The South Guard

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Tet
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Re: Beginner Campaign: The South Guard

Post by Tet » May 11th, 2009, 9:29 pm

I played that some years ago. I was surprised to learn that easy at that time was not allways the easiest. Lots of money but not enough level opportunities. That might be fixed now.

I suggest to use the save load cheat a bit to learn from mistakes.
For loyalist it is important to produce a healer asap.
Than learn this "cramp around healer" strategies.

Strategy wise it is all mentionend somewhere:
Hit only if you gain something by it without to much damage. The healer helps a lot here.
Gain levels and use levelling wisely (extra instant healing)
Hit with superiority 3 to 1 should be fine, more is better.
Retreat at day or night when you are weakest.

Make gold, get villages, get early finish bonus.
Calculate what you can recall. Recall the weakest units first, Leave empty spots in the first round of recruting. That might get you at least one extra recall out of the same gold.

Learn how the AI picks targets. (Just guess before you end your turn)
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This is "must-play" campaign! Don´t read the thread, unless you need help. http://forums.wesnoth.org/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=31895

Jozrael
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Re: Beginner Campaign: The South Guard

Post by Jozrael » May 11th, 2009, 10:08 pm

Tet wrote:I suggest to use the save load cheat a bit to learn from mistakes.
I highly recommend against this; it encouraged very hard to break habits with me and many others.

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Turuk
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Re: Beginner Campaign: The South Guard

Post by Turuk » May 11th, 2009, 10:11 pm

Jozrael wrote:As an entirely separate note, what if we changed campaigns to have a uniform difficult setting of 'easy medium hard (nightmare)' and just ranked them based on difficulty as we're currently doing? Such as novice campaigns, intermediate, and advanced etc.
Makes sense, though I feel that it may have been avoided because players may still expect the difficulties to be comparable given that they all share the same words, though yes, the comparative levels are specified in the description as novice, intermediate or expert. Worth a shot towards uniformity.


Side-note: Ditto what Jozrael said about save-loading. Using it occasionally is one thing, but reliance on that to win will lead to some very irritating circumstances later on in a campaign when you are reliant on a number of attacks to go a certain way.
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nemchenk
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Re: Beginner Campaign: The South Guard

Post by nemchenk » May 12th, 2009, 10:05 am

Jozrael wrote:As an entirely separate note, what if we changed campaigns to have a uniform difficult setting of 'easy medium hard (nightmare)' and just ranked them based on difficulty as we're currently doing? Such as novice campaigns, intermediate, and advanced etc.

This would solve all the new players who are upset at not being able to perform at the 'normal' difficulty level on the easiest of campaigns when it is in fact that hardest one available.
I greatly appreciate the effort to make it more understandable for the new player :) Thank you! However, this is exactly what got me with The South Guard -- I understood that "Normal" difficulty for an "Easy" campaign would be, well, "Easy." And something like "Hard on an Easy campaign" I would have understood as "Normal", if you see what I mean...

I think it would work if we were to develop the current system of difficulty level descriptions a little, to help players better gauge the difficulty of a particular campaign. The Wesnoth (dev?) community could agree on the definition of several "levels" of players, based on general accepted competence with the game. For example, something like:
  • Civilian - A complete novice to strategy gaming in general, and Wesnoth in particular. Needs maximum hand-holding to explain even the basic concepts of the game
  • Recruit - Has played strategy computer games before, though perhaps only "lite" ones. Can understand basic concepts in gaming, but is new to the intricacies of combined-arms, and Wesnoth.
  • Cadet - Has played many computer strategy games before, but is new to the hex-based genre perhaps.
  • Soldier - Has played many kinds of strategy games, both computer and table-top. New to Wesnoth, however. (This is where I place myself, for example :oops: )
  • Veteran - A veteran player of Wesnoth, seasoned in several campaigns.
  • General - A grizzled veteran of Wesnoth, has played all the campaigns at least once, and is still looking for a challenge.
  • Avatar - You get the idea...
    A few more or fewer as required.
These are not difficulty levels as such, but rather roles or "groups" of players, as in a Unix-like access-control system. It would give the game a uniform way of describing campaign levels of difficulty, rather than using a combination of "expected Campaign difficulty + Difficulty level description." Using a system like that, for example, TSG seems to me currently to have three levels: Civilian, Recruit, and Veteran. (I have played the first two scenarios on all three levels, so do speak from a little bit of experience.)

