Drakes in Mainline Campaigns

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Drakes in Mainline Campaigns

Postby Gyra_Solune » January 7th, 2016, 7:34 pm

So while drakes seem to have a fair bit of history behind them, I can't really name a lot of instances where they show up to my recollection in the campaigns. I remember they showed up in Hammer of Thursagan and Dead Water on occasion, but not any other particular instances of note where they appear or make a particular impact on the story. I haven't combed through a lot of the longer scenarios though, so I'm uncertain. Anyone remember any other prominent appearances where their story was depicted? I ask on the prospect of making a drake-centered campaign of my own, and one thing particularly missing is where exactly they start appearing in the timeline, or if they've been on the continent for centuries already.
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Re: Drakes in Mainline Campaigns

Postby zookeeper » January 7th, 2016, 9:40 pm

Gyra_Solune wrote:So while drakes seem to have a fair bit of history behind them, I can't really name a lot of instances where they show up to my recollection in the campaigns. I remember they showed up in Hammer of Thursagan and Dead Water on occasion, but not any other particular instances of note where they appear or make a particular impact on the story. I haven't combed through a lot of the longer scenarios though, so I'm uncertain. Anyone remember any other prominent appearances where their story was depicted? I ask on the prospect of making a drake-centered campaign of my own, and one thing particularly missing is where exactly they start appearing in the timeline, or if they've been on the continent for centuries already.

The first time they show up is in The Rise of Wesnoth (S13), wherein it's mentioned that they might sooner or later migrate from their island to the Great Continent, and it's not explicitly known whether or when they do. Although their race description states that they originate from Morogor (the island), it seems likely that there's actually been other drake populations elsewhere already during that time.

On the Great Continent, logical old habitats for drakes would be any major mountains (Heart Mountains, the Far North, the southern Mountains of Peril on The South Guard map).
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Re: Drakes in Mainline Campaigns

Postby Chewan » January 8th, 2016, 12:30 am

… and on the Shimmering Isle ...
(see: add on Brave Wings by SkyOne – sadly not mainline, though mainline quality ;) )
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Re: Drakes in Mainline Campaigns

Postby ekeron » January 8th, 2016, 2:20 am

I believe they also can potentially show up in heir to the throne depending on which path you take in "a choice must be made." The scenario needs to be rebalanced so people tend to avoid it but Delfador does show surprise at their appearance. Also, their leader is an armageddon drake.

I think that's the earliest mainline campaign where drakes appear on the great continent.
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Re: Drakes in Mainline Campaigns

Postby Cold Steel » January 19th, 2016, 5:48 pm

The lack of Drake appearances in campaigns is most likely an oversight. They have been a major multiplayer faction since before v1.0 and as a result represent a large chunk of Wesnoth's gameplay balance and diversity.

Not having them also contributes to the tiresome wesnoth campaign trope of most all scenarios being about the 'good races' (Humans, Elves, Dwarves) fighting hordes of the 'evil races' (Undead, Orcs). Playing as the same 3 races versus the same 2 races for a total of 6 match ups. In multiplayer, you can be any of the 6 versus any other of the 6, for a total of 36 possible match ups. So campaigns rely on only 1/6 of Wesnoth's full gameplay depth. I am sure this is also an oversight, since the wiki talks about alliances between races being unstable and shifting, and the first mainline campaign (Heir to the Throne) was about the 'good races' having it out with each other.

Inserting the Drakes into a lot more of the scenarios of the existing campaigns would be an excellent first step to fixing this. In addition to playing very differently, the Drake's lore makes them especially good wildcards. On one hand they are lawful and respectful of other races territory but on the other hand they are warlike and highly protective of their own territory. So they can be written to play friends or foes equally well for any particular campaign or scenario, for maximum variety.
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Re: Drakes in Mainline Campaigns

Postby zookeeper » January 19th, 2016, 8:10 pm

Cold Steel wrote:The lack of Drake appearances in campaigns is most likely an oversight. They have been a major multiplayer faction since before v1.0 and as a result represent a large chunk of Wesnoth's gameplay balance and diversity.

