Scenario 9: Houses of the Dead

Feedback for the mainline campaign Delfador’s Memoirs.

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Re: Scenario Review: DM 9 - Houses of the Dead

Postby Maiklas3000 » August 9th, 2010, 9:50 pm

1) What difficulty levels have you played the scenario on?
Most difficult; 1.8.3

(2) How difficult did you find the scenario? (1-10)
9

(3) How clear did you find the scenario objectives?
Unclear. Reaching signpost does not end scenario without artifact.

(4) How clear and interesting did you find the dialog and storyline of the scenario?
Weird. Ghosts sure are a friendly, talkative bunch.

(5) What were your major challenges in meeting the objectives of the scenario?
Killing leader without getting killed.

(6) How fun do you think the scenario is? (1-10)
4

(7) What, if any, are changes you would have made to the scenario to make it more fun?
Not fun to play over and over. Halve the rate of skeleton spawning.

(8) Was there any event that caused you to lose the game and forced you to reload or restart the scenario?
Many failures (death, time) and restarts from turn 1.
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Re: Scenario Review: DM 9 - Houses of the Dead

Postby Thrash » August 15th, 2010, 7:48 pm

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

1.8.4, Hard, Delfador is lvl 3

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

I don't know how to rate this. If you know exactly what to do and get lucky it's a 4. If you do anything wrong or get unlucky, its a 10+.

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

I found the staff first, so I didn't run into issues others did with reaching the signpost.

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

OK

Rorthin: "I will guide you" - that's a little misleading, "I will accompany you" would be more accurate.

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

Two problems:

1) If I went NW first, I found I was basically swamped by skeletons by the time I got back to going SE. At that point you only have one ghost ally and I was facing 4-5 skeletons with a new one showing up every turn, which == a very low change of survival since you basically get ZOC-locked and killed.

2) Killing the leader. I went through the secret passage, got the staff and then attacked the leader. I found the following: first, if I didn't have enough movement to get the leader on the turn he saw me, skeletons would flow at me one per turn, which basically blocked me in the passage with the staff, eventually the skeletons wore me down. Retreating to the village delayed the inevitable.

If you have enough movement to reach the leader, it came down to "can you kill him in one turn?" If you get lucky, you're nearly full strength and you can finish off the couple skeletons in the area and you are fine. If you get unlucky, he survives and counterattacks along with a skeleton or two who can reach you and I was so wounded at that point I never managed to survive even if I killed him on my next attack since I was then facing 2-3 skeletons who would kill me before I could kill all of them.

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

2. You have to know the right thing to do and get lucky doing it. It my case it just came down to reloading 3-4 times until I killed the Death Knight on first turn. First couple times I restarted from the beginning, but after a couple times of repeating the same exact moves... what's the point? Unless you are unlucky enough to go NW first, there is no challenge once you find the secret passage.

These lone adventure scenarios just seem fundamentally broken to me. Wesnoth is a strategy game, not a character game, quit trying to make it into the latter.

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

First, don't let the Death Knight start recruiting until Delfador reaches some point in the SE passage. That would stop the mass of skeletons building up if you go NW and then come back.

After you do that, give Delfador a nudge to go NW to start. I know a ghost (Hereld) does that later, but by then you are so far along that if you were to actually go back, you'd be facing a horde of skeletons by the time you get back. I suggest Rorthtin could push him that way.

The undead allies are a good idea, but are really too weak to be more than window dressing. I think they need to be balanced with the skeletons. Basically if Delfador can meet the Death Knigh one-on-one, he's got a reasonable chance. From what I could see, the Death Knight recruits a skeleton a turn which caused me lots of problems because even if you kill one per turn, you make no progress. Drop his recruiting rate to 1/2-3 turns.

Edited to add: And having now read the wiki and the suggestion about not leaving until turn 64 to build up a stash of gold (since there is no early exit bonus), that seems like a game play hole that should be plugged as well (IMHO, hanging around for 40 turns shouldn't be rewarded over a quick finish).

(8) Was there any event that caused you to lose the game and forced you to reload or restart the scenario?

1) Going NW, getting swamped by skeletons going back SE.
2) Attacking Death Knight, failing to kill him on first attack, getting counterattacked by him and badly wounded, killing him on 2nd attack but then being killed by 2-3 skeletons in the area.

