Bat descriptions

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

Moderators: Forum Moderators, Developers

User avatar
jhanlon
Posts: 20
Joined: June 22nd, 2009, 6:59 pm

Bat descriptions

Post by jhanlon » July 20th, 2009, 1:13 pm

I noticed the other day that, out of the many unit descriptions, the bats were some of the most in need of a redo. I hope to cover that problem in this thread. I've written a vampire bat description which I'm posting here for comment. I'm happy with anybody's critiques.

This is the older version:
"Vampire bats are flying beasts that feed on the blood of other creatures. While their fangs are not very powerful, the health of victims is drained away along with their blood, and given to the Bats."

This is my version:
" In human lore, vampire bats have always been associated with fear and darkness. Living mostly in caves and holes, away from the light of the sun, bats are most fearsome when they can put their special tactics to use. Swooping in, and flapping their wings in the faces of their adversaries, they bite with their long fangs at the largest blood vessels, sucking as much blood as they can, and then swooping away before the enemy can strike back. The bats' systems use the energy to heal and reinvigorate themselves in mere seconds, so that a vampire often comes out of an encounter no worse then before."

It can probably use some work. Hope It's a good start though. :)

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

Re: Bat descriptions

Post by Turuk » July 20th, 2009, 2:02 pm

jhanlon wrote:Swooping in, and flapping their wings in the faces of their adversaries, they bite with their long fangs at the largest blood vessels, sucking as much blood as they can, and then swooping away before the enemy can strike back.
Hmm, this doesn't quite make sense because there are instances where an enemy will strike back as long as they have a melee attack, and also, if the bat is sucking long enough to get blood out, it will be there long enough for the enemy to strike back.
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
The1exile
Posts: 152
Joined: December 6th, 2008, 12:17 pm

Re: Bat descriptions

Post by The1exile » July 20th, 2009, 2:10 pm

Yeah, I think the word "system" seems a bit out of place, too. Try something like this, maybe:

"In human lore, vampire bats have long been associated with fear and darkness. Living mostly in caves and holes, away from the light of the sun, bats, apparently weak, can be fearsome adversaries. Swooping and flapping their wings in the faces of their victims, they bite at the largest blood vessels, sucking as much blood as they can, and then flying away before the enemy can strike back. The blood and energy they drain is also used to replenish the health of the bats, which often means they leave an encounter unharmed."
Rubies for passion, rubies for revenge.

ODDity
Posts: 4
Joined: July 6th, 2009, 9:06 am

Re: Bat descriptions

Post by ODDity » July 20th, 2009, 2:29 pm

jhanlon wrote:<Snip> so that a vampire often comes out of an encounter no worse then before."

It can probably use some work. Hope It's a good start though. :)
It's "than" - no worse than before.

Sorry but I see this mistake all over the place and can't understand how people get "then" and "than" mixed up.

I do like the thought you've put in to overhauling the bats' description though. Good luck with it :)

User avatar
Skrim
Posts: 312
Joined: June 10th, 2009, 7:19 am

Re: Bat descriptions

Post by Skrim » July 20th, 2009, 2:43 pm

The1exile wrote:Try something like this, maybe:
Hmm... I think the ideas of "writing by committee" and "posting alternative versions" have been discussed before.

So I'll just give some suggestions:
" In human lore, vampire bats have always been associated with fear and darkness. Living mostly in caves and holes, away from the light of the sun, {bats are most fearsome when they can put their special tactics to use}. [Swooping in, and flapping their wings in the faces of their adversaries,] (they bite with their long fangs at the largest blood vessels, sucking as much blood as they can), and then swooping away before the enemy can strike back. / The bats' systems use the energy to heal and reinvigorate themselves in mere seconds, so that a vampire often comes out of an encounter no worse then before. / "
{} = I don't think this bit sounds right. Bats are non-sentient beings; they can't have 'tactics' as such.

I would suggest "bats may appear to be weak, but are nevertheless effective at harassing unwary adversaries".
This fits the unit's role more closely, as bats usually are limited to scouting, skirmishing and annoying enemies rather than direct combat(which they are utterly unsuited to).


[] = This bit is unnecessary flab, and doesn't convey any useful information.

I would suggest "Swooping in swiftly, out of the darkness,". They do have awesome mobility, and have a tendency of flying in out of apparently nowhere.


() = This bit is too long-winded and wordy, IMO. It could be cleaned up:
"they bite their victims with sharp fangs, aiming for the largest blood vessels, and sucking as much blood as they can". The next bit about swooping away before the enemy can hit back is erroneous. Any unit with a melee attack will try to hit back, as mentioned by Turuk.


