Abyss Town revived!

#1

I am reworking this post as this is now a full-fledged revival and not just be talking about changes I would like to do!

I really, really loved this faction, so I decided to revive this project and with the great help of misiokles (who is the reason this project is alive as it is) and the community, this project is now alive and well again.

Here is the current revival version. Enjoy and report any bugs and errors, as well as general feedback!
dropbox.com/s/z3l3j195sf07d … s.zip?dl=0
Current version: 0.71

Some original names sounded unimaginative such as “tentacle bird” and “jellyfish” which doesn’t exactly sound as fantastical as the faction looks, so I took the liberty to modify them. I also fixed all hero descriptions and special descriptions. I also changed “Kraken Teamster” to “Kraas” to sound less goofy. Names can be and will be changed by community choice, granted there is enough requests.

Here are some name changes I did:
Tentacle Bird/Electric Tentacle Bird -> Feeler/Surger - Changed to be more mystical and less literal.
Hippocamph -> Hippocampus - Changed for spelling. “Hippocamp” is also correct, but Hippocampus sounds bit more “upgradey”. Seahorse remains.
Jellyfish/Deepwater Jellyfish -> Floating Spires/Floating Sceptres - Again, adding to the “mystical” look of the faction. The “floating” bit (if not the whole thing) might be changed. Jellyfish is a silly word and makes a lot of people snicker so I need a temporary replacement until I find a better name. Some may like the ideas of surprising a laughing foe, though.
Octopus/Giant Octopus -> Kraken/Elder Kraken - Both of them are just as large, so the “giant” made little sense. Changed to Kraken for additional fantastical flavour.
Yuan-Ti -> Merrow - To avoid Wizards of the Coast breathing down our necks, and since Yuan-Tis are not seaborne creatures, this change was a natural one. A merrow is depicted in the folklore book Faeries look very close to this, so the name was a given. There is also this bit of info to cement my stance:

Yuan-Ti Leader -> Merrow Praetor - Spice up the “leader” name a little. “Leader” sounded generic and quite dull.
Sea Worm/Ocean Worm -> Carybdis/Lurid Carybdis - Since sea worms are a set of small, not so frightening little buggers the name didn’t exactly evoke fear. Since they are trained from a “Summoning Whirlpool” and their creepy look, I thought Carybdis was perfect, the unseen monster behind whirlpools in greek mythology.
Murloc -> Deep One - Murloc is copyrighted by blizzard and heavily affiliated with that fictional universe so I changed it to the closest thing it resembles in the public domain, and possibly making it a whole lot scarier in the process.

New Hero class names:
Oracle (magic)
Sea Lord (might)
These changes were made as “Abyssal Shaman” is so long it bugs out some menues, and “Ichtyander” is not really a word. Oracle is also quite fitting for the greek nature of Atlantis.

I renamed “Weed of Power” to “Seaweed of Power” (to avoid any 420 jokes) and “Weed House” to “Coral Cavern” as that seemed a bit more appropiate.

Bug fixes:
-Fixed hero abilities to be written like vanilla heroes.
-Fixed odd instances of buildings having weird descriptions (tavern providing morale?)
-Fixed building names being switched in one instance (spawning pool and shell shelter)
-Made Deep Ones proper neutral units, including new icon background.
-Added the old Abyssal Murloc in as “Dark One”, added neutral background and added a dwelling for them.
-Tier4 map sprites switched.
-Fixed four instances of large units taking one space, bugging them out in combat.
-Fixed Sea Urchins to a tier3 population booster which seemed the original intention.
-Removed aforementioned Sea Urchins from the town screen before being built.
-Reinstated WoG commander to work properly.
-Balance tweaks.
-Tons of additional minor tweaks and fixes.
-New unit sounds.
-Hero Verna is now actually useful and has a special unit (Golden Hippocampus) that only she can upgrade regular ones into and cannot be encountered randomly in the world.
-Grail map added.
-Neutral versions of tier 1 with life and mana drain added.

