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Dead Star Map-pack (Completed)(Unreal; 16 single/multiplayer maps)

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User avatar salsaSkaarj
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Subject: Re: Dead Star Map-pack (Completed)(Unreal; 16 single/multiplayer maps)

Post Posted: 02 Mar 2015, 13:18

Started playing with open EntryPrison.unr?difficulty=4 and ...

My God what a difference.
Up to the middle of Krajigar it's relatively medium but with a couple of dangerous Brute Fights.
But near the end of Krajigar: Skaarwarriors appear and these guys are damn fast and got me down to 50 health. Then the Grisly Falls: again good brute setup and then another Skaarjwarrior > health down to 2 at a certain moment. I decided to retrace my steps and take a plunge since there must be some health around somewhere. And yes health is there to find, but it's being defended. Anyway, got back up to a decent health level and progressed until I got caught by surprise, another warrior who got me just as I got him.
So I'm still a Grisly Falls (savegame right at the beginning) and that will be it for today.

Memory fails me so I can't really pinpoint the differences with the first release (yes, I'm certain ammo has been cut). I can't remember whether I played the first release on difficulty= 3 or on 4 (I think it was on Hard but I get confused with the difficulty setting in 227). But the important thing, that which was missing in the beginning in the first release, namely the challenge, is now certainly there. The 1,5 hours mentioned in the first release won't be possible (at this difficulty level) but that was for Medium so up to now it seems this mappack will satisfy the beginners, the experienced (which is what I consider myself) and the pros (looking at UB :wink: ) :tup:

User avatar salsaSkaarj
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Subject: Re: Dead Star Map-pack (Completed)(Unreal; 16 single/multiplayer maps)

Post Posted: 03 Mar 2015, 19:34

OK, when I played the first release is was with ?difficulty=3 (I really had to check this because the difference in difficulty with what I'm playing now is huge).

Before Upredator takes this as criticism: I started up the new version again with ?difficulty=3 and rushed through a couple of maps and yes, difficulty seems to be higher than when I played the 1st first version but it's not as unforgiving as my current session (it's the speed on ?difficulty=4 which is a killer, plus that the Skaarj seem to be able to follow the player almost everywhere, meaning there hardly ever a chance for a breather or to save ammo using the DP).

I am going to stop on difficulty=4 because this will take much too long and it feels like the equivalent of Xidia on Unreal meaning it's not the difficulty level for the average player at all (actually I'm confident it's a bit above above my level).
This is actually not a bad thing: ?difficuty=4 should be really testing and up to now it certainly is, but perhaps (with what I remember from the first version) ammo is going to be a problem further on (lack of ammo that is).

I'm going to restart this on ?difficulty=3 and keep detailed notes per level.
*to be continued*

edited at 23:06 I godded through on ?difficulty=4 to check some things (+ resistance) and YES you did add a lever to call back the ropelift. I'm glad you did this, now the secret area can be seen going up and after cleaning the upper area, the player can call the lift, and try to collect whatever's there (but the player still has to think about not getting stuck - so it is still a puzzle-secet :tup: )
But what I feared happened: resistance will be too much for the faint-hearted and even on godmode with normal use of my weaponry - I ran out of ammo for the Flak and the automag (and those 2 are crucial for close combat and precise hits from distance - which I guarantee you'll need nunless you enjoy being raped by multiple Skaarj). oh, and I godded till the end, and forgot to god when entering the last map ... and was almost crucified by the Queen and her helpers, managed to teleport to a ledge (pure luck), but found no way back to groundlevel. A bit later I had a look around and found 2 ledges to teleport to. One ledge allows a jump onto a sloping side so groundlevel is reached without health loss, but I couldn't find any way to leave the other ledge (jumping down takes away a lot of health which isn't recommend in that map).
On the whole I still health is balanced properly but I think you may have slightly overdone the ammo-culling (I guess on ?difficulty=4 the really good players can survive but difficulty=5 or 6 hmm? I 'ld love to see a video playthrough :wink:
Godding through also gave me the opportunity to have a closer look at some areas in other maps and I'm taking back a comment I made previously about the RNTP areas which, I stated, could have been changed a bit more. Having replayed those sections now (under serious siege) I think you made the correct decision to remove some of the RTNP "decorations" and let the basic layout shine.

