Author Topic: Dark Alliances question: hint on what I've missed  (Read 1011 times)

Offline ag87

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Dark Alliances question: hint on what I've missed
« on: November 06, 2015, 02:42:27 AM »
Hi,

I have been playing and really enjoying this design, but suddenly find myself a bit stuck.  I looked for existing posts and didn't find anyone asking about it (I have a feeling the answer is probably embarrassingly obvious, sorry :) ).  I believe I've explored everything (and have gone back through some areas), but I know there is more to do and have run out of things to do.  The times that's happened in other games, this is when I dig out the hint book to get moving forward again.  So in this case, time to ask.

I've done all the missions Jerren assigned (he now says there is nothing more) and believe I've explored everywhere (including all hidden outdoor locations, and have stepped on every outdoor space).

What have I missed?

I felt a little reluctant to look at the design, but eventually I just figured that it would sort of be the equivalent of looking at a hint book.

There are some areas in Yulash I've been unable to access, so, having failed to figure this out in-game, I looked at the design (trying my best to avoid spoilers) and was able to see that there's suppose to be a related mission assigned by Jerren that allows you to go to the north part of Yulash, but he won't assign it for some reason.

I then tried to figure out in more detail how the design was set up.  If I'm understanding it correctly, I need the quest 2 flag set to stage 2 before things will begin to move again.  It is currently set to stage 1.

Also, is there a tool that will list where each quest flag is set/advanced?  It obviously takes too long to go through every event manually.  I saw the document GEOEVENT.TXT that details the layout of the event data, so such a tool seems totally feasible (although maybe not helpful enough to exist if the designers just keep track manually).  In this case, my goal with such a tool would be to find the specific location with the event that sets quest 2 to stage 2 (or zone).

Thanks, and again sorry if I'm asking something that is obvious
« Last Edit: November 06, 2015, 05:10:59 AM by ag87 »

Offline ProphetSword

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Re: Dark Alliances question: hint on what I've missed
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2015, 06:48:55 AM »
What was the last mission he gave you? I will look through the module and see if I can figure out where the issue lies so I can hopefully figure out if there is a bug.  It sounds to me like Quest 2 should be in progress and it isn't.

In the meantime, if you want to press onward, just drop a Quest event in front of the door of his office. Set it to Quest 2, Stage 1. Once you cross it, it should give you Quest 2, and hopefully it will keep you moving.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2015, 07:37:35 AM by ProphetSword »
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Offline ProphetSword

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Re: Dark Alliances question: hint on what I've missed
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2015, 07:37:22 AM »
Ignore my previous advice.  After looking through the module, it seems that Quest 2 is the main quest-line that Jerren uses to give out his missions.  By the time you get to the Yulash mission, it should have been set to a much, much higher stage than 2 (Quest 2-Stage 1 is given automatically the second time you enter the office).  There are missions that occur before that.

What I need to know is what the last mission Jerren gave you was and how far into the game you've progressed.  It's been around 17 years since I released this module, so I don't remember all the details of how the quest structure was set up, so I'll need to know where you are in order to track down the issue so that you can continue playing.
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Offline ag87

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Re: Dark Alliances question: hint on what I've missed
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2015, 04:23:04 PM »
Thank you, I really appreciate it.

The most recent was related to the egg dropped by the thief.  He says you should take it to the council in New Phlan, but when I tried they wouldn't allow me inside so I figured that I had to do something else first like find Lady Sasha, so I just continued exploring everything.  I do have that in my notes but forgot about it, so maybe that's somehow the source of the problem.

