A Rough Life

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Sapient
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Re: A Rough Life

Post by Sapient » October 5th, 2009, 9:44 pm

I have some more feedback now that I actually finished it.

First, during the endless night scenario, I really liked the character of the loony silver mage. What I didn't like was the abundance of enemies with skirmisher ability. I mean, what's the point of forming a big defensive line if the enemy can just skirmish around it and kill anything? A few skirmishers would be OK, but I found that there were too many for my taste.

During the final Ruphulus scenario, I recalled several units with bad cave movetype (notably my two woses and some thugs I had managed to level up). I was expecting them to be slower than dwarves, but the degree of their slowness was still almost unbearable once the size of the map and the amount of cave terrain was realized. A little bit of "cave path" would go a long way to address that problem, so they occasionally can get a small speed boost.

Finally, the Ying-Yang riddle: this wasn't my real choice but I decided to try it out just for fun. I was severely confused. For one thing, I misunderstood where to retreat my heroes. A little [scroll_to] with a flashing flag/X would really help there (see the first scenario of HttT for an example of how to code this in WML). I also misunderstood the instructions for how to activate it. Best way to resolve this would be with dialogue. So when a unit stands in the right place, he can say "OK, I'm in position." And when a unit stands on the village, before the other two are in place, it should say "It won't budge, sir. But, the other two units aren't in position yet."

Thanks again for a nice campaign.
http://www.wesnoth.org/wiki/User:Sapient... "Looks like your skills saved us again. Uh, well at least, they saved Soarin's apple pie."

Jacques_Fol
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Re: A Rough Life

Post by Jacques_Fol » October 12th, 2009, 9:30 pm

Thank you, Sapient, for this feedback. I am very glad that you enjoyed ARL and that you even tackled it in the first place.

You also make valid and useful suggestions, which I am happy to fully take on board. When I make further revisions to the campaign and upload version 1.2 (when that is slightly depends on whether art will have been completed once bera returns from military service), I will adapt the enemies in the long night, do something about the cave movement (agree about "cave path", and may consider some "teleportation" if Kyoko finds her secret spot once the main chamber of Ruphulus is already discovered) and clarify the alternative dam scenario, especially since someone else was also a little confused as to how the campaign expects the player to approach it. Much appreciated, thanks.

Ruksa
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Scenario 5

Post by Ruksa » November 3rd, 2009, 3:23 am

The Scorpion Queen is finally dead! I had the same problem as several others - didn't go to the oasis to trigger the discovery. While fighting off the constantly spawning scorpions provided a challenge the Queen just let me fire rounds into her without offering any resistance. Just stood there and got riddled with holes, turn after turn. See if the Griffin does the same...

CommieDog
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Re: A Rough Life

Post by CommieDog » November 13th, 2009, 4:38 am

Note: I played version 1.0.99 of the campaign in version 1.6.5 of the game.
Jacques_Fol wrote:(1) Did you like the storyline of the campaign? If not, what would you propose changing?
Overall, I thought that the storyline was good. The only part that seemed superfluous was where Gronar saved Jacques's life before being killed by Pollox in the next scene. I suppose it was there to show that some people are being mind-controlled, but the dialog doesn't make that clear.

On the other hand, the banter between Fear and Loathing in "The Day of Reckoning" was more annoying than anything else. I recommend removing it entirely.
Jacques_Fol wrote:(2) Did you enjoy the combat element of the campaign? Was there too little of it in relation to the text? What was the difficulty like (with reference to your chosen level)? What general changes would you propose to the combat/battles?
I played on Easy, and the combat felt...easy. No problem there, I guess.

The biggest problem with the combat (and I think someone else mentioned this before) was the availability of Saurian Augurs. They seem like the ideal unit for most--if not all--of the scenarios, leaving little else for other units (or strategy). I'd recommend removing them, except doing so would probably require extensive rebalancing of the campaign.

