Scenario 17: The Sceptre of Fire

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Postby zol » August 4th, 2006, 12:44 pm

I start quite small expecting to spread out, then I discover fronts and enemies seeping in more holes than I can plug.
So Konrad has to tramp to the nearest keep and recruit some more, hoping they will arrive on time.
It turns out that my small formations were sufficient as the enemies are not that interested in attacking.
Still, I've only uncovered half of the map, so I move my much enlarged army towards what looks like a probable boss-fight/gatekeeper direction for several turns unopposed and trip over the sceptre.

Well, it's a bit misleading and anticlimactic.
All that foreboding melodrama at the beginning, too.
I feel that there should be something special here beyond cave trekking and fighting.

Apart from that, I liked the map and the conscientious provision of keeps - Having some of them inhabited by unusual sub-factions is a nice touch.

I would suggest that the sceptre be farther into the map, and that wrong directions also carry some significance or highlights.

That said, I was quite nervous about my chances of finishing in time (one reason for over-recruiting near the end; I was not going to send Konrad back again or let a few wounded stop everyone).

I may restart it just to do a neater job of it.
Last edited by zol on August 8th, 2006, 4:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Scenario Review: (HttT) The Sceptre of Fire

Postby PingPangQui » August 4th, 2006, 4:55 pm

(1) Very Hard - 1.1.7
(2) 1st time 6(medium), 2nd time 2(easy)
(3) very clear
(4) Nice - but still didn't get the point about the cave shaking - maybe I just missed it?
(5) To give the princess the sceptre and not konrad - furtunately she is still quite fast in caves?
(6) 8? (1-10)
(7) Maybe some kind of flooding like in the Campaign "Under the Burning Sun"?
(8 ) Don't rember - but it was enough?
(9) Quite a lot (maybe 40 - not sure - at leasst more than I could possibly recall).

Comment: For those who found it difficult or even frustrating playing this scenario: Recruit only dwarves, and recall only Dwarves, Mages / Healers with at least 6 move points - all other units are just pointless (even human outlaws). If enemys are just to strong/to many, try to fight enemys at norrows locations, thus you kill one by one - remeber the ai is just stupid - if you know how his tactic its simple. Split your army - since you are in the cave you have not much to worry about that due to a lot of narrow pathes. Half of them should go with the princes the other half with Konrad. And last but not least - silvermages are pretty usefull :).
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Postby Clonkinator » August 10th, 2006, 6:53 pm

(1) What difficulty levels and game versions have you played the scenario on?
A. Easy (1.0.2)
B. Normal (1.1.7) (Not finished the scenario yet)
C. Hard (1.0.2) (Not finished the campaign yet)
(2) How difficult did you find the scenario? (1-10)
A. 9
B. 9
C. 14
(3) How clear did you find the scenario objectives?
Extremely clear...
(4) How clear and interesting did you find the dialog and storyline of the scenario?
Okay.
(5) What were your major challenges in meeting the objectives of the scenario?
A. The Turn Limit. 44 Turns were just not enough many times. One time, I found the sceptre - and ran out of time just ONE turn before being able to get it.
B. The Turn Limit and the thousands of enemies - but however, by some reason I never met more than two armies...
C. The endless wave of enemies... And, of course, the turn limit.
ABC: I think a turn limit of about 70 turns would be fine.
(6) How fun do you think the scenario is? (1-10)
A. 2
B. 1
C. -3
(7) What, if any, are changes you would have made to the scenario to make it more fun?
As mentioned, I would have set the turn limit to about 70 turns. And some less enemies. Also the randomness of the map is very *****.
(8 ) How much gold did you have at the start of the scenario?
A. About 1800 8)
B. About 500
C. About 250
(9) About how many higher level units did you have in your recall list? Don't list them out.
A. About 45
B. About 60
C. 13

Ugh, this scenario is [censored]! :x
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Postby fyo » October 16th, 2006, 1:15 am

(1) What difficulty levels and game versions have you played the scenario on?
medium on 1.1.11 and 1.0.

(2) How difficult did you find the scenario? (1-10)
5

(3) How clear did you find the scenario objectives?
Crystal.

(4) How clear and interesting did you find the dialog and storyline of the scenario?
Quite good.

(5) What were your major challenges in meeting the objectives of the scenario?
Not dividing my units up into groups that are too small, while still searching EVERYWHERE.

(6) How fun do you think the scenario is? (1-10)
8

(7) What, if any, are changes you would have made to the scenario to make it more fun?
This is the best scenario so far in the campaign! Really fun. And, wow, the changes since 1.0... impressive. Everything is so much better. I don't know how random the scepter location is now, but it was in the perfect spot in my game - almost all the way to the north, at a castle almost all the way to the east. Great. Far away, but still easily manageable within the time limit.

The lava was great. Had an impact, but didn't dominate.

I don't know that there's anything I'd change in this scenario. I hope the scepter is always located roughly that deep into the map.
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Postby anupamsr » October 16th, 2006, 6:59 pm

(1) Easy and Medium
(2) Scenarios don't get harder as you proceed, which means they don't get as much harder as you would like to think. Some of them are good and some of them are ok. But it is kinda ok.
(3) Everything was clearly explained except the part where people turn into stones. There, some heroes may turn into stone while other not which should not be so.
(4) No problemo.
(5) Getting killed or running out of enough money.
(6) 8
(7) Add some storyline with Orcs etc. too. In 1st level we get to know the queen is sending them, and for rest of the game they just come everywhere, no matter what path we chose etc. But they don't seem to actually seem to be in allegiance with queen, and act on your own ('We wont let you pass', 'see humans, lets kill them'). It would be nice if some hero on there side could also be added who may come again and again.
(8 ) Is it customizable? If you mean in the start of the last objective (killing queen), around 1200.
(9) around 10-15 :((
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Postby anupamsr » October 16th, 2006, 7:00 pm

(1) Easy and Medium
(2) Scenarios don't get harder as you proceed, which means they don't get as much harder as you would like to think. Some of them are good and some of them are ok. But it is kinda ok.
(3) Everything was clearly explained except the part where people turn into stones. There, some heroes may turn into stone while other not which should not be so.
(4) No problemo.
(5) Getting killed or running out of enough money.
(6) 8
(7) Add some storyline with Orcs etc. too. In 1st level we get to know the queen is sending them, and for rest of the game they just come everywhere, no matter what path we chose etc. But they don't seem to actually seem to be in allegiance with queen, and act on your own ('We wont let you pass', 'see humans, lets kill them'). It would be nice if some hero on there side could also be added who may come again and again.
(8 ) Is it customizable? If you mean in the start of the last objective (killing queen), around 1200.
(9) around 10-15 :((
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Postby cph » May 16th, 2007, 8:14 pm

1) Medium; 1.2.4
2) 6
3) Clear
4) Interesting, certainly. I was unclear why Lisar was cooperating in locating the Sceptre; in the previous scenario I was under the impression she was hunting me; only in the next scenario does it say she was (also?) after the sceptre.
5) Having several combat groups, widely separated by tunnels, meant it was tricky to ensure that every combat group had enough diversity to take on whatever confronted it. Small detachments splitting off of the main groups to explore side tunnels could get hit by a couple of trolls, with no healer or village nearby, and be in danger.
6) 6 - the lava chasms and earthquakes give a good atmosphere to the level, and you meet a diverse range of enemies.
7) -
8 ) start gold ~320
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Re: Scenario Review: (HttT) The Sceptre of Fire

Postby SumnerH » April 7th, 2008, 7:43 pm

I'm filling these out having done Elves Beseiged-A Choice Must Be Made on "medium" difficulty, and I'm following the advice to rank 10=hardest scenario in the campaign (Seige of Elsenfar), 1 = easiest (Elves Besieged)

(1) What difficulty levels have you played the scenario on?
Medium, Wesnoth version 1.4
(2) How difficult did you find the scenario? (1-10) [1]
4
(3) How clear did you find the scenario objectives?
Very.
(4) How clear and interesting did you find the dialog and storyline of the scenario?
Very clear, but not all that interesting.
(5) What were your major challenges in completing the scenario?
Keeping 2 forces alive and well (thankfully Konrad was with the one that ran low on resources and could bring in a couple more dwarven fighters for them)
(6) How fun do you think the scenario is? (1-10)
2. Boring dungeon crawl. Being an avid Nethack player (and serial ascender) I _love_ the concept of a randomly gen'd dungeon; this one just seems monotonous, and there's no indication of which way to head for the sceptre.
(7) What, if any, are changes you would have made to the scenario to make it more fun?
Just a few more villages would eliminate some of the "okay, now we sit around for 3-4 turns to heal" dead time--after a battle, you wind up with 1 or maybe 2 villages around and have to rotate your troops through them 1 at a time. Ugh.

Maybe also make some of the bosses really wimpy, and some tougher the closer to the sceptre you get--that lets you basically play "colder/warmer" to focus in on it instead of wandering aimlessly. (I'm thinking XL1 leaders way out, XL2 leaders closer, XL3 right around it or something like that)
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Re: Scenario Review: (HttT) The Sceptre of Fire

Postby theruler » April 18th, 2008, 8:30 pm

(1) What difficulty levels and game versions have you played the scenario on?
1.4.1 win build - normal.

(2) How difficult did you find the scenario? (1-10)
2 (recruited previous mission and reached lvl2 with 4 dwarves...)

(3) How clear did you find the scenario objectives?
take the sceptre with Lis'ar OR Konrad... Mhmmmm interesting that OR... ;-)

(4) How clear and interesting did you find the dialog and storyline of the scenario?
Clear and very good.

(5) What were your major challenges in meeting the objectives of the scenario?
keep the group compact. Due to the different movements.

(6) How fun do you think the scenario is? (1-10)
4... no serious encounters...

(7) What, if any, are changes you would have made to the scenario to make it more fun?
Insert some road segments here and there, to help KALENZ... ;-)
There are more villages than the necessary.
And all seems to be a little... easy.

(8 ) How much gold did you have at the start of the scenario?
1204

(9) About how many higher level units did you have in your recall list? Don't list them out.
12 lvl3 and 11 lvl2
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Re: Scenario Review: (HttT) The Sceptre of Fire

Postby zyx » May 2nd, 2008, 11:02 pm

(1) Medium - 1.4.1
(2) 2
(3) Clear
(4) Clear and interesting
(5) No defeated units.
(6) 5
(7)
(8) Don't remember but probably above 1000.
(9) Level 3 - 17 Level 2 - 0
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Re: Scenario Review: (HttT) The Sceptre of Fire

Postby Buddy Jimm » May 18th, 2008, 7:23 pm

(1) What difficulty levels have you played the scenario on?

Medium, 1.3.17

(2) How difficult did you find the scenario? (1-10)

2. This is a map I'd have to play more than once to get a good feel for. Previous versions have always seemed to depend largely on how the cave gets laid out, sometimes offering up a breeze victory, sometimes enemies/lava flooding every possible route. This time, I had the former.

(3) How clear did you find the scenario objectives?

Clear.

(4) How clear and interesting did you find the dialog and storyline of the scenario?

It's good. But there's a lot missing. Maybe it's explained in the "Sceptre of Fire" campaign, but how did the sceptre end up all the way inside this deep cavern?

I also think it would reinforce the idea of the scepter's power more to have some monsters try to pick it up, and then either die or be unable to harness it. Frequently(including this last time) monsters will be in the sceptre room when I get there, and it's funny that they should have the area secure yet ignore the sceptre completely. It might also explain why Lionel knew its location but hasn't acquired it himself.

(5) What were your major challenges in meeting the objectives of the scenario?

The severity of the obstacles has often been random. This can be a problem because you really want to sweep up the scepter as soon as possible so you'll have some gold stashed for the enormous drain caused by future scenarios.

(6) How fun do you think the scenario is? (1-10)

8, from the perspective of the caves of old, anyway. The scenery is fantastic (as if to suggest scenery in Wesnoth wasn't awesome in general), and the mood is very well set. The new music has done a great job of giving this level some energy too, but that one Minstrels song is part of the soundtrack.

(7) What, if any, are changes you would have made to the scenario to make it more fun?

Honestly? I think it's worth considering revealing the location of the sceptre. The map can be extremely complex, sometimes offering more routes than can be effectively searched and secured (and Konrad and Li'Sar are only two people). You can lose a LOT of turns with so much area to check out and no available scouting unit. The player would still have to figure out how to get there, but at least he'd have a better idea where to go (Delfador's hint isn't very much help when most all the map is north of you).
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Re: Scenario Review: (HttT) The Sceptre of Fire

Postby scott » May 19th, 2008, 11:58 am

That's an interesting critique. The original intention was to add a way to have Delfador home in on the location if you let him rest to help you overcome the lack of mobility. The problem is that you have no knowledge of randomly placed items once placed. One remedy for this is putting it in the same room every time. I think some players would probably prefer it that way (but then you would not be able to imagine the scenario designer sitting in a dark room somewhere giggling). Another remedy is to provide a variable to store the location of randomly placed items and activate the homing feature. Maybe that capability is there now.
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Re: Scenario Review: (HttT) The Sceptre of Fire

Postby zookeeper » May 19th, 2008, 12:22 pm

scott wrote:Another remedy is to provide a variable to store the location of randomly placed items and activate the homing feature. Maybe that capability is there now.

Yes, it actually is. If you look at the PLACE_SCEPTER macro in Heir_To_The_Throne/utils/httt_utils.cfg, you'll see a line with store_location_as=scepter, which means that the coordinates for this random location will be stored in $scepter_x and $scepter_y (I have no idea why it's not $scepter.x and $scepter.y though). It's already used in the scenario file to prevent lava flowing to the scepter's surroundings, I think.
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Re: Scenario Review: (HttT) The Sceptre of Fire

Postby Anonymissimus » August 25th, 2008, 7:48 pm

has anyone ever had one of the crown units dying in an opening up lava chasm in this scenario (and immediately lost then)...?

i've seen this several times happen to (non-crowned) enemy units :-) , and also once to one of my dwarves...

it seems that for every turn there is only one lava chasm that is currently growing on the whole map, and once it has stopped growing it seems that it doesn't continue later, so watch your surroundings for save passage...
gryphons can pass savely and quickly over the lava btw, and even hide there from enemys, these don't have flying units...
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Re: Scenario Review: (HttT) The Sceptre of Fire

Postby Trucidation » January 2nd, 2009, 8:53 am

scott wrote:(1) What difficulty levels and game versions have you played the scenario on?

Medium, 1.4.6
scott wrote:(2) How difficult did you find the scenario? (1-10)

4, fairly easy. After reading this thread though, I feel like I got off very lightly. It seems many people had severe problems with the random map generator here.
scott wrote:(3) How clear did you find the scenario objectives?

Crystal ("go find the sceptre").
scott wrote:(4) How clear and interesting did you find the dialog and storyline of the scenario?

It was adequate. I don't quite buy how un-hostile Li'sar is behaving though, especially if you let her pick up the sceptre.
scott wrote:(5) What were your major challenges in meeting the objectives of the scenario?

Keeping people alive due to the slow-ass white mages. Fortunately, elf healers don't seem to have a movement issue (are those wings they sprouted?).
scott wrote:(6) How fun do you think the scenario is? (1-10)

6 at most -- it was fairly suspenseful, especially when I didn't know how the sceptre is supposed to be found, i.e. is it just sitting there in plain sight, or do we have to actually walk onto the specific tile to trigger it's discovery. Finding a Storm Trident in an earlier scenario in this campaign should've clued me in, but I actually missed that one - in fact I only picked up the other one (at the river fording scenario) since it was pretty much unmissable sitting right there in the open west of the island.
scott wrote:(7) What, if any, are changes you would have made to the scenario to make it more fun?

As I mentioned, I think I got lucky with the map generator. You may want to give players more turns, especially given how slow most units move in the caves. I did use a couple of gryphon riders, but obviously it's too easy to overextend as well. Also, players may need to backtrack a lot especially if the person they need to get the sceptre with happens to be in a different area of the map. That wasn't a problem for me though since my map happened to be fairly straightforward.
scott wrote:(8 ) How much gold did you have at the start of the scenario?

I wasn't hurting too bad for money - from the previous scenarios I already knew moving elves around in caves is a huge pain in the ass, so I didn't recall any of the high level (read: expensive) buggers.
scott wrote:(9) About how many higher level units did you have in your recall list? Don't list them out.

Seems like most people are listing them out, heh. I had a bunch of dwarves and those fast-moving elf healers. Gotta love maxed out dragonguards especially when you need to drop hard-hitting-but-melee-only enemies (read: troll).

- - - - -

Honestly, I got lucky. My castle was nice an large (all hexes around Konrad) with a nice scattering of villages nearby. After two turns of recalling, I moved cautiously northwards. Path split into two with a huge empty castle in the middle, and two enemy castles flanking the area immediately around it (goblin and orc leaders). It was a pretty easy skirmish since my forces were still mostly intact, and the goblin units were pathetic (go go dwarven thunderguards!).

After that it was mainly a very long torturous split along two paths, east and west along the map (middle section was a very short dead end). Finally, both paths rejoined at the north end of the map, with a final troll enemy guarding the sceptre - it was in plain sight a few hexes north of the troll castle.

Most of my forces followed Konrad up the west path, while I sent Li'sar up the east with several gryphons and a healer (rp-wise, I'm not too fond of Li'sar just yet). There was no opposition for much of the map, so exploration was mostly a move-as-far-as-you-can-dammit crawl. I was more concerned about revealing the map rather than watching out for ambushes, so I guess I got lucky again.

From what I read here the map generator could've just as easily turned this scenario into a disaster, so bear that in mind when you read my "fairly easy" ratings.
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