(9) If you know a bit of the Wesnoth Markup Language - do you think that the WML of this scenario is clear and well commented? If not which part would you like to be documented better?

There is lots of comments about some of the dialog, but not so much so for the control flow (e.g. what are the MEMOIRS_SURPRISE macros?).
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Re: Scenario 9: Houses of the Dead

Postby santosis » October 15th, 2010, 2:33 am

(1) What difficulty levels have you played the scenario on?
Medium, 1.8.5

(2) How difficult did you find the scenario? (1-10)
8 - went the wrong way the first time. Replayed, went the long way, got lucky against the enemy leader (he came out at me while in a village and whiffed).

(3) How clear did you find the scenario objectives?
Eh, not quite as clear, but a little random wandering is fun.

(4) How clear and interesting did you find the dialog and storyline of the scenario?
I wanted the enemy leader to talk some stuff; I did like the spirit discourse.

(5) What were your major challenges in meeting the objectives of the scenario?
I know I got lucky fighting the boss (and also finding the way).

(6) How fun do you think the scenario is? (1-10)
8 - Another scenario that stands out. Well done.

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

(8) Was there any event that caused you to lose the game and forced you to reload or restart the scenario?
Got lost the first time.
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Re: Scenario 9: Houses of the Dead

Postby dsa » January 12th, 2011, 5:00 pm

1) What difficulty levels have you played the scenario on?
Hard, 1.9.3

(2) How difficult did you find the scenario? (1-10)
8, because of the shroud I did not know, where to go at first. So I wasted some turns by moving around and my ghosts got killed. That's why I was alone in the fight against the Death Knight and the skeletons after I went through the tunnel. I got killed here several times, because I rushed it too often, until I realized, that it's better to sit in the village and use the level up for an advance on the leader.

Probably it could have been easier, if I restarted the scenario, so I would know where to go and could support the ghosts in fighting the skeletons.

(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?
I did not really understand how Delfador got to this place.

(5) What were your major challenges in meeting the objectives of the scenario?
The permanent newly arriving skeletons after I went through the tunnel and picked up the staff.

(6) How fun do you think the scenario is? (1-10)
8, nice diversity from "normal" scenarios.

(7) What, if any, are changes you would have made to the scenario to make it more fun?
Give an early finish bonus. I do not understand, why there is no one and you have to wait until the last turn, to get the maximum gold out of this scenario.

(8) Was there any event that caused you to lose the game and forced you to reload or restart the scenario?
Yes, Delfador was killed several times.
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Re: Scenario 9: Houses of the Dead

Postby GagarinGambit » March 7th, 2011, 1:35 pm

(1) What difficulty levels have you played the scenario on?
Hard 1.8.4

(2) How difficult did you find the scenario? (1-10)
7. Unless Delfador is level 3 and close to levelling up, you'll need to rely on save-reload.

(3) How clear did you find the scenario objectives?
Clear. The rest of the information needed is given by the ghosts.

(4) How clear and interesting did you find the dialog and storyline of the scenario?
Now, that's some good dialogue and story! It really stands out from the rest of the campaign so far, it's as if there's a guest professional writer scripting this scenario. I also like seeing aspects of Delfador's personality; especially his dialogue with the staff guardian is very interesting.

(5) What were your major challenges in meeting the objectives of the scenario?
Getting near the enemy leader, and having skeleton after skeleton coming after Delfador. He had barely reached level 3 in the previous scenario, and he needed 20 kills or so to level up. So I had to fortify him in a village, use the reload cheat when the attacks/defences went badly, and only when he was about to level up I was able to go after the leader. Although, I guess I could try to get past him instead...

(6) How fun do you think the scenario is? (1-10)
10! I've played at least 4-5 other campaigns, but that's the first time I enjoyed a scenario so much. The story is outstanding, the ghosts coming from the villages and giving information and protection is very good, the map is well done and works well with shroud on, etc... That's not a typical Wesnoth scenario, but being that different is part of the fun!

(7) What, if any, are changes you would have made to the scenario to make it more fun?
None at all.

(8) Was there any event that caused you to lose the game and forced you to reload or restart the scenario?
See above; without save-reload, Delfador is bound to get killed (unless, perhaps, he's close to level 4)
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Re: Scenario 9: Houses of the Dead

Postby Pewskeepski » March 20th, 2011, 12:14 am

(1) What difficulty levels have you played the scenario on?
Challenging, 1.9.4 (100 gold)

(2) How difficult did you find the scenario? (1-10)
7: Not to hard once you figure out what you have to do.

(3) How clear did you find the scenario objectives?
Signpost? What signpost? Should be changed to "Explore the land of the dead" until Delfador finds out about Iliah-Malal and requests to meat him, Then it should be changed to "Find Iliah-Malal"

(4) How clear and interesting did you find the dialog and storyline of the scenario?
Excellent! The part with tomb guardian of Un-Idontknow is very interesting ^_^

Just one thing: Penella (The ghoul) knows Delfadors name. How?

(5) What were your major challenges in meeting the objectives of the scenario?
Th ghosts get destroyed very easily.

(6) How fun do you think the scenario is? (1-10)
9: It's pretty darn fun to play a scenario where you only have to be concerned with one unit :)

(7) What, if any, are changes you would have made to the scenario to make it more fun?
Nothing.

(8) Was there any event that caused you to lose the game and forced you to reload or restart the scenario?
Lost Delfador once and restarted from the beginning :(

(9) If you know a bit of the Wesnoth Markup Language - do you think that the WML of this scenario is clear and well commented? If not which part would you like to be documented better?
There's some WML that doesn't get used, like the option of saying to some guards whether or not you serve Iliah-Malal. Why aren't these used? EDIT: Never mind.

(10) How well done did you find the map for the scenario?
Because it's the land of the dead I think the pretty blue water should be turned into decaying mud or swamp.
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Re: Scenario 9: Houses of the Dead

Postby podbelski » September 12th, 2011, 9:43 pm

(1) What difficulty level and version of Wesnoth have you played the scenario on?
1.9.8, top difficulty

(2) How difficult did you find the scenario? (1-10)
insanely hard to pass w/o reloads. Easy and straightforward with them.

(3) How clear did you find the scenario objectives?
seems not that clear, agreed with posters above

(4) How clear and interesting did you find the dialog and storyline of the scenario?
it's strange... land of dead with houses, evil lord who summons skeletons who can kill the spirits in the world of dead (what happens to them after 2nd death?)... talks about Delfador is the "chosen" one... The "test" is strange as well, my understanding is anyone could have come there and say "yes I serve the light" and pass the test...
In the end I have big trouble accepting all this crap.

And btw I don't quite understand how did we get to this place. Delfador was meditating, then a goblin kicked him and that's it - Delfador caught a glitch that threw him to the underworld?

(5) What were your major challenges in meeting the objectives of the scenario?
killing the lord. Come on, how am I supposed to kill him and his two minions w/o a HUGE risk of losing? Wesnoth is a risk/luck management game, and you force the player to take a big mandatory risk, this is wrong...

Also, after killing the lord I flagged a nearby village looking to heal, and guess what? Another couple of skeletons spawned! Mwaaahhahahaa! Feel the wrath of undead, reload buddy.

(6) How fun do you think the scenario is? (1-10)
not fun

(7) What, if any, are changes you would have made to the scenario to make it more fun?
Agreed with other "dislikers". My 2 cents is at least the allied undead should be controllable, then we can talk seriously about difficulty/fun score.

Also, if there is no early finish bonus, then there should be no gold carryover. It's so wrong when a quick finish makes the next map much tougher to play, I can't express it...

(8) Was there any event that caused you to lose the game and forced you to reload or restart the scenario?
a few times in the middle when I was scouting dead ends, and a few times while battling the lord.

Won't post my replay as it contains nothing interesting
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Re: Scenario 9: Houses of the Dead

Postby podbelski » September 12th, 2011, 10:02 pm

and btw, the last 30 turns I was clicking "end turn" like a monkey for a gold bonus, that's when the map became "non-typical" and "fun" to the full extent :lol2:
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Re: Scenario 9: Houses of the Dead

Postby Ninjuri » May 27th, 2012, 1:40 am

Normal 1.10.2

Difficulty:This was pretty weird, it wasn't exactly difficult, but moreso frustrating.

Dialogue/challenges: The ghost at the beginning said to follow some dry river heading north, but that really wasn't clear. I looked all around me, there was shallow water, perhaps that was a dry river, because there is not as much water as a normal river? Then i decided that the dry river was probably just a path, and i remembered he said north, so i headed along the path north. I ran into some mountains and then a cave wall, which i explored for about 10 turns because i thought there was going to be some secret passage up there. As it turns out, there wasn't, so i turned back the original way. I fought some skeletons with the help of the ghosts, but then when i got to a house a bit north, the goul sat on it and wouldn't let me on, even though i was at much lower health than him. The skeletons just kept coming about 1 every 2 turns, which is just enough time for the goul to fully heal and then get hit again. I was like "dude move your fat ass off the village, i need to get on there to get another unit and heal!" but he never did. After repeating this motion, i just abandoned him and went to another village in the south, that i had already been to. He obviously couldn't kill the skeletons without my help, so he died, and then skeletons came and killed me. It was extremely frustrating.


Changes: i would do something so the player knows that when the ghost says go "north" what he actually means is "go east." I would also change the AI of the ghoul to stay off of the village i'm trying to get on.

Restarts: Yes, i'm going to have to restart because a bunch of stuff made me lose.



Second playthrough: Now that i knew the layout of the map, i spend 3 turns getting the west ghost before getting the rest at their known locations, and making sure i beat the ghoul to the northern village near the secret cave. The rest was pretty much a cake-walk. Insider knowledge from a previous playthrough changes this map from intensely frustrating to a breeze.
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Re: Scenario 9: Houses of the Dead

Postby taptap » August 5th, 2012, 2:19 pm

Great Mage (Difficult), 1.10.3. Unlike the walkthrough I found the best way to do this is to go straigth through the front entrance. Take the NW village, go over the mountains to the next villages until you get the shadow. I ignored some of the villages on the way and pushed forward as long as some of my ghosts were still alive (?, one levelled all other died), ignore the ambush villages and kill the leader. This actually worked without saveloads, but of course in this scenario you don't have a guarantee for this. If you go the other way, you end up alone, without some helping ghosts nearby and you arrive later as well, i.e. more skeletons running around and very hard to manage.
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Re: Scenario 9: Houses of the Dead

Postby WesnothNewbie » December 20th, 2013, 5:11 pm

Content Feedback wrote:1) What difficulty levels have you played the scenario on?
(2) How difficult did you find the scenario? (1-10)
(3) How clear did you find the scenario objectives?
(4) How clear and interesting did you find the dialog and storyline of the scenario?
(5) What were your major challenges in meeting the objectives of the scenario?
(6) How fun do you think the scenario is? (1-10)
(7) What, if any, are changes you would have made to the scenario to make it more fun?
(8) Was there any event that caused you to lose the game and forced you to reload or restart the scenario?
(9) If you know a bit of the Wesnoth Markup Language - do you think that the WML of this scenario is clear and well commented? If not which part would you like to be documented better?


1. Wesnoth v1.10.2, Medium.

2. 9. Really difficult, especially compared to many of the scenarios prior.

3. Not very clear. I never found the signpost, killing the Death Knight wouldn't have won the scenario. I had to cheat, obviously.

4. I think this has the best dialogue and plot of the story so far. As mentioned by others, great atmosphere with the "dry river" (like the river Styx in Hades) and the ghosts in their houses, and the meeting with the spirit was particularly well done.

5. Delfador not dying.

6. 5. Great storyline, but the gameplay brings it right back down.

7. How about fewer skeletons? That might be a start. Having some clues as to where the signpost is might help too. Finally, either give me control of the ghosts, or have them actually protect me (instead of suiciding against the skeles). More ghosts would be nice too, and more villages. Finally, the Ghoul is almost useless--make her a Necrophage. I checked the WML as well; I think the idea of setting all the AI's skeletons to attack Delfador, with maximum aggression, no less, is really good: but, too many skeletons! (Reading the other comments, I'm inclined to believe this problem is specific to the difficulty level. It seems that campaign designers only care for the Hard difficulty level...)

8. See above.

9. I checked the WML; looks clean and well-commented. Though I'm not an expert.
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Re: Scenario 9: Houses of the Dead

Postby flammstrudel » October 9th, 2014, 6:48 pm

(1) What difficulty levels have you played the scenario on?
1.10.3 hard (Great Mage - Difficult)
100 gold

(2) How difficult did you find the scenario? (1-10)
3

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

(5) What were your major challenges in meeting the objectives of the scenario?
I actually managed to lose once. Didn't find the zap staff and decided to capture a village next to the boss. Delfador subsequently got chopped into pieces. lol

(6) How fun do you think the scenario is? (1-10)
It's okayish. 4/10

(7) What, if any, are changes you would have made to the scenario to make it more fun?
Give me control of my minions, more minion containing villages, give the opponent more gold, an additional castle tile and not just melee skellees as units. This should be a decent fight. Not that I mind an occasional cakewalk but this is the third one in a row! Also ending sooner than turn 64 has no benefits. Allow the player to leave sooner and set the minimum gold for the next scenario as high as you see fit.

(8) Was there any event that caused you to lose the game and forced you to reload or restart the scenario?
Mentioned above.
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Re: Scenario 9: Houses of the Dead

Postby D-Wade » November 13th, 2014, 7:04 pm

1) What difficulty levels have you played the scenario on?
1.10.7 - Normal

(2) How difficult did you find the scenario? (1-10)
2 - Nothing really challenging here.

(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?
The "citizens" had some nice dialogue lines.

(5) What were your major challenges in meeting the objectives of the scenario?
Nothing.

(6) How fun do you think the scenario is? (1-10)
3 - Moving around and from time to time killing one or two units isn't that interesting.

(7) What, if any, are changes you would have made to the scenario to make it more fun?
Perhaps have more units streaming your way (but not too many of course). This scenario was super easy, just as the other two ones before.
Also inform the player that there is no early finishing bonus.

(8) Was there any event that caused you to lose the game and forced you to reload or restart the scenario?
Nope.
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Re: Scenario 9: Houses of the Dead

Postby max_torch » April 27th, 2015, 6:42 pm

After reading all the feedback here and playing this level on 1.12.2, it seems that on hard difficulty the true strategy you are meant to discover here is the secret passage one. That is why it is called 'houses of the dead'. It's because you are supposed to search through their houses looking for Sythan so that you can get to the secret passage. Although I would prefer if the hint dialog was changed to: "north of where you find Sythan" rather than "north of Sythan's village".
Really weird that the player is punished for finishing the scenario early and forces us to keep pressing end turn if we want more gold

Suggestion: Maybe it would be nice if Delfador dies while trying to go straight to the enemy without passing through the secret passage he says "Maybe I should have looked for that passage!" or "I shouldn't have attempted a frontal assault!" to further give a cue that you have to look for the secret passage.
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Re: Scenario 9: Houses of the Dead

Postby shadow12 » December 6th, 2015, 4:46 am

(1) What difficulty level and version of Wesnoth have you played the scenario on? Challenging.Wesnoth 1.10.5, iOS iPad 1.0.4

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

(3) How clear did you find the scenario objectives?
Clear, after I followed the dialog.

(4) How clear and interesting did you find the dialog and storyline of the scenario?
The story is very interesting. I like the background on Delfador. The dialog is well done.

(5) What were your major challenges in meeting the objectives of the scenario?
The secret passage. I had no problem finding it, but had to restart 3 times because I took it and got killed every time. It didn't matter that I had freed everyone from the 6 villages or that I had the staff. After going through the passage, the onslaught of skeletons slowly drained the xp faster than it recovered, even on a village.

It was not what the game wanted, but I skipped the secret passage altogether. Cut across the mountains, went right over them. I was able to get 4 villages along the way, so I was joined by 4 ghosts and a shadow. Killed the king as fast as possible before he could recruit any more skeletons. I then had all the free time in the world to go get the staff, go back for the ghoul and accumulate more gold. I know that the idea was to take the secret passage, but it didn't work in my case.

hints:
Spoiler:


(6) How fun do you think the scenario is? (1-10)
1, frustrating the first two times I played. 8 the third time when I knew which way to go.

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

Set a periodic break in the skeleton spamming after the secret passage.

(8) Was there any event that caused you to lose the game and forced you to reload or restart the scenario?
See #5
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