Minor rant/looking for suggestions.

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Velensk
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Minor rant/looking for suggestions.

Post by Velensk »

I'm now the maintainer of the Era of Myths and in addition to trying to untangle the lore, I'm trying to listen to balancing feedback as my main goal for the era is for it to become balanced within itself as a viable alternate for default.

This is a problem because not many good players play myths, and most of the people who do only play survivals with them like ocria (or however it's spelled) which is not at all a accurate representation of mp. Then you get feedback on the lines of "warg are underpowered please give them a new unit." which annoys me all the more, because I know the warg are extreamly weak on the above listed survival, but pretty good in multiplayer if used correctly. So it seems that at most 1/10 balancing posts I get are usefull, and I don't get that many to beguin with.

The problem is that I know the EoM is not balanced and I know that I need feedback, it's just that as it is I'm not going to get any feedback worth anything, and I can't test EoM all by myself, for reasons of time, and the fact that 50% of the people I play it against don't know how to play at all, and of those 50% most of them arn't familur with the Era.

I imagine that the solution would be to get good players interested in playing, but most of the people who work on the project are more into making things than playing with them (which is also good for the project, but not good for that goal), and I don't realy see any way to get the better players interested in playing when they can simpily play the much more polished default.

Does anyone have suggestions.
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Fosprey
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Re: Minor rant/looking for suggestions.

Post by Fosprey »

I tell you this to trying to help, not the be aggresive.
Why would i, interested in mp, play EoM? What diferent or special feature does it have that i will want to play it? Other than different graphics, i don't see anything that call my interest, it doesn't seem to bring something new compared to default, it just seems more of the same.
Velensk
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Re: Minor rant/looking for suggestions.

Post by Velensk »

Firstly it is mp, exclusivly at the moment.

The factions are all significantly diffrent from mainline factions, so it does offer a diffrent experiance in that. Mainline has nothing like playing devilings, or windsong, or any of them realy. The closest 2 would be the vampires and the celestials, but even those play distinctly from anything mainline has to offer. Each faction plays, at the tactical lvl, diffrently from each other and from mainline.

I don't know if this matters to you, but the thematics of EoM have always added an extra intrest for me.

However at the moment those are the only two things I can see that EoM has going for it, when compared to the superior polish/balance of default. You say it seems like more of the same, this is true, and this is not true. It is still wesnoth it plays on the same basic principles and does not bend them, however it uses them to create factions that have no direct comparison too the ones in mainline, and most of them with strong thematical support.
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Re: Minor rant/looking for suggestions.

Post by sam_waz_here »

To get more reliable results then asking every joe that downloaded the era yesterday you should play games of it with people that are good. After going over every race Vs every other race try playing without using a certain unit to see how much it influences the overall strength of the team. This will be much slower but if you are always there to justify why a unit does more damage or costs more you can cut out all the useless opinions.
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DDR
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Re: Minor rant/looking for suggestions.

Post by DDR »

Love to help.... I am making a scenario for devlings, so that could be both publicity and training. And, I like EoM games... :D If I ever see you, I'll have you a game in the EoM. :wink:

Oh, do you know anything about the devlings? The wiki was a little brief about them. :|
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Re: Minor rant/looking for suggestions.

Post by megane »

Well, Fosprey's comment sort of highlights the problem. Velensk (and the rest of us working on the EoM, though we mostly suck at multiplayer) has expressed the desire to get it balanced enough for "tournament play," IYKWIM, but so far as I know, none of the really competitive players has expressed an interest in helping him do so. The problem seems to be that they assume that UMC is unbalanced, and thus don't pay any attention to it, but the fact is that the only reason Mainline is balanced is because people were willing to play it in its unbalanced state in order to iron out the problems. If you hardcore players ever wish to have an Era other than Default to play on, at some point you're going to have to give UMC a chance, and I think Velensk is telling you fairly clearly that he'd like to work with you on that.

Further -- and I apologize if I sound presumptuous -- it might be nice for the Devs to occasionally take an interest in our little hobby; last I checked the EE and EoM made up something like %20-%30 of the games on the Server, but again, it seems to be assumed that, as UMC, it's just something some noobs made to entertain themselves, nothing to be taken seriously. I realize that you guys are busy and all, but you could at least show your approval (if any).
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zookeeper
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Re: Minor rant/looking for suggestions.

