MP Native Varena NeoGK (final update v1.1 released!)

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Varena-loadscreen1.png

"New_Players are never new" ~ Veledentella 2021​
1. Introduction

This MP-only Native modification (compatible with NeoGK) is named after a server whose legacy is continued and preserved in the client-side module. It provides its users with many new features, as it enhances their gameplay and enriches their experience everywhere in Native, not only on one server. The module is dedicated to all Varena fellows who joyfully spent their time on the server and have followed my work.

2. Releases and platforms

Current stable release: v1.1 (final patched update)
WSE usage: not recommended and discouraged (has many shortcomings and bugs which are not present in vanilla)
Recommended language: English (non-Latin scripts not supported now in addition to rarer derivatives of Latin characters)

Steam Workshop: https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=2628094984
Nexus: https://www.nexusmods.com/mbwarband/mods/6436
ModDB: https://www.moddb.com/mods/varena-neogk

Note: this module is not meant to be hosted server-side.

3. Features and adjustments (media included)

  1. Faction-colored (rebels included) players' name labels to differentiate between players in almost all gamemodes (disabled in Battle for balance's sake)
    20211010222139-1.jpg
  2. Beautiful new high-resolution textures and a brand new font to escape from the routine
    20211010221532-1.jpg
  3. Only MP code - SP code removed altogether with bulky SP files like scenes (maps, in other words) for less RAM and disk space used and faster load times
  4. A brand new animated main menu and a new User Interface with its options
    20211010221638-1.jpg
  5. A new substituted Black Armor, Helmet and Greaves to replace their old ugly counterparts
    20211010221937-1.jpg
  6. A reworked face creation window with a static character to make people's experience much more pleasant
    20211010221628-1.jpg
  7. User Interface elements can now be hidden to facilitate making more immersive screenshots and videos
    20211010221755-1.jpg
    20211010221808-1.jpg
  8. Poll visuals overhauled in order not to cover the killfeed and make people less annoyed by sudden pop-ups
    20211010222224-1.jpg
  9. 32 new scenes (maps, in other words) to behold and maybe use (conditions apply; look here: https://forums.taleworlds.com/index.php?threads/lsp-scenes-veledentellas-scenes.447436/)
  10. Minor visual stuff, such as water splashes when missiles dive into it, shaking camera upon death and so forth
  11. Minor things too small to be mentioned here

v1.1
  1. Super zoom (disabled in Battle for balance's sake)
    20211112075650-1.jpg
    20211112075655-1.jpg
  2. Ultra zoom (disabled in Battle for balance's sake)
    20211112075650-1.jpg
    20211112075700-1.jpg
  3. Bloody screen after being slain
  4. Killfeed messages upon being spawned, slain and killing others (the latter get colored as killstreak progresses; teamkills count as well**)
    20211111073828-1.jpg
  5. Lifetime statistics conveniently showing important information during gameplay (kills are the only thing not present across all gamemodes**)
  6. Fiery footprints when on rampage (>10 kills for infantry/ ranged, >20 for cavalry)
    20211112082423-1.jpg
    20211112082302-1.jpg
  7. Session statistics counting ratio of kills/ deaths and time spent of playing in a session with a breakdown per factions and classes* (be careful - due to an engine property, values get erased upon navigating back to the main menu, therefore for their preservation, you may want to stay in the MP menu)
    20211112084437-1.jpg
  8. Character greenscreen - capturing current character's face, armor and one item used - allowing to easily cut out a picture for many uses, such as a template for memes or other types of pictures
    20211111181032-1.jpg
  9. Team score now also shows class distribution per team (values get updated every 30 seconds for performance's sake)*
  10. Labels now support people's HP absolute and percentage values (enabled only in Duel for balance's sake)
    20211111180504-1.jpg
  11. Banner selection window has been reworked to support one scrollable page with all banners
    20211111180803-1.jpg
  12. Fire missiles no longer burst fire in deep water
  13. Torches and fire missiles set hit horses and humans on fire for 3 seconds if they are not underwater (only on locally-hosted server because of an engine malfunction)
    20211111181308-1.jpg
*Khergit Lancers are counted as infantry (Dismounted Lancers) due to an engine bug taking the class from SP
**Disabled in Invasion for obvious reasons - slaying bots is easy and would spam the killfeed/ display inflated amount of kills

