Northern Rebirth dead branch reviving idea

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Northern Rebirth dead branch reviving idea

Postby Aldarisvet » April 1st, 2017, 10:07 pm

Being a translator I started revision of translation of NR campaign texts. What I found that in 1.13 version .po files still exists strings for 'evil branch'. I translated it partly and found that text of it is of much interest. Much more than of ordinary "kill the lich" branch. Really that 'good branch' is simply banal, because there is almost no difference in killing lich in THoT or here or in any other campaign. That evil branch is really something new for mainline.
The fact that these strings still exist (despite many was deleted from 1.12) shows that devs have some reason to save it (actually even scenarios still exists). Or why I should translate something that never would be used? Why still keep these scenarios in data files? If you gonna go to 1.14 and then to Steam your really should either get rid of alternative branch or to do something with them, otherwise this is simply stupid.

I think that I have an idea how that evil branch could be used in so way that it would be incorporated back into mainline without much efforts.
The Idea is simple - after Tallin retrieves the Rod of Justice he returns back to help his friends. He helps them in a critical moment in so way that they see that he is not a traitor anymore. Abhai tells everyone that the fact that Tallin wields Rod of Justice means that he has no gilt on him which is judged by the Gods. So he got accepted back by his friends and then scenarios continues as it is now.
I think that the best place/moment when evil branch should be interlaced back into main storyline is 9a_Introduction scenario. I.e. Tallin's friends got the idea to capture elvish princess without Tallin and successfully freed her but got problems with trolls while retreating. Here is the moment when Tallin appears with Abhai. That also means that evil branch would be on one scenario longer because in evil branch we have 09b_Judgment.cfg against 9a_Introduction scenario, but I think that this is not a problem. Also I think that Tallin should not use his dark arts after he get reborn from Rod of Justice, otherwise friends for sure will not accept him. But why he needs dark art if he has a powerful Rod of Justice? Actually I think that this scenario can be a scenario when Tallin should not have an ability to recruit but some scattered forces of his former forces should join him (including Elenia probably too). An idea for the map- Camerin as an recruiting AI leader fight with recruiting AI troll in caverns and a player is separated from Camerin by a Troll leader. So in the end Tallin kills a troll leader and saves his friends and Elvish Princess from trolls and then all continues to 10a_Stolen_Gold.cfg scenario. Yes, Hamel could be surprised that they got a traitor back but Thera and Morvin can assure him that he is ok again. This would need just a minimal addition to 10a_Stolen_Gold.cfg. So in fact the only thing is needed to put all evil branch back into the life is to create only the one scenario mostly based on 9a_Introduction . Yea, would need some creativity to show the process how he was accepted back (may be Morvin and Tera would be the first who would accept him because they admit the will of Gods showed by the Rod) but in general I think I suggest quite an affordable thing. If I suggest it also means that I can help with this or to do the whole work.

And I know about Northern Rebirth Remake UMC campaign, as I can see it's texts in evil branch is totally different and also I doubt that evil branch as it there can be mainlined. I personally like texts that are in mainline dead branch for now except the moment in 09b_Judgment were the ghost of Betrayed Friend says him that he should continue his necromancy practice. This is nonsense because a necromancer would never be assigned as the Lord Protector.
Last edited by Aldarisvet on April 2nd, 2017, 1:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Nothern Rebirth dead branch reviving idea

Postby shadowm » April 2nd, 2017, 5:17 am

Aldarisvet wrote:Why still keep these scenarios in data files? If you gonna go to 1.14 and then to Steam your really should either get rid of alternative branch or to do something with them, otherwise this is simply stupid.

It would be nice in the future if you didn’t taint what is otherwise a fairly constructive post with this kind of hostile-sounding statements. The fact that Wesnoth is going to be available on Steam for free doesn’t change the fact that the developers are investing their spare time into it for free. If you want to help, that’s great, but there is no need to call anything or anyone “stupid” or present the team with a set of choices as if they were somehow required to pick one.
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Re: Northern Rebirth dead branch reviving idea

Postby Aldarisvet » April 2nd, 2017, 9:08 am

Sorry for you take that fragment in so way, meant no offence to anyone. I just expressing my thoughts and I really think that if for years this dead branch is going from one version to another this truly looks stupid. If Wesnoth is made by people for free, it does not mean that the game is free of critics, I think. Also I just wrote my thoughts about what should be done from my point of view, but that is no more than my point of view and can be ignored. I used 'should' not 'must', there is a difference as I know but next time I would use 'might', agreed ;) .
Oh, finally, I just wanted to know if there are any plans for that dead branch because I should decide whether I am going to invest my time on translating it or not.
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Re: Nothern Rebirth dead branch reviving idea

Postby zookeeper » April 3rd, 2017, 8:59 am

I believe there are currently no developers with any particular interest in NR or any plans for it. If you want to pick it up and do something with it such as finish the evil branch, then great.
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Re: Northern Rebirth dead branch reviving idea

Postby Wesbane » April 3rd, 2017, 12:14 pm

Aldarisvet wrote:And I know about Northern Rebirth Remake UMC campaign, as I can see it's texts in evil branch is totally different and also I doubt that evil branch as it there can be mainlined.

