Best and Worst MAINLINE campaigns and scenarios

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Jabie
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Best and Worst MAINLINE campaigns and scenarios

Post by Jabie » May 5th, 2012, 3:54 pm

Of those that you have tried, which mainline campaigns do you like best and which ones didn't work for you? Why did you like them / dislike them?

I haven't completed all the mainline campaigns, but of those I've tried so far are, the best were Heir to The Throne (very well fleshed out, great introduction to Wesnoth, generally felt balanced) and Under the Burning Suns (great story, the underground sections were too hard, IMO, but everything else was very good)

The ones that didn't work for me were: A tale of two brothers - as a training campaign it does the job, but I never really engaged with the story. Legend of Wesmere (on 1.8.5 - I haven't tried 1.10.2 - the difficulty level is all over the place and in at least one scenario the hero acted out of character)

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Re: Best and Worst MAINLINE campaigns and scenarios

Post by shadowm » May 5th, 2012, 7:04 pm

Worst campaign: Northern Rebirth (overpretentious as far as storytelling goes, ridiculously large maps with ridiculously large numbers of enemies which used to stress out the AI code).
Worst scenario: Battle for Wesnoth (anti-climatic and in practice displays Asheviere as a ridiculously incompetent leader).
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Re: Best and Worst MAINLINE campaigns and scenarios

Post by Crow_T » May 5th, 2012, 7:56 pm

Worst campaign: Northern Rebirth (overpretentious as far as storytelling goes, ridiculously large maps with ridiculously large numbers of enemies which used to stress out the AI code).
I have to agree with this, best to keep large scenarios capped around 35-maybe 40 turns max IMO. I'm not a big fan of HttT because you get too many loyals- they are so freakin precious it takes the fun out getting somebody killed. Give me regular units and a couple more houses to claim somewhere.

I like DiD, and am currently playing TRoW and UtBS, both seem to have a lot of potential.

Least favorite scenario was the last one in Delfador's Memoirs, it was way too easy, plus the last one in THoT, too long, too many bottlenecks.

Favorite scenarios, probably Showdown in AOI, A Harrowing Escape from TRoW, Beginning of the Revenge from DiD.

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Re: Best and Worst MAINLINE campaigns and scenarios

Post by taptap » May 5th, 2012, 9:13 pm

Best scenario: Isle of the Damned (HttT), Infested Caves (NR)
Best campaign: Dead Water (simple but working story, not too long and not too short, well maintained, doable but challenging maps, no overambition to be epic)

Worst scenario: The Pursuit (NR, really a bad example for all UMC), Cliffs of Thoria (HttT, simply broken with no enemies and free XP spenders but never fixed), Save the King (Delfadors Memoir, another broken scenario the king simply dies by his own before you can intervene)
Worst campaign: Very dependent on the amount of maintenance work the campaigns see. Legend of Wesmere had severe issues but Fabi fixed a lot of it, most importantly the third scenario. Sceptre of Fire is too much comedy + unbelievable moments for my taste (although this is an issue with the story and not the gameplay which is ok). Northern Rebirth has a design problem, it gives you too much experience, recruits, loyals (ancient lich, immortals) and gold and thus has to take away something elsewhere or has to give you hordes as opponents. Most of them still work with me somehow. In general I tend to like the early scenarios in most campaigns more than the late ones which makes me prefer short and medium campaigns and campaigns that don't try too hard to be epic but still take their story seriously.

Will there be new campaigns mainlined any time soon?
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Re: Best and Worst MAINLINE campaigns and scenarios

Post by The Great Rings » May 6th, 2012, 12:05 am

I'm annoyed that almost everyone is attacking Northern Rebirth, which is probably my favourite campaign. Its got flaws, but I like a lot of the art and characterization and I like the epic scale of the battles and the tactics. And the Northern Alliance makes a nice change from the more generic-seeming fantasy factions.
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Re: Best and Worst MAINLINE campaigns and scenarios

Post by doofus-01 » May 6th, 2012, 6:06 am

(looking at preceding post...) I got annoyed with Northern Rebirth because of the massive number of units on the map - I could go brew a pot of coffee and vacuum my car in the time it took the AI to finish its turn. I don't own that many cars and can't drink that much coffee, so the story wasn't compelling enough to put up with that. It wasn't really a bad story, if it weren't for the massive, slow AI forces, NR wouldn't be my least favourite. Then it might be Eastern Invasion or Legend of Wesmere.

