Proposed additions to Manual

For writers working on documentation, story prose, announcements, and all kinds of Wesnoth text.

Moderators: Forum Moderators, Developers

dlp
Posts: 62
Joined: March 1st, 2009, 3:36 pm

Proposed additions to Manual

Post by dlp » March 27th, 2009, 2:07 am

Wed April 8 note: Edited to (1) further correct section 2.2 sentence 2 to reflect the fact that carryover percentage depends on the campaign, as per esr's notes in http://www.catb.org/~esr/wesnoth/campai ... howto.html ; (2) substitute a different example for proposed section 2.5.3 to make the effects of terrain on hit-probabilities clearer.

Monday April 6 note: Edited to (1) add a tip to section 1.3.3 re. hovering over right side of game screen to get Help info; (2) correct section 2.2 sentence 2; (3) correct the gold formula in section 2.2.3; and (4) remove the bolded red note re. section 2.5.3 because I've received a private reply saying the sentence in question is correct. No feedback has been posted since my Sunday March 29 edits.

Sunday March 29 note: This post has been edited to account for all feedback received up to and including my Fri Mar 27, 2009 post. The edits include 3 re. gold, 2 re. section 2.3.3, and a new proposed section (2.5.3), none of which I've presented before. 2.5.3 includes a bolded red note I'd especially appreciate feedback on.
----------
I propose the following changes to the manual. They would have helped me when I was starting.

Section 1.3.3 The Game Screen

Expand the section describing the right side of the screen as follows:

3. Unit profile for last selected unit
  • a. Hitpoints (HP) remaining/maximum (see Section 2.5)
    b. Experience points (XP) earned/ threshold for advancement (Section 2.3.5)
    c. Name
    d. Descriptor
    e. Race (Section 1.1.1 and in-game Help re. Units)
    f. Level (Section 2.3.5)
    g. Alignment (lawful/neutral/chaotic; Section 2.3.1)
    h. Traits, if any (Section 2.3.2)
    i. Abilities, if any (Section 2.3.4)
    j. Movement remaining/maximum (Section 2.4)
    k. Weapon 1 profile (Section 2.5)
    • i. Number of swings / damage per swing and weapon name
      ii. Melee/ranged indicator and attack type
      iii. Weapon specials, if any (Section 2.3.3)
    l. Weapon 2 (if any) profile, followed by profiles for as many weapons as the unit has
Add sentence at end of section: "Hovering the mouse cursor over items in this area displays additional information that can eliminate the need to visit the in-game Help."

1.3.8 Gold

Change sentence 4 from "Each village you control will give you two gold pieces income per turn." to "Ordinarily, each village you control will give you one gold piece income per turn in single-player games and two pieces per turn in multiplayer games."

2.2 Gold

Change sentence 1 (new text in italics): "Each side is given some amount of gold to begin with, and receives 2 more gold pieces per turn as base income, plus 2 more gold pieces per turn for every village that side controls. The amounts vary with difficulty, campaign, and whether the game is single- vs. multiplayer."

Replace sentence 2 with: "Starting gold for a scenario is equal to a minimum amount plus (usually) a percentage of the gold you ended the previous scenario with, including the early-finish bonus if you earned one. The minimum and early-finish bonus are usually lower as the difficulty increases. The carryover percentage, if carryover is provided, is either 40% or 80% for mainline campaigns and may be some other value in user-made campaigns. Mainline campaigns announce the carryover percentage in the objectives dialogue."

Section 2.3.3 Unit Specialties

Rename this section "Weapon Specials" to conform with the in-game Help terminology. That terminology is better because the specialties are associated with weapons -- not units.

Change first sentence: "Certain units weapons have special attacks."

2.2.3. Income

Change the formula to: "2 + (villages * a) - maximum(0, upkeep - (villages * a)) where upkeep is equal to the sum of the levels of all your non-loyal units and a is equal to either 1 or 2." (Note: Extra parentheses used for the benefit of readers who may not know operator precedence rules.)

Change last sentence: "If the upkeep cost is greater than the number of villages(villages * a) +2 then the side starts losing gold, i. If it is equal, no income is gained or lost."

Section 2.3.5 Experience

Add text to sentence 2: "After obtaining enough experience, they will advance a level, receive full hitpoints, and become more powerful."

Add new sentences after Table 2.3: "Excess experience points are carried over when a unit advances. For example, a unit that has 31 points and needs 32 to advance will have 7 after killing a level-1 opponent. A unit that kills an opponent does not gain a fighting bonus, i.e., the bonuses are mutually exclusive."

Section 2.4 Moving

Add new 1st paragraph: "Each unit has movement points allocated to it. Moving into a hex uses a number of points that depends on the terrain and the unit. The points are restored at the beginning of each side's turn. See the in-game Help for descriptions of the terrains (Terrains section) and the movement costs incurred for moving into them (Units section)."

