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vometia

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About vometia

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    Silicon Mage

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    Vometia Munro
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  1. vometia

    Normalmaps: weird format?

    Well I spent half the day going through the localisation file because as is so often the case it suffered mission creep and I decided I needed to fix the various typos and grammar. I doubt I'm anywhere near finished and have probably added a few new gaffes of my own! Over 50,000 lines is a lot of text. But in what is certainly a bit of a case of reinventing the wheel, my "relocalisation" file has grown so I'll be able to employ it elsewhere. I dunno if it's worth sharing it to separate out the en_UK/US localisations again. I suspect it'd just cause confusion; on the basis that it's kinda what I do.
  2. vometia

    Normalmaps: weird format?

    Oh I see. Well, kinda: I still don't really understand how normalmaps work in any detail but it sounds like what I should be doing is focussing on reducing the intensity of the red channel. I did wonder if there was a relationship (or more specifically an imbalance) between red and green. The blue channel is often unused which is why some games have greeny-yellow looking normalmaps as it's all set to zero, though I've noticed that at least some of Sacred 2's shaders seem to use it as a dark-light control. It's not unknown for studios to repurpose "spare" channels for other things and I can see the advantage as it reduces the number of files required but it can be confusing. Especially when it seems even individual channels can have dual purposes as with the red one here, unless it's just a bug. I hadn't realised it had been converted into US English when I'd converted it back! Makes sense for a European studio to use the local spellings, though not all do. But it's one of those things I find distracting; I guess I'm easily distracted! I'd already put together a sed file for Dragon's Dogma to convert the localisation, which sadly didn't work as the text file compilation thing didn't seem to work (or perhaps yet another case of "you're doing it wrong": I'll usually find a way, by which I mean the wrong way) but it formed the basis of converting the Sacred 2 strings in one go. Well, in about a dozen goes. But I really need to work on my regular expressions to avoid changing stuff in XML directives.
  3. vometia

    Normalmaps: weird format?