4. Credits, honorary acknowledgements, contributors and atrributions of authorship

Team
Veledentella - project leader and main developer 2019-2021​

Honorary acknowledgement
Golden Kingdom clan​
Honorary acknowledgement
TaleWorlds and contributors​
Honorary acknowledgement
Creators of various productivity-enhancing pieces of software/ tutorials and guides on the subject of modding/ third-party modding tools​
Honorary acknowledgement
TW M&B franchise modding community (be it on TW forum or on Discord)​
Honorary acknowledgement
WSE/ WSE2 contributors​

Credit
Viking Conquest contributors​
Credit
SonKidd​
Credit
Rohzdear​
Credit
Raqqa​
Credit
Narf of Picklestink​
Credit
NeoGK contributors (including Madmin, NeoNative, Native Armory Expansion Pack and others)​
Credit
M&B With Fire and Sword contributors​
Credit
Persistent World contributors​
Credit
Persistent Kingdoms contributors​
Credit
Crusaders Way to Expiation contributors​
Credit
Kevin 'Kingthings' King​
Credit
Dalion​
Credit
Cookie Theory​

5. File list

Included with the module (Native/Information/list_of_files_varena_v1_1.txt).

6. Known bugs (as of patched v1.1)

  • weird strings of scenes (maps, in other words) - cannot be fixed, because servers and clients have different string file length that cannot be synced
 
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Eärendil Ardamírë

Subforum Moderator
WBWF&SM&B
Nice thing, will try it out when I come around to play NeoGK again. The siege weapons are also still useable with your module? And can feature 1 be disabled as feature 7? I am not that much the name guy ^^

  • Poll visuals overhauled in order not to cover the killfeed and make people less annoyed by sudden pop-ups
  • 20211010222224-1.jpg
The nearly classical poll to kick Tiago, I hope he sees this :lol:

P.S. At the new forum you don't need to reserve posts anymore, I (or another moderator) can simply create a new one if you need one :wink:
 
Nice thing, will try it out when I come around to play NeoGK again. The siege weapons are also still useable with your module? And can feature 1 be disabled as feature 7? I am not that much the name guy ^^


The nearly classical poll to kick Tiago, I hope he sees this :lol:

P.S. At the new forum you don't need to reserve posts anymore, I (or another moderator) can simply create a new one if you need one :wink:
Welcome to this thread! Of course, all NeoGK features are fully supported, siege machines included. Yes, the labels can be enabled and disabled at any time; they are useful especially in Deathmatch.

Thanks for the heads-up about posts, I will keep that in mind.
 
Varena NeoGK v1.0 has been released to the public!

Steam Workshop: https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=2628094984
I am pleased to announce that Varena NeoGK v1.0 has gone live and public! Now it is available only on Steam Workshop as I want to have people's Steam client update the mod automatically as soon as updates are available. The module is in its infancy, therefore updates and bugfixes are assured. In the future ModDB and Nexus links will go active as well.

Please report all bugs encountered in v1.0 below, via PM on TW forum or on Steam Workshop page of the module.
 
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20211111180359-1.jpg

Final update v1.1 has been released!
The most recent release changes the game since it adds many new amazing features (most were scripted by me)! Also, ModDB and Nexus links have gone active lately. If no bugs are reported, there will be no patches anymore and the development of Varena NeoGK will be over; the crucial bug from v1.0 has been disposed of. Make sure to check the modification out!

New features:

  1. Super zoom (disabled in Battle for balance's sake)
    20211112075650-1.jpg
    20211112075655-1.jpg
  2. Ultra zoom (disabled in Battle for balance's sake)
    20211112075650-1.jpg
    20211112075700-1.jpg
  3. Bloody screen after being slain
  4. Killfeed messages upon being spawned, slain and killing others (the latter get colored as killstreak progresses; teamkills count as well**)
    20211111073828-1.jpg
  5. Lifetime statistics conveniently showing important information during gameplay (kills are the only thing not present across all gamemodes**)
  6. Fiery footprints when on rampage (>10 kills for infantry/ ranged, >20 for cavalry)
    20211112082423-1.jpg
    20211112082302-1.jpg
  7. Session statistics counting ratio of kills/ deaths and time spent of playing in a session with a breakdown per factions and classes* (be careful - due to an engine property, values get erased upon navigating back to the main menu, therefore for their preservation, you may want to stay in the MP menu)
    20211112084437-1.jpg
  8. Character greenscreen - capturing current character's face, armor and one item used - allowing to easily cut out a picture for many uses, such as a template for memes or other types of pictures
    20211111181032-1.jpg
  9. Team score now also shows class distribution per team (values get updated every 30 seconds for performance's sake)*
  10. Labels now support people's HP absolute and percentage values (enabled only in Duel for balance's sake)
    20211111180504-1.jpg
  11. Banner selection window has been reworked to support one scrollable page with all banners
    20211111180803-1.jpg
  12. Fire missiles no longer burst fire in deep water
  13. Torches and fire missiles set hit horses and humans on fire for 3 seconds if they are not underwater (only on locally-hosted server because of an engine malfunction)
    20211111181308-1.jpg
Bugfixes/ tweaks:

  1. Camera shake and bloody screen after being slain can now be turned on/ off
  2. Error messages appearing when dying and spamming the killfeed have been disposed of (crucial!)
  3. A lot of minor stuff
  4. Unneeded files, such as textures, have been removed
  5. Some textures have been replaced
*Khergit Lancers are counted as infantry (Dismounted Lancers) due to an engine bug taking the class from SP
**Disabled in Invasion for obvious reasons - slaying bots is easy and would spam the killfeed/ display inflated amount of kills
 
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Eärendil Ardamírë

Subforum Moderator
WBWF&SM&B
I played with this module today for roughly one hour and I think I can give some first feedback. Take note that I played at the Mount&Siege server which has the NeoGK module on it.

1) My biggest issue was that I have no cursor icon at all, I always needed to guess where my current cursor position is. Due to that the weapon selection took painfully long. At the main menu you seem to have done also something which made it extremly hard to click on any of the options. I clicked around for two minutes and while I have had no visible mouse cursor I saw the highlighting of the text when I was hovering above it. However, a click has had no effect except I have been on the far left side. The missing cursor together with this was a real pain in the ass I have to say.
Of course I have read about the known bugs just now afterwards, the main menu issue was still strange. I will need to revisit that with the manual fix.
invisible cursor: go to the mod's Textures folder and delete cursor.dds; the Steam Workshop path should be like this: C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\workshop\content\48700\2628094984\Textures

2) Having the lifetime statistics as permanent screen at the main view is actually annoying. At the same time it might be something some player will find nice. It would however be a better place to display it at the general statistic menu, so always visible when pressing tab, like the other statistics.

3) You give display options for the player gold, the team score and the round timer. A combined option for these would make more sense in my opinion since players will tend to either display all or none, latter mostly for making videos or screenshots.

4) The red screen is annoying when you are dead for a longer time (siege defenders), letting it fade out after some seconds would be better. It's possible to disable it, yes, but still annoying for people who might find it nice in general.

5) The camera shake at death is in my opinion too much. The first time I got a shock that something happened with my laptop. It is also happening for a too long timespan, still continuing (contrary to my red screen message above) when respawning to soon (siege attackers).

6) The faction selection presentation is not really working well if the scene is dark (a lot of wooden palisades and walls in my case). Would perhaps be better to simply use the faction heraldries instead. Refering to the faction drawings here:
20211101202034_1.jpg

Coming now to the topics which I actually consider as cheating:
7) The super and ultra zoom should be automatically disabled when the player starts to aim with a crossbow/bow. Otherwise it is giving an unfair advantage against players without that module. Basically it is cheating.

:cool: The display of the player names actually ruined the PvP multiplayer for me. Your mod basically showed me how easy it is to create a cheat module. I recall a private discussion with Pitch from last year who created something similar for WFaS but only personally and not meant for release at which I already stated that something like that is cheating. With the player name displayed I was actually able to determine (easier than in Native) within moments if someone is allied or not. And it gets even displayed at some hidding positions. I have had a shootout for two minutes with another guy who has either had installed your mod too or another cheat module and the special thing was: We couldn't see each other at all. We have been deep inside corn fields, you couldn't see **** after one meter. But you could see the player name of the enemy and that's how we both made kills and got killed. If the player names of allied persons get displayed, that's fine for me, but even the enemy's ones? I don't even want to know what seasoned players think about the health bar at the duell mode as I only play siege normally.

I am, I would say, a mediocre player. I can handle ranged weapons well but in close combat I suck, I can't even block properly, never learned it. As a player of ranged troops I can however say that half of my kills today have been due to this module and not due to my own skills, it gave me a clear advantage against others. After a hour I just didn't want to play anymore because I knew at some point which poor ****er is not playing with some module like this and which players are, and it just took away the joy from me. I might overstate the advantage given through this module and it might be some effect happening purely in the siege mode but there is probably a reason why you have disabled it already at the battle mode.

