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Strato Incendus

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A member registered Jan 26, 2021

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The addition of the Toa Nuva shoulder pads in Legacy Masks of Power was a nice surprise when I first unlocked them - I didn't expect anything relating to the Toa Nuva whatsoever, since you repeatedly stressed you wanted to stick to the 2001 storyline.

Thus, I have a couple of questions about it:

  1.  Is this feature / are cosmetic features in general (like also the Infected-Masks look, the alternate Pakari look) going to remain a part of Masks of Power 2.0?
  2. If so, would it be possible to add the Nuva chest plate as well?
  3. Given that we already have the precedent of an alternate look for the Kanohi Pakari, would it be possible to have a cosmetic feature that changes the look of the six Toa masks into Toa Nuva masks?

Neither 2 nor 3 would result in any changes to the game mechanics whatsoever. And a Nuva look would certainly be something that I'd use more frequently than the Infected-Mask look (which, as cool as it looks by itself, is not exactly something I would assume any player wants to see on their heroic Toa player character) or the "Old Pakari" cosmetic feature.

If the shoulder pads were to be expanded into shoulder pads + chest plate + alternate mask look, the Toa would obviously still have their standard Mata arms, legs, and weapons. But the armour and the different mask cosmetics definitely contribute the lion's share to the overall Nuva aesthetic.

The Noble Masks could / should remain unaffected by this (unless the feature somehow had to apply to all the masks, i.e. altering the Noble Masks into Toa-Metru masks, but that wouldn't look nearly as good on the Toa Mata bodies as the Nuva Masks, obviously). Since the "Old Pakari" feature already only applies to a single select Kanohi that it alters, it doesn't seem like all cosmetic features necessarily have to apply across the board (like the shoulder pads apply to all Toa, and the Infected-Masks look applies to all masks).

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First of all, great job of implementing the Nui Jaga and Tarakava (the former in both Masks of Power and Trials of the Great Spirit)! You certainly selected the two most iconic rahi, in my opinion. Especially that eerie scream the Tarakava gives off is really spot on! :)

I don't know which further enemies you plan to implement in the next update - I assume there will be a few other rahi, like the remaining ones that came out as sets (Nui Rama, Muaka, Kane-Ra, Manas) . But they are of course all vastly different in their shape, movement, and attack types.

Therefore, I would like to suggest implementing a very iconic enemy that should be comparatively little effort to make, as far as I can tell as a layman, but provide a massive payoff in return: the Bohrok.

Yes, I know that the game focuses on the 2001 story, and I don't ask for the entire 2002 storyline to be added on top. I just think it would be nice if, after you've completed the main quest and return from Kini-Nui, you can continue to explore the island freely - like in the Legacy version of Masks of Power - to maybe complete missing side quests you haven't done before. Except now you no longer just run into rahi, but also into some Bohrok every now and then.

No Krana collection, no fight against the Bahrag or whatever; just some Bohrok roaming the island after the main quest is over.

The great thing about the Bohrok, in contrast to all the vastly different rahi, is that they all look and attack basically the same way: You could use a single character model and then just recolour it to create the six different types of Bohrok. Meaning, 6 for the price of 1! :) The only shape difference between Bohrok breeds are their hand shields.

Added to that, all six Bohrok types were part of Bionicle Heroes, and those models looked pretty accurate to the toys. So maybe there's a way of extracting those models from the game, so you wouldn't actually have to "sprite them" from scratch.

There would also be quite a lot of liberty with regards to attacks the Bohrok could perform: Maybe just standard attacks with their hands, maybe they can "bite" like the toys could, too. And of course it would be awesome if they could "roll around", too. Either way, once a single Bohrok model works, all the others should work pretty much automatically, too. Or as they would put it in the story: If you make one, you've made them all. ;)

Since the 2002 story itself doesn't actually need to be added for that, the Toa models can also remain the same (no Nuva transformations or whatever). And the gold masks have already been implemented in the current latest version of Masks of Power, so the Toa already have the right look to fight some Bohrok anyway.

Anyways, just some suggestion. If you want to go all-in on the 2001 story and add many different rahi types instead, that's awesome too! I just think the Bohrok might actually be less work than some of the more complex rahi would be, while giving the player the feeling that the game actually covers more of the story than it has to.

I assume you might already be using some recolouring feature to create the respective other types of Nui-Jaga (blue) and Tarakava (teal, plus maybe Sand Tarakava). But the teal Tarakava has a slightly different shape, and a different mask, than the blue one, whereas the Nui-Jagas (and also Nui Rama) are really exactly identical except for their colour, as far as I recall.

