Archers and Range

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Crysis
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Archers and Range

Post by Crysis » May 29th, 2019, 1:56 am

Before you start in, yes I know that this was removed from the game due to survivability issues, from all I've read. I just want to discuss the matter and understand -why- this was decided.

I downloaded the game today. Was fairly shocked when I realized I had to move an archer unit into melee range in order to attack. Which basically seems to defeat the purpose of an archer unit, though these archers are far meatier than what I'm accustomed to, I suppose as compensation.

That being said...why?

I've been playing this sort of game since Shining Force on the Sega Genesis. I've gone through it on handheld systems. I've played Fire Emblem a lot. They have archers from a distance. The only real survivability issues are when you play badly and let the enemy close in to attack your archer.

The main problem Wesnoth seems to have by comparison, is that any number of melee units also have access to bows. It seems like you could have taken a route like Shining Force or Fire Emblem easily enough. Having dedicated archer units that have lower defense, so a melee attacker would obliterate them. So if you were stupid enough to rush out archers with no melee defenders, immediately on the next turn the melee enemies would swarm the archer and kill him.

Surely that wouldn't have been a problem for the game, would it? I mean, it has worked for decades with Fire Emblem, which is like the gold standard of this genre. You have strictly melee units and ranged units. The melee ones are typically beefier to damage, while ranged/healers/mages have to remain in the rear for protection. But the melee units only rarely have access to a ranged weapon.

Or those that did use melee+ranged had a defense that was between the melee and ranged levels, so they were not as powerful, as a form of compensation.

So any form of helpful explanation would be welcomed to explain this.

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EarthCake
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Re: Archers and Range

Post by EarthCake » May 29th, 2019, 5:29 am

If you want that mod, I think you can install on the add-ons server.

That was removed because probability of surviving, as you said, and because, if you don't have that feature, you need to think a lot more, so that makes game even more strategy.

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sergey
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Re: Archers and Range

Post by sergey » May 29th, 2019, 6:41 am

Welcome to the forums Crysis! :D

Have you tried to search for an answer in the old posts?

search.php?keywords=range+ranged&terms= ... mit=Search

viewtopic.php?f=12&t=34904#w0fpis

This ranged mechanics was there from the beginning. This is one of the basic concepts of the game. Wesnoth was evolving on top of that concept (and many other things that may be considered controversial). Currently it seems impossible to change that basic concept and not ruin the game.
I just want to discuss the matter and understand -why- this was decided.
Suppose you know the answer. What would be different? :)
Author of SP scenario Dragon Fight and SP campaign Captured by a Nightmare

Crysis
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Re: Archers and Range

Post by Crysis » May 29th, 2019, 11:12 am

Yeah. What I don't understand is the reason behind it. To say it was taken out because it made it difficult to prevent units from dying.

When that is generally the entire point of a tactical game to begin with. Making decisions to keep your units alive.

Just feels like there is a fundamental flaw in the engine if an archer could wreak those levels of devastation.

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sergey
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Re: Archers and Range

Post by sergey » May 29th, 2019, 1:08 pm

Let's call it a fundamental flaw. It's up to you to accept that flaw or not. In my previous post there is a link to other well-known controversial aspects.
Author of SP scenario Dragon Fight and SP campaign Captured by a Nightmare

Crysis
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Re: Archers and Range

Post by Crysis » May 29th, 2019, 1:17 pm

Yeah, I looked over some. The archer thing, to me, seems like the biggest.

Seems like they could put it in as optional, and just disable it for their main campaigns. So those wanting to make a single player campaign that used that feature, would be able to do so.

I primarily downloaded Wesnoth because I thought I'd be able to make my own Fire Emblem-type campaigns.

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josteph
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Re: Archers and Range

Post by josteph » May 29th, 2019, 2:00 pm

Like EarthCake said, there are add-ons that implement ranged attacks that let you target non-adjacent hex, for example "Ranged Attacks Mod' by Eagle 11. If you want to write a campaign, though, you should check whether the AI takes into account the "true ranged" attacks when it plans its moves and attacks.

Crysis
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Re: Archers and Range

Post by Crysis » May 29th, 2019, 2:33 pm

I think I found the one mod for this. But it only seems to be available in MP campaigns and not SP ones. I couldn't even find where the mod was installed into Wesnoth to look at the files it used.