    I'm still trying to figure out the correct normalmap settings, something that's really perplexing me. Okay, I admit I'm still using the ancient Gimp plugin that doesn't really work that well with 2.10, but y'know. Though it has its problems, I don't think they're related to what I'm seeing. What I'm seeing is that Sacred 2's interpretation of normalmaps seems to have a significant gloss component to it, which is really confusing to me as this should really go in the _sg file, so what's it doing here? It also seems to vary according to which shader group is being applied to the material in question. The problem arises in that I have to use the NVidia command-line tool readdxt to open the _n files as the Gimp plugin can't understand them: it produces either garbage or error messages. The TGA that readdxt outputs looks weird, it has an alpha channel set to all black and a very dark-looking normalmap; I've found that applying levels with input set to 0-127 and output to 128-255 usually gets it looking more like I would expect and often the game displays them correctly. But not always: I often get an unwanted shininess, which is overpowering if I just re-save the normalmap I just extracted, and sometimes a fairly ineffective normalmap too. I've had to experiment with various input and output settings and sometimes it seems to work, other times it doesn't. I'm really pretty flummoxed by the whole thing. It may simply be that I'm using the wrong tools for the job. I dunno, something is obviously amiss somewhere. It's also quite troublesome trying to even generate new normalmaps in the first place, and while some of it is down to the effect you want, it seems that the game engine can be a bit capricious about how it interprets them. Sometimes a cut-and-paste of different maps works just fine, other times I have to do my own greyscale image, manually shade it and then experiment with various settings until I get something that looks okay. Sometimes it's close to what I want, other times it's meh, but it's seldom spot on. Of course none of this is really important at all. Maybe I should've said that at the start! It's just my usual fascination with "I like changing stuff because I can", though in cases like this I think "because I can" is rather too bold. While I'm not faffing about with that, I decided to re-localise the curiously-named en_UK into, well, English what I use. So I've changed most of the spellings I can think of from their default US variants; only I did it using global replace and realised I have to be careful with stuff like "center"->"centre" as the bits of embedded XML use the former as a keyword and may or may not accept the latter; I've opted for "probably not" rather than putting it to the test. A minute's loading time may not seem long but it's excruciating when you have to do it repeatedly: looking at you, Priest Ordination quest. Grr.
  4. Thank you so much for doing that! I shall have a proper listen later on. Some of what may be Kirill's stuff I may not have heard as I only played half of BD: which wasn't "the usual reason", I.e. the comedy voice acting, but there was way too much grey and black, giving the game the feel of the caves under Seraphim Island... only most of it was like that. "But I already looked at that file and they aren't there"... until I realised this whole time I've been restricting my searches to the scripts/ directory and just now I inadvertently did the whole lot. There it is in locale/.
  5. Please don't go to any trouble until I've identified exactly what it was that bothered me! I'd hate that to happen, especially if it turns out to have been a case of "I'm doing it wrong", which is not unknown to happen. It may take me a little while because reasons (well, insomnia, to be specific) which I mention as I'm always concerned that my tardiness may come across as being rude. Especially having kicked up a fuss! Why didn't I think of that? Argh, now I feel like a halfwit! Well that dismisses that concern, then. Though I'm still curious just for its own sake how it figures out what to load; that's nothing to do with your topic, though, so I shouldn't introduce even more sidetracks... Same. I think Ego Draconis was the first video game whose music truly captivated me. He had an incredibly talent for creating the right atmosphere. Er anyway, yeah, I'm interested to find out what's in there whenever your listing is available!
  6. No, just a standard 3½mm stereo jack (I forget offhand if it's onboard sound or a Creative PCIe card: I've tried both, they're the same) through a reasonable quality cable to a 2×DIN amplifier input. Amp is also good quality, Cambridge Audio Topaz, output is to Sennheiser HD25SP headphones, and the other computers (both just using onboard sound) don't have the same problem. Games PC's PSU is comfortably over-specced, it's rated at 850W; I can't rule it out but it's my absolutely least favourite thing to replace, not least as the PC is a fairly tight fit in my 19" rack. I have no definite idea what it is; I don't think it's power consumption as it's a regular problem and Sacred 2 is actually quite well behaved at not overdoing it with system resources (in other words RL power consumption), I've tried re-routing cables and using alternative audio out and USB but the problem persists. I have a feeling it may be a software bug, I'm thinking that it wasn't a problem until that really big Windows 10 update last autumn, the one I'd been putting off for months.
  7. There's some sort of distortion, though I may have used the wrong terminology. I'll need to identify the track before I start commenting further about what seems to be the problem, though! I'm not ruling out the possibility that my volume settings are a bit screwy: at Windows' normal volume level, Sacred 2 is very loud indeed requiring me to turn my amp down to -57dB (I usually have it on around -40ish when listening to music) and for some reason it won't remember my volume settings from one run to the next; but I've held off fixing the problem as I get what appears to be USB-related audio interference on my gaming PC (it happens on all USB ports, but only when a full-screen 3D program is running) and turning the input volume down makes it more prominent. Er, the point being that my audio setup is not ideal.
  8. I've deinstalled it again for now, though that's not a criticism, just that I'm feeling very "particular" at the moment and it needs to be interfered with further! It was actually instigated by something that plays on dryad island which seems to have some clipping issues which I find bothersome; but on a more basic level I'd like the music to be in addition to the default (with the exception of default music I specifically dislike) but a cursory look around hasn't revealed where it's specified, unless it simply loads whichever files it finds that follow the correct naming format. But I dunno. I should experiment. I am curious to know what the tracks are though: Kirill's stuff I recognise, of course, and there are some I don't know that sound very much like him. At the moment there's a sort of prog-rock sounding instrumental that plays in the desert: would love to know what that is! And about the bards, I've silenced them (hopefully) for now by copying a bunch of silent oggs as placeholders; it'd be nice to replace them with something but I dunno what. Maybe some tracks by the Mediæval Bæbes though that'd mean also replacing the bard NPCs; I presume that shouldn't be too difficult though.