If it helps, the list of previous conversations with him were (in order from first):
- Meeting with him in his office the first time and getting Navarre, assigned pirates, Dragongate Keep, caravan.
- I think talking to him after Dragongate Keep was the point where when I spoke to him, it flashed but he didn't say anything.  I retried it several times from various saves and it just seemed to work that way no matter what I did.  Moving back a second time afterwards, it continued so I noted it and went on.  Not sure if it was related to this issue or not.
- Dragongate Keep reward, assigned ruins N, pirates, caravan
- Clearing the ruins reward, assigned pirates, caravan
- Pirates reward, assigned caravan
- Vampire reward, assigned caravan
- Caravan completed (but he didn't say anything about that), assigned none
- Orcs in Espyr reward and discussed egg dropped by thief, assigned none (unless the advise about taking the egg to the council counts).
- Assigned none

I probably didn't do these in the typical order, but I had trouble finding the pirates so didn't do that until later.  That left Dragongate Keep and the caravan, and I decided to work on the keep first.  I did the vampire part fairly early because I wanted to finish exploring the various parts of the ruins even after the official "clear the ruins" quest was completed.  I explored Espyr when I was just exploring after no more missions were assigned.

Thank you very much for your help, and I apologize if this means you are now into analyzing the design (didn't mean for that; I thought maybe there was just some story element I had missed or something) - no hurry, I can wait if you need some time.

Offline ProphetSword

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Re: Dark Alliances question: hint on what I've missed
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2015, 04:43:06 PM »
No need to apologize.  If there's a bug in the game, I'd like to fix it.  Let me see what I can find out.
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Offline ProphetSword

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Re: Dark Alliances question: hint on what I've missed
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2015, 10:10:54 PM »
I have reached the point in the game where you got stuck (I've been doing a speed play-through in the hopes of figuring out what issue you're facing).  Here's the question I have for you:

Did you visit the priestess of Sune in the Temple of Sune in New Hlontar?  She's the one you're supposed to escort into Yulash.  Jerren mentions this when he gives the mission.  Without her, you probably can't finish the area.

If this is not the issue, let me know.
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Offline ag87

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Re: Dark Alliances question: hint on what I've missed
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2015, 04:14:33 AM »
Thanks

I didn't even get that far; Jerren won't assign me the mission to start with.  I did visit both him and the temple recently.  I did it again just now, just to be sure, and same thing: Jerren says he'll check what work is available, doesn't assign any missions, then says that is currently all that is available (which would make sense if there were truly no more missions and it was the start/end text around the list).  When I visit the temple, I get the normal message (she is sorting flowers and smiles, etc.).  I wonder if I did something so far out of order that it set a flag that wasn't suppose to be set yet.

Offline ag87

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Re: Dark Alliances question: hint on what I've missed
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2015, 07:48:18 AM »
Hi,

I put together a geo*.dat parse tool and used that to find that event 2 is set to 2 with a quest stage event in "dragongate 2" (#88), then found the position manually at 6x0 since there weren't too many events to look through.  I completed DragonGate Keep, so I'm not sure why it didn't change - I had to have stepped there.  The other place is in Zhentil Keep (#34) which I found there at 8x16.  I simply hadn't stepped on that space.  I only looked for quest stage, special item, and utility events, so if there are other ways to set a quest flag, then there may be more.

I hope that helps in determining the problem.

As far as playing, I think that I may be able to continue by using the Zhentil Keep event.  I'll have to try in greater detail when I get a chance next, but on a quick check things seem to maybe be working again (there was a new encounter outside New Hlontar and Jerren spoke about it).
« Last Edit: November 07, 2015, 07:52:38 AM by ag87 »

Offline ProphetSword

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Re: Dark Alliances question: hint on what I've missed
« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2015, 09:10:13 AM »
Here's another question:

When you left Dragongate Keep, did you encounter the event where the dragons return and attack the keep once you have left it?  Or, when you left, did nothing happen at all?
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Offline ag87

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Re: Dark Alliances question: hint on what I've missed
« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2015, 03:34:05 PM »
Yes, the dragons did return and attack

Is it possible that maybe quest 2 wasn't even set to 1 at that point?  Looking at the Jerren event that sets it to 1, I was wondering if maybe it gets set the second time you talk to him or later or something like that, as I see a transfer event happens before that one.  I haven't gone back and tested that, but just a thought.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2015, 03:36:42 PM by ag87 »

Offline ProphetSword

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Re: Dark Alliances question: hint on what I've missed
« Reply #10 on: November 07, 2015, 03:52:04 PM »
It can't be set to a Stage more than once by the Quest Event.  If it was already at Quest Event-Stage 1 and then encountered that stage again, it would be ignored.

