[Historical] Northern Rebirth Going Mainline

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troodon
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Post by troodon »

Taurus wrote, concerning the dialogue between scenarios:
Of course, if enogh people disagree with me then I could change it but...
I like having some of the dialogue be between scenarios.

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Post by Taurus »

turin wrote::? Whatever. Honestly, this isn't the campaign I would have picked to go mainline with... I find the first scenario simply unacceptably boring. But I'm not going to say any more on this subject.
Boring? I have had people who dislike the idea of being able to recruit only peasants, but I have never heart it called borring before. With a strong storyline, great dialoge (thanks to Esr), great music (thanks to West) and a unique tactical challange I don't find it borring at all.

Just to be sure we are on the same track here, what version did you test it on? Did you play any further then the first scenario?
troodon wrote:I like having some of the dialogue be between scenarios.
Sorry, Troodon, I don't quite understand. Does this mean you would rather have the bulk of the dialogue in the "story" part of the scenario as it is now, or would you rather have a bunch of strictly "dialogue scenarios" in between the regualr "fighting scenarios"?
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Nova
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Post by Nova »

Even with the ability to press 'ESC,' I still think it would be best to have long stretches of dialogue placed outside of the normal scenarios. Among other reasons, it allows for a lot more visual variety, and a chance to see something other than a map for a while.

This has been my theory for my contributions to Flight to Freedom, and I think people will agree it works well, once it's actually up and running.

(Samples start here: http://www.wesnoth.org/forum/viewtopic. ... &start=510)

In short, don't feel pressured to have all the dialogue be in-mission.
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Post by Eleazar »

I do think this campaign starts out with too much text. At that point, the player hasn't invested himself in the game, he really has no incentive to care about the what's being described.

I believe a much better way to introduce the game would be with a short scenario before the first one in which the protagonist steals the gold as described. A decent amount of the setting could be described through the events and conversation there, but the player would be involved.
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Post by turin »

Taurus wrote::? Whatever. Honestly, this isn't the campaign I would have picked to go mainline with... I find the first scenario simply unacceptably boring. But I'm not going to say any more on this subject.
Boring? I have had people who dislike the idea of being able to recruit only peasants, but I have never heart it called borring before. With a strong storyline, great dialoge (thanks to Esr), great music (thanks to West) and a unique tactical challange I don't find it borring at all.

Just to be sure we are on the same track here, what version did you test it on? Did you play any further then the first scenario?[/quote]
I watched my brother (who is a Wesnoth newbie) play through the first scenario on the newest version a few days ago. I haven't gotten beyond that. My basic impressions were:

1) I don't like the storyline so far. It makes very little sense how you would be able to get that much gold, and how the Orcs wouldn't even notice that you were destroying them until their leaders died. I actually find the idea that orcs would even keep slaves sort of odd, but if they DID keep slaves, they would have to be a lot better masters than they appear to be in the campaign for them to keep them for very long.

2) On NEWBIE difficulty, all you're doing is swarming the enemy with massive hordes of peasants. It's rather monotonous, and it takes very little skill - you just attack every unit within range with five or six peasants, and slowly wear them down. The same appears to go for every difficulty level, the only difference is be the ratio of peasants to bad guys. Not my idea of fun.

3) The dialogue was fairly well written, but the long introduction to the campaign was a bit much.

4) I just don't like the idea of the Knalgan Alliance, which appears to be what this campaign is building up to. (And you're suddenly able to recruit Thugs and Poachers on the second level? WTF?)


Basically, I think that, while an argument could be made for Northern Rebirth going mainline, there are several other campaigns I would rather see do that first.

(BTW, I'm liking what I'm seeing on the mailing list about putting a bunch of campaigns in the next dev version and slowly weeding out the bad ones until we have a good crop for the next stable.)
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Post by Taurus »

turin wrote:I watched my brother (who is a Wesnoth newbie) play through the first scenario on the newest version a few days ago. I haven't gotten beyond that. My basic impressions were:
Damn Turin, you don't mess around lol. Anyhow, since you put things bluntly, I hope you don't mind if I do the same.

First of all, simply watching over the sholder of a newbie - and basing all your assumptions on that isn't - in my opinion - the most reliable and best platform from which to be judging something. I welcome all kind of imput and opinions, both positive and negitive. Prejudgements I find are more confusing to me then helpfull.
1) I don't like the storyline so far. It makes very little sense how you would be able to get that much gold, and how the Orcs wouldn't even notice that you were destroying them until their leaders died. I actually find the idea that orcs would even keep slaves sort of odd, but if they DID keep slaves, they would have to be a lot better masters than they appear to be in the campaign for them to keep them for very long.


About the gold, there are several possiblities - perhaps he was pilfering little by little until he made his move - or perhaps he and a few of his close friends made a daring raid on the treasury. Anyhow, I would rather leave that part of the story up to the imagination of the reader. As Eleazar suggests, I could make a scenario on that particualr event, but I would rather start the campaign with a desperate and epic event rather then a small time scuffle. Besides, if you have played to the end, you will realize that this is a LONG campaign - 14 scenarios in all not inculding the new undead branch - and many of the scenarios themselves are pretty big.

