Changing difficulty mid-campaign

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borsook
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Changing difficulty mid-campaign

Post by borsook »

I've posted it already in the user forum, but just to keep things proper:

I'd like to propose adding ability to change campaign difficulty not only at the start of the campaign but also between missions. It'd save users having to replay missions they've played through on different difficulty setting just to get to the problematic one.
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Noyga
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Post by Noyga »

It is probably possible to make a campaign that support this (through WML).

Btw, for usual campaigns :
- you get different units on different difficulty level (including the leader, your main character) (more units/more powerful one on lower difficulty levels. It is possible that next scenarios rely on those units, and if they are different (because of ifferent difficulty levels) it will break the campaign.
- the game don't use the same WML cache for each difficulty level (for better performance we don't load any stuff from other difficulty levels), the game engine thread them as if they were different campaigns (one for each level). This means functionalilty might be tricky to implement through the engine.
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borsook
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Post by borsook »

Noyga wrote:It is probably possible to make a campaign that support this (through WML).

Btw, for usual campaigns :
- you get different units on different difficulty level (including the leader, your main character) (more units/more powerful one on lower difficulty levels. It is possible that next scenarios rely on those units, and if they are different (because of ifferent difficulty levels) it will break the campaign.
- the game don't use the same WML cache for each difficulty level (for better performance we don't load any stuff from other difficulty levels), the game engine thread them as if they were different campaigns (one for each level). This means functionalilty might be tricky to implement through the engine.
Didn't know that... If so it should be possible for the campaign creator to disable that feature, if he thinks it might break something due to different unit setup.
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zookeeper
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Post by zookeeper »

Noyga wrote:It is probably possible to make a campaign that support this (through WML).
Not in any way that would be mainline-quality though.
Noyga wrote:Btw, for usual campaigns :
- you get different units on different difficulty level (including the leader, your main character) (more units/more powerful one on lower difficulty levels. It is possible that next scenarios rely on those units, and if they are different (because of ifferent difficulty levels) it will break the campaign.
True, campaigns could be made in a way that would make changing difficulty levels break them, but I don't think any of the current ones are like that.

I'd very much like campaigns to play differently on different difficulty levels (less scenarios, easier objectives; obviously couldn't require the ability to change difficulty mid-campaign), but if that won't happen then it'd be fair enough to specify things so that a campaign shouldn't break on difficulty level changes.
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Post by Casual User »

It is possible, just not using the common difficulty levels.

What I mean is that, when prompted to select a difficulty level at the start of the campaign, you would only be given one choice.

However, on each scenario you would get at the very start a message asking you to choose the difficulty level.

Unit lists, minimum starting gold, ennemy gold, etc... would simply be adjusted in the start event according to your choice.

It would be an interesting system to test.
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Post by Sangel »

Warcraft III handled this in a good way - if you failed a mission, it asked you if you would like to downgrade a difficulty level. The new difficulty remained in place for the remainder of the campaign.

Overall, it would indeed be a nice feature, but it might be tough to implement.
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CIB
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Post by CIB »

zookeeper wrote:
Noyga wrote:It is probably possible to make a campaign that support this (through WML).
Not in any way that would be mainline-quality though.
I don't find input boxes without pictures much worse than input boxes with pictures <.<
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zookeeper
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Post by zookeeper »

CIB wrote:
zookeeper wrote: Not in any way that would be mainline-quality though.
I don't find input boxes without pictures much worse than input boxes with pictures <.<
What do you mean? If you think this could be done in WML in a decent manner, could you explain how it would work? I can't really think of a way which wouldn't be pretty bad. :P
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Post by CIB »

zookeeper wrote: What do you mean? If you think this could be done in WML in a decent manner, could you explain how it would work? I can't really think of a way which wouldn't be pretty bad. :P
Do you mean "input boxes with difficulties to choose"? Well, in the start turn event for player 1 an option message with all the difficulties, put into a variable. The only problems I see there are, that you can't work with difficulties in start/prestart events and that you have to work with a variable instead of with #ifdef..
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zookeeper
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Post by zookeeper »

CIB wrote:
zookeeper wrote: What do you mean? If you think this could be done in WML in a decent manner, could you explain how it would work? I can't really think of a way which wouldn't be pretty bad. :P
Do you mean "input boxes with difficulties to choose"? Well, in the start turn event for player 1 an option message with all the difficulties, put into a variable. The only problems I see there are, that you can't work with difficulties in start/prestart events and that you have to work with a variable instead of with #ifdef..
So, you mean that at the start of every scenario of a whole campaign, a pop-up box would appear asking whether you want to change the difficulty level? If I said that'd be very clumsy, silly and bad UI design, wouldn't you agree? ;)
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Post by CIB »

It would do its job well enough, if you really had a reason to include it.
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irrevenant
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Post by irrevenant »

zookeeper wrote:So, you mean that at the start of every scenario of a whole campaign, a pop-up box would appear asking whether you want to change the difficulty level? If I said that'd be very clumsy, silly and bad UI design, wouldn't you agree? ;)
Yeh, I agree this would be an awkward way to go.

If this were to be done properly, Scenario difficulty should be integrated into the menus somewhere. When you select it, it will say "Scenario difficulty will take effect at the start of the next scenario".

For campaigns where it's impractical to change difficulties midway through there could be a simple WML tag ([no_difficulty_change]?) that tells Wesnoth to disable that option.
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Post by Rhuvaen »

While I would find it convenient as a player if a campaign suggested that I either upgrade or downgrade the chosen difficulty based on how well I'm doing, I have the following concerns about this:

1. Some scenarios are just made to hurt - let you lose gold and units. If given the choice, almost all players would probably adjust their difficulty downwards, even if they did well in the circumstances. The next scenario might be too easy for them, then. The player can't predict what's ahead of him, the campaign designer can.

2. How would campaign creators adjust their balance and difficulty if they all got feedback like this: "I played the first level on hard, nearly died but levelled my leader, so I continued but switched to easy for the next two scenarios, then I got so much gold I decided to go for medium, but after trying the underground scenario for two times went back to easy..." :shock:
borsook
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Post by borsook »

Rhuvaen wrote:While I would find it convenient as a player if a campaign suggested that I either upgrade or downgrade the chosen difficulty based on how well I'm doing, I have the following concerns about this:

1. Some scenarios are just made to hurt - let you lose gold and units. If given the choice, almost all players would probably adjust their difficulty downwards, even if they did well in the circumstances. The next scenario might be too easy for them, then. The player can't predict what's ahead of him, the campaign designer can.

2. How would campaign creators adjust their balance and difficulty if they all got feedback like this: "I played the first level on hard, nearly died but levelled my leader, so I continued but switched to easy for the next two scenarios, then I got so much gold I decided to go for medium, but after trying the underground scenario for two times went back to easy..." :shock:
Most campaigns I think are not like that. Such an option is rather for a situation when you just can't finish the last mission...
Anyway the solution to the problems you see is to allow campaign writer to disable that option in his/hers campaign, risking maybe that it'll be less popular.
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Post by Velensk »

I think Rhuvaen was just refineing the opinion I stated in the users forum. I already voiced my opinion of such an option...

I know the frustration of having to start over a campain, but I don't like the easy way out, "oh so I made a bunch of mistakes I lost to many lvled units I lvled wrong units I did not lvl enough units I over recruied but I can still beat the campain because I switch to easy..."
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