Hearing that the dragons attacked is a good thing.  There's an odd bug that has occurred over the years where people leave the keep and the attack never happens and the game will not proceed from there.  I have never tracked down why.

How would you feel about sending me your SAVE directory from the module?  Maybe I can figure something out.
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Offline ag87

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Re: Dark Alliances question: hint on what I've missed
« Reply #11 on: November 07, 2015, 08:49:23 PM »
Thanks, sure, I'll send a private message with them

As far as the quest stage, I meant that Jerren may not have set it from 0 to 1 the first time I spoke to him, thus preventing the DragonGate Keep quest stage from setting it from 1 to 2.

Offline ProphetSword

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Re: Dark Alliances question: hint on what I've missed
« Reply #12 on: November 07, 2015, 10:03:19 PM »
After receiving your private message, I looked into event you suggested, and sure enough, that's what has caused the issue.  Thank you!  That's one less bug that will plague people in the future, as I have fixed this error and uploaded a bug-fixed version (should appear in a few days, I assume).

What happened was that Navarre was a late addition to the game.  It always struck me as funny that quest givers in games like Pool of Radiance somehow knew what you did before you returned to town.  How did they know you killed the Ogre Chief way down in the bottom of a dank cave?  They weren't there.  Did they just take your word for it? 

So, I added Navarre to make for a believable way that Jerren knew when the party had finished something and also to add a "DM Voice" that would give the player some clues or point out story history or whatever. 

Point is, adding him in toward the end of the process meant that I changed the original chain and the Transfer Module event interrupted the flow and kept that Quest Stage from firing.  My playtesters didn't find it because they likely returned to Jerren after doing other things first, so they got the Quest Stage as intended, so it was a bug that was never discovered (and could be related to a few other bugs that have popped up from time to time).

Took a long time to root that bug out.  16 long years.  Thanks for that.
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Offline ag87

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Re: Dark Alliances question: hint on what I've missed
« Reply #13 on: November 07, 2015, 11:19:39 PM »
That's great news.  And thank you very much for your help, I really appreciate it.

I agree, the idea of Navarre is really a good one.  I used to DM D&D a lot and always had an NPC with the party as a way of conveying story elements and such.

Another thing: Do you think that tool I wrote might be helpful to anyone?  Maybe there is already something better that would do the job, but I wasn't sure which one and didn't want to install a bunch of stuff without knowing which one would do the job, if any.  This one is very simple, just a little command line program (no installer or anything).  It takes a file as an argument (parses a given geo*.dat) and produces a list of the quest-related events (for purposes of finding things like where quest 2 was set to 2).  I didn't try to find the coordinates, as that would have taken much longer to implement.

For example:

> QE GEO001.DAT
Quest stage:  Event=  4, Quest=  2, Stage=  3
Quest stage:  Event=  9, Quest=  2, Stage=  5
Special item: Event= 22, Quest=  5
Quest stage:  Event= 30, Quest=  2, Stage= 12
Quest stage:  Event= 38, Quest=  2, Stage= 15
Quest stage:  Event= 47, Quest=  9, Stage=  3

Offline ProphetSword

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Re: Dark Alliances question: hint on what I've missed
« Reply #14 on: November 08, 2015, 06:42:06 AM »
You know, it might be interesting to some folks.  I know I've had a hell of a time tracking down where Quest events are located in some old modules.

If I were you, I would head over to the Hacking board here on the forums and post a message about it and what it does.  There are people over there who might not be reading this thread who would know if something like that already exists and how useful it can really be.

As it is, I think it found another bug.  Going back over your old messages, I noticed that you mentioned there's a Quest Stage 2 for the quest that didn't trigger for you in Zhentil Keep.  Don't know how that got there, but it's positioning makes me think it was an accident, as something given out by Jerren shouldn't even be located on that map.  So another bug fix is incoming.

By the way, did it help you continue your game correctly?
LANDS OF ADVENTURE: An Old-School Style CRPG

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