Descriptions

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Turuk
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Re: Descriptions

Post by Turuk » May 26th, 2009, 11:24 pm

rat4000 wrote:1: it is a matter of taste whether you want it simple or not. I'm fine with both, honestly; I just (logically) preferred my version.
Yes, but there's a difference between simplicity written to be that way, and simplicity as the outcome of writing.
rat4000 wrote:2: no description is an island. The whole text about the orcish race makes them not-really-trained brutes. Much better trained than that means (those things are always subjective; a disclaimer for future posts: it's all My opinion) being as good as or better than a spearman (because these get basic training, according to their description, which is only marginally better than no training at all) and as good as an elf (they don't get much training either, but are naturals at everything). You can make that kind of a point for all races, I think.
Again, my point was that it could indeed be seen as relevant to how the user might perceive it, so it's better to leave out any references to one faction so that it may apply to all of them.
rat4000 wrote:3: I'm a young individual myself, so that's understandable. You're probably closer to the target age than me, so I guess you're right on that one.
Perhaps, but I do not think the age of the writer precludes them from contributing. It's the age of the writer implied by the words.

I doubt I am as old as you think I am, but that's of no consequence.
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melinath
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Re: Descriptions

Post by melinath » May 26th, 2009, 11:26 pm

TSI: Ask and ye shall receive.

Proposed revision:
Fighter:
These are the main infantry of the drakes. The swiftest fighters in any race, they are able to traverse even the most difficult terrain with ease, striking one moment and sailing out of reach the next. Faced with the drake fighter's fearsome claws and natural ability to breathe fire, the prudent fighter chooses the better part of valor. (British or American spelling norms?) The brave and foolish, who dare to remain, will soon curse their decision as their swords slide ineffectively on hard scales. The drake's fragile wings, though, are a prime target for the spears and arrows of other races.



No color please, thank you.

EDIT:: Sorry.

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Re: Descriptions

Post by AI » May 27th, 2009, 1:38 am

You still insist on the wings being the reason for their pierce weakness, this is not the case.

The idea is that the drakes have hard scales that will block impact and blade, but arrows and spears can find the gaps between them.

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Turuk
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Re: Descriptions

Post by Turuk » May 27th, 2009, 2:09 am

AI wrote:The idea is that the drakes have hard scales that will block impact and blade, but arrows and spears can find the gaps between them.
That is what I tried to note with my change of the sentence.
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Re: Descriptions

Post by melinath » May 27th, 2009, 4:48 am

AI wrote:You still insist on the wings being the reason for their pierce weakness, this is not the case.
I don't insist on anything! This is the FIRST time I've cited the wings as the weakness. If you must use such a hostile tone, check to make sure it's justified (i.e. someone who, despite being told nicely five times that the wings are not the reason for the pierce weakness, still doesn't get it - not someone who, for the first time in a thread, is trying out a different way of describing a unit that has not been explicitly stated as wrong.)
((EDIT:: Cough cough. Turuk's right. This paragraph may have been a bit of an overreaction. I'll try to be less sensitive in the future.))

That being said, proposed revision take 2:
Fighter:
These are the main infantry of the drakes. The swiftest fighters in any race, they are able to traverse even the most difficult terrain with ease, striking one moment and sailing out of reach the next. Faced with the drake fighter's fearsome claws and natural ability to breathe fire, the prudent swordsman chooses the better part of valor; the brave and foolish, who dare to remain, will soon curse their decision as their blades slide ineffectively on hard scales. Those who use arrows and spears, though, will find that their points easily slide past the drake's natural defenses into the flesh beneath.

EDIT::
Explanation:
Last edited by melinath on May 27th, 2009, 2:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Descriptions

Post by rat4000 » May 27th, 2009, 11:54 am

I can agree with that last version if no one has problems with it and if we somehow note that it's not their natural claws but rather artificial ones.

Also, AI, what's with the clasher? Why doesn't he have pierce weakness? Is it different scales or heavier armour? We need to work that into his description somehow.

First draft of the Warrior, critics welcome once again:
For drakes, fighting means gaining social status and social status means fighting more and harder. Together, these facts make it easy (and accepted, even expected) for a drake to move into an eternal cycle of violence with death as the only exit.

The Warriors do that willingly. They are fighters who, by staying alive for longer than their comrades and winning enough battles, have gained the right to better weaponry and a greater respect from other drakes. They're in the middle of the social ladder and the top is close but difficult to climb: they have to become a Blademaster, and the only way to do this is to defeat one in combat. Thus, they train, constantly, and take every opportunity for a fight that they see. Even their fire has become stronger, as though their ambition fuels it.

Fast, deadly and reckless fighters, they are the death of any who dare to attack the drakes.


I'm not really all that happy with it, be merciless ;)

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Turuk
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Re: Descriptions

Post by Turuk » May 27th, 2009, 12:21 pm

melinath wrote:I don't insist on anything! This is the FIRST time I've cited the wings as the weakness. If you must use such a hostile tone, check to make sure it's justified (i.e. someone who, despite being told nicely five times that the wings are not the reason for the pierce weakness, still doesn't get it - not someone who, for the first time in a thread, is trying out a different way of describing a unit that has not been explicitly stated as wrong.)
Don't make assumptions on others, so before you issue a retort, make sure that it is justified. You have deemed to perceive his tone as hostile, when the "you" could be a general you for all those in the thread making that error.


rat4000 wrote:Also, AI, what's with the clasher? Why doesn't he have pierce weakness? Is it different scales or heavier armour? We need to work that into his description somehow.
If you read the current description, it tells you as much.
In their encounters with lesser races, they discovered that their natural size and strength were themselves powerful weapons, and when combined with the armament worn by this caste, the resulting warriors lack some of the typical weaknesses of their kind, such as the strong vulnerability to spears and arrows.
rat4000 wrote:For drakes, fighting means gaining social status and social status means fighting more and harder. Together, these facts make it easy (and accepted, even expected) for a drake to move into an eternal cycle of violence with death as the only exit.
Fighting more and harder seems a bit awkward, and I would try to avoid putting anything in parentheses in a description.
rat4000 wrote:The Warriors do that willingly. They are fighters who, by staying alive for longer than their comrades and winning enough battles, have gained the right to better weaponry and a greater respect from other drakes.
Staying alive and winning battles seems a bit of a given, as the alternative would be a dead drake. Perhaps "Fighters who have proven their proven their proficiency on the battlefield gain the right to better weaponry and the respect of their brethren."
rat4000 wrote:They're in the middle of the social ladder and the top is close but difficult to climb: they have to become a Blademaster, and the only way to do this is to defeat one in combat. Thus, they train, constantly, and take every opportunity for a fight that they see. Even their fire has become stronger, as though their ambition fuels it.
"In the middle of drake hierarchy, these Warriors must beat a Blademaster to become one themselves. They train constantly to prepare for that challenge, and can be found leading the charge into battle to hone their skills. In reflection of their intense physical training, the Warrior has an increased lung capacity that makes his inner fire burn more intensely, as though it echoes their burning ambition."
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Re: Descriptions

Post by rat4000 » May 27th, 2009, 2:07 pm

The race description says that the fire is magical.

Good catch on me not having read the clasher description recently :oops:

I agree with the change to the second quote (the staying alive thing).

"And social status means fighting more. Together, these facts make it easy and even expected to...." <- that OK?

And... that's everything you didn't like? :D

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Re: Descriptions

Post by Turuk » May 27th, 2009, 2:21 pm

rat4000 wrote:The race description says that the fire is magical.
True, I was going off of this part, where the actual source is somewhat "mysterious."
Drakes are inherently magical creatures, with a mysterious internal fire fueling their very lives.

New Edit:

In drake society, a drake's status in the hierarchy is reflected by their skill in battle. Thus, many drakes find themselves drawn to battle as a way of life, with only death as their release.

Warriors are those fighters who have proven their proven their proficiency on the battlefield gain the right to better weaponry and the respect of their brethren. In the middle of drake hierarchy, these Warriors must beat a Blademaster to become one themselves. They train constantly to prepare for that challenge, and can be found leading the charge into battle to hone their skills. Even their inner fire has become stronger, as though their ambition fuels it.
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Re: Descriptions

Post by AI » May 27th, 2009, 2:33 pm

melinath wrote:
AI wrote:You still insist on the wings being the reason for their pierce weakness, this is not the case.
I don't insist on anything! This is the FIRST time I've cited the wings as the weakness. If you must use such a hostile tone, check to make sure it's justified (i.e. someone who, despite being told nicely five times that the wings are not the reason for the pierce weakness, still doesn't get it - not someone who, for the first time in a thread, is trying out a different way of describing a unit that has not been explicitly stated as wrong.)
Sorry about that, I sometimes confuse people with black names and no other identifying features. (like avatars or signatures)

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Re: Descriptions

Post by Simons Mith » May 27th, 2009, 3:21 pm

Ah, description-writing by committee. What fun. I'm not going to make any specific comments as this piece is already getting knocked into shape without my input. But I want to make some general points. These points are all IMO; I suppose they shouldn't be treated as official until they've been endorsed by esr or someone:

Don't forget that descriptions aren't isolated. When you write a unit desription, think of it as a sort of template, whch gets built on for higher-level versions of the same unit, and make sure that there is a 'narrative theme' of some kind spanning the unit tree. Taking a shotgun approach to description-writing can result in a set of descriptions which are fine individually, but appear disjointed when read in sequence.

