Get Ready For Diseases

Unlike later games in the series, diseases in Daggerfall are more than a mere annoyance. They mean serious business and could spell a permanent end to your adventures if left untreated. Diseases will sap your attributes to nothing and even kill you in a matter of days if you don’t manage to get cured.

So good news everyone! Starting with latest Live Builds you can become infected with diseases in Daggerfall Unity thanks to dirty creatures like bats, rats, and mummies.

Diseases actually began development a while back. Most of the research and back-end framework was built out by two rockstar contributors you should already be familiar with: Allofich and Hazelnut. Diseases have just been waiting for me to implement effect system to handle their payload and support their curing by spell effects. This is another great example of a successful collaborative effort for Daggerfall Unity.

Rather than roll out a dry article about implementation details, I’ve decided to use the Visual Diary format to tell a bit of a story and show all the different parts of the disease system in the context of normal play. I’ve decided to create a fictional day in the life of your average character to show how he might catch a disease and find his way to a cure. This is also great opportunity to show just how far gameplay has come, as everything that follows is something that could play out in Daggerfall Unity right now.

Let’s begin.

 

Part One : The Mummy

It’s just one of those days. Your bank loan is due and your room at the Pig and Cat is almost up. You need some gold like yesterday to fuel the expensive tavern and ship-travel lifestyle you’ve become accustomed to. You’re about to be homeless and legally wanted in Gothway Garden of Daggerfall. So what’s a flat broke adventure to do?

You decide to visit Tristyn Hawkton of the Mages Guild to see if there’s any work available. It turns out he’s just delighted to see you and crazy for some wrappings from a very specific mummy called Maruag. Would you mind popping over to the Ruins of Wicksmith Court to get them for him? He’s paying 1359 gold pieces for your trouble.

That should be enough to pay back your bank loan and a buy several months at the Pig and Cat, so you accept the quest and make your way on horseback to the Ruins of Wicksmith Court to look for that mummy and nick some of the poor thing’s bandages.

Not much left of this place, is there? Just a few crumbled building and an entrance to some below-ground hellscape. You wonder if these places would still be ruins if they didn’t insist on building on top of labyrinths filled to the brim with monsters. Maybe the property tax is lower or something?

After a few hours of searching dead-ends, you finally encounter the mummy Maruag itself. Looks like some other adventurer has taken the time to put it in a cage. Maybe they needed wrappings too?

You try reaching for a loose end from Maruag’s wrapping. Live and let live right, the poor thing is already trapped in a cage. But Maruag is less than impressed and claws at your arm, drawing blood. You think: “right, you’re done mate!” and cut down Maruag with that overpriced Daedric Dagger you took out a huge bank loan for a while back. On its double-dead corpse you find another 900 pieces of gold (score!) and the wrappings Tristyn Hawkton is looking for.

With all the gold you’ve made on this run, plus the reward, you’ll finally be out of debt with the bank and have a roof over your head for a long while. You rest up and use your Medical skill to treat that scratch Maruag gave you earlier, then head back to Gothway Garden.

What you don’t know yet is that Maruag’s parting shot at you from his last moments of undeath have left you with a nasty surprise lurking in your bloodstream.

 

Part Two : The Homeward Journey

You look at your map to plan your journey home, and this is where you get your first sign of trouble. Suddenly the game is warning you something isn’t right.

As a seasoned adventurer, you know this means you’ve caught a disease. Probably from that mummy scratch. You think it over for a minute and determine that you feel healthy right now.

You know from experience that diseases have a short incubation period. You probably won’t feel bad until tomorrow sometime. The Ruins of Wicksmith Court is about a day from Gothway Garden, so travel should not be too risky. If you were several days from the nearest town with a temple, things might be different. But it’s already late in the afternoon after spending so many hours in that dungeon, so you decide to get a move on and make your way back to Gothway Garden as quickly as possible by travelling recklessly.

You arrive shortly after midnight, and you’re already starting to feel unwell. Looking at those sores forming on your arm, you know that you’ve caught the Red Death, a horrible disease that will be fatal if left untreated. You’re already feeling quite drained. Thankfully you made to town without wasting any time!

 

Part Three : A Temple Cure

The quickest way to heal is by visiting the local temple if one is available. Fortunately Gothway Garden has a Resolution of Z’en on the north-east side. You make your way through the sleeping town in darkness, accompanied only by the sound of crickets.

A temple healer is on duty at all hours, and she offers to cure your Red Death for the low price of  317 gold pieces. You pay the fee and are healed in short order.

 

Part 4 : Curing By Spellcraft

On the other hand, you might decide you don’t want any dealings with a temple that’s only going to take more of your hard-earned gold. You have some skill in Restoration… well, kind of. Maybe instead you can heal your own disease and save yourself some gold. You’re already a member of the Mages Guild after all. The first problem is that you travelled to town as quickly as possible and the Mages Guild is currently closed. At least you can rent your room at the Pig and Cat for another 30 days and try to create yourself a cure in the morning.

Later that morning, you visit the Mages Guild again and head straight for the spell maker to create a Cure Disease spell. Here you strike another problem. You’re more of a Daedric Dagger kind of person, so you’ve been a bit tardy in your magical studies. You only have 6% skill in Restoration and 120 spell points to work with. Thankfully that Red Death isn’t draining your Intelligence attribute or a temple might be the only option for now. You create a Cure Disease spell with the best chance of success you can for under 120 spell points.

 

You put together a Cure Disease spell that gives you a 1% chance of success plus 9% for every 2 levels gained. You’re currently level 12, so you have a 1+9*(12/2)=55% chance of success. That’s a better than half chance of success. Unfortunately it costs 408 gold pieces, which is more than the temple was offering. But at least now you can cure your own diseases whenever you need to. Anyway, who cares about stupid numbers? Let’s cast this thing!

A crackle of fierce magical energy erupts from your hands and flows around your body. You feel the healing energies seep into your… wait, “spell effect failed”?

A better than half chance of success still means you have about a half chance of failure as well. And now you’ve blown your whole magicka reserves casting that one spell. Oh well, at least you’re not that sick – yet. Not to be defeated, you return to the Pig and Cat to recover your magicka reserves to rest and try again. But first you give Tristyn Hawkton have his stupid mummy wrappings on the way out.

After several hours of rest and a second attempt, you finally clear yourself of that disease.

 

Part 4 : Epilogue

With some gold in hand, you visit the local Bank of Daggerfall and pay back that loan for the Daedric Dagger. Despite everything you’ve been through, you still managed to come out even stronger in the end. Maybe now it’s time to continue with the Emperor’s quest.