Another future change would be to make upgrades more different in colorscheme from their base units, such as making the tentacle bird (feeler) more blue so the difference is clearer. Stuff like that. This is beyond the power of anyone on the project currently, however. If you have the skills, help is very much appreciated!

Thanks to the original team for making my favorite faction! Did I mention the town music is amazing?

#2

Download link added.

Also, I would like some feedback on unit names. I made numerous changes and some might not fit well with everyone.

#3

Cool! Quick info: there’s possibly one conflict. Guardian is albo Preserve town might hero. And works on Preserve are still in progres.

#4

Thanks for the info! If anyone has an idea for a hero title, I am, as always, all ears! Here are some ideas:

Sea Lord
Watcher
Judicator
Magistrate (might be better fit for a spellcaster due to the “magi” bit possibly causing confusion)

#5

Sea Lord and Magistrate is my favorites

#6

I am going with Sea Lord for now then! Here are some random ideas:

Yuan-ti to Merrow:
The name “Yuan-ti” was probably originally chosen as Naga was taken, as they wanted them to mimic the warcraft nagas. Both are originally snake monsters not affiliated with the sea, and personally I am not too big of a fan of the Yuan-ti name because of this. However, they do resemble the Merrow depicted in the book “Faeries” a whole lot, possibly by accident. If more people like the change I don’t see why not.

Sea Worm changed to Charybdis:
Charybdis is an unseen monster in greek mythology, most often considered the monster causing whirlpools. Quite fitting considering their building. Sea Worm is the name of a large set of underwater creatures who are mostly small and not that frightening.
Question: should the upgrade be “Dire Charybdis”? Or maybe “Lurid Charybdis”?

And for a big beefy thing:
The grail map needs to be completely reworked. Currently, it is borrowed from the Grove town and needs to be redone. This may be a massive undertaking for most people, especially mere tweakers such as myself.

#7

About puzzle map: I have no graphic skill but this Macron1 post maybe be promisiong for who has such talents.

"MACRON1 PUZZLE TEMPLATE FOR PAINT.NET

I’d like to share PDN multi-layer file for Paint.NET, that I’m using to easily create puzzles for new factions.
It’s not classic, I tried only to make easy and quick way for puzzles, not bother with H3 puzzle style.

  1. Place picture of correct size (596X546) on “Picture layer”.
  2. make layer 47 visible (other numbered layers must be hidden). “Save as” 8-bit 00.bmp.
  3. Hide 47 layer, make 46 layer visible. repeat this until you have 00-47.bmp on your disk.
    JSON puzzle file for them also in archive.
    Just rename “mytown” by your town identifier. "
    forum.vcmi.eu/download.php?id=604
#8

Updated with misiokles’ tweaks and bugfixes and new namechanges.

#9

I think it’s hight time to talk about heroes balance. So far we have:

Abiss:
Might hero
Speciality: Abysall Crabs
Army:
slot 1 - level 2 creature, min : 6, max : 9
slot 2 - level 2 creature, min : 6, max : 9
slot 3 - level 2 creature, min : 6, max : 9
Skills: Advanced scouting

Arkana:
Magic Hero
spellbook : teleport
Speciality: Scouting
Army:
slot 1 - level 1 creature, min : 10, max : 15
slot 2 - level 2 creature, min : 6, max : 9
slot 3 - level 3 creature, min : 4, max : 6
Skills: Basic scouting, basic tactics

Dissana:
Magic Hero
spellbook : Land mine
Speciality: Land mine
Army:
slot 1 - level 1 creature, min : 10, max : 15
slot 2 - level 2 creature, min : 6, max : 9
slot 3 - level 3 creature, min : 4, max : 6
Skills: Basic wisdom, basic misticism

Gril
Magic Hero
spellbook : Chain Lightning
Speciality: Chain Lightning
Army:
slot 1 - level 1 creature, min : 10, max : 15
slot 2 - level 2 creature, min : 6, max : 9
slot 3 - level 3 creature, min : 4, max : 6
Skills: Basic air magic, basic luck

