[Historical] Changes to the gold carryover system

Review and rate the mainline campaigns included with the game.

Moderators: Forum Moderators, Developers

[Historical] Changes to the gold carryover system

Postby Mythological » September 24th, 2008, 11:32 am

Hello everyone!

There have been some changes to the way gold carries over in some of Battle for Wesnoth campaigns. Zookeeper applied them to Sceptre of Fire in 1.5.4 and to Descent into Darkness in latest SVN trunk ( and in the incoming 1.5.5 development release ).
The carried over gold in these campaigns is no longer 80% of the total gold at the end of the previous scenario with the bonus included or the minimum starting gold set for the start of the next scenario as it always used to be - now it is always the minimum starting gold + 20% of the gold carried over from the previous scenario ( with the early finish bonus included ).
The main reason for doing so was to discourage going for huge early finish bonuses and stockpiling gold strategy which makes only the first few scenarios in the campaign challenging, while the later are a walk in the park because of the huge accumulated gold which enables the player to swarm the enemy/es and win quickly and easily.

Before we decide whether to change the other longer, campaigns to use the new formula, we would now more than ever appreciate feedback from the campaign lovers about the feeling they have for the new way it is played, as well as their thoughts about the pros and cons of the new carryover system. You are free to make general discussion here, and you can still give feedback about the particular scenarios in SoF and DiD in the appropriate scenario threads in this section of the forums.

Thank you in advance.
Theoretically, love is great
but it is a little bit different in practice.

Riblja Čorba - "I'll break your wings, aeroplane"
Never say never
User avatar
Mythological
Developer
 
Posts: 275
Joined: October 1st, 2005, 5:19 pm
Location: Nowhere

Re: Changes to the gold carryover system in the campaigns

Postby fareley » September 24th, 2008, 12:17 pm

i think it's really cool 8)
for the first time i can play a scenario starting with a realistic amount of gold and can use the time until the last lap without making the following scenario impossible
and eighter i had thousands of gold or was starting only with 100 fighting against 3 enemies recruiting only level-2-units and starting with 500 Gold...
in my opinion, it has changed for good. The Gold bonus isn't that worth and decisive anymore. Better play a scenario until the end getting some nice skilled troops than earning some nearly useless money
i'm actually playing the Scepter of Fire and was surprised that there was no earlier-finishing-bonus. That was really hard but it made sense

so: thumbs up!
fareley
 
Posts: 66
Joined: September 10th, 2008, 5:45 pm

Re: Changes to the gold carryover system in the campaigns

Postby Jozrael » September 24th, 2008, 12:36 pm

I was just going over this in my mind yesterday as well =).

On the one hand, this eliminates a lot of the stress that comes with realizing that you didn't play correctly a couple scenarios back and thus don't have enough gold coming in to where you are, and thus you need to go back several scenarios to stockpile gold for this rough one. Everyone will be starting with -roughly- similar starting golds, so it's easy to take a middle-of-the-road approach with each difficulty setting.

On the other hand...this eliminates a lot of the strategy that comes with realizing that you need to actually pay attention to your financial situation in detail. It's very rewarding looking back over a tough campaign, knowing that you had to give your all in every scenario to make it here. Even the easier scenarios, you needed to stockpile gold and maximize your winnings so that in the real clinchers your losses would be minimized. This changes a lot of that.

So, you win some and you lose some with this system. A lot of the -worst- of campaign experiences are now gone. But so too is a bit of their charm and rigor. I'm sure the specificalities on each campaign/scenario will take a bit of balancing to work out but that's trivial. The overall concept is still flawed, but in a different way. I'd like to think it's progress =).
Jozrael
Forum Regular
 
Posts: 1032
Joined: June 2nd, 2006, 1:39 pm
Location: NJ, USA.

