Minas Tirith is getting REALLY close!

Posted: May 7, 2011 by Kaemon in Kaemon's Rants, ZE LOTR Minas Tirith

Hi there all, Kaemon here once more to rant about maps that he has nothing to do with! XD
So, I had been talking with Hannibal and I can assure you that Minas Tirith is REALLY close to be released.
There is no exact release date yet… But it’s almost sure to be released this month. And if we are lucky maybe within the next ten days… As some of you may have noticed on the left, Minas Tirith Progress is up to 97%.
Time can vary depending if Hannibal gets some new big assignment from college (leaving him less free time for mapping for some days/weeks) or if more bugs, problems, balancing issues, etc… than expected are found while testing on single player and on lan.

Hannibal is done with the mapping, triggering and detailing… Aswell as with many other things…
Basically what remains to be done (apart from testing/fixing when it’s completely done and compiled) is:

– Put the barricade items, wich are already designed.
– Finish/Polish the Gandalf and Horse items.
– Finish the two special (won’t be revealed, you will have to find them yourselves) items, wich are half-done already.
– Do some minor changes (brushes appearing/disappearing, etc) to make it easier for Zombies on Extreme Mode.

Now, if you allow me… Let me explain the Rounds, Levels, Items, Difficulties and Gameplay once more for you, in case you missed some old rants, and also explaining it (I think) in better detail…

Stages:

The map itself consists on 4 different Stages, completely different from one to another, on a progressive layout; meaning that Stage 2 will start were Stage 1 ended; and Stage 3 will keep following the route you were already following on Stage 2…
All stages however start in the “Spawn Room” the place where the infection occurs and that allows you to get items (if you have the needed level).
Why not make it all the same stage then, you might ask? Well… For starters the 4 Stages together contain arround 25 minutes of gameplay, on the suposal humans win every time… Not only doesn’t Counter-Strike: Source allow rounds longer than 9 minutes, but even if it did, 25 minutes would be quite excessive… Don’t you think?

Basically you can consider the map as if it was 4 different maps… But with connected progression and saved “Levels”.
It’s this great size, along with Hannibal‘s continual search for new, improved and different gameplay options wich made it a very long map to make…

Spawn System:

I wrote a big rant about Hannibal’s old spawn systems (he always tried a new thing), but since it was getting pretty long (and this rant is going to be pretty long on its own) I just erased it…
Basically, after many tests and tries on his previous maps, realising that server settings can vary too much from on to another (having only 1 zombie spawn, having a percentage of the population spawn as zombie, teleporting them back, allowing them to stay in the middle of the crowd, spawning in 5 seconds, spawning in 35 seconds…) and realizing (specially on Mako Reactor) that many servers had to change the map spawn systems; decided this time to include, along the .bsp (map) file, the text that modifies the spawn for both Zombie Mod and Zombie Reloaded; so servers use just that one instead of a non-suitable spawn, or having to figure out what timers/numbers to use.

The spawn (even if I don’t know the exact data) is going to be quite fast, zombies being based on a percentage of the server population, and if possible Hannibal will also include if they are teleported back or not (not sure however of wich one is planing to use).

On the spawn area (shared by all 4 stages) you will have to fight for your human life and you will be able to get special items, if you have the needed level, and if the “shop” hasn’t run out of them.

Levels:

Ok… Now about Levels… There are many items in this map for the player to use, both for Humans and Zombies. Some of them are implemented in the map, like breakable bridges, items to build barricades, flammable objects, pickable torches… But then, there are also items that can be chosen at the begging of the round, on the “shop” near the spawning zone, if you have the needed level for them.
Those items vary from minor only visual ones (like the Human Standards) to highly effective ones like the mighty Zombie Trols (Trolololol).
The required level of the minor ones is 1, then 2 for the normal ones, and then 3 for the powerful ones. There are also two special items, of great power, that require Lv4 for Zombie one and Lv5 for the Humans one.

You gain a Level every time you win a round as a human (exterminating all zombies doesn’t count, you need to activate the round’s victory event that makes you advance stage).
This means that no one will be able to get any item on “Stage 1: Ossgiliath’s Retreat” (since everyone will be Lv0), there will be Lv1 maximum during Stage 2, Lv2 for Stage 3, and up to Lv3 for Stage 4 (Final Stage) if you won all rounds. This means that the special items (Lv4 required for Zombie one, and Lv5 for Human one) won’t make any apparition before the Extreme difficulty, and even then they will be hard to see since require numerous victories from the same human…

I personally like the system and idea quite a lot… Since you only get levels as a wining human, and you certainly want to get them for the cool items, I’m pretty sure it will make the people fight more for their humans lives…
But what it’s more important is that zombies will become (I think) way more aggressive, since unlike other maps when sometimes you are more like “I rather let them win to see the map advance” here you will want to make them lose so you can get a chance of leveling up on the next round on that same Stage instead of them…

Also notice that the available number of each kind of item is limited (some having only 1 on stock, like the two special items), so having the level won’t assure you the item if other people with enouhg level are faster than you.