Add new sentence to the end of current paragraph 1: "The ability to move a unit more than once during a turn is especially useful when you want units to swap positions or to use a unit's leadership ability in multiple locations."

Paragraph 2: Change sentence 4 to: "Ordinarily, Yyou can easily undo goto movements at the beginning of your next turn." and add "(Undo is not permitted when a move reveals new information, such as the locations of enemy units or terrain. This can happen when playing under fog or shroud or against units with the ambush ability."

Section 2.4.1 Zone of Control

End paragraph with "See Section 3.1.3 for further discussion."

Section 2.5 Fighting

Paragraph 1, change last sentence from "Some weapons, such as swords, are melee weapons, and some weapons, such as bows, are ranged weapons." to "All weapons are either melee or ranged. Melee weapons are hand-to-hand types, such as swords and clubs; ranged weapons are standoff types, such as bows and slings."

Paragraph 3, add new last sentence: "Damage is deducted from the attacked unit's hitpoints (HP), and a unit dies if its HP reaches zero; thus, HP indicates the unit's basic defensive strength, before modifiers are applied."

Section 2.6 Healing

Add new sentences at end of paragraph 1: "A unit that advances, however, will receive full hitpoints. Units start each new scenario with their hitpoints restored."

2.5.3 Fighting Example (This is a new section. Thanks to Jodwin for inspiring me to write it; if someone has a better example, fine.)

Here's an example of a fight window:

Image

A Longbowman is about to attack a Thug. The AI has recommended that the Longbowman use his bow, as indicated by the blue highlighting. The bow gets 3 shots, each of which has a 60% chance of hitting, and will reduce the Thug's hitpoints by 10 each time they hit. The bow is a ranged weapon and the Thug has none to defend with; therefore, zeroes are shown for the Thug's defense on the right side of the window. The 60% chance of hitting results from the fact that the Thug is in a dirt hex, which provides 40% protection. You can see how much protection a hex provides by clicking on the unit of interest and hovering over the hex.

Clicking "Damage Calculations" for this attack brings up this window:

Image

The window provides details about the attack's expected outcome. On the left side, it's clear the Longbowman will take no damage. The right side shows there's a 6.5% chance the Thug will also take no damage, a 28.8% chance he'll take 1 hit, thereby reducing his hitpoints to 20, a 43.2% chance of taking 2 hits, and a 21.6% chance of taking 3 hits and dying. (He has only 30 hitpoints, so losing 30 would kill him.)

The damage calculations window for the Longbowman's sword attack looks like this:

Image

His sword gets only 2 swings that do only 8 points of damage when they hit. The Thug, on the other hand, can defend in this case and will use his club. It gets 4 swings that have a 50% chance of hitting and do 6 damage when they hit. (The Longbowman is in a hill hex, which provides 50% protection.) If the Longbowman attacks with his sword, the order of swings will be: Longbowman, Thug, Longbowman, Thug, Thug, Thug. If the Thug's club had the firststrike weapon special, the order would be: Thug, Longbowman, Thug, Longbowman, Thug, Thug. In this example, firststrike would not affect the outcome, but in attacks where the defender dies during the exchange, firststrike can increase the damage the attacker suffers beforehand.

The damage calculations window is especially useful for planning critical and marginal attacks because it accounts for all combat modifiers: terrain, time of day, alignment, traits, abilities, and weapon specials.

Clearly, the AI recommendation in this case is a good one. There are times, though, when you'll want to override the AI. For example, you may want a unit to use its most damaging attack, even though it's apt to die in the process, so another unit has a better chance of killing the enemy unit.
Last edited by dlp on April 9th, 2009, 7:02 pm, edited 10 times in total.

User avatar
JW
Posts: 5046
Joined: November 10th, 2005, 7:06 am
Location: Chicago-ish, Illinois

Re: Proposed additions to Manual

Post by JW » March 27th, 2009, 2:16 am

dlp wrote:I propose the following minor additions to the manual. They would have helped me when I was starting.
Fromjust a cursory glance they seem quite fine, but this phrase (underlined) seems wrong to me:
Paragraph 3, add new last sentence: "Damage is deducted from the attacked unit's hitpoints (HP), and a unit dies if its HP reaches zero; thus, HP indicates the unit's defensive strength."
This isn't the whole truth by a long stretch. Resistancies and defense are 2/3 of the equation as well, and are crucial in determining how good of a defender something is.

Also, the part about retaining kill xp on level might be worded better, but its fine as is I suppose.

WildPenguin
Posts: 161
Joined: September 6th, 2005, 10:41 pm
Location: Australia

Re: Proposed additions to Manual

Post by WildPenguin » March 27th, 2009, 4:03 am

These are nice additions.

