like this, it's pretty tough to play straight through with no saves, and it's not just a problem of the normal difficulty of using foot soldiers to fight catapults and archers.

If the Scenario is going to be that buggy, quirky, and hard altogether, I think that there really should be an update that fixes the glitches and allows for smooth gameplay without crashes.

Maybe the bugginess has to do with there being so many Victory Conditions (Player 1 has all 12 slots available used and the other players often have 2 VCs) or with the amount of eye candy, which is sometimes placed next to or on top of other Gaia objects (eg. one cactus placed on another, not to mention the double-decking used in making the snow).

[This message has been edited by rakovsky (edited 08-27-2020 @ 08:38 PM).]

rakovsky
Clubman
posted 08-27-20 07:23 PM ET (US)     18 / 28       
I finally beat all the Instructions' objectives on the Drusus Campaign on Moderate on a single playthrough. It took me about 20 tries. I figured it out enough to make a detailed walkthrough that works well. The bad news is that the game still did not end even though it should have based on the instructions. And I don't know what the problem is.

First of all, had I violated any of the Scenario's "ground rules", the mission should have ended in Defeat immediately, but that did not happen. So for instance if you destroy an Orange barracks without Tiberius next to it, the game immediately ends in Defeat, but that did not happen.

A second ground rule that I certainly followed is that the Instructions say that your 3 horse archers must stay alive until Hector and Alexander start fighting. Hector killed my last horse archer while Alexander was attacking Hector. Normally, if your horse archers die before that duel, the game immediately says that you are defeated. And checking in the Editor, it says that Player 4 wins if 3 of your heavy horse archers are killed. The way that the game works, you do not actually have "loss" conditions, but rather your opponents have "victory" conditions. The result is that had the 3 horses' deaths met Player 4's Victory Condition, that other Player would have immediately won, which did not happen. Richard, the Designer, cleverly made it so that Player 4 would win if Hector was in the area outside of Drusus/Alexander's stone box AND the three horse archers were killed. In other words, the combined conditions wouldn't be met if the three archers were killed inside the box, which in my case they were. This means that I must not have broken that ground rule when my third horse archer died.

A third ground rule is that your two heavy cavalry can't be killed before they fight the Brown chieftain in the south. In fact, the Brown chieftain can't be killed before them either. They have to duel and either they or he must die in the duel. But there is no requirement of which must lose. In my case, he killed them first, yet the game continued.

The only other thing that came to mind was that you are supposed to get 4 legion units and the Tiberius unit packed into the space of the four flags next to each other to the right of the Government Center in the north of the map. That's four legions plus a chariot, which takes up a lot of space (horse + cart). But I distinctly remember putting Tiberius' chariot squarely on the SW flag that is to the right of the Government Center.

I carefully checked the VCs for Player 1 in the Editor, and they also look fine. I also captured the Gaia dock in the East, so I didn't overlook any of the objectives.

I don't know if the fact that it was probably made on AOE 1.0C and I met the objectives on AOE 1.0 would make a difference. I guess that it was made on 1.0C because the Readme file mentions that the Scenario is crash happy for savegames due to the missile bug. This suggests that it was made on one of the versions that he knew had the bug, ie. versions 1.0A to 1.0C. But I found that the game seemed to work best on 1.0. For instance, it loaded in the Editor when I put it in the Editor for 1.0, but the Editor crashed when I tried loading it in 1.0C.
rakovsky
Clubman
posted 08-27-20 07:47 PM ET (US)     19 / 28       
Since I was able to meet the objectives of the Drusus Campaign on Moderate Difficulty, I can narrow down the problem to four basic glitches separate from the Difficulty factor:- Narrow paths and eye candy on paths hurt your pathfinding to get the north elephants, to get to the western healers from the river shore, and to get through the traffic jam at the houses at the western red base. It would be best to clear a path at those parts. Pathfinding is awful in 1.0 but OK in 1.0c, which it was probably made for.

