Lords of Xulima

Lords of Xulima

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Deepest Dark
Tags: Ruleset
File Size
0.857 MB
Oct 19, 2015 @ 4:55pm
May 16 @ 11:36am
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Deepest Dark

"Death comes for all. Some sooner than others. Do you fear the Dark mortal? No? Perhaps you should..."

An ominious howl, the crack of unnatural lightning, a pained scream. Silence.

The figure turns, burning eyes piercing your very soul as they spark with an unnatural green light.

"Can you challenge it?"

Warning: You must select Hardcore Ironman difficulty.

Most features will behave oddly or not function at all if you don't. It's also recommended you start a new save, I am uncertain what effects it would have if loaded in a vanilla run and if nothing else not starting from the beginning breaks the balance of the mod.

This mod is complete and has been for a few weeks (I'm just an idiot and didn't change this post).

A lone ship sails through the dark waves. On board is a skeleton crew - a gaunt man dressed in a hooded emerald robe, face seemingly locked in a perpetual mocking grin, as several other men who seem deep in the grasp of insanity keep the ship on course in these treacherous waters. He knew full well of the dangers of the currents here - those who entered would not leave. That was fine, this land was... promising. The figure's grin grew wider. Yes, this would prove most... interesting. A dull thump, the sound of the mystery ship's hull striking the sandy beach.

And then 2 quiet, ominious words...

"It begins..."

What is Deepest Dark?

Deepest Dark is a difficulty mod originally made for a different game, however as a result of this allegedly challenging game entirely lacking in challenge by default, as well as some extremely unprofessional, unethical, and outright offensive behavior from the developers I cut support of it as I could not endorse such a game in good conscience. Since then I have kept my eyes open, in search of a different game I could exercise my creative talents in - one that is difficult by default, not horrifically broken, and that is maintained by caring, competent game developers who also understand games from the end user perspective. Lords of Xulima is such a game, and when I saw Steam Workshop support was finally available, calling me enthuiastic would be an understament. There were some short term technical problems with my having purchased the game from the wrong retailer and not having that Workshop support available, however fans of my past work really wanted this, and so I will deliver!

Who are you?

I am a challenge gamer, have been for the entirety of my adult life. While I am fine with self imposed challenges such as LLGs, SCCs, etc on games not inherently difficult and not marketed on that basis, I do prefer games that are naturally hard so I can be challenged without holding back. I found the Roguelike genre because for the most part it delivers on this, as well as providing the mechanical depth that makes intelligent play entertaining. A game need not have permadeath though and I also enjoy games (generally tactical and/or RPG) that don't have permadeath but that still make success non trivial and failure punishing.

I also deconstruct game design for fun and have became very good at analyzing game systems while just playing them at the same time, a talent that results in coherent, generally well thought out and well aimed design decisions and vision if say... I start modding. My primary design goal is always creating a diverse and interesting metagame, as no one enjoys a difficult game where you just spam one thing because it's the only thing that works, or worse, a trivial one dimensional game.

What is your stance on modding?

Put simply, mods should alter, enhance, or extrapolate on a game - not fix it. It's ok if a game isn't perfect by default, but any game that isn't good without mods also isn't worth creating mods for. That's my stance. Lords of Xulima is quite enjoyable as it is, offering some 300 hours and counting and so if I can expand that further so much the better. My previous work has extended the lifespan of a game by well over 1,000 hours and I was working with weaker material then. I'm quite confident I can exceed my previous project here.

So just what did you do in Deepest Dark?

I always start small and expand the scope and scale of the project as my knowledge, experience, and confidence grows.