 

For more frequent updates on Daggerfall Unity, follow me on Twitter @gav_clayton.

Updated Builds May 2018

A new round of 0.5 builds are available from Live Builds page. Here’s an overview of what has changed in this version.

New Features

  • Spellmaker now shows gold and spell costs. Spells will remain free to buy and cast for testing purposes.
  • Casting spells now deducts spell points from player, but can continue to cast spells at 0 spell points for testing purposes.
  • Crime & Punishment updates with more work on Court UI in progress (Allofich).
  • Implemented Drain Attribute, Paralyze, Levitate effects. Check these Twitter links for short videos of Paralyze and and Levitate in action.
  • Started work on Heal Attribute effects and resistance back-end. Currently only Heal Strength is available, will build more soon.
  • Can now open spell book from character summary UI.
  • Using smaller SoundFont “TimGM6mb.sf2” by default to reduce distribution size.
  • Can now use custom SoundFont by placing .sf2 file in StreamingAssets/SoundFonts and setting SoundFont=filename.sf2 in settings.ini.
  • Active spell effects are now saved/loaded.
  • Allow mods to save/load data (TheLacus).
  • Updated player headbob, smooth crouch, and other movement mechanics (MeteoricDragon).
  • Implement town NPC dialog to include “Where Is > Person” queries (Nystul).
  • Implement spell icons for active spells. Includes tooltips while game is paused.
  • Updates to ensure default materials always have glossiness 0 and metallic 0 and alpha channel available. This is groundwork for using later Unity versions.
  • Attacking civilians with offensive spells is now considered assault. Killing civilians with offensive spells is considered murder.

Bug Fixes

  • Fix bug with loose file asset injection (TheLacus).
  • Fix bug where player could not delete spells from spell book.
  • Fixes for enemy turning (Allofich).
  • Fix mobile NPCs “skating sideways”. Still some mobile NPC pop-in to resolve.
  • Fix guild membership lost after loading a game (Hazelnut).
  • Fix weather manager causing a crash after loading interior save, and preventing future saves.
  • Fix enemies shooting bow too much (Allofich).
  • Fix %god macro causing a crash in popup dialog. This would become evident when player could not complete quest or rest after bug occurred.
  • Fix certain quest NPC placement tracking to support dialog system.
  • Fix certain town quests starting and ending instantly due to travel time not being calculated (merchant and commoner quests are still in progress).
  • Fix bug where player could melee attack at bow range after changing hands from a bow attack.
  • Fix travel map border not disabling when zooming in.
  • Minor quest fixes.

 

For more frequent updates on Daggerfall Unity, follow me on Twitter @gav_clayton.

First Look At Spells

I recently demonstrated spell missiles and discussed the back-end framework driving magical effects in Daggerfall Unity. I’m happy to report that it’s now possible to create custom spells and hurl sparkling death at your foes! As my last article was a bit dry and technical, I’ll start this one off with a short video of spells in action.

 

New Builds

You’ll find all new test builds on the Live Builds page as usual. Here are the key features of this release.

  • Create custom spells in the Spellmaker UI (invoke using “showspellmaker” from console).
  • Spellbook UI where custom spells are saved with your character.
  • 3x magic effects are currently available for testing:
  •     Continuous Damage Health (a damage over time effect).
  •     Damage Health (a direct damage effect).
  •     Heal Health (heal yourself and other entities).
  • All elements and target types are available (as appropriate for effect) when creating spells.
  • Smooth crouching, head bobbing, and head rocking when damaged (Meteoric Dragon).
  • Sound and music volume sliders (in progress). Some effects not wired up to volume slider yet (Meteoric Dragon).
  • City Guards and crime tracking, starting work on Crime & Punishment (Allofich).
  • More mod support in the back-end (TheLacus).
  • Various small bug fixes and improvements.

While only 3x effects are available at this time, this doesn’t nearly do justice to the progress that has been made. Spell effects are actually very small scripts – usually no more than a few lines of code and some properties. What really matters is the framework driving magic in Daggerfall Unity has finally progressed to this point. The previous article has more on this if you’re interested.

 

Testing

The purpose of these builds is to test the magic & effects framework is well-behaved and usable in its current state. What I’m looking for are crashes and other unexpected behaviour in the framework. Once this is working well, I will continue to roll out more effects in future builds. To keep testing as focused as possible, here’s a summary of what you can expect from this release.

  • Create and cast spells using the starting 3x test effects above.
  • There is no spell absorption, reflection, or elemental resistance at this time.
  • You can select elements to change appearance of spell and missile, but all elements are equal in terms of damage.
  • All target types (caster, touch, target at range, etc.) should be working.
  • Spells do not yet increase related magic skills of character.
  • Spells are all currently free to buy and to cast – so make them as weak or powerful as you like.
  • All of these free spells will be expired at some point closer to 0.5 stable.
  • Magic items are not implemented yet, this will come much later in 0.5 cycle.

Note: Due to changes in the modding system older mods may not work in this version. Please revert to build #105 for any broken mods until creators update for current version.

 

Feedback

For discussion on these builds, please head over to the forums. If you want to report a bug, post this to the Bug Reports forums. If you’re not sure if something is a bug or just not implemented, don’t hesitate to ask in Help & Support.

I hope you enjoy this early preview of spells in Daggerfall Unity. Have fun!

 

For more frequent updates on Daggerfall Unity, follow me on Twitter @gav_clayton.

Magic & Effects Back-End

In my previous article, I showed progress on the visual side of spell-slinging and had lots of fun with casting animations and throwing around missiles with lighting effects. Now I have to regard the business end of the spell system and how all of this holds together under the hood. This article will be a lot more tech-oriented than my previous one, but may still be of interest if you’re curious about how spells will operate in Dagerfall Unity.

Please keep in mind this is all under active development so concepts discussed here are likely to be refined or expanded by the time everything rolls out.

 

Magic & Effects System

One major shift in this process was changing how I think about the spell system. I have a long list of goals I want to achieve during this stage of development, above and beyond just emulating Daggerfall’s classic roster of spells. Primarily, I want to create a central way of handling the majority of effect-based gameplay. This means advantages/disadvantages, diseases, poisons, spells, magic items, potions, and so on should all come together under the one system or group of related systems. Once I had made that decision, it no longer made sense to call it the “Spell System” as spells are just one part of the collective. So the Magic & Effects System was born.

