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Sanctum of the Archmage: Enhanced Edition

13

Comments

  • AndarianAndarian Member Posts: 159
    edited October 2018
    A quick update: I'm currently working on a Steam release of the first two Sanctum of the Archmage modules. It'll involve some fairly major hak re-structuring and getting it finished will take some time, especially since I'm also working on a re-release of my first novel. I'm hoping to have the Steam version out by the end of the year.

    In the meantime I've tested editing the EE build of the modules for V5.0 to play in NWN 1.69. For anyone who wants to try playing Sanctum:EE in NWN 1.69, see this link on the module page:

    Instructions for playing Sanctum:EE in NWN 1.69

    I haven't played all the way through to test it fully, so no guarantees. :) However, the testing I did do worked flawlessly.

    I'm also working on setting up a "one-touch installer" for Sanctum using Surazal's Neverwinter Installer Tool (NIT). I'll follow up when that's ready to go.

    jonesr65
  • AutequiAutequi Member Posts: 403
    I haven't been active on these forums for quite a while, but I had to pop back in to say thank you, @Andarian, for this series. I played The Sight several years ago and enjoyed it quite a bit. When I read that you had improved and re-released both chapters for NWN:EE, I was intrigued but not really gaming at the time.

    Well, lately I've been going through a really rough period in my life. Briefly put, it's job-related stress. I badly needed a distraction from the negative thoughts inside my head. And I remembered the fun times I had playing my CRPGs and I remembered that I'd been low-key wanting to replay Sanctum to see the new content. So today I managed to fix my crashing issues and designed myself a free-spirited young bard and hauled back into this world I hadn't visited in forever.

    And I'm kind of emotional right now because it's been really, really great. I've only just started playing, but the forest seems more beautiful than I remember, the music hits all the right notes, and the story has me transfixed. (I've always loved how you designed the intro, drawing the player into the drama in such an immersive way.) For the last few hours, I've been happily absorbed by the plight of my forester instead of stewing over my worries.

    I know that being a creator can often feel like a thankless task, but I also know there must be many other players out there who are enjoying this series. For my part, I just wanted to say thank you for your hard work and craftsmanship in making such an absorbing world. 'Sanctum' is a rather perfect way to describe how this mod feels to me.

    AndarianaarionnBelgarathMTH
  • AndarianAndarian Member Posts: 159
    Dear Autequi,

    I have to say that I'm also kind of emotional right now to read such a touching and thoughtful review. Thank you!

    And thank you also for your comments about the soundtrack and the dramatic immersion of the intro. Those are things that I worked hard to craft and to select, and it's especially gratifying to see them called out.

    As you say, being a creator can often feel like a thankless task. I've been struggling with some of those kinds of feelings myself recently, so I especially appreciate your remarks about that. I put a lot of lot of work into releasing the EE version of the mods a few months ago (which included a complete remake of the forest scenes at the beginning -- thanks for noticing that!), and the sparse response has been a bit disheartening. I've had a similar experience with the novel.

    I'm trying to learn more about how to "get the word out there" as an indie, and I hope to make some progress on that in the coming months. In the meantime, though, feedback like yours is a much needed shot in the arm to help motivate me to keep at it. So thank you again for that!

    Sincerely,

    Andarian

    AutequiaarionnBelgarathMTH
  • AutequiAutequi Member Posts: 403
    WILL FEI FIND THE LAB AND MAKE THE CURE IN TIME??

    She did, with 4 doses to spare. Whew! Still enjoying the module lots. I abandoned my bard, though, and rolled up a rogue/wizard to take advantage of the crafting system. Fei hasn't crafted all that much yet, but she did make Robin a bronzewood small shield (quite nice), and Orion got a leather belt. I'm actually about to take a break from adventuring to sort through her supplies and explore crafting/alchemy some more. (I rather wish the lab had more than the one storage chest, because I like to organize my stuff into containers. Lots and lots of containers.)

    I didn't quite like Robin's and Orion's portraits (no way I was ever going to look at Orion and not hear "You simians may refer to me as 'Sir'....") so I made my own and, shallow as it may be, am much happier with the new view ;)

    I like all the lore and history of the world. The ancient civilization, the lost technology, the races of elves. A nice touch in the Archetype Gallery was that it wasn't completely about the statues, but there was character development too. Good change of pace. Also, I always appreciate getting to know and befriend my party members and this module is great for that.

