Best and Worst MAINLINE campaigns and scenarios

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Joram
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Re: Best and Worst MAINLINE campaigns and scenarios

Post by Joram » May 7th, 2012, 3:18 pm

Campaigns I have not played all the way through: Northern Rebirth, The Hammer of Thursagen, Son of the Black Eye, The Legend of Wesmere, and Dead Water

Yikes! What am I doing in this thread? :shock:


Anyway, my tastes definitely run to the short to mid length campaigns. The long ones just get dull after a while, what with the same old recall list. Not counting the ones listed above, I'd have to say...

Worst campaign: Probably The Rise of Wesnoth. Too many slogs after the midpoint of the campaign (though I still love the early portions enough to go through the later half from time to time). HttT at least has a break where you begin fresh with dwarves + whatever mages you recall (note that if I had ever finished NR, it would probably be here; too many slogs after the first scenario :mrgreen: )

Best campaign: I like Descent into Darkness, but mostly because it has a nice progression, with peaks of difficulty and valleys where you build up to them. It just seems splendidly paced. The story is fine, imo, though I'd prefer it if most characters of the village were a little more 'reasonable' when Malin returns rather than "la-la-la, I'm not listening, you're evil". The fact that I thought he was in the wrong makes it vaguely irritating that there wasn't a character in the story that seemed to be able to articulate my viewpoint.

Honorable Mention: Scepter of Fire (again for pacing reasons), Two Brothers (nice, doable challenge when I'm not in the mood for something heavy: Play through without saving), and Delfador's Memoirs (Actually, this is the only long campaign that I was fairly interested in the entire time; I think the changing up recalls had something to do with it. Yes, he's a Mary Sue, and that could stand to be toned down, but it actually had a more compelling story than most anyway, imo; plus, I liked the dialogue and general style).


EDIT: Some campaign faction notes:

I don't think the Loyalists are the best faction for campaigns. They are essentially the 'terrain-neutral' faction; no terrain helps them more than their enemies, and it's really slow going through all of it. This makes it more difficult to make interesting maps for them. I think this is another reason TRoW falls off late game. It's impossible to create a huge amount of terrain variety when you treat most terrain pretty much the same (within the two groups of positive and negative terrain, respectively). Undead would suffer from this as well, which is why I'm pretty glad that DiD isn't any longer than it is.

I've been going through The Hammer of Thursagen recently, and the dwarves are just too slow on overland maps to make a lot of interesting strategic choices in the campaign. Sprint for the closest block of hills and wait for the enemy seems to be about all you can do. Scepter of Fire is okay because it's mostly underground.

All things considered, the Elves are probably the best faction for (long) campaigns. Diverse, quick, and terrain-friendly, you can alternately favor them (with forests) or favor their enemies (with just about anything else). Plus, you can mix in a few extra units like Horsemen and mages if you have to. Additionally, they have a level 4 unit that needs more time to gather xp if you want to field.
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Jabie
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Re: Best and Worst MAINLINE campaigns and scenarios

Post by Jabie » May 7th, 2012, 10:07 pm

Telchin wrote: Worst scenario:
[*]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...)
I haven't tried it on 1.10, but I had the same experience with Dead Water on Easy on 1.8. And when my Level 0's die, he gets more. Seemed like almost everything was set up for a loss. I just gave up, but I might try again on 1.10.

It's certainly horses for courses, but variety is a good thing, as long as everybody can get something they like. NR is closer to a strategy battle rather than a skirmish, whereas UtBS is far more narrative driven. I haven't tried it, but if the NR Remake fleshes out NR with a branching path this may improve the campaign and if so, ought to be considered for mainline. Personally though, I'd be more concerned about difficulty spikes on the easiest level of any campaign, than specific campaign style.

Best scenario. I really enjoyed the one where you where running from the flooding tunnels in UtBS. There were a couple of dicey moments, but on the whole it seemed well timed so that you could just about escape from the flood in time. The sneaking mission in Liberty was pretty good too.

Worst Scenario. Human Alliance in Legend of Wesmere is pretty gruesome. You're massively overwhelmed and every time you think you're getting somewhere another ton of troops turn up to pound you into the ground. Worse still, you're saddled with a bloody awful ally who doesn't seem to know how to use his units on the defensive. It was sort of exciting, but I don't think I'd ever want to run through it again. This is one scenario where I'd really like to take a leaf out of The Soujournings of Grog and control the ally myself.