Reduced most sources of resistance, and capped resistances at 75%.
Altered every enemy and formation in the game. All of them. Sometimes extensively.
Heavily ltered Cursed Hound progression so that they remain scary throughout the entire game.
Expanded encounter tables, with at least one new encounter in every zone.
Began major ability and class rebalancing efforts.
Greatly reduced the effectiveness of chain stunning.
Enhanced enemy strength, sometimes greatly.
More than doubled the number of quests in the game.
Added a few new mechanics that start appearing as early as Sporia Forest.
Item rebalanced, aimed at making items that only come from monster drops be more useful and have some unique niche.
Eqnchantments rebalanced, aimed at making more magical properties useful and a larger gap between magic and non magic items.
Equipment rebalanced, aimed at making one handed weapons (especially Daggers) and shields more useful and Battle Hammers and Flails less silly. Also makes all bow class weapons as well as Spears and Polearms more useful by introducing more dangerous backrow enemies which all of these weapons can hit.
Massive spell rebalance, most lower level skills cost fewer skill points unless they remain relevant through the whole game, most spells cost less mana and/or do more damage, target selection on some spells is changed, and the highest level skills for Cleric and Mage are more powerful and class exclusive (not learned by Arcane Soldier, Paladin...)
Skill/class change summary here: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=748385432 ( assumes familiarity with vanilla skills, if you're not click here:http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=343439867 )
Enemies now drop equipment, not just consumable healing items. This equipment is whatever they are using or the closest approximation. Some special enemies have other drops...
As an anti save scum measure, bosses have a 100% drop rate on anything they drop. Most normal enemies have low drop rates on equipment... but there are many of them.

Most of my future ideas concern adding new areas, new enemies/bosses, AI work, and so on which is either not possible now or I am not sure if it is possible yet and wouldn't do it right away in any case. Even as is now though, look what you have done...
Popular Discussions View All (7)
Sep 7, 2016 @ 10:23pm
Celerity, Executor of Impunity
Nov 16, 2015 @ 12:19pm
PINNED: It begins...
Celerity, Executor of Impunity
Feb 1 @ 2:04pm
Accidental genius.
Celerity, Executor of Impunity
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Celerity, Executor of Impunity  [author] Sep 12 @ 1:58pm 
That it will most certainly deliver on. Have fun.
Jamoid Sep 12 @ 1:15pm 
It has less to do with balls or skill and more to do with being a complete masochist when it comes to gaming. I just can't enjoy a game these days unless It's kicking my ass. Thanks for the advice and the mod!
Celerity, Executor of Impunity  [author] Sep 12 @ 10:57am 
Stupid? No. Ballsy? Yes. The very beginning is actually slightly easier, but the learning curve increases drasticallly from there. Starting with the mod first will be both easier and harder. Easier, because you won't have bad habits from the base game and harder because once you reach level 2 or 3 the challenge level will be far beyond anything in the base game.

The best advice I can give without spoiling anything is pay attention, especially concerning enemy behavior. There are clear and consistent patterns but most information you need won't be spelled out.
Jamoid Sep 12 @ 10:28am 
Would it be incredibly stupid to use this on a first playthrough? As always logic says it would be, but I don't really want to get deep into a game of this length and then regret not making it the best experience it can be.

Any thoughts on that?
Celerity, Executor of Impunity  [author] Sep 4 @ 7:48pm 
That shouldn't be possible at all and sounds like a massive bug by Numantian. No, I don't want people making a bunch of minor variations of my work, I spent a great deal of time and effort on it.

You can make your own original works however you want them, but what you're asking is "Can I steal something you spent 2 years making?"

Not a question that will go over well.
Celerity, Executor of Impunity  [author] Aug 19 @ 12:11pm 
There is a risk vs reward mechanic involved. Without spoiling that much, if you can defeat many enemies consecutively without resting or saving you will get considerably more resources. Of course if you die you lose that 30-180 minutes of progress.

Or you could tediously run back and forth and save scum between every fight but why would you torture yourself like that? Between that and people thinking you need food and rest spam (you don't, it's balanced around moderate resting and completely beatable with zero rests)) that's a good part of the reason this title is obscure. If you have little things like that people never Git Gud because they assume that's how the game actually should work and then they aren't happy with it.
Sefarion Aug 19 @ 9:08am 
Sigh, it is shame i rly liked balance changes but i dont have enough free time for that :( okay... anyway thanks for quick answer!
Celerity, Executor of Impunity  [author] Aug 19 @ 6:54am 
Yes. There's some hardcoded things I can't change about the lower difficulties and it is not balanced around save scumming which is why after the first few areas you'll be a lot further from town.
Sefarion Aug 19 @ 3:57am 
Hello may i ask you: Did i truly have to play on "Hardcore Ironman difficulty?" Dont get me wrong I am not kind of save abuser "hoping for better roll" but i rly dislike that i have to run to town after every fight to save my proggres... its too heavy time consumble (dont even talk about food).
Celerity, Executor of Impunity  [author] Jun 22 @ 11:40am 
Well in any case, it is on the summer sale. I dunno what's with the GoG version.