- The arrow trigger tower on the eastern edge makes Easy and Easiest modes impossible and usually crashes save games in version 1.0c. It makes sense therefore in an update to get rid of the trigger. The only practical reason for the trigger would be if the heavy horse archers there were being attacked if they sat there. But the Yellow player who fights in that section is allied with you, so that whould not be a problem.

- Pretty soon after loading the saves in AOE 1.0, a message comes up saying "You have been defeated". It turns out that the technical reason that it does this is because Red's Allied Victory box is unchecked and it has one single victory condition: Bring Alexander to the area in front of his stone box. In other words, Red alone wins if Red's Cavalry Hero Alexander moves outside Red's box. The reason that the Designer made it like this was because he wanted Alexander to stay in his box until your horse archers bring the enemy Hector to Alexander's box. Normally this would not be a problem, because Drusus/Alexander's Player is set to Passive, so that he just waits where he started. However when you load a Savegame, Red's stationary units in his supplybase on the far left, as well as Alexander, start moving. In Alexander's case, he trots out of his box.

- Even when I met all the VCs according to the Instructions, the game did not end, and I don't know why. I carefully checked the VCs in the Editor and they look fine, and they also match the tasks that I completed.

[This message has been edited by rakovsky (edited 08-28-2020 @ 01:21 PM).]

rakovsky
Clubman
posted 08-27-20 09:49 PM ET (US)     20 / 28       
What I would like to do with the Drusus Scenario would be to break the Campaign into two Scenarios, with the first Scenario being what happens on the left of the map, and the second scenario being what happens on the right of the map. It would reduce the number of Victory Conditions used in the Scenarios and therefore make it probably more manageable for the game program to handle. It would also eliminate the need for a trigger on the right side of the map, because in the second scenario, the scenario would begin with the horse archers ready to fight.
rakovsky
Clubman
posted 08-28-20 10:53 AM ET (US)     21 / 28       
I beat the Drusus Campaign today in Rise of Rome using Savegames. The main differences that I noticed were that the savegames worked, the pathfinding was good, your designated "allies" (including the Yellow Player who is actually your team's opponent according to the Game story and history) shares map information with you. Plus, the AI sends more chariot attacks but less catapults and the Yellow Player attacks your Aqua Ally Drusus much less. As a result, there is a bigger "traffic jam" by your Blue reinforcements on the East edge that can block in those reinforcements, so you should move those reinforcements into the middle of the path or accomplish their separate mission soon after you get them.

The Designer says on the File Download page and in his Readme that it's meant for AOE, not for ROR, because of the map sharing issue that I mentioned and other reasons that he didn't name. Still, it's the only version that you can actually win on and fixes the other glitches.
rakovsky
Clubman
posted 08-28-20 09:02 PM ET (US)     22 / 28       
I fixed the glitches in the Victory Conditions by making the Drusus and Tiberius Scenario into two Chapters and was able to win them on playtesting. The first Chapter is dedicated to the objective of getting Drusus and the Vendelici chiefs to duel, and the second Chapter is dedicated to the rest of the original Scenario's objectives. It is practically the same Scenario, just split into two separate phases or chapters, with each chapter being its own Scenario. I am titling it as Drusus and Tiberius, Version 2 and submitted it to the Granary (Confirmation Number 2797). I have been in conversation with Richard, the original designer by email about the options for editing the mission to fix the glitches, and hope that Version 2 gets approved into the Granary.

[This message has been edited by rakovsky (edited 08-28-2020 @ 09:50 PM).]

rakovsky
Clubman
posted 08-28-20 09:52 PM ET (US)     23 / 28       
Thanks to you, Chab and Fruktfisk, for your comments on this thread. I submitted all three Scenarios'/Campaigns' fixed versions to the Granary, calling each one "Version 2." I hope that they get published.

[This message has been edited by rakovsky (edited 08-28-2020 @ 09:53 PM).]

