Minor rant/looking for suggestions.

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Velensk
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Re: Minor rant/looking for suggestions.

Post by Velensk »

@Caphril If you play it in mp long enough, then you will get to understand how it works better.

@Aetharyn: I've fixed all the polish issues you mentioned except the old content (which I've always ignored sense it does not do anything, and that is realy easy to fix), and the gargoyals being mechanical, because they are mechanical as far as I know they are basicaly animated rock.

I like the way the Therians play, and I like how they change shape when they attack/move. Their problem is that they were inspired from a mythological tradition that is not at all common, and thus people don't connect to them, that and they don't realy do that tradition justice.

People might like the warg to be werewolves, but I realy don't want them to become them. If we were to create a werewolf faction (and I do mean create, because trying to go off what we have now would not work), then for the sake of lore we'd need werewolves to be fast strong, and turn others into werewolves when they bite (or kill) them, and change into humans during day. Now all that might be cool for one unit, but what would you make the rest of the faction out of?

My problem with giving this massive over-haul that you seem to think is nessisary, is that I realy can't see how it is nessiary. I don't think that the therians are so awful as everyone keeps getting at, but then in general I'm more concerned about gameplay than thematics, and I've read books with cultures that remind me of the therians so I've got allot less thematic qualms about them than others might. Also I feel uncomfortable taking out core factions when this isn't my era. It's still someone elses, I'm just maintaining it, and polishing it.

Now all this being said, I could try to get changes made to make therians "cooler", or rather closer to the darker jungle/savanah lore they come from (or at least that I've always assumed they came from). It would involve changing the look and name of the monks/apprentices. The apprentices would become which docters with curse and hex as their attacks, and the monks would become priests who would battle with matras and sultas. The entire faction would have to gain very dark skin.

I am however at the mercy of my artists to provide all this work for me, and I don't know how much approval I'd get from any the owners on these changes. (responce from either group would be nice.)
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Re: Minor rant/looking for suggestions.

Post by svek »

This will probably sound a bit ranty and aggressive, but please bear with me...
(I'm a bit overloaded on caffeine and sugar at the moment)

Random comments:

Turin: Cleaning up the factions might be a bit of hard manual labour, but try to see it this way: Playing an era enough to be able get a basic understanding of even a single faction takes several games. I'd guess at least 12 hours of playing for this. If you can't be bothered to spend (what I'd assume to be) less than half of this time to make this enjoyable, I'll spend my gaming time using the better looking and better balanced default instead.

A problem with most eras is that they make different use of terrain than default and this throws the map balance out of the window.

Many usermade eras go with fluff instead of crunch. I think I've read a comment on some default race or faction (drakes?) along the lines of "If gameplay requires it, they can be made to live on Mars". This makes for a far better gaming experience.

An example of both the last points: IE Issaelfr are really good on snow/ice, but pays for this by being bad on almost all other terrain. Snow/ice is (as far as I can tell) mostly used in mainline maps as a terrain that is supposed to be bad for everyone and/or as a thematic in certain maps (Sulla's ruins). And yet the units seems to balanced with the idea that it's as widely used as (say) forest and in the same way.

Another polishing issue: If certain factions or leaders are really suboptimal and not supposed to be used don't include them with random. Again using IE as an example: Issaelfer and Orces Gladiatores seems to be overpriced to the point of unusability (other than seals and possibly the minuti archer). The Lavinian Siege Archer is an awful leader - default removed the Storm Trooper for a reason. (This might be less of an issue for other people, but I like selecting random - it makes for a nice variety. And it's mostly the issue of looking more polished which I think is important.)

In a way the balance is stuck in a negative loop - era X is unbalanced because no good players play it enough to give good feedback because it's too unbalanced to be fun to play seriously. I'm not sure how to break it.

(Sorry for picking mostly on IE, but it's the usermade era I've been looking at the most lately(but not really playing).)

(and again, sorry for sounding rude)
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Aethaeryn
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Re: Minor rant/looking for suggestions.

