Revising the HttT Text & Dialogue

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zookeeper
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Re: Revising the HttT Text & Dialogue

Post by zookeeper »

vodot wrote:Planning for S10: Gryphon Mountain
While the feedback for S9 comes in, I need to start planning for S10. The writing and mechanics of Gryphon Mountain are just silly; if I have to defend that statement with details, I will. Hopefully it was intentional, but either way, it is broken.

What I propose is that we:

1. Fix the Gryphon aggro.
Prevent them from attacking Konrad until he either:
- Enters the nest area, or
- Attacks a gryphon (counterattacks do not count)

2. Make the Gryphons more intelligent
Have them actively defend the nest area and mother gryphon, and attack a unit that takes the eggs.

3. Make the "eggs" objective require reaching the nest first, not slaying the mother gryphon
Agreed on all counts.
vodot wrote:4. Rework the dialogue
Make it the loyalists that are trying to slay/enslave the gryphons and steal the eggs, and let the player decide how much he wants to intervene. Or even better: don't tell the player much about what the loyalists are doing, and let him figure it out.
If it's easier to justify the loyalist presence and them trying to get the eggs as well that way, then sure, we can do that. It seems like quite a coincidence, but I suppose that's not a big problem. Maybe they were playing it safe and taking their time until competition shows up.
vodot wrote:5. On Normal and Hard, require that the unit that took the eggs survive the scenario to benefit from them later.
Works for me; just needs an event which explains that the eggs were broken in the fighting when the unit carrying them dies.
vodot wrote:6. Add consequences for S10 choices.
Have the Gryphons intervene in S11 per the below:
  • A. Konrad attacks gryphons, takes eggs
    - Surviving +2 Gryphons attack everybody in S11, gryphon riders later

    B. Konrad attacks gryphons, doesn't take eggs
    - Surviving Gryphons attack everybody in S11, no gryphon riders later.

    C. Konrad attacks no gryphons, takes the eggs
    - No Gryphons in S11, gryphon riders later

    D. Konrad attacks no gryphons, doesn't take eggs
    - Surviving +2 Gryphons attack loyalists in S11
I'm sympathetic towards the idea in general, but making hostile gryphons appear in S11 would be pretty difficult to balance without changing the scenario completely: firstly, to prevent the gryphons from being a massive tomato surprise, they need to be spawned immediately at the start of the scenario. Secondly, they need to be aggressive and few enough in numbers so that the player can dispatch most of them before having Konrad attempt to cross the ford, because it's just no fun trying to shield land units in water from gryphon assassination. So I don't really see a way to make them be more than free XP during the first couple of turns.

D would be a nice surprise, although the loyalists won't usually catch up to you anyway, so the gryphons attacking them doesn't really give you any concrete benefit. However, if you change it so that by not attacking, not taking the eggs and also preventing the loyalists from getting them you've befriended the gryphons, they could specifically arrive to shield you from both the loyalists and the sea monsters, which would be much more useful. Also they could make an appearance in one of the final scenarios as an added bonus.

In fact there's an old note in the easter egg listing about it, but it's never been completed:
24_Battle_for_Wesnoth.cfg wrote:- if you are a pacifist towards the gryphons on Gryphon Mountain (including not getting the eggs), they assist you in battle when you return to Wesnoth > not finished yet
vodot wrote:If Loyalists get the eggs, and if the unit that got them survives the scenario (...not likely, given the AI), spawn loyalist gryphon riders in S24.
Yes, the riders are dwarves... Asheviere is holding their families hostage.
Well, I think that actually would sound somewhat contrived since dwarves ought to be the last ones to submit to being ransomed. Maybe rather have them simply be from a clan allied with her? There ought to be some smaller clans of dwarves living south of the Great River that wouldn't mind allying with her as long as it's profitable.

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tr0ll
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Re: Revising the HttT Text & Dialogue

Post by tr0ll »

zookeeper wrote:
vodot wrote:4. Rework the dialogue
Make it the loyalists that are trying to slay/enslave the gryphons and steal the eggs, and let the player decide how much he wants to intervene. Or even better: don't tell the player much about what the loyalists are doing, and let him figure it out.
If it's easier to justify the loyalist presence and them trying to get the eggs as well that way, then sure, we can do that. It seems like quite a coincidence, but I suppose that's not a big problem. Maybe they were playing it safe and taking their time until competition shows up.
I like it! Konrad and crew encounter a Loyalist research project. (Possible option: If he sacks the researchers base (or perhaps frees a captured local) he gets the secret of gryphon riding.) Would Konrad's main mission still be to get to the other end of the map? On harder difficulties, you could have a Loyalist pursuit army show up at the south end after a certain number of turns.

