Scenario Review: THoT 12 - The Underlevels

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BroodKiller
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Re: Scenario Review: THoT 12 - The Underlevels

Post by BroodKiller » December 29th, 2010, 4:04 pm

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

(2) How difficult did you find the scenario? (1-10)
1 - Please, oh please, sometone tell me that this is supposed to be a joke and there is a way to possibly loose this? Ontop of the heroes (without the Gryphon, lost it long ago) I had 1 (read: one) keep of units: 3 Lords, 1 Sentinel and 2 White Mages, and it was a walk in a park. Form a line with Lords, healers and loremaster behind, leap frog. Repeat ad nauseam. The enemies were simply tons of bodymass that needed to be removed in order to progress. While playing, I lost 1 of the Mages and Ratheln (Archmage), because I didn't really care much and it was the last map anyways. Finished in turn 224, with over 400 kills.

(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?
Good enough, although this scenario just begs for a few times more storytelling than it has, given the teleport runes, hidden passages and the extra 2 liches. The final convo in the court was good enough.

(5) What were your major challenges in meeting the objectives of the scenario?
Not dying of boredom, goddamit!!! The lack of turn limit prepared me for a long game, but not for a boring, dreadfully brain-dead, atmosphere-stripped, boring, awfully tactics-less, horrendously stupid and boring dungeon crawler. Oh, did I mention that it was boring as hell?!!! After about turn 50 I lost hope of getting any pleasure playing this map and continued on sheer willpower and the desire to finish what I started.

(6) How fun do you think the scenario is? (1-10)
Since I am confined to the 1-10 scale, I'm giving it a 1, but I wish I could've given it a 0, really. A terrible ending to an otherwise very nice and interesting campaign. The whole fun that I get from playing Wesnoth comes from the strategical and tactical options it offers and the randomness which can shift the situation from time to time. But in this map, I was denied these factors. I was forced to repeat exactly the same thing over, and over, and over, and over...Moreover, the tight (and terribly long, it's beyond me what does it accomplish..) corridors removed even the option to risk anything by some bold manoeuvers. Virtually, you could just script the tactics, drive to a nearby cinema, watch a stupid movie and return home to see the game finished. It would give it at least a scent of fun...and it wouldn't come from the victory, I tell you.

(7) What, if any, are changes you would have made to the scenario to make it more fun?
I could rant here for (p)ages, so I'm gonna just point out the basic suggestions:
-split the map into 2 (or even 3) scenarios.
-less low-level enemy spam, wider and more varied environments.
-add a bit of backstory to it, revealed as you play (read: crawl in molasse). What Jabie proposed looks fun enough.
Also, I second all complains and comments that turin made.

(8) Was there any event that caused you to lose the game and forced you to reload or restart the scenario?
Nope, but should it occur, I would have to really think if it is worth restarting at all. And I probably would have come to the very sensible conclusion, that it is not.

I don't want to enrage or insult anyone...I don't know...maybe it's just me, maybe I had a bad day (or 2 days, actually, since I couldn't stomach finishing it on one sitting), maybe it's because I failed to trigger something, maybe it's because I have chosen to go north instead of south at the road split, maybe the aliens abducted me and did some strange things to my brain, but I can't imagine how this scenario can be of any fun. I attach a replay, but I can't imagine how anyone in their right mind would want to watch over 200 turns of the staggeringly boring hell that I went through in order to finish this map.
I hope turin won't mind if I borrow from him once more, but he put it nicely, even though a bit bluntly - "There is so much wrong with this scenario". Period.
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Clean...Simple...Devious...I like it

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Arawn
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Re: Scenario Review: THoT 12 - The Underlevels

Post by Arawn » January 15th, 2011, 6:49 am

(1) What difficulty levels have you played the scenario on?
Easy 1.8.5
(2) How difficult did you find the scenario? (1-10)
1 - but I lowered the enemy gold drastically. I'll get to that.
(3) How clear did you find the scenario objectives?
Very. Kill the bad guy.
(4) How clear and interesting did you find the dialog and storyline of the scenario?
Very clear.
(5) What were your major challenges in meeting the objectives of the scenario?
The fact that I got bored.
(6) How fun do you think the scenario is? (1-10)
1. You really need to make this map smaller. Even leaving the enemy with 50 gold did nothing to relieve how boring the spelunking was. Oh, and before someone suggests this: yes, I did try it with the right amount of gold too. The level is just too long.
(7) What, if any, are changes you would have made to the scenario to make it more fun?
Shrink the map, lower enemy numbers. Basically make it shorter. I get that this is the last scenario but, really, it took forever.
(8) Was there any event that caused you to lose the game and forced you to reload or restart the scenario?
Other than my stupidity, no.
(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?
No.

