How to save Wesnoth

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Velensk
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Joined: January 24th, 2007, 12:56 am

Re: How to save Wesnoth

Post by Velensk »

Figured I'd come and comment on my experiences with this. Short version is that although I find it disappointing that there isn't more active development, I'm not terribly surprised. If Wesnoth never had a new stable version I'd still say that it is and was an amazing game and one I never completely tire of although I may not play very often anymore. If Wesnoth wants to continue to grow I'd say that the player base can do about as much for it as developers as it's already as feature complete as it needs to be to hold attention for years.

But as for keeping it fresh, I think that's an incredible uphill battle. But again I'd put that more up to the player base than anything else. A lot of people complain about how authoritarian the Wesnoth dev are but I sincerely believe that if they weren't the game would have undergone several identity crises and probably would not have come out on the other end as strong even as it is now. Although I have consistently played with the game under regular conditions for much of my time with Wesnoth, I've also always done things to try to keep things fresh and in general my experiences, particularly recently, simply have not been encouraging or very productive. I give a lengthy summery of my experience below. My conclusions (which are still lengthy) are at the end if you wish to skip the explanation. @Slann my response to your comment is my section on the developer end of things under the conclusions., I actually started this trying to answer that but it ended up turning into a short essay and I felt I might as well start from the top. In my experience, there are actually many people who play the game just for the add-ons and have little interest in the core game.

About two years after I started playing and about a year after I'd been doing multiplayer regularly I was starting to get tired of the regular multiplayer experience. I still had much to learn mind you but I was ready to look for a change. So I started poking about in different eras and I found the Era of Myths. I thought it was pretty cool but it could use to be better balanced before it was really viable as an alternative to normal multiplayer. I volunteered as a tester and played regularly as I could. Then the creator of it said that he needed to buckle down and study for his finals (he was a law student) and wanted someone to be maintainer for awhile. Though I had no coding experience other than minor bits of java and wml I agreed and ended up in control of the Era of Myths. I expected this stint to last maybe four months but it ended up lasting two years.
-There were some problems with the Era of Myths and perhaps with my management of if, among other things I never really considered it my project so I avoided making sweeping changes. I still made significant changes beyond just balancing (new units, other units cut, rethemes of existing units, letting those providing sprites that weren't horrible make their own interpretation of the units). Because I wasn't willing to make sweeping changes, problems built into the design of the factions became more of a problem. Another problem was that the EoM factions, were simply impossible to balance on mainline maps. The elementals and the devlings made sure of that and the celestials and windsong certainly didn't help. I ended up not only having to test the era but also a new set of maps I made for it as well. Still, it wasn't too bad at this time. When I went out and recruited testers I could generally get testers, even if they were unskilled. I even had a few that were good enough that I could be somewhat productive while testing.
-My stint ended rather suddenly after two years when the original creator came back and announced that he was going to take back over. I was fine with that, however the first thing he did was revert most of my major changes which made me wonder if my efforts to slowly balance the era over that time had been worth it. The real kicker was when he disappeared again a few weeks later. At this point I considered taking back over but considering all my changes had been reverted and feeling sick of working on someone else project which I didn't have license to redo from the ground up I decided against it.