User avatar salsaSkaarj
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Subject: Re: Dead Star Map-pack (Completed)(Unreal; 16 single/multiplayer maps)

Post Posted: 04 Mar 2015, 22:36

I read through the oldunreal forums to try to find out exactly what the higher difficulty levels of 227 do.
What I gather now is that difficulty 0, 1, 2 and 3 haven't been changed and are exactly the same as the U226 difficulties Easy, Medium, Hard and Unreal. Difficulties 4, 5, etc basically increase enemy awareness, travel/reactionspeed and projectilespeed.
My conclusion is therefore that there no point in playing on ?difficulty=4 or higher for testing purposes. In fact Hard (?difficulty=2) is probably the reference I should use (allowing a reasonable estimation of what to expect at Medium and at Unreal difficulties).
So it's going to be a fresh start for me and again:
*to be continued*

BTW, can anybody confirm my findings about the 227 difficulty levels?

User avatar salsaSkaarj
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Subject: Re: Dead Star Map-pack (Completed)(Unreal; 16 single/multiplayer maps)

Post Posted: 15 Apr 2015, 17:57

So, against better judgement, I started this again, not with ?difficulty=2 but with ?difficulty=3 which should be equal to the U226 "Unreal" difficulty setting.
The only saving I allow myself is at the beginning of a level.
Up to now (beginning of Queenship) things went fine, the only time I almost died was in Cliffside, calling the big lift down, killing the Skaarj and then retrieving some ammo behind the fences: I accidentally called the lift back down before going for the jumpboots and didn't realise the Warlord had entered the lower area. So I was calmly boosting my health and ammo when suddenly my health dropped drastically: had a bit of luck there to get out of the fence area without losing my life 8)
Then, no real problems even though the Warlord had drained some of my heavy ammo and left me without armour and only 50 health but I made it to the Skaarj Commander area and there things went horribly wrong.
1st try : thinking I could rush in and get some ammo while fighting, I suddenly stopped thinking due to massive cerebral damage caused by excessive flak shrapnel entering (and passing through) my body
2nd try: this time I managed to reach the Boss fairly shielded and in good health but I had wasted my ammo and was basically under-equiped: end of chapter
3rd try: tried using the ASMD to keep the big bastard from getting too near: result >> he got near
4th try: killed myself by using the seconday Flak instead of primary when he was too near
5th try: finally got him but I've got 1 health left, 0 armour and :shock: a Skaarj is just turning the corne....

Damn it, I'm fed up of dying. Right up to this Boss the difficulty is really testing (and fun) but I'm fairly sure the well-nourished Xidia players will make me look ridiculous. But I remember beating this Boss without too much hassle on my first playthrough so why am I having so much trouble now? Oh well, there's always tomorrow to try out new strategies (and there's a Queen waiting in the next level).

Added around 22.15 pm: tomorrow became today and a bit of rest made a world of difference. Big Boss didn't get near me this time and his followers were dead meat before they realised it. But when rushing to the teleporter I had completely forgotten that there are 2 more Skaarj waiting for a visitor and those guys cost me a lot of armour. So I was ging to face the Queen with hardly any armor. Then I decided to use stealth to go to the far teleporter, got to the safe ledge and from there on it's DP-time with some automag and rifle for instahits (if you really want to engage be prepared for hard times, but this way, it's almost a stroll).
Total playing time amounts to something in the order of 3 hours of which at least 1 hour for the last 2 levels.

My final conclusions:
Dead Star Mappack is no masterpiece but it's far from a run of the mill production. Some areas, and in particular the whole of Cliffside, are conceptually almost topclass. Some good thought has gone into the alterations of the "borrowed" RTNP areas, and the result is there: it feels fresh and there's no "Argh what the, I've seen this all before" sentiment. Most battles are completely fair but there are some that will test even seasoned players (on difficulty 3 and higher) but in all but one case the geometry can give the player some time to gather his wits.
There are 2 lifts which are a bit buggy and can damage the player and I found one area where one can get almost completely blocked but some crouching, jumping and dodging allowed me to dislodge myself; so technically there are no real problems.
Should there be an another updated version? Not really, fixing the small problems will take too much time (I think) and the benefits are minimal.
For those who haven't played it yet - play it one setting higher than what you normally play Unreal on, and you'll be challenged (and remember, ammo isn't always easy to come by, so don't waste it).