Ok, so I know this sounded harsh. This campaign as a whole has been awesome. You have great characters (love the griffin), great story, great dialogue. I even felt sorry for the lich. When he said, "Oh, no... disfigured." it actually sounded like he was ashamed of what he had become. It was great character development and one of my favorite scenarios by far. I also love the dwarf thing where they shout, "I am witness." That added a lot of culture to the race. It was just this one last map that was really way too long. Beyond that, you've given me one of the best campaigns I've ever played.

BubbleScreen
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Re: Scenario Review: THoT 12 - The Underlevels

Post by BubbleScreen » February 6th, 2011, 4:41 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)
1

(3) How clear did you find the scenario objectives?
No problem

(4) How clear and interesting did you find the dialog and storyline of the scenario?
What dialog? What storyline? I second Jabie's comments. It's all so random. What exactly is the terrible ritual that requires blood? Why is there treasure sitting in the gallery? Why are the liches there? Why is the spellbook where it is? Why are there all these secret doors? And what's the story on the runes? Where were these hordes of masked dwarves when the Orcs were besieging Kal Kartha? What exactly are Karrag's powers?

And not to pile on, but the rider in the epilogue is random. "Oh hi there, by the way killing those guys way back when really saved our bacon. Thanks." It's a good idea, but really it should be fleshed out and resolved in Strange Allies and Invaders rather than here.

(5) What were your major challenges in meeting the objectives of the scenario?
Finishing the Gallery quickly. But I don't think even that matters very much. Otherwise, not getting bored.

(6) How fun do you think the scenario is? (1-10)
1. Look, I understand, you want the big epic scenario to end all scenarios. Fine. But make it tactically interesting. The Gallery is the only part where you need to think and even then it's not that interesting. Otherwise, just rotate your troops and smash the enemy. It's too long as is, and the various stages just feel pointless given that they don't provide actual strategic variety. I second turin's comments.

(7) What, if any, are changes you would have made to the scenario to make it more fun?
Make it a lot shorter. A lot shorter. At minimum cut the eastern lich and the first northern branch opponent. Improve the dialogue. Allow players the option of not opening the southern door, and the door to the western lich. Give us "boots of the underworld" or whatever to speed up mages.

But more importantly, make it tactically interesting and challenging (which does not mean "even more steelclads and wraiths and so on"). More wide-open spaces. More terrain variety. Look at scenarios like "The Lost General" and "Hasty Alliance" from HttT; they are much more strategically rich.

(8) Was there any event that caused you to lose the game and forced you to reload or restart the scenario?
I got bored and lazy and got Dulcatulos (sp?) killed fighting the eastern lich.

---

It pains me to say all of this, because THoT is a fun campaign that with a little tweaking could be great. Each scenario presents a unique challenge, and we make good use of all the four dwarvish units plus the mages. And this is very hard to do, so I appreciate the hard work that went into THoT. The campaign maintains the feeling of traveling rapidly to Kal Kartha all the while. The dwarven witness culture is a very cool idea. "Axes up" becomes a cute little rallying call.

Hopefully, we'll one day see THoT get the finale it deserves.

