Lords of Xulima

Lords of Xulima

26 ratings
Deepest Dark
Tags: Ruleset
File Size
0.857 MB
Oct 19, 2015 @ 4:55pm
May 16, 2017 @ 11:36am
47 Change Notes ( view )

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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Deepest Dark is a difficulty mod originally made for a different game, however as a result of this allegedly challenging game entirely lacking in challenge by default, as well as some extremely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 (8)
Feb 11 @ 12:49pm
Questions about mod, weapon speed and skills effect
Nov 16, 2015 @ 12:19pm
PINNED: It begins...
Celerity, Executor of Impunity
Sep 7, 2016 @ 10:23pm
Celerity, Executor of Impunity
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Cend Mar 13 @ 7:06am 
Sorry my mistake - somehow when i reset the values in that table i get totally different stats, had to verify game files to get the original ones back... :steamfacepalm:
You're correct the scaling is the same as vanilla.
Celerity, Executor of Impunity  [author] Mar 13 @ 5:44am 
But I didn't flatten the scaling. What affixes are you even talking about?
Cend Mar 13 @ 4:16am 
What i meant about the enchantment scaling is, that you flattened the quality scaling which makes higher level enchantments weaker compared to vanilla, where the uninteresting loot was already a weakness in my opinion. I can surmise why you did it (much easier balancing) but it's really disappointing finding a 7 star amulet and seeing it's barely better than the 4 star one you already have. Equipment base values scale much harder than that.
Making the single stat boosts stronger was a great move i think.
Celerity, Executor of Impunity  [author] Mar 13 @ 3:26am 
That's a strange bug. I'll have a look at it.
Cend Mar 13 @ 1:31am 
Looking into the armor thingy a bit it seems to be a artifact of changing the armor factor numbers in the qualities. 7 got 30 (5 up from 6) and 8 got 25.
Celerity, Executor of Impunity  [author] Mar 12 @ 4:40pm 
The level 8 vs 7 bug is a vanilla thing and I'm not sure what causes it. I didn't make scaling any narrower, quite the opposite. In vanilla a stat item would just be +1. Doesn't matter if it's a bonus for 1 stat, 2, 3, or all 5 it's still only +1. Here the single stat boosts give much larger bonuses and the 2 stat boosts give somewhat larger numbers.
Cend Mar 12 @ 4:07pm 
oh and the level8 armors are weaker than th 7 ones
Cend Mar 12 @ 12:58pm 
Started the no save challenge again ^.^
Works quite well i have to say. Biggest problem i had was taking on the big shrooms too early.
My priest almost died - stupid stacking poison :D

What's a bit disappointing is that you made loot even less interesting since most enchantments scale VERY slowly so it doesn't matter much if you've got a level 10 amulet or a level 4 one. It makes opening chests even less exciting than vanilla.
Celerity, Executor of Impunity  [author] Mar 11 @ 5:03pm 
I don't thnk doing it without saves at all would be very effective. Even if you could play perfectly we're talking 100-150 hours.

Not saving for a while (enough for a complete dungeon run) is very reasonable. The difference between long outings and save spamming is about 2.5 million gold, possibly more than that.
Cend Mar 11 @ 8:46am 
Tried the mod as a no saves challenge but got kneecapped by a power outage. >.<
In what way does it reward you for not saving/loading? I didn't really see any difference there.