So for the next few years I worked on other aspects of Wesnoth. I had always made maps but it was during this time that I refined my abilities there. This was around the time when the ladder came to be I tried it for awhile and I even held exceptionally high rank for a short time. I discovered that the Ladder didn't really do anything for me other than makes games more stressful and after an exceptionally embarrassing loss against a player who ran a ton of elvish scouts into a fortified knalgan position and through shear luck was able to out attrition them I decided that I wouldn't use the ladder anymore. At first this worked fine for me but the further I went on the more and more of the skilled opponents I knew wouldn't play unless it was for Ladder points which was pretty off putting to me. I did end up playing a couple more ladder games when I found that I couldn't even get a normal Wesnoth game unless I was willing to join a ladder match.
-This was particularly frustrating to me as a map maker as I simply could not get people of skill to playtest my maps, even 1vs1 it was incredibly hard to get a good opponent in a 2vs2 it was almost not worth trying. I transformed Ruins of Terra Dwelve from a map built for Era of Myths into a default map during this time and I quite literally spent over a year trying to balance it. At that point Doc Patterson just put it in the game despite features which I can now quite clearly see were a problem hoping that if it were mainline maybe it would see more play. Well guess what, by and large the competitive community completely skipped over it and stuck to the maps they knew (save a few like Rigor). There was even a controversy over wether or not it should be used in the TGT tournament (unfortunately, this happened while I was on Wesbreak and I didn't even hear about it). When I got back I was able to fix it up some more but it's still not very played. I don't have time to talk about why I think the best players tend to do this but I want you to note this was the amount of struggle that trying to balance a single map was for me.
-I have made many maps and poured hours over the course of what for some maps was half a year or more into waiting in a lobby for people to show up at all and more if you count playing through the game with an inexperienced player as waiting. I enjoy playing Wesnoth with just about anyone who's polite and I'm not so rude as to refuse the people whom I (finally) get to join a game just because I don't know that they're good but it was very rare for any good player to join and the games against the unskilled players were mostly useless from a testing standpoint. It got to the point where I stopped making anywhere near as many maps because it was simply too much time trying to test a map.
-This ultimately cumulated to the point where since I was one of the few notables still trying, they put me in charge of maps (a duty I don't feel like I've done a great job at but I elaborate in a moment). I tried to get some new movement going and I proposed a tournament that would introduce some new competitive grade 2vs2 maps and maybe remove a few of the old ones that were glutting the list. I got major backlash against removing any kind of map (which I suppose I should have expected) but I did get submissions. But here was the ironic problem, despite the people who'd been asking for more maps, I couldn't get anyone to help me judge the competition and playlets them. I honestly feel bad for the people who submitted the maps (which are still available in an add-on incase anyone is interested) because although I could eliminate half of them from the list of candidates at a glance for balance issues and I probably should have eliminated more on grounds of inconvenience to myself (such as not sending the .cfg file for the map), there was still some fresh creative thought there and a few maps which had potential. They all felt to me like they were suffering from a lack of testing but boy do I know how that feels. It's actually extraordinarily difficult to make a Wesnoth map that feels good when experts play it, let alone one that is balanced. But you know what, not a single person volunteered to be a tester. Not one. This was a 2vs2 map contest. I was not about to submit myself to even more hours and hours of waiting, and prodding, and futile recruiting, per map, in an attempt to figure out which map of the actual candidates was best just so that I would probably have to spend even more time reworking and balancing it myself (or if I was lucky, so that the creator would balance it).
--It's worth noting that I choose a horrible time to run this contest. It hit while the player base was split between versions and I (perhaps foolishly) thought that it'd be better to work with the new thinking that players would switch over. Most waited till the last possible moment instead. Though this still doesn't cover the issue of not a single person on the forum volunteering to be a judge despite multiple requests.

In the meanwhile, I still wasn't done working with Eras and other game modes. The Gunpowder Age was an experiement I made to see if I could make a mirror match interesting by allowing a sufficient variety of units. I think it was reasonably successful but there's only so much you can do with it (also that was the add-on which I had the hardest time getting people interested in testing with me). I wanted to do something like the Era of Myths as I felt with the experience I had from the Era of Myths I could do something better. The problem was that I had no art and I knew that if I really wanted to do a quality era, even if the gameplay was exceptional it simply would not be recognized or stand out if it didn't have its own art (and in truth, I wasn't looking for exceptional so much as 'fresh', a viable balanced alternative to default for people who liked default but found that it was getting stale). Then while describing this desire to Lavender she mentioned that she might be willing to do art for me if I set the era in her world. This was an opportunity I jumped on immediately and thus I was able to make the Era of Four Moons.
-I had the exact same problems getting testing for Era of Four Moons as I was having for every other endeavor to introduce freshness I was at this point engaged in. That said, I feel EoFM was blessed with an unusual amount of interest and I got far more testing than for my other projects however it was still insufficient for an Era. I do feel like the EoFM is my best project and that it's also the best era for the purpose it was designed for currently available but as relatively balanced as it is (compared to other user made eras) it's still not as smoothly balanced as default and people complain about the balance of default.
-The artist very recently told me that she only needed to complete 3 more sprites and she'd have all of the Whitie sprites down which would mean that every unit in EoFM will have a base image. I think that this is a great and amazing thing despite how long it took. The problem is that after this, I don't really know what to do with the project. I don't have the time and energy to try to wrangle in people who know what they're doing to test it these days (in my free time I mostly work on Argentum Age, Dave's new project, where my efforts don't feel futile). I still love the project though and working on it got me into a world I probably would have had no interest in otherwise. If you see me on the server I'd be happy to play a match or two with it but the simple fact is that unless there's a massive surge of interest in it and new blood it's probably not going anywhere major (though if I find my heart turning back to Wesnoth I do have another campaign idea for it).