This is why you won’t see the word “spell” very much moving forward but you will see the word “effect” a lot. In this context an effect isn’t something visual, it’s how something works. For example, an effect that heals the player is a script which increases their current health. This naming is taken from Daggerfall itself where spells and magic items reference effects directly using a type and sub-type.  You can read more about classic Daggerfall’s spells and their effect indices on this UESP page.

You will also see the term effect used by Daggerfall’s Spell Maker UI when creating a new spell. You can add up to three effects per spell as shown in screenshot below from classic Daggerfall (spell maker is not yet implemented in Daggerfall Unity).

 

Overview

If you’re familiar with the Quest System and how registered Quest Actions execute inside of a Quest – then you’re already familiar with the Magic & Effects System. I’m iterating on some of the concepts for Magic & Effects, but the broad design remains very similar. There are a couple good reasons for this: I want a consistent approach so developers can apply learning from one system to another, and both systems do something very similar which is execute a script inside a framework of some kind to perform work for the game. Here’s a nifty overview of the classes so far before I break it down further:

 

EntityEffectBroker

The EntityEffectBroker singleton lives within the game scene at all times, and will be involved any time a new effect enters the game. It fills a similar niche to the QuestMachine in that it helps coordinate everything and provides a common entry point for execution. At startup it uses reflection to enumerate all classes implementing IEntityEffect inside the main assembly and registers them using an “effect key” presented by the effect itself. Eventually, mods will be able to inject new effects at startup without needing to rely on the reflective enumeration.

 

DaggerfallEntityBehaviour

This MonoBehaviour-derived class has existed for a long time but deserves a revisit to explain how it fits into Magic & Effects. Everything that walks, crawls, flies, or swims in Daggerfall is considered an entity and carries a DaggerfallEntityBehaviour component. This in turn holds the DaggerfallEntity instance which defines their career (class / monster type) and all of their stats, skills, health, spellpoints, etc. Most effects will operate directly upon an entity in some manner, which is why the EntityEffectManager is peered with this component.

 

EntityEffectManager

This component stores effect collections (called bundles) that are currently operating on the entity. At runtime, it will step through all effect bundles assigned to the entity and execute them. It will also remove bundles when they have expired. Generally speaking, this class is responsible for handling the lifetime, execution, and persistence of effect bundles related to a single entity.

 

EntityEffectBundle

The aforementioned bundles come to life through the EntityEffectBundle class. This is both a collection of effects and an execution container for them. A spell is just one example of a bundle – spells have one to three effects that share a common duration, chance, magnitude, magic type, etc. Every effect that exists in the game will be contained by an EntityEffectBundle. It’s similar to a Quest object in that effect bundles execute child effect scripts in a similar manner to how Quests execute child action scripts. Besides all of that, effect bundles are used to transport effects from one place to another, for example via a spell missile. The variety and management of effect bundles will see heavy work over time.

 

IEntityEffect

This is an interface to the effect. An interface is like a contract that defines what properties, methods, etc. a class must implement. The EntityEffectBundle will store a collection of effects using their IEntityEffect reference.

 

BaseEntityEffect

A default abstract implementation of the effect interface used to reduce workload by effect authors. The base class handles most of the common boiler-plate for any effect.

 

Effect

The effect itself. This is the script which actually performs work against the world, target entity, or whatever else the effect is designed to do. Just like a QuestAction, an Effect class is C# code executed by the owning EntityEffectBundle, which in turn is executed by the parent EntityEffectManager. Each effect is enumerated, keyed, and later factoried by the EntityEffectBroker when being added to a bundle. The effect itself should be very atomic, performing only the job it was intended to do. Effects will be insulated from the gory details of the wider systems and only need to take care of their own execution and persistence.

 

DaggerfallMissile

This is a mobile object like a fireball the player shoots into the world. Missiles aren’t just a visual thing, they are also used to carry effect bundles from one place to another, such as the fireball mentioned a moment ago. However, the appearance of the missile will depend on the magic type property of the effect bundle it carries (e.g. frost, fire, poison). Any entity hit by the missile will find the effect bundle payload added to their EntityEffectManager and they will suffer the consequences.

 

FPSSpellCasting

This is purely the visual side of casting spells for the player. It is the glowing hand attack you saw in my previous article. It deserves a mention because just like missiles, the casting animation will be selected based on the magic type the player is using (e.g. frost, fire, poison).

 

Immediate Mode Effects

Now you have a high-level overview of the major classes making up the Magic & Effects System, but something I haven’t talked about is how execution itself operates. I liken effect system execution to an Immediate Mode GUI, in that every tick of the effect system will expect current state from every active effect. Rather than try to track what every single effect is doing (which is a logistical and concurrency nightmare) the entity and effect management classes work around this by just not caring about the current state of any effect.

This simplifies both ends of the execution process. First of all, the EntityEffectManager does not need to track and remove state for effects operating upon its peered entity. There’s a limitless number of permutations of what an effect could do, and the ability to execute custom effects through the mod system further expands what is possible. The EntityEffectManager can’t possibly account for everything an effect might change, so it doesn’t try. It just requests every effect to apply its current work every frame. More on this in the next section.

Second, the effects themselves don’t need to worry about what other effects are doing – they only need to worry about the work they want to perform. This work might be to increase/decrease health, or fortify an attribute, or summon an item, or open a UI, but whatever that work is the effect itself gets to manage its own execution and state with almost complete control over itself.

If that all sounds a bit complex, please don’t worry about it. Everything works out to be fairly simple in reality, and there will be dozens of effect scripts to learn from. I expect the majority of effect scripts will be no more than 20-30 lines of code.

 

Sandboxing Effects

I mention above that effects have almost complete control over their own state and that management classes don’t even try to track what those effects are doing to the entity. You’re probably asking at this point how changes to the entity like a damaged Strength attribute is removed once the effect is finished? This is where some minor sandboxing comes into play.

Rather than allow effects to operate directly on the entity’s stats and skills, each effect has a payload of modifiers that it can use to change these attributes while active. The first part of this went into the game some time ago. DaggerfallStats and DaggerfallSkills each have a “mods” array that hold potential changes for every value (note these aren’t game mods, that’s just what the array is called).

When requesting a stat such as Strength, the game can request either the LiveStrength value or the PermanentStrength value. The Permanent value is the actual value stored in the entity. This is never touched or altered by an effect script. The Live value is a combination of the Permanent value modified by all combined effect “mods” active on that entity.

At the start of every tick, the effect system will first clear the “mods” state for all attributes. Then when an effect is executed, the management classes will merge any “mods” changes emitted by that effect to the entity’s resultant “mods” array. So when a formula asks for the current LiveStrength value, it will be handed the player’s real Strength plus or minus any changes made by effects. When those effects expire, the next tick of the effect system will clear its changes from the resultant set of modifiers.

