New campaign: Capturing Mar'Than

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sjl
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New campaign: Capturing Mar'Than

Post by sjl » June 2nd, 2006, 6:20 pm

I've started a new campaign entitled 'Capturing Mar'Than'. I've made it using the new Campaign Generator (CampGen), and placed it on the campaign server. It's currently at version 0.5.2, and contains 5 scenarios. It's for wesnoth 1.1.4, but it may work on previous versions.
The campaign tells the story of a young King of a land called 'Mar'Than'. He became King as a boy, but due to corrupt regents, etc., was ousted for 'raising taxes'. The campaign starts when he sails back to Mar'Than to recapture it.

Grey_Wolf_c
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Post by Grey_Wolf_c » June 4th, 2006, 12:00 am

First, a mild criticism: the story needs to be developed a little bit more. For example, you might want to add that bt about corrupt regents to the story - as it stands, it is not really all that clear why he was ousted (the inverted commas suggest that it wasn't because he raised taxes, yes, but doesn't actually tell you what the real reason was).

So far the easy version *is* easy, which is more than what can be said of most campaigns out there. Again, some kind of reason why the people that defend the port are thieves and not the guard would be nice, but I did like the touch of civilians defending their homes.

Finally, we get to the crash: in the second scenario, at the end of turn 8, the game crashes when the wizards' turn starts. All I can tell you is that I attacked the shield for the first time during the turn before - but not sure if that is tied to the crash or not.

Good start for the campaign, though.

Hope that helps,

Grey Wolf

sjl
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Post by sjl » June 4th, 2006, 3:26 pm

Thanks for the comments - I had been focussing on the maps rather than the story, but I'm going to give it some more work next time I have some time.
The campaign gets harder on easy mode as you progress, and hard is *really* hard, if not impossible!
I'll see if I can get the crash to happen, and do my best to fix it. :D

sjl
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Post by sjl » June 4th, 2006, 4:05 pm

Crash fixed! The fix is available in version 0.7.1, on the campaign server.

sjl
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Post by sjl » June 6th, 2006, 7:34 pm

I've also improved the story greatly in version 0.7.2, using a new scenario at the beginning to give some background. 0.7.3 will (hopefully) include some nice maps between scenarios.

sjl
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Post by sjl » June 7th, 2006, 5:31 pm

Does anyone know how to change story text colour to black, instead of the default white?
I'm having legibility problems.

toms
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Post by toms » June 7th, 2006, 5:44 pm

I don´t have an answer to your question, but I want to tell that you could put in some more creativity when making maps.
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Post by turin » June 7th, 2006, 5:45 pm

sjl wrote:Does anyone know how to change story text colour to black, instead of the default white?
I'm having legibility problems.
It's not possible.
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sjl
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Post by sjl » June 8th, 2006, 5:38 pm

Thanks, turin, even if it's bad news.
toms, what do you mean 'more creativity'. Do you mean more original features on the maps, set the maps somewhere more original, both, or what?

williamager
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Post by williamager » June 12th, 2006, 12:12 pm

I played through this on medium.

The primary problem that I see is that the story is very fragmented and confusing, and the scenarios are boring. Apart from the initial explanation, very little is explained about the story - in most cases, I don't even know why I am fighting in a particular situation, or what the objectives have to do with a nything (why do I go in the cave in the first place?). At one point, I suddenly become able to recruit HI, with no explanation given, or even notification.

For the boredom problem, it seems that many of the scenarios are just tedious. The first is somewhat interesting, but peasants don't pose a significant threat to any of my units. It might be more interesting if the leader were able to recruit level 1 units. But from then on, it gets worse.

The second scenario is a prime example. The magic shield is extremely tedious. The mages come out one or two at a time and just serve to weaken my units and give them experience while they hack away at the shield, which takes quite a while. And every turn I have to wait while the monster AI attacks the shield with everything it has. The lack of villages makes it difficult to keep my units healthy, so I have to recruit more, which further adds to the tedium. And once I get in, I have to defeat a Great Mage with level one and two units. Why a Great Mage for the second scenario!? And if he is so great and wise, why can he only recruit level one mages!? As with most scenarios, it seems like I am running over some puny minions and then having to fight an incredibly strong boss. There isn't much strategy in that, just tedium.

This has a tendancy to get worse. Despite me having no idea what is going on in the first cave scenario (who are the enemies? why are they attacking each other?), I just have to wait until they have decimated each other, and then slaughter them with dark adepts and pikemen, the only two units worth recruiting in many of the scenarios.