A few more proposals for Section 2.4:
  • The section should state the following: "At the beginning of the turn, all of a side's units have their movement points fully restored."
  • Manual wrote:You can easily undo goto movements at the beginning of your next turn.
    This may not be the case when the scenario uses fog or shroud. A more accurate and general statment would be: "You are able to undo a unit's move if it has not revealed fog or shroud. Undo may be used multiple times to undo consecutive moves."
  • Manual wrote:Moving onto a village that is neutral or owned by an enemy will take ownership of it.
    This is also true for villages owned by allies. This could be extended further to include the behaviour of village control once a side's leader is dead (although this may be going in to too much detail).

dlp
Posts: 62
Joined: March 1st, 2009, 3:36 pm

Re: Proposed additions to Manual

Post by dlp » March 27th, 2009, 2:58 pm

JW: Good point. To avoid over-complicating the sentence, how about (changes in italics): "thus, HP indicates the unit's basic defensive strength, before modifiers are applied."?

WildPenguin: These are good ideas. WRT undo: I believe the basic exception is any move that reveals the location of a previously invisible enemy unit. That would include units with ambush, as well as ones concealed by shroud or fog, although ambush is an ambiguous case because ZOC rules dictate movement must stop anyway.

2 changes to my original post:

1. I've seen units with more than 2 weapons, so line 3m of the expanded Unit Profile should read: "Weapon 2 (if any) profile, followed by profiles for as many weapons as the unit has."

2. My proposal for Section 2.4 paragraph 4 is unnecessary because ZOC is explained in 2.4.1. However, 2.4.1 could be improved slightly by ending it with "See Section 3.1.3 for further discussion."

Finally, a new proposed change for Section 2.4:

Add a new sentence to the end of current paragraph 1: "The ability to move a unit more than once during a turn is especially useful when you want units to swap positions or to use a unit's leadership ability in multiple locations."

Jozrael
Posts: 1034
Joined: June 2nd, 2006, 1:39 pm
Location: NJ, USA.

Re: Proposed additions to Manual

Post by Jozrael » March 27th, 2009, 4:10 pm

@dlp: Incorrect WRT revealing an enemy invisible unit. You cannot undo any move after you acquire any new information or any random variable was involved. If you uncover fog, whether or not an enemy units was there, you cannot undo it. If you are ambushed, you can't undo it. Both of these are 'new information'. You cannot likewise undo attacks or traited recruits since these have random variables (you can, however, undo most untraited recruits. The exception is if their sight range uncovers fog.)

User avatar
Wintermute
Inactive Developer
Posts: 840
Joined: March 23rd, 2006, 10:28 pm
Location: On IRC as "happygrue" at: #wesnoth-mp

Re: Proposed additions to Manual

Post by Wintermute » March 27th, 2009, 6:48 pm

dlp: you can edit your original post to include the new information (perhaps also some of the other suggestions here). That would be easier to see, especially if there are more edits. You can also post saying "I updated the original thread with these changes..." as well, but it is nice to keep it all in 1 post for issues with this much going on.

More corrections or comments from others in the community would be welcome, and any objections to any of these changes. After the dust settles we can look at adding the changes.
"I just started playing this game a few days ago, and I already see some balance issues."

dlp
Posts: 62
Joined: March 1st, 2009, 3:36 pm

Re: Proposed additions to Manual

Post by dlp » March 28th, 2009, 1:42 am

Jozrael wrote:Incorrect WRT revealing an enemy invisible unit. You cannot undo any move after you acquire any new information or any random variable was involved.
I think you misunderstood me. WildPenguin mentioned 2 specific exceptions to the manual's statement that "You can easily undo goto movements at the beginning of your next turn." I was trying to say that the "basic exception" (to the usual ability to undo moves) involves acquiring information about the location of enemy units.

You've noted that uncovering fog is another case (which doesn't involve spotting previously invisible enemy units) for which moves can't be undone. Thanks for pointing this out. I believe shroud works the same way. Are there others?
Wintermute wrote:you can edit your original post to include the new information (perhaps also some of the other suggestions here).
I'd planned to consolidate everything in new post(s) as the need arises, ending with a final proposal, but will follow your suggestion if that's the preferred approach.

I second your invitation to provide additions, corrections, etc., especially if specific wording is included.

dlp
Posts: 62
Joined: March 1st, 2009, 3:36 pm

Re: Proposed additions to Manual

Post by dlp » April 7th, 2009, 8:49 pm

For those who've read this thread before:

Monday April 6: Edited the original post to (1) add a tip to section 1.3.3 re. hovering over right side of game screen to get Help info; (2) correct section 2.2 sentence 2; (3) correct the gold formula in section 2.2.3; and (4) remove the bolded red note re. section 2.5.3 because I've received a private reply saying the sentence in question is correct. No feedback has been posted since my Sunday March 29 edits.

