Archive for the 'EUO' Category



EUO 1.2 using the Moa engine live, finally

Monday, July 30th, 2007

After much kicking and screaming EUO has been completely retrofitted into what I now call the Moa engine. As far as updates go to EUO, it wasn’t very exciting - with the widescreen view and skull keys being the highlights. However engine wise it is a massive overhaul and one that I’d never thought would happen.

Moa (which stands for Multiplayer Online Adventure, which has been EUO’s slogan for quite a few years now) was orginally a branch of EUO called Egg’s Apocalypse Online, or EAO. After about 2-3 months of dev the apocalypse mod was shelved, but work on the engine continued. The idea was to make the engine as generic (as in configurable, not boring) as possible.

About a year later, after saying it wasn’t possible many times, EUO now runs on this very engine. The EUO 1.1 src now lies abandoned.

So what next? Here’s some things to do:

  • document Moa
  • get Effacrum (era’s steampunk mod) running on the latest build of Moa
  • work on a huge EUO content patch, euo 1.2.1 or 1.3 or whatever it will be called, including many new maps sent to me, new mobs, merging in the best bits of Brownthorne’s Dungeon, lifting more ideas from Nethack & Diablo, etc
  • continue work on EAO!
  • make a simple demo RPG with Moa and distribute a windows server

download EUO 1.2

patch thread

bugs thread

EUO vs World of Warcraft, part 2

Wednesday, September 28th, 2005

Last week I cancelled my WoW subscription, so that is that. I learned what I bought WoW for to learn, and have otherwise gotten bored with a game firmly strapped to the rails of MORPG mediocrity. It’s easy enough to spend 24 hours on a character, but then it just grinds to halt at around level 20 (with 40 levels and countless months to go). You really need some RL friends to pass the time in this game with - and I couldn’t even con any of mine into accepting my “1 week free” cd-key.

As far as the remaining issues foreshadowed in part 1 are concerned, I nether have the energy nor feel the necessity to formally complete this ‘picking of EUO & WoW to shreds’ business. I don’t mind making some random notes however. For example, I liked WoW’s party system and consequently stole a few bits and pieces from it (specifically, the party list in the player status panel).

I also liked WoW’s quest system, but in reality, it’s pretty much the same as EUO’s - just extremely polished, and maybe a fraction simpler. One thing I found shocking at first: I went to a lot of trouble in EUO to make ‘assassination’ quests appear believable, and WoW made no attempt at all. In EUO you start the quest, the target spawns, you kill the target, you return. In WoW, the target is always there, even before you have started the quest, and you can even kill him over and over again if you feel like it. This is very unrealistic and maybe even immersion breaking for some (me for example). Easy to implement however, and immune to the unreliabilities of the EUO method. I like my way better thanks.

Partying was often fun in WoW, but it’s fun in EUO too. In a group the pace was picked up, you could take on more than one mob, and it almost approached a Warcraft 3 kind of feel. Nothing compared to the furious keyboard mash of EUO though, but still a saving grace for a game that’s infuriatingly slow. Apparenlty Everquest 2 is even slower, but I don’t have any plans to trial that.

The classes in WoW are all pretty much the same, though I suppose if you took the two extremes they may seem a little different. This is where the player character becomes a totally cookie-cuttered product of the system. Apart from the pathetic talent tree (a thoroughly watered down cross between a set of perks and the skills tree from Diablo 2) and the vaguely random items you pick up along the way, every Druid of equal level is the same, every Mage of equal level is the same, every Priest of equal level is the same, etc etc. There’s no pre-planning, no strategy, no builds, just bump and grind. This is what killed it for me I think, though $15 a month worth of insult to injury didn’t help either.

EUO vs World or Warcraft, part 1

Tuesday, July 26th, 2005

Warning: nerdy MORPG dissection inside. Reader discretion advised!

As a short intro, for those of you who don’t know, I wrote this silly ORPG called EUO. Starting this endeavour 5 or 6 years ago , I wanted to make a small multiplayer game for bashing dungeons with friends. The idea was to make a roguelike (ie ASCII gfx with keyboard controls) where you slaughtered loads of mobs and hoarded loot within random dungeons. But why not just play Diablo? Well, since I’m an INTP and a programmer, the journey is generally more interesting than the destination.

So six weeks ago roughly I bought WoW, after holding out for however long it has been since its release. I generally don’t last with MORPGS: AO got me for 2 days, DAoC for about 3 days, AC2 for 1 day, and even EQ for about an hour. The RPG I’ve played the most however is UO: clocking in maybe around 2 weeks total since buying it in 1999 or thereabouts. I find these games generally pretty boring. I also find the pretense of paying 10-15$ a month to grind insulting.