I can't speak for UMC, but as far as mainline campaigns go, it's pretty much just a case of most campaigns having already been written (or at least in progress) by the time drakes were introduced. Additionally, as with the Khalifate, they were first added mainly for multiplayer, before it was clear what their backstory is going to be and how/where/when they actually fit in to the world; that was only fleshed out later.
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Re: Drakes in Mainline Campaigns

Postby Cold Steel » January 19th, 2016, 8:29 pm

zookeeper wrote:I can't speak for UMC, but as far as mainline campaigns go, it's pretty much just a case of most campaigns having already been written (or at least in progress) by the time drakes were introduced..


I remember in the v0.8 / v0.9 era the Drakes were already in game yet there were only four mainline campaigns. So then it must be that most present day mainline campaigns were already written at that point but existed only in the UMC ecosystem?
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Re: Drakes in Mainline Campaigns

Postby zookeeper » January 19th, 2016, 8:52 pm

Cold Steel wrote:I remember in the v0.8 / v0.9 era the Drakes were already in game yet there were only four mainline campaigns. So then it must be that most present day mainline campaigns were already written at that point but existed only in the UMC ecosystem?

Yeah. DM, Liberty, LoW, SoF, TSG, TB and UtBS all date back to 2004-2005 and were originally add-ons. The only completely "new" campaigns (2007->) are DW and THoT, and unsurprisingly, both do feature drakes (although the latter only in one scenario).
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Re: Drakes in Mainline Campaigns

Postby Cold Steel » January 20th, 2016, 1:03 am

So I guess any drake-ification effort should work its way forward starting from the oldest campaigns.

Maybe a first move could be for the eclectic rebel army in HttT to acquire drake recruiting options during its foray into the northern wilds?
Last edited by Cold Steel on January 20th, 2016, 2:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Drakes in Mainline Campaigns

Postby octalot » January 20th, 2016, 2:18 am

That happens in the second half of the Northern Rebirth campaign - a single one called "Krash" can be rescued in scenario The Pursuit, and the eclectic rebel army can recruit them from Stolen Gold onwards.
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Re: Drakes in Mainline Campaigns

Postby Cold Steel » January 20th, 2016, 2:44 am

octalot wrote:That happens in the second half of the Northern Rebirth campaign - a single one called "Krash" can be rescued in scenario The Pursuit, and the eclectic rebel army can recruit them from Stolen Gold onwards.


I remember. What I do not recall is any other mainline campaign where drakes serve as allies? Whereas elves and dwarves are almost invariably such.
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Re: Drakes in Mainline Campaigns

Postby Whiskeyjack » January 20th, 2016, 10:25 am

I think more Drakes in mainline would always be nice, but the same goes for the Saurians (lore-wise those two are totally unrelated) and even more so for the Khalifate.

HttT would be a rather bad place to start, as that campaign has already an (overly) crammed recruit list as well as a lot more pressing concerns that need changes/a rework (and look how far the last attempt got...).

As always, the first step for a "drake-ification" is your own point of contribution I guess as I don´t believe that there will happen much otherwise (though this topic might hold some potential).

Of the mentioned campaigns a lot can live without Drakes: Liberty (quite local, not the drakes natural turf), SoF (possibly (probably?) before any Drakes reached mainland), TB (same as Liberty).