So before you might go out of your way to add some less-well-known rahi, like the Nui Kopen wasps or the Makika toads, maybe actually consider adding the Bohrok instead. ;)

Thanks a lot for your response! If you say nothing from Legacy will be used, does that include the landscape of the island of Mata Nui itself?

Because part of the reason why I consider the height gain from the Kanohi Miru so vital is that on the legacy map, there are a lot of steep slopes of mountains etc. that you can only get up with the Miru, no other way. Lewa jumps a little higher than the other Toa by default, but often, that's still not enough to get up there. Yesterday, I even ran into a cavern (part of the mission "Prophet of Makuta") in which, in the final room, there was no way of getting out of the cavern again except by using Lewa. He was the only Toa with a Ruru at that time, so I had used up all my protodermis for that already, trying to find my way through the darkness of the cave. Fortunately, Lewa's regular jumps were enough in that case, and daylight eventually fell into the cavern again somehow. Otherwise, I would have been "locked in" there and would have had to reload a previous safe.

However, if you redesigned everything anyway, including the landscape, then the "horizontal / slightly downward gliding" the Miru enables in TotGS might work better, after all. I can imagine it's much easier to get across chasms in the mountains this way - provided you can actually get on top of a mountain by foot alone, without needing the Miru, and can then sail from one mountain top to another by using the Miru.

Another thing I noticed yesterday is that, while the Miru reduces the likelihood of fall damage, the Hau outright prevents it. It only affects your stamina, like a regular hit by an enemy. Is this intended, and will this behaviour be kept for version 2.0? ;)

I found out by accident, when I fell from the lift in the mine shaft in Onu-Wahi as I was trying to get out. And I just so happened to have Tahu selected as my player character. I was sure there was no way I could survive this drop, but in an act of desperation I activated the Hau, and it did its job just like with any other damage hit.

On the one hand, this is consistent; on the other hand, preventing fall damage seems to be the domain of the Miru in TotGS. I haven't tried yet whether the Hau also prevents fall damage in TotGS.

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Dear Team Kanohi,

I have been playing both Masks of Power and Trials of the Great Spirit for a while now, and first of all, I obviously just want to say: Massive respect for all the work you've done here! I was already impressed with the vast open world of MoP as it is (even though some areas are of course still somewhat "empty"), but when I saw the improved graphics (asymmetric character models, combat animations etc.) of TotGS, I thought this game might actually blow its only current "competitor" (Quest for Mata Nui) out of the water in the end! ;) Especially because MoP / TotGS are both standalone games, not mods of any other game. Also, you guys have delivered a lot already, something that's actually playable, whereas QfMN has done much more promotion, but nobody except its developers has been able to play it for a single minute yet.

One thing the QfMN developers have done though is arrange a meeting with Lego to make sure they got the company's "OK" for further development. So my very first question is: Did you do something similar, too? Are Lego aware of and fine with the existence of your two games? Because since I'm so amazed by them right now, obviously the worst nightmare scenario would be that you put all this effort into it, only for some copyright Bohrok to show up and do to your game what the Great Spirit Robot did to the island of Mata Nui, if you understand, what I mean.

I don't think that will happen, since there is lots of other Bionicle fan content out there, including the revival of the cancelled game "Legend of Mata Nui" from 2001 (something over which Lego technically has even more copyright than over any "built-from-scratch" fan effort that "only" uses their intellectual property). So I have fairly high hopes nothing bad will happen to your games either - but I guess both you, the developers, and us, the players, would prefer to be on the safe side. :)


Moving away from any worst-case scenarios that are outside the game, let's continue with my feedback about the actual games themselves! I was especially impressed by how you've already made all the mask powers work in TotGS, given that I had already become used to some of the more complex ones not working in MoP yet. Thus, most of the Kanohi powers I prefer the way they are in TotGS - simply because they don't have a functioning equivalent in MoP yet anyway. However, for some masks and abilities, it seems like you will eventually pick and choose between currently established mechanics of either MoP or TotGS, and remove the other type of behaviour?