    I LOLed at the altar's response when Fei tried to pray there.

    I'm noticing things here and there which I think are new to the remake because I don't remember them from before... like Orion's weapon. Is that new? At first I felt annoyed at the wall of text that was its description, but I ended up quite touched by the story. Well played :D

    Andarian
  • TressetTresset Member, Moderator Posts: 7,596
    @Autequi Your comment here was caught in our forum's spam filter. I have restored it and verified you so that this should not happen again.

    AutequiAndarian
  • AndarianAndarian Member Posts: 159
    edited November 2018
    Thanks for the wonderful feedback, Autequi! I'm glad you're enjoying re-playing it again. :)
    Autequi said:

    Still enjoying the module lots... I like all the lore and history of the world. The ancient civilization, the lost technology, the races of elves... I abandoned my bard, though, and rolled up a rogue/wizard to take advantage of the crafting system... I'm actually about to take a break from adventuring to sort through her supplies and explore crafting/alchemy some more.

    Excellent! The latest version includes a major expansion of the crafting system that I was hoping that players would enjoy exploring. It can also be very helpful in gearing up your team for some of the harder combats, especially near the end.
    Autequi said:

    I didn't quite like Robin's and Orion's portraits (no way I was ever going to look at Orion and not hear "You simians may refer to me as 'Sir'....") so I made my own and, shallow as it may be, am much happier with the new view ;)

    I understand. Those portraits have been there since the first release of the mods over a dozen years ago, and I haven't given much thought to them for a while. My illustrator is working on covers for the novels, though, and it might be worth using them to make replacement portraits for some of the characters going forward. What kind of look did you envision for them? Are you playing with Robin as prince or princess?
    Autequi said:

    I'm noticing things here and there which I think are new to the remake because I don't remember them from before... like Orion's weapon. Is that new? At first I felt annoyed at the wall of text that was its description, but I ended up quite touched by the story. Well played :D

    Yes, it is, and thank you for noticing! The description is actually a passage from my novel, Dawn of Chaos. (It's edited, since the original text is too long and a bit spoilerish.) It was one of several things in the mod that I changed to more closely follow the published story. How Orion gets that sword ends up having some personal meaning to him in the book, and I thought it would be appropriate to include that in the mods.

    Thanks again for your very kind words!

    Andarian

    Post edited by Andarian on
    Autequi
  • AutequiAutequi Member Posts: 403
    I'm not completely happy with these but they're ok for now. Maybe one day I'll do a proper portrait set.


    PS Forgot to mention that Fei's been lugging a certain body around just in case they can give him a proper burial one day.

    Andarian
  • AndarianAndarian Member Posts: 159
    edited November 2018
    Autequi said:

    I'm not completely happy with these but they're ok for now. Maybe one day I'll do a proper portrait set.

    Those are very good! And they're probably better fits for the characters, actually, than the ones I've been using.
    Autequi said:

    PS Forgot to mention that Fei's been lugging a certain body around just in case they can give him a proper burial one day.

    That's wise. It may take a while, but keep faith. :)

    Autequi
  • AutequiAutequi Member Posts: 403
    Well harrumph. Did the guardian constructs get beefed up? Because they
    turned the Hellman army into paste in five seconds flat. I guess if I want any XP from that fight I'd need to do a worse job stalling Y'thra! :D


    Also, found a typo in male Robin's "What do you think of me?" responses:
    (I'm at 11/14.) "His voice trails off, and then she adds simply...."

    Andarian
  • AndarianAndarian Member Posts: 159
    Autequi said:

    Well harrumph. Did the guardian constructs get beefed up? Because they

    turned the Hellman army into paste in five seconds flat. I guess if I want any XP from that fight I'd need to do a worse job stalling Y'thra! :D

    They got beefed up in v4.0/4.1, but I think that's the previous version you played. Depending on the luck of the roll the Guardians can sometimes mop up the battle pretty quickly. From an XP point of view it's largely a wash, though, since you get extra XP for every delay you succeed at.
    Autequi said:

    Also, found a typo in male Robin's "What do you think of me?" responses:

    (I'm at 11/14.) "His voice trails off, and then she adds simply...."

    Got it. Thanks for catching that! It's a major typo, and I'm a bit shocked that I missed it until now. I've fixed it and it'll go out in the next update. :)

    Autequi
  • AutequiAutequi Member Posts: 403
    I must give a shout-out to the Earthen Inn as the best deal in the underground. These rooms came not only with free food, but also some nice loot!