Re: Changes to the gold carryover system in the campaigns

Postby fareley » September 24th, 2008, 12:51 pm

Jozrael wrote:On the other hand...this eliminates a lot of the strategy that comes with realizing that you need to actually pay attention to your financial situation in detail. It's very rewarding looking back over a tough campaign, knowing that you had to give your all in every scenario to make it here. Even the easier scenarios, you needed to stockpile gold and maximize your winnings so that in the real clinchers your losses would be minimized. This changes a lot of that.


i thought of that too. But i realised that what was Gold is now - units!
You still have to improve your army as much as possible. That means you won't replay a scenario because you need more Gold but you replay it because you need better troops/troops of an other type
so the question isn't anymore: "can i finish the scenario earlier to collect more Gold?" It's: "can i finish the scenario later and milk some extra exp out of it?"... :wink:
so if you are able to win the campaign you know you milked enough exp out of each level to get to that point...
it's not solving the general problem - it's just shifting it into the other extreme...
it's always a balance between collecting exp and collecting Gold. Most times the Gold was more important. Now it's the exp
But it may prevent you from suicide-cavalry-missions only to finish the scenario earlier :lol2:
fareley
 
Posts: 66
Joined: September 10th, 2008, 5:45 pm

Re: Changes to the gold carryover system in the campaigns

Postby zookeeper » September 24th, 2008, 1:09 pm

Well, what I want to do is to strike a balance between units and gold. It doesn't do any good to almost eliminate the usefulness of carryover gold, I just don't want it to have as great an effect as before. 20% might be too little, if you almost always find yourself to be better off milking as much XP as possible and just ignoring the potential gold bonus. The percentage should be high enough that it would encourage the player to actually try to balance between conserving gold and leveling up units. Yet not high enough that the player would as easily end up in a really hard to stop feedback loop, whether positive or negative.
User avatar
zookeeper
WML Wizard
 
Posts: 9615
Joined: September 11th, 2004, 10:40 pm
Location: Finland

Re: Changes to the gold carryover system in the campaigns

Postby fareley » September 24th, 2008, 1:47 pm

but as your Gold is decreasing exponential from scenario to scenario i think 20% means nothing. Maybe you could try it with 30% to 50%
Let's say you're playing a campaign and reached a hard level. For winning it you'll need a lot of Gold
starting 3 scenarios before it (and assuming that you finish each level with a total bonus of 400 compared to the previous scenario) you will have at least:
with 80% Gold carrying over:
400*((8/10)^3) + 400*((8/10)^2 + 400*8/10= 780,8
with 50% Gold carrying over:
400*((5/10)^3) + 400*((5/10)^2 + 400*5/10= 350
with 30% Gold carrying over:
400*((3/10)^3) + 400*((3/10)^2 + 400*3/10= 166,8
with 20% Gold carrying over:
400*((2/10)^3) + 400*((2/10)^2 + 400*2/10= 99,2

as you may see, there is a little difference between 20% and 80%
and the more scenarios you're saving money, the more you lose with only 20% (i remember reading comments of guys playing the last scenario of the campaign with 3.000 Gold... it would have been only about a few hundreds of Gold with 20%...)

and if i have a decision to make between saving 3 scenarios my money, finishing very early and getting only 100 Gold and the possibility to use each scenario to milk exp of - i actually chose the exp
there may be no perfect solution but maybe a zone of compromises between the two extreme points we're actually playing with...
fareley
 
Posts: 66
Joined: September 10th, 2008, 5:45 pm

Re: Changes to the gold carryover system in the campaigns

Postby Jozrael » September 24th, 2008, 2:51 pm

Let's say that 80% was too high, and before even playtesting, we think 20% is too low. Why not start with a number closer to the middle? 50% seems like a good start to me, or even 40% if you feel 20% was closer to ideal than 80%.

Basically, just lower the starting gold and then add 40%. I could help you do any calculations necessary if you want. It's probably just legwork :p.
Jozrael
Forum Regular
 
Posts: 1032
Joined: June 2nd, 2006, 1:39 pm
Location: NJ, USA.