  9. I should really get on and seek your advice! My talents certainly do not lie in finding a good build nor much aptitude tactically, a combination which can cause both frustration as well as not-very-engaging gameplay. As an idea of how kinda rubbish I am I've had to set space to a big pause button I can't miss because I keep "losing" the cursor, and have to hunt around for it; even when I can see it I find I often "miss" and end up running towards a target instead of firing at them. At least it's not as costly as it is in the Original Sins where a fidgety enemy avatar dodging out the way can cause you to miss a vital shot! I think my priorities are also a bit off base because I like finding new stuff even if it isn't useful! e.g. I went through a phase of liking the "Ancient" set and spent way too long searching for examples instead of using whatever was appropriate; I mean it's not as if the colours even clash any longer with the appropriate parts of Wardust installed (though the icons do: I've been slowly going through and fixing the ones that annoy me too much). Of course as soon as I built up a full set I decided I don't like it any more. And yeah, I know I can change the visual appearance to whatever I want, which is what I've done with the absurd-looking Sophia boots which I'm still using because I've yet to find any other footwear with two slots of any kind let alone a silver and gold one, though I have wondered if I'm focussing too much on items that can take enchantments at the cost of ignoring what stats they may offer even if they have no slots. Anyway, I changed them to the Angel Dust type though I'm not sure that's an improvement since I, er, well, "improved" them.
  10. I'm quite a way through now, having got to the dryads' island; done pretty much all of the elf and human side-quests, maybe around half of the orc, swamp and desert ones and the main difficulty is the hydra critter on Christmas island: second time he seemed less lethal and in fact I battled him, the mega-harpie thing and a bunch of the usual suspects at the same time and the big problem is that I simply couldn't muster up enough damage to counter his self-healing. My build is very loosely based on the "Saturday Shopper" someone posted which seemed a good fit as I like exploring and changing outfits, and I have way too many points invested in bargaining and perception, as mentioned. Beyond that, my build is leaning somewhat towards offence rather than defence but I'm wasting far too many precious slots on "find valuables"! Well that was a while ago, I've moved on and it's mostly +1 all skills now. I suspect my offensive skills are hamstrung because of my preference for using a laser blaster: most people seem to recommend swords and I have a multitude of them stashed away in my almost-overflowing chest. Strange, I used to almost exclusively play sword-based mêlée but I seldom do these days. So yeah, I've probably just outlined why I'm kinda rubbish. And does anybody use pole arms? There're an awful lot of high-spec examples to be found but I get the impression other players don't give them much love.
  11. Yeah. One of the hazards of only ever being good enough to play on easy. That said, I may see how I get on with silver as a lot of my difficulty with difficulty levels tends to be due to misadventure. A combination of a bit more caution and cluefulness may stand me in good stead. Okay, "good" is optimistic, but better. Less worse.
  12. Well that's a curious thing: going to silver (I've been playing on bronze because I suck at combat...) made it load up straight away; going back to bronze saw the lines come back, so it's something weird with the save data. I'd hope that switching away and back again might miraculously clear it, but sadly not... Anyway, at least I have a means of quick-loading for when I'm testing stuff. I dare say I may also get better equipment on silver as I seem to be having either a protracted run of bad luck or unrealistic expectations of what I might expect to find, even with lots of perception and bargaining-boosting items.
  13. The other characters are pre CM1.60 saves which leaves me wondering if it's a scripting bug: I did mention that the Hunting Fever questline seems to be corrupted on my new main (and also that scripting is hairy enough to be effectively unfixable) so I wonder if that may be related. Fortunately it's not a dealbreaker (yet), it's just annoying when I'm experimenting with this and that to have such slow loading times. The black lines only appear with the apparently bugged character though, they don't show up with the others. I didn't realise the frozen characters thing was a known problem and is probably unrelated. I think the first time it happened was when I accidentally had two instances of Sacred 2 running and I concluded that it may be the protocol stream with the server getting out of sync. But since it seems to happen anyway that might be a red herring.
  14. I apologise if this is discussed elsewhere, but I'm not even sure what I should be searching for, let alone how to find an answer! I mentioned elsewhere that when I load up my character the screen goes nuts (lots of flickering black lines like it's losing vsync; Fraps, if I have it running, goes off the scale) unless I tab out. Task Manager shows the server process running at 100% for a minute or so, which indicates something is amiss. Once it does finally load, something like 30-50% of the time the game is unresponsive: menus, music, popups work but my character won't move and all the others are stationary except for their idle animations. The weird thing is that this doesn't happen with my other characters. Character selection to running game is 5-10 seconds with no strange faffing about. Any ideas what might be causing it? I have absolutely no idea where to start, unfortunately. I run Sacred 2 Gold on Windows 10, I've just run a Steam verify, installed the Community Patch and my mostly-textures mod, but ISTR I get the same thing even with the non-patch stuff unloaded so I don't think it's a mod doing it.
  15. The choice of "the right colour" is often a bit of a headache; though in my case it's perhaps because I lack much in the way of aesthetic skills. IMHO a possible guideline is that more saturated colours might be used to represent different groups of people in ascending levels of... I dunno, "importance" is probably not a good word but you know what I mean. I'm perhaps just influenced by the standard thing (well, such as there are any) where visitors and guests often get greys, regular members white, mods green and admins red, but I think I would solicit the advice of someone a bit more accomplished in art and design than I am!
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