Post by zookeeper »

megane wrote:Further -- and I apologize if I sound presumptuous -- it might be nice for the Devs to occasionally take an interest in our little hobby; last I checked the EE and EoM made up something like %20-%30 of the games on the Server, but again, it seems to be assumed that, as UMC, it's just something some noobs made to entertain themselves, nothing to be taken seriously. I realize that you guys are busy and all, but you could at least show your approval (if any).
I don't play a lot of MP at all (I can go for months without a single match), I wouldn't be able to do balancing anyway and I can't speak for others than myself, but the reason why I'm not too keen on helping with any UMC era is simply because they're all too WIP and unpolished. And it's not simply because they lack artwork; it's the fact that they tend to miss so many other simple things they could easily already have: basic combat animations regardless of whether the unit yet has any drawn animation frames or not, using silly-looking timings (like a melee animation from -50 to 100 which just looks...bad), missing sounds in animations making for silent combat or playing hit sounds when missing, missing attack icons, using capitalized attack names here and there for no reason, and things like that.

I don't care much for the artwork itself, I just expect things to be polished to look, sound and feel as good as they can with whatever artwork there happens to be. I occasionally download EE, EoM or IE, start a simple test game to check out if there's been progress since the last time and usually quit after a few attacks as I hear units playing sword sounds when missing their strike or sliding around in a twitchy manner. I just lose hope, so to speak, when that happens even after the era has presumably been in development for literally years and when those kind of problems would in fact be very easy to fix (even if it still takes a lot of manual work).

Of course this has nothing to do with balancing, but I suppose it's still the main reason why I am myself uninterested in UMC eras. AFAICT most people don't seem to even notice those kind of problems so I guess not much other devs are bothered by them (or at least not as much) either, but I wouldn't really know.
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Re: Minor rant/looking for suggestions.

Post by Blarumyrran »

for one thing, the fact that Therians still havent been thrown out of EoM shows the era's utter lack of perspective. i totally understand why melon left, even when i dont think he/she shoudve deleted all the sprites.
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Re: Minor rant/looking for suggestions.

Post by Velensk »

Would you like to explain that? What is so bad about the therians that makes it so clear tha we lack perspective.

EDIT: Zookeeper, from the sounds of it your another person who finds it much funner to build the toy than actualy playing with it. The things you are expressing as a problem for you have never bothered me, so I never consitered it a problem.
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Re: Minor rant/looking for suggestions.

Post by Blarumyrran »

Velensk wrote:Would you like to explain that? What is so bad about the therians that makes it so clear tha we lack perspective.
EVERYTHING!

1) concept - theyre the ominous furry faction. they dont suit at all with the rest of the EoM, which has angels vs devlings vs werewolves vs vampires... the whole idea of some half-naked furries fighting the evil world out there is just so silly. it makes the era seem like random factions dumped together, which it is, but at least try to hide it?
2) a mix of some good and lots of bad/totally_inconsistent/missing sprites. a single glance at here is worth more than a hundred words.
3) furries, man. furries.
4) theyre supposed to be shapeshifters, while they cannot shapeshift (maybe it would boost gameplay if done right), and afaik totally lack unique abilities.
5) FURRIES!

and its the lack of courage for doing a drastic decision such as removing them that shows the lack of perspective.
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turin
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Re: Minor rant/looking for suggestions.

Post by turin »

zookeeper wrote:basic combat animations regardless of whether the unit yet has any drawn animation frames or not,
Eh? Could you explain exactly what this means? I can't make sense of it.
zookeeper wrote:using silly-looking timings (like a melee animation from -50 to 100 which just looks...bad), missing sounds in animations making for silent combat or playing hit sounds when missing,
If the IE has problems with these, it's probably because I usually play the game without sound effects on and on accelerated speed. :) And I suspect that's why most other people don't notice them either.

But yes, those are things we probably should fix. The problem is, like you said, it is a lot of manual labor. And for very little benefit, since most people don't even notice.
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Velensk
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Re: Minor rant/looking for suggestions.

Post by Velensk »

All of those complaints are thematic.

The therians, are not furries, or are not supposed to be. They are supposed to be spirtual jungle tribes. (By the same token the warg are not werewolves, and the celestials arn't angels)

Their shapeshifting is not implimented via abilties it's implimented via art and stats. Their scouts are falcon shifters, so when they fight or move they turn into a falcon and suddenly can move 8 hexes with flying and can fight with talons while unarmed. They have warriors that can turn into cats, and thus can fight with claws, move swiftly, and defend well in forests(jungles), but can also benifit from human defences in villages/castles. The snakes can benift from snake attributes, but not at the cost of human ones.

I can only work with the art I've got, and can make, or gets given to me. Consitering how bad the art I try to make looks that pretty much leaves me with what I have or what gets given to me.

Also EoM does not pretend to not be a random colection of factions, EoM is not a random collection of factions. The Warg, Vampires, Therians, and celestials were the origional factions. They wern't all of them, they were just the ones that got anywhere. The therians wern't added on a whim, they were appart of the original concept.

The windsong, devilings, and elementals were added because they were thematicaly strong, unique in gameplay, and could be fit into the concept without stretching. These were not part of the original conception they were added in, but I doubt that you think any of them realy detract from the concept.