Re: Changes to the gold carryover system in the campaigns

Postby fareley » September 24th, 2008, 3:39 pm

Jozrael wrote:Basically, just lower the starting gold and then add 40%.

why lowering the starting gold? The starting Gold should make sure that you have at least a small chance to win the scenario so you don't have to replay all the time old scenarios to beat the harder ones. In my opinion collecting Gold shouldn't be necessary to win but be a fair alternative to the exp you would gain by milking off exp
fareley
 
Posts: 66
Joined: September 10th, 2008, 5:45 pm

Re: Changes to the gold carryover system in the campaigns

Postby Jozrael » September 24th, 2008, 3:56 pm

Agreed. We're not really disagreeing at all here. Let me lay it out clearly by example.

Previously the starting gold was 100 in scenario X. If you carried over more than that, you took that instead of 100.
Let's say on average you brought over 150 gold. And that you're -still- bringing over approximately 150 gold from the past scenario.

The new suggestion would raise the starting gold to approximately 120 and add 20% of the previous scenario's gold (30 on average) to the total, still leaving you with 150 on average. Except now, instead of the variation being a flat 100 minimum to possibly several hundred maximum (let's say 400), the variation is between 120 (for ending with negative gold) and 200 if you ended the previous with 400.

So we go from a spread of 100 in a gold-starved game to 400 in a gold-heavy game to a new spread of 120-200. Much better. But I think its -too- restrictive. With a new system like this, it's VERY unlikely to come into a new scenario with lots of excess gold (or absolutely no gold), so a more realistic spread would be 130-170. That's a very small spread, reducing the incentive to actually TRY to get gold in the previous scenario. It weights XP far above gold, which is exactly the reverse of the problem that we had originally with gold sometimes heavily outweighing your army. We want to strike a nice neutral balance.

Now with the same example but with 50% carryover, you would have a new starting gold of 75, with 50% of the previous scenario's gold, still leaving you with 150 average gold. However, the variation now goes from 75 (for ending with -no- gold the previous scenario, unlikely) to maybe 275. Again, taking a more realistic spread I'd estimate about 100 gold to about 200 gold. I'd prefer a spread of 100-200 over 130-170. It keeps the economy important without being OVERimportant.

Which brings up a good point: if you have -negative- gold at the end of a scenario, should 20% of that be subtracted from the starting gold from the new scenario? I think this would be beneficial by and large, because it keeps a bit of the economy side still in.


My vote is for approximately 40% of gold to be carried over.
Jozrael
Forum Regular
 
Posts: 1032
Joined: June 2nd, 2006, 1:39 pm
Location: NJ, USA.

Re: Changes to the gold carryover system in the campaigns

Postby fareley » September 24th, 2008, 4:56 pm

well if you decrease the Gold carried over you should increase the basic start Gold to make sure having enough Gold for not being overrun (and to win in time...)
e.g. increasing the start Gold by the same percentage you're decreasing the percentage of Gold carried over

uhm - can't see any sense in your last post - are you argueing with me although we have the nearly the same opinion? or why did you wrote what i explained some posts ago?
maybe i'm just dumb... :(
fareley
 
Posts: 66
Joined: September 10th, 2008, 5:45 pm

Re: Changes to the gold carryover system in the campaigns

Postby Max » September 24th, 2008, 6:12 pm

the starting gold has to be increased anyway for most of the campaigns. there are lots of scenarios that are really unplayable (at least in hard) with minimum gold. (think of all the ai improvements, just download e.g. bfw 1.0.x - it's a lot easier in all difficult levels).

on exception its utbs, playing hard is a piece of cake at the moment (https://gna.org/bugs/index.php?12260).

i really like this new approach (no matter if it's 20% or 40% or whatever), because it think it will make balancing much easier.
Max
 
Posts: 1449
Joined: April 13th, 2008, 12:41 am

Re: Changes to the gold carryover system in the campaigns

Postby Jozrael » September 24th, 2008, 6:23 pm

@Max: I tend to disagree. I find most hard scenarios playable with minimum gold assuming you have a decent recruit list -and you're willing to lose some-. You're supposed to manage your gold/units above the minimums in most scenarios, so if you hit bottom with gold, you've gotta expend some troops to get yourself out of the hole you're in.