Post by Aethaeryn »

Velensk wrote:@Aetharyn: I've fixed all the polish issues you mentioned except the old content (which I've always ignored sense it does not do anything, and that is realy easy to fix), and the gargoyals being mechanical, because they are mechanical as far as I know they are basicaly animated rock.
I still see mechanical as being machines, such as the boats and the watch tower in SotBE. Gargoyals are not inventions of some mad scientist, they are inanimate objects that come to life. They therefore aren't mechines.
Velensk wrote:People might like the warg to be werewolves, but I realy don't want them to become them. If we were to create a werewolf faction (and I do mean create, because trying to go off what we have now would not work), then for the sake of lore we'd need werewolves to be fast strong, and turn others into werewolves when they bite (or kill) them, and change into humans during day. Now all that might be cool for one unit, but what would you make the rest of the faction out of?
It's not that hard, I'll put together a tree in about 10-30 minutes.
Velensk wrote:Now all this being said, I could try to get changes made to make therians "cooler", or rather closer to the darker jungle/savanah lore they come from (or at least that I've always assumed they came from). It would involve changing the look and name of the monks/apprentices. The apprentices would become which docters with curse and hex as their attacks, and the monks would become priests who would battle with matras and sultas. The entire faction would have to gain very dark skin.
This definitely would differentiate them a little more, but have you fixed some of the nonsensical unit branches in EoM? The Therians have it with some units but last I checked, the Celestial Wizard (or whatever he is called) has a branch that is both unnecessary and where one option is wholly superior than the other.
Velensk wrote:I am however at the mercy of my artists to provide all this work for me, and I don't know how much approval I'd get from any the owners on these changes. (responce from either group would be nice.)
That's the chief problem with EoM: upkeep. It's starting to get too many factions, there's not enough people who are willing to keep up all the factions to good standards, especially in art.
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Re: Minor rant/looking for suggestions.

Post by Aethaeryn »

It wasn't too hard to come up with a Werewolf-centered tree from the top of my head using your specifications (actually being a double tree that switches between day and night forms that have similar damage types, but is slightly weaker probably). The only thing I couldn't think up is how to thematically have a night-time form for the ranged unit. An obvious possibility is human allies to the werewolves. Yes, the tree is small, but thematically they can be generalists like the Drakes. For the humans, think outlaws, Northern Alliance, or simply wild men.

Code: Select all

WEREWOLF UNIT TREE
 WEREWOLVES (DUSK THROUGH SECOND WATCH)
 Lvl 0                   Lvl 1                   Lvl 2                   Lvl 3
 Initiate -------------> Werewolf -------------> Werewolf Warrior -----> Werewolf Chief
              \                     \                         
               \                     \---------> Werewolf Pillager ----> Werewolf Champion      
                \                     \    
                 \                    ---------> Werewolf Raider ------> Werewolf Destroyer
                  \                  /
                   \---> Fastwolf -------------> Werewolf Guard -------> Werewolf Sentry

                         Werewolf Mutation ----> Werewolf Abomination -> Werewolf Enforcer   

                         __________ -----------> _________                                        

                         Wereshark ------------> Great Wereshark 


 THE CURSED ONES (DAWN THROUGH AFTERNOON)
 Lvl 0                   Lvl 1                   Lvl 2                   Lvl 3
 Initiate -------------> Soldier --------------> Warrior --------------> Chief infantry
              \                     \                         
               \                     \---------> Madman ---------------> Berserker
                \                     \    
                 \                    ---------> Raider ---------------> Barbarian
                  \                  /
                   \---> Scout ----------------> Watchman -------------> Sentinel

                         Werewolf Mutation ----> Werewolf Abomination -> Werewolf Enforcer

                         Rioter ---------------> Guerrilla

                         Swimmer --------------> Master Swimmer
Initiate
Similar to vampires, this is what units plague into. Cheap lvl 0 trash unit that can promote into two of the werewolf branches.

Werewolf/Soldier Line
Standard infantry line, but werewolves are generally quick and hard-hitting but with an obvious weakness in ranged (and perhaps also a fire weakness).