UTupi
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Subject: Re: Dead Star Map-pack (Completed)(Unreal; 16 single/multiplayer maps)

Post Posted: 03 Jun 2015, 15:16

Problem in KrajigarMine, I'm through most of it but a door gives me:

Failed launching URL
Can't find Package in file 'Package UnrealShare.RAIN'


What to do?

UTupi
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Subject: Re: Dead Star Map-pack (Completed)(Unreal; 16 single/multiplayer maps)

Post Posted: 09 Jun 2015, 18:20

Could someone be kind and give me a list of the maps in gameplay order?

I'll just skip the problem and miss only a little of the content. From the posts above I figure Grisly Falls might be the next map, I may try continuing from that.

NaPaliShore
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Subject: Re: Dead Star Map-pack (Completed)(Unreal; 16 single/multiplayer maps)

Post Posted: 10 Jun 2015, 03:52

UTupi wrote:Could someone be kind and give me a list of the maps in gameplay order?

I'll just skip the problem and miss only a little of the content. From the posts above I figure Grisly Falls might be the next map, I may try continuing from that.


I don't have the complete "gameplay order" listing for the maps, but I just played through KrajigarMine and can confirm that the next map after that is GrislyFalls.

UTupi
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Subject: Re: Dead Star Map-pack (Completed)(Unreal; 16 single/multiplayer maps)

Post Posted: 10 Jun 2015, 16:14

Thanks! Unfortunately I get the same error message when I try "open grislyfalls" or "admin switchcooplevel grislyfalls". Could you tell me the level after GrislyFalls? I'll try continue from that one.

I suppose I should try figure out what's gone wrong or what I'm missing there. I don't understand that error message. (I have no editing skills, I'm just a player.) I downloaded the latest release of Dead Star so that shouldn't be the problem, and the first maps work fine so my Unreal install (227f) should be good for it too. Tried searching for more info but couldn't find mentions of "unrealshare.rain". Scratching me head.

[Edit: "227" -> "227f"]

User avatar UPredator
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Subject: Re: Dead Star Map-pack (Completed)(Unreal; 16 single/multiplayer maps)

Post Posted: 11 Jun 2015, 07:51

UTupi wrote:Thanks! Unfortunately I get the same error message when I try "open grislyfalls" or "admin switchcooplevel grislyfalls". Could you tell me the level after GrislyFalls? I'll try continue from that one.

I suppose I should try figure out what's gone wrong or what I'm missing there. I don't understand that error message. (I have no editing skills, I'm just a player.) I downloaded the latest release of Dead Star so that shouldn't be the problem, and the first maps work fine so my Unreal install (227f) should be good for it too. Tried searching for more info but couldn't find mentions of "unrealshare.rain". Scratching me head.

[Edit: "227" -> "227f"]



Hi,

Unrealshare.Rain is part of a weather/particle system found in the Oldunreal patch 227. So in the original post for this project i had labeled that this map-pack only works in Oldunreal's 227 patch. There are many reasons for this but mainly because when i began working on the maps i had already begun in 227. There's really no reason not to upgrade because the patch is highly compatible with previous Unreal versions, and just all around a much better patch then Epic Game's final patch. Its even got some endorsements from the company itself with using the source code as far as i can tell. Please take a moment and download the newest release (227i), then my map-pack will work just fine. http://www.oldunreal.com/oldunrealpatches.html

Also i have the list of levels in the Readme that came with the map-pack I believe, if you need to refer to it in the future.


Hope it works out!

-Predator

UTupi
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Subject: Re: Dead Star Map-pack (Completed)(Unreal; 16 single/multiplayer maps)

Post Posted: 11 Jun 2015, 12:48

Cheers UPredator, and thank you for looking into this. It's awesome that the map pack's maker is helping out here. Really a community of Unreal aficionados. I'm one of those who likes the classic feel best, so while I have great respect for the daring explorers that have taken the engine to new areas, getting a pack like Dead Star is a real boon. I enjoyed the beginning very much, brought back all the memories while being a new adventure. :) :o

I do have the engine patched to OldUnreal's 227f. Does Dead Star need a more recent version, g, h, i? I tried looking at OldUnreal's wiki to find out when UnrealShare.Rain has been included, but didn't find the info. (Reading it as a non-programmer, it's interesting and intriguing stuff, but you kind of hear this whooshing sound all the time...) Should I patch my 227f to one of those three? Looks like f was released in 2009, g and h in 2011, i in 2012, so maybe I should update anyway... Been kinda wary of not fixing what isn't broken. I'll try that now.