And about the leaders not noticing the slaves until they died - it was originally meant to comic relief, although I admit it is a bit lame. If it really bothers you then I can deleate that line.

About the orcs keeping slaves, I originally got the starting idea from the 'Dwarvin Doors' scenario in HttT where Konrad desires to free the slaves but on the advice from Defador, bypasses them instead.
2) On NEWBIE difficulty, all you're doing is swarming the enemy with massive hordes of peasants. It's rather monotonous, and it takes very little skill - you just attack every unit within range with five or six peasants, and slowly wear them down. The same appears to go for every difficulty level, the only difference is be the ratio of peasants to bad guys. Not my idea of fun.
While we are on the subect of the newbie level, I am inclined to remove it - or make it harder since this is obviousley not a newbie campaign. Since I already have the WML for 4 levels written in perhaps I should make two medium levels instead. More imput on this would be appreciated.

But anyhow, I suggest you try it yourself on the meidum or hard difficulty where simply marching out and slaughering is not an option. On those diffculities you have to carefully juggle the TOD, your income, the fact that the orcs are fighting amoungst eachother and so on. I believe you will find it a lot more fun and challanging.

I am still open to the idea of changing things however so that you can recruit a limited number of spearmen/archers. If enough people agree with your line of thought it may happen.
3) The dialogue was fairly well written, but the long introduction to the campaign was a bit much.
Eleanzar said the same thing as well. However, I personally of am a different opinion. One of my major foccuses on this campaign was to have a good strong storyline - which I find many campaigns in Wesnoth are lacking. If there is some background, some strong history, I myself am far more inclined to play through a campaign. Take HttT, or UtbS for instance. Both campaigns have quite a lot of story in them, and they are probobally two of the most popular campaigns. If the campaign is simply a matter of beating up an AI on a custom map - then you can spare me.
4) I just don't like the idea of the Knalgan Alliance, which appears to be what this campaign is building up to. (And you're suddenly able to recruit Thugs and Poachers on the second level? WTF?)
This is why I don't like prejudgments because this campaign does NOT build up the the Knalgan Alliance.

And about being able to recruit thugs and poachers - first you raze me for being able to recruit only peasants. Then when the peasants take some time to arm themselves properally in preparation for all their descent into the caves, you raze me again. In your own words: "WTF"
Basically, I think that, while an argument could be made for Northern Rebirth going mainline, there are several other campaigns I would rather see do that first.
If that is your opinion then I respect that. However, I think it would be wise to play for yourself, at least the first three scenarios before making your final judgment. As I mentioned, I believe you are pre - judging it.
(BTW, I'm liking what I'm seeing on the mailing list about putting a bunch of campaigns in the next dev version and slowly weeding out the bad ones until we have a good crop for the next stable.)
Sounds like a good idea to me too :-)
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Post by Eleazar »

Taurus wrote:
2) On NEWBIE difficulty, all you're doing is swarming the enemy with massive hordes of peasants. It's rather monotonous, and it takes very little skill - you just attack every unit within range with five or six peasants, and slowly wear them down. The same appears to go for every difficulty level, the only difference is be the ratio of peasants to bad guys. Not my idea of fun.
While we are on the subect of the newbie level, I am inclined to remove it - or make it harder since this is obviousley not a newbie campaign. Since I already have the WML for 4 levels written in perhaps I should make two medium levels instead. More imput on this would be appreciated.

But anyhow, I suggest you try it yourself on the meidum or hard difficulty where simply marching out and slaughering is not an option. On those diffculities you have to carefully juggle the TOD, your income, the fact that the orcs are fighting amoungst eachother and so on. I believe you will find it a lot more fun and challanging.
I contest the idea that this is too easy. As a non-expert player i'd evaluate the the first couple scenarios on "newbie" as equivalent or worse than the the middle levels on medium difficulty of HttT or UtBS. It's certainly more brutal than any but the last 2 levels of HttT, due to the huge number of units needed.
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Post by Gus »

I didn't really enjoy this campaign when i tried playing it before. It wasn't the latest version, though.
The first two scenarios were not really satisfying. I agree with turin on most of the points he made. The jump from peasants to poachers/thugs is a bit weird too, but maybe not much more than allowing a player to recruit Mages because he freed one mage in HttT.
I might try playing it again, see if it changed. The version i played was definitely not ready for mainline.
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Post by Clonkinator »

Hm, I really have to say one thing: It is impossible that a campaign is liked by everybody in the world. Just look at mine... However, I didn't try this one out yet. It's just far too huge for my poor 56k-modem... :(

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Post by torangan »

It's very simple. We intend to change it in a way that entering mainline during the development stage is easy, making the jump into the stable version will be harder. So we don't care at all if a few people complain about some aspects. During the time in the development branch we'll gather feedback and when the next stable version comes near we'll decide which campaigns will go into it. Most likely 1.4 won't contain all campaigns the previous 1.3 version had.
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Post by Gus »

torangan wrote:So we don't care at all if a few people complain about some aspects. During the time in the development branch we'll gather feedback and when the next stable version comes near we'll decide which campaigns will go into it.
Seems self-contradicting, or what am i missing?
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Post by torangan »

