Scenario fall-back starting points?

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Taimat
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Joined: October 6th, 2008, 8:26 pm
Location: Barnsley, England

Re: Scenario fall-back starting points?

Post by Taimat »

The OP's proposal was your first essentially. I suggested a less extreme alternative that is similar to your B option, only instead of giving you extra predefined units, it added a little to your gold for that scenario or took a little off the enemies.

Then I had the idea of expanding it to reverse that if you do exceptionally well on previous scenarios. Essentially further tweaking the difficulty beyond the easy/medium/hard choice. I cant think of a good example, but it would be a little like the director in Left4Dead, only done at the start of a scenario.

I wish I didnt suck at explaining stuff.

Velensk
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Re: Scenario fall-back starting points?

Post by Velensk »

I don't see why that would change my opinion. Near the end of most large campaigns gold translates into leveled units because you have more than you can afford/want to bring out. I'm not terribly fond of the idea of self-adjusting difficulty levels. I'm also pretty sure that the code for it isn't as simple as you seem to think.

Also, I don't know if you've played NR or SotBE all the way through, but by the time you're close to the end you've got such a ridicules recall list that you never use all your leveled up units, you just use the ones you need get some level2s and some level1s procede to get more lvl2s/lvl3s and have even more units that you don't call out. Giving your the enemy more gold dosn't change things much, it simply makes it so there is more experiance out there to be had, and more attrician to work through.

I'm going to theorycraft here for a bit, I'm not positive what I'm saying is how it would realy work I'm just speculating:
If you applied the self-adjusting difficulty to say Northern Rebirth, it wouldn't make the campaign much harder in the way you think, it would simply make it so much bigger (and it's already the holder of the record for biggest battles). The enemy would have an even more ungodly amount of units, and you'd still slaughter them which would give you even more leveled units, which would in turn give your enemy an increasingly large amount of units, but it wouldn't matter because once you reach a certain critical mass you don't lose many leveled units and when you do it dosn't matter because of how easily you can replace them. At that point the campaign would come down to money, can you plow through the enemy quick enough to maintain enough gold to plow through the enemy again in the next scenario. In the meanwhile you'll be continualy accumulating lvl2/lvl3s. If you can keep your economy strong enough till the end then you'll probably not have enough gold to recall all your leveled up units (without your gold bonus to the enemy I entered the final scenario with around a hundred leveled units between my three factions, however when you give the enemy a gold bonus that means there is even more xp to be had so I'd have even more leveled units). Now unless you also set your difficulty adjuster to give computer controled allies extra money (rather than less) because otherwise the scenario would be impossible because it would be impossible to keep the dwarf leader alive. I do not think that this is an ideal way of setting things up.
Infact, if my estimation is anywhere near accurate it would be easier to get through the campaign if you are careless with your level 3 units during the last section (though only the human ones, not the drake or elf ones).

Now admittedly, I do think that SotBE and some other campaigns could use an increase to difficulty, but I would rather that they do that based on a fixed rate and not try to base the rate on how well the player is doing. That could be a exponential process which would make Northern Rebirths turns take even longer than they already do.
Last edited by Velensk on May 4th, 2009, 11:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Taimat
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Joined: October 6th, 2008, 8:26 pm
Location: Barnsley, England

Re: Scenario fall-back starting points?

Post by Taimat »

I've actually not played past the first scenario with those two; like I said, Im terrible. Though it does sound like it would be more detrimental than helpful.
I was thinking more of stuff like HttT, The south guard and such. Easy ones that I can actually get all the way through :D

Its starting to sound more and more like its not worth the effort.

Djarek
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Joined: June 25th, 2009, 3:21 am

Re: Scenario fall-back starting points?

Post by Djarek »

One thing that you're overlooking is that a lot of new players don't level up their units on the first few playthroughs, get to that 4th or 6th scenario, and find it unbeatable. Some of us will then come to the forums and figure out what we're doing wrong.

I'm guessing that a lot of new players just give up on the game as unplayable, though, and look for something else. For those players, it might be nice to give them a set base of units, at least for the four campaigns marked as "novice" level.

dragontamer
Posts: 24
Joined: March 28th, 2009, 11:56 pm

Re: Scenario fall-back starting points?

Post by dragontamer »

I threw an idea forward, and there's some criticism on it and it is still rolling around in my head, but I did think about the "Character Rating" idea. I'm personally surprised that not everyone agrees with it, but I think it is still worth implementing as an optional feature.

You can read the evolution of my idea here. As you can see, it started off as the simple "count the number of tiers" thing, and then got a bit more complicated.

My current idea is to keep the ratings system entirely in the control of the Scenario Designer, but to have a more abstract and declarative style. For example, the Scenario Designer describes the number and kinds of enemies the player is expected to face. Some sort of "AI System" will compare these enemies to the player's recall roster and available gold. (I've got a heuristic that might work. PM me if you're interested in the details)

If the AI feels like the player will win, he'll receive a high score. (anywhere between 1 and infinity). The higher the better. If the AI feels like the player will lose, he'll receive a low score (anywhere between 0 and 1). (Taking the logarithm of this value will result in values between -infinity and 0 for "low", and 0 and infinity for "high", if that is more intuitive)

Either way, the rating can be displayed to the user, and perhaps future scenarios should factor into the score somehow? I'm kinda stuck here. Ideally, I want to factor in future scenarios into the equation. Keeping it a rating for the next scenario is simple, but "short term". (What if the author designed it so that there are two "training" levels? One for exp, and one for gold?)