This minor sandboxing process helps ensure that effects cannot accidentally alter the player’s attributes in any permanent way, provided they follow the design in place.

Not everything will be sandboxed in this manner (which is why I called it “minor” sandboxing earlier). Some values such as Health and Fatigue are designed to be raised/lowered constantly by several external factors, and are also very easily recovered. Any effects changing these values are fine to operate directly on live state.

 

Conclusion

The Magic & Effect System still has a very long way to go, but hopefully this article will serve to ground developers on the direction it is taking and what certain concepts mean inside the code. I hope to have active test effects with a real lifecycle running soon. This will help me further build the execution framework and start rolling out actual effects.

From there, work will progress deeper into Spellbook and Spellmaker UIs until the player is more-or-less casting real spells in the game. And by then, things should be far enough along to start adding support for magic items, diseases, advantages/disadvantages, potions, and so on.

As always, I’m looking forward to progressing beyond the design and build-out stages to actual implementation. Hopefully this will be the only dry, technical article in the series.

 

For more frequent updates on Daggerfall Unity, follow me on Twitter @gav_clayton.

Spells: Front-End Graphics

It’s finally time for spells to get the treatment and become a regular feature in Daggerfall Unity. I have decided to approach this feature-set in a more visual way than I did the quest system, which involved several months of back-end work before I could even show a single screenshot. This time around, I want the process to follow the visual diary approach from day one to make it more interesting to watch things unfold. This also helps me stay motivated as it’s a lot more fun to hurl around glowing balls of magical death than build a runtime compiler for the quest system.

There will be some more code-oriented articles later in the series, but for now let’s take a look at the front-end graphics of spell-casting animations and missiles.

 

Setup

Before I can do anything else, I have to implement the basic cast/recast loop. Thanks to Lypyl, a baseline spellbook interface is already in the game. It doesn’t have any actual spells yet, just some temp line items, but that’s all we need right now.

I wired up the spellbook to the “cast” key (default is Backspace) so player can select a spell from their collection. It doesn’t matter which “spell” you choose at this point. Just double-click any item to let the game know you’ve selected something.

 

After selecting a spell, I then had to create the player’s basic spellcasting loop. For non-immediate spells like firing a missile, this hides any weapons and puts player into a ready-to-fire status for that spell. The player will see a message on the screen saying “press button to fire spell.”.

 

At this point, player can fire spell (press mouse button) or cancel (default is E key). Once the spell has been fired, they can “recast” that spell (default is Q key) or continue attacking with weapons. Most of the work at this stage was around handling when player was about to cast or cancel, when they had a previous spell to recast, and when weapons and other clicks needed to be directed to spell manager. With all that out of the way for now, we can give the player some magic hands.

 

Casting Animations

The cast anims are stored as a simple left-hand only set of animation frames. They are played from frame 0 through to 5, then 0 again as hand is retracted at end of cast. Here’s how the raw images look as seen by Daggerfall Imaging 2.

 

These are very similar to the weapon animations, but have a few unique requirements around how they must be scaled and positioned that are quite different to weapons. They’re also a single-frame CIF record format rather than a multi-frame CIF format. Considering how much they diverge from weapons, I opted to create a new FPS animation class to render these for the player and handle their unique requirements. There’s also a few other little twists, like frame 4 (second from right) not being a consistent type in all anims. In the the cast of frost, frame 4 must scale to side of display, but for fire it must be positioned independently like first and final frames.

The final frame is an interesting one as both sides of the anim must meet in the middle while retaining best possible position and scaling under a range of different aspect ratios. This is something classic Daggerfall didn’t have to worry about as it only ran at 320×200 and all the art was designed for that native resolution. This presented me a few problems, but I think these are solved now. To give you an idea how left and right hands join together, here’s an example with the split between each side exaggerated. You can see how the left hand is mirrored to the right and joins in the middle to form the moment of spell release.

 

After some work, I had all the casting animations working properly. Here’s a loop of each element type in action (direct link)

 

Spell Missiles

With casting animations done, it’s time to start hurling around glowing blobs of magical death. Well, setup the graphical side at least, these aren’t real spells yet.

Here’s how the fire and cold missiles appear in Daggerfall Imaging 2. The first set of animations are how the missile looks while moving, the second is played when it hits something and the spell is executed.

 

These were fairly easy to setup, as Daggerfall Unity already has pretty good billboard support. The only problem encountered was making them emissive (appear lit from within and not affected by surrounding lighting). There was a quirk of my texture loading code that detected spell missile textures as windows and blocked the emission. But once that was solved, I was ready to fire missiles around town. I’ve added some basic lighting to the projectile for that extra bit of magic (direct link).

 

Timing, Origin, Collisions

Now that I can shoot missiles, a few things had to be cleaned up. As one Twitter user pointed out, it looks like the player is shooting missiles from their pants. This is because origin of missiles is the player capsule, and the origin of capsule happens to be waist-height, which is roughly pants territory. This is enhanced when looking up or down as missiles don’t really appear to be coming from the hands themselves.

I setup a delegate event that allows me to time the release of missile with the exact casting frame where it should be released, and I adjust the origin to chest height and handle the facing vector properly. This needed a little bit of tuning as hands cast slightly below centre-point of display (even in classic) so spells don’t appear to go where you’re looking. And if I make origin too high, spell appears higher than casting point which ruins illusion as well. With a little bit of tuning, I found a good balance between timings, origin, facing, and missile radius.

Next I added collision detection. This allows missile to detect when it impacts scenery or an entity like a monster (or even the player themselves). There are two parts to this, first is the direct impact and second is the radius of any area-of-effect spell on that missile. There’s no easy way to show a screenshot of this, but the missile collects a list of every entity it strikes either directly or with AOE so it can hand this back to whatever system initiated the missile. Keeping things abstract like this allows for missile to be used in other ways (like archery) down the road.

And finally, I added the small explosion anim when missile strikes something. Here’s how it looks in action (direct link).

By the way, if you don’t like the lighting or shadow effects on spell missiles, you can turn these off in settings.ini by setting EnableSpellLighting=False or just EnableSpellShadows=False to disable shadows only. Hopefully this will satisfy both classic purists and those who want a little extra shine to their spellcasting. I’m hoping someday there will be spell missile mods to really amp up the visuals with particles, etc. But this early in development, I’m happy with just some basic lighting effects. I’ll show off a few more of these with other element types in later posts.