Karnti
Magic Hero
spellbook : Sorcery
Speciality: Sorcery
Army:
slot 1 - level 1 creature, min : 10, max : 15
slot 2 - level 2 creature, min : 6, max : 9
slot 3 - level 3 creature, min : 4, max : 6
Skills: Basic wisdom, basic sorcery

Kasta
Might hero
Speciality: +350 gold
Army:
slot 1 - level 1 creature, min : 10, max : 15
slot 2 - level 2 creature, min : 6, max : 9
slot 3 - level 3 creature, min : 4, max : 6
Skills: Basic tactics, basic armorer

Kingsax
Magic Hero
spellbook : none
Speciality: Intelligence
Army:
slot 1 - level 1 creature, min : 10, max : 15
slot 2 - level 2 creature, min : 6, max : 9
slot 3 - level 3 creature, min : 4, max : 6
Skills: advanced wisdom

Kraken Teamster
Might hero
Speciality: Giant Octopus
Army:
slot 1 - level 1 creature, min : 10, max : 12
slot 2 - level 2 creature, min : 5, max : 6
Skills: advanced wisdom

Pears
Might hero
Speciality: Armorer
Army:
slot 1 - level 1 creature, min : 10, max : 15
slot 2 - level 2 creature, min : 6, max : 9
slot 3 - level 2 creature, min : 6, max : 9
Skills: Basic tactics, basic armorer

Perha
Magic Hero
spellbook : berserk
Speciality: berserk
Army:
slot 1 - level 1 creature, min : 10, max : 15
slot 2 - level 2 creature, min : 6, max : 9
slot 3 - level 3 creature, min : 4, max : 6
Skills: basic wisdom, basic water magic

Raytlii
Might hero
Speciality: Jellyfish
Army:
slot 1 - level 1 creature, min : 10, max : 15
slot 2 - level 2 creature, min : 6, max : 9
Skills: advanced wisdom

Season:
Might hero
Speciality: Yuan-Ti
Army:
slot 1 - level 1 creature, min : 10, max : 15
slot 2 - level 2 creature, min : 6, max : 9
slot 3 - level 3 creature, min : 4, max : 6
Skills: basic diplomance, basic resistance

Sirranna:
Magic Hero
spellbook : weakness
Speciality: +1 gem/day
Army:
slot 1 - level 1 creature, min : 10, max : 15
slot 2 - level 2 creature, min : 6, max : 9
slot 3 - level 3 creature, min : 4, max : 6
Skills: basic wisdom, basic pathfinding

Trila
Might hero
Speciality: Armorer
Army:
slot 1 - level 1 creature, min : 10, max : 15
slot 2 - level 2 creature, min : 6, max : 9
slot 3 - level 2 creature, min : 6, max : 9
Skills: Basic tactics, basic armorer

Verna
Might hero
Speciality: Giant Gold Seahorses (?)
Army:
slot 1 - level 1 creature, min : 10, max : 15
slot 2 - level 2 creature, min : 6, max : 9
slot 3 - level 2 creature, min : 6, max : 9
Skills: Basic wisdom, basic air magic
speciality: haste (???)

Well
Magic Hero
spellbook : Ressurrection
Speciality: Ressurection
Army:
slot 1 - level 1 creature, min : 10, max : 15
slot 2 - level 2 creature, min : 6, max : 9
slot 3 - level 3 creature, min : 4, max : 6
Skills: basic wisdom, basic water magic

Werser
Might hero
Speciality: Hyppocamph
Army:
slot 1 - level 3 creature, min : 3, max : 6
slot 2 - level 3 creature, min : 2, max : 4
slot 3 - level 3 creature, min : 1, max : 3
Skills: Basic diplomacy, basic resistance

Not lots of water, isn’t it? Any ideas to improve?