Let's start with the Kanohi:

  1.  Hau: This is one of the few masks for which I prefer the current behaviour in the latest stable (Legacy) version of Masks of Power over that from Trials of the Great Spirit. But I can see how that might be a little too powerful: You can just leave the shield on, and the rahi can hit you without you ever taking any damage, unless you run out of stamina. Stamina is of course basically still relevant for the Hau to work in TotGS (a hit now subtracts mask energy), but now the Hau has the additional drawback of being briefly disabled while the Toa is attacking. It took me a while to figure this out, because I misread it the first time as "the shield briefly gets deactivated after you've been hit". I was already wondering why this didn't happen with the shooting devices in the Hau training room, then ^^. In turn, when fighting the Nui Jaga and obviously swinging Tahu's flame sword, I thought the Nui Jaga were just randomly hitting me through my shield - instead of the shield disappearing shortly during each of Tahu's attacks. This doesn't seem to happen while using Tahu's 3rd elemental ability, though, for all I can tell. An alternative way of nerfing the Hau compared to MoP would be if it only protects you against attacks from the front - I re-checked the original description of the Hau from the Toa Mata mini CDs from 2001, and there it said the Hau protects the wearer against any attack he or she can see coming (i.e. not against an ambush). Though I admit I wouldn't like the idea of just a "hemisphere" in front of the Toa; a bubble that protects the Toa from all sides seems much more intuitively fitting, so the Hau should probably continue to protect you from all sides equally.
  2. Miru: The addition that the Miru prevents fall damage while active was great, I can't wait for that to be added to MoP, since it would make navigating both Ko- and Le-Wahi much easier, with fewer nasty surprises. However, what the TotGS version lacks in comparison to the MoP Miru is the ability to gain additional height, compared to a regular jump. It's easier to glide over horizontal distances with it, sure. But the current landscape of Mata Nui in MoP often features slopes that are so steep there's no other way of getting up without the Miru (especially in Ko-Wahi).
  3. Akaku: I like the zoom feature in MoP, I hope that feature will remain. Apart from that, the main difference is in visuals: The x-ray vision from TotGS looks more "futuristic", with this grid being projected over everything; the MoP version is more reduced. I think the fancy way the x-ray vision looks in TotGS might distract a little too much from the things you're actually trying to focus on with the Akaku. For example if those flashing red lines of the grid draw more of the player's attention to themselves than the Matoran the player is trying to find with the Akaku. The MoP version, in contrast, is very effective at that, only highlighting certain types of objects (Matoran, Rahi, Protodermis pools etc.) so that they can easily be perceived even through obstacles.
  4. Kaukau: I'm glad to see there's no longer a breath meter in TotGS when wearing the Kaukau. Just a slower reduction of available air in MoP hardly made it worth it to spent Protodermis on using the Kaukau, especially given that Protodermis doesn't recover by itself, in contrast to the mask energy in TotGS. (Thus, I definitely prefer mask energy over the Protodermis pools, the latter seemed more like a relic from "Legend of Mata Nui" to me, where neither health nor mask energy could recover naturally over time.) So the TotGS Kaukau is definitely the best option. I also like the fact that it doesn't need to be active to turn off the breath meter, because that would essentially just shift the relevant meter from air to mask energy (which is what happens in "Legend of Mata Nui", where you still have to keep collecting stuff while diving, it's just either air bubbles - without the Kaukau - or mask energy with the Kaukau). However, I miss the feature of being able to actually turn on the Kaukau for something - namely, sinking to the bottom of a water area and walking on the ground. I saw that in a Let's Play of an older version of TotGS, and I thought it's cool because it makes the Kaukau the underwater equivalent of the Miru.
  5. Kakama: The speed in TotGS is much higher, and there's no longer any "automatic movement" when switching on the Kakama, so this is definitely how I prefer it, compared to MoP! :)
  6. Pakari: Good thing you swapped the size of blocks that can be moved by the Matatu and such that require the Pakari - it was pretty weird in older versions that Matatu blocks could be larger, or that you could stack a Pakari block (that's supposedly too heavy for the Matatu) onto a Matatu block and then move the combined load with the Matatu, even though that should of course be even heavier. I guess one could argue though that it's more plausible for some blocks to be too heavy for physical strength (i.e. "too heavy for Pakari", which doesn't seem to exist right now) than too heavy for telekinesis. If lifting an X-Wing out of a swamp is supposedly as easy as lifting a small pebble. But intuitively, it does make sense the way it is, i.e. with the Matatu only being able to move small blocks, and the Pakari being required for larger ones. Otherwise, the Matatu would probably get overpowered quickly.
  7. Huna: Just picked it up in MoP today, was surprised to see it working - I haven't tried it in the presence of enemies yet, though. The use in TotGS makes sense, even though the Huna seems to devour the mask energy pretty quickly. If it's that resource hungry, I can't see it being that useful in practice, like for longer "stealth" parts where you need to stay hidden for an extended period of time.
  8. Mahiki: I like how this one actually enables the illusion to physically interact with the environment, to press buttons etc. - not just as a decoy for enemies to attack, like in "Legend of Mata Nui". The MoP Mahiki isn't working yet, so anything is an improvement here, but the TotGS implementation of this mask is particularly awesome! :)
  9. Komau: Another one I was very impressed to see working in TotGS already. I only hope this does not end up limiting the number of different rahi you can put in the game, if any new creature you add comes with the additional hassle of having to be a possible "player character" during Komau use. When in doubt, you would always have the option of making certain advanced rahi (like the Manas) immune to the Komau.
  10. Matatu: See above, perfect implementation, works just like in "Legend of Mata Nui", which in turn, given its year of originally planned release, reminded me a lot of all the Wingardium Leviosa parts in the first Harry Potter video game. ^^
  11. Rau: I like the increased clarity of the letters in TotGS compared to MoP, where they're often smaller and have less contrast, which makes legibility harder. Technically of course, anyone who can read Matoran doesn't need to use the mask, but it makes things much quicker, especially long texts. "Legend of Mata Nui" went one step further and used the Rau to morph unintelligible hieroglyphs into Matoran numbers. In other words, in Legend of Mata Nui, the Rau was of little use if you couldn't read Matoran. But it still worked, given that the task there only required a comparison of symbols, not an understanding of the meaning of a text, as it does in your games.
  12. Ruru: Okay, I'm pretty sure this mask already works in MoP, given that it seems to be a comparatively simple thing. However, I haven't found one yet, and that really bothers me, given how quickly it turns dark in MoP, and how long the night goes on! Sometimes I could help myself using the Akaku instead, but still, sometimes it gets so dark that you just have to wait, lest you might fall down some cliff you can't see in the darkness. Regarding visuals, I actually prefer the "green night vision" from Legend of Mata Nui, as if looking through a night vision device. In contrast, in TotGS, the Ruru just lights up like a lamp, making the entire room bright (supposedly also for others to see, rather than just for the wearer, which could give the wearer and advantage in combat if the room actually remains dark for everyone else). I know the "lamp" is how the second movie depicted Whenua's Ruru, but that basically made it indistinguishable from the Mask of Light (Avohkii) to me. At one point Whenua even used the Ruru to see through a solid obstacle, as if it were an Akaku. And in TotGS, I sometimes saw red outlines displayed around objects (including the Toa himself) that also made it look a little more like an x-ray thing. I think it's generally important to keep the Akaku and the Ruru as distinct from each other as possible, so that the Akaku can't be used as a surrogate Ruru, and vice versa.