So, when I try to do things for the game, I mostly haven't been getting the participation I need from others. As for myself, there's quite simply not a lot left for me other than the fun of an occasional match or to see what interesting new user made content is available. I've got nothing more to prove to myself. I've beaten the hardest mainline campaigns on the hardest difficulties without reloading from more than the start of a scenario, I have previously gone toe to toe with the top players in the game on even footing. Wesnoth has an incredible level of expert knowledge to it and playing at the highest level is exhausting. Although I've done it, I don't have any more reason to want to do it as I've already proven to myself that I can. I'm not really tired of it as I still enjoy it but there's not a lot of reason to prefer it over other enjoyable games where I am constantly learning things and or working on it.

So Conclusions: IMO the game was at its strongest and freshest when the strong players were constantly trying fresh things. Around the time the ladder showed up, most of the strong multiplayer people gravitated to it and focused on perfecting their skills on the game as it was as opposed to seeking out new horizons. I'm not saying that it's the ladders fault (I feel the people who joined were probably inclined to do that anyway) though there is one thing I do actually blame the ladder for it was drawing new blood into that cycle to the point where they never branched out but that's still as much choices of the new blood as anyone else.
-It's a free game, we love it for that, we expect to have a high turn over but I feel the way the community grew up, a lot of potential contributors saw it only as a beer and pretzel game (those who get drawn into endless Isar's cross matches or various casual mods) or got drawn into the competitive ladder where they would be horribly outmatched against the veterans and which has a certain staleness to it. These two worlds are so different they're practically different games and neither of them will inspire and hold the creative kind despite the fact that the game has a strong potential for them.
-By extension, those who make things for the game need an audience. Even if they aren't like me and want to intensely balance test everything they make they still at least need people to share it with to keep it going. For so many of my projects I simply could not get anyone to actually try it and I've seen so many other peoples projects (including those with interesting potential) just choke on this.

I have much less to say on the developer end of things but I do have a bit. I will first say that the system Wesnoth has in place is rather poor for making any kind of serious change in a hurry. I actually like this in many ways but it does mean that it's not great for creating the feeling of dynamic liveliness to the game. I think a big part of the issue here is that the game is functionally complete and doesn't really need anything more? There are actually a few things but but approaching them presents many an obstacle. Supposing you feel the game could be better balanced if a new unit was introduced (and I have had some thoughts about this) even if you're given the authority over that (and ignoring all the thorny issues of how authority works in a do-acracy) how do you go about working out whether it's truly a good idea or not? Well if you look at a recent example where an entirely new faction was introduced, the way you do it is you put it out there and see how it does. We tell every self-proclaimed expert who thinks they know how to fix the game to play a hundred test games with their change and come back and present evidence and at least we practice what we preach.
-Here's the funny thing. Official content runs into the exact same problem getting good feedback that any user made content does. There was an immediate backlash against the Khalifate from a lot of the competitive crowd (funnily enough frequently on grounds of them not being balanced as if they didn't understand the point). In the meanwhile everyone else who tries them either doesn't provide useful feedback, doesn't provide feedback at all, or wastes everyones time and stress complaining about stupid thematic issues they should really just get over.
-Sometimes good players do actually give feedback but, speaking as one whose been on the designer chair, I know that you get all kinds of contradicting feedback from all kinds of people that should know what they're talking about. Then you have to sort out which feedback comes from inexperience with the faction (so many people just don't understand how to use Jundi properly and if you don't understand the jundi the entire faction falls apart), which feedback comes from misleading games or prior expectations, which feedback is not really a problem but is more of a personal issue, and which feedback is spot on the money and needs something done about it. Then after you've sorted it out you have to take that knowledge, compare to your other objectives, and then figure out a fix which doesn't break everything else out. That's an even more delicate game than trying to balance a Wesnoth map. I personally feel that the Khalifate ought to reworked themselves to be a bit less focused on the Jundi because it'd make it much easier to balance the whole thing if every other unit didn't have to fall into a specialist role (or like the rami have it be questionable if they even have a role). When I suggest this however, I immediately get pushback saying in essence that part of the idea behind the faction is the focus on the Jundi. I understand how that goes and why you might want to cling to that especially when you have a storm of contradicting feedback spinning around you but it can hold you back especially since if you rework it then you have to redo all of that testing which was so hard to get in the first place.
-So what happens is, you have a brilliant idea, you are the sole active proponent but you get the ok. You go ahead and implement it and you throw your arms out the community and say 'Come and See! (and tell me what you think!)' and a lot of the old community goes 'eww, it's new, and unpolished, what were you thinking? I'm not going to touch that.' and a lot of the new community says nothing at all, and other people complain in essence that it's either racist or not racist enough. But you're undaunted and press on and work tirelessly and for 12 hours of effort you get a sample size of maybe 6 games (if you're extremely lucky) and contradicting feedback from each game and you've got an idea of something that might make things a little better but if you implement it then you'd have to go through that same cycle again (and aside, a 6 game sample set isn't a lot in the grand scheme of things) and a lot of the old crowd you were counting on has already decided that they don't like it and aren't interested in following your improvements of it. This is the point when you say to yourself; you know, I'm just a volunteer, I've got work, I've got a family, I've got other things going on, I've only got a few hours of gaming a week, do I really want to be spending it working so hard on something people don't really seem to appreciate at all?
-Now adding a single unit is less difficult to test than a faction, but you'd still have to go through the same process, and you'd still have to find people to test it with you, and you'd still have to deal with all the backlash that always comes with change, and there's still the funny issue of negotiating why it's your idea for a new unit that's getting in and not everyone else's who thinks they have the right solution.