Sunday March 29: Edited the original post to account for all feedback received up to and including my Fri Mar 27, 2009 post. The edits include 3 re. gold, 2 re. section 2.3.3, and a new proposed section (2.5.3), none of which I've presented before. 2.5.3 includes a bolded red note I'd especially appreciate feedback on.

Barring further edits, I'll deem the proposal vetted adequately by the users once it slides to page 3 and seek advice about what to do with it.

User avatar
Turuk
Sithslayer
Posts: 5283
Joined: February 28th, 2007, 8:58 pm
Contact:

Re: Proposed additions to Manual

Post by Turuk » April 8th, 2009, 11:57 am

Given the creation of this forum and the fact that this thread relates to one of it's purposes, this thread was moved here at the request of esr.
Mainline Maintainer: AOI, DM, NR, TB and THoT.
UMC Maintainer: Forward They Cried, A Few Logs, A Few More Logs, Start of the War, and Battle Against Time

User avatar
esr
Retired Developer
Posts: 226
Joined: November 26th, 2006, 6:40 pm
Location: Pennsylvania, USA
Contact:

Re: Proposed additions to Manual

Post by esr » April 8th, 2009, 1:40 pm

Ivanovic pointed me at this wiki page:

http://www.wesnoth.org/wiki/ManualSuggestions

It's a bit of a junkpile - as Ivanovic notes, some of the stuff on it should not be done - but there are a few usable ideas there.

User avatar
Dragonchampion
Posts: 758
Joined: November 6th, 2007, 7:46 pm
Location: North Carolina

Re: Proposed additions to Manual

Post by Dragonchampion » April 8th, 2009, 2:42 pm

What about an actual Wesnoth manual for those Wesnoth-freaks? You know, like the Halo Wars manual, that give descriptions and storyline for the game's background and units? Wesnoth has a good storyline, and you can easily put in "History" and "Unit" descriptions. I know I am the kind of person who just stands there and reads manuals for hours on end, but maybe I'm just wierd. :P
Ehhhh... don't mind me, I'm just the annoying little modder who gets on peoples nerves. I'll just lurk till Someone says my name. :P

Oh, and also Creator of The War Of Terrador

User avatar
Turuk
Sithslayer
Posts: 5283
Joined: February 28th, 2007, 8:58 pm
Contact:

Re: Proposed additions to Manual

Post by Turuk » April 8th, 2009, 2:45 pm

Dragonchampion wrote:Wesnoth has a good storyline, and you can easily put in "History" and "Unit" descriptions. I know I am the kind of person who just stands there and reads manuals for hours on end, but maybe I'm just wierd.
I do the same, but I would think that that line of thinking, if it was to be followed, would be better suited to a thread devoted to developing a story-based unit manual. This would let dlp focus on developing his work here to deal with manual changes about gameplay itself.
Mainline Maintainer: AOI, DM, NR, TB and THoT.
UMC Maintainer: Forward They Cried, A Few Logs, A Few More Logs, Start of the War, and Battle Against Time

dlp
Posts: 62
Joined: March 1st, 2009, 3:36 pm

Re: Proposed additions to Manual

Post by dlp » April 8th, 2009, 9:18 pm

Edited to (1) further correct section 2.2 sentence 2 to reflect the fact that carryover percentage depends on the campaign, as per esr's notes in http://www.catb.org/~esr/wesnoth/campai ... howto.html ; (2) substitute a different example for proposed section 2.5.3 to make the effects of terrain on hit-probabilities clearer.
Last edited by dlp on April 9th, 2009, 7:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Thunderlord
Posts: 12
Joined: March 23rd, 2009, 8:03 pm

Re: Proposed additions to Manual

Post by Thunderlord » April 9th, 2009, 2:28 pm

Would it be possible to make something in the unit description that says something to the effect of "that what most units are like, but here's how the one you examined compares:" ?
This would essentially only apply with special items in campaigns, and units similar to Kaleh in UtBS.
What the... Is my thunderstick working?
*looks down barrel*

dlp
Posts: 62
Joined: March 1st, 2009, 3:36 pm

Re: Proposed additions to Manual

Post by dlp » April 9th, 2009, 3:04 pm

Thunderlord wrote:Would it be possible to make something in the unit description that says something to the effect of "that what most units are like, but here's how the one you examined compares:" ?
This would essentially only apply with special items in campaigns, and units similar to Kaleh in UtBS.
It sounds like you're referring to the in-game Help, rather than the manual. If so, your suggestion may be a good one, but it's off-topic.

Post Reply