Ultimately: it is clear to me that some authors don't like this idea, so it should remain optional. It seems useful and IMO, would make for a more polished game. It requires a bit of work from the designer. (All the designer needs to do is enable the rating system and create a benchmark set of units per scenario), but not an unacceptable amount I hope. If someone can think of an easier method, I'm all ears.

Raliven
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Joined: December 31st, 2005, 4:15 am

Re: Scenario fall-back starting points?

Post by Raliven »

Gambit wrote:I imagine that this start gold, set by the devs, is also tested by the devs? I also imagine that they would be rather elite wesnoth players... :hmm:
Game developers (in general) are not necessarily very good game players at all. To be good at either require quite different skill sets. That's why game balance issues for a lot of games can be quite bad sometimes.
Djarek wrote:One thing that you're overlooking is that a lot of new players don't level up their units on the first few playthroughs, get to that 4th or 6th scenario, and find it unbeatable. Some of us will then come to the forums and figure out what we're doing wrong.

I'm guessing that a lot of new players just give up on the game as unplayable, though, and look for something else. For those players, it might be nice to give them a set base of units, at least for the four campaigns marked as "novice" level.
I think that if someone were to give up that easily, then Wesnoth is probably not the game for them. I would guess that people who enjoy Wesnoth tend to be armchair strategists, and those sort of people would just be more intrigued to try to figure out the game so that they can beat it.

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Kip-of-teh-Mud
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Re: Scenario fall-back starting points?

Post by Kip-of-teh-Mud »

wouldnt the most KISSable solution to this be if anyone just posted a few decent savegames for each campaign?

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A Guy
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Re: Scenario fall-back starting points?

Post by A Guy »

This CABD with WML if anyone wants to do it.
I'm just... a guy...
I'm back for now, I might get started on some work again.

scorchgeek
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Re: Scenario fall-back starting points?

Post by scorchgeek »

Djarek wrote:One thing that you're overlooking is that a lot of new players don't level up their units on the first few playthroughs, get to that 4th or 6th scenario, and find it unbeatable. Some of us will then come to the forums and figure out what we're doing wrong.

I'm guessing that a lot of new players just give up on the game as unplayable, though, and look for something else. For those players, it might be nice to give them a set base of units, at least for the four campaigns marked as "novice" level.
Perhaps a better thing to fix this would be to change the tutorial or help files to explain to people what they're doing wrong rather than allowing them to win without much effort.

I would consider this idea basically a cheat, since players would be getting away with not doing what they need to do to win the campaign and then winning it anyway by just falling back on units that they can win with.
Turuk wrote:...so that the player could win and yet not have an advantage. Good luck convincing the authors to sink that amount of time and effort into a campaign when there is a current system that works.
If the idea here is to help beginners, they're not going to do so well if they don't have any advantage after reloading. It takes time to learn how to lay out units and how the game works. If you have to restart a campaign from the beginning to really understand it, then that's the way it goes. And if you're not interested in that, then maybe Wesnoth isn't the right game for you.

From the Description page:
Build up a great army, gradually turning raw recruits into hardened veterans.
That's the whole idea of a campaign, to build up units. If you know you can just "fall back" on units you know you can win with, what's the point? If you aren't interested in this, then maybe you shouldn't be playing campaigns at all, you should be playing single scenarios.
Taimat wrote:As an example, lets say the author reckons that roughly 10 levels of units are needed to beat it (10 level 2s, or 5 level 3s etc.). If someone has Like 5 or 6, add a bit to the starting gold. Conversely it could be lowered slightly for people with more than what might be required to keep the campaign difficult. Or do something similar with the gold of the enemies, I dunno.
This idea seems less like a cheat to me, but it could bring up another problem. If you know you can get loads of gold next scenario if you don't do well this scenario, people could cheat by not doing their best on purpose because they were low on gold. Also, there's already a system to accommodate players at different skill levels: that's what the different difficulty levels are for. Adding more handicaps is just a way to ruin the game in my opinion.
If 'con' is the opposite of 'pro', what is the opposite of progress?

Ryorin
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Re: Scenario fall-back starting points?

Post by Ryorin »

I have noticed that the RNG hates me when I play against AI, but it is indifferent against humans. In effect I tend to lost alot of the units I get levelled up because of bad luck.

The rest come from oversight on my part.

Now, I am not a big fan of replaying scenarios repeatedly, (I think its the second or third scenario in the Legend of Wesmere, still gives me nightmares. I replayed it a good 15 times before luck, terrain, and time of day coincided to a beautiful victory.) but I will replay them until I win.

I think that a fall-back option would be a cheap way of doing something that you can yourself. By replaying the scenarios until you have perfection, or near to.
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