    Fei spent so much time in the ruins she had started to feel at home. She's going to miss this place (especially that nice big spa and those handy portals) and its colorful characters. But now it's time to move on to the next stage of the journey.

    I feel like there was so much packed into the first chapter that hardly anything could surprise me any more, ha.

    Andarian
  • AutequiAutequi Member Posts: 403
    I have been defeated by a clam. :/

    Andarian
  • AndarianAndarian Member Posts: 159
    Autequi said:

    I have been defeated by a clam. :/

    Getting the clam is probably best done as a team-bashing effort to spread out the pain. Also:

    Try using the control rod's "long range" power on it. (HINT: If you didn't examine the rod ("use self") after your rest in the first passage, do that now.)



    Autequi
  • AutequiAutequi Member Posts: 403
    The first time we broke the clam, the loot drop was inaccessible! :P The second time, I was able to retrieve it.
    I tried to shot it with my bow but it was still able to bite me?! Then I fried it very slowly to death with my Lightning Rod.


    Just rescued some innocents and am finally remembering to use the control rod. Wow, it made the boss fight so much easier. (As did having Orion tank instead of me or Robin.)

    Found a couple of typos in the Journal entry for
    "The Sight: Robin's Heart":
    1. "I must be careful to remember what my talent has warned me" [of?]
    2. Only when the time is finally right [to] overthrow the usurper


    Am enjoying getting to know my companions better. Orion in particular has a very nice animation with my PC :open_mouth:

    PS Am I hijacking this thread? Let me know if I should make a new thread instead of geeking this one up with play commentary.

  • AndarianAndarian Member Posts: 159
    edited November 2018
    Autequi said:

    PS Am I hijacking this thread? Let me know if I should make a new thread instead of geeking this one up with play commentary.

    Not at all! I can't think of anything better to see here than geeking-out play commentary. The Modules forum doesn't get much activity compared to some of the others (I do wish it got more), and I'm very grateful for the feedback. It certainly helps me feel as though the mods are appreciated. :)
    Autequi said:

    The first time we broke the clam, the loot drop was inaccessible! :P The second time, I was able to retrieve it.

    I tried to shot it with my bow but it was still able to bite me?! Then I fried it very slowly to death with my Lightning Rod.

    Yes, it was a little awkward positioning the clam to make it look like it was in the water and still have it drop the loot where it could be reached. You can always reach it, but sometimes you have to maneuver around for just the right angle. If you have a tough time reaching any loot, though, you can always get it by asking one of your companions to "pick up items in the area." The scripting will take care of it, and then you can take it from them.

    I'll need to take a look at the shooting bit, though, because that's not really how I wanted it to work. I implemented the "snapping" with a persistent trap on the clam, but it really shouldn't be doing that if you're shooting it from a distance. When I do the next update I think I'll remove the trap and script the effect directly.
    Autequi said:

    Just rescued some innocents and am finally remembering to use the control rod. Wow, it made the boss fight so much easier. (As did having Orion tank instead of me or Robin.)

    I'm really glad you noticed that! That's exactly how I wanted it to play out, and it took a bit of testing to get those sight bonuses "just right." :)
    Autequi said:

    Found a couple of typos in the Journal entry...

    Thanks! I'll fix those typos in the next edit. It can be hard to spot those in your own writing, so I really appreciate having them pointed out.
    Autequi said:

    Am enjoying getting to know my companions better. Orion in particular has a very nice animation with my PC :open_mouth:

    Thanks! Those are from the "Romantic Animations Suite." I was able to make good use of them in Chapter 2.

  • AndarianAndarian Member Posts: 159
    edited March 16
    I just posted these comments on another thread, and wanted to echo them here (with a little elaboration).

    Everyone: PLEASE do not make the mistake of assuming that modules for NWN:EE are only available on the Steam Workshop. Nearly all of the great classics from the golden age of NWN (as well as some new ones) have been preserved, and are still available, on the Neverwinter Vault. And you can play them regardless of where you bought EE from -- Beamdog, Steam, or GOG.

    The Enhanced Edition was designed for backward compatibility. That means that every one of these hundreds of high-quality adventures will play in NWN:EE. All you need to do is install them into your Documents/Neverwinter Nights folder. If anyone has trouble with how to do this, please feel free to ask on the forums. There are plenty of us who would be glad to help.