// = "Systems" doesn't sound right. You could say something about the bat nourishing itself with the blood, so as to help heal whatever wounds it took during the encounter.

User avatar
jhanlon
Posts: 20
Joined: June 22nd, 2009, 6:59 pm

Re: Bat descriptions

Post by jhanlon » July 20th, 2009, 3:10 pm

Thanks for all the comments. I Hope this sounds better. I'm still not sure of a better way to explain the bats' drain capability.

" In human lore, vampire bats have always been associated with fear and darkness. Living in caves and holes, and hiding from the sun's light, bats are often considered as too weak to be effectual fighters. However, when in combat, their great agility and sharp fangs make them dangerous adversaries. They usually target the most prominent veins on any exposed part of their enemies, trying to suck a mouthful of blood, though this may sometimes cost them a blow in return. This extra nourishment is used to heal and invigorate the bats, so that they often come out of combat no worse than they went in. Vampires cannot match the size and strength of most units, however, and so are more often deployed as scouts."

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

Re: Bat descriptions

Post by Turuk » July 20th, 2009, 3:25 pm

"In human lore, vampire bats have always been associated with fear and darkness. Living in caves and holes, and hiding from the sun's light, bats are often considered as too weak to be effectual fighters. However, when in combat, their great agility and sharp fangs make them dangerous adversaries. They usually target the most prominent veins on any exposed part of their enemies trying (in an attempt) to suck a mouthful of blood, though this may sometimes cost them a blow in return. This extra nourishment is used to invigorate the bats, so that they often come out of combat no worse than they went in (the vitae of the enemy healing their wounds). Vampires cannot match the size and strength of most units, however, and so are more often deployed as scouts."

Bold would be removed as those words are unnecessary additions, () is what is replaced to have it make sense. Thus it would read:

"In human lore, vampire bats have always been associated with fear and darkness. Living in caves and holes, hiding from the sun's light, bats are often considered too weak to be effectual fighters. However, when in combat, their great agility and sharp fangs make them dangerous adversaries. They target the most prominent veins on any exposed part of their enemies in an attempt to suck a mouthful of blood, though this may cost them a blow in return. This extra nourishment is used to invigorate the bats, the vitae of the enemy healing their wounds. Vampires cannot match the size and strength of most units, and so are more often deployed as scouts."
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
melinath
Posts: 1298
Joined: May 20th, 2009, 7:42 am

Re: Bat descriptions

Post by melinath » July 20th, 2009, 4:07 pm

On a lore note, the Wesfolk of the Green Isle are familiar with vampire bats; their Lords fight using them. One could try to argue that the Wesfolk are also associated with fear and darkness, but they are also human.

Of course, descriptions should likely be based in a more neutral time, like HttT, so it's fine to say that they are associated with blah blah in human lore, but not that they always were.

As an alternative suggestion, you could completely remove the first sentence and the description would still be complete.

If you want some fun fluff to put in there so you don't have to stick purely to what the unit's used for: Vampire bats can be used as familiars for Lichs. They then scout for their masters and otherwise seem to have a special connection with them. This is documented in TRoW, if you want to read up on examples of use. I should add that to the lore documentation... It's unclear whether the bat is telepathically connected with the lich or whether it flies back and they communicate verbally.

It's great to see you doing this! Good luck! This description can definitely become good enough to knock the other one out of the water, with some more work.
Skrim wrote:
The1exile wrote:Try something like this, maybe:
Hmm... I think the ideas of "writing by committee" and "posting alternative versions" have been discussed before.
Indeed. It's also a lot less helpful (for me, at least) to be given a rewrite than to get critique on why something should be changed.

lotsofphil
Posts: 128
Joined: March 27th, 2009, 4:45 pm

Re: Bat descriptions

Post by lotsofphil » July 20th, 2009, 6:56 pm

They target the most prominent veins on any exposed part of their enemies in an attempt to suck a mouthful of blood, though this may cost them a blow in return.
The bolded part sounds like video-game-ization to me (or whatever the term is). It sounds like you are describing their stats. Along the same lines of "able to hit several times per turn", etc.

User avatar
jhanlon
Posts: 20
Joined: June 22nd, 2009, 6:59 pm

Re: Bat descriptions

Post by jhanlon » August 3rd, 2009, 2:00 pm

Another update.
Not many changes this time, just fixing some things that people pointed out.