As far as Northern Rebirth Remake is concerned if anyone would care to read before posting such claims. The alternate branch there: level concepts, story ideas are close to how author of Northern Rebirth wanted it to look like.

Also the developers rarely care about modifying text and levels. Northern Rebirth in 1.13 was substantially changed also in story department. While there are some positives overall I consider it to shallow to be a great revision.

And mainlining the specific content is a matter of developers will for the most part which in this case they lack of. Five years after the project was finished they didn’t even care to learn from it since majority of bugs in Northern Rebirth were left untouched though some of them were exposed more than once.

Aldarisvet wrote:I think that I have an idea how that evil branch could be used in so way that it would be incorporated back into mainline without much efforts.

The proposition you have outlined is really the simplest way to do it even if far from perfect. For example Camerin is only a character.
Should this be done? Well, if your sole goal is to just keep evil branch in it’s current shape no one will stop you. ;) However bad design is a signature of Northern Rebirth and this is no exception for evil branch levels, which are even worse because they were never updated. That is why levels in main branch were heavily revised with moderate success. There is even a level I liked, much. :lol:
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Re: Northern Rebirth dead branch reviving idea

Postby Aldarisvet » April 3rd, 2017, 6:59 pm

2 Wesbane and all

Well, I knew that my approach would for sure concern the author of Remake, but anycase I am glad you joined the discussion. I can understand that you put much efforts into your remake but for some reason your remake still is not mainlined as I can see, I know nothing about the issue and I have nothing to do with it. But in no case I wanted somehow to belittle your work.
You see why I get into this - just because of that situation with translation. I really liked the text of dead branch that I started to translate.
The second point is that I really do not like here the idea of using evil means for good purpurses. As I breifly saw in your remake, after the Reborn, Tallin uses his necromancy talents to defeat elves. From my point of view I cant believe that he was 'pure in heart' after that. But this is only my point of view and I posted this topic in Writers forum exactly because I wanted a discussion about it.
And the third point is exclusively rational. I suggested that minimalistic option to save the dead branch because I suggest that the less new things would be added to campaign, the more probability that devs would agree on this. Also to say truth I myself do not want to get involved into the huge project. My idea was just to revive that stuff that already and still exist in the 1.13 so I guess it is accepted by devs by default. By adding only one scenario this problem would be solved I think.

2 zookeeper

Thank you, then I will go further into the issue but actually I want to know if my idea of merging evil branch and good branch is acceptable by devs in general and also I would be happy to see some your thoughts about it.
In particular, there could be a problem with campaign branches balance, because in good branch Tallin and his units can advance much whenever with my idea Tallin will start from the beginning after getting Rod of Justice (he whould be no more necromancer or what he was after all happened with him, he reborned with Rod, so must be decided what type of unit would be used for him). However that problem can be somhow adressed in that transition scenario vs Trolls by gifting him experienced units as encounter allies.
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Re: Northern Rebirth dead branch reviving idea

Postby The_Gnat » April 3rd, 2017, 8:38 pm

:D since the first time reading through northern rebirth back in 1.10 I have always hoped they would finally add this evil story line back into the game! I would be interested I helping with this but unfortunately can not guarantee I will have much time.
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Re: Northern Rebirth dead branch reviving idea

Postby zookeeper » April 4th, 2017, 8:03 am

Aldarisvet wrote:Thank you, then I will go further into the issue but actually I want to know if my idea of merging evil branch and good branch is acceptable by devs in general and also I would be happy to see some your thoughts about it.

I'm not familiar with the details of the plot, so I don't really have any input on that.
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Re: Northern Rebirth dead branch reviving idea

Postby Wesbane » April 4th, 2017, 12:40 pm

Aldarisvet wrote:Well, I knew that my approach would for sure concern the author of Remake, but anycase I am glad you joined the discussion.

It didn’t concerned me. The way you phrased it did.
If for example you would wrote it like this:

I know about Northern Rebirth Remake UMC campaign, but to date development team has shown no interest in this project.