 

Putting It All Together

With all the front-end pieces working, I can simulate a magical brawl with some real enemies. There’s no actual damage happening here, because these aren’t real spells yet, but all the import parts are taking place. The player can select a spell, fire/cancel/recast that spell, see their cast animations, and watch the missile explode against the environment or their foes. Internally, any entity struck by the missile or subsequent AOE is collected for later processing when spells get real.

So here’s that magical brawl with one more lighting enhancement, a brief flash of brighter light when spell explodes (direct link).

Now player can hurl missiles around, the work of implementing real spells & effects can begin. My next article in series will take a deeper look at the inner workings of Daggerfall’s spell system and hopefully some first steps towards real spells in Daggerfall Unity.

 

For more frequent updates on Daggerfall Unity, follow me on Twitter @gav_clayton.

Taverns, Custom Loot, Climbing, Languages, Mod Features

A new round of Live Builds are now available with some great new gameplay and mod features to enjoy.

Tavern Rooms, Food & Drink

Thanks to Hazelnut, it’s now possible to rent a room in taverns. And thanks to Allofich, you can also purchase food & drink for RP purposes. During your tenancy, you’ll be allocated a bed and can use that tavern as a home base. Just talk to any friendly bartender across the Illiac Bay.

Rooms are saved with your character, so if you leave town and return later before your tenancy expires, your room will still be available. This all ties in perfectly with Hazelnut’s world persistence. You can leave loot piles in your room and return later to retrieve them. Just don’t forget to pick up your loot before your room expires or those items become property of the house. No refunds!

 

Custom Loot Containers

Another Hazelnut feature, and something unique to Daggerfall Unity, is the ability to customise your loot containers. You can now click on the loot container icon (shown in red box below) in your inventory UI while interacting with the container to set a custom icon from a much broader set of icons than normally available.

 

Use left-click for next icon, right-click for previous icon, and middle-click to change icon group. This feature means you now have some minor customisation over things you leave around your properties, ship, or rented tavern rooms. You can make the icons a bit more meaningful than just a random container, and it’s a great way to add more RP to your game.

 

New Mod Features

This one is impossible to take a screenshot of, but that doesn’t stop it from being any less awesome. TheLacus, our resident mod-master, has added some generic methods (generics are a way to handle data of any kind) to his asset bundle handling. This allows asset bundles to import more types of content in future and use load order on the mod import UI to handle duplicates.

The first new asset type now available to asset bundles is custom music and sound effects. It was already possible to inject custom sound and music into the game, but this means whole new music mods can be added as a single .dfmod package. TheLacus is also working on movie import for this feature, so one day it will be possible to import new movies from asset bundles as well.

This kind of work is critical to Daggerfall Unity having a vibrant mod community, and we all appreciate TheLacus’ work immensely.

 

Climbing

From Allofich we now have Daggerfall’s infamous climbing feature at long last. This works just like classic Daggerfall – face a wall directly and move slowly forwards. Your climbing skill will be checked as you ascend, so be careful climbing with clumsy characters, as they might come crashing back to earth.

 

Allofich tells me climbing still has some refinements ahead. For example, it’s not yet possible to climb out of water. But it’s already working exceptionally well and can only improve in the future.

 

Language Skills

Another Hazelnut gem, and something often ignored by classic players. Language skills give the player a chance to avoid combat with certain monsters based on a language check. If the language check is passed, the monster will become pacified as if you “talked them down”. Unfortunately my character speaks about ten words in Orcish – all of them insults – and is about to get into a fight.

 

The way Hazelnut has implemented this means that a character with a high Streetwise skill has a chance of avoiding combat with other roguish humanoids. If you encounter a Thief, Assassin, or the like in Daggerfall Unity your Streetwise skill might help you avoid an unpleasant encounter. For characters with a more polite way of handling things, your Etiquette skill might help save you from a tussle with a Knight or other non-roguish humanoid. For monstrous foes, you’ll need to know their exact language to pass.

This also means you might get a chance to land the first blow, if your character is that unscrupulous.

 

Magic Work-In-Progress

These latest builds also mark the first official step in the 0.5 release line from Roadmap. I have started building the back-end (effect system) and front-end (projectiles, cast animations, UI) of the magic system. This is still a work in progress and nothing is available to players in this round of builds, I’m afraid. But just like quests before it, the magic system will scale upwards in small incremental steps with each release.

I’ll be posting more on the magic system around spells and effects soon. Until then, I hope you enjoy all the other great stuff added to these builds.

New Builds For 2018

Welcome to 2018 everyone! What a great few months we’ve had in Daggerfall Unity. Despite my general absence in November through December last year, work still continued on the project at an excellent pace. I owe a debt of thanks to everyone that continued adding features while I was out of the scene for several weeks. I want to make this post all about these contributions, and mention the people who contributed during that time.

We’re close to a stable “Quests 0.4” build now before officially moving on to 0.5 and spells. “Stable” in this case doesn’t mean everything is complete or bug free – just that quests should be relatively steady and playable based on our current position in the Roadmap at the end of 0.4. Work will continue on improving and tightening up quest system all the way to 1.0, but now it’s time to move onto something new. This often means exciting new bugs to fix so the stable build stands as good fallback point if anyone is experiencing too many troubles with latest versions.

You’ll find the latest downloads on the Live Builds page as usual. If you’d like the very latest code, you can check it out directly from our GitHub page. And if you’d like a full blow-by-blow account of all changes up to now, the Commits page has what you’re after. This post mainly covers featured highlights and the people who added them. In alphabetical order, they are:

 

Aaron Fritz

Aaron is best known for his work on OpenTESArena, an open source recreation of The Elder Scrolls: Arena. This recently hit a 0.6 release milestone. If you’re a fan of projects like this one, you can follow Aaron on Twitter @aaron_fritz1.

The fake sky background in classic Daggerfall works best in 320×200, 4:3 aspect, and with the short draw distances you would find in a game Daggerfall’s vintage. It’s not a skybox in the modern sense, just a set of tiled images that slide around behind the world. Works well enough in classic and is quite beautiful in its own pixel-art painterly way, even with some oddness such as distant trees being larger than ones nearby.

In Daggerfall Unity with high resolution and long draw distances, the disconnect between sky background and foreground world is intensified. The sky images aren’t really scaled for widescreen and the way I implemented this originally lead to the sky floating around without really feeling connected to the 3D world. This had the potential to make some people feel motion sick, or at least uncomfortable, after playing for a while. The Enhanced Sky mod doesn’t have these problems, but some prefer the pixel-art sky and not feeling ill.