    A few of the classic NWN mods have been ported to the Steam Workshop, but not many. And it isn't necessary to play them. The only benefit to a Steam Workshop port is that players get to install mods with a single click, instead of spending a few simple minutes downloading and copying files. I recognize the value in trying to make things easier for players, but porting a mod to Steam's format isn't easy -- especially if it's a complex one that uses a lot of custom content that the author may need to try to get permission to re-release on another site.

    That is very much the case for Sanctum of the Archmage. It's on my to-do list -- but as with many other mod authors, I'm also very busy with other projects. In my own case that includes trying to write and publish epic fantasy novels on top of working an extremely challenging full-time tech job -- one that requires lots of off-hours study just to keep my skills relevant enough to remain employable.

    I'm not going to put a Steam port (much less finishing Sanctum 3) ahead of those priorities if no one is going to play it. And I'm not going to repeat what I did last year -- which was to set my author career back by six months to edit and release a new version of my mods, with significantly new and improved content, for NWN:EE -- if no one is going to play them. The frankly tepid response I've seen (there hasn't been a comment on this thread for four months now, for example) doesn't encourage me to put any more effort into doing that.

    Post edited by Andarian on
  • DwayneDwayne Member Posts: 66
    I am looking forward to playing your series but I have held off due to it not being complete. I have played too many module series that were never completed. When part 3 is released I plan on playing your series. I am sure there are many others also waiting that have just not posted.

  • AndarianAndarian Member Posts: 159
    edited April 6
    Dwayne wrote: »
    I am looking forward to playing your series but I have held off due to it not being complete. I have played too many module series that were never completed. When part 3 is released I plan on playing your series. I am sure there are many others also waiting that have just not posted.

    Sentiments like those don't exactly motivate me to do any further work on it. As I wrote last year,
    "As of early 2018, and inspired by the release of Beamdog’s Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition, I’ve tentatively decided to resume work on Chapter 3 of the module series. Finding time to do this (along with my writing and day job) will be a challenge, and it will have to depend on the reception that re-release of the first two modules receives. But if there is sufficient interest, I would genuinely like to do everything I can to continue developing the series in game as well as in novel form."

    Chapter 3 was going to be far from the end of the ten volume story that I'm working on. I've been plotting and developing it for years -- and given my age, I will probably be spending the rest of my life writing and publishing it. So individuals unwilling to play or read an ongoing story aren't exactly my "target audience."

    I'm not a studio with a dev team, and I'm not getting paid for this. I'm one man, trying to fit mod-making into his spare time on top of life, family, work, and a bunch of other, frankly much more practical, projects. I keep trying because I fell in love with making games, and with the appreciation of fans who tell me that they like my work. That's why I'm still here, and reaching out to this community, when the other mod authors that you deride for never completing their series are long gone. I'm sorry if that’s not enough for you.

    Like the others who've left, I really do have other things to be doing. I'm trying to get the first two volumes of my novel series published, for example, and I've got an opportunity to do some really cool ML work on my job right now. I could -- and should -- be devoting my time to finding a new cover artist or reading papers on Deep Learning. This response doesn’t exactly encourage me to devote more of it to making free games for people instead. And if it’s the kind of appreciation I can expect for supporting the work I've already done, then perhaps it's time that I moved on as well.

    Post edited by Andarian on
    Isewein
  • AaezilAaezil Member Posts: 166
    Dude nobody owes you anything because you made a mod for a 20 year old game. Can you be a bit more humble?

  • AtrophiedericAtrophiederic Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 127
    Friend @Aaezil, I must disagree with your assertation that nothing is owed to @Andarian for his contributions. Content like SotA (and contributors like friend @Andarian) is one of the core pillars of the community, and is very likely the reason that Beamdog saw fit to give us the EE after so long. It is these quality (and quantity) creations from contributors everywhen and everywhere that have allowed our precious NwN to remain relevant after so many years. Perhaps instead of asking for @Andarian's humility, we ought to download and play his modules instead.

    Long live Neverwinter Nights, my friends!

    Morwinyonjonesr65Andarian
  • AndarianAndarian Member Posts: 159
    edited April 9
    Thank you very much for the extremely kind words, Atrophiederic. :)

  • DwayneDwayne Member Posts: 66
    I was just trying to be nice and give you an honest answer since no one else was answering you. Your response has made me not care any longer about your modules. Don't make part 3. I don't care. Release part 3. I don't care.

