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antrad

Rock Raiders slimy slugs only in one level ?

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antrad

I just finished all missions in Rock Raiders and Slimy Slugs only appeared in ONE level; Back To Basics. Is it supposed to be so or maybe it is a bug or I just didn't drill deep enough to trigger them ? There were slug holes in many other levels, but slugs never appeared.

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aidenpons

Slimy Slugs will also appear in Rock Hard, if you have more than 8 miners.

They would also appear in Lava Laughter if there were any holes on the map, but there aren't.

 

But yes, slimy slugs are notably absent from many of the levels. According to Karl, who made many of the levels, somewhere in this thread he mentioned that slugs were only finished at a late stage of development, and would have liked them to be in many earlier levels - often the cutscenes show slugs when no slugs are present!

So the absence of slugs we can generally put down to there just not being enough time to really put them in properly.

 

 

Additionally, on a technical note, adding Slimy Slug Holes to a map is very straightforward - they're just defined in Dugg.map, and with Map Creator doing so is exceedingly easy. However actually getting slugs to pop out of their holes is a different beast.

 

The game has an unused, inbuilt slug script you can see in the .cfg in one of the testlevels, which causes slugs to come out at a specified frequency once some conditions are met. However, the usual way slugs are specified in the LRR levels is by NERPs scripts, which are awkward, unwieldy, and an absolute pain to write and if that wasn't all bad enough DDI's coding is atrocious.

Usually (Rock Hard is the exception) the format is something like this:

GetCrystalsCurrentlyStored > 9 ? SetR1 1

GetCrystalsCurrentlyStored > 12 ? SetR1 2

GetCrystalsCurrentlyStored > 15 ? SetR1 3

GetCrystalsCurrentlyStored > 20 ? SetR1 4

 

GetSlugsOnLevel < GetR1 ? GenerateSlug

 

which should hopefully be human readable: essentially, as you gain more crystals, this value R1 goes up, and if at any point in time you have fewer slugs than this magical variable R1, another slug pops out. This is why, in Back to Basics, killing one slug immediately causes another one to rise to take its place, and is generally super un-fun.

 

The simplest slug I've found is

GetMonstersOnLevel > GetSlugsOnLevel ? GenerateSlug

which makes sure there are X slugs for X Rock/Ice/Lava Monsters, including sleeping ones. This means slugs pop out as a bonus challenge, but once all the monsters go away, the slugs do too. If you have a cool idea for slug scripts let me know, as it's still something I'm thinking about (especially with Manic Miners on the horizon :) )

 

 

... anyway that's getting mighty off-topic of me. But yes, slugs just aren't there in most levels - and I'm so glad they aren't because can you imagine bad raider AI with erosion, slugs, and drained crystals? I don't even want to think about it D: While Rocky Horror having no slugs is a bit of a shame for the Final Boss Level, it means it's actually fun instead

 

 

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antrad

Thanks for the info. If developers only had one more extra month to actually polish and finish the game even slightly, it could have been a much better experience. There are so many small things like this that could have been easily fixed, even with just a post-release patch.

 

I never had more than 6 rock raiders, so I guess that is why they didn't appear in Rock Hard. Back To Basics was really hard, at one point I had 9 slugs attacking the Support Station and losing 10 crystals in a single attack. Only way to get rid of them is to turn off power to everything, I could barely keep enough oxygen.

 

Another question I forgot to ask, can you actually kill them ? Is there a death animation for them ? I only managed to get them to half health then they go away, then come back immediately, so it is more like regeneration.

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aidenpons
6 hours ago, antrad said:

Thanks for the info. If developers only had one more extra month to actually polish and finish the game even slightly, it could have been a much better experience. There are so many small things like this that could have been easily fixed, even with just a post-release patch.

Yes. Unfortunately the devs were under very tight time constraints, and 1999 wasn't exactly a time when distributing patches for games was really even possible - or profitable. There are a lot of things that could have happened that didn't happen :( - and that TCRF article is highly incomplete (flooding, spiderwebs, voice lines, Tunnel Transport are all entirely lacking from the article).

 

6 hours ago, antrad said:

I never had more than 6 rock raiders, so I guess that is why they didn't appear in Rock Hard. Back To Basics was really hard, at one point I had 9 slugs attacking the Support Station and losing 10 crystals in a single attack. Only way to get rid of them is to turn off power to everything, I could barely keep enough oxygen.

 

I prefer a different method turning the NERPs scripts against themselves: :P

 

Spoiler

large.howtodealwithslugs.png.b56e17a35af1ae789ef8df71b462027d.png

 

Turns out slugs can't suck depowered buildings nor the non-selectable tile of a building (so they can't suck the Ore Refinery with the way I've placed it), and also turns out slug AI has very many holes in it and they're stuck there permanently. As the game always requires 10 slugs for this crystal level, there are indeed 10 slugs stuck in holes - accent on stuck - so as you can see I don't even need Action Stations on :P

Other anti-slug strats, in order of efficiency, include:

- Teleporting up your Tool Store, which prevents drained crystals from popping out anywhere thus crystals never drain

- Teleporting down a boatload of LMLCs every time you have the crystals for them so you're never above the crystal threshold for slugs, then teleporting them all up in one swoop to get the crystals you need

- Rushing your way to the crystal goal by going to the far East before the slugs can suck you dry

- Using monster jank to recharge crystals (monsters can eat depleted crystals, but if they are then destroyed, the crystal will drop as recharged)

- quitting? :P "The only winning move is not to play" comes to mind...
 

 

6 hours ago, antrad said:

Another question I forgot to ask, can you actually kill them ? Is there a death animation for them ? I only managed to get them to half health then they go away, then come back immediately, so it is more like regeneration.

There is a death animation specified for them: it's the same anim as when they dig into their hole. You can kill them, but miners won't attack when monsters are retreating and slugs retreat at 50% HP (monsters will also retreat at around 20% HP if they haven't been one-shotted by a Laser Beam), so you need to use either manual methods (eg: a Mining Laser) or mods.

 

Slightly unrelated, but retreating is handled by a PainThreshold value in the CFG. Slugs have 50, so they run away at 50%. (Setting this to 90 would mean they run away after a single shot). Rock Monsters have 20, so they run away at 20% HP - and also, for some possibly not terrible reason, monster HP drains over time, so providing they're not carrying a boulder (which somehow overrides this) monsters will run around, get their HP low, and then run back into walls. Of course, you don't see any of this if you use Laser Beams and Electric Fences to one-shot them.

 

And yes, they leave, and then come back immediately, because that's how poorly the slug script is programmed. :/ It's not the same slug coming back for more: it's just another slug, because the script specifies "for X crystals there must be Y slugs on level."

 

Interestingly frozen slugs still count towards the timer despite being totally inactive, so if you mod Slimy Slugs to be freezable you can equip all your miners with Freezer Beams and slugs become a minor nuisance, but not the nightmare they usually are

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antrad
On 8/4/2020 at 1:35 AM, aidenpons said:

1999 wasn't exactly a time when distributing patches for games was really even possible - or profitable.

 

 

There are many games from 1999 and older with released patches.

 

PC game magazines used to come with CDs with game demos, patches, trailers, etc...

 

And even though Internet was slow and not as popular, even in 1999 you could download demos and patches. Look at website for game Machines from 1999 and that was not some big popular game:

https://web.archive.org/web/20000229192540/http://www.acclaim.com/games/machines/demo/downloads.html

 

I think I didn't have Internet until 2001 or 2002.

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