Aaron’s contribution was to add Y-shearing, a trick from the early days of realtime game graphics to help the fake sky horizon stay “glued” to the 3D world horizon. This goes a long way to making the sky more comfortable for anyone who experiences motion issues. It’s hard to communicate in a single screenshot, but when looking up and down, the horizon line of the sky no longer slips around. It may not be perfect depending how badly you’re affected, but it should be a noticeable improvement.

 

Allofich

Where to even start with Allofich? He’s a binary magician, that’s for certain. I’m not bad at reverse engineering stuff, but he makes me feel like my training wheels are still on. Some of the deep inner workings of Daggerfall Unity such as level-up formulas and combat work precisely like classic thanks to his efforts. He’s also responsible for locating obscure bits of data answering questions like “how is dungeon water level determined?” to “how are shop shelves stocked?”. Allofich has built or refined a large number of real gameplay features in Daggerfall Unity. Here’s an overview of his work over the last several weeks.

 

Dungeon Water

It’s now possible to swim in dungeons… and dive underwater… and drown when you get lost in that flooded passage. Allofich solved the long-running mystery around how dungeon water level was determined and proceeded to implement the entire feature stack of swimming, right down to sound effects and breath management. All I had to do was add the water plane to show the water surface visually. I still need to implement underwater effects at time of writing.

 

Knockback

When you deliver a big hit to enemies in Daggerfall, you can send them reeling, physically pushing them away. This knockback effect helps the player feel more powerful and stops enemies from always pushing forward relentlessly. It can even give the player a split second to turn and run. Allofich has recently implemented the knockback effect in Daggerfall Unity.

 

Magic Weapon FPS Graphics

In preparation for 0.5, magic weapon FPS graphics are now used when player equips a magical weapon. The actual magic effects aren’t there yet, of course, but this is still an important part of the process.

 

Animal Sounds

A small but welcome addition is that animals now play their appropriate sound effects at random when you stand nearby.

 

Enemy Ranged Basics

Certain enemies are now capable of attacking with ranged weapons if player is far enough away (or tries to run). It’s hard to see in this zoom below, but this Knight is lining up player for a shot.

 

Stealth Basics & Backstabbing

The player is now able to sneak as per classic Daggerfall by holding down the “sneak key”. To complement this, you can also backstab enemies by sneaking up behind them.

 

Stocking Shelves & Containers

And last one for now is the correct stocking of shelves and containers as per classic. While Hazelnut was building out shops and containers (more on this below), Allofich worked on stocking these containers with the correct items loadout.

 

Allofich has added many more smaller items than I can cover fully. This includes work on skill mastery, animation fixes, weapon and shield equip delays, and more. Look back through the commits on git to get a full idea on just how much work he contributes.

 

Hazelnut

He debuted with horse riding last year and has gone on to implement several important gameplay features. Between Allofich and Hazelnut, many 0.6 and 0.7 features on the roadmap are working ahead of schedule. Here are the highlights of what he’s been working on lately.

 

Teleportation Service

The Mages Guild offers a teleportation service. Thanks to Hazelnut, you can now use this service from your local Mages Guild to travel instantly across in the Illiac Bay.

 

Shop Shelves & House Containers

If you have bought or sold items in Daggerfall Unity recently, you have Hazelnut to thank for these features. While selling has been in for a while, the ability to interact with shop shelves and buy items is a more recent addition. This required some work to link up 3D container objects to loot containers, populate with items as per classic (Allofich helped here), and persist state of these containers when player enters and exits buildings. There’s a little more on this below, but the short version is you can buy stuff now.

 

World Persistence & A Shipworthy Home

In classic Daggerfall if you exit a building then return back inside the interior is just how you left it. Up until recently, Daggerfall Unity wiped the interior of buildings as soon as you left. Some work was needed to persist world state for the player as they entered/exited buildings, purchased items, opened doors, stole items, dropped loot on the ground, stored items in their home, and so on. This world persistence was a hard job, but Hazelnut has delivered excellent work all around. This feature is also the bedrock of player housing, which makes an early debut by way of the player’s ship.

You can now buy a ship from a bank, use that ship to speed up your transportation time and reduce costs, and transfer to that ship directly using the Transport menu. From here the ship acts as a kind of nautical home base where you can store loot gathered in your adventures. Any loot dropped on the ship or stored in the available containers will persist permanently in the save data for that character.

 

Numidium

New contributor Numidium recently added “organisation info” answers to the Talk interface. This is used when you ask wandering NPCs about groups like the Mages Guild. Every addition to Daggerfall Unity is welcome, and it’s cool to see new contributors building on and fleshing out existing work. Thank you!

 

Nystul

You already know Nystul from his fantastic work on the Automap interfaces (interior, exterior, and dungeon), and mods like Distant Terrain and Realtime Reflections. He’s made more important contributions to the core than I can list. He’s also the creator of the Talk window interface and the glue which binds this UI back into game data.

Over the last few months, Nystul has built out the Talk UI to be more functional and bug-free than ever. One of the big new features is rumours during and after quests. Below, the NPC is spreading gossip about the player’s most recent quest to rid a wife of her undead husband.

This kind of data wet-work is very hard and dry, and I can’t shine enough light on Nystul’s progress with screenshots alone. Hopefully it’s enough just to say what an incredible job Nystul is doing here and how important this work is to the final game.

 

TheLacus

If you’ve modded Daggerfall Unity in any capacity then you know TheLacus for his amazing work on these systems. Not only has he continued to build out the mod system from its humble beginnings, he has continued to provide documentation for creating mods and supporting new mod creators in need of help. He’s an all round great person with a great big brain.

 

New Advanced Settings Window

TheLacus has created and refined a nice Advanced Settings UI straight off the startup screen. It’s no longer necessary to dive into the INI to set most of the options players might be interested in. The latest builds are sporting an all new look for the Advanced Settings window with a tab-like interface and new controls. I can only see this getting better from here.

 

Texture Compression

This new feature applies DTX5 compression to replacement textures injected through the mod system. This will reduce texture memory by half or more at the expense of greater load time (as textures are injected procedurally). This is hard to show in a screenshot, and I have King of Worms on the forums to thank for this informative image created after performing some tests with texture compression and a large number of texture mods.

Some other things have improved in the texture modding side of things. The super-atlas is no longer used, which could lead to overflow for some textures. And a few memory leaks have been plugged in the texture system. Work in this area will continue to improve over time. The next step is to refine the texture cache to lower the amount of texture memory used after an extended play session.

 

Conclusion

All of that by itself makes for a huge couple of months, and I’m also back in the mix rolling out more parts of the incoming spell system. I look forward to posting about my progress on this soon.