One thing that bothered me is the amount of money that you get to keep after "The Day of Reckoning." I understand that originally the scenario had a turn limit, in which case it would have been good to reward players for finishing early. It doesn't make sense without the limit, though. Since neither of the following scenarios really requires it anyway, I think with would be best to remove the carryover.
Jacques_Fol wrote:(3) Did you like the amount of mid-game conversations between the units? Was there enough or too much of it, or would you like to see more? (With specific examples if possible.)
The amount of text seemed fine, but there was too much narration. There are too many instances for me to cite a specific example, but I can give you a general one of what I mean:

Narration: Suddenly, Jacques saw the trees move before him.
Instead, I think this would be better:
Jacques: The trees are...moving?!

I think that the idea of "show, don't tell" comes into play here.
Jacques_Fol wrote:(4) Were you annoyed by any of the "director's choices" in the campaign (notably, leveling Jacques and transforming him into different types)? If yes, what would you change?
No, they all seemed fine to me.
Jacques_Fol wrote:(5) Which map(s) do you think would most need improving? (And let me know if you'd be willing to help.)
As someone else mentioned, the large cave map in "The Day of Reckoning" could use some road tiles to give most units bearable ranges of movement. Also, it's far too easy to avoid spawning the units guarding the chamber that Kyoko needs to enter in order to complete the mission. They should spawn as soon as a unit enters the small room with the sign scolding whoever ignored the first sign and entered anyway.
Jacques_Fol wrote:(6) How much do you think that this campaign would need or benefit from custom art?
There doesn't seem to be much of a need for more custom artwork than what is already present. Still, if you could only add one more asset, I'd like to see a unique portrait for Kyoko.
Jacques_Fol wrote:(7) What other specific suggestions would you have that would make the campaign better and more fun (especially those that do not require too much work)?
In several scenarios, it isn't made clear that you need to move a unit to a certain tile to trigger an event, nor is the lack of information presented as a puzzle for the player to solve. In such cases, there should be hints, either in dialog, icons on the map, or objectives (such as "Investigate all villages") to point the player in the right direction.

Jacques_Fol
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Re: A Rough Life

Post by Jacques_Fol » November 14th, 2009, 11:20 pm

Thanks for the detailed and well thought-out feedback, CommieDog! All feedback is much appreciated, and you make several good points. To wit:
CommieDog wrote:Note: I played version 1.0.99 of the campaign in version 1.6.5 of the game.
Jacques_Fol wrote:(1) Did you like the storyline of the campaign? If not, what would you propose changing?
Overall, I thought that the storyline was good. The only part that seemed superfluous was where Gronar saved Jacques's life before being killed by Pollox in the next scene. I suppose it was there to show that some people are being mind-controlled, but the dialog doesn't make that clear.

On the other hand, the banter between Fear and Loathing in "The Day of Reckoning" was more annoying than anything else. I recommend removing it entirely.
As for Gronar, I thought his intervention could also show his self-confidence as a fighter. Putting myself in his shoes, I would expect not to be hurt by the wolf but merely show the newbie how it's all done.

As for Fear and Loathing, I appreciate it and am inclined to agree that it doesn't quite work. I have already revamped their discussion once, I'll rethink it once more and see if I can salvage it. Otherwise, they may get one or two lines each at the beginning of the scenario (to make use of the wonderful portrait and relate back to the intro), and that's it.
CommieDog wrote:
Jacques_Fol wrote:(2) Did you enjoy the combat element of the campaign? Was there too little of it in relation to the text? What was the difficulty like (with reference to your chosen level)? What general changes would you propose to the combat/battles?
I played on Easy, and the combat felt...easy. No problem there, I guess.

The biggest problem with the combat (and I think someone else mentioned this before) was the availability of Saurian Augurs. They seem like the ideal unit for most--if not all--of the scenarios, leaving little else for other units (or strategy). I'd recommend removing them, except doing so would probably require extensive rebalancing of the campaign.
This I'm unsure about this as well. I think I'll partly count on the players' desire to make things interesting for themselves by recruiting (and levelling) different units. Any tinkering seems like a lot of work.
CommieDog wrote:One thing that bothered me is the amount of money that you get to keep after "The Day of Reckoning." I understand that originally the scenario had a turn limit, in which case it would have been good to reward players for finishing early. It doesn't make sense without the limit, though. Since neither of the following scenarios really requires it anyway, I think with would be best to remove the carryover.
There is one reason - and one alone - why this might work, storywise. This is the scenario where the big villain gets defeated and Jacques finally wins the support of the entire kingdom. If he'll ever get to the point of no financial considerations, this is it. At the same time, yes, it's a consequence of taking out the turn limit, and I suppose the cash reward will be removed.
CommieDog wrote:
Jacques_Fol wrote:(3) Did you like the amount of mid-game conversations between the units? Was there enough or too much of it, or would you like to see more? (With specific examples if possible.)
The amount of text seemed fine, but there was too much narration. There are too many instances for me to cite a specific example, but I can give you a general one of what I mean:

Narration: Suddenly, Jacques saw the trees move before him.
Instead, I think this would be better:
Jacques: The trees are...moving?!

I think that the idea of "show, don't tell" comes into play here.
Noted, although this may be one instance that also depends on personal style and preference. When I go through the text again to polish it up, I'll bear it in mind.
CommieDog wrote:
Jacques_Fol wrote:(4) Were you annoyed by any of the "director's choices" in the campaign (notably, leveling Jacques and transforming him into different types)? If yes, what would you change?
No, they all seemed fine to me.
Jacques_Fol wrote:(5) Which map(s) do you think would most need improving? (And let me know if you'd be willing to help.)
As someone else mentioned, the large cave map in "The Day of Reckoning" could use some road tiles to give most units bearable ranges of movement. Also, it's far too easy to avoid spawning the units guarding the chamber that Kyoko needs to enter in order to complete the mission. They should spawn as soon as a unit enters the small room with the sign scolding whoever ignored the first sign and entered anyway.
Point well taken. Hmmm... perhaps spawning them at an inconvenient time and place if someone wishes to sneak past them would be even more of a punishment (or a challenge)...
CommieDog wrote:
Jacques_Fol wrote:(6) How much do you think that this campaign would need or benefit from custom art?
There doesn't seem to be much of a need for more custom artwork than what is already present. Still, if you could only add one more asset, I'd like to see a unique portrait for Kyoko.
It seems like we're getting the ones for Jacques, and I'd wish to also get a few for Kyoko!
CommieDog wrote:
Jacques_Fol wrote:(7) What other specific suggestions would you have that would make the campaign better and more fun (especially those that do not require too much work)?
In several scenarios, it isn't made clear that you need to move a unit to a certain tile to trigger an event, nor is the lack of information presented as a puzzle for the player to solve. In such cases, there should be hints, either in dialog, icons on the map, or objectives (such as "Investigate all villages") to point the player in the right direction.
There are supposed to be hints, but they may sometimes be too obscure. When going through the campaign again, I'll see if I can introduce some back-up tips, so to say. Thanks again!

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Re: A Rough Life

Post by Darkmage » November 15th, 2009, 12:45 am

Spoiler:
And about not much different units, it is true, but i would suggest changing some of the dessert tiles to dirt, to make it not so hard to move, and some intermediate hills to get some relatively high defense.

About the part of the two skeletons, i liked it, maybe the word loathe and fear repeated much, but i guess it was the intention.

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Mefisto
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Re: A Rough Life

Post by Mefisto » December 28th, 2009, 4:17 pm

I finished the campaign and I liked it. If was funny to have an elvish princess as a daughter of dwarf king and orks and elves fighting together against monsters. The most difficult scenario for me was this one where you had to kill two beast rulers. Constant waves of scorpions were really tough. It took me some time to figure what clues I have to search in terrain and then the rest was easy. The next scenarios were easier because I always could figure what to look for an where to go. The storyline was very interesting. I have two nitpicks though.
1. I was never attacked by enemy boss. They only retaliated attacks. The griphon and the scorpion queen looked too passive in comparison with their aggressive minions. Also the undead minions of Ruphulus were unsatisfactory. I just placed magical units besides undead knights and bone dragon and used Krug to kill the ancient lich.
2. There was a dialog about "gene pool". It didn't fit to "sword and sorcery" atmosphere of the campaign.