So if Battle for Wesnoth really wants to grow again and stay fresh, what it needs most are enthusiastic and experimentive players who act as community members who will help the development team make changes and keep them pumped. We also need outstanding creative people like Bob_the_Mighty to see that Wesnoth has the potential to be an amazing pallet for them and for those same enthusiastic players to support them because it's a ton of work. As for what gets players Enthusiastic, I can't say, I enjoyed a relatively good amount of success but not at that. I think it's players like Rigor with boisterous energy that help spread it best but I can't really say more than that. You can't really stop players like this from bleeding out of a community but you can help by letting them see that they have an effect and hopefully you'll be able to gain more than you lose.
"There are two kinds of old men in the world. The kind who didn't go to war and who say that they should have lived fast died young and left a handsome corpse and the old men who did go to war and who say that there is no such thing as a handsome corpse."
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Slann
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Re: How to save Wesnoth

Post by Slann »

Interesting read, and i didn't know anything about that card game. From your thoughts, i can see that you dont believe the game can move forward if the community does not care. But first i'd say it is normal in a game that have been in development for so many years. I'd like to know the point of view of main contributors about this, at least for me it is plain clear you cannot beat a dead horse indefinitely. And second, people dont act rationally. It is valuable to hear what people think about things, but only developers own the last word. They have a broader view of what is good and what is bad for the game, whereas players will only care about their favourite map/campaign/faction/unit/skill.

So, how do contributors think programmers will want to join battle for wesnoth if, as you said, it is finished? Would you have maintained EoM without being able to experiment and change things? just like a janitor?
Velensk
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Re: How to save Wesnoth

Post by Velensk »

I believe that in general Wesnoth is pretty finished. However, it's not that I don't think that there's room for changes or improvements to the core just that there isn't much and much of the most visible areas for improvement are very frustrating to try to accomplish everything. I agree that maintaince isn't the most exciting task but if you have enough people that love the game then enough people will miss it to keep it trundling forward.

I think you sell people short when you say that the players will only care for their favorite map/campaign/faction/unit/skill. It is true that you can't/shouldn't listen to everyone, and in fact, the fact that the Wesnoth devs have never been shy to tell people that they aren't going to listen to them is one of the things I've always liked about the project. But there'll always be people among the public who have a broader view and some who're willing to share the load.

