Scenario Review: (UTBS) 2. Across the Harsh Sands

Feedback for the mainline campaign Under the Burning Suns.

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Koo
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Re: Scenario Review: (UTBS) 2. Across the Harsh Sands

Post by Koo » June 15th, 2012, 8:56 am

In 1.10.3 there is no Holy Water on HARD. (In WML code is an if condition, which disable this event).

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flammstrudel
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Re: Scenario Review: (UTBS) 2. Across the Harsh Sands

Post by flammstrudel » April 13th, 2013, 9:16 pm

1) What version and difficulty level did you play the scenario on? Please do not submit feedback from pre 1.4.
1.10.2 - medium

2) Do you think the difficulty is adequate to the level? If not describe the issue that made the scenario to easy/hard.
3/10 Quite easy. Especially since the bandit in the vicinity of those ogres doesn't always recrute units. Ghosts are annoying – they always are. But they are attacking the bandits as well so it's really not that hard. Terrain and mobility advantage give you the upper hand.

3) Was there any event that caused you to almost instantly loose, or made the scenario unplayable without reload?
I reloaded twice. First time I scouted way ahead with the dust devil and triggered the loyal red mage. She was all by herself and surrounded by ghosts and various undeads at night. Nothing I could do to save her. Second time I restarted because I realized that I had skipped some oases.

4) Do you like the storyline and the dialogues? If not what part/character lags behind or what would you like changed?
It was okay.

5) Do you think the scenario was fun? Please write down some thoughts about gameplay, mood etc.
7/10 All it all it was a decent scenario. Crawling through the deadly desert set a good new mood. There are really good ideas implemented: the dust devil pet (very versatile and useful unit later on), the harassing ghosts at night, the need to seek for water. However the last one doesn't really work out. With the druids from the first level you can negate the hydration issue completely so it's kind of pointless. The first time I just moved straight north and missed some game content. Would be better if healers couldn't treat heat damage.

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Maiklas3000
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Re: Scenario Review: (UTBS) 2. Across the Harsh Sands

Post by Maiklas3000 » April 17th, 2014, 12:10 pm

1) Level and version? Nightmare, 1.11.12.
2) Adequately difficult? No, 3/10. I wouldn't add enemy gold, because it's already a bit of an XP fest. Having the two leaders not rush out of their keeps would probably make it harder. On hard, you could trigger the castle undead when the other undead are triggered. I wound up doing that accidentally by scouting ahead. Maybe the bandits could be triggered when the Ogres are triggered too (if they don't fight each other)? Another thing is that between thirst and the ghosts, the outlaws at the end pretty much kill themselves. I'm not sure that even makes sense. The outlaws live there, so they must encounter the ghosts every night. It seems like they would have learned how best to deal with them, like by ignoring them. Is it possible to tell the outlaws that the ghosts are friends, even when the ghosts are told to attack the outlaws? If not, you could make the outlaws super defensive, either guarding or using a super low aggression setting, which would cause defensive formations that should help them survive the ghosts. Speaking of the ghosts, they seem the right level of difficulty. They picked off one of my units.
3) Restarts? None.
4) Dialog? Good, but there is a problem related to what I just said about my triggering the castle undead early. Once I wiped out the first group of undead, Nym said, "Whew! Looks like that's the last of them." Meanwhile, there were 4 undead next to my units, plus more further away. That's because they were the castle undead, whereas Nym was referring to the other undead. Maybe you could change the line to "Whew! I hope there won't be many more of these ahead!". Also, I don't like the "Still singing the same tune" line; it's too cute. It might work better if Garak addresses his troops instead of trying to verbally taunt an undead, which seems pointless. So, something like, "Elves, fear not. We defeated this abomination before, and we will do it again!"
5) Fun? Yes, 8/10, well done. The thirst and ghosts make for constant tension in what might otherwise be a boring hike. I got confused when I saw a ghost flying around in broad daylight. It was near the castle, but pretty far to the west; I assume it was one of the castle "honor guards". To avoid daytime ghosts, you might want to remove the ghosts from the castle and substitute something else: maybe 1, 2, or 4 Wraiths, for easy, medium and hard, respectively.
6) WML? Top notch.
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aquileia
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Re: Scenario Review: (UTBS) 2. Across the Harsh Sands

Post by aquileia » April 17th, 2014, 5:51 pm

Maiklas3000 wrote:Maybe you could change the line to ...
Instead of introducing a new string, why not delay it in this case? With a single changed line of WML it'd be possible to wait until side 4 has no units (yes, you would wait for the Ghosts as well, but IMHO that's fine).

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Adamant14
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Re: Scenario Review: (UTBS) 2. Across the Harsh Sands

Post by Adamant14 » May 29th, 2014, 9:57 am

Has it always been so that the thirst-overlay keeps persistent while night time?
I just wonder, because I thought in older versions the overlay wasn't there in the night.

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nuorc
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Re: Scenario Review: (UTBS) 2. Across the Harsh Sands

Post by nuorc » February 28th, 2015, 3:55 am

1) What version and difficulty level did you play the scenario on?
Medium, BfW 1.12.1

2) Do you think the difficulty is adequate to the level? If not describe the issue that made the scenario to easy/hard.
It felt a tad easy, but there was enough going on and to worry about to keep it interesting. I moved with four healers, so thirst wasn't a big issue.

3) Was there any event that caused you to almost instantly loose, or made the scenario unplayable without reload?
Well, at one point I placed Kaleh very, um, optimistic, and the undead had a feast on him. Other than that: no.

4) Do you like the storyline and the dialogues?
Yes, they're fine. Maybe the back story could be shortened a bit.

5) Do you think the scenario was fun? Please write down some thoughts about gameplay, mood etc.
Yes, it was fun. Made a potentially boring walk very interesting.

Again I would have liked some more info on Kaleh's advancement, especially the leadership option: if it's regular leadership, it doesn't make sense to give it to a lvl1. (Edit: Oh, he levelled.)

The triggering of events on sight made for some funny situations, especially when at one point I had three different factions show up at once: ogres, bandits and ghosts. While it was a great clusterfumumble, I'm not really a fan of Nym's automatic move: made her move right into the bandits. (Had a 'first look' at the scenario, it happened both times. If it's not intentional, maybe the ogres could be moved a bit away from the bandits.)

When I found the golden ring, I believe the description said something about the end of turn, while the sun's damage description is about the beginning of the turn; so this could be matched.

The sign post (32,19) appears when a unit on steps on it; I don't know if it should be visible before. And it clearly shows a black eye and not a black hand; again not sure if intentional.
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nikita1996
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Re: Scenario Review: (UTBS) 2. Across the Harsh Sands

Post by nikita1996 » August 16th, 2015, 2:21 pm

1) v1.12.4 difficulty: Desert Sentinel (Challenging)
2) Yes. Generally, it's easy but suitable. It needs a little bit strategy. All the units must surround the doctors, then you'll be safe.
3) No. I even lost only 2 units in this secnario.
4) I think the dialogue is a little bit too long. (Maybe because I'm Chinese and English is a foreign language to me. I played the English version.) Some information in the dialogue is very useful but some of them is nearly useless. In the dialogue, players are noticed of the "thirst" of the units by the dialogues in the beginning of the scenario. But I at first didn't notice this because I didn't read the dialogue seriously. But it really takes lots of time reading the dialogue. This is a problem. So, the dialogue needs to be simplefied. Important informations should be shown in a more special way.
5) Yeah, it's fun. You should go every step seriously for you may meet enemies everywhere.
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Inky
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Re: Scenario Review: (UTBS) 2. Across the Harsh Sands

Post by Inky » February 26th, 2016, 4:35 am

1) Level, version, gold? 1.12.5 nightmare, 297 starting gold
2) Adequately difficult? 6/10. I had a pretty easy time, but I recalled a lot of units (9 units, and I had 3 druids including Zhul) so I didn't get much carryover.
3) Reloads? No restarts/reloads
4) Dialog? -
5) Fun? A very fun scenario, although I kind of dislike how moving into certain areas triggers a bunch of enemies to spawn.
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UnwiseOwl
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Re: Scenario Review: (UTBS) 2. Across the Harsh Sands

Post by UnwiseOwl » April 6th, 2017, 11:33 am

1) Version? 1.13.7, Challenging (new elves)

2) Adequately difficult? Started with 334 gold, which seems like a lot. The whole level was easily done with one keep of recruits, so I think starting gold should probably be more like 120 by default, not 200.

3) Reloads? Having the move-to event for the scorpions only work for scouts was a bit of a trap. I had Kaleh out the front and the scout bringing up my rear and that left Kaleh out to dry with 3 scorpions coming at him. This should probably be a sighted event as well, having to have a particular type of unit within range seems like a mistake, even if it makes for good flavour.
Since the dust-devil event can be triggered by the ghosts killing the ogres, Nym can be forced out of formation during an enemy turn and potentially killed (though this didn't happen to me). While this event is good to help establish Nym's impulsive nature and set up a potential conflict between her and Zhul, I think this could be done just as well if the jar is a dropped item when the player picks it up, without putting a hero unit in potential unavoidable risk.

4) Dialog? Garak uses the phrase 'Oasis to Oasis' three times in two comments during the intro. That's a bit overboard.
When you find the scorpions, Kaleh breaks the fourth wall with "Do you want us to fight?" You could get away with that if one of his buddies responds, but as it is, it breaks immersion. Something like "Should we fight" woudl be better, just because it doesn't invoke some intelligence higher than the characters.
I think the dialogoue about the ring of travel should be split into two parts, with the section from "This seems to be a ring of travel..." given to Zhul.

5) Fun? Good scenario. The thirst mechanic is well executed and the oases not too far apart to make it not too crippling if mistakes are made. It's hard to make these move-to scenarios interesting, but the variety of enemies, nighttime undead, thirst etc. did the job.
I don't think there's any reason to shroud Pinnacle Rock again after the intro. It would be nicer to just leave it in fog in the distance. It's nice to have something to aim at.
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Thrash
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Re: Scenario Review: (UTBS) 2. Across the Harsh Sands

Post by Thrash » March 11th, 2018, 11:16 pm

1) What version and difficulty level did you play the scenario on? Please do not submit feedback from pre 1.4.

1.12.6, Challenging

2) Do you think the difficulty is adequate to the level? If not describe the issue that made the scenario to easy/hard.

Yes, it was challenging keep all the units in formation especially with the occasional badly hurt unit that needed shielding.

3) Was there any event that caused you to almost instantly loose, or made the scenario unplayable without reload?

No. Some very close calls with badly wounded units.

4) Do you like the storyline and the dialogues? If not what part/character lags behind or what would you like changed?

Good.

5) Do you think the scenario was fun? Please write down some thoughts about gameplay, mood etc.

The thirst effect was interesting, but I found it weird that it took effect at the start of days cycles. This means it doesn't hurt you on the last day cycle but does on the last night cycle. I never got use to this and it bit me at the end of each night.

Trying to keep in hedgehog formation with the shroud, i.e. lack of ability to undo a move at times, is a royal pain. I screwed this up numerous times.

[Edited to add] Sometime when you kill the last of an enemy this triggers an event which is very odd given you are still fighting ghosts. So your characters have this whole exchange in the middle of a fight while still surrounded by ghosts. The weirdest was the Dustdevil when Kaleh runs to the bottle.

A scout out by itself is a recipe for disaster if it triggers events.

I found healing at an oasis confusing and could have used more guidance. I figured out the unit to be healed had to be on non-sand. Reading the wiki makes me think standing in water would cause healing?
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