There would be nothing to add. No complains, you would just have stated the facts.

Instead you have posted this:
Aldarisvet wrote:And I know about Northern Rebirth Remake UMC campaign, as I can see it's texts in evil branch is totally different and also I doubt that evil branch as it there can be mainlined.

Which might imply that campaign have serious deficiencies on technical side and storyline. So, I have shown that story arc is what author originally intended. Every single event, and idea outlined in that post is present in this adventure to the point that it can be used as check list. Of course dialogues had to be written and some alternations had to be made, but as a whole this is campaign author’s concept not mine.
Aldarisvet wrote:I can understand that you put much efforts into your remake but for some reason your remake still is not mainlined as I can see, I know nothing about the issue and I have nothing to do with it.

Ehm… That’s confusing. :roll: However many seems not to get this. So I will explain it once more.
This is not important that something is good or bad. That it works or not. Fits certain criteria or doesn’t. What matters is does developer likes it. If he does no later than tomorrow your contribution will became part of the game.
So the reason Northern Rebirth Remake is not mainlined is that the development team is not interested in it. It’ s just as simple as that.
Also, again if you would read about this project you would learned that it no longer aims to became mainline content though it was started as an answer to the call to work on Northern Rebirth made by one of developers in 20th October 2010. However when 1.2.x series had begun in 2014 it main branch was opened for exploration and levels in that branch were revised. Making it alternate version of a campaign not just a branch. Since then it became so independent that it has even it own unique set of bugs! :lol:
Aldarisvet wrote:The second point is that I really do not like here the idea of using evil means for good purpurses. As I breifly saw in your remake, after the Reborn, Tallin uses his necromancy talents to defeat elves. From my point of view I cant believe that he was 'pure in heart' after that.

It is good to shown how the given conclusion was made. Here the key word is briefly which in turn made the whole point invalid. This is not how the story goes. From this I may suspect that you didn’t play to the end or even didn’t play at all yet you form an opinion about it.
Personally I avoid doing it, but downside of it is that I rarely post any feedback. :whistle:
There is a big difference between mainline story and a custom version. In mainline Tallin is using necromancy, in Northern Rebirth Remake necromancy was used on Tallin. He is an effect of this magic usage. This entirely changes the perspective. In fact there are even specific lines explaining exactly what happened. If you have any more questions about it you can post them in Northern Rebirth Remake thread since there is a little reason to discuss this campaign in Northern Rebirth dedicated topic.

As for my comments on the matter, namely your concept, there is not much to comment on right now. My opinion on mainline campaign is clear. I don’t think it is good. Otherwise I wouldn’t have created my own version of it. As I previously said on technical side your solution will work and most importantly you might create something useful in the process. Actually you already did by starting the discussion you wanted about Northern Rebirth which unfortunately doesn’t get much attention despite of fact that it has changed much in development version. There will be some designing problems and probably harder to solve story ones, but story is not a priority in wesnoth.

zookeeper wrote:I'm not familiar with the details of the plot, so I don't really have any input on that.


Northern Rebirth
Evil plot summary, only minor comments:


Read it only if you have your own opinion about the plot already.
Evil plot critique:

The proposed approach is to replace Judgment scenario aka Divine Intervention with 09b_Introductions scenario, in which Tallin meets rescue party that is in troubles and he helps them. They sort out all the issues, and put them behind because Tallin has a Rod of Justice which made his owner too awesome to turn him away or put down for that matter. From this moment they set off as nothing had never happened.
Of course I might get something wrong here so maybe the concept is different.:mrgreen:
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Re: Northern Rebirth dead branch reviving idea

Postby Aldarisvet » April 4th, 2017, 7:30 pm

Wesbane wrote:When Malifor is dead he comes to his senses and runs into dark caverns to cry there and out of despair he made an attempt on his life. But it turned out, surprisingly for himself, he is already dead! This is not linked to type of his unit.


Yea, this really is a fault that I noted, of course. I think that this suicide attempt could be simply excluded from the storyline without any trouble (he can just to happen to have no knife with him to kill himself immediately, why not?). Also and hence the idea of ressurection by the Gods looks wrong too. What is important that the Rod accepted him and not killed him so that proved he had no guilt on him, I think. The Rod resurrected him not physically but mentally, I think.

Actually I still never played that dead branch, I only read the texts and also of course I never played your campaign, just brielfy look through the texts of some scenarios.

Now, as you briefly described dead branch plotline can you please also describe in short your dead branch idea as it implemented in your Remake?