The list of levels in the readme is alphabetical. It does indicate the starting point but that's about it. Could you post the list in "gameplay order"? Just in case. :shy:

SalsaSkaarj obviously had no problem so it's something on my end, not in the pack, I just hoped it's some simpler setting I have out of kilter. :B

User avatar Sat42
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Subject: Re: Dead Star Map-pack (Completed)(Unreal; 16 single/multiplayer maps)

Post Posted: 11 Jun 2015, 13:13

UTupi wrote:I do have the engine patched to OldUnreal's 227f. Does Dead Star need a more recent version, g, h, i? I tried looking at OldUnreal's wiki to find out when UnrealShare.Rain has been included, but didn't find the info. (Reading it as a non-programmer, it's interesting and intriguing stuff, but you kind of hear this whooshing sound all the time...) Should I patch my 227f to one of those three? Looks like f was released in 2009, g and h in 2011, i in 2012, so maybe I should update anyway... Been kinda wary of not fixing what isn't broken. I'll try that now.

SalsaSkaarj obviously had no problem so it's something on my end, not in the pack, I just hoped it's some simpler setting I have out of kilter. :B


Hey UTupi,

Just patch the game to 227i, which is the latest version of the 227 patch, I have it, UPredator and pretty much everyone else too. Works like a charm: I've played through Dead Star without any issue thanks to 227i, if you really want to know (I intend to get back to UPredator with substantial feedback once I'm done with Uni).
Nali: Magic or Telekinesis
Waffnuffly wrote:It's tarydium-doped smoothies. Drunk by the player, I mean. The player is tripping balls. The whole game actually takes place in a large city and the player thinks he's on an alien world.

UTupi
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Subject: Re: Dead Star Map-pack (Completed)(Unreal; 16 single/multiplayer maps)

Post Posted: 11 Jun 2015, 15:49

Thanks for the info! Unfortunately I got curious (and confused) about the Classic and Gold patches, installed UnrealRtNPPatch, and it hosed my Unreal.exe. Now I can't install either 227i patch. And my original CD is broken. Oh vey. Off to scrounge a second-hand shop nearby...

Maybe it would be a useful addition to project presentations to specify exactly which 227 variant a pack needs? I mean, if it's really down to differences between say 227f and 227i?

EDIT: I got it fixed! Yay! \o/ I grabbed Unreal.exe from OMP-224-V0.2, the rest of the missing System files from my fortunately lingering Unreal Tournament install (basically copied all over and said "No" to any replacing), then ran the Classic (non-Gold) 227i patch. Going through Entry Prison now... I'll let you folks know when I'm through Krajigar Mine. If this duck tape fix holds together. :D

EDIT 2: Yup, proceeded smoothly to Grisly Falls. Really liking this pack so far. :)

(So it requires a newer 227 patch than 227f? Might as well state 227i as a requirement in the Readme?)

User avatar Sat42
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Subject: Re: Dead Star Map-pack (Completed)(Unreal; 16 single/multiplayer maps)

Post Posted: 11 Jun 2015, 17:42

UTupi wrote:Thanks for the info! Unfortunately I got curious (and confused) about the Classic and Gold patches, installed UnrealRtNPPatch, and it hosed my Unreal.exe. Now I can't install either 227i patch. And my original CD is broken. Oh vey. Off to scrounge a second-hand shop nearby...

Maybe it would be a useful addition to project presentations to specify exactly which 227 variant a pack needs? I mean, if it's really down to differences between say 227f and 227i?

EDIT: I got it fixed! Yay! \o/ I grabbed Unreal.exe from OMP-224-V0.2, the rest of the missing System files from my fortunately lingering Unreal Tournament install (basically copied all over and said "No" to any replacing), then ran the Classic (non-Gold) 227i patch. Going through Entry Prison now... I'll let you folks know when I'm through Krajigar Mine. If this duck tape fix holds together. :D

EDIT 2: Yup, proceeded smoothly to Grisly Falls. Really liking this pack so far. :)

(So it requires a newer 227 patch than 227f? Might as well state 227i as a requirement in the Readme?)


Glad you're able to play in optimal conditions! Yes, it requires 227i and it could help to have that stated in the Readme in an updated release. Now that you're up-to-date, I bet you'll never have trouble launching a mod in Unreal again!
Nali: Magic or Telekinesis
Waffnuffly wrote:It's tarydium-doped smoothies. Drunk by the player, I mean. The player is tripping balls. The whole game actually takes place in a large city and the player thinks he's on an alien world.