Pillager/Madman Fork
A faction like this is no fun without a berserking unit.

Raider Fork
Both an interesting cross-over between the two generic werewolf units and a unit that fills the need for a light infantry or cavalry unit. Faster moving than the standard branch (considering that the entire faction being very fast would be overpowered) yet does more damage than the scout (the scout is more of a dodger, and has 1 or 2 more MP).

Fastwolf/Scout Line
This fills the need of the scout, after all - not all werewolves are born for brute strength. Think footpad, especially on the human form, but this guy has the speed of cavalry even in human form since being a werewolf gives him superhuman speed.

Mutation Line
This is the most fun idea, and the tank. Basically, the Werewolf virus (or whatever turns people into one) doesn't always work out quite right on people. On a rare occasion, they turn into a full beast and are stuck in this form. These monsters are very strong, but slow and stupid and it is not unheard of for Mutations to turn on their own kind. Those that can be tamed, however, fill a vital defensive and heavy-hitting role. Note that this doesn't morph forms.

Rioter Line
Fills the need of a ranged unit. The more I think of it, it could just be a human ally to the werewolves - the werewolves let them live so they can serve their purposes and these humans align with the werewolves because they are bitter at the authorities they rebel from.

Wereshark/Swimmer Line
Not sharks, WERESHARKS! There for fun, and to serve the vital need of a water unit.


If you need, I can provide stats and more detail, but really the hardest part about any faction is graphics, not concepts. The hardest part about the Werewolves is making people think they're different than the Wargs. :P

Though, the best way to get people to play EoM is polish (don't look like a work in progress, and this doesn't just apply to graphics) and making sure that people are truly comfortable with Random and don't just play it for Windsong and Devlings.
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turin
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Re: Minor rant/looking for suggestions.

Post by turin »

svek wrote:This will probably sound a bit ranty and aggressive, but please bear with me...
(I'm a bit overloaded on caffeine and sugar at the moment)
No, actually, quite useful comments. Part of the reason the era has these problems is they're somewhat difficult to fix, but another part is that someone like me, who doesn't know a whole lot about MP balancing, wouldn't even realize they're problems.
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Velensk
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Re: Minor rant/looking for suggestions.

Post by Velensk »

Firstly if you are seriously proposing the werewolves we should probably move that discussion at least to the main EoM development thread, I'll get around to what I think of it later in this post once I'm finished working through everything else.

I have indeed worked on the "non-sense braches". When I took over EoM there was allot to do, I had a long list of changes I want to make from when it was stalled due to JWs law school, and that was when Melon was pestering me about therian advancements when I was busy; firstly learning how to do what I needed to be able to do; and secondly working on things I consitered more important. When I did not do as she said she was offended and left which is sad because she was a good artist.

However now that I've already finished with all that I've had plenty of time to fix those and all the other problems you've mentioned. The great wizard lines hp and ranged attack have been increased. The therian shamans line has been diffrensiated by more than it's healing, I've disabled the sand-skipper line untill there is art to diffrensiate it from the other two, whom I've diffrensiated from each other.

I don't think that 7 factions is too ambitious (though I won't argue that it is ambitious) especialy consitering how low upkeep some of them are. However you are right that there is not enough artists working on it to complete it at the rate I'd like.

It would probably help if I learned how to do art, but it would not be the first time I've tried and the other times did not get very far after about a month appeice of trying.

As far as other polish, I could go through the animations and check them over very closely for problems. I'm not sure that this will have a huge reward (except maybe to people like zookeeper).

Regaurding the Werewolves: (respond to this in main development thread if you would seriously pitch these)
Thematicaly these guys are much stronger than the warg, the transformation mechanic alone ensures that. However gameplay wise I can't see them (probably because I have not played with them). I think that it would be almost impossible to balance them if their human form was lawfull, but there is no reason why would need to be.