Campaigns that could more easily include Drakes and have the location and opportunities for this would IMO be DM, LoW (better candidate of the two IIRC), UtBS (on the other hand, Drakes could of course be extinct at this point... who knows?) and EI (which is the rewrite I myself got stuck on and didn´t progress for half a year...). UtBS and EI at least have the problem though that they are rather specific in the way they pitch their limited recruit list (which is a tactical aspect the campaigns like HttT completely lack) against certain enemies/external circumstances. Therefore, while I think a Drakish appearance in at least EI is really needed, I´m opposed to the thought of adding them to the players forces.
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Re: Drakes in Mainline Campaigns

Postby Cold Steel » January 20th, 2016, 6:44 pm

Whiskeyjack wrote:I think more Drakes in mainline would always be nice, but the same goes for the Saurians (lore-wise those two are totally unrelated)


That actually should be changed; Drakes and Saurians should have at least some implicit connection emerge at some point. The other multiplayer factions that are formed from more than one race, have this at least somewhat reflected in the campaigns; you often have loyalists + mermish, elves + woses, orcs + trolls, undead + bats, etc.
Especially NR is focused on the formation of the Knalgan Alliance between Dwarves and lowly Humans.

Whiskeyjack wrote:HttT would be a rather bad place to start, as that campaign has already an (overly) crammed recruit list as well as a lot more pressing concerns that need changes/a rework (and look how far the last attempt got...).


Tastefully inserting the Drakes into a few scenarios would cost much less effort than completely reworking the entire HttT campaign though.

Whiskeyjack wrote:As always, the first step for a "drake-ification" is your own point of contribution


Almost certainly true. Yet it can save some wasted effort to get at least tepid approval first.

Whiskeyjack wrote:Therefore, while I think a Drakish appearance in at least EI is really needed, I´m opposed to the thought of adding them to the players forces.


I especially agree; I am not a huge fan of eclectic armies in general. I prefer recruiting lists stay close to one of the well balanced multiplayer factions (which also helps campaigns fulfill their secondary (primary?) role as a gameplay introduction to new players.)

Computer controlled allies are a better way to go. And equally good are computer controlled enemies. Both offer better opportunities for interesting dialogue and plot twists (i.e. shifting allies/enemies).
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Re: Drakes in Mainline Campaigns

Postby Gyra_Solune » January 20th, 2016, 7:37 pm

I aim to solve moooore or less all of those issues in the Drake campaign I'm plotting out myself, particularly the alliance between Saurians and Drakes. There is a tiny bit of eclectic recruits, mostly because the earliest part of the campaign hinges on actually fighting other clans of drakes and trying to build up an army out of the inhabitants of the wildlands - so for the first few scenarios, you're actually recruiting a significant amount of trolls, ogres, and nagas along with the saurians. But well, not only do those get outmoded once you actually do get all the Drakes back on-side (excepting perhaps the trolls), you actually lose those other three unless you take the path that leads to a decidedly bad end, not unlike siding with the outlaws over the elves in The South Guard.

What I'm proposing is that, while drakes are spotted here and there throughout the story, a little bit before the period of Mal-Ravanal's rise to power is where they migrated over en masse due to natural disasters in their home archipelago. The ones seen in Dead Water would actually make an appearance as a splinter group, but for the most part the reason they'd be so seldom seen is a combination of factors - they center in a somewhat inhospitable wild frontier area seldom visited, and they're a touch conservative in their expansion not only due to infighting having weakened their numbers, but also due to having fought with Mal-Ravanal's forces, and we all know the kind of havoc that ensues when drakes clash with undead.
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Re: Drakes in Mainline Campaigns

Postby Cold Steel » January 20th, 2016, 9:45 pm

Gyra_Solune wrote:What I'm proposing is that, while drakes are spotted here and there throughout the story, a little bit before the period of Mal-Ravanal's rise to power is where they migrated over en masse due to natural disasters in their home archipelago.


Well, the current lore already covers why they are not too common; their preference for unsettled land (they are usually far away), needing a wide hunting ground (they are spread out) and favoring inactive volcanoes as sites of hatcheries (they are relatively rare).

But I don't think their rarity is really a desirable or intentional thing. As zookeeper said, drakes were added as a race and faction too late to be a part of most now mainlined campaigns. As those campaigns are very slowly modernized and improved, this can be fixed and the lore on drakes rewritten to reflect their relative commonness, unless there is reason enough not to.
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