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Lord-Knightmare
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Re: Scenario Review: THoT 12 - The Underlevels

Post by Lord-Knightmare » February 26th, 2011, 12:10 pm

1. Easy, Wesnoth 1.9.4
2. 1
3. Crystal Clear
4. It was interesting and I understood it quite easily.
5. Nothing much, except that spider chamber
6. 2
7. When Karrag sees the player, he should get more gold like a 5000 or more (as by the time you reach him has about -6434 gold)
8. Nope
9. Yes.

micdy
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Re: Scenario Review: THoT 12 - The Underlevels

Post by micdy » March 3rd, 2011, 8:52 am

(1) What difficulty levels have you played the scenario on?
Medium
(2) How difficult did you find the scenario? (1-10)
3 Really easy after you pass the first chamber, i had lot of lors and 2 healer just use choke point
(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?
Good
(5) What were your major challenges in meeting the objectives of the scenario?
No big challenge
(6) How fun do you think the scenario is? (1-10)
9 - Really fun its the most fun i have play so far, but would prefer it a bit more difficult, maybe some kind of mob that make it harder at choke point.
(7) What, if any, are changes you would have made to the scenario to make it more fun?
A bit more difficult, and lesser long walk in tunnel
(8) Was there any event that caused you to lose the game and forced you to reload or restart the scenario?
No
(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?
Dont know WML

podbelski
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Re: Scenario Review: THoT 12 - The Underlevels

Post by podbelski » June 19th, 2011, 1:20 pm

Well this is indeed long but unusual scenario. I think it's great as is, don't see minor changes that can make the map noticeably better.

Overall, I liked the campaign, except for two problems:

1) "Invaders" scenario is too tough, basically the most difficult in the whole campaign. It's very fun though, so it just should be made a little bit easier

2) "The Siege of Kal Kartha" is broken, and I guess it's not that hard to fix it

If these too things will be addressed, I'll give a very high "fun" score to the whole campaign, liked it a lot :)

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PorkSol
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Re: Scenario Review: THoT 12 - The Underlevels

Post by PorkSol » September 14th, 2011, 1:01 am

(1) What difficulty levels have you played the scenario on? Hardest available, no save load, 1.9.8, 450 starting gold
(2) How difficult did you find the scenario? (1-10) 2. (and I only had a single mage of light) As long as you have enough high level units it is simply a matter of cycling your units to heal and moving forward slowly. The AI aggression is so low that even a Steelclad on rough terrain can hold a corridor if he doesn't attack, the level 2 skeletons won't bother attacking him.
(4) How clear and interesting did you find the dialog and storyline of the scenario? I'll agree with what turin said.
(5) What were your major challenges in meeting the objectives of the scenario?- Sustaining concentration. I had recruited a mage and had gotten him to within one kill of leveling, then I went to finish off a thunderguard and didn't realize that the thunderguard could one shot the mage from full health. The results were funny.
- Getting ambushed by invisible ghosts from across chasms was kind of cool, they slaughtered a couple explorers I sent down the wrong tunnel.
(6) How fun do you think the scenario is? (1-10) 1. A short segment of breaking through a tunnel might be entertaining, but ultimately in this scenario you are just using one basic tactic for 150 turns. I had to take a day off from Wesnoth mid scenario to regain the energy to finish this off.
(7) What, if any, are changes you would have made to the scenario to make it more fun?
Make it much shorter and smaller. Make Karrag recruit. Make the map require more thoughtful tactics than just cycling units. The map shows that a lot of effort was put into it, but unfortunately it is probably not salvageable.
(8) Was there any event that caused you to lose the game and forced you to reload or restart the scenario?
No.

EDIT: I think I accidentally clicked the mouse and missed Karrag's dialog.
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Lord-Knightmare
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Re: Scenario Review: THoT 12 - The Underlevels

Post by Lord-Knightmare » October 12th, 2011, 4:27 pm

For the record, ignore my previous feedback, cheated on that one. This is the one in which I completed the campaign without debug.
(1) 1.9.9 EASY
(2) 0.25 --> Stalwarts and White Mages are an effective defensive combo.
(3) Good
(4) Nice, but could use some turn dialogs
(5) Spider Chamber
(6) 10. Seeing enemies going suicide on my Dwarven Lords were sheer hilarious.
(7) Make Karrag get more gold and change the Draugs to Skeletal Dragons
(8) Nope
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Watch replay at 8x speed. Its about 2hrs long and 200 turns.
Finished campaign with only 3 overall losses (an intermediate level record.)