The objectives are also not well explained - often, the objectives will be to "Reach signpost, Defeat all enemy leaders", when what is actually meant is "Reach signpost OR Defeat all enemy leaders". And when the enemy leaders is, for example, an ANCIENT LICH, and no bonus is given for killing it, it is really not a realistic victory condition. The lich is especially annoying since it can kill nearly any unit in one turn, and I have no unit to attack it effectively - melee units just give it HP due to drain, and ranged units die. I ended up having to steal it's castle and recruit dozens of adepts in order to kill it. In other campaigns with Ancient Lichs, the player is always given units which can actually do some damage, and the ancient lich is always renowned and talked about. There aren't just a bunch of them sitting around in caves in Wesnoth, to be killed by a passerby. And they recruit units that are bit more powerful than ghosts and corpses. This is also the case with the Yeti.

There are also some canonicality issues. At one point a Wescouncil is mentioned. I've never heard of that before. And the last scenario seems like just a bunch of random races thrown together in their native environments. Desert elves!? Did they invent a time machine and come back from the future? And allied with nagas, saurians, and drakes!? That scenario is also quite tedious, and is much harder than all the previous ones, since every enemy has their best terrain surrounding them. In fact, I gave up on completing that scenario outside of debug mode.

Healing is also an issue - is that intentional? Many scenarios lack villages in which to heal, and some of them seem to have so few villages that teams are given gold by some other means. I have no healing units, so essentially, I am stuck with a bunch of units that are designed to be supported by healing that can't be.

sjl
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Post by sjl » June 12th, 2006, 3:19 pm

Thanks for the great feedback! My Todo list, from your post:
*More mid-scenario events.
*Greater explanation of story, plus story development mid-scenario.
*Major improvements to 'Tower of Cur'Magi':
-Weakening the boss - ie some sort of lesser mage.
-Weakening the shields.
-A back way in to the tower.

About canonality issues:
--SPOILER WARNING--


























I am writing far in the future - even further than 'Under the Burning Suns'. The idea is that the peoples of Wesnoth (which has been renamed Mar'Than) have united under a King. This includes both sorts of elves. In 'The Exile', it is shown that the King is removed because of the unreliability of his regent. He (Denring) returns to Wesnoth and recaptures it - the people associate him with his regent, and therefore are hostile. The people are then ruled by a democratically elected 'Wescouncil'. The root of the word has a significance, which wil be revealed later.
There are two storylines going on in the campaign - Denring's story - which, quite frankly, doesn't reveal anything the player doesn't know (nobody but a complete newbie would find the new ability to create Dark Adepts very interesting, for example) and the 'Player's story'. In this, I reveal what has happened to Wesnoth between UtBS and now. This is why Wesnoth has been renamed by the Wescouncil. The idea is to slowly drop clues to the experieced player (who knows the Wesnoth map) about where this Mar'Than really is, so the Dulat Valley, for instance, is located in the mountain range in southern Wesnoth.
I don't think I've contradicted anything in the official history of Wesnoth here - if I have, please shout, very loudly!

williamager
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Post by williamager » June 12th, 2006, 4:37 pm

I see that you have put considerable thought into the story - I had expected that might be the case since the story seemed to fit together, but just didn't have enough information. Improving that should give a significant boost to the campaign as a whole.

As for the mages, there are a few things you might want to consider. Perhaps he should be an Arch Mage, and be able to recruit Red Mages? A back way in the shield, as you mentioned, would also be neat, or perhaps you could make the shield impenetrable, and have some way of turning it off? You might also want to make the monster AI not attack the shield - perhaps you should make it not attack the mage team at all? I've never seen it do any harm to the mages themselves.

The Ancient Lich could be similarly modified. Tone it down to a Lich, but have it recruit normally for an undead, or even recruit l2 undeads. You could also think about having three enemies on this map - take out the allied dwarves that don't do anything, and put an enemy there. That would make the map more exciting, at least.

You could change the Yeti to a troll of some sort, since that seems to be what that team recruits anyway. Let the human in that scenario recruit a few L2s - as it is, he only recruits some horsemen and pikemen, at a time when the player will have mostly L3 units.

The campaign certainly shows a lot of promise, it just needs a lot of balancing and polishing.

sjl
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Post by sjl » June 12th, 2006, 4:40 pm

I'd just fixed the mages and the lich as you were writing :wink:
The Yeti will be dealt with as suggested.
Thanks again - I'll release a new version later this week.

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Post by Liminiality2 » June 12th, 2006, 9:52 pm

this sounds like an absolutely great campagin!
im almost sorry i ruined it for myself by reading the spoiler...
im defenately going to download and play this one!
NO FOG is certain - Elvish Pillager
Campaign: Revenge of the Elves http://www.wesnoth.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=11477

sjl
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Post by sjl » June 13th, 2006, 4:28 pm

I would wait until it's finished! At present, the story is only barely implemented into the campaign! However, I'm working on it.

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