As it happens I would have maintained EoM. Maintaining EoM takes very little work (I imagine that maintaining Wesnoth is much more cumbersome). What I wouldn't have done is actually play it or make campaigns for it (I think the campaigns were a part of the reason that EoM became relatively popular [i.e useful to people] for awhile). If I had the .cfg I would actually just go and quickly fix the bugs that EoM has now with the depreciated elipses code simply because it's such an easy thing to do that makes things look so much better.
"There are two kinds of old men in the world. The kind who didn't go to war and who say that they should have lived fast died young and left a handsome corpse and the old men who did go to war and who say that there is no such thing as a handsome corpse."
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tekelili
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Re: How to save Wesnoth

Post by tekelili »

pe_em wrote:
Pentarctagon wrote:While I agree that add-ons really help keep the game interesting, there's the rather significant problem that finding the really good add-ons is not exactly the simplest thing in the world. Filtering by type and looking at download count helps to some degree, but it doesn't seem like the ideal solution.
Maybe you should add something like a mark: "Recommended by Wesnoth Team" or implement add-ons rating system.
I think burden developers with rating add ons task is out of point. That means developers should play every add on in order to rate them, wich is just not an human affordable task. Rating, feedback or whatever is called should come from players who freely invest time playing some of them.
Be aware English is not my first language and I could have explained bad myself using wrong or just invented words.
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wessy1
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Re: How to save Wesnoth

Post by wessy1 »

Have a look at http://wiki.wesnoth.org/FrequentlyProposedIdeas
Click on the category "2 Ideas that received a positive reception but aren't being implemented as a priority (BWH)".
Do you notice how it is empty? How could anyone even be in doubt about why the game is not attracting players any longer?
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Xalzar
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Re: How to save Wesnoth

Post by Xalzar »

wessy1 wrote:Have a look at http://wiki.wesnoth.org/FrequentlyProposedIdeas
Click on the category "2 Ideas that received a positive reception but aren't being implemented as a priority (BWH)".
Do you notice how it is empty? How could anyone even be in doubt about why the game is not attracting players any longer?
For a page which has not been updated since 2012 it is to be expected. :P
wessy1
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Re: How to save Wesnoth

Post by wessy1 »

Xalzar wrote:
wessy1 wrote:For a page which has not been updated since 2012 it is to be expected. :P
Apparently no idea in the last three years was considered good.
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santi
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Re: How to save Wesnoth

Post by santi »

I'd like to share some ideas on this. CAVEAT: I am the creator of 1,5 campaigns, but have not touched wml in the last 5 years or so, so some(perhaps many) of the details of what I am saying may be obsolete.

In the distress signal, two issues were mentioned:

First, the battle to make it complex to keep up with other games. I am not sure I understand that. Wesnoth is Wesnoth and if one wants to play another game, there are plenty of them. Wesnoth is a strategy game above all with nice graphics. It was designed to handle skirmishes, but many campaigns have successfully introduced gigantic battles and the game was able to cope with that. So perhaps it should be clarified what the precise problem is.

Second, Wesnoth has a set of campaigns, both already mainlined and a Number of quality add-ons and it seems that maintenance is a huge issue. Indeed, that was also my experience when writing the campaigns and finding out that scenaria that were working fine were no longer working in the next version. One recollection I have is the change in the map format, and hence error messages of invalid map size. The logical strategy to me would be to concentrate efforts to automate compatibility and hence minimize maintenance and give top priority to this -perhaps freezing all efforts to the next release. Hence for Instance all campaigns in the Server could be automatically 'updated' and the maintener would only have to deal with much less issues. I really do not believe a small change in HP or attacks of one unit would need rebalancing- though in principle it would need testing-. I think strategic issues are paramount in winning scenaria. Of course in the map example, it may be that a NEW type of terrain is introduce, for which one should have sane defaults.

Last, on the issue of growth: The game grows IMHO in 3 aspects:
1) more pleasant experience, such as NEW effects, music and graphics and so on.
2) more campaigns, which I consider the most important, because how many times can one play the same campaign? Hence if a NEW version results in losing campaigns, then maybe it's not growth we are talking about. Similarly, if someone starts a NEW campaign, but quits because the scenaria written worked fine until version x and no longer work after version x+1, then the 'upgrade' is perhaps not contributing to 'growth'.
3)better compatibility with other platforms.. There, I have no idea if this is a 'get it right once' issue or how much maintenance is needed. I assumed if one has a working C++ compiler and the code is 'standard' C++, then there should be no problem but I also know that many platforms have their own compilers.


Summing up, although my experience may be obsolete, I think a more detailed exposition of the problems would get perhaps better suggestions on what how to deal with the problems.
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Xara
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Re: How to save Wesnoth

Post by Xara »

Agreed with Velensk's every word, Wesnoth is finished in a sense.