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Crow_T
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Re: Scenario Review: THoT 12 - The Underlevels

Post by Crow_T » November 13th, 2011, 5:33 pm

I beat this one on turn 99 on normal, v1.8. I recalled hard in the beginning, and honestly I can't remember if I recruited more, besides finding units. I ended up with +1200 gold, but I didn't pay attention to my money until I beat it ha. White wizards and my Arch/Great Mage were huge in this one.

The biggest annoyance was the constant *whiff* noise of my guys missing, dragging out the bottleneck parts. This was a fun campaign though, dwarves are tough as nails.

*another odd thing- whenever my guys would go into a portal the old dwarf sage dude would say how he sensed evil or whatever- every time. Got old after a bit.
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JulesLT
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Re: Scenario Review: THoT 12 - The Underlevels

Post by JulesLT » December 19th, 2011, 10:59 am

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

(2) How difficult did you find the scenario? (1-10)
Harder than the ones before, but I haven't finished it yet: I came to comment because of the frustrating element below

(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 was ok

(5) What were your major challenges in meeting the objectives of the scenario?
Not enough money to buy anything at the intermediate castle, and that's despite getting the 2 chests of gold and suffering a few losses, with only a dozen units summoned at the beginning.
Seeing the gold I got from the chests dwindle to below zero just as I got to the second castle was rather frustrating...

(6) How fun do you think the scenario is? (1-10)
6 (I'd rate the rest of the campaign 8-9, but that may be because I really like dwarves :-P)

(7) What, if any, are changes you would have made to the scenario to make it more fun?
Reduce the initial gold and add villages at the beginning, so the cash flow isn't too negative, the difficulty remains and getting those chests feels more rewarding

(8) Was there any event that caused you to lose the game and forced you to reload or restart the scenario?
I lost my three white mages (2 + the mage I upgraded to white because I had already lost one) but I stood fast! I didn't reload!! 8) *proud*
And then I saw the last comment saying that one guy finished with 1.2k gold and I thought that the scenario was going to be really long... So I'm restarting right now to begin with less experienced dwarves that will make the most of the early-game xp and keep my white mages alive because otherwise the end might be too difficult :-(

(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?
n/a

Edit much further down the scenario:

The free dwarves at the north fortress were useless to me, and actually more of a hindrance as I needed to drag all my armies down south, but I can see how it could be useful in some situation. Why not make them offer their help and allow the player to refuse? (and maybe ask again if you come back)

Also, the "door" was far from obvious. If a dialog mentioned it, I don't remember it. Rather than drag all my armies south or through the eastern tunnel (a major pain for the human mages), I spent a few turns sending one dwarf and moving nothing else to scout there to be sure that was the door in question, and then reloaded to move my armies. It would help if the book's dialog mentioned explicitly that the door is at the south and that the signs in the northern room would probably teleport us there AND if reading the book opened the door in a way that reveals it more completely (the row of 3 hexes below it, with the teleporters, would make everything much more obvious.
Alternatively, there could be a big rumbling as the 3 "door" squares disappear rather than just becoming passable, and the squares on each side become "door" hexes to represent the open gate.

Angarthing saying that he "feels something evil" every single time you use a teleporter gets old. It's a mercy it goes away at a press of the spacebar.

I had to back from the undead fight in the east galleries, and that was extremely long and a bit tedious. Why not include a passage to the houses in hexes (47,35)/(48,34) like the one in (39,13)?
The whole area with the book in it could be moved 2 hexes west in order to shorten the annoying corridor through which one feels compelled to take all of his army considering the info at hand.
On the whole, I really loved the whole campaign except for this scenario.
It felt like a long slog through corridors rather than an exciting buildup to the final battle. It doesn't help that you're given 8 new dwarves right before you (it seems) need to go through a one-hex-wide corridor. Giving those dwarves at the back of the spider cavern, and putting the teleporters there (and making the teleporters/big door thing WAY more explicit) would probably solve a significant part of the problem.
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taptap
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Re: Scenario Review: THoT 12 - The Underlevels

Post by taptap » January 21st, 2012, 12:10 am

The scenario has many nice features you can add underground (a chasm where wraith can go around - how about more of that, which would make shadows look like a real threat?, bottlenecks, ambushes) but still doesn't really feel like a Wesnoth scenario. Not as bad as Pursuit in Northern Rebirth but nothing like the fun underground maps like Infested Caves in Northern Rebirth (or the final of the first part of The Sojournings of Grog). I believe it is the map. The challenge would be a little higher if there were some L3 opponents too, but the main problem is the map, the disconnected single fights, the lack of dynamic and strategy, the waiting for all your units to move around... on a second thought: there was quite a bit of fun in the first run, but this scenario has a pretty bad replaying value as you will dodge all the surprises easily and then not much challenge is left. And while it is lovely to see dwarf lords + dragonguards, silver mages + mages of light cut through hordes of dwarfs first, and ghosts and skeletons later, it gets old after a time. It is too static.