It would be easier to align player expectations of the campaign: if they saw it only had on Veteran, General, and Avatar... well, you get the picture. And I think it is easier for a player to describe their own level of competence, instead of having to guess what the scenario designer meant when they said it was "Normal difficulty."

I admit it is not a novel idea -- the current system is using the same method, but I think it would help with any confusion to move the definition focus from the scenario to the player, use ranks like "Veteran" and "General", and perhaps show a short description what they mean.

My 2p,
nemchenk

Jozrael
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Re: Beginner Campaign: The South Guard

Post by Jozrael » May 12th, 2009, 3:24 pm

Well, I think that's starting to leave the KISS philosophy a bit. I've been thinking about this a bit, and here's what I've come up with.

I don't want the hardest difficulty of TSG to be lessened.

Some players (you included) feel that there is too big a gap in between the medium and hard levels of TSG. Also, both the easy and medium levels of TSG are rather easy (at least early on).

Therefore, it seems to me that the best way to address the broadest spectrum of player skills would be to focus on a slight increase in the difficulty of the medium level of TSG, rather than decreasing the difficulty of the harder track.

In terms of naming conventions, I think either solution would work more successfully than our current system. Our current system is close to what you are suggesting, but not quite close enough. Having a single, unified set of difficulty settings (and this will obviously entail the need for more than 4 descriptions of difficulty) could help players more easily find the next step up for them.

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Turuk
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Re: Beginner Campaign: The South Guard

Post by Turuk » May 12th, 2009, 5:58 pm

Choosing uniform names for difficulty levels across campaigns rated Novice, Intermediate or Expert is not a bad idea.

Implementing all of those various levels, on the other hand, gets away from a KISS principle and seems much more complicated. For one, no campaign would offer that many settings and so it would still have to pick 2, 3, or 4 that fit most closely the difficulties for the campaign.

Also, the difficulties are not based on how familiar the player is with other types of strategy games, or TBS games in particular. The difficulties should be rated in terms of relation to Wesnoth.

Standardizing difficulty choices and placing more emphasis on the overall designation of the campaign (Novice, Intermediate, or Expert) is a better bet. Not to mention, taking the need for balancing in one difficulty of one campaign as the need to overhaul the whole system seems a bit extensive when adjustment, as proposed by Jozrael, makes more sense.
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Tet
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Re: Beginner Campaign: The South Guard

Post by Tet » May 15th, 2009, 7:35 am

I totally agree with the masters! :oops:

SaveLoading can be addictiv and narrows the mind!
It serves no purpose for gaming. :eng:

I merely wanted to say it might help to learn how the computer moves its units.
Use with extrem caution entirely on your own risk or not at all. :idea:
My Temple Project: http://forums.wesnoth.org/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=29800
This is "must-play" campaign! Don´t read the thread, unless you need help. http://forums.wesnoth.org/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=31895

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nemchenk
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Re: Beginner Campaign: The South Guard

Post by nemchenk » May 15th, 2009, 2:46 pm

Turuk wrote:the difficulties are not based on how familiar the player is with other types of strategy games, or TBS games in particular. The difficulties should be rated in terms of relation to Wesnoth.
I have to say: I am not convinced, Turuk :) Both methods would be consistent through all Wesnoth scenarios, but one requires "insider knowledge" of just how hard or easy a Wesnoth scenario is or should be expected to be. I put it then that the method which does *not* require such knowledge, but instead relies simply on a definition of the player him- or herself is the simpler and more transparent one.

