Why The Rise of Wesnoth is so awesome

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Glowing Fish
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Why The Rise of Wesnoth is so awesome

Post by Glowing Fish »

My favorite campaign in Wesnoth in The Rise of Wesnoth. I like all of the campaigns, but TRoW strikes me as a step above all the others. I thought for a while about why that was, and I came up with the answer:

Everything in Wesnoth seems natural and realistic. (Either in terms of the story and plot, or in terms of the 'Real World'). The place where you can see this the most clearly is in the maps: Take a look at the map for 'Peoples in Decline'. I think this is fairly geographically accurate as to what an atoll would look like. 'The Beach' looks like a good representation of what a large river draining into a coastal marsh would look like. I don't know what an ancient sewer complex underneath a city would look like, but it is probably a lot like 'Sewers of Southbay'. Every map in the game looks like something that could be imagined as a real locale.

In all of the Wesnoth campaigns, I never start a scenario and think "oh, this is an interesting strategic challenge". In almost every map in every scenario, I get the feeling that I am really in a "real" place and am really exploring it. This gives me a tension and an investment I don't feel with many strategy games. This is what makes Wesnoth an RPG. I really do get into the role.

And, while this is true in all the campaigns, it is even more so in The Rise of Wesnoth. The funny thing is, I can imagine, after the fact, that the campaign was just put together as a series of interesting strategic challenges. After all, after fighting orcs and undead for 10 odd scenarios, you end up on an island in the ocean fighting Drakes. I could imagine that the designer put that in "just because", but when I get to that scenario, I don't ever think about that. It seems to fit in perfectly with the development of the game.

Anyway, I hope this doesn't seem like blind, kissing up raving. I am just pointing out what makes Wesnoth, and in particular The Rise of Wesnoth, so particularly awesome.
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Re: Why The Rise of Wesnoth is so awesome

Post by Rhuvaen »

Glowing Fish wrote:My favorite campaign in Wesnoth in The Rise of Wesnoth.
[...] Every map in the game looks like something that could be imagined as a real locale.

And, while this is true in all the campaigns, it is even more so in The Rise of Wesnoth.
I completely agree with what your statements on TRoW, but it's not like that in all campaigns. Some campaign designers take the KISS principle a step further when it comes to map design. After all, if it presents a good challenge, why does it have to be aesthetically pleasing? :P Some campaign designers are a bit more minimalist :)

When I look at a scenario's map, I also like the feeling of discovery, and that the map conveys why this place is important and an encounter is taking place here. In a lot of the campaigns, I have to ask myself why these silly enemies must defend this featureless forest/plain etc that seems to be just one of the necessarily bland places you get when you journey between two potentially more interesting sites...
Glowing Fish wrote:Anyway, I hope this doesn't seem like blind, kissing up raving.
Absolutely not! I see what you mean exactly. I just started designing maps and was thinking about what was important in that - providing a unique challenge, balance and a rationale and atmosphere are probable ingredients and what you described is an important aspect that's overlooked in some campaigns, while TRoW excels at it! Hooray Shade! :)
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Re: Why The Rise of Wesnoth is so awesome

Post by Invisible Philosopher »

Yeah, I agree too.
Rhuvaen wrote:In a lot of the campaigns, I have to ask myself why these silly enemies must defend this featureless forest/plain etc that seems to be just one of the necessarily bland places you get when you journey between two potentially more interesting sites...
What I wonder more often is, why are we fighting instead of just passing by? Especially on Muff Malal's Peninsula, which makes no sense anyway because why are you going out to the peninsula at all?
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Re: Why The Rise of Wesnoth is so awesome

Post by Elvish_Pillager »

Invisible Philosopher wrote:Yeah, I agree too.
Rhuvaen wrote:In a lot of the campaigns, I have to ask myself why these silly enemies must defend this featureless forest/plain etc that seems to be just one of the necessarily bland places you get when you journey between two potentially more interesting sites...
What I wonder more often is, why are we fighting instead of just passing by? Especially on Muff Malal's Peninsula, which makes no sense anyway because why are you going out to the peninsula at all?
Tribal Warfare also has that problem: "Ack! Even though those puny enemies stand no chance against my Iron Maulers, and we don't want to kill them anyway, we have to!"

Valley of Death:
Delfador: "Uh oh, we have to defend ourselves in this castle!"
Konrad: "No way! We'll just keep heading north!"

An Unexpected Appearence:
Gweddry: "Do you honestly expect me to believe that those puny Necromancers in their tiny castles are BLOCKING us?"

and I'm sure there's more...
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Post by turin »

You caught me... i'm a minimalist. ;)


Is there something wrong with that?