However, I’ve managed to play WoW on and off now for the entire 6 weeks; in fact, I think I’ve actually clocked up around 50-60 hours total playtime. I’ve got a lvl 21 tauren hunter (about 24 hrs), a lvl 19 troll rogue (20 hrs) + another half dozen sub lvl 10’s. The idea was to make a whole bunch of chars, using different races and classes, to try everything out and subsequently borrow as many ideas for EUO as possible. Well why not? WoW stole all their ideas from EQ and every other MORPG before them.

The sad thing is, I don’t even have 5 lines worth of notes of ideas to borrow: mostly just stuff to do with tidying up EUO’s quest & party systems. Everything else in EUO seems fine as it is.

So the point of this entry then is to compare a bunch of subsystems in EUO and WoW, without any particular goal other than that of ‘because I feel like it’. I’ll probably compare combat systems, magic, items & loot, quests, partying and whatever else comes to mind.

Combat

WoW : generally right click monster and, every 5-10 seconds or so, press a number from 1 to 0 to execute some special attack, cast some offensive spell, heal self with spell or potion, etc. Fights per mob take about 30 seconds each. When solo, usualy fighting more than one mob at a time will get you killed. Mobs have levels, and it is clear cut as to whether you can beat something or not: a mob 2 lvls higher will probably put the hose on you, and anything your level or below you can right click and go back to reading forums. There is no point fighting relatively easy mobs as you won’t get any xp, and there is no point fighting relatively hard mobs since the xp they give isn’t worth the effort.

EUO : hold down CTRL and furiously mash arrow keys, sometimes pressing 1 to 0 to use some bound item (eg pot) or hitting f1-f8 to cast some bound spell. If you suck at keys, or have bad lag, you’ll probably die. Depending on the mob, a fight can take anywhere between 5 seconds and 60 seconds. Groups of different mobs can have interesting effects together, whereas individually, they may be a complete pushover. EUO has it’s combat roots in Diablo: the idea is to fight hoards of mobs at a time, rather than slowly chew on individuals, which seems to be the way modern MORPG’s work. Mobs don’t have levels, so it isn’t clear cut as to what you should be fighting at any particular character level.

Summary : WoW’s combat bores me to tears, but I feel that EUO’s is clumsy and antiquated. At least EUO’s is fast and furious; however, WoW’s can get fast and furious when partying and tackling a few mobs at a time. But then again, that can get a bit tedious too.

Items/Loot

WoW : has a massive list of discrete items (ie even crappy items have special names, like ‘Crappy Axe of chopping’, and then ‘Slightly Better axe of Chopping’). Allakhazam has a list of all of WoW’s axes here, among everything else. Every item has a rarity (indicated by colour), and most items are found as loot on dead mobs, tho some are bought and some are crafted (whereby instead, the recipes for the crafted items are found as loot, ironically - and guess what: the recipes have rarities, indicated by colour, too). Most mobs drop useless body parts that you can loot and sell if you can be bothered, and have the backpack space for.

EUO : for starters, EUO weapon/armour system borrowed directly from DnD: vanilla items (eg ’short sword’, ‘long sword’) with enchants (eg +1 to make ’short sword +1′). I then expanded enchants to other effects (eg ’short sword of leeching’), as well as added material types (eg ‘vampyric short sword of leeching’). This adds up for an extreme shitload of items, at the expense of the items having uninteresting names. The current Alpha version of EUO expands on this with artifacts, which is basically a discrete set of WoW style items on top of the oldschool ‘formulaic’ items. ‘Good’ (read: magic) weapons and wearables drop from ‘bosses’; again, an idea from Diablo. In EUO the bosses used to even glow and have names, but that was removed since players, being the natural cheesers that they are, simply end up ‘Boss hunting’ to get items.

Summary : I’ve never particularly liked EUO’s item system, but you gotta give it one thing: it’s simple and it’s always worked. The artifact list is a nice expansion, so currently I’m getting the best of both worlds. I like WoW’s lists of discrete items but there is no way I could come up with a few thousand items like that. It’s been enough work coming up with a few hundered generic items: but combined with a dozen materials and 9 or so effects, there’s a lot of permutations. Again the drawback is boring naming: but artifacts add a little of flavour here.

More to come!

  • notes about WoW’s classes, and how they all seem pretty much the same to me
  • crafting
  • magic
  • merchants & economy
  • travel
  • quests - both WoW’s best and worst feature at the same time!
  • partying - WoW’s saving grace (a bit harsh?)