Wesbane wrote:This is not important that something is good or bad. That it works or not. Fits certain criteria or doesn’t. What matters is does developer likes it. If he does no later than tomorrow your contribution will became part of the game.
So the reason Northern Rebirth Remake is not mainlined is that the development team is not interested in it. It’ s just as simple as that.

Come on, you didnt really opened my eyes. But such how is the whole world works, not only Wesnoth :lol: ( What matters is does boss likes you) But in fact if you interested to lobby something, you must collaborate with devs, not they should show interest in your Remake.
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Re: Northern Rebirth dead branch reviving idea

Postby ForestDragon » April 5th, 2017, 12:05 pm

how about making a poll to decide whether the community would like to see the branch implemented? (i reccomend that the poll should last at least 2 or 3 weeks, since the forum isn't really the most active place to be honest)

personally, i think it would be nice to add the evil branch into mainline, but it will need a lot of revision (story-wise, and quite likely gameplay-wise)
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Re: Northern Rebirth dead branch reviving idea

Postby Aldarisvet » April 5th, 2017, 4:54 pm

ForestDragon wrote:how about making a poll to decide whether the community would like to see the branch implemented? (i reccomend that the poll should last at least 2 or 3 weeks, since the forum isn't really the most active place to be honest)

personally, i think it would be nice to add the evil branch into mainline, but it will need a lot of revision (story-wise, and quite likely gameplay-wise)


Heh, a poll with which options?
Actually anyone can describe his opinion just here. However not much people played that dead brach I think. I myself only going to find time for it.
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Re: Northern Rebirth dead branch reviving idea

Postby ForestDragon » April 5th, 2017, 5:55 pm

Aldarisvet wrote:Heh, a poll with which options?

something like this (the poll could have a sort of points pseudo-system, where each option is valued as an amount of points):

'Would you like to see the currently unused evil branch of Northern Rebirth (which has a deeper, and more unique story than the main branch, and is roughly similar to DiD in it's concept) worked on by the developers, so that it can be integrated into mainline?

options:
1.YESSS!!! I'd love to!
2.Yes, of course
3.Would be pretty nice, but i don't care that much
4.I don't really care that much
5.No, i don't really want something like this
6.Of course not!'

note: what i am talking about is making a forum poll, not a post simulating a poll (like your 'best campaigns' poll. no offense intended) to make one, you should probably ask a moderator. this way it will be much easier to count votes.
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Re: Northern Rebirth dead branch reviving idea

Postby Aldarisvet » April 7th, 2017, 10:38 pm

Ok, I passed the first scenario of the dead branch. Here is the replay.
I played at the third level of difficulty (third hard degree from four). I failed at the first attempt because of tomato giant spiders and restarted, in second I attempt dealt with that spiders more carefully, that helped me fastly advance Tallin from adept to Necromancer. I deliberately avoided possible Lich variation because I do not think that Tallin could be good again after becoming a lich. Close to the turn 35 I understand that it is impossible to finish the scenario in that time and put the limit from 35 to 100 by editing savefile. Still even with necromancer I was on the brink of survival. Ha! Imagine you can recruit only weak zombies vs a lot of Troll Whelps!
This scenario greatly reminds me my own zombie-oriented scenarios, from my campaigns, so I like this scenario. It took 85 turns for me to finish both Troll leaders. And this given I consider myself as a big specialist in playing with zombies because I tested them playing a lot in my campiagns. For sure this scenario must be rebalanced, but again, I like it's minimalism and challenge.
Next scenario started with bug/console error message that caused the enemy leader not to apperar (oh, I got it because I started from that dead branch immediately and the enemy is that unit Tallin start the campaign with, so scenario couldnt get the unit type for it), so I got the victory immediately and was moved to the third scenario where Tallin should defend Malifor against attacks of Camerin. Well, that third scenario looked like typical massacre mainline scenario where you have to stupidly hold the frontline, I really do not like such. The only interesting thing in it can be that you do not have healers here, because you plays on the side of undead, so holding frontline may be more interesting challenge. But enough testing for today, I go to sleep.

P.S. I saw how the same scenario implemented in Remake. Here is an original system of hero unit type transformation, for example if a hero was a Royal Guard he transforms to a Draug, if a Halberdier - to a Death Knight and so on. It is interesting but I do not like it. Tallin must start from being only an adept. He must be alive person during all the time, not some skeleton.
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Re: Northern Rebirth dead branch reviving idea

Postby The_Gnat » April 15th, 2017, 1:41 am

Just saw this thread and it seems that wesbane had a similar idea to you so maybe it would be worth seeing what he was able to complete.
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