HOLI First Impressions

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HOLI First Impressions

Postby pohdoh » Tue Aug 01, 2017 9:14 am

So i caved in and started this expansion even though i said i wouldn't when i started.
Mostly since i remembered this expansion feeling a bit empty in terms of cities and having really unforgiving monsters lol. But i was only like 17 at the time and was a lot more impatient and unintelligent in the ways of leveling and rpg's lol.

Anywho here is a very late first impressions but hope some of this is somewhat insightful and interesting to read lol. This is with my character that has been optimized and groomed to be a walking enchanted juggernaut at sometimes shoot arrows.

1. Wilderness is more packed that i remembered.
-completly forgot about the school of magic and there more npc's in the wilderness than i remembered. Granted i still think Dookh village is the only real city in the game and that the Capital is a boring wasteland that is only slightly more interesting than the wilderness. I consider uninteresting/small cities the biggest weakness in HOLI and the subsequent expansions if my memory is correct.

2. Gear is crazy lol
-went from 300 health/mana to 1200 health/mana at level 22 after getting tao's ring of the aether and ring of enchantment from the cave in muck island. That along with silvergirl's dragon cloak and the other gear given in the school of magic. Could have toned back the gear and given them slowly as quests or whatnot. I was already durable before but now i became near invincible lol. Granted that happened in Fire and Ice too. But i was still not completly invincible because....

3. Some monsters are nuts
-not sure how the Savir ever survived with Elder Spiders, Moles, and Fear bats running about. Fear bats were alright altho they still dished out huge damage. I remembered my old character years ago would get almost 1 shotted by them. Some of the moles are also utterly savage with their damage output. I had a seperate suit of gear ready with maximum endurance just because i remembered how hard they hit lol. My current character can still brush off attacks from both moles and fear bats, but still not spiders.
Why are they lvl 55 and do like 200-300 damage per hit lol. That would one shot alot of characters that are playing the game for the first time. They also drop ring of enchantment which is incredible since they have 1500 enchant storage which is an absurd amount even for the difficulty in HOL1.
I know that HOL is suppose to be difficult but i would have preferred all the monsters to be much stronger (savir mobs are quite weak) and these 3 monsters to be less powerful (especially the spider).

4. Quests are much better than i remembered
-this is probably since i was super impatient back then and probably didn't bother. but they are quite nice and fun. i daresay better than fire and ice quests.

5. Setting and Tone is very nice
-i like how creative you were with the world and the characters. I see alot of Kiev Rus vs Mongol Horde influences in the game lol. I liked the thought and creativity that went into the game especially with the dialogue and locations. It really is a shame that there aren't many cities and the world feels barren despite all the wonderful wilderness content, quests, and mobs there are. Speaking of which, i like the monsters especially the wolf and the spells. Some of the puzzles are also very clever (psst. Nitro).

6. Iffy on Breaking the 4th wall
-i don't mind them usually if they are subtle but some of them are just jarring to the experience. Especially with some of the armor and weapon that makes no sense. Not sure who Sian is and i don't mind if you name weapons after him but at least hide the numbers so i know its not an obvious reference. I think this gets even more apparent with HOLII with the Redshift College. I might be picky with this sentiment tho.

Overall better than i remembered and not bad for an expansion made by a small group of people. The story is also nice and i do wish i know what happened with the rest of the story. I never made it past HOLIII so i have no idea what happens to Kozney the Deathless and whatnot :cry:
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Re: HOLI First Impressions

Postby Catacomber » Tue Aug 01, 2017 4:20 pm

Thanks got the thoughtful insights. HOLI was our first expansion and we added new material. Can't really change a lot about the old expansions though as porting is a tremendous work. You would be surprised at how many hours it takes just to get the old world playable. It would be easier for me to take these things into consideration making a new expansion and I would. About numbers in names. Those result from players who worked so hard to test those expansions Imfelt honoring them with an item with their full avatar name was fair but time has passed and I can certainly trim the numbers off in HOLII.
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Re: HOLI First Impressions

Postby pohdoh » Tue Aug 01, 2017 7:07 pm

Catacomber wrote:Thanks got the thoughtful insights. HOLI was our first expansion and we added new material. Can't really change a lot about the old expansions though as porting is a tremendous work. You would be surprised at how many hours it takes just to get the old world playable. It would be easier for me to take these things into consideration making a new expansion and I would. About numbers in names. Those result from players who worked so hard to test those expansions Imfelt honoring them with an item with their full avatar name was fair but time has passed and I can certainly trim the numbers off in HOLII.


Any hints on what happened in the rest of the story? ;)
Is it historically accurate and the Russians are easily crushed and the horde occupy the region as rulers for 200 years? :lol:

Also a few other things. I missed some of the old sprites like the old Savir general and the moles.
The new mole sprite looks less menacing but i suppose that is mostly nostalgia since objectively they don't look bad at all.
The new Savir general mob tho looks really eh. The old sprite with the man in a full suit of armor and a sword was memorable and the attack animation looked amazing. Especially his casting animation where he jabbed his sword at you and a thunderbolt struck down.