I love the way the warg play, and I would not want to lose the feel of that for reasons of thematics especialy now that I've had time to work with the warg, and I still have other plans to replace the naga and shapeshifter units. On the other hand, if this could be balanced, and capture the feel of warg gameplay, then that would be awesome.
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Re: Minor rant/looking for suggestions.

Post by Mist »

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).
Well, maybe some of us do take interest, even if not necesarily in as obvious way as Noyga with EE but still (you can ask JW if you don't belive me ;) ). You should also bear in mind that regardless of what might seem, number of devs invloved in content is rather limited, and however stretched the whole team might seem, we're stretched even more. I don't know how it looks with others but my personal "must do" list is long, my "should do" list is even longer and that leaves my "would like to do" list well out of sight. I don't assume your work to be a waste of time, I assume you're doing good enough on your own and don't need any specific help (and when it looks otherwise I try to lend a hand like I did to Esperon when he had some problems with his campaign). Suggestions? I'd have to think a bit more about the issue, I'm not the best player and I didn't play decent MP game in ages but there is one very visible issue, you need an 'art director'. You got a lot of good art lately but the style, detail, mood and quality vary wildly from faction to faction, to be honest they don't look like having anything in common. Someone should take over to unify what you have now and point new contributors to what needs to be done most urgently.
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Re: Minor rant/looking for suggestions.

Post by Sapient »

Aethaeryn wrote: The "favorite" factions I've observed people like are Windsong, Devlings, Elementals and Vampires
I agree, you really need to cut out some factions and focus on balancing and improving a core group of 3 or 4 factions. Anything else is really unrealistic.

However, I don't think Elementals should be on the list. IMO, you need to get rid of Elementals and Warg, and keep Windsong, Devlings, and Vampires. And I don't see why Therians are so bad, really. I would like to see Therians on the list too, but you really need to do something about that artwork. I posted a link to a great-looking jaguar sprite by Neorice and nobody bothered to wire it in yet. And please get rid of that Tiger sprite, it's not even copyright safe (it's basically the same outline as a FF1 sprite). I posted the Tiger sprite as a proof of concept and did not intend it to be used in game.
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Re: Minor rant/looking for suggestions.

Post by Velensk »

The problem with cutting factions is that everyone has diffrent favorite factions. Lots of people who I've played against have picked elemental. If I went by my favorites then vampires and devilings would go. However large numbers of people realy like those two. Many people want therians and/or warg to go, but I'd realy miss warg if they went (without being replaced by something better). I've even met a person who always choose therians, and many people indiffrent to them.

All the factions are here, and all of them have supporters. It also seems disrespectfull to just dismiss all the work that has been put into any one of them. I'm not going to get rid of any of them without a very good reason, and so far no-one has supplied any very good reason for any of them to be removed, just complained about how they personaly don't like them.

The only factions that have been high maitanince have been the origional 4. Windsong, Devlings, and elementals arn't in need of artwork except for higher lvl units. I don't think that it is too ambitiouse to try to maintain all 7, though I know it won't be easy.

Mist: Your suggestion makes sense, and the obviouse choice for the directer would be Megane.
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Re: Minor rant/looking for suggestions.

Post by Truper »

Something you might consider doing is putting the cart before the horse, and starting an EoM tournament now, and rather than using balancing to get EoM ready for tournament play, use tournament play to get EoM ready for balancing. Here's why:

Optimally, for balancing puposes you would want feedback from long-time players, but I have noticed that the long-time player base has itself split into factions. There are number of long-time players who don't play many x vs x games any more, but instead play a lot of survival-type games. These people enjoy using EE and EoM for the variety they offer, but you are right, the feedback from such games is not very useful for x vs x balancing. I myself fall into this category. As an example of feedback I'd offer from using EoM in survials, I like the Elemental faction, but don't use it as much as I might, since so many units lack level 3s. Valid from my limited perspective on the era, but nearly irrelevant in terms of balancing for "serious" mp play. There is also a group of players who play almost nothing but competative mp, and in fact prefer ladder games to any other sort, now that there is a ladder. Gallifax is a good example of players of this type. Feedback from these players would be the most useful for mp balancing, but they never use anything but the default era. Perhaps an EoM tournament would interest such players enough to get them using the era, and giving useful feedback.
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Re: Minor rant/looking for suggestions.