South Guard was probably my favourite beginner campaign. It had a story, unlike Tale of Two Brothers, and was a pretty good example of a basic Wesnoth Campaign. Under the Burning Suns was my overall favourite, it had a new setting and wasn't as predictable.

Some people are all about the stats and chess game, but I'm more interested in seeing new ideas and artwork. If you feel the same way, give the mainline campaigns another chance if you haven't played them in a few years. I hated Legend of Wesmere when I tried it, but it has had a lot of work done on it since then. Trying it again is on my to-do list.

A bit off-topic, but UMC isn't a fanboi cesspool, there is plenty of interesting and original effort there.
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Re: Best and Worst MAINLINE campaigns and scenarios

Post by The Great Rings » May 6th, 2012, 7:19 pm

Well, I don't mind the scale of Northern Rebirth that much. Yes, it takes time, and it can get a little dull and frustrating perhaps, but it also feels so much more epic and like an actual war, as opposed to the little skirmishes most Wesnoth battles are.

Just do something else while you're waiting for the ai.

Edits: Anyway, my favourite campaign is Northern Rebirth or Rise of Wesnoth. My favourite scenario is Eastern Flank, if that's what its called, or one of the big cave battles from Northern Rebirth, or Clearwater Port from Rise of Wesnoth.

For my least favourite campaign, I'm tempted to say Descent into Darkness, not because I don't like it but because I don't like how people view its main character favorably.
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Re: Best and Worst MAINLINE campaigns and scenarios

Post by HomerJ » May 6th, 2012, 9:13 pm

I'm actually with TheGreatRings on this one.
Everybody knows that NR is my favorite and Infested Caves got the slight advantage over Eastern Flank, but frankly, I like most of the scenarios better than the average mainline scenario. The reason might have to do with commanding large armies, where the big picture matters.

I would also rate TroW second, tied with HttT.

Got my problems with EI and DiD (don't hear that to often do you?).
No specific worst scenario I can think of atm.


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Re: Best and Worst MAINLINE campaigns and scenarios

Post by The Great Rings » May 7th, 2012, 12:46 am

Yeah, DiD gets a lot of praise. Personally I consider it interesting but overrated, and I think its popular because people think dark stories and dark characters are cooler and/or more realistic. I do appreciate that it is different from most mainline campaigns and gives some really interesting glimpses of how the Undead operate, but I still think its overrated.
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Re: Best and Worst MAINLINE campaigns and scenarios

Post by Luckystars » May 7th, 2012, 4:13 am

This is really hard, after playing so many campaigns with huge battles, recently, I have been favoring the shorter scenarios. although I can't remember all of the campaigns and scenarios I have play recently, one of my favorite was Outriding the outriders from SoF its just a short fun scenario that can be played in about 10 mins. I have had mixed feelings about the last part of the Hammer of Thurgasan, but mostly negative, its mindlessly repetative doesn't require much strategy and takes about 3 hours to finish. I also prefer the earlier scenarios in a campaign to the end when I start to get heartbroken over lost loyals and level threes.

In all I loved SotBE and the merman one its fun playing a campaign with anything that doesn't focus on Elves, loyalists and undead once in a while. (also Inky = <3 )

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Re: Best and Worst MAINLINE campaigns and scenarios

Post by doofus-01 » May 7th, 2012, 4:47 am

The Great Rings wrote: Just do something else while you're waiting for the ai.
Yeah, and? Why would I come back to play Wesnoth for one turn? I'm more engaged in whatever else I'm doing.

There is a "play by e-mail" thread, so different strokes for different folks, I guess. But this "feature"of NR is not present in many other mainline campaigns.
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Re: Best and Worst MAINLINE campaigns and scenarios

Post by alexanderthegre » May 7th, 2012, 5:49 am

Best campaign, SotBE, as the dialogue is great and the scenarios are awe-inspiring (clash of armies and shan taum the smug stand out to me).
I have a strong dislike of NR, as it, as stated before, tries to be too epic.

My favorite scenario is, despite the bad dialogue, The Duel from EI. The concept of killing many lvl 2, 3 and 4 units with only 6 recruits/recalls tends to appeal to me.
My least favorite scenario is The Underlevels from THoT. It is too large, has too many bottlenecks, and seems 3 times harder than the preceding scenarios.

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Re: Best and Worst MAINLINE campaigns and scenarios

Post by taptap » May 7th, 2012, 8:04 am

Probably a lot of these discussions boils down to different tastes.