If you want more frequent news, I post small bite-sized updates about Daggerfall Unity on Twitter @gav_clayton.

Daggerfall Unity Now Playable Start to End

That’s right! The main story quest in Daggerfall Unity is now completely playable from start to end. I’ve spent the last couple of months playing through the story quest, building out engine support, and fixing all the major bugs I could find. It’s true this game still has a distance to travel (spell system is next major journey) but this is a huge milestone in the project’s life cycle. It’s no longer fair to say Daggerfall Unity “isn’t playable yet”, that’s not even close to accurate anymore. And thanks to regular contributors like Nystul, Allofich, Hazelnut, and Lypyl, some of the later features on the roadmap are building out ahead of schedule.

The quest system has consumed around a year of my development time to bring to this point. It represents the single largest group of features in the project so far, and drives almost every other gameplay system forwards. I feel confident in saying the magic system probably won’t be anywhere near as challenging. And once we pass that milestone, everything else is on the downhill run.

 

Getting Started

After you grab the latest DragonBreak build from Live Builds page, there are two ways you can play through the main quest. You can either start a new character and play normally (using quests offered by any Fighters Guild to help level up between main quests) or use the “setmqstage n” console command to force the game to a specific point along the main quest process. There are 7 total quest stages, thus “setmqstage 1” through “setmqstage 7” are supported. Each stage is a chain of around two to six quests that represent a particular story arc in the game. If and when new problems are found with main quest, testers can quickly restart and test just that stage without playing through the whole game from the beginning.

If you want to play the game as normally as possible, start a new character. Playing the game from start to end normally is also an important and time-consuming part of the testing process, so your time here is valuable, even if something breaks and you need to start again. But if you want to perform focused testing of the main quest, grab a high level character save and use the “setmqstage n” console commands. I’ll post more details in this forum thread as time allows. Please offer feedback in that thread or ask general questions, and post to Bug Reports forums with obvious bugs.

 

Stable Builds

The next step from here is to work towards a DragonBreak stable build and complete the 0.4 cycle. This might take several weeks as the main quest is a massive and complex system, there’s no telling what problems testers might run into. Once the stable build is ready, work will proceed on the spell system and 0.5.

 

Thank You

I also want to thank all of Daggerfall Unity’s contributors, supporters, mod-creators, and community members. You are all responsible for this project’s momentum, and for keeping morale high during those bleak periods of solid development where nothing visible seems to be happening. I am very excited for the future of Daggerfall Unity and the community building around it.

Cheers everyone!

 

For more frequent updates on Daggerfall Unity, follow me on Twitter @gav_clayton.

 

Dust of Restful Death

The main story quest in Daggerfall Unity is cracking along lately. The more problems I solve, the faster I can pass new quests. This has created a cumulative effect where things are snowballing towards the finish line. Today, I feel I’ve reached an important milestone with the main quest passing up to “The Dust of Restful Death”, only a few short steps from the end.

In this quest, the player briefly soothes the tormented bones of King Lysandus to learn why he requires vengeance. From a technical front, this is not only the result of a long chain of earlier quests, but required some new interaction between the world and quest system, and is the first quest to play an in-game cinematic.

There are bound to be problems and bugs to fix as the full story quest rolls out to testers, but for now let’s just enjoy this one quest where Lysandus has his big moment.

Vengeance Build 81

New builds are now available on the Live Builds page, bringing us up to build #81 across all platforms. A lot has happened over the last month, with steady contributions from long-time Daggerfall Unity developers Lypyl, Allofich, TheLacus, and Nystul. I would also like everyone to welcome on board new developer Hazelnut, who has built many valuable updates over the last month.

I’ll post a more complete list of updates towards the end of this post, but want to start with the big visual stuff that’s changed since last update.

 

Main Quest

The complete main story quest is now offered when starting a new level 1 character. Please keep in mind this is still under construction, so you are likely to reach a point where you cannot continue and may need to start fresh later (or use a console cheat). It could be another few months before all main quests are in a passing state, but I felt it was important to start offering to new players.

 

Main Quest Testing – Stage 3

I’ve pulled the wraps off stage 3 of main quest for testers. This includes a quest from Prince Helseth to blackmail Lord Castellian (S0000002) which follows onto recovering an unauthorised biography for Queen Barenziah (S0000011). This tome can be stolen by the necromancers if you don’t recover from Orsinium in time, leading to player needing to strike a deal with Gortwog for recovery. Will the player return the book to Barenziah as planned, or betray her and deliver the book to Gortwog instead?

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Transport Menu

Hazelnut has implemented the transport menu for player to switch between Foot, Horse, Cart, and Ship. Until full shops are implemented, all level 1 characters will begin with a free horse, cart, and ship to play with. It’s a great feeling to tear around towns and the wilderness on a horse at long last. But as player housing is not yet implemented, you cannot store loot on your ship. Please keep this mind or anything you drop to the ship will be lost when you leave!

 

Item Info & Player Status Popups

Another Hazelnut update. He has implemented inventory info popups and world status popups. What you can’t see easily is this required a fairly large back-end system to expand context macros correctly across various systems. This work is also being used in several other places now.

 

Banking

The third big update from Hazelnut builds on earlier groundwork by Lypyl. Banks are now mostly operational. You can deposit and withdraw gold, convert gold to letters of credit, and even take out loans!

 

Selling & Repairing

If you’ve played one of the earlier interim builds, you might have noticed player encumbrance and weapon condition has been implemented. To complement this, Hazelnut has added selling and repairing items at stores. The selling and repairing gold values match classic very closely thanks to additional work by Allofich. Now you can finally tip out that wagon and profit from all your dungeon crawling.

 

Real-time Info Panel & Enhanced Item Lists

The final big-ticket item from Hazelnut is a real-time info panel for items which displays details as player moves mouse over an item. This is optional, but currently enabled by default for testing. A second option, which must be enabled in settings.ini (EnableEnhancedItemLists=True) will show an item grid of 16x tiles instead of the default 4x. This is excellent work that brings the UI forwards while maintaining classic style.

 

Enhanced Mod Support & Post-Processing

TheLacus has built out texture injection to support wilderness flat replacements, and added post-processing support for effects like SSAO, bloom, vignette, anti-aliasing, and more! Post-processing is currently available in mod form. Check out this thread on the forums for more information.

 

Talk Window & Discovery

Last but certainly not least is the NPC talk interface by Nystul. You can now bother town NPCs to ask for directions to local shops, with more features on the way. A huge thanks goes to Nystul for all of his amazing work on this system.