Also i really like the new items like consistent drop of fur, new food, and whatnot. Still can't find any use for them unless i am missing something.
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Re: HOLI First Impressions

Postby Catacomber » Wed Aug 02, 2017 12:03 am

The old knight was the old graphics. Can't use that in HD. Sylon can't redraw that many monsters as he's working on the Quest2 and his price for graphics is kinda high.
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Re: HOLI First Impressions

Postby pohdoh » Wed Aug 02, 2017 7:32 am

Catacomber wrote:The old knight was the old graphics. Can't use that in HD. Sylon can't redraw that many monsters as he's working on the Quest2 and his price for graphics is kinda high.


Should have scratched him with your magical paws until he agreed :lol:
Out of curiosity, what is so much more difficult about porting a new expansion? Do you not have the tools to make new hd expansions or are they much more difficult or inconvenient?
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Re: HOLI First Impressions

Postby Catacomber » Wed Aug 02, 2017 5:24 pm

This is not an inclusive list--
Substitute all non HD graphics, which includes finding suitable graphics, resizing them and testing them. Huge pain.
Replace all npc portraits that are nonHD. If I do this wrong, whole file could be corrupt.
Change most if not all npc's to be open day/night. Make sure all old npc's are properly male or female.
Look in all the game for old armorer signs because they are non HD and show up as black signs on Android. Huge pain.
Rebalance all the items, monsters and spells Huge pain.
Sylon made some trees that used to be passable, impassable so now there can be many, many places where the player can be trapped or not be able to get to a place, item or monster or npc. Mega-gigantic, killer pain.
Redo old quest lists because in early expansions they didn't give enough information. Big pain.
All new spells lose their animations-put them back.
Look for all the bone gates because they can only use one door now or they look really wierd. As bad a pain as looking for old armorer signs.
Add new material--the only fun part.
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Re: HOLI First Impressions

Postby pohdoh » Wed Aug 02, 2017 9:37 pm

Catacomber wrote:This is not an inclusive list--
Substitute all non HD graphics, which includes finding suitable graphics, resizing them and testing them. Huge pain.
Replace all npc portraits that are nonHD. If I do this wrong, whole file could be corrupt.
Change most if not all npc's to be open day/night. Make sure all old npc's are properly male or female.
Look in all the game for old armorer signs because they are non HD and show up as black signs on Android. Huge pain.
Rebalance all the items, monsters and spells Huge pain.
Sylon made some trees that used to be passable, impassable so now there can be many, many places where the player can be trapped or not be able to get to a place, item or monster or npc. Mega-gigantic, killer pain.
Redo old quest lists because in early expansions they didn't give enough information. Big pain.
All new spells lose their animations-put them back.
Look for all the bone gates because they can only use one door now or they look really wierd. As bad a pain as looking for old armorer signs.
Add new material--the only fun part.


Hey at least the game looks and feel nicer than before :D

I especially appreciated the new spells and was surprised at how powerful they were. Aoe paralysis and drain xp too? Very unique and TQ1 hadn't seen anything like this until this expansion
Although i wish dragon's nail had a new animation of some kind qq. maybe a different colored fireball or something.
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Re: HOLI First Impressions

Postby Catacomber » Thu Aug 03, 2017 3:48 am

Nice avatar! Celtic Rift is done. Should be able to send it to Elendil for phone using tomorrow. Nice new spells.
Quest list and map are here: http://catacomber.com/index.php/forum/c ... -map#11326
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Re: HOLI First Impressions

Postby pohdoh » Fri Aug 04, 2017 6:45 am

Hmm i can't seen to enter the tunnel out of Zlotograd.
I never bothered to try at the start and now i have no clue how to access the area.

I need to do so to finish the last task which is to talk to the spy. I remember he was there but i just can't enter the tunnel from inside the city.
I have the lukomoryia badge and did everything zzz. hopefully there is a way since i want to access the treasury lol.
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Re: HOLI First Impressions

Postby Catacomber » Fri Aug 04, 2017 5:07 pm

Did you open the gate? You need General Belomor's Key. He's in the Battlements.
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Re: HOLI First Impressions

Postby pohdoh » Fri Aug 04, 2017 6:31 pm

Catacomber wrote:Did you open the gate? You need General Belomor's Key. He's in the Battlements.


ah the missing link!
thank you so much. i was going absolutely nuts trying to open the gate lol
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Re: HOLI First Impressions

Postby pohdoh » Fri Aug 04, 2017 6:40 pm

And now that i did a bunch of the quests some more thoughts as well

Quests and dungeons are on par if not better than the original game. Probably better the more i think about it in terms of design and mechanics. Much much better than fire and ice. Although some of them are a bit random and feel inorganic in the world.
Story is lacking but that is something i never really cared about. And not like the original games were stellar either. Original was interesting at best and Fire and ice was better but only slightly.

The more time i spend in the world, the more i like the environment and mobs and like the physical aspect of it along with some of the background info. Still feels desolate though aside from the occasional store or so randomly placed in the world.