However the worst one for me is Costly Revenge. You can't heal and can't hold villages, but your enemy can. There's very little useful terrain on which you can hide. But if the scenario is hard, the story is far worse. Kalenz is forced to act completely out of character for the sake of the plot. Kalenz should had been tricked by Landar into going off on a wild-goose chase, so he was out of the picture.
Last edited by Jabie on May 8th, 2012, 11:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

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taptap
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Re: Best and Worst MAINLINE campaigns and scenarios

Post by taptap » May 8th, 2012, 8:43 am

People don't complain about "elves defend their woods" scenarios why about a "mermen defend their bay" scenario, you have equally good defense there (even 70% terrain). Skeletons are just punching bags for mermen (especially brawlers and initiates) and so are the walking (as opposed to the swimming) corpses. On hard it is rough, but either way one of my favorite scenarios.
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Re: Best and Worst MAINLINE campaigns and scenarios

Post by Boldek » May 8th, 2012, 12:44 pm

Best storyline ever: Probably TroW, I liked the amount of hostility between the elves and humans.
Best gameplay ever: Eastern Invasion, it is probably the few campaigns that centers all around wild goose chases and running like crazy from hordes of undead.


Best scenario ever: Maybe not the best, but the one that comes to mind is from EI, the survival sequence in Wedlyn. Just the rush of having lots of imperial allies and under attack from heavy undead.
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Re: Best and Worst MAINLINE campaigns and scenarios

Post by HomerJ » May 8th, 2012, 4:02 pm

Isn't it great that there seems to be something for everyone? There is not the one most hated campaign, and the one that outshines all the others.

Awesome work, campaign developers!


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Re: Best and Worst MAINLINE campaigns and scenarios

Post by The Great Rings » May 8th, 2012, 5:48 pm

shadowmaster wrote: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.
I hate it when people criticize something by saying it takes itself too seriously. It implies one of two things: that silly, light, or trivial is better, or that the work in question is so light or inferior that it should not try to be anything else (in which case I would ask why that is true of Northern Rebirth, other than the fact that a different version of the campaign was apparently done in that way).

As for the battles, well, sure they're big and crowded. But its epic, and a nice change from the norm.

I don't know much about the undead story line, but as I recall that only exists in a non-mainline version of the campaign.

I can get why people don't like Northern Rebirth, but to me its a very good campaign that gets more criticism than it deserves.
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Re: Best and Worst MAINLINE campaigns and scenarios

Post by Creativity » May 8th, 2012, 8:18 pm

Worst Campaign: Delfador's Memoirs. The storyline is meh, and I highly dislike losing recall lists.
(I know lots of people will hate me for this, but a dishonorable mention goes to HttT. Konrad is seriously not fit to be king.)
Worst Scenario: Evacuation from EI.
Best Campaign: Northern Rebirth. (yeah, yeah, I know....)

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Re: Best and Worst MAINLINE campaigns and scenarios

Post by Iris » May 8th, 2012, 9:31 pm

The Great Rings wrote:I don't know much about the undead story line, but as I recall that only exists in a non-mainline version of the campaign.
That’s actually not quite right. Taurus wrote a few scenarios for this branch but he went on a permanent wesbreak before it could be finished. It was even accessible during normal gameplay in 1.3.x despite its unfinished state. I later removed (before 1.3.10) the undead option from the fourth scenario to prevent player confusion.

Code: Select all

shadowm@reicore:~/src/wesnoth$ ls data/campaigns/Northern_Rebirth/scenarios/[0-9][0-9]b_*
data/campaigns/Northern_Rebirth/scenarios/05b_Compelled.cfg
data/campaigns/Northern_Rebirth/scenarios/06b_Slave_of_the_Undead.cfg
data/campaigns/Northern_Rebirth/scenarios/07b_Protecting_the_Master.cfg
data/campaigns/Northern_Rebirth/scenarios/08b_Ray_of_Hope.cfg
data/campaigns/Northern_Rebirth/scenarios/09b_Judgment.cfg
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Re: Best and Worst MAINLINE campaigns and scenarios

Post by beetlenaut » May 11th, 2012, 2:54 am

taptap wrote: Worst scenario: ...Save the King (Delfadors Memoir, another broken scenario the king simply dies by his own before you can intervene)
I noticed that problem with "Save the King" a few months ago. I think I got it fixed. I tested it a dozen times and the king always lasted long enough for me to get to him. If you got stuck there, you should try it again.
taptap wrote: Best campaign: Dead Water
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Re: Best and Worst MAINLINE campaigns and scenarios

Post by Pewskeepski » May 14th, 2012, 7:41 pm

Worst Campaign: Depends. I would have to say the following...

