LEGEND: The Glory of Battle
the story behind the scenes
Legend mod is almost a
decade old. Truth be told, even once upon a time it had a different name.
And though every certain while there was a huge update and constant
development, it seems that Legend is indeed nearing it's ultimate
The most stable (time-wise) version was Legend-7. It lasted about 2 years before my friends and i started to spot the multitude of holes and lapses that it actually had. And it had tons of it. Still, it was a superior version to all that came before it. It introduced heavy scripting for additional features beyond graphics and animations extension, - such as combination weapons, mixed firing modes, added a third fatality to all monsters, experimented with plentiful custom decorations and generally made the adventure to be whole lot more vivid and fun.
And yet L7 has it's fair share of shortcomings, which fall exactly in the areas where it strived to be innovative and excel. A ton of features were underdeveloped, released at beta-stage or during experimentation - and now we think it's about time when it all was put to rest and taken care of.
It is about time Legend rose to the same polished level of quality that our Wrath of Magic mod had enjoyed for years. (honestly though, WOM has a small update coming to it as well lol)
This time we are taking care of EVERYTHING that version-7 had amiss: botched animations, missing frames, underdeveloped effects and odd ideas - all of this will be gone and refined until it reaches the level of presentability that we envision and desire.
After long discussions and debates of what is going to be and what is going to go away it was decided to bring some Hexen features back - like the Ettins and Ice Monsters with ice effects. While a great deal of features of L7 indeed stood well the test of time - many core things are being remade. This first of all regards the balance core of the game. Legend-8 will focus more on ranged power and melee VS ranged balance will be altered. Melee weapons will get different stats against various enemies, and unless those weapons are mana-based - they are going to be weaker. To counterpoint this decision we delve much further into the concept of combination weapons. There are basically almost no single-action weapons. Most weapons combine melee and ranged abilities which can be directed to several tactical combat options - or just being much more fun when you have just four weapons to choose from. Then you definitely want that every weapon you have in your arsenal will be fun to watch and diverse and interesting to use.
We wanted to avoid by any means necessary the lapse of the original Hexen where as soon as you get weapon number-2, you forget weapon number-1, unless you are forced to come back to it often (Mage), or have something so lame and useless which nonetheless forced you into 1000s repeated baby hits to get something done by the end of the game (Cleric) and the likes. We wanted to make every weapon action both potent enough, useful and interesting so that you'd come back to it because you wanted to, not just because you had to.
This moves us to style - Legend-8 is a kind of a combination of our team leader Hexen Star's darker and more gothic iteration of Hexen and in parts some original texture style from the game so that the two approaches meet in a refined concordance. All the evil custom decorations will return, with a few fixes, and with some of the Hexen gargoyle statues coming back. And, of course the new blood effects. HS went to great lengths to redraw and remake death animations for several enemy characters and has introduced several gore effect ideas. One thing for sure: you kill stuff, blood will flow.
Then, there is also the opposition. The monsters of Legend seem very similar to those in Hexen, but it is not exactly true. They are more aggresive as you will notice, the ones which were down right sleepy in Hexen (chaos serpents) are no longer such. Stalkers attack with swift and vicious rage now, and there are Wraiths all over the place instead of measly black gargoyles. The wraiths have also been upgraded - they are somewhat harder to kill and they strike harder - as you will discover, some enemies have been assigned those bonuses, but again - to a reasonable degree. It was absolutely no intention of ours to make L8 extremely difficult. Not at all. Challenging - yes,, but always possible and in a reasonable playthrough pace, with no crazy runs from place to place needed to win. Like a good new spice - adding some fresh flavor, but without changing the traditional taste.
With that said, you'll see novelties like Mage having melee capabilities, and Fighter having more ranged features that you'd expect. We just wanted to make things fun. More fun of the same process of playing Hexen. And by all means not by the old sinse and repeat formula.