Fisk
Champion of AoEH
(id: Fruktfisk)
posted 08-29-20 04:06 AM ET (US)     24 / 28       
Very well, I shall approve your files. In my personal opinion, splitting the Drusus and Tiberius scenario into two loses a bit of the original charm, and while I recall it as being a fairly tricky scenario, I don't remember the VC's not firing. The fact that you lost your Horse Archer seems to imply that it might not even be a fault in Player 1's VC's, but a bug affecting all VC's. Can't say I've encountered the issue before and I don't see why running the campaign in 1.0/1.0b should cause it. Did you try the thing with RockNRor?

Either way, I found it really cool that you were able to get in touch with Richard Ames. I don't have anything I need to speak with him about for now but it's always nice to know which oldies actually have a working email address. If you're still writing to him you could always pass him some warm regards from AoEH.

As for Sean Egan's campaign I can't say I have the same strong recollection about it. The bugged VC with constructing a wall along the edge of the map really makes it sound kind of dumb though. It's no big surprise you weren't able to get in touch with a designer from '98. It's probably just a coincidence, but it also wouldn't seem too far fetched for one of our early users to move on to a life as a software engineer at Google. Either way, it sounds like you made some sensible improvements to the campaign. Good work Rakovsky.

//The warrior of Isola

"I lack quotes that demonstrate Humor Intelligence or anything about me."

Pineapplefish
Cleidopus gloriamaris
rakovsky
Clubman
posted 08-29-20 09:45 AM ET (US)     25 / 28       
Fisk,
I passed along your regards to Richard. Thank you for saying that you would approve the files. I also submitted a ROR Scenario of my own several days ago called "Thomas' Mission to India" that is waiting for approval.

In the original Drusus Campaign on AOE1.0, the VCs did not fire to give me a Victory, but they fired to give me defeats when I violated known "ground rules" like keeping Tiberius alive. I'm sure that I met the objectives, because I got a Victory when playing on ROR.

When I checked the VCs in the Editor, it turned out that my horse archer dying did not break a "ground rule" like I thought it might have. The "rule" is set up as a pair of VCs for the Brown Player, whereby if he both (A) kills 3 horse archers AND (B) his cavalry chief is in the right half of the map in front of Drusus' box, then the Brown Player gets a Victory and you get a defeat. So when the Brown Player chased my horses into Drusus' box and killed my last archer there, Brown did not get a Victory because it did not meet condition (B). Richard made the VCs this way because your goal is to get Drusus to fight the Brown cavalry chief, and if the chief is in the box, they are fighting as intended.

So the horse archer issue is one more reason why it looks like I met all my VCs - in that case, I met my objective about getting Drusus to win his fight with Brown and protecting the archers before the fight.

My best guess for the source of the VC bug was that two of an AI Players' VCs was "Bring Object to Object", whereas I could only find one of the objects in each of those two VCs. I believe that the AI Player in question was Green Player 6. One of Green's VC's object used his Drusus hero, and the other VC's object was the dock. There is nothing in the instructions about bringing a specific object to the dock, so it looks like the Designer put in those VCs as unwinnable objectives for Player 6 because he unchecked "Allied Victory" and did not intend Player 6 (your brother Drusus) to have a chance at winning. That would have created a weird story conflict where you lost the mission and your brother won.

So my best guess is that the Program did not know what to do with the incomplete VCs, whereas ROR's program just considered the incomplete VCs to be unfulfilled. This is also my guess for the kind of issue that made Scenarios 1&3 of the Expansion into Britannia Campaign unwinnable in 1.0&1.0c, but winnable in ROR.

Running RockNROR on 1.0c did not make the savegames work right. IIRC it fixed the missile savegame bug, but not the bug where as soon as you load your savegame Drusus' Hero trots out of his box in violation of one of the "ground rules." He does not do that before you use savegames because his Player is set to "Passive."