EDIT: Reading back over, you do have one gameplay thing, and that is saying that they don't have any unique abilities. This is true, however they do play diffrently from any other faction out there.
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Aethaeryn
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Re: Minor rant/looking for suggestions.

Post by Aethaeryn »

I personally don't use EoM except sometimes in survivals or RPGs, combined with EE, where factional variety is occassionally interesting and other people probably don't for similar reasons. The two biggest reasons have already been brought up by zookeeper (polish) and Syntax_Error (some factions are horrible) so I'll simply expand a bit from my perspective.

I agree with SynErr there. Forget the original concept. Abandon it and adapt if you seriously want major use as the original concept clearly isn't working somewhere. A big reason I don't play or help out with EoM much anymore is because I don't like the feel/theme/looks/etc. of Therians at all and because I know they're never going to be removed. The era's getting crowded at 7 (Default's only 6, and that's taking years to get perfect in balance and art, and it's more important than user-made-content) and they're clearly the weakest link (with the Wargs, but they have actually gotten better).

You have to think practically, you can have many factions but never be truly complete (like EE) or you could try to get a dedicated core to a high level. The "favorite" factions I've observed people like are Windsong, Devlings, Elementals and Vampires, and even they could still use some work (especially Vampires). Getting rid of one or more factions (and don't get rid of the already-good ones even if they don't fit in the core theme as much, make them fit in the core theme) would probably make balancing and getting everything polished easier as well. All experienced MP players are comfortable playing Default on Random. I would never play EoM on Random at its current state and that's a good measurement that it has problems in its core factional lineup. (I'd say the same to EE, by the way. It should drop the "expanded default" factions with too many units and focus on the best of the factions it has if it wants to get serious MP play.)

Now, as for general polish, one example is that the last EoM version I have they still have the EoM version of the Undead faction in the factions folder, clearly left over from an ancient version of EoM. EoM needs to take a break from balancing, graphics, etc., and go through and remove old material, and make sure everything has the mainline look (except in graphics, which will trickle in). These examples may be outdated (I'm not sure, I haven't played EoM in weeks), but they lasted for multiple versions spanning at least a month so they're good examples. One example is that the Warg went for a long time (and may still, I don't know) with a bad race name in the help file. And gargoyles definitely shouldn't be mechanical like ships (they're their own race), and bats should have an image. EoM definitely does the worst job of the user-made eras of actually being polished - it's too much a work-in-progress to be taken seriously. The next release needs to fix all outstanding polish issues anyone finds or it'll suffer from the same problems as all the current versions.

Don't take this the wrong way, but you can still make major changes to EoM because most people see it as a heavily-under-construction era, which is why they won't play it. You don't have to give it an overhaul, but if you don't there will always be reasons why people don't like it. Just as you don't have to improve EoM and make tough decisions to make it better, no one has to play it either. And as long as it feels unpolished and people aren't comfortable with Random, people won't play it. That being said, the Warg have gotten better (though I still think they'd be more popular if overhauled into a Werewolf faction, as I suggested - Werewolves are more familiar and would fit in perfectly thematically).
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Caphriel
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Re: Minor rant/looking for suggestions.

Post by Caphriel »

I would be happy to help, but I'm far from the quality of 'good' players you are probably looking for. I've read the EoM "How to Play" thread, but I still don't really have a feel for how they work. However, if you think that feedback from amateur players would be at all useful, I can start saving and posting replays of myself playing against another amateur, as well as my thoughts on how the matchup went. I am well aware that this sort of feedback will rarely be directly useful for balancing, but at the least, I can provide material for discussion; and maybe better players pointing out what my opponent and I did wrong will lead to useful conclusions, and it might help develop a more thorough public understanding of the styles of the factions in EoM.

If you think this would be useful, I'll give it a shot.
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zookeeper
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Re: Minor rant/looking for suggestions.

Post by zookeeper »

turin wrote:
zookeeper wrote:basic combat animations regardless of whether the unit yet has any drawn animation frames or not,
Eh? Could you explain exactly what this means? I can't make sense of it.
Ah well, I suppose it was rather vague. What I mean are sensible and consistent animation durations and sliding speeds even if the animation just displays the base frame and also having appropriate sounds and projectiles in place.
turin wrote:
zookeeper wrote:using silly-looking timings (like a melee animation from -50 to 100 which just looks...bad), missing sounds in animations making for silent combat or playing hit sounds when missing,
If the IE has problems with these, it's probably because I usually play the game without sound effects on and on accelerated speed. :) And I suspect that's why most other people don't notice them either.

But yes, those are things we probably should fix. The problem is, like you said, it is a lot of manual labor. And for very little benefit, since most people don't even notice.
Sure, but it's not a huge amount of work - you could easily just write a few simple macros you could use to create 90% of the animations.
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