AFAIK there have been no AI improvements yet. The formula AI is going to be implemented soon, and then people can start writing AIs for it. As of now though, AFAIK its the same AI that's been around for ages. I still see Elvish Archers using their melee against melee-centric units all the time :roll:
Jozrael
Forum Regular
 
Posts: 1032
Joined: June 2nd, 2006, 1:39 pm
Location: NJ, USA.

Re: Changes to the gold carryover system in the campaigns

Postby fareley » September 24th, 2008, 7:33 pm

mmh
trying to defeat all 3 Liches at Death Valley with only 100 starting Gold...
it is possible but only with a lot of saveloads! And i guess that's not what the designer wanted to see :D so theoretically without "cheating" there are a couple of levels where you won't survive with only the starting Gold
fareley
 
Posts: 66
Joined: September 10th, 2008, 5:45 pm

Re: Changes to the gold carryover system in the campaigns

Postby Jozrael » September 24th, 2008, 7:34 pm

Yes, but that's a bonus. A bonus on a clutch level like that should be all but impossible with starting gold. The trick is -surviving- with 100 gold in that level. It's possible but -hard-. I'd recommend a mild gold increase on that as well, but all settings are going to change around with the new system.
Jozrael
Forum Regular
 
Posts: 1032
Joined: June 2nd, 2006, 1:39 pm
Location: NJ, USA.

Re: Changes to the gold carryover system in the campaigns

Postby zookeeper » September 24th, 2008, 7:56 pm

fareley wrote:but as your Gold is decreasing exponential from scenario to scenario i think 20% means nothing. Maybe you could try it with 30% to 50%
Let's say you're playing a campaign and reached a hard level. For winning it you'll need a lot of Gold
starting 3 scenarios before it (and assuming that you finish each level with a total bonus of 400 compared to the previous scenario) you will have at least:
with 80% Gold carrying over:
400*((8/10)^3) + 400*((8/10)^2 + 400*8/10= 780,8
with 50% Gold carrying over:
400*((5/10)^3) + 400*((5/10)^2 + 400*5/10= 350
with 30% Gold carrying over:
400*((3/10)^3) + 400*((3/10)^2 + 400*3/10= 166,8
with 20% Gold carrying over:
400*((2/10)^3) + 400*((2/10)^2 + 400*2/10= 99,2

as you may see, there is a little difference between 20% and 80%
and the more scenarios you're saving money, the more you lose with only 20% (i remember reading comments of guys playing the last scenario of the campaign with 3.000 Gold... it would have been only about a few hundreds of Gold with 20%...)

I think that in some campaigns you can often get into a gold spree of sorts, meaning that you finish early in some scenario, get a really big early finish bonus and then more or less ride with that for many scenarios. If you have 1000 gold, you'll typically spend a couple hundred max of that on recruits, and then by not finishing late you'll easily cover that loss again, leaving you again with about 1000 gold (simplification). I also think it's not a good thing to regularly start a scenario with more gold than you could even think of using in it.

However, if the carryover percentage is somewhat low, you can't quite do that, at least not to the same extent. You'll actually have to work for it more if you want a gold bonus for the next scenario, since your gains from the previous scenario might buy you a castleful of recruits, but not half a dozen castlefuls, and because a lower carryover percentage means that you can't carry those gains to the next scenario just by saving your gold. My hope is that it'll make the player need to work in each scenario if he wants a proper bonus for the second one, instead of hitting the jackpot in one scenario and then not needing to work for the gold much afterwards.

EDIT: And about leveling up units vs. gold...I don't think it's a very good strategy to focus on units too much anyway. If you drop low on gold, you'll probably have to either get lucky, saveload or sacrifice some of your army of lvl3 units because you can't afford much cannon fodder. Sometimes strength in numbers is more useful than a small group of veterans. An army of lvl3's won't save you if you don't have the gold to recall enough of them. And if you have more lvl3's than you can recall, then gold becomes the priority again, since that allows you to utilize more of them.
User avatar
zookeeper
WML Wizard
 
Posts: 9615
Joined: September 11th, 2004, 10:40 pm
Location: Finland

Next

Return to Mainline Campaign Feedback

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest