Descriptions

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Simons Mith
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Re: Descriptions

Post by Simons Mith » June 3rd, 2009, 4:42 pm

I think unit descriptions should reflect the way units are actually used in-game. So unless second and third-level drakes really are routinely played as suicidally reckless, the current description's wrong and should be changed. So from that viewpoint I have no problems with the new drafts here.
 

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melinath
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Re: Descriptions

Post by melinath » June 9th, 2009, 5:59 am

rat4000 wrote:Blademaster first draft:

There is a saying that all civilized beings share: Red and black for blood and death. Its origin, though not known to many, is simple: When drakes attack a settlement of intelligent creatures, it is typically the Fighters and Clashers that lead the way, since sending its best men to die first does not make much sense for a small tribe. Therefore, when the best warriors in the race, the Blademasters, the Enforcers and the feared Wardens, are heading the charge, this means that a drake chieftain has succeeded in gathering an army which is certain of its invincibility - an idea which is in itself frightening. Of those, the Blademasters, the fastest fighters in the race, are always the first to be seen.

And In the red and black armour that is the mark of their caste, with their great wings and enormous size, they are truly a terrible sight. As large as a fully grown troll, masterfully wielding scimitars the size of a man (or claws as long as a man's leg) and exhaling great columns of fire, they are the match of the best-trained swordsmen of all other races. None but a fool would willingly face them.
A few things, partially suggestions and partially thoughts:
1. I agree with Simons Mith. Descriptions should reflect in-game use. If you choose to stick to that principle, it may be best to eliminate all references to tactics/strategy, except in some obvious cases like using healers to heal or something.
2. I like the second paragraph a lot better than the first one. When I look at the description of a unit, I want to see something about that unit. The long introduction is distracting. However:
3. the imagery is much more original and interesting in the first paragraph. The second paragraph is kind of a repetition of the previous unit descriptions. Mostly, that's ok, since there's a clear improvement over those units, but "None but a fool would willingly face them" is what we already said about the level one unit... so it's kind of redundant that it also applies to the level 3 unit. In addition, the way it's said in the level 1 unit desc is much better!

Try, for a second draft, removing the first paragraph completely and cutting the last line, then bringing in some of the imagery and characterization from the first paragraph into the second... something like:
Blademasters are marked by their red and black armour, symbolic of the blood and death they bring when they strike.

((P.S. Small language note: "with their enormous size" sounds very odd.))

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Araja
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Re: Descriptions

Post by Araja » June 9th, 2009, 2:52 pm

melinath wrote:I agree with Simons Mith. Descriptions should reflect in-game use. If you choose to stick to that principle, it may be best to eliminate all references to tactics/strategy, except in some obvious cases like using healers to heal or something
Yeah, who needs storyline or a believable world or a backdrop or..anything?
After all, one shot pointless battles are the heart of Wesnoth! :D

Nah, I still prefer my way, and sorry for the sarcasm but it's very useful.

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Simons Mith
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Re: Descriptions

Post by Simons Mith » June 9th, 2009, 5:06 pm

Okay, how about writing up the Dwarvish Ulfserkers as hippie pacifists? I'd like to see that :-)
 

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Re: Descriptions

Post by Turuk » June 9th, 2009, 5:20 pm

Except he said that he preferred more background, not that he wanted to embrace opposite day.
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Araja
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Re: Descriptions

Post by Araja » June 9th, 2009, 6:10 pm

Simons Mith wrote:Okay, how about writing up the Dwarvish Ulfserkers as hippie pacifists? I'd like to see that :-)
What on earth are you talking about... :roll:

axelotl
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Re: Descriptions

Post by axelotl » June 14th, 2009, 7:53 pm

Simons Mith wrote:Okay, how about writing up the Dwarvish Ulfserkers as hippie pacifists? I'd like to see that :-)
Having forsworn forever the use of firearms, Dwarvish Ulfserkers are renowned for their unique approach to conflict management. Never allowing a dispute to fester, the effectiveness of their energetic hands-on approach renders many a Dark Adept speechless.
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melinath
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Re: Descriptions

Post by melinath » June 14th, 2009, 10:52 pm

Araja wrote:Yeah, who needs storyline or a believable world or a backdrop or..anything?
After all, one shot pointless battles are the heart of Wesnoth! :D

Nah, I still prefer my way, and sorry for the sarcasm but it's very useful.
Backdrop is great, and I don't mean to say otherwise. I am just of the position that backdrop should agree with in-game use. If it doesn't, it should be removed. Note that these examples are fictitious/written rather spontaneously. They are not meant to be literary masterpieces and should not be critiqued, just read for the principles they represent.

Backdrop 1:
Liches are evil. vs. Liches are often/usually evil.
If liches are always evil in-game, the description of liches should reflect that. If you allow the possibility (in-game) that a lich can be good, that should be reflected in the description as well. This is one side of the picture: allowing possibilities.

Backdrop 2:
The elvish druids are part of a secret sect of fighters that train in the forest. As such, they are the main infantry of the elven army.
If elvish druids can be used as main melee fighters, this doesn't necessarily mean that their description should portray them as such. It's completely strategically unsound and would cause you to die. This is the other side: there are some possibilities we don't have to offer the player, even if this description would make wonderful awesome backdrop! I know this example is a bit exaggerated, but it's useful to do so for clarity.

Backdrop 3:
The elvish druids care so much about their fellow soldiers that they rush out to the front lines, risking life and limb to the ferocious attacks of the enemy in order to heal their comrades.
This backdrop, by my thinking, also brings a bit of the real world to the elven druids. However, I wouldn't say it makes a good description, because elvish druids often/usually hang behind the front lines so they don't die. Because of the way healing works, you don't even have the option of rushing your druid over to a unit, healing it, and then letting the druid die, i.e. the druid and the unit would likely both die before healing would take place. This is more the kind of thing I was suggesting should be avoided.

My comment to this effect was, on reflection, not really applicable to this draft, because there aren't any particularly odd tactical statements made. Faster unit=seen sooner. Perhaps change "always the first to be seen" to "often/usually the first to be seen".

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Araja
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Re: Descriptions

Post by Araja » June 15th, 2009, 3:51 pm

I'm not saying that the unit should mould itself around the description, I'm saying that the descriptions should reflect it's role in world AND battle, not just one of them.

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melinath
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Re: Descriptions

Post by melinath » June 15th, 2009, 4:12 pm

Then I guess we agree. Yay!

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A Guy
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Re: Descriptions

Post by A Guy » June 18th, 2009, 2:22 pm

I disagree about the part of the Drake Fighter description that says only the foolish would willingly face them - a horseman can easily bring one down.
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The1exile
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Re: Descriptions

Post by The1exile » June 21st, 2009, 8:46 pm

Araja wrote:What on earth are you talking about... :roll:
I think he's referring to your phrase "sorry for the sarcasm but it's very useful." Specifically, since Zerks aren't used as hippie flower arrangers, no matter how great a description of this role is written for them, it doesn't mean it should be used.
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jhanlon
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Re: Descriptions

Post by jhanlon » June 23rd, 2009, 8:33 pm

Here's a try at the Highwayman description. (I'm new here, just trying my hand at something) The current description is "Armed with heavy mace, Highwaymen are the last people you want to meet on a deserted road late at night." That seems a little short. So how about this. Feel free to critique.

" The highwayman's strength and skill in wielding his heavy mace, the fruit of by long hours of waiting near lonely roads late at night, stand him in good stead against even the better armed of travelers. The greater rewards gained from the purses and gear of such make him bold enough to attack where thugs and most rogues would merely seek to remain hidden. These men are feared by law abiding citizens, especially those who must make journeys at hours when they would rather be safe in bed."

I did take a few phrases from the original, but the rest was mine. Hope you like it. :)

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melinath
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Re: Descriptions

Post by melinath » June 23rd, 2009, 9:34 pm

Thanks for posting the original. Makes the comparison easier. Yours is better, but a bit redundant.
Redundancy wrote:The highwayman's strength and skill in wielding his heavy mace, the fruit of by long hours of waiting near lonely roads late at night, stand him in good stead against even the better armed of travelers. The greater rewards gained from the purses and gear of such make him bold enough to attack where thugs and most rogues would merely seek to remain hidden. These men are feared by law abiding citizens, especially those who must make journeys at hours when they would rather be safe in bed.
Also, the sentence structure is not varied. Each sentence starts with noun verb, and the letters "The". It would make the whole description better to have a bit more variation. For example, the first sentence could read something like "Long hours of waiting near lonely roads have honed the highwayman's skill in wielding his heavy mace (etc.)"

Note: Technically, this thread was rat4000s thread to post his drake descriptions. The title of the thread was a bit general. Are you around, rat4000? Is this development okay? Or should this topic be split?

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Turuk
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Re: Descriptions

Post by Turuk » June 23rd, 2009, 10:43 pm

It will stay here, as it is a description and this thread has covered a variety of things description-related since the inception.
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