Difficulties:

Hannibal mentioned that he will only make Normal and Extreme difficulties for Minas Tirith. He didn’t feel it was necessary to make a Hard difficulty (like in Mako) or other kind of difficulty because of the map’sΒ length…
Mako Reactor was a 7 minute round repeated 3 times (Normal-Hard-Extreme) for a total of 21 minutes if humans won all rounds; while Minas Tirith contains 4 different round/stages, getting a total of arround 25 minutes to conquest them all if humans don’t lose any round… Just on “Normal”.
So… With a single extra difficulty (Extreme) it gives up to a minimum of 50 minutes of different gameplay wich was considered more than enough, and is not espected to be played at full on all servers.

Extreme, as always, will have some minor changes of old brushes that covered you from zombies disappearing, or new ones that allow them movement appearing… It may also have some timing changes that increase the time you need to hold on some position, or reduce the time before “zombie helpers” appear…
However, the main differences (apart for it being more zombie friendly in general) will come from some events that Hannibal call “contasnt siege” (wich force humans to advance or die) and the Level of the players itself…

The player’s level, increased on the normal walk-through will allow them to get all kind of items (up to everything except Special Human Item Lv5) right from the first Stage if there are players with enough level; and since those items not only include Trols and Gandalf himself, but also portable ladders, explosive barrels, and speedy horses, they will probably change the game play of the Extreme rounds drastically, allowing new strategies, like reaching new places (or getting to them faster) with the use of the ladders; or activating events faster with the use of the horses..

Gameplay:

Hannibal, as always, wants to go one step beyond with the gameplay; something that has done in all his previous maps, inspiring other mappers on the process.

With Minas Tirith (as with the future map Last Man Standing), Hannibal doesn’t just want to do more and better of the same, but want’s to give players completely new experiences and gameplay options… Some will succeed, some maybe not, others may need some changes or improvements… Future will say (near future!); but Hannibal is really trying hard to give a new and unique experiences while playing Minas Tirith.

There will be more freedom of what to do or where to go. Dynamic objects on the map will allow you to create fires or chose were to set your barricades instead of defending fixed-holds. Multiple routes that not only allow you to choose, but to turn arround if zombies appear in front of you, and even leading to a different “hold position” than the other humans… Also, in general the players will have more freedom of what is happening with the map aswel… The time a door stops you can depend of your skill and speed going for the lever on the upper floor instead of a random timer; the crates those poor humans are climbing can be broken being shooted under their feet screwing them but also closing that route for the zombies, instead of it broken automatically… you can choose to blow up some walls or bridges (those zones are marked with cracks) using powder and a torch if you feel it’s the best strategy to follow…

On the past maps (including some of Hannibal‘s works I must admit) mappers have changed lately many things to help the un-skilled and humans in general, from zombie-stoppers, to anti-edgers, to close skies that don’t allow fail-nading a zombie inside, or breakables that apprear/break auomatically on zombie presence… Hannibal is doing his best so none of those shows up on Minas Tirith… Skilled players will once more need to learn others and rage on those who don’t know what to do!

Will this prove as fun, challenging and well-done as Hannibal hopes it to be? I guess we will find quite soon πŸ˜‰

(Sorry for not adding new screenshots; Hannibal doesn’t feel like revealing more when the map is so close…)

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Comments
  1. Mr.HotDog says:

    Cant w8 for big test gl with last part Hanni ;D

  2. Metro says:

    cant wait hannibal i gonna upload it soon as ur done to my Community server well done

  3. Kaemon says:

    Allow me to doubt any of you read the full rant in so little time… XD

  4. Mr.HotDog says:

    Ye skipped the most XD
    btw kaemon since when is your name Fenix :O

  5. Metro says:

    well Kaemon i just wait for Minas tirith last LOTR map πŸ˜‰ hehe

  6. Molli says:

    “map spawn systems; decided this time to include, along the .bsp (map) file”

    This is joke, right?

    Servers owners must have option to choose timer of spawn zombies.
    there no question of that matter…

  7. Kaemon says:

    It’s a file that it’s placed on the server map folder. It can be edited independenlty if wanted/needed for each server without giving downloading problems, since it’s data for the server (not the clients). However it’s not advisable, and owners should know that the included file contains the settings the mapper (Hannibal in this case) thought were best for the map design and how it should be played.

