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Dragon City Mod


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#21
Triforce1

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Jeez, looks like we got ourselves a mini - debate going on here!! That soldier idea makes a ton of sense, but sorry to say I'm not nearly that talented... ;D However, the problem is that the guards would have to be like that all the time, and wouldn't the movement be a little funky? And on the other side, the story line dictates that there be equaly as many Daedric invaders, and they count as NPCs. So far, I'm seeing a lot of problems, but I AM UNDETERRED!!! :woot: If any of you people come up with any more wonderful comments, let me know. I really want dragonback fighting, and a mod of a mounted fighting mod would probably help some...Oh yeah, and I'm still looking for volunteers to help with this. (Do I need to stress my rookieness any more than I already have?) Oh, and Terminator, if you can convince LoginToDownload to join up, that would be great. Don't worry about responsibility, just don't bag out if you start!

#22
LoginToDownload

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Isn't "Don't bag out if you start" another way of saying "Worry about responsibility"? :P

Actually, I'm curious now. I might run some NPC-creature tests, but why would movement be funky?

#23
Vagrant0

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Well, I didn't do all the towns... but I'm not quite sure how they could have done that, as I've used mods with less NPCs than that, and I still got massive slowdown, yet I didn't really get any at the battle of Bruma... how did they manage that? Strange...

As for the NPC creatures... it could, possibly work, but I really don't know. I don't think it's ever been tried before...

The reason why the Bruma battle was probably a bit smoother is because it was setup as a complex scene, so normal AI functions like pathing or fighting styles get toned down significantly, allowing more NPCs to be in action. The whole area is devoid of rocks, plants, everything for good reason. Even still, once you get over 10 NPCs fighting, you end up seeing some lag in reaction times, and an altogether poorer combat experience. Try watching it again when you aren't trying to fight for your life. Using creatures as NPCs won't necessarily be an improvement. Play with 10-15 skeletons in a room some time.

But that's just one part as to why there is a slow down. Polygon counts also play a major role. More empty areas are a bit more forgiving, areas with plants, buildings, and other things are even less so. Even if you don't care about the AI, you'll have to deal with horrible frame rates when you go over that polygon count. Duplicate NPCs or creatures can lessen the strain somewhat, but planning some sort of big important event around this is just irresponsible, no matter how cool it may seem, nobody will really be able to see much of it.

The reason why NPC creatures would be a bit funky is because you need to redefine their animations, and sounds, in addition to having the body and head meshes prepared. There's a reason why Bethsoft went with NPCs for their knights of the order it was easier to setup. Compared to the possible performance boost, if you get any at all, it's not really worth it.

#24
LoginToDownload

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I finished some initial tests. Dwarven armor is your friend if you don't want to create new meshes.

Setting:
Cheydinhal, standing at the gate, looking at the shops/trees/chapel. KillAllActors left 7 essentials (Yes, I know). Standard FPS is 17-18, with the most high-poly view I could find. (From the west gate, looking at the shops/trees/chapel across the river) 2 spells, one of which places 4 standard NPCs (one with a sword, one with sword and shield, one with a bow, one mage) with standard wander packages at the player, another which places 4 similar "Faceless" (Creatures using full dwarven armor and a human skeleton as their body meshes. They have all the standard animations of humans, and a few idles. Standard wander package, and they sound like liches due to my incompetence at making TESSounds) at the player. A wide-range, low damage, fire spell.

Humans:
4 castings (16 NPCs) dropped the framerate to around 10 if I kept them all in sight and kept looking at the high-poly chapel view. They chatted and wandered as normal. The game consistently crashed after attempting a fifth casting, I would imagine due to PlaceAtMeing persistent references). Hurling a fireball into them caused only a slight few of them to react, (I'm going to attribute this to a mod-induced glitch, as vanilla guards have behaved similarly in areas that didn't have that many NPCs.) the rest stood and stared at me. The game crashed shortly after. Very little framerate alteration, still easilly playable.

Faceless:
4 castings put the framerate to 14, again keeping them all in sight. They seemed a bit slow wandering, but did so. 7 to 11-ish castings dropped it to 13-12. Obscene (at least 17) amounts of casting caused the framerate to go to 8-10, but didn't crash it. They look exactly like humans in dwarven armor, no graphical flaws to be seen. Upon fireball-lobbing with 4 castings, significantly more of them reacted, but it still crashed shortly. No significant framerate change. They only used H2H, no spells/shields/weapons, but I attribute this more to my incompetence/differences between NPC and creatures skeletons.

Any thoughts?

#25
Triforce1

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So basically, the whole point of that reply was to prove that the skeletons would work; great news. It's a shame I can't do that, and you obviously know how to do it... And as far as that responsibility thing, I think you could take it. If you decided to try those dwarven armor creatures just to see if it would work, then your part in this group mod would be a piece of cake. Also, as a general thought, the "battlefield" would be a walled in cell of it's own; A large, flat area that would [for the battle] become almost entirely devoid of anything except NPCs and maybe some burning stuff. Also, I'd really like to know how the experimenting with the faceless creatures goes.

"Any thoughts" on that? ;)

#26
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I can't implement it fully either. Can't even make them wield weapons and cast spells, which is a bit of a necessity. In the mean-time I will see how it affects performance when they fight one-another. If things eventually work out on the faceless front, and you're confident the dragons can work, I'll seriously consider going at it full-time.

#27
TheTerminator2004

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How do skeletons manage to use weapons? Couldn't you just copy them? Even so, that is a significant improvement... 17 castings would make 68 faceless soldiers... clearly your computer is much more powerful than mine, which is why it was able to go so high with both that and the npcs, so if the number of soldiers was limited to around 60 (30 on each side), then a battle could work, but it might be too much for the game to handle if there were dragons flying around overhead as well... it looks like this mod might actually be possible after all, with a lot of work, and skill... and several large buckets full of luck :)

#28
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I don't think more than 30 per cell (not per-side) would be needed to make it work well.

I am looking at skeletons, and tried slapping on a torch node to the left hand, (and removed superfluous scabbard-nodes) but have yet to test it. As a bonus, though, they do cast spells with no trouble. I just wasn't giving them enough magicka. Having them fight in large numbers also turned out fine after they all stopped standing around dumbly.

#29
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I feel sort of guilty making another post for this, but no luck. I have no idea how to make them weild weapons. The "torch" node just, somehow, elongates their fingers (not uncooly, I might add) on the torch-hand and, on occasion, makes their arm point off in one direction, dragging the body behind, when they die. That and those I equip with shields (It's either that or, somehow, their basic attributes) are completely invisible and the game thinks they can be mounted. (Up to the point where you select them with the Horseshoe icon, it enters third-person, then snaps back to standard view as if nothing happened) Sorry...

#30
Vagrant0

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I feel sort of guilty making another post for this, but no luck. I have no idea how to make them weild weapons. The "torch" node just, somehow, elongates their fingers (not uncooly, I might add) on the torch-hand and, on occasion, makes their arm point off in one direction, dragging the body behind, when they die. That and those I equip with shields (It's either that or, somehow, their basic attributes) are completely invisible and the game thinks they can be mounted. (Up to the point where you select them with the Horseshoe icon, it enters third-person, then snaps back to standard view as if nothing happened) Sorry...

Question... Why are you playing around with the nodes? You have the armor weighted to a skeleton with all the normal nodes right? Have you clicked "weapon and shield" above "pc level offset" in the creature tab?

You probably won't be able to give them torches, but provided you have the animations copied for that skeleton, you should be able to use weapons.




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