#10

I highly agree. I also see little point in having two armourer heroes, especially of the same class. I am terrible at balance but I think the resurrection hero could get a power change along with one armourer. The resurrection one due to the spell not being very “abyssey”, in my opinion.

#11

Update! Removed a line of internal text causing problems, changed some building descriptions (sea urchins are still WiP), changed a few possible town names that didn’t quite sound underwatery enough.

No big hero changes done yet as I want feedback before touching those.

#12

Nobody reporting the fact that the mod isn’t working at all right now? I have noticed that editing files is extremely finicky and frail at times and will create problems for no other reasons than to cause grief. Heck, I tried to change the Bastion hero descriptions to proper english once and all heroes except one became unavailable.

I need people to help locating the problem.

#13

Use Notepad++ to work on json files (it has syntax highlight and lights opening-closing (]) etc, it correctly works with unicode files).
If you have suspicions that somewhere in json file there are errors, you can use online json validator to check (just copy and paste contents of json to web form and press validate:

jsonlint.com/

The only bad thing is that it thinks comments (// text) are errors. So remove all commentaries before validation.

#14

JSON doesn’t support comments so it’s valid behaviour.

#15

Maybe, but VCMI supports:-)

#16

JSON in VCMI closer to JSON5 (proposed extension).

#17

Problem fixed! It was a hero description. Thank Poseidon it wasn’t some tiny word somewhere in the bigger files. Teaches me for not testing enough! I figured out how to find the problem while at work, but thanks for the heads-up!

By the power of awesome, misiokles also restored the old “abyssal murloc” (now dark one) as a neutral creature along with it’s and the original murloc (now deep one’s) dwelling. He is a cool dude like that. The both of them may get a power boost later to tier 3 to fit the new name better. This however, comes hand in hand with something important we need to discuss:

Balance.

We really need a discussion going on unit, hero and even building balance (getting tier 6 and 7 is way too easy). This is what makes or breaks a faction afterall.

#18

if I don’t forget I will test the town today and suggest some possible ways to improve balance

#19

Where the hell did you get these from. Jellyfish and Octopus are common words in English and in bestiary in general. Also it’s clear that both creatures are Jellyfish / Octopus and not something else.

Large number of H3 creatures are actually taken from D&D, like Basilisk, Gorgon or Beholder. So Yuan-Ti is a perfect match. Also, it DOES look like Yuan-Ti. Merrow is a word for Mermaid, not snake.

#20

I get them from the English language, why thank you! :smiley:

The floating spire/sceptre is a placeholder name. I was incredibly confused when the jellyfish started shooting bolts of magic for no reason, so I wanted a name that explain it as a special type of jellyfish. Jellyfish, as explained prior, is extremely generic and dull (not to mention one of the english language’s silliest words) so I wanted to spice it up. If anyone knows of some odd creature name that fits and sounds cooler, sure, I will go for that. Same goes if jellyfish gets voted back in by a larger crowd.

The octopus is clearly a nautiloid creature due to the shell on the back. It was an obvious change. I mentioned this prior.

Merrows are not mere mermaids, actually. According to folklore (and this is the most awesome thing about them), males look radically different from females, being grotesque and monstrous. And as I mentioned before, they look almost identical to a fairly well-known illustration of a merrow male. Also, it made little sense calling them Yuan-ti, as those are normal snake people, not vaguely fish-like things. There is also the problem of the wizards of the coast being quite sue-happy about some creatures (like illithids, for example) and less so with some they set in the public domain (gnolls, for example).
You can get what I mean by simply googling merrow or merrow male. Again, I am open to ideas but as nothing but d&d properties use the word “yuan-ti”, I am kind of scared of using it.

Edit: Oh crap!

If more people want the names returned to their formers, sure. So far I haven’t heard another complaint, but I am open minded if anything!

My names are merely there to avoid confusion from new players, which is also how I have tested them. As always, constructive criticism is most welcome and will be heard!