UTupi
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Subject: Re: Dead Star Map-pack (Completed)(Unreal; 16 single/multiplayer maps)

Post Posted: 15 Jun 2015, 13:38

Sat42 wrote:Glad you're able to play in optimal conditions! Yes, it requires 227i and it could help to have that stated in the Readme in an updated release. Now that you're up-to-date, I bet you'll never have trouble launching a mod in Unreal again!


Well, no trouble launching, but I got a few crashes on DS and The Fifth Vortex, and I haven't experienced those in a while. So I guess i is still work in progress. Might be nice to get a feature frozen and debugged 228 as the next baseline for mappers and players. I know I'm totally looking a gift horse in the mouth. It's truly awesome what has been done to advance this venerable engine and indeed this whole mapping scene that keeps me coming back to Unreal for more. :)

I loved this pack. It does have some parts and bits that could use a second opinion, at least I noticed myself thinking in a few spots about what I might slightly change or add there, but then again that kind of thinking leads to featuritis that only serves to ensure packs never get finished and published. So.

I'm a big fan of the classic feel, the atmosphere of the original, and this pack delivered hours of that. (Yup I'm a slow player, not just the indefatigably exploring type but also pretty hopeless suckage in fights. :D But hey got to take your time to take in the vistas and enjoy the creativity of the, well, creators, don't you?) Noticed many things along the way that brought a smile on my face. Classy throwbacks to the original that was so... well, I don't need to preach to the choir on that one.

I don't want to keep a critical mind when I'm enjoying a new Unreal adventure, so I didn't. So you won't get a review out of me, I just want to thank the makers. I very immensely enjoyed this.

It's amazing how these still get done... the loving is pretty strong... maybe it's also the shared feeling of an ongoing scene, not just the impact of the original back then.... aw shit now you guys made me sentimental.

Well done! :tup:

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Subject: Re: Dead Star Map-pack (Completed)(Unreal; 16 single/multiplayer maps)

Post Posted: 17 Jul 2015, 19:18

So.
In these recent weeks I decided to try 227i for a long while and started straight out with this mappack. I still can't be accustomed with 227 because, while it improves a bit on the visual side, it still got some technical issues like the gamespeed going back to default after each level (115% speed is my religion), slid-y movements, lack of a custom map menu like Oldskool's (I don't see one), AI sometimes fucking up etc... So UT is ultimately superior for SP.

Now I've played this mappack and if somebody would ask me for a USP-style review, that's quite hard because it's jarring when you have to deal with a lot of levels that constantly use whole Unreal/RTNP terrain and other non-terrain assets, with various modifications. I could almost recognize all the Unreal terrain, even a quite clever use of the SkyCaves first river cave in the mine level, however there were some that I couldn't recognize and I don't know if it they were new or not (aka you made them yourself). Using Sacred Passage's terrain in two consecutive levels was a bit too much. Then I saw some Skaarj guard point base in FarLands which looked strangely familiar but ok, perhaps the constant appearance of Unreal assets is giving me the wrong ideas so I went on.

Got to say, the WarShip at the beginning of the mappack was pretty nice, good job. Generally, the indoor build you created looked above average, no complains.

I totally ignored the story because it didn't seem important. The gameplay seems kind of balanced but it's mostly stationary enemies that can be easily killed; only the Queen at the end was hard due to the Skaarj around. Skaarj Troopers are always a problem and must be used with care.

I have forgotten a lot of details because I played this before July started and didn't want to post anything until a certain day because I was busy and didn't want to be distracted.

Well, sadly, I've got to say something.
When I played QueenShip, I saw something at the beginning that was waaay too familiar:
Image
Image
1st screenshot is from Hexephet 2nd map. 2nd screenshot with the same exact corridor brushes is from QueenShip.
When I mentioned also that "familiar" Skaarj guard base in FarLands, its brushes are taken from a Skaarj guard base in Hexephet's 1st map (the one with the elevator) but heavily modified.

When I played throughout the DeadStar maps, I've encountered a lot of uncanny resemblances to just about anything but when I discovered you ripped Hexephet's assets at this point I wondered what's original in this pack and WHAT ISN'T.

Please clarify.

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