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Re: Revising the HttT Text & Dialogue

Post by vodot »

All right, I'm at about 90% on S10. Took a vacation from writing for the past week. Here's an explanation of the new results/consequences table. This is brainstorming only.
zookeeper wrote:I'm sympathetic towards the idea in general, but making hostile gryphons appear in S11 would be pretty difficult to balance without changing the scenario completely: firstly, to prevent the gryphons from being a massive tomato surprise, they need to be spawned immediately at the start of the scenario. Secondly, they need to be aggressive and few enough in numbers so that the player can dispatch most of them before having Konrad attempt to cross the ford, because it's just no fun trying to shield land units in water from gryphon assassination. So I don't really see a way to make them be more than free XP during the first couple of turns.
Agreed.
Scenario changes:
1. A side gets the eggs by stepping on the nest, not by killing the mother gryphon. If the unit that took the eggs is later destroyed, neither side gets the eggs.
2. Gryphons do not aggro until approached (adjacent), attacked (counter attacks do not count), or the eggs are taken (nest first entered).
3. Attacking (counter attacks do not count) the mother gryphon brings all the gryphons to the nest and aggroes them to the attacker.

Victory conditions now work like a logical fork with two decision points of three branches each, for a total of nine potential outcomes. The two important variables at scenario end are:

A. Who has the eggs? (K/L/n) (Konrad/Loyalists/nobody) (remember, the egg-stealing unit must *survive* the scenario to "have the eggs")
B. Who killed the Mother Gryphon? (K/L/n)

The possible results matrix looks like this, then:
| 1. KK | 4. LK | 7. nK |
| 2. KL | 5. LL | 8. nL |
| 3. Kn | 6. Ln | 9. nn |

These results lead to the consequences below, which have three decision points. First, the side that gets the eggs will eventually get gryphon riders. The other two potential consequences are:

A. Which side do the grypons attack in S11? (K/B/L/n) (B=Both)
B. Which side do the gryphons spawn for in S24? (K/n)

So corresponding to the results table is this results table. Look up the appropriate number in the table below:
| 1. Kn | 4. Bn | 7. nn |
| 2. Bn | 5. LK | 8. Ln |
| 3. nn | 6. LK | 9. nK |

Example 1: (fairly likely/easy)
Loyalists kill the mother and steal the eggs, but Konrad or the gryphons later catch and destroy the unit with the eggs. That's an "8" result, which corresponds to "Ln" in the consequence table. This means that nobody gets gryphon riders, but in S11 gryphons will spawn to attack the loyalists. No gryphons spawn for either side in S24.

Example 2: (fairly difficult)
Loyalists kill the mother, then Konrad moves in to destroy the remaining Loyalist forces and steals the eggs, and the egg-stealing unit survives the rest of the scenario. That's a "2" on the results table, leading to a "Bn" consequence— Konrad gets gryphon riders later, gryphons will attack both Konrad and the Loyalist forces in S11, and no gryphons spawn for either side in S24.

I know it seems confusing, but this is relatively simple in execution, even if it requires a lot of text to explain. The only changes required would be adding a 'Gryphons' side and a couple aggressive gryphon units to S11 and S24; in addition to the variable storage for the results and triggers for the consequences. As usual, once we agree on a solution I volunteer for the implementation.

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Re: Revising the HttT Text & Dialogue

Post by Elvish_Hunter »

Since we're talking about Gryphons, it may be worth noticing that in mainline we don't yet have a level 1 Gryphon. For TSoG, I made (by recolouring and rescaling... I'm not an artist) a level 1 Young Gryphon. Such unit may be useful in Gryphon Mountain, Test of the Clans, and perhaps in some more situations. Of course, it may need some modification from a real artist and some balancing, since it's a bit weaker (but cheaper) than the Gryphon Rider, but it's still an option.
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Re: Revising the HttT Text & Dialogue

Post by HenryPlainview »

Can we talk about Bay of Pearls? In my opinion the whole sea orc segment is painfully bad, especially since I replayed that level a few times so I had to keep clicking past it, and it's completely incongruous, but you don't seem to have changed it at all. I think it would be best to cut it entirely, but if you are intent on having hurrr dumb orc comic relief it definitely can be handled with more finesse.

I am glad you are undertaking this project, vodot, do you have any plans to tackle other campaigns afterwards? In my opinion Eastern Invasion needs a major overhaul...

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Re: Revising the HttT Text & Dialogue

Post by monokli »

About s9 Valley of Death: Moremirmu doesn't mind places with lots and lots of undead. In fact I can see him laughing with a glee at the prospect of cleansing such a foul place.

He could join you afterwards if he didn't in S5 isle, seeing you fight undead with all you have.