As a relatively new player who only found Wesnoth on the same day 1.12 released, I found Wesnoth pretty stale after the first months of excitement. I saw the Velensk's ANNOUNCEMENT thread, and I was really disappointed when seeing it finally published merely as a map-pack add-on. Another disappointment came when I heard that Khalifate existed since 2005 but gained its semi-mainline status only recently, which shows how slow the progresses are made in Wesnoth. And I found out that all the mainline campaigns and quality add-ons existed since years ago, which indicate that I have little to anticipate in short future.
I've always wanted to make some game contents of my own, and Wesnoth gave me the platform, so I made several add-ons, of OK quality I surmise. But they've enjoyed nearly 0 popularity. I seldom see people play my maps and can hardly gather enough people when hosting a game, so I can't find ways & motivations to further improve them. I respect dedicated UMC creator/maintainers like Ravana, Doofus and Dugi a lot, but I figured I probably can't be like them. Because creating things is fun, but vainly trying to improve them while no one else cares is not. It's reasonable of people to only spend time enjoying the best add-ons. But I'm unwilling to throw that much time and efforts to polish my add-ons when I feel it's likely to be wasted. So I just let them be. This is only my story, but I believe something similar happens to other UMC creators as well, so it's harder and harder to see good new contents emerge.
It pronounces Sha'ha, not Zara.

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taptap
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Re: How to save Wesnoth

Post by taptap »

We see a lot of normal generational / demographic developments. People move on, have less time, get kids, start to work -> people drop out, the project matures so it is harder to contribute something meaningful / more unsexy maintenance is required -> less people join as contributors. You see this in online communities everywhere. From a player perspective you can play single player only so long, you either transition to multiplayer or contributing or you drop out. Contributing got harder / less rewarding and multiplayer community was always tiny for a game the size and reach of Wesnoth. I never got involved in multiplayer myself, yet I believe a healthy multiplayer community is vital for longevity as a community. Time requirements for multiplayer were far too high for me, I can play a game or two of Go in the time of a single MP match, and in the more casual settings I found it pretty hard to get even a half decent game, without people dropping out e.g. after 10 minutes in a coop. I always thought multiplayer needed a handicap system to work as a game for those starting out, but there was never a chance for that, when even rank / rating was resisted right away. Whenever I looked at the games still played on the multiplayer server at least my impression was, that an awful lot of these games are hardly Battle for Wesnoth (creep wars, colloseum cubed) w/ added mechanisms drowning out core gameplay by far.

One experience as a player at one time on the verge of contributing (I wrote a lot of feedback at least): In the forum a lot of feedback is elicited by feedback threads etc. but for every responsive add-on maker you find others, who simply don't care. Either because their add-on is apparently for another game (one highlight was "I beat it w/ only a few saveloads on medium", when pointing out a certain scenario is unbalanced to the point of being impossible) or because there is no maintainer. But when e.g. a complete branch of HttT remains broken (Arkanthoria) and is happily ignored, this kills the feedback even for maintained campaigns w/ responsive developers, who would actually like to get some. A player based trained to accept such flaws and worse (the pursuit) in mainline has real trouble giving useful feedback for the already well thought-out campaigns of e.g. Velensk.

I don't think the overall development can be turned around by some heroic effort and it is far too late to change the approach to multiplayer. I would recommend reducing commitments / maintenance requirements at every level. Given that turn-based strategy games, with inferior, opaque game mechanics, are developed fairly regularly to at least critical success, there is always hope for Battle for Wesnoth to be discovered by new people as the amazing strategy game it is and remains at its core.
I am a Saurian Skirmisher: I'm a real pest, especially at night.
Velensk
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Re: How to save Wesnoth

Post by Velensk »

For what it's worth, I always very much appreciated it when you played through my campaigns. To deflect slightly, it's not as though I'm the only one who works out my campaigns in advance. Beetlenaut also does pretty professional work and Dugi, although I'm not fond of the style of campaign he does, demonstrates amazing dedication and ability with his.