They go into 1.3.x and before 1.4 we'll decide which are good enough for that step. So starting with 1.3.3 you may expect to see campaigns going in or out at every 1.3.x release. 1.4 will be a stable branch again and all campaigns in 1.4 will be in 1.4.x.
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Post by Gus »

Yeah but i don't see the point in saying you "don't care at all if a few people complain about some aspects" when you're later asking for feedback...
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Post by turin »

Taurus wrote:Damn Turin, you don't mess around lol. Anyhow, since you put things bluntly, I hope you don't mind if I do the same.
Heh.
Taurus wrote:First of all, simply watching over the sholder of a newbie - and basing all your assumptions on that isn't - in my opinion - the most reliable and best platform from which to be judging something. I welcome all kind of imput and opinions, both positive and negitive. Prejudgements I find are more confusing to me then helpfull.
Well, did try to keep my remarks away from gameplay comments, and more on plot/general campaign design comments.
Taurus wrote:About the orcs keeping slaves, I originally got the starting idea from the 'Dwarvin Doors' scenario in HttT where Konrad desires to free the slaves but on the advice from Defador, bypasses them instead.
I don't remember that line. But in any case - this particular issue is just a personal preference.

Taurus wrote:But anyhow, I suggest you try it yourself on the meidum or hard difficulty where simply marching out and slaughering is not an option. On those diffculities you have to carefully juggle the TOD, your income, the fact that the orcs are fighting amoungst eachother and so on. I believe you will find it a lot more fun and challanging.

I am still open to the idea of changing things however so that you can recruit a limited number of spearmen/archers. If enough people agree with your line of thought it may happen.
my issue isn't so much with how easy the level was, but with how boring it was; given the numbers involved, each turn took too long for my liking, and the tactics seemed rather simplistic and boring.

Taurus wrote:Eleanzar said the same thing as well. However, I personally of am a different opinion. One of my major foccuses on this campaign was to have a good strong storyline - which I find many campaigns in Wesnoth are lacking. If there is some background, some strong history, I myself am far more inclined to play through a campaign. Take HttT, or UtbS for instance. Both campaigns have quite a lot of story in them, and they are probobally two of the most popular campaigns. If the campaign is simply a matter of beating up an AI on a custom map - then you can spare me.
I agree with this entirely (and I myself an guilty of writing a rather long introduction to a campaign now and then). But the one for NR seemed a bit long to me; or maybe it was just that it was in such a "this happened then this happened then this happened" manner.
Taurus wrote:This is why I don't like prejudgments because this campaign does NOT build up the the Knalgan Alliance.
But it seems like it will from where I've gotten to (a few scenarios in now).
Taurus wrote:And about being able to recruit thugs and poachers - first you raze me for being able to recruit only peasants. Then when the peasants take some time to arm themselves properally in preparation for all their descent into the caves, you raze me again. In your own words: "WTF"
I don't have a problem with them arming themselves properly; but why thugs and poachers? It seems strange that when the peasants advance, they become spearmen and bowmen, but then the next scenario they're using a completely different unit set. (Maybe this will be explained later; but no hint of such an explanation has been given. I don't mind mysteries, I mind confusing stuff that doesn't appear like it will ever be resolved - even if it eventually will.)

[I also found it mildly irritating that the spearmen and bowmen I worked so hard to advance in the previous scenario are now apparently going to be useless, since I can just recruit level 1 units. However, that didn't bug me too much, since it might be rectified later in the campaign.]

---

BTW, I'm not going to argue that my opinion of the campaign isn't entirely a prejudgement, because it is. I don't really like the idea of "freeing the slaves and escaping to freedom" as a campaign idea. But I'm trying not to let that bias my commentary about it going mainline or not, since obviously that doesn't mean it's a bad campaign...
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Post by Taurus »

Ok, as turin suggested - I am going to make the orcish leaders not look so dumb. That being said let me get things in order here - here are the current parts of Northern Rebirth that are in question:

1: The storyline. Does reading up through the story in the first scenario catch your attention. If you don't feel like elabarationg, a simple yes/no will do.

2. Swarming orcs with peasants. People seem either to love it or hate it. I am seriousley consitering taking up Zookeeprs advice on the other thread to custom create a couple different types of peasants to keep things a little more interesting. Do you like it as it is? Do you think I should create 2 or three custom peasants? Or do you just absoloutley hate the whole idea of fighting orcs with peasants, and won't touch it even if your life depends on it?

3. The Introduction being too long. I myself am disinclined to shorten it, but if the overwelming majority thinks it should be shortended then I will. So, should the introduction be shorter - yes/no?

4. Abruptly being able to recruit poachers and thugs. I am seriousley consitering doing something about this - exactally what I haven't decided yes. So, suggestions, comments or a simple "Yes I like it" or a "No, it's dumb".
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