New player: "Hmm... how difficult is a Wesnoth 'normal' scenario? I've no idea! Have I played Wesnoth before? What about other computer games? I think I can answer that one fairly easily!"

Again, just my 2p on this one,
nemchenk

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nemchenk
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Re: Beginner Campaign: The South Guard

Post by nemchenk » May 22nd, 2009, 2:55 pm

I played through all the scenarios in both branches on Easy the other day, and am particularly impressed with the Bandit branch -- the truly epic feel of Pebbles in the Stream, Tides of War, and the Epilogue is top notch! I wasn't that keen on the Elves branch, but more on that another time...

I am beginning to work on a new map for TSG, but have some questions about scale, and thus the timeline of the campaign. I don't want to "spoiler" things in this thread, so thought I should ask first: shall I post here, or is there a more appropriate forum?

Many thanks in advance,
nemchenk

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Turuk
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Re: Beginner Campaign: The South Guard

Post by Turuk » May 22nd, 2009, 2:57 pm

nemchenk wrote:I am beginning to work on a new map for TSG, but have some questions about scale, and thus the timeline of the campaign. I don't want to "spoiler" things in this thread, so thought I should ask first: shall I post here, or is there a more appropriate forum?
Spoiler:
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nemchenk
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Re: Beginner Campaign: The South Guard

Post by nemchenk » May 22nd, 2009, 3:12 pm

Thanks, Turuk! :) I'll fire away, then:

With regards to making a new campaign map for TSG, what I wanted to ask is: what is the scale of the main Wesnoth map?
Spoiler:
For example, lets take a look at King Harold's campaign in 1066 -- he marched his men from the south coast of England to battle the Norwegians at Stamford Bridge, a distance of some 260 miles, in about two weeks. Then, his exhausted troops marched back south to confront the Normans on the south coast, again covering about 260 miles in about 3 weeks. Granted, these were forced-march affairs and a feat of endurance and organisation back in those days.

So, here is the question: what does 300-500 miles mean on the main Wesnoth map?
Spoiler:
I'm just trying to figure this out before I make the map too small or too big! :)


All help and comments much appreciated,
nemchenk

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Re: Beginner Campaign: The South Guard

Post by Jozrael » May 22nd, 2009, 4:42 pm

As a note, scale in wesnoth is relative. The main map is uniform, obviously, but each individual scenario can take place in vastly differing scales. There are overland scales which cover a significant portion of the continent with a relatively small map, and there are maps that take place entirely inside of a single building (which can be roughly the same number of hexes!)

Long story short, make the map as big as is good for -gameplay-. In general, err on the side of smaller rather than larger. It's much easier to balance and finetune a medium or less map than it is to make a large map have efficient usage of the space AND be enjoyable to slog across. You can make every one of your hexes dozens of miles across if necessary. Don't worry overly much if troops are thus crossing far more terrain than would be feasible in one day: gameplay > realism in this aspect.

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nemchenk
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Re: Beginner Campaign: The South Guard

Post by nemchenk » May 22nd, 2009, 4:53 pm

Hi Jozrael,

Sorry, I didn't make it clear -- I meant the "Indy-style red line" map that is shown before the scenario, not the hex-based map the scenario takes place on! :) images/story/bigmap.jpg, to be precise, or a replacement for it. I attach the current one to clear up any possible misunderstanding


Yours,
Attachments
bigmap.jpg
Current "bigmap.jpg" -- this is what I plan to replace
bigmap.jpg (40.47 KiB) Viewed 1614 times
nemchenk

Jozrael
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Re: Beginner Campaign: The South Guard

Post by Jozrael » May 22nd, 2009, 5:36 pm

OOOOO.

I get you now.

You're drawing a new map, not creating a new scenario.

I get it!

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nemchenk
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Re: Beginner Campaign: The South Guard

Post by nemchenk » May 22nd, 2009, 6:07 pm

That's the one :) Any thoughts on the the scale of the main Wesnoth map?
Spoiler:
nemchenk

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