DanielF
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Re: A Rough Life

Post by DanielF » January 9th, 2010, 1:37 am

I played this through without problems.
You have a very good campaign, maybe it could go mainline? :D
there really is a designer of the universe.

go python!:)

DanielF
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Re: A Rough Life

Post by DanielF » January 9th, 2010, 1:42 am

Mefisto wrote:I finished the campaign and I liked it. If was funny to have an elvish princess as a daughter of dwarf king and orks and elves fighting together against monsters.
1. I was never attacked by enemy boss. They only retaliated attacks. The griphon and the scorpion queen looked too passive in comparison with their aggressive minions.
i rather agree with this.
there really is a designer of the universe.

go python!:)

Jacques_Fol
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Re: A Rough Life

Post by Jacques_Fol » January 23rd, 2010, 11:52 am

DanielF wrote:
Mefisto wrote:I finished the campaign and I liked it. If was funny to have an elvish princess as a daughter of dwarf king and orks and elves fighting together against monsters.
1. I was never attacked by enemy boss. They only retaliated attacks. The griphon and the scorpion queen looked too passive in comparison with their aggressive minions.
i rather agree with this.
So do I, for that matter. I think that originally, my primary concern was that I would not wish to see them stray away from their "keep"; but I agree that having them wait calmly to be attacked is worse. When the next and final big overhaul takes place, that will be fixed.

Thanks for playing, though!

The Great Rings
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Re: A Rough Life

Post by The Great Rings » March 23rd, 2010, 3:21 am

I just played this campaign for the first time in many months and its come a long way. Its a lot more pollished and less buggy. Seems very proffessional. I also have a new contender for favorite Wesnoth unit with the Dragon Lord. Beautiful unit, impressive animations, incredibly menacing. I want to see one of those things in a duel with an Ancient Lich. :D

The story`s not my favorite, but that`s probably due at least partly to a general discomfort with stories centered around prophecy rather than any complaints specific to this campaign.

I have to seccond Mefisto`s criticisms of the bosses and dialog, though. A good bit of the dialog actually feels out of place to me.
"One man alone cannot fight the future"-
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"Send these foul beasts into the abyss"-Gandalf

Istarian
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Re: A Rough Life

Post by Istarian » April 11th, 2010, 6:06 pm

Got this campaign the other day. It's turned out to be fairly good on the whole.

(1) The storyline was okay, if a little difficult to deduce and seemingly disjointed. I would have liked a little more game than storytelling, like an in between on ship skirmish which would be kinda cool. The dwarf king with an elven daughter was just weird, and some scenarios with just her at some point as flashback might add some feeling to the story.

(2) The combat element was okay, despite struggling. Having to deal with constant waves of scorpions and the other stuff is a little frustrating and if you progress too slowly, by the time you find out about the Wose it's too late to finish. The text implies a little more than you get, but it's acceptable. I had to edit the desert outing's number of turns to make it possible to finish.

(3) A little more conversation would be good, it seemed a little too silent. Jacques <-> other unit conversation would be nice.

(4) The leveling of Jacques seemed a little arbitrary, he didn't seem to retain his role/traits although the storyline that acquired a bow for him was a good idea. It was definitely helpful (although I have yet to finish the "Long Night" scenario). Mostly the progression didn't feel logical, it wasn't as intuitive as the typical style(Mage -> Red Mage -> Archmage).

(5) The scenario map for the ruined temple and long night scenario was less than ideal. It was a little too easy to defeat the first enemy, and only hard to defeat the second enemy because of slowness of movement. Another bank of castle hexes would make setting up defensive lines easier.

(6) Custom art would be interesting, even nice, but I don't know what kind of art/effect would make the most difference. Actually having a unit for the girl would be better than just using an elven shaman (unless that also meets the desired criteria).

(7) Adding a few turns to the outside desert scenarios would be better, or just add more oases, etc to speed the movement up a little. Scenario objectives that are targeted at helping you through would be nice. For instance, making the Wose oases a more obvious intended place to go rather than a map beautifier would be good. Also, the scorpion nest seems a little too inconspicuous. More gold and preparation turns, as well as four keeps instead of two on the long night scenario would be good. There isn't enough time or money to accrue more than a minimally okay defensive ring. Enemies shouldn't attempt to use those keeps, it would make it really hard, but they would improve the ability to keep your troop number up though. A keep in/around the temple, which could replace having two more on the edges, would be interesting too.

enitharmon
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Re: A Rough Life

Post by enitharmon » July 30th, 2010, 12:08 pm

Thanks for the campaign.