Overall the campaign was pretty good. The witness and dwarf culture adds a nice touch. The difficulty rapidly declines after Mages and Drakes, even on Lord difficulty with minimal gold - I was stuck with minimal gold until the Gates of Kal Kartha - it was playable (with recalls) and the last before going underground even with fresh recruits for the combination of Healers and Dwarves (and in the final even bottlenecks) is just too overpowered. (Without healer some scenarios might well be impossible with minimal gold though.)
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onomastikon
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Re: Scenario Review: THoT 12 - The Underlevels

Post by onomastikon » April 25th, 2012, 10:46 am

1. Difficulty = normal
2. How difficult = the easiest of the scenarios, once I realized there was no time limit, I rate it 3
3. Objectives = clear
4. Interesting? = the least interesting so far, since I spent the most time rinsing and repeating (see below)
5. Major challenges = navigating small corridors
6. How fun? = I rate it 2, this was by far my least favorite scenario of all campaigns I ever played, and I was almost going to quit when I realized I had to bring my army down to those doors way south after finding the scroll / key way north -- in fact I did quit and took it up a week later
7. Changes? = after finding the key north, the entire army should be instantly teleported to the gates south, or the scenario should end and a new one begin before the open doors; additionally, making the map significantly smaller
8. No restarts
(9. sorry! Me no know...)

Thanks much and all the best

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Ninjuri
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Re: Scenario Review: THoT 12 - The Underlevels

Post by Ninjuri » May 21st, 2012, 11:28 pm

I'll forgo the little questionnaire because i didn't finish this yet.

Needless to say i'm a little confused, as to what i'm supposed to be doing tactically. I'm playing on normal, i fought my way through the first room, thinking that some boss was going to be at the end, but instead encountered a little castle thing and stormed it in a long struggle. I got all the villages there but my income was still about -10. Is there supposed to be negative income? I feel like by recruiting a bunch of high level troops, i stabbed myself in the foot income-wise. Well i took over the castle, and set up a perimeter because units were streaming in from the north and south. I could barely hold them off with the tattered remains of my force, inching ever so slowly forward, until i got to another castle to the south. Right when i was in eye-shot of it, the guy on it said i'd never get past (turns out he was right), before recruiting a full wave of units to send at me, which broke the lines and killed everyone, over 50 turns in.

Am i supposed to recruit only low levels in the beginning? Am a supposed to pick one direction, north or south, and rush everyone in that way? I really don't understand this.
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Jabie
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Re: Scenario Review: THoT 12 - The Underlevels

Post by Jabie » May 22nd, 2012, 11:40 am

This is the final level, and it's a biggie. There is an opportunity to make some money very early on, but you'll probably be running a deficit by then, so unless you can get back to the starting keep, the bonus cash is nigh on useless.

Recall any loyals you have and white mages. Recall every high level unit. Spend out all your cash, even if it's recruiting a couple of low level units. Attack. Once you get through the first hall it's mostly tunnels that you can easily block up. Rotating your Dwarves and supporting them with White Mages and your Loremaster ought to see you through the rest of the level. There's no time limit, so just accept you're going to finish this level massively in debt and don't worry about it.

You get a few low level dwarves about half way through. With a little prudence you ought to be able to get off cheap shots to level them up without putting them at too much risk.

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Ninjuri
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Re: Scenario Review: THoT 12 - The Underlevels

Post by Ninjuri » May 22nd, 2012, 10:38 pm

I lost the ability to make (white) mages after they died on the forest level. I tried it twice to get past without killing them but it was impossible. I guess i could try inching along and see if that works.
Fate is against me.

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