As for the charm in the original, I can see that it's interesting to deal with reinforcements coming in as a trigger partway through a game and to do a combination of objectives. My main goal was to make the scenario give a victory screen when you win the Objectives, which of course was the intent of the Designer. Since the cause seemed to be in the VCs, and the necessary ones (eg. Bring Unit to Barracks and Destroy Barracks) looked fine in the Editor, the best way to deal with it seemed to be removing or revising extra, pointless, or incomplete VCs. Splitting the Scenario and its VCs into two Chapters could make the VCs more manageable for the computer. It would also solve the two savegame bugs that were not intended by the Designer, because it removed the wait for the reinforcements and made Drusus leaving his box on loading savegames a non-issue.

As far as the charm, it does not seem a big deal and the two Chapter setup could also be seen as having charm. The reinforcements come soon before you make your attacks in the Original. So the reinforcements are like the First Act of an Opera, and having Two Chapters is like how there are brief breaks between sections of an Opera where the actors switch on stage.

A severely restricted Editor could limit himself to just tweaking the settings of the original version, keeping the Campaign to one scenario only and keeping the 13 minute delay for reinforcements by only getting rid of incomplete or pointless weak VCs (IMO requiring an AI Player to Create a Tiberius unit is one of those) and using RockNROR to play it to avoid the missile crashes. But even then the savegeames would load but then end in defeat a few seconds later due to the bug of Drusus leaving his box, and it's still less likely that the VCs would give a Victory because the high number of total VCs (at least 20) necessary for the original version increases the likelihood of something going wrong with them.

[This message has been edited by rakovsky (edited 08-29-2020 @ 10:50 AM).]

rakovsky
Clubman
posted 08-30-20 04:23 PM ET (US)     26 / 28       
I told him that I was submitting Version 2 to the Granary and about your greetings, Fruktfisk. He replied:
Aw thanks - don't really think of myself as an old master, I would reserve that category for the likes of Ingo, Andrea and others
rakovsky
Clubman
posted 09-14-20 09:01 PM ET (US)     27 / 28       
I played "Ctesiphon" by Granite_Rocks/S_Bishop in his Complete Ages of Mankind Campaign (http://aoe.heavengames.com/dl-php/showfile.php?fileid=2628) It has a strange glitch where your Blue Player enemy gets a Victory and defeats you soon after you start to fight him in order to capture the relic in his base. What could cause this?

I checked the VCs for the Scenario and they give the Blue Player if he destroys "Player 2", which would be your Red Player Ally. Your Red Player Ally is weak in this game, but has a Town Center and Barracks and other buildings. I even Tributed 1000 Wood, Gold, and Stone to Red, so he is not low on resources, and he started making a lot of units.

I order to diagnose the problem, I edited the Scenario in my Editor so that I started with 7 juggernauts and a mass of infantry in order to see if the glitch was repeatable. Then when playing my edited version I declared war on Blue, stormed Blue's beach on HARD, and the same thing happened. Somehow Blue got a Victory 2 minutes 50 seconds after I started my "edited" version of the game. Next, I set the difficulty to EASIEST and the same thing happened, so it's not an issue with the Difficulty setting.

The only thing that I can think of is that somehow your Red Player Ally decides to surrender because the AI calculates that the Blue Enemy is far stronger than him. But this does not seem very likely, because in my experience, the AI typically surrenders when you have destroyed practically all his units.

How could you explain this problem?

[This message has been edited by rakovsky (edited 09-14-2020 @ 10:51 PM).]

rakovsky
Clubman
posted 09-17-20 12:12 PM ET (US)     28 / 28       
I made a new thread to address your comments on the Battle for the Ark Scenario:
https://aoe.heavengames.com/cgi-bin/aoecgi/display.cgi?action=ct&f=4,6672,,10

[This message has been edited by rakovsky (edited 09-17-2020 @ 01:03 PM).]

You must be logged in to post messages.
Please login or register

Hop to:    

Age of Empires Heaven | HeavenGames