I noticed a typo in one of the dialogues in The Day of Reckoning. The Counsellor of Death says: ""Busybodies, haha! I will indeed find good use for your bodies, once they law sprawled beneath my feet!"

I played version 1.0.99 on Wesnoth 1.6.5.

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Re: A Rough Life

Post by Elvish_Hunter » August 3rd, 2010, 8:18 pm

enitharmon wrote:I noticed a typo in one of the dialogues in The Day of Reckoning. The Counsellor of Death says: ""Busybodies, haha! I will indeed find good use for your bodies, once they law sprawled beneath my feet!"
Thanks, and fixed in version 1.1.1 on the 1.8 add-ons server :wink:
Current maintainer of these add-ons:
1.14: The Sojournings of Grog, A Rough Life, The White Troll (co-author)
1.12: Children of Dragons, Wesnoth Lua Pack
Active again until mid-October

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Wendek
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Re: A Rough Life

Post by Wendek » May 12th, 2011, 12:22 pm

A bit of necroposting... but I don't like playing a campaign without giving feedback, heh. :)

(1) Did you like the storyline of the campaign? If not, what would you propose changing?
Really liked the storyline. Nothing to change about that really. Jacques' progression and the little "personal thoughts" interludes were a nice addition as well.

(2) Did you enjoy the combat element of the campaign? Was there too little of it in relation to the text? What was the difficulty like (with reference to your chosen level)? What general changes would you propose to the combat/battles?
I'm not a fan of huge battles, so actually I liked the fact that most maps weren't about slaughtering dozens of enemies.
About the difficulty, it was fine (playing on Normal), I just expected Night of the Living Dead to be slightly more difficult but it's not necessarily a bad thing either. Maybe remove one resting turn before the last wave or something so that the player isn't fully healed when said last wave arrives ? With a Soothsayer and Kyoko, the poison isn't really that problematic but it still takes one turn to heal it, so with a turn less to rest, the last wave would actually be harder. Then again, being a rather mediocre player I'm fine with the current difficulty. :)

(3) Did you like the amount of mid-game conversations between the units? Was there enough or too much of it, or would you like to see more? (With specific examples if possible.)
Liked it very much, it adds to the "campaign" flavor to me. I'd say it has the right amount, more might become annoying.

(4) Were you annoyed by any of the "director's choices" in the campaign (notably, leveling Jacques and transforming him into different types)? If yes, what would you change?
Hey no, that's a good thing and it participates to that feeling of Jacques changing both physically (changing from a little thief to a good fighter) and mentally (becoming a leader). Definitely don't change that. =)

(5) Which map(s) do you think would most need improving? (And let me know if you'd be willing to help.)
Huh, I suck with maps-designing, so I won't comment on that.

(6) How much do you think that this campaign would need or benefit from custom art?
Kyoko could use some custom portraits and/or sprites to better reflect her "dwarvish ancestors", but honestly that's really a detail. :p

(7) What other specific suggestions would you have that would make the campaign better and more fun (especially those that do not require too much work)?
Almost nothing... just a little detail : what's the point of the passage with the troll whelp at the end ? Is it some grim prophecy about Jacques' future ? And he says the same thing whether we drown his troll friends or fight them. It was a bit frustrating to read that "You didn't want to talk" line when we're not even *offered* the possibility to talk in the game : the troll leader mocks us and then fighting occurs. Actually, isn't that a bit weird from Jacques to act this way ? Obviously the bandits didn't *like* the enemy and were just working for him. Why wouldn't Jacques (who's been an outlaw pretty much all his life before meeting Kyoko) try to reason them first ? Especially after finding a way to easily destroy the dam, when the trolls should realize they're gonna die soon.



Overall, really liked this campaign, was original and interesting to play. :)
"You see, it's not about what you take with you, it's about what you leave behind." (Turisas, The Bosphorus Freezes Over)
"A man chooses, a slave obeys." (Andrew Ryan, BioShock)

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