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josteph
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Re: Archers and Range

Post by josteph » May 29th, 2019, 2:40 pm

It's installed into userdata/data/add-ons, and it does support SP.

Crysis
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Re: Archers and Range

Post by Crysis » May 29th, 2019, 2:57 pm

Only one in the Addons Manager is what I installed. Ranged Attacks Mod (simplified)

It says in it, this version is intended for default multiplayer era.

Tried in all of the stuff listed under Campaigns in my game. The only two mods in the dropdown are Advanced Order Canceling and Armory Mod. Just got a single player scenario and it said the same thing.

The only time that mod seems to be selectable, along with Combined Mage unit-line tweaks, is if I go to the Multiplayer setup.

So is that the right one? Or am I missing something.

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josteph
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Re: Archers and Range

Post by josteph » May 29th, 2019, 3:40 pm

Crysis wrote:
May 29th, 2019, 2:57 pm
So is that the right one? Or am I missing something.
No, I missed something, not you.

I didn't have the mod installed, so I downloaded it from the addons website and checked the source, and it said type=hybrid, so I said the mod supported SP. However, the mod's entire _main.cfg is hidden by an #ifdef MULTIPLAYER directive, which hides the mod from SP. If you delete that line and the matching #endif line at the end of the file, the mod will be available to be selected for SP campaigns:
2019-05-29-153815_391x646_scrot.png

Crysis
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Re: Archers and Range

Post by Crysis » May 29th, 2019, 3:44 pm

Ah, okay.

Thanks a lot. :)

Maybe I can try fixing a campaign up with this now.

Daravel
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Re: Archers and Range

Post by Daravel » May 29th, 2019, 9:16 pm

The Sojournings of Grog has a scenario in which boats fire over multiple hexes. Check out the code there to see how it's done.

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iridium137
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Re: Archers and Range

Post by iridium137 » May 30th, 2019, 3:45 am

I've always found the ranged vs melee thing in Wesnoth a bit odd. They're basically just keywords that determine who can counterattack against whom. You can call them apple and orange and it makes no difference. Ranged units just don't feel like actual ranged units when you still have to go up close to attack. I also don't buy the whole survivability argument one bit, either. First off, units already have trouble surviving. Death is pretty much inevitable in both SP and MP, and this game is designed around that principle. So why is death suddenly a problem? This isn't like Fire Emblem where you can get a nearly invincible tank. Not only that, but can't the ranged units' stats be balanced accordingly? I can't help but feel like an interesting strategic element is lost due to no range.

Crysis
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Re: Archers and Range

Post by Crysis » May 30th, 2019, 3:54 am

iridium137 wrote:
May 30th, 2019, 3:45 am
I've always found the ranged vs melee thing in Wesnoth a bit odd. They're basically just keywords that determine who can counterattack against whom. You can call them apple and orange and it makes no difference. Ranged units just don't feel like actual ranged units when you still have to go up close to attack. I also don't buy the whole survivability argument one bit, either. First off, units already have trouble surviving. Death is pretty much inevitable in both SP and MP, and this game is designed around that principle. So why is death suddenly a problem? This isn't like Fire Emblem where you can get a nearly invincible tank. Not only that, but can't the ranged units' stats be balanced accordingly? I can't help but feel like an interesting strategic element is lost due to no range.
After playing Fire Emblem and games like it for years, I definitely felt like this. I probably wouldn't have wasted the 400mb of data to download Wesnoth knowing the engine was built this way. It feels like archers are being dumbed down to compensate, or something. It's just ignoring a basic principle of this sort of game.

Maybe it's just the younger generation can't really handle the tactics as required by some of the more standard games in the genre.

I can remember a boss character on the plains in Shining Force, and you being required to fence him in with four fighter units, with mages and archers in the second line, so you could all attack him at once in order to take him out. One screwup with your tactics and your squishy unit was mauled and wiped out. But that's why the games were so much fun. You had to learn and be able to use tactics.

I'm not sure about the main Wesnoth campaigns, but honestly from the tutorial, the engine seems less about tactics, and more about just recruiting as many units as possible, to continually hurl at the enemy until you win. The strategy side of things loses a tremendous amount with that sort of attitude towards the gameplay. Units become expendable, as long as you can keep the money flowing to buy your way out.

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