Heir to the Throne Update (Current Focus: S1)

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Re: Heir to the Throne Update (Current Focus: S1)

Post by name » September 18th, 2015, 1:31 pm

This may be a radical idea for this first scenario, but if the orcs are going to provide a lot more challenge, could the turn limit be removed? Seeing as how the orc threat forces you to run fast or lose anyway.

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Re: Heir to the Throne Update (Current Focus: S1)

Post by Turuk » September 18th, 2015, 7:32 pm

Cold Steel wrote:This may be a radical idea for this first scenario, but if the orcs are going to provide a lot more challenge, could the turn limit be removed? Seeing as how the orc threat forces you to run fast or lose anyway.
I'm not opposed to radical, but then there would be no gold bonus for the player finishing early, so S2 would have to start with better pre-defined amounts (not a big issue to overcome). I am more concerned that the player would just try to fight and beat the orcs, ruining the concept of the need to run away.
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Re: Heir to the Throne Update (Current Focus: S1)

Post by zepko » September 19th, 2015, 9:46 am

Turuk wrote:
Cold Steel wrote:This may be a radical idea for this first scenario, but if the orcs are going to provide a lot more challenge, could the turn limit be removed? Seeing as how the orc threat forces you to run fast or lose anyway.
I'm not opposed to radical, but then there would be no gold bonus for the player finishing early, so S2 would have to start with better pre-defined amounts (not a big issue to overcome). I am more concerned that the player would just try to fight and beat the orcs, ruining the concept of the need to run away.
I agree with Turuk on this. Especially on normal I think that orcs can actually be beaten given enough turns.

I have tried it on hard, which is hard but not unplayable. I was able to win on the first attempt without reloading saves. In my opinion the scenario is well balanced and enjoyable, although it does not fit the label of easy campaign (it is more intermediate).
Turuk wrote:Did you at least feel like watching them come up, they were pressuring you as a player to keep pushing north? Even if they don't always reach the player, I want the player to be conscious that he has to run and push the northern orcs out of the way or be wolf food.
Sure, wolves are a concrete threat, which urges the player to move soon. It is also true that I have gold only for one round of recruit, so there is no actual reason to stay there longer.
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Re: Heir to the Throne Update (Current Focus: S1)

Post by taptap » September 19th, 2015, 11:21 am

Don't provide more challenge in the first genuine scenario people will play when starting the game, some after, some without the tutorial. It is a campaign that used to have an explanation text for horsemen in the next scenario, but you start out with terrain altering orcs. Are you serious? This scenario is not meant to be interesting to veteran players, true beginners did actually lose this scenario occasionally as it was. A friend of mine lost the first scenario of AOI. And I lost once even in the tutorial.

If changes are done to HttT, please fix the completely broken Arkanthoria branch of HttT. It has non-spawning drakes and unlimited undead farming in the first scenario and only high-level recruits in the second one, which due to too low numbers don't provide any challenge and just deliver a huge carryover.
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Re: Heir to the Throne Update (Current Focus: S1)

Post by Turuk » September 19th, 2015, 12:24 pm

zepko wrote: I have tried it on hard, which is hard but not unplayable. I was able to win on the first attempt without reloading saves. In my opinion the scenario is well balanced and enjoyable, although it does not fit the label of easy campaign (it is more intermediate).
Not an easy campaign, even on easy/normal? Konrad now has incremental gold levels instead of just a flat 100 across all three difficulties.
taptap wrote:Don't provide more challenge in the first genuine scenario people will play when starting the game, some after, some without the tutorial. It is a campaign that used to have an explanation text for horsemen in the next scenario, but you start out with terrain altering orcs. Are you serious? This scenario is not meant to be interesting to veteran players, true beginners did actually lose this scenario occasionally as it was. A friend of mine lost the first scenario of AOI. And I lost once even in the tutorial.
It is harder on Hard, but Easy is still simple to beat and Normal is not a challenge as well. Easy still has all of the extra dialogue to explain everything going on in the scenario, starting with the first scenario. Do you have a replay of your playthrough?
taptap wrote:If changes are done to HttT, please fix the completely broken Arkanthoria branch of HttT. It has non-spawning drakes and unlimited undead farming in the first scenario and only high-level recruits in the second one, which due to too low numbers don't provide any challenge and just deliver a huge carryover.
The branch is going to be fixed, it's one of the things I planned on when reworking HttT, once I actually get to the branches.
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Re: Heir to the Throne Update (Current Focus: S1)

Post by zepko » September 19th, 2015, 1:02 pm

Turuk wrote:Not an easy campaign, even on easy/normal? Konrad now has incremental gold levels instead of just a flat 100 across all three difficulties.
I have not tested easy, but to me the difficulty of this scenario can be compared to the campaign Liberty, which is labeled as intermediate. I am not a champion, but I am good enough to have beaten all mainline campaigns (except for NR) at intermediate level, and I am quite experienced of the game mechanics. Yet, I could as well have lost this scenario at both normal and hard. I don't think a novice player could win it smoothly (maybe only on easy), and this might discourage some players who find the first real scenario they play to be too difficult.

To sum up, I think normal should be just a little easier. Hard is fine for an experienced player who wants to replay a well known campaing but with some challenge to keep interest alive.

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Re: Heir to the Throne Update (Current Focus: S1)

Post by Turuk » September 19th, 2015, 1:28 pm

zepko wrote:Yet, I could as well have lost this scenario at both normal and hard. I don't think a novice player could win it smoothly (maybe only on easy), and this might discourage some players who find the first real scenario they play to be too difficult.

To sum up, I think normal should be just a little easier. Hard is fine for an experienced player who wants to replay a well known campaing but with some challenge to keep interest alive.
Noted between you and taptap. I'll keep Konrad's gold at 125 and try a few different things with green, most likely less grunts.
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Re: Heir to the Throne Update (Current Focus: S1)

Post by taptap » September 19th, 2015, 2:53 pm

It is harder on Hard, but Easy is still simple to beat and Normal is not a challenge as well. Easy still has all of the extra dialogue to explain everything going on in the scenario, starting with the first scenario. Do you have a replay of your playthrough?
I honestly didn't play your version, I was just alarmed by the "more challenge" and terrain altering I read about. I played through most ML and many UMC campaigns on highest difficulty years ago, so I am not the demographic that matters. I do remember different days, however, and I had to try the Isles of the Damned and Siege of Elensefar multiple times back then (but played normal in first attempt as I believe most people do). This is basically my point: the first "real" Wesnoth scenario most players play should introduce "normal Wesnoth gameplay" and it should cater to beginners not veterans. They will meet special effects and some serious difficulties later - at latest in the Siege of Elensefar. By then they had time to experiment a little and grow into the role, still enough people go "this game is unbalanced, unwinnable, bugged, whatever, probably everyone is cheating" in Elensefar.

Can we give Chantal an elvish name?
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Re: Heir to the Throne Update (Current Focus: S1)

Post by Turuk » September 19th, 2015, 5:51 pm

taptap wrote:I honestly didn't play your version, I was just alarmed by the "more challenge" and terrain altering I read about.
I'd ask you to play before decrying that it is one or the other. If you have read through this thread, I am trying to improve HttT, not set out just to make it harder and a barrier to entry for new players.
taptap wrote:This is basically my point: the first "real" Wesnoth scenario most players play should introduce "normal Wesnoth gameplay" and it should cater to beginners not veterans.
At no point have I indicated that this would cater to veterans. Additionally, I am not doing the normal developer process of making changes only in the repository where the few who build the game from there can play them - I am working to make the process open to the community for feedback.
taptap wrote:Can we give Chantal an elvish name?
Sure, what do you have in mind? I'd rather not think of cookware when I play. I'll have to cascade this across a few campaigns, but that's easy enough.
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Re: Heir to the Throne Update (Current Focus: S1)

Post by name » September 19th, 2015, 7:34 pm

Turuk wrote:
Cold Steel wrote:could the turn limit be removed?
I am more concerned that the player would just try to fight and beat the orcs, ruining the concept of the need to run away.
Do you fear the player would stay and prevail against the orcs or just stay and die?
Turuk wrote:I'd rather not think of cookware when I play.
That is still better than a personal hygiene product! ^_^

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Re: Heir to the Throne Update (Current Focus: S1)

Post by beetlenaut » September 19th, 2015, 7:45 pm

taptap wrote:Don't provide more challenge in the first genuine scenario people will play when starting the game, some after, some without the tutorial.
This is often the first real scenario people play, but it shouldn't be! AOI and South Guard are both more user friendly. HttT is too long and too difficult in many places to be a beginner campaign. It also has some strange mechanics like the ambushers in Crossroads or the lava in Scepter of Fire. We should change the order of the campaign screen so that HttT is third or fourth in the list. In my opinion, it should be TSG, AOI, AToTB, then HttT.
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Re: Heir to the Throne Update (Current Focus: S1)

Post by Turuk » September 19th, 2015, 9:58 pm

Cold Steel wrote:Do you fear the player would stay and prevail against the orcs or just stay and die?
Definitely stay and prevail, as if you know you can win by fighting the orcs the player will position their units in a way to work more closely with the allies.
beetlenaut wrote:
taptap wrote:Don't provide more challenge in the first genuine scenario people will play when starting the game, some after, some without the tutorial.
This is often the first real scenario people play, but it shouldn't be! AOI and South Guard are both more user friendly. HttT is too long and too difficult in many places to be a beginner campaign. It also has some strange mechanics like the ambushers in Crossroads or the lava in Scepter of Fire. We should change the order of the campaign screen so that HttT is third or fourth in the list. In my opinion, it should be TSG, AOI, AToTB, then HttT.
Not a terrible idea at all, particularly if new players could sink their teeth into some of the shorter, more user friendly campaigns like you mentioned. That would mean altering the tutorial, as currently it leads people to HttT as the logical choice.
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Re: Heir to the Throne Update (Current Focus: S1)

Post by beetlenaut » September 20th, 2015, 3:01 am

Turuk wrote:That would mean altering the tutorial, as currently it leads people to HttT as the logical choice.
I doubt that it's obvious that HttT is the logical choice. You would have to play the tutorial as Konrad and then recognize that it's the same guy in the campaign image. People probably play HttT first because it's the first in the list.

It doesn't matter a lot if characters in the tutorial appear in some campaign or not, but we should change the tutorial for a different reason: Right now, we have Lisar and Konrad speaking like young children, which is fine and adds some humor, but doesn't match the current view of the characters. All we need to do, I think, is make them different children. If they are generic, the tutorial wouldn't relate to any campaign, which actually makes more sense I think. We could leave Delfador since he probably trained other children from time to time at the request of the king, or we could make the wizard a generic character too.

We wouldn't even need to wait on new artwork for this. I think the old, cartoony portraits would be perfectly appropriate for the tutorial, so we could use those. (You get to see good artwork when you play for real.) For the sprites, we could use the current ones or the noble youth from TRoW with a modified version for the female character.
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Re: Heir to the Throne Update (Current Focus: S1)

Post by Turuk » September 20th, 2015, 11:00 am

beetlenaut wrote:I doubt that it's obvious that HttT is the logical choice. You would have to play the tutorial as Konrad and then recognize that it's the same guy in the campaign image. People probably play HttT first because it's the first in the list.
A fair point, they wouldn't know the difference at that point.
beetlenaut wrote:It doesn't matter a lot if characters in the tutorial appear in some campaign or not, but we should change the tutorial for a different reason: Right now, we have Lisar and Konrad speaking like young children, which is fine and adds some humor, but doesn't match the current view of the characters. All we need to do, I think, is make them different children. If they are generic, the tutorial wouldn't relate to any campaign, which actually makes more sense I think. We could leave Delfador since he probably trained other children from time to time at the request of the king, or we could make the wizard a generic character too.

We wouldn't even need to wait on new artwork for this. I think the old, cartoony portraits would be perfectly appropriate for the tutorial, so we could use those. (You get to see good artwork when you play for real.) For the sprites, we could use the current ones or the noble youth from TRoW with a modified version for the female character.
That's true, it does not really help either of those characters to be portrayed that way. This would be an easy enough change to make, and could be done now as well.



On a slightly different note, I made some alterations to S1 to allow for a bit more balance on Normal. Blue to the south now only recruits wolf riders on Normal and Easy, and the northwest orc gets a couple less grunts. Please let me know if it is more reasonable now, and I will move on to S2. I have overhauled the map for S2, but no other changes have been made to it at all if you keep playing.

The current state of S1 can be found at this Dropbox link. Instead of asking you to place individual files, just remove your current HttT folder and place this in its place at Wesnoth 1.12\data\campaigns.

On a personal note, I will be traveling for work for the next 10 days, with limited or perhaps no access to the internet. If you provide feedback, I will get back to you!
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Re: Heir to the Throne Update (Current Focus: S1)

Post by zepko » September 26th, 2015, 1:17 pm

Turuk wrote:On a slightly different note, I made some alterations to S1 to allow for a bit more balance on Normal. Blue to the south now only recruits wolf riders on Normal and Easy, and the northwest orc gets a couple less grunts. Please let me know if it is more reasonable now, and I will move on to S2. I have overhauled the map for S2, but no other changes have been made to it at all if you keep playing.
This feels good to me. Not too hard, not too easy, reasonable for a beginner campaign (I still have not tested easy as I think it would be too easy for me to give a reliable feedback).

In S2, is it intended that you have switched the starting positions of the player and of the orcs?
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