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Re: Revising the HttT Text & Dialogue

Post by Temuchin Khan »

vodot wrote:...Gryphons do not aggro until approached (adjacent)...
But if Gryphons become aggressive whenever a unit is adjacent to them, how could Konrad ever realistically assist them against the Loyalists? While it would theoretically be possible to avoid ever standing adjacent to an allied unit, in practice it would be far more difficult.

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Re: Revising the HttT Text & Dialogue

Post by vodot »

HenryPlainview wrote:I am glad you are undertaking this project, vodot, do you have any plans to tackle other campaigns afterwards? In my opinion Eastern Invasion needs a major overhaul...
I am currently working with some of the other central mainline campaign maintainers, yes. Not all of them so desperately need a rewrite as HttT, though :)

btw, current S10 draft (v0.3).
Temuchin Khan wrote:
vodot wrote:...Gryphons do not aggro until approached (adjacent)...
But if Gryphons become aggressive whenever a unit is adjacent to them, how could Konrad ever realistically assist them against the Loyalists? While it would theoretically be possible to avoid ever standing adjacent to an allied unit, in practice it would be far more difficult.
There's a misunderstanding here, but I don't have time to elucidate on it right now. More later.

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Re: Revising the HttT Text & Dialogue

Post by vodot »

Hi all, I'm not dead. I've been swamped with RL priorities over the holidays and new year. Looking forward to getting back into writing later this month.

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zookeeper
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Re: Revising the HttT Text & Dialogue

Post by zookeeper »

Cool. Looking forward to it.

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Re: Revising the HttT Text & Dialogue

Post by Flameslash »

Is there any news on this rewrite? Hate to be a thread necromancer, but I remember this being really promising a year ago...

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Re: Revising the HttT Text & Dialogue

Post by Zerbugug »

Flameslash wrote:Is there any news on this rewrite? Hate to be a thread necromancer, but I remember this being really promising a year ago...
Same for me. I'm currently revising the French translation, which is kind of pointless if the text is about to change (which is direly needed, in my opinion).
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Re: Revising the HttT Text & Dialogue

Post by vodot »

There is still hope; but the work should definitely be considered up for adoption at this point. I haven't returned to it in almost a year; and IRL issues including job & schedule changes have just wiped this right out of my mind. My blessings on whoever Zookeep finds to take over.
HttT_Text_ALL_Vodot.zip
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Re: Revising the HttT Text & Dialogue

Post by Elfarion »

I'm sorry for necroing these thread, but I thought it would still be better than opening a new one.

I would like to express my opinion on how Asheviere is portrayed in HttT. Or, to be more precise, how she is not portrayed. Because she is'nt. IMHO she is just a faceless antagonist whose raison d'etre is being defeated by the good guys. Throughout the camaping there's no reason for doing what she does at all. Except for the fact that she's power-hungry in the Intro. But I think all this setting of the young noble and his wise mentor against Orcs and a 'Dark Queen' makes the story a bit one-dimensional. The player should at least get an idea of Asheviere's reasons and motives. Maybe there could be a dialouge at the beginning of the last scenario? For example Konrad offers her a last chance to surrender (as he's a noble and generous spirit). But she, of course, denies and gives justification for what she did. (For example she sais that Garard had become weak and she had to take power for preventing the kingdom from falling into chaos.) This would make her less "evil" in the terms of fantasy story-telling and more a cold-blooded, machiavellistic politician. (For Maciavelli, there's no good and evil in politics. In attempt to keep the state, the leader has to keep his power by literally all means necessary.) Thus the plot would change from a story of Good vs. Evil to a story of 'big politics'. In medieval times wars between different nobles, all claiming to be the legal King, were'nt that rare. So IMO it would be more suitable to HttT.

Edit: I missed the obligatory last dialogue between the good and the bad before their final confrontation anyway.

And: I've read through your work. You're doing a great job!
Last edited by Elfarion on March 5th, 2013, 5:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Revising the HttT Text & Dialogue

Post by revansurik »

Elfarion's comments made me think, maybe Asheviere could mention how Delfador killed her father AND her son to justify her enormous hatred for him.
Also, adding to Elfarion's suggestion, Asheviere could mention how Garard was appalingly foolish in dealing with the undead threat (remember how he sent a small army to deal with Iliah-Malal's huge undead army, even though Delfador warned him against it), and also how he almost got himself killed at that ambush by the orc sovereign Zorlan.
EDIT: Also, she could claim that she'd used orc mercenaries to help watching over Wesnoth because of the Army's weakening. Of course, those orcs were used as tools for her tyranny, but hey, at least Wesnoth wasn't invaded during her reign; maybe it was her using of orcs that prevented other orcs from attempting to invade the kingdom :-P She could also use it as an argument in her own defence.
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