All in all: Nice and good work from modder perspective. Some features are (in regard to gameplay) however not well-thought-out. The other stuff is basically just nitpicking.
 
Thanks for your detailed feedback! Straight to the point:
My biggest issue was that I have no cursor icon at all, I always needed to guess where my current cursor position is. Due to that the weapon selection took painfully long. At the main menu you seem to have done also something which made it extremly hard to click on any of the options. I clicked around for two minutes and while I have had no visible mouse cursor I saw the highlighting of the text when I was hovering above it. However, a click has had no effect except I have been on the far left side. The missing cursor together with this was a real pain in the ass I have to say.
Of course I have read about the known bugs just now afterwards, the main menu issue was still strange. I will need to revisit that with the manual fix.
1. Yes, as you can see, I asked again about cursor.dds on TW Modding Discord server. I am currently investigating as to why the cursor cannot be seen by some people. I hope to fix this bug as soon as possible because it breaks the module.
2) Having the lifetime statistics as permanent screen at the main view is actually annoying. At the same time it might be something some player will find nice. It would however be a better place to display it at the general statistic menu, so always visible when pressing tab, like the other statistics.
The lifetime statistics can be hidden just as the other elements of the UI.
3) You give display options for the player gold, the team score and the round timer. A combined option for these would make more sense in my opinion since players will tend to either display all or none, latter mostly for making videos or screenshots.
Varena binary settings has an option to conveniently disable all UI elements with just one click.
4) The red screen is annoying when you are dead for a longer time (siege defenders), letting it fade out after some seconds would be better. It's possible to disable it, yes, but still annoying for people who might find it nice in general.
As you said, it can be disabled once and for all for the duration of one session. At first it may be annoying, but later it will be remembered to turn the feature off.
5) The camera shake at death is in my opinion too much. The first time I got a shock that something happened with my laptop. It is also happening for a too long timespan, still continuing (contrary to my red screen message above) when respawning to soon (siege attackers).
Just like above, it can be disabled as well.
6) The faction selection presentation is not really working well if the scene is dark (a lot of wooden palisades and walls in my case). Would perhaps be better to simply use the faction heraldries instead. Refering to the faction drawings here:
The point is that other elements should work well, such as faction name buttons. I know that the meshes are buggy, but it is not my fault that they are under the semi-transparent black one. I tried many methods to fix them, such as translation and render order, but they still were hidden.
7) The super and ultra zoom should be automatically disabled when the player starts to aim with a crossbow/bow. Otherwise it is giving an unfair advantage against players without that module. Basically it is cheating.
From my experience, the zooms are for purpose of scouting as missiles shot can barely be seen with super zoom (with ultra zoom they cannot be seen at all). On the other hand, zooming makes that you cannot see your closest surroundings, which very often leads to getting killed. In short, when zoomed, only faraway things can be seen, contrarily to some enemy sneaking around just nearby or a cavalryman approaching.
8.) The display of the player names actually ruined the PvP multiplayer for me. Your mod basically showed me how easy it is to create a cheat module. I recall a private discussion with Pitch from last year who created something similar for WFaS but only personally and not meant for release at which I already stated that something like that is cheating. With the player name displayed I was actually able to determine (easier than in Native) within moments if someone is allied or not. And it gets even displayed at some hidding positions. I have had a shootout for two minutes with another guy who has either had installed your mod too or another cheat module and the special thing was: We couldn't see each other at all. We have been deep inside corn fields, you couldn't see **** after one meter. But you could see the player name of the enemy and that's how we both made kills and got killed. If the player names of allied persons get displayed, that's fine for me, but even the enemy's ones? I don't even want to know what seasoned players think about the health bar at the duell mode as I only play siege normally.
In my opinion, the name labels are a thing very important to gameplay. The ability to easily distinguish people is quality-of-life. When it comes to them being displayed above people hiding behind non-solid objects, such as bushes, wheat or hay heaps, yes, they should not be like that. It provides an advantage, but cannot be fixed script-side. Let me guess, the standoff took place on this scene on Mount and Siege?
20190619075955-1.jpg
How many scenes have wheat fields like this? I can recall only this one, therefore the problem is tiny. The point is that the labels make more good than bad; they are useful especially in Deathmatch. I admit they ruin the aspect of hiding, but they are more a force for good than for bad. The HP labels are fine in my opinion as the point of Duel is to fight only one enemy at the time and there are no dilemmas of cheating by focusing people on low HP.
All in all: Nice and good work from modder perspective. Some features are (in regard to gameplay) however not well-thought-out. The other stuff is basically just nitpicking.
Thanks for all of it, after all. It is a pity someone did not give me the feedback like this before, otherwise the labels would have already been restricted to one's team only in some gamemodes. Now it is too late.
 