The talk window also complements my location and building discovery, as NPCs can direct you to nearby businesses if they like you enough (and know the place). Please keep in mind this system is still under development and NPCs cannot yet offer all the topics available in classic at this time.

 

More Gameplay

One of the most under-represented contributors by screenshot is Allofich. He contributes a great deal to the back-end formulas, reverse engineering, and general flow of game systems. These are all very hard to show in screenshot form, so make sure you have a skim through the patch notes to find more of his work. Some of the features he’s added recently include fixes to activation, residence greetings, and shop opening hours.

 

Conclusion

There’s no doubt that Daggerfall Unity is barrelling forwards. Thanks to contributors, new systems are starting to be built ahead of my original schedule. If this trend continues, some of the later gameplay elements are likely to be ready concurrently with upcoming work on spell system. Bundle this with all of the amazing mod work being done over in the Community Workshop forums. It’s just not possible to highlight everyone here, so please take the time to read through mod creator’s threads and give them feedback on their work.

Detailed patch notes follow for build #81. If you want more frequent micro-updates, please follow @gav_clayton on Twitter. Thank you for reading!

  • Shop opening hours and greetings. (Allofich)
  • Show up to 16x inventory tiles per list instead of 4x. Currently off by default. (Hazelnut)
  • Realtime info panel in inventory. Currently on by default. (Hazelnut)
  • Texture injection improvements and fixes. (TheLacus)
  • Main quest is now offered to new level 1 characters. (Interkarma)
  • Can now “start quest” by quest filename. (Interkarma)
  • Quest resources are now culled when placing them to a second location. This can happen when quest want to move item from one dungeon to another. (Interkarma)
  • Fixes to face display of static NPCs. (Nystul)
  • Fixes to quest execution flow. (Interkarma)
  • Cycle quest debugger display from Off/Minimum/Full (default is Minimum) using LeftShift+Tab. Off will also disable place markers on HUD. (Interkarma)
  • Quests will now always have a minimum of one day travel time. (Interkarma)
  • Implemented QuestSuccess flag. This is raised when quest calls “give pc” action. (Interkarma)
  • Can no longer remove quest items to remote container, except when item must be dropped as part of quest. (Interkarma)
  • Quest items are now removed when quest is tombstoned. Orphaned quest items in saves are purged on load. (Interkarma)
  • Soul gems with trapped souls now read from classic saves and displayed correctly in inventory. (Hazelnut)
  • Banks are mostly operational now. Can deposit, withdraw, take out loans, and convert gold to letters of credit. (Lypyl/Hazelnut)
  • Fix for quest item stacking issue. (Hazelnut)
  • Fix for bucklers stacking with two-handed weapons on paper doll (Allofich)
  • Boots and shoes now count as leather armour. (Hazelnut)
  • Cost calculations for selling and repairing. (Allofich)
  • Holiday text now displays when player enters a town during a holiday. (Allofich)
  • Slightly increased interior ambient light at night.
  • Post processing stack now available for camera effects like SSAO, bloom, etc. (TheLacus)
  • Initial talk window for mobile NPC interaction, ask for directions, etc. (Nystul)
  • Partial fix for mobile NPC precision issue causing them to glide north at spawn (Interkarma)
  • Fix for faction data pollution from bad saves.
  • Main quest stage 3 ‘setmqstage 3’ now enabled. (Interkarma)
  • Enemy names are now saved with corpse loot container. (Allofich)
  • Most shops now support selling and repair of equipment. (Hazelnut)
  • Implemented weapon material effectiveness vs. specific foes, e.g. silver to hit werewolves. (Allofich)
  • Prohibited equipment now restricted based on class settings. (Allofich)
  • Back-end tracking for starting crime guild quests Thieves and Dark Brotherhood. Quest line currently disabled. (Allofich)
  • Mobile town NPCs are now killable. No blood splash at this time. (Allofich)
  • Info click now supported on dead enemy mobiles. (Allofich)
  • Inventory weight and encumbrance. (Hazelnut)
  • Click distance check and fix activating through walls. (Allofich)
  • Improved artifact handling (Hazelnut)
  • Fix for starting Mynisera’s Letters. You should now be able to complete this quest, rounding out Stage 2 with only some bug fixes required (see below).
  • Improved enemy equipment calculations (humans and orcs will use their own armour and weapons for combat purposes). (Allofich)
  • Improved loot tables by dungeon type. (Allofich)
  • Location and building discovery like classic. Player will now need to discover locations through quests or exploration. Buildings are discovered as player interacts with them.
  • Exterior automap and travel map updated to support discovery. (Nystul)
  • Improved player movement speed calculation based on attributes. (Allofich)
  • New texture import support for billboard batches. This should allow mod authors to replace all foliage sprites in world. (TheLacus)
  • Fast travel countdown on travel map and fix for borders showing on zoom. (Nystul)
  • Transport menu: Foot, Horse, Cart, Ship now supported. (Hazelnut)
  • nfo popups based on item type and improved text macro support. (Hazelnut)
  • Fix for bucklers and two-handed weapons. (Allofich)
  • Fix to prevent fast travel with enemies nearby. (Allofich)
  • More combat sounds. (Allofich)

The “Vengeance” Update

A few weeks on from the Fighters update and the quest system is now ready to run with Daggerfall’s main story quest. Well, the first few quests at least. Welcome to the Vengeance update!

 

The aim of this test cycle is to ensure the main quest can be experienced by a non magic using character. My plan is to roll out the main quest in small bite-sized pieces with the ability to reset the main quest instantly to one of several critical points along the way. This forum post has all the details.

In summary, you can use the console command “setmqstage number” to setup your character level, reputation, global variables, and quest loadout to start testing main quest from any point. Right now stage 1 and 2 are active, and more will be added in the coming weeks.

 

By limiting quests to a handful at a time, I can build out remaining quest actions in small pieces while bug-fixing the live quests. Hopefully this will keep testers on track and communicating in a standard way. But you can try to play ahead through the whole main quest right now if you so choose. Only please keep in mind some of the later quests are missing action support and will not execute properly. So play ahead for fun but keep the real testing and feedback for the current stages.

 

Also new in this version is full save/load of quest state. If a quest breaks or doesn’t go as planned, you can send me your save file and I’ll be able to inspect what’s happening from the save data. A lot of other bug fixes and small improvements have also made their way into the latest builds.

 

You will find latest builds on the Live Builds page as usual. I hope you enjoy playing through the first few story quests in Daggerfall Unity. Don’t forget, this forum thread is the right place for discussion and feedback. If you want more micro updates on the project, follow me on Twitter @gav_clayton.