Post by Sapient »

Velensk wrote:I'm not going to get rid of any of them without a very good reason, and so far no-one has supplied any very good reason for any of them to be removed, just complained about how they personaly don't like them.
Well, you didn't ask. I'd like to cut Celestials, Wargs, and Elementals. Here's the reasons.
Note, I'm not trying to be rude here, just realistic.

1) Celestials: need TON of art. The only good looking unit is the zealot (which almost never gets used). The herald is fairly decent but lacks TC.

2) Wargs: simply put, the most one-dimensional faction of the group. Recruit a meleee oriented wolfman or a melee oriented wolfman? Use wolfman to attack with melee or use other wolfman to attack with melee? Also, no offense to Jester, but the worst artwork. Needs TON of art. (like, total replacement)

3) Elementals: the most terrain-dependant faction. By cutting these you are doing yourself a huge favor with regards to map-balancing. With the Elementals in the mix you can absolutely forget about compatibility with default era maps.


I'm not saying that these factions aren't redeemable or that they don't have very interesting concepts. They do have some nice points, definintely. But, by insisting that these all of these stay with all the others in the same Era, you are setting yourself up for a project that will likely never be complete or balanced.
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Re: Minor rant/looking for suggestions.

Post by Velensk »

I can see your points, but I must say that I'm more than willing to put in the extra effort to keep them around.

Celestials: They do need better art, I know this, and art for them is tricling in, though the art that comes in isn't the best quality, it is better, and would take only minor improvements to bring it up to par. These are one faction that I would not remove for reasons of theme alone.

Warg: the art for the warg is also getting updated jester has improved them already, and more will hopefully come in once he gets his comp back. Their gameplay is also improving, the wisp is a good and highly mobile ranged unit, and they are getting another unit with ranged ability and their melee units are getting greater verity, the blackfur once I get the art will be a backstabber with nightstalk, they already have the bear which is a lawfull melee unit. Their gameplay will still not be incredibly varried, but it will be less one demensional.

Elementals: There is a reason why I am working on and EoM map-pack, aside from that these are amoung the most popular of the factions from my opservation. Also they arn't completely terrain dependant, only some of their basic melle forces (vine beasts/rocks) are, the main body of their forces in any match-up (unicorns and windservents) are not so terrain dependant, neither are brazeir creations, though they do fight best in sand. This leaves rocks, vine beasts, and tidals to be terrain dependant.

It is likely that it will take a long time to complete this, but I'm not going to take away the great things I'm working towards just because they make it take a much longer time to get there.
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Re: Minor rant/looking for suggestions.

Post by Aethaeryn »

About the other points: Your era is your era, I was just stating a bunch of observations from playing. Obviously it's infeasible to implement everything I'm saying, but even half of my suggestions would probably raise quality.
Velensk wrote:Regaurding the Werewolves: (respond to this in main development thread if you would seriously pitch these)
Thematicaly these guys are much stronger than the warg, the transformation mechanic alone ensures that. However gameplay wise I can't see them (probably because I have not played with them). I think that it would be almost impossible to balance them if their human form was lawfull, but there is no reason why would need to be.
For the main werewolves, their human form would probably be neutral and their night form chaotic, in which case their neutral form would be about 25% weaker than their chaotic form in stats, making the transformation mostly cosmetic (of course, there can always be tweaks and changes). And the way abstract damage types are, it wouldn't be hard to have a guy with claws have a sword as a human or who has a pierce bite have a pike or something. Thematically, these guys would probably be enemies with the Vampires.
Velensk wrote:On the other hand, if this could be balanced, and capture the feel of warg gameplay, then that would be awesome.
I can try if you still want...
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Re: Minor rant/looking for suggestions.

Post by AI »

Actually, chaotic+fearless_musthave+filtered animations ([filter_location] time_of_day), could make it *entirely* cosmetic.
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