1. Eastern Invasion: Horribly bizarre storyline/dialog.
2. Delfador's Memoirs: Unfinished/unbalanced scenarios.
3. Scepter of Fire: Childish Dialog.
4. An Orcish Incursion: Lame maps.
5. Northern Rebirth: Tedious, and outdated maps (among other things due to the lack of a maintainer).

But those campaigns have pros in addition to their cons. For example, SoF has some pretty enjoyable scenarios regardless of the dialog. DM has some fun scenarios and an interesting story idea. Northern Rebirth has some well written dialog/characters and also some super fun gameplay (c'mon admit it, it's a lot of fun cutting up thousands of orcs with an army of dwarf lords ;)). So this only goes to show you that there's work to do on the game's campaigns; even the ones that are mainline aren't perfect.

Worst individual scenario...
NR - Old Friend: *yawn*

Mind you, I really, really like Northern Rebirth. I love the large-scale battles and extreme amount of units, BUT It does get very tedious in spots, especially on Nightmare. Why is this a bad thing? Well, Showdown has so many units that it becomes a scenario with absolutely no strategy involved, just patience.

While I'm at it, I'll mention my favorites as well...

Son of the Black Eye: Hoestly, I just really like this one!
Dead Water: Well crafted all around - Great final scenario too (probably one of the best, imo).
The Rise of Wesnoth: Again, it's been so well done/maintained.
Under the Burning Suns: Well written and interestingly different.
Decent Into Darkness: Probably the most well-done storyline.
The Hammer of Thursagan: Same as Dead Water.

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Re: Best and Worst MAINLINE campaigns and scenarios

Post by Hulavuta » May 15th, 2012, 1:10 am

My favorite campaigns were Rise of Wesnoth, and Son of the Black-Eye, if only because they were the only campaigns with Saurians. My favorite scenario in Rise (I haven't played in ages, so I don't remember the name) was the one where you have to slay the dragon.

In Son of the Black Eye, I actually really liked the first level :D and I also really enjoyed "Saving Inarix".

People who were around about 2 years ago would notice that these are the two campaigns that I chose to base my own campaign on.

Worst campaign in my opinion was Northern Rebirth pretty much for the same reason shadowmaster said, no scenario really sticks out to me, since I haven't played in ages and I debug'd my way through the whole campaign anyhow.

Under the Burning Suns was one I did like, although I didn't think it really fit in with Wesnoth, story wise mostly. It takes place far in the future so I do give it a lot of leeway in all of the cultural changes.

also, LAWL HEY GUYS I'M STILL ALIVE
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Re: Best and Worst MAINLINE campaigns and scenarios

Post by Lord-Knightmare » May 29th, 2012, 2:59 pm

Best Campaign: Liberty - Peasants rebelling and managing to break down an impenetrable fortress. Truly praiseworthy.
Best Scenario: Human Alliance - Legend of Wesmere. Legions of orcs - outnumbered and disadvantaged. This greatly challenged my brain.
Worst Campaign: Northern Rebirth. Took me a week to complete at Normal. Very time consuming and severe boredom. The author should have completed it before it was mainlined. I was looking forward to the evil branch.
Worst Scenario: Endless Night - Descent into Darkness. Easy and enjoyable at first, but gets boring when you played like 13 times...

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Re: Best and Worst MAINLINE campaigns and scenarios

Post by taptap » May 29th, 2012, 3:27 pm

Lord-Knightmare wrote:Worst Campaign: Northern Rebirth. Took me a week to complete at Normal. Very time consuming and severe boredom. The author should have completed it before it was mainlined. I was looking forward to the evil branch.
A week? I mean seriously, there are some scenarios out there I spent almost a week or more until I managed to finish them in a decent way.
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Re: Best and Worst MAINLINE campaigns and scenarios

Post by Caphriel » May 29th, 2012, 3:48 pm

Just pointing out that some people spend more time playing in a week than others :eng:

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Re: Best and Worst MAINLINE campaigns and scenarios

Post by Lord-Knightmare » June 4th, 2012, 4:13 pm

taptap wrote:
Lord-Knightmare wrote:Worst Campaign: Northern Rebirth. Took me a week to complete at Normal. Very time consuming and severe boredom. The author should have completed it before it was mainlined. I was looking forward to the evil branch.
A week? I mean seriously, there are some scenarios out there I spent almost a week or more until I managed to finish them in a decent way.
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