Balance description lengths. i.e. don't write a long screed for a level-1 unit, and then two lines for the level-2.

Units descriptions need to reflect the knowledge of a well-educated Wesnothian familiar with the unit in question. They contain information that is mostly common knowledge. They should be broadly accurate, and they should certainly not contain any significant inaccuracies, but they do not have to be 100% perfectly accurate.

However, do not include any information specific to the world of Wesnoth, as that becomes nonsensical as soon as a unit is used in a different setting.

Never portray a unit as explicitly 'evil' or 'good'. Necromancers, for example, are pretty dodgy characters, but a write-up that said all necromancers were evil could preclude a user-made campaign with a 'good' necromancer in it. Is a 'good' necromancer truly possible? Debatable. But the point is, we don't want the unit description to make it impossible. So in this sort of case, you must always leave at least a little bit of room for doubt.

Length - do watch out for excessive length. Do look at what you've written in-game to see how it's actually displayed. Allow for ability macros being appended to the end of a description, and make sure that what you've written sits reasonably well next to those descriptions without spending too much time going over the same information.

There may be more to follow, but those are the main points that spring to my mind.
 

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Re: Descriptions

Post by rat4000 » May 27th, 2009, 7:16 pm

The two descriptions next to one another, for reference:
Spoiler:
Spoiler:
I have to say that I find the first two sentences considerably better in my version. True, the first one is perhaps a little too long and/or confusing, but you repeat the word "drake" four times and make it a little too simple for my taste (the second part of the second sentence sounds too dramatic compared to the first; in my version it's all dramatic). Admittably, the parentheses are a little too much and will be cut.

"The warriors do that willingly" I can take or leave, it's all the same for me: in favour of keeping things shorter, we can cut it.

The second sentence of my second paragraph is too heavy; yours is perfect with perhaps a little change of word order to make it read more fluently.

The last two sentences of your second paragraph are better than my end, and the last line of my version is superfluous.

Your third sentence we can leave like that, but I'd rather have it longer because it isn't immediately clear whether they're in the middle of drake society (living amid drakes and with their hierarchy) or in the middle of the social ladder.

Version which I consider to contain the best of the currently existing ones:
A drake gains social status through fighting; this is also the one way keeping one's high social status. This means that it is easy for a drake to move into an eternal cycle of violence with death as the only exit.

The Warriors do that willingly. They are fighters who have proven their proven their proficiency on the battlefield, gaining the right to better weaponry and the respect of their brethren. They're in the middle of the social ladder; the only way up is to become a Blademaster. To do that, however, they must defeat one in combat. They train constantly to prepare for that challenge, and can be found leading the charge into battle to hone their skills. Even their inner fire has become stronger, as though their ambition fuels it.

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Re: Descriptions

Post by Simons Mith » May 27th, 2009, 9:38 pm

Missing word in first sentence:

A drake gains social status through fighting; this is also the one way [of] keeping one's high social status.

I tried it in-game, and it does look about 40% too long to me. 70 words or so looks OK; 130 is too much of a text block. Screen grab attached.
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Drake Warrior in-game description
Drake Warrior in-game description
Drake_Warrior.png (147.88 KiB) Viewed 1590 times
 

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Re: Descriptions

Post by thespaceinvader » May 27th, 2009, 10:28 pm

MMhmm - space it out. I found when writing my own unit descriptions a while back that talking about other levels in the description for the current one is asking for trouble - there just isn't enough space. You need to be pithy and concise.
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Re: Descriptions

Post by melinath » May 27th, 2009, 11:56 pm

Perhaps remove the social ladder/Blademaster thing? After all, it's extremely easy to become a blademaster without killing one. In fact, it's very unusual (in-game) for a drake to kill a blademaster and thereby become one. This would also take the word count down by 27, which is a good chunk.

Also, I think we can recombine the first four sentences.

Drake Warriors know that fighting is the only way of keeping status in their society. They have proven their proficiency in the endless cycle of battle, gaining the respect of their brethren and the right to better weaponry. Yet still they strive for more, and their inner fire, as if stoked by their ambition, has become hotter.

"has become hotter" is extremely awkward, but I need to sleep now. Very badly.

@Al: Tsokay. I overreacted a bit. Sorry.

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