    Personally, seeing how a map like Mako Reactor (wich was designed for having a decent number of zombies RIGHT BEHIND YOU FROM THE VERY BEGGING) was tweaked up to ridiculous things like 1-2 zombies getting teleported back 20 seconds after everyone left the train station, it’s ridiculous and insulting.
    Same thing occurs when a server uses a Teleport-Back-To-Spawn setting on maps like Moria, wich was designed for a masive infestion in the first paths… Teleporting the zombies back (no matter their number) makes the zombie stoppers at the conjuntion of the 3 paths obsoletes and over the top, and removes all zombie action up to the stairs zone…

    So… It’s not a joke; but since we have seen most of the times servers not knowing/caring to change them, to fail to get the settings right; or exploting systems like the closed wagons on Mako (designed for getting a minimum number of zombies while avoiding fail-round infested is on front) we will now include the right settings, that should be used (from out point of view) in the map.

    If you are interesed, I’m just talking with hannibal and settings included in the file will be probably:

    – 20% Zombie Infestation (1 zombie vs 4 humans per each 5 players on server)
    – 10-15 Seconds until infestation
    – Zombies will get teleported back, not appear in the middle of the group.
    – Zombie Respawn will be allowed, and maybe forced if posible
    – Maybe, if posible (neither of us are server experts) will enable custom zombie (and maybe human) skins for this map. We could need help from an experience owner of a server running a mod that allows it with the lines for this.

  8. It is not a joke. I know that this is something that sever admins don’t like, but this map is not as the others, the only thing that I wanna force, is to teleport the zombies back to the spawn, so, I should increase the zombie number too. This is the best setting for the map.

  9. Morell says:

    I set up the CTA servers, if you need help to try to add skins I can help.

  10. Morell says:

    Sorry for my English xD

  11. sebaKa says:

    i still ddint understand how zombies get lvls. also
    can u carry on your lvls/item to the next round?

  12. Kaemon says:

    When you win a round as a Human, you get +1 Level, and your Level is saved between rounds (like Materia’s Level are saved on Mako Reactor).
    On next round you will start as Lv1 (instead of Lv0), no matter if you are Human or Zombie, you keep your level.

    The point is, you can only Level Up winning a stage as a human; so when you are zombie you are still interesed on killing all humans so you get your change of leveling as a human on the next round, repeating the stage (wich doesn’t change until humans win it).

  13. Roflcopter says:

    Can the humans lose levels? i.e. they lose 3 levels in a row, and therefore the difficulty has been lowered?

  14. Kaemon says:

    Nope. You start Stage 1 as Lv0. You win it (and go to Stage 2), and all winning humans are Lv1, while those who were dead or zombies are still Lv0.

    You keep losing Stage 2 for whatever reason… But the people that won Stage 1 as humans are still Lv1, no matter what; so they can get Lv1 items as humans or zombies.
    When Humans finally win Stage 2, those who were Lv0 get Lv1, and if someone that had Lv1 (from winning Stage 1) is amongst the winners, he will get Lv2.

    Also… Not sure of what you mean with “therefore the difficulty has been lowered”.
    If you lose on a Stage you repeat it. If you win it (as human) you get +1 Lv. and get to the next Stage… There is no “lowering difficutly because yoiu keep losing”. XD

  15. xD34tHRowZ says:

    It seems too confusing from reading it xP
    But I will see when it releases xD

  16. STFU flanders says:

    I would like to say that this is the most innovative map i have ever seen.
    keep up the good work!
    πŸ˜€

  17. Bukkake says:

    Nooooo kaemon why you delete my comment

  18. I’m a bit worried too, but I did the map thinking in this. You can play de map without items, just like a normal map, but if you wanna enchance your fun, the items, the barricades, the stages and the difficulties will be cool; in example, the ppl who picks up Juggernaut on Paranoid: the noob (“yeah a nice skin!”), the regular player (“I have more hits : D”), the good player (“I can push away these zombies with the charge”), the pr0 (“I can fight using the charge and punch attack with less coldown fuck yeah”), so, everybody is happy : ) but its not confusing.

  19. Metro says:

    i need to learn how to create skins on ZR since zombiemod is dead if anybody wanna be free to help me contact me on Steam acc xeongame5 πŸ˜‰

  20. UNREA1 says:

    Cant wait :3

  21. Is ZR a mod no? creating skins is easy, you just need to know the few things and programs to use; Kaemon loves to explain things like this but if you want I can tell a fast tut.