    Sylvus_Moonbow
  • AtrophiedericAtrophiederic Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 127
    Just to let you know, @Andarian , whenever I am able to procure a decent one that can handle NwN (the one we have now is a frankensteined laptop that can barely open google), Sanctum is at the tippy-top of my planned playlist. Thanks again, for not only releasing these mods to the community, but also for re-releasing them for the new incarnation of NwN!

    Andarian
  • theyonkstheyonks Member Posts: 5
    First, I have to say that this is a well crafted module and a lot of thought and quality went into it, as far as I have gotten into the first chapter. Clearly based on your story idea, as the beginning is a little too scripted for my typical NWN tastes, but it's well done. Once you get into it, you feel like you have a little more role-playing control. There are some tileset issues which cause navigation troubles, but that is minor. Having said all that, I am just about to quit it. You had a way to configure combat difficulty and I didn't set it to the hardest, but whatever it's set at, it's too hard and it's just honestly obnoxious to the point that it takes away from the fun, especially with the henchman suffering from their bites.

    Is there a way to re-adjust it, mid-module?

  • AndarianAndarian Member Posts: 159
    theyonks wrote: »
    First, I have to say that this is a well crafted module and a lot of thought and quality went into it, as far as I have gotten into the first chapter... Having said all that, I am just about to quit it. You had a way to configure combat difficulty and I didn't set it to the hardest, but whatever it's set at, it's too hard... Is there a way to re-adjust it, mid-module?
    For others reading who may be interested, this was also posted this to my project page on the NWN Vault. I responded and suggested ways to address the issue there:

    https://neverwintervault.org/comment/48752#comment-48752

  • TrixterTrixter Member Posts: 191
    These don't seem to be with the non-obsolete package:

    Couldn't load the Hak Pak File "saq15_tilesets.hak"
    Couldn't load the Hak Pak File "[dt]starship_0.4.hak"
    Couldn't load the Hak Pak File "saq15_robe.hak"
    Couldn't load the Hak Pak File "starship_place.hak"
    Couldn't load the Hak Pak File "tb's nwn heads o.hak"
    Couldn't load the Hak Pak File "saq15_vfxgui.hak"
    Couldn't load the Hak Pak File "saq15_sounds.hak"
    Couldn't load the Hak Pak File "saq15_race.hak"
    Couldn't load the Hak Pak File "saq15_portraits.hak"
    Couldn't load the Hak Pak File "saq15_placeables.hak"
    Couldn't load the Hak Pak File "sanctum_qcep_top.hak"

  • AndarianAndarian Member Posts: 159
    Trixter wrote: »
    These don't seem to be with the non-obsolete package...

    I think this may be due to a recent hosting change that broke legacy links on the Vault:

    https://forum.neverwintervault.org/t/change-in-file-url-on-vault/2133/14

    The files you’re looking for should all be in the module specific and 3rd party hak downloads. You should be able to find the links you need for these directly on Sanctum’s module page. I’ll look into this more tonight when I get home, and post the new links if necessary.

  • AndarianAndarian Member Posts: 159
    I've confirmed that the download links file was broken by the recent Vault change. Here is an updated version that should work, at least for now:

    https://neverwintervault.org/sites/all/modules/pubdlcnt/pubdlcnt.php?fid=34429

    If you have any trouble with it, please let me know. And thanks for your interest!

    Andarian

  • TrixterTrixter Member Posts: 191
    Thanks, but your module is still broken... it crashes at the "waterfall" area.

  • AndarianAndarian Member Posts: 159
    edited July 14
    Trixter wrote: »
    Thanks, but your module is still broken... it crashes at the "waterfall" area.

    I just re-tested those scenes without any issues, so some additional information would help me to debug the problem you're having. Can you tell me the following?

    - Which game are you playing the module with (NWN 1.69 or NWN:EE), and on which platform (Windows, Mac, etc.)?
    - If it's crashing in EE, which game version are you playing with? (You should be able to find that information by choosing "Options" from the Main Menu, and reading the numbers in the upper right corner of the window.)
    - In what part of which scene did it crash (for example, on first entry to the Waterfall area for the picnic, during the cutscene, during the escape from the valley, etc.)?
    - What were the contents of the error logs after the crash? You can find these in NWN's logs folder under the names "nwclientLog1.txt" and "nwclientError1.txt."

    That information should help me to narrow down what might be causing the crash you're seeing, and identify a solution for it.

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