I feel as if the big difference between this game and the previous titles is that the original game focused more on the world and less on dungeons. Even some of their best dungeons are bland and straightforward. HOL is focused on the dungeons and the world is changed or made to accommodate them. Makes the dungeons much much better but at the cost of an engaging outside environment.
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Re: HOLI First Impressions

Postby Catacomber » Sat Aug 05, 2017 2:26 am

Dr. Vlad's idea was that Zlatograd is a city under siege and most of its inhabitants fled. That's why it's so bare. Cities in other HOLs are more populated. :)

Will be interested to see your comments on Celtic Rift coming as soon as Apple approves it.
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Re: HOLI First Impressions

Postby pohdoh » Mon Aug 07, 2017 4:21 am

Catacomber wrote:Dr. Vlad's idea was that Zlatograd is a city under siege and most of its inhabitants fled. That's why it's so bare. Cities in other HOLs are more populated. :)

Will be interested to see your comments on Celtic Rift coming as soon as Apple approves it.


Hmm when i play it, i will post here a lengthy first impressions :)
Although it will probably take a while since i let my ideas sit for a while before i post about them. As shown by how long my posts can get :lol:

I believe it is a standalone game right? Not a high level expansion or anything.
I could use a new character to test out another mage build i wanted to try out :D
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Re: HOLI First Impressions

Postby Catacomber » Mon Aug 07, 2017 4:31 pm

Embedded and standalone versions like the others. Level 15 but entry from Matras.
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Re: HOLI First Impressions

Postby Gabriel » Fri Jan 10, 2020 11:03 am

Here's my two cents (almost near the end, most quest solved, Catacomber freed). Hope this helps in future designs:

1. If the game engine has severe limitations (passable and unpassable trees visible as same on the map, non-expandable quest logs) than the game shouldn't exploit them. Boy, are the forests dense and unforgiving. They could have been easily swapped for mountains (Dookh Village could be surrounded by a mountain for instance). There were some mountains in the original game and expansion.

As for quest logs. NPC's should be more elaborate on details. They should repeat crucial info when necessary (about clues where staff is).

2. A player follows a string of information

HOLI I is not difficult. It's frustrating because 90% of the time you don't really know what to do and why.

Other examples: NPC's offer new dialogue options out of the blue. Why the mayor in Dookh suddenly gave me a quest when previously he just told me to sod off? What did I do that triggered a new dialogue option? Same with Rusalka and her quest. NPC's should offer more topics (to elaborate on details of their clues). I solved many quests by walking around and poking peoople out of desperation.

3. It's goofy and corny

A joke or two is fine. But it's subjective.

---

There's lots of creativity and attention to detail, lots of great ideas, but in many aspects it feels like a semi-serious fan project. Overall, it's good but I'm not sure if I want to buy HOLI II. There's also one aspect:

I'm a derth mage (level 31 now I think). I didn't grind or anything, enchanted all my gear. Attack 200+ etc. and I'm so OP it hurts. Mithril dragons are two shot wimps, everything else is one lightning bolt. With 80% resistance I barely get hurt. With 200+ full health / mana potions I never sleep.

Question is - what to expect in HOLI II, if I intend to beat it with my current character.
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Re: HOLI First Impressions

Postby Catacomber » Sun Jan 12, 2020 3:12 am

You might like Celtic Rift more than HOLII. I did it with a different coauthor. The HOL series were our earliest expansions.

About HOL forests-- forests are often dense and difficult to traverse as in real world forests. Mountains wouldn't make the forests as much of a puzzle to navigate. The forests aren't unforgiving in all the expansions all over but often in some.

Working to add more descriptiveness to the quest logs in the new games. It's hard to do that with the older games but trying. There is always the forum.

Quests often are available when you've reached a higher level of Intelligence or Personality, because your Mind Magic or Persuasiveness skills are higher. NPC's often only give quests when you've talked to others or when your skills are higher. Most players don't mind exploring and going back to talk to other npc's when necessary.

If you are overpowered, the only thing to do would be to use some of your less powerful weapons. The description for each expansion tells you the level you need to be. If you're much higher, many players just don't use their over-powered weapons.
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Re: HOLI First Impressions

Postby Gabriel » Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:08 pm

After some consideration I gave the game a full 5 and bought Luko 2 anyway.

Despite its flaws it's a great game and for 2-3 euros - it's a great deal. I have to compliment sheer creativity and effort put into worldbuilding. Locations are varied (a magical forest is colorful, there's dense forest, more open fields etc.), it's got its flavour and nice touches.

As for balance- that's ultimately subjective, a plus or a minus of a flexible system that has some "engine building" (hero being your engine). Hope that Luko V (final?) will appear on Android eventually, as well as other expansions.

Keep up the good work!
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Re: HOLI First Impressions

Postby Catacomber » Wed Jan 15, 2020 3:09 am

Thanks. Working on testing HOLV now. I think you might like the Celtic series more though. The HOL series is very old and if I had made all the changes I wanted to make to it, it would still be unreleased on HD. Having to redo quite a bit of HOLV to make it less 'wander where you will not knowing why'. : )
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