Eärendil Ardamírë

Subforum Moderator
WBWF&SM&B
The lifetime statistics can be hidden just as the other elements of the UI.
I know that, I only suggested a better placement of the lifetime statistics for those who find them useful but still depicted at the wrong place.
Varena binary settings has an option to conveniently disable all UI elements with just one click.
Again, I know that, I only suggested a bundling of these three since I doubt that someone will want to disable single elements here.
As you said, it can be disabled once and for all for the duration of one session. At first it may be annoying, but later it will be remembered to turn the feature off.
So everytime I play as defender I should disable it while I should enable it as attacker because I find it actually a nice feature? Then I will just disable it because then it's not worth a penny and I am far too lazy to edit the settings all the time.
Just like above, it can be disabled as well.
I reported also a wrong behaviour if people spawn to soon again since the camera is not supposed to be still shaking at that moment. That would need to get fixed for those who like the shaking camera.
The point is that other elements should work well, such as faction name buttons. I know that the meshes are buggy, but it is not my fault that they are under the semi-transparent black one. I tried many methods to fix them, such as translation and render order, but they still were hidden.
My point is that visuals should support the UI and not vanish to some hardly noticeable degree into it. If it doesn't work in a better way, you could have come to the consideration that it's better to use other elements.

To summarise your answers on most of my feedback up to that point: It can be disabled. I am very well aware of that, I can assure you. A bit disappointing though that this is all you have to say.

From my experience, the zooms are for purpose of scouting as missiles shot can barely be seen with super zoom (with ultra zoom they cannot be seen at all). On the other hand, zooming makes that you cannot see your closest surroundings, which very often leads to getting killed. In short, when zoomed, only faraway things can be seen, contrarily to some enemy sneaking around just nearby or a cavalryman approaching.
I could see my arrow good enough to know that I am aiming too low at that distance ^^
The approaching enemies at close distance is a problem most archers have anyway, no matter the degree of zoom.

In my opinion, the name labels are a thing very important to gameplay. The ability to easily distinguish people is quality-of-life.
That's something I wouldn't agree on but that's up to personal likings. The ability to be quicker at distinguishing people than people without the module is still giving an unfair advantage which can be considered as cheating. And yes, it was that scene with the wheat field. Hiding is however something essential for players of ranged units. I can't see how this brings more good that evil.
Thanks for all of it, after all. It is a pity someone did not give me the feedback like this before, otherwise the labels would have already been restricted to one's team only in some gamemodes. Now it is too late.
I know that you mentioned it is your final release and you won't work on it anymore. I respect that. Still, it is disappointing that you don't want to fix at least the problems.
 
Well, it depends on a person when it comes to the definition of what a problem really is. As far as the features described until the point you marked are concerned, I do not think they are a big problem. Lifetime statistics' position will not be changed, bundling of the three features will follow the case, the same goes about the other things. If more issues are reported and I have to make a week-one patch, I may consider making these changes before closing the development permanently. Regardless of this, thanks for taking your time to describe your thoughts about the mod.
 
The development of Varena NeoGK has officially been closed.
Nexus: https://www.nexusmods.com/mbwarband/mods/6436?tab=files
ModDB: https://www.moddb.com/mods/varena-neogk/downloads/varena-neogk-final-patch-of-v11
Steam Workshop:
the subscribed mod should automatically be updated

That has been a long journey, but it is over now. After approximately 8 months of being in development, the modification is now complete. Final patch of v1.1 has arrived to complement the final release of Varena NeoGK; to install it manually, just copy the folder's contents and paste them into the mod's directory (overwrite the files when asked to).
Bugfixes/ tweaks:

  1. The cursor with a different setting has been replaced to make sure it will be displayed on all clients
  2. Error messages very rarely popping up after dying have permanently been disposed of
  3. Post-mortem effects (camera shake and bloody screen) are now disabled by default
  4. Team selection menu now contains stylish banners instead of obscured drawings
    • Unneeded textures rendered useless by the adjustment of the team selection menu have been removed in the updated module
  5. Minor stuff
 
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