Moving on to abilities:

- Tahu's three elemental powers in TotGS are awesome; however, I also like that "fire trace", his only current ability in MoP; and I've read in your latest development update that you were adding yet another "ultimate" attack for him. So that would potentially bring up the number of his abilities to five! I would be fine with that, I don't like the idea of having to pick and choose between different elemental abilities that currently exist in different games (TotGS vs. MoP).

- Obviously, none of the other Toa besides Tahu are available for TotGS yet anyway (even though the recolouring feature is a nice gimmick that, in combination with the right mask, does a nice approximation of playing as the other Toa, except of course they still have Tahu's flame sword and the abilities going along with that). Therefore, I hope each of the other Toa will at least retain the respective elemental ability they currently have in Masks of Power, since there are no "competing candidates" for other elemental abilities yet.

- the stats you can increase during a level-up in MoP are different ones than those you can increase in TotGS by using the Kinis. Will both get used in parallel eventually? Or will one override the other?

- This is partially tied to the issue of how masks are being powered: Protodermis (non-self-regenerating, requiring refills by jumping into the pools) vs. mask energy (self-regenerating). I definitely prefer self-regenerating mask energy. I think "Protodermis capacity" applies to the maximum limit the mask energy can have, though, whereas the "Focus" stat in TotGS describes how quickly it regenerates? Those could be two different things.

- I'm glad to see jumping while holding a weapon is possible in TotGS, this is something I frequently find myself missing in MoP (especially in sections like the Frozen Tower, when jumping up the broken staircase and expecting to get attacked by rahi immediately).


One final question: I see all the save games in Masks of Power are labelled with "Mata Nui" as a place. Is this just a placeholder that is supposed to become more specific in terms of save-game location later on (like "Ta-Koro", "Le-Koro" etc.)? Or are you actually planning to eventually add wholly different areas, like Metru Nui, to Masks of Power as well?

I mean, that would be awesome of course, but probably too much at once. ^^

I was just a little confused as to why each save game "feels" the necessity to state it's on Mata Nui. Yes, of course it is - where else would it be?


Again, thank you so much for all the effort you have already and keeping putting into this!