I can see what you say though, you can't ever know how good/actively developed an add-on, especially a campaign is, before you got to give feedback even if you're inclined. Obviously there has to be dedication on every level if you want a real revitalization.
"There are two kinds of old men in the world. The kind who didn't go to war and who say that they should have lived fast died young and left a handsome corpse and the old men who did go to war and who say that there is no such thing as a handsome corpse."
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tekelili
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Re: How to save Wesnoth

Post by tekelili »

I am surprised "how to save Wesnoth" turned into "add on developers have no help". I am talking as one that had a very frustating experience: Ladder2000 had an amazing system of filters to precess game info. It took me a lot of work, however I had to completely abandone it because i was unable to develope a report tool with fields desired under Ladder code. of course I was very dissapointed I "didnt get any help", however what I learned was not "is poeple fault", rather I learned "it was my fault to start a project I couldnt do alone".

I have intended Dave said one key in BfW design was he wanted develope a game "he was sure he could complete even before he started project".

From my point of view, when a game designer claim testers, he is claiming for other ones to do his job. In my next project after Ladder2000 (World Conquest II), was only started because I was pretty sure I could do all job, test included. I also took care fo define succes under reacheable conditions. I was sure my add on would be succesfull because I coded it to be played by me and my friends. If had coded it hoping to get lot of downloads then I would have being digging again my own "frustation grave".

From my point of view, bigger problem BfW has to keep a comunity of players is irrational hostility to rating/karma system. And I say is irrational because its reasoning is against all evidences. And evidences are that absolutely every player in multiplayer server has problems to find fun when playing with unkown players, wich leads to most of players to not abandone in anyway their friend circle once they find it, wich leads to a comunity unable to growth. And is also an evidence that rating system like Ladder had an incredible amount of satisfaction among users when it comes to evaluate oponents behavior and ease game finding.

In the last TGT tournament (where btw TBS and me pushed for Terra Dwelve be included and I played my 1st game on that map) I had a lot of fun playing versus responsable friendly oponents. Anyone with a minimal respect for reality should know that is absolutely impossible to get in multiplayer server by hosting a game and letting anyone join. However a forum moderator, when Neki was behaving... as Neki does, felt neccessary post to say "do you see, this is the problem of competitive gaming" (not literal quote).
Be aware English is not my first language and I could have explained bad myself using wrong or just invented words.
World Conquest II
shevegen
Posts: 301
Joined: June 3rd, 2004, 4:35 pm

Re: How to save Wesnoth

Post by shevegen »

The comparison to Warcraft 3 by the threadstarter is not fair because it is
very different to Wesnoth.

I prefer Warcraft 3 style games more, but Wesnoth is like a puzzle-strategy
game more. You need to plan ahead before you can make a move.

I think the core mechanics are fine, but Wesnoth sorta struggled with other
things. The thing I hated most is WML, I think that thing should be changed
to a less annoying language - and I have not seen a real suitable alternative.
(Lua ... nah, please.)
User avatar
Slann
Posts: 66
Joined: March 2nd, 2008, 3:47 pm

Re: How to save Wesnoth

Post by Slann »

Time requirements for multiplayer were far too high for me, I can play a game or two of Go in the time of a single MP match, and in the more casual settings I found it pretty hard to get even a half decent game, without people dropping out e.g. after 10 minutes in a coop. I always thought multiplayer needed a handicap system to work as a game for those starting out
From my point of view, bigger problem BfW has to keep a comunity of players is irrational hostility to rating/karma system. And I say is irrational because its reasoning is against all evidences.
I agree with you, taptap and tekelili. It is not just a matter of tastes. I have wasted hours, even joined multiplayer to leave it without playing a single match just because of players leaving on first turns, people not having updated addons, and whatnot. If BfW was to be remade from scratch, i'd be pleased to have such system.
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doofus-01
Art Director
Posts: 3969
Joined: January 6th, 2008, 9:27 pm
Location: USA

Re: How to save Wesnoth

Post by doofus-01 »

tekelili wrote:From my point of view, when a game designer claim testers, he is claiming for other ones to do his job.
You are entitled to your opinion, but I have to disagree. Writers always have editors, proof-readers, or at the very least a second reader, if they care at all about the final product. You think someone here bemoaning lack of feedback doesn't test what they did?

On a different note:
I don't know much about multiplayer, but does anyone think something like Wesnoth on Android could have an effect (moving forward)?
BfW 1.12 supported, but active development only for BfW 1.13/1.14: Bad Moon Rising | Trinity | Archaic Era |
| Abandoned: Tales of the Setting Sun
GitHub link for these projects
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