Some like the standard wesnoth skirmish others find it boring and need special effects.
Some love dungeon crawling / running scenarios / ... others simply hate it.
Some like a story that takes itself seriously others need a lot of irony to cope with playing a fantasy wargame.
For some a good story and art tops gameplay for others even a not so well thought out story works fine with well-designed scenarios.

Imo it is missing the point to blame Northern Rebirth for big scenarios or ATTB for having a somewhat short and broken storyline (it has only 4 scenarios, after all) but within this framework there is space for improvement.
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Re: Best and Worst MAINLINE campaigns and scenarios

Post by shadowm » May 7th, 2012, 8:29 am

I guess it might be worth it to elaborate a little more on my opinion above.

Worst campaign: Northern Rebirth

When I say it’s overpretentious, I mean that it’s been (re)written in such a way it appears to take itself too seriously despite its more light-hearted roots. It helps to know a bit about the history of this campaign; when Taurus first worked on it, its prose was... subpar, to say the least. However, I played it to the end as it was and even wanted to contribute a translation for it; all this when it was a user-made add-on for Wesnoth 1.2.

The thing is, ESR later rewrote a substantial part all of the prose with intent to mainline the campaign, effectively shoehorning his more serious/dramatic writing style into a campaign that was not really meant for it, in my opinion. That’s when it lost its charm for me. The frequently and ludicrously oversized or overpopulated AI stress-testing arenas battlefields in the campaign only seemed appropriate for the previous style.

Also note that I’m not considering the so-called undead branch of the storyline for the shallow analysis above. I actually read some of its prose during my short time as the mainline Spanish translation maintainer, and it seemed good to me, despite its rather violent departure from the overall tone of the campaign in its current state.
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Telchin
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Re: Best and Worst MAINLINE campaigns and scenarios

Post by Telchin » May 7th, 2012, 12:02 pm

Note that for the best/worst scenario I purposedly chose scenarios from different campaigns than what I chose as the best/worst campaigns:

Worst Campaign:
  • First pick: Northern Rebirth. I was actually surprised that this is the campaign most people in thisn thread complain about, as I though it's just my incompetence. I prefer more UtBS-style gameplay, not NR's huge maps with huge armies of cannon fodder, so even with save/loading I never finished this campaign. I can't even (dis)agree with shadowmaster on the story's (lack of) quality, because I never got past the fourth scenario, so I don't know much about the campaign's plot.
  • Second pick: Delfador's Memoirs. This would be probably the worst designed mainline campaign I've actually finished. I liked Delfador in HttT, but here he is a Mary Sue. The recall list changes so often, that I lost count (I admit it's justified by the story). After you defeat the supposed main illain, the campaign continues and ends in anticlimatic battle against a guy who was mentioned once before.
Worst scenario:
  • Evacuation from Eastern Invasion. No, I don't like sacrificing whole my recall list more than half into the campaign, thank you. And even when I tried the "blow-up the bridge" victory, I still had to fight the trolls. So you have to choose between a heavy battle while keeping your army and less heavy battle while sacrificing your army. I generally went with killing all the trolls, but that's probably because I save/load anyway... :oops:
  • Dishonorable mention: Invasion from Dead Water. This is the first scenario of a campaign. You have limited number of level1 units to recruit, while your opponent spawns units from each village he captures. Fighters and Hunters are weak against skeletons. Citizens and your main charactert (!) are about as strong as you expect from level0 unit. I was never so stuck in a first scenario of a campaign before. (Even the first battle of Northern Rebirth gave me less trouble. It's just the rest of the campaign...)
Best campaign:
  • Best story: The Rise of Wesnoth (I found UtBS too angsty and religious)
  • Best gameplay: Under the Burning Suns (TRoW has multiple filler "kill all enemies" scenarios)
  • Best campaign under 10 scenarios: Liberty
Best scenario:
  • The Underlevels from The Hammer of Thursagan - I've voiced my general dislike of huge maps before and I found the rest of this campaign rather boring (the dwarves walk from left side of the map to the right and kill stuff in the way), but I enjoyed this one. The huge map is fitting for a final bttle, the narrow corridors allow you to protect your wounded units easily, dwarves don't have problems in caves (unlike protagonist races in different campaigns) and in my last playthrought I managed to turn two freshly recruited Magi into Great Magi (and one into a Mage of Light)!

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