  22. Oh my… can’t believe it, really, there is only one point to do at my neverending list: add the barricade items. After this, I will compile and start fixing the bugs. And, I fucking love the 4 and 5 level items : D

  23. Luffaren says:

    Drooling a bit over here thinking about the map, the suspense after waiting this long is bigger than imaginable! πŸ˜€
    I’ll ofcourse go for the ring as always, i remember being the master at running up that tower in mount doom.

  24. Bukkake says:

    Nawww Luff betrays us with the ring!!!

  25. Luffaren says:

    i just did it ONCE and i laughed when i did it! xD

  26. Riperzz says:

    100% πŸ˜€

  27. 100%
    : D!!!!
    Now I’m compiling to test it!!! The last time I tested it was before start triggering xDDD that is gonna be funny. See you dudes, I’ll write news soon!

  28. Mr.HotDog says:

    Nice Hanni πŸ˜€ cant w8 to test it ^^

  29. Morell says:

    The cake to celebrate:

  30. xD34tHRowZ says:

    -drools- On which server will you test it on xP

  31. Kaemon says:

    SinglePlayer and Hamachi testing will be first.
    To the date, Hannibal hasn’t tested any map on a server before release (exception on Paranoid first versions, wich were tested day after day on Lunaxt server because the map keept being completly unstable online and we had to figure out the reasons.

    So… Can’t talk from Hannibal, but will probably release here in the blog when everything we find on the SinglePlayer/Hamachi tests is fixed, for all servers at once.

    Also, I will post a new rant today as soon as Hannibal shows online. Even if it’s only to let everyone know we are starting the testing.

  32. God, I have seen this picture lots of time but I never read the file name, is that a cake?? Awesome.

    Well, the map isn’t compiling for the moment xD i’m just some % over the planes limit, thats easy to fix, I’ll test it later.

  33. Mr.HotDog says:

    Hanni after some weeks will you make a event like that1 from mako? :p

  34. Anonymous says:

    Nice! That desire I have now!

    For the faithful followers of the blog we would like to test with you on the server hamachi

  35. Anonymous says:

    I hope not! I would be very ugly in a map so nice to put names of servers

  36. Anonymous says:

    By the way, Hannibal, the end has made ​​a version translated into Spanish for CTA?

    ( In CTA when translating a map always get the name of Morell, just want to see Hannibal and his assistants when they play there πŸ˜€
    Server is the best Spanish zombies, and Hannibal is Spanish, not fail us;) )

  37. Anonymous says:

    Many comments on this postit is noted that Minas Tirith is about to end: P

  38. Metro says:

    good hannibal hope u post a link soon so i can upload it fast to or server πŸ˜‰

  39. Morell says:

    Who are you?

    In the maps that translate put the map creator credits and translated by Morell

  40. Rebecca Black says:

    WE SO EXCITED!!!!! WE SO EXCITED!!!!

  41. Anonymous says:

    Then why, for once it would be nice to translate Hannibal
    : D

  42. UNREA1 says:

    ASDFASDFASDF GOGOGO

  43. Neox says:

    We gonna have a ball today!

  44. Kaemon says:

    Damn Hannibal isn’t showing online… Usually I would have seen him online twice today already… Dunno if he has IRL stuff to take care of, or if he is not showing so I don’t disturb him while he makes the map compilable…

    He couldn’t compile the map because of the Vertex/Planes limitations on Hammer, but it’s transforming more brushwork into models to solve it.
    I thought I would had already tested it by now… Well, we need to wait. XD

  45. Anonymous says:

    I hope to connect soon … Report reviews in detail the fullest news stories please:)

  46. I’m thinking in translating the map by myself (with the sounds and etc). But only after release it. You will have problems to decompile the map, the program has problems with decompiling huge maps with lots of entities.

  47. Plz... says:

    while testing could you make a vid for us and post it on youtube for some parts πŸ˜€

  48. Kaemon says:

    I don’t think Hannibal is up for it; and even if I manged to get the programs and use them properly (I’m not a video-maker at all), I think he doesn’t want to spoiler the map, specially when it’s so close to release. XD

    Now… Where the hell is that spaniard hidding today?

  49. Puni says:

    iM HAVING AN ORGASM OVER THIS

  50. Nah I won’t. Mako contest was a headhache. And, contest only have sense with maps with bosses, like Predator (Mako a bit too coz Sephiroth and Bahamut), and Minas doesn’t have any one.

  51. Morell says:

    No need to decompile map to change text and sounds. With entspy can by done.

  52. UNREA1 says:

    He was online a couple of hours ago, he also told me he was going to fix that problem and recompile. Then he *offlined*

  53. Kaemon says:

    Yeah. Already talked to him.
    He is writting a new rant right now πŸ™‚