(BTW, why exactly is Unexpected Appearance unrealistic? You are in a valley with mountains to the north and south. There are necromancers to the east and west. You have to defeat one to get out of the valley.)
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Post by freim »

turin wrote:You caught me... i'm a minimalist. ;)


Is there something wrong with that?
Depends, If it means boring maps, yes :P
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Post by MRhe »

I agree, this campaign is excellent so far (haven't finished yet). I think it has a nice variety of scenarios and some very cool RPG elements.

Also, I must say that the character portraits are really amazing. They add a lot of flavor to the game. I'm not sure who did them, but whoever it is deserves a lot of credit. Such "unnecessary" additions really do add a great deal to the quality of the campaign. I love the perspective on Burin.

Also I think Clearwater Port is one of my favorite scenarios, despite its being rather hard (hard to kill all the enemies, that is...I like to try for the best goal). It has a really great siege quality to it. Nice map, very well done.
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Post by Elvish_Pillager »

turin wrote:(BTW, why exactly is Unexpected Appearance unrealistic? You are in a valley with mountains to the north and south. There are necromancers to the east and west. You have to defeat one to get out of the valley.)
*Moves Gweddry to the very west edge of the map*
Gweddry: What'd you do that for? Now we have to go back east and defeat that Necromancer so we can move farther west!
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Post by Circon »

I believe it's a metaphorical Zone of Control in action. With tiles of Mountain-Grass-Evil Necromancer's Castle-Grass-Mountain.
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Post by Elvish_Pillager »

Circon wrote:I believe it's a metaphorical Zone of Control in action. With tiles of Mountain-Grass-Evil Necromancer's Castle-Grass-Mountain.
On the subject of Mountains, it's an actual disadvantage that Gweddry loses his mountain-walking ability at level 3...
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Post by turin »

Elvish Pillager wrote:
turin wrote:(BTW, why exactly is Unexpected Appearance unrealistic? You are in a valley with mountains to the north and south. There are necromancers to the east and west. You have to defeat one to get out of the valley.)
*Moves Gweddry to the very west edge of the map*
Gweddry: What'd you do that for? Now we have to go back east and defeat that Necromancer so we can move farther west!
and how do you propose that the rest of his units, including those waiting at his castle to be recalled, follow him? ;)

as for tribal warfare, i'm gonna work on it... i agree about it being kind of unrealistic.
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Post by Elvish_Pillager »

turin wrote:and how do you propose that the rest of his units, including those waiting at his castle to be recalled, follow him? ;)
Gweddry: I just moved all my followers to the left edge! WHY can't we go farther?
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Post by turin »

Elvish Pillager wrote:
turin wrote:and how do you propose that the rest of his units, including those waiting at his castle to be recalled, follow him? ;)
Gweddry: I just moved all my followers to the left edge! WHY can't we go farther?
thats never going to happen. ;) and if you accept that as a reason, almost all scenarios in all campaigns, including TROW, have this problem.
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Post by Elvish_Pillager »

turin wrote:if you accept that as a reason, almost all scenarios in all campaigns, including TROW, have this problem.
Beseiged: Go somewhere, actually.
Blackwater: You have to wait for a ship.
Anduin: You're supposed to destroy the Orcs.
Pearls: Has a similar problem.
Damned: You have to wait for the ship.
Peninsula: Has the problem.
Elensefar: You must rescue the city.
Crossroads: Has the problem.
Princess: Has a similar problem.
Valley: Has the problem.
Gryphons: No idea. it has no story.
Abez: Get somewhere, actually.
Winter: Kill them so they don't bother you.
Pass: Get somewhere, actually.
Doors: Get somewhere, actually.
Darkness: Get somewhere, actually.
Lost: You need him to tell you the way.
Hasty: You must defeat them.
Sceptre: Get somewhere, actually.
Choice: Has the problem.
Plains: Huh?
Swamp: Has the problem.
North Elves: Get somewhere, actually.
Council: Uh...
Statues: Stupid scenario anyway, IMO
Return: Has the problem.
Clans: Why the heck are we fighting? And aren't we inside Wesnoth already?
Battle: Like, you have to kill them.

Not the majority...
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Post by turin »

majority of "defeat all enemies" ones, i meant...

obviously a "survive till end of turns" or a "reach destination" scenario won't have that problem. they're better for story purposes, but it gets boring having only those, and wesnoth is about fighting, anyway, not running away.
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