"In human lore, vampire bats are often associated with fear and darkness. Living in caves and holes, hiding from the sun's light, bats are often considered too weak to be effectual fighters. However, when in combat, their great agility and sharp fangs make them dangerous adversaries. They target the most prominent veins on their enemies, attempting to suck a mouthful of blood, though this may cost them a blow in return. This extra nourishment is used to heal and invigorate the bats, their wounds being cured by the enemy's blood. Vampires, despite their effective fighting capabilities, cannot match the size and strength of most units, and so are more often deployed as scouts."

melinath: I agree, it is more helpful to have something commented on, rather than rewritten for me. I changed "have always been," to "are often," to account for the wesfolk. I doubt that more than a "privileged" few of the large population of vampire bats were used as familiars. :wink:

lotsofphil: I don't think that "a blow in return" is related to the video-game kind of turn. It would probably have made perfect sense to people before video-games were invented. "Return," as in the return, in this case, of a blow, is more an extension of the word turn, as in, "a good (or a bad) turn"
towards someone.

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

Re: Bat descriptions

Post by Turuk » August 3rd, 2009, 2:09 pm

jhanlon wrote:"In human lore, vampire bats are often associated with fear and darkness. Living in caves and holes, hiding from the sun's light, bats are often considered too weak to be effectual fighters. However, when in combat, their great agility and sharp fangs make them dangerous adversaries. They target the most prominent veins on their enemies, attempting to suck a mouthful of blood, though this may cost them a blow in return. This extra nourishment is used to heal and invigorate the bats, their wounds being cured by the enemy's blood. Vampires, despite their effective fighting capabilities, cannot match the size and strength of most units, and so are more often deployed as scouts."
I think the reference to vampires is unnecessary, given that it is called a vampire bat because it sucks blood, not because each bat is really a vampire. It's sort of confusing because it seems as if you are talking about another unit.
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
jhanlon
Posts: 20
Joined: June 22nd, 2009, 6:59 pm

Re: Bat descriptions

Post by jhanlon » August 3rd, 2009, 2:21 pm

Maybe it should just be "Despite their effective fighting capabilities, they cannot match the size and strength of most units, and so are more often deployed as scouts."

Thus:

"In human lore, vampire bats are often associated with fear and darkness. Living in caves and holes, hiding from the sun's light, bats are often considered too weak to be effectual fighters. However, when in combat, their great agility and sharp fangs make them dangerous adversaries. They target the most prominent veins on their enemies, attempting to suck a mouthful of blood, though this may cost them a blow in return. This extra nourishment is used to heal and invigorate the bats, their wounds being cured by the enemy's blood. Despite their effective fighting capabilities, they cannot match the size and strength of most units, and so are more often deployed as scouts."

User avatar
thespaceinvader
Retired Art Director
Posts: 8414
Joined: August 25th, 2007, 10:12 am
Location: Oxford, UK
Contact:

Re: Bat descriptions

Post by thespaceinvader » August 3rd, 2009, 2:23 pm

A question springs to mind: given the lack of vampires in Wesnoth, can we justify calling them Vampire Bats. Wouldn't a rename to just 'Bat' make more sense?
http://thespaceinvader.co.uk | http://thespaceinvader.deviantart.com
Back to work. Current projects: Catching up on commits. Picking Meridia back up. Sprite animations, many and varied.

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

Re: Bat descriptions

Post by Turuk » August 3rd, 2009, 2:28 pm

thespaceinvader wrote:A question springs to mind: given the lack of vampires in Wesnoth, can we justify calling them Vampire Bats. Wouldn't a rename to just 'Bat' make more sense?
A good point, though there is an animal called a vampire bat and there are no vampires in our world either. ;)
jhanlon wrote:"In human lore, vampire bats are often associated with fear and darkness. Living in caves and holes, hiding from the sun's light, bats are often considered too weak to be effectual fighters. However, when in combat, their great agility and sharp fangs make them dangerous adversaries. They target the most prominent veins on their enemies, attempting to suck a mouthful of blood, though this may cost them a blow in return. This extra nourishment is used to heal and invigorate the bats, their wounds being cured by the enemy's blood. Despite their effective fighting capabilities, they cannot match the size and strength of most units, and so are more often deployed as scouts."
Something has been striking me as odd about this description, and it finally hit me. There's a number of seemingly contradictory statements in use. Note the bolded parts of the text. It reads as they are too weak to be effectual fighters, yet they are dangerous adversaries, and then you state that they do in fact have effective fighting capabilities despite what was said earlier, yet they are more often deployed as scouts, which means that their capabilities must not be that terribly great.
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
The1exile
Posts: 152
Joined: December 6th, 2008, 12:17 pm

Re: Bat descriptions

Post by The1exile » August 3rd, 2009, 2:29 pm

I think we only call them vampire bats to a) differentiate them from normal bats which we just don't pay attention to and b) avoid calling them something like blood-sucking bats.
Rubies for passion, rubies for revenge.

Post Reply