The Dark Hordes is really an undead campaign. Dont get me wrong, there are other good campaigns featuring undead - Descent into Darkness is the first one that comes into mind, then Eternal Kingdom, Ilayin the Illusionist etc - but The Dark Hordes besides being a campaign about undead, it never truly lives (gets finished) nor it gets forgotten and dies away. Both Circon who started creating this campaign in the time of BfW 0.8 (about 2 and a half years ago) and pjr who tried to finish it last year dissapeared while working on it without completing it. Perhaps Gwiti Ha'atel sent his minions to secretly get rid of them so that we can't find out more about his evil plans to take over the (Wesnothian) world ~evil laughter~
Anyway, with the approval of Bruno Wolff, the developer who was formally maintaining TDH, and since neither Circon nor pjr objected (to be more precise, they did not respond to the PMs I sent to them in a reasonable time), I am taking over this campaign and I am going to give it a try to finish it.
Thanks to Stefan von Hallenbach for getting the campaign data from Wescamp and uploading it on the campaign server and also thanks to Taurus, who gave me some ideas about the continuation of TDH and links to older debates about it.
I still haven't really started working on it but here are my plans about the plot of TDH.
Some pieces of it are missing and others don't fit well, but that is the main reason why I am making this post - I would appreciate any thoughts, suggestions and the criticism, especially from people who are around longer and have either played or followed the creation of TDH (even if, of course, I don't guarantee that everything I read will be acepted)
The TO DO list
1.Adding 4-5 scenarios as a prelude to the current scenarios of TDH which would show how the Ha'atel brothers got driven towards the dark side. They should start as mages - Gwiti probably as a white mage, therefore making the ultimate transition from good to evil as the campaign progresses.Also, being a former white mage, he knows well the weakness of undead and the ways to fight them, which helps him escape the forces of light
2.Making parts of the story not-so-blatantly-obvious and and the causality of some events being explained to the player few scenarios after they happen
3.The lichdom - it is not supposed to be achieved by a mere advancement.I plan to make Gwiti turn into a special kind of lich with a potential to be uberpowerfull, but the process is exhausting and dangerous, so he loses a level or two after the transition and he has to start as a level 1 again after becoming a lich
something like this :
dark initiate => dark acolyte => deathmaster
sublich? => rising lich => demilich => dread lich ( I dont like the lich names - maybe someone can think of better ones ? )
Unlike DiD, where Malin turns into a lich when he gets mortally injured, I plan for Gwiti to take that step voluntarily - with some event encouraging him to renounce his humanity. I am unsure what would that be. Perhaps some kind of a tragic love (sub)story or would that be too cheesy ?
4.I want to try The power/mana system for raising undead minions in some scenarios instead of the standard recruitment/recall. That seems more natural for a necromancer compared to paying gold and upkeep for getting minions, and I think I know how to implement it. I am not completely giving up on the standard recruitment system, but the campaign will switch between one and another and the player's gold before the start of a non-recruiting scenario will be stored and transfered for the time when he will be able to use it again.
5.Tunning the existing scenarios and getting rid of the obsolete WML. F.e "A New Chance" wont be the beginning scenario anymore so it's difficulty would have to be incresed. Other scenarios also need to be more a bit more difficult, and some map can be made better, IMO.
Circon wrote:*Bumps topic*
I've got much of the campaign planned out now, with some help from angelscotboi. Posting here for public review and appeals...
(being added)A New Chance - arriving on a strange shore with only the basic units
Brother Against Brother
The Skull of Agarash
Mages and Elves
Inside the Tower
(being added) Confrontation - The scouts of Wesnoth have seen Gwiti and the army arrives to finish him. He flees into the mountains, picking up an Orc bent on revenge against the Dwarves.
This is currently what's at all made. The following ones are ideas and very subject to change...
The Dwarven Gates
Objective: Reach the other end of the map. The Gates are guarded heavily. There's a 3-tiles-long passage where you have to move 1 tile at a time due to the gates' structure (read: ZoC statues.) However, the dwarves will be attacking Gwiti and the Orc as they walk through in single file. I might need some simple gate graphics.
Pursuit in the Deep
The armies of Wesnoth reached the Gate while the dwarves were in disarray. Leaving their horses outside, they allied with the dwarves. Gwiti now has several dwarves and footsoldiers coming after him.
Objective: Slay the one or the other leader, then survive until end of turns. (After killing one, the other will get extra resources.) Which one you kill will flag a flag.
Creatures of the Underworld
The other half of the Skull of Agarash is hidden here. It has been drawing underworld creatures to it for a long time (cave nagas, corrupted dwarves, goblins, maybe some lizards etc...) The objective is to slay every single one. At the end, the Orc falls under it's spell and steals Gwiti's half.
Gwiti sacrifices the Orc to the approaching armies of (whoever you didn't kill in PitD). But the Orc has his own ideas and attempts to escape through a separate tunnel. Dual objective- escape after the Orc or slay the Dwarven leader blocking the other exit.
If you slay the leader...
The elves of these parts are well supplied but unprepared. They will recruit nothing the first 3 turns but will then have an insane amount of units.
If you follow the Orc...
Escape from the Mountain
The Orc triggered a rockfall when leaving. Survive until the end of turns when your minions clear it. The dwarves are attacking.
Scenario line converging again..
Showdown by (placename)
Bad guy Orc
Some other Orcs
Oh, the mother of all complicated battles...
This one will need loads of playtesting. All sides will be assigned a [value] tag that makes them attack Gwiti more often. The objective is for Gwiti to slay the Orc and take the reunited Skull.
Gwiti and Agarash face off under the mountain where Agarash died and half of his skull was left. Agarash is an Ancient Lich and gets 8 recruiting spaces, ALL units available (proly will get Nightgaunts and Spectres). Gwiti gets 5+unit level spaces and should recall.
This is the last level. Here are the messages to be displayed afterwards...
"Gwiti Ha'atel had called the spirit of Agarash into a physical form by means of the skull. But the memory of Agarash did not know him, and was therefore hostile."
"And so Gwiti was caught off his guard: He sent his minions to destroy Agarash, not reckoning with the combined power in the the revived body. When he died, Gwiti was hit by a backlash of dark energy and buried in an earthquake."
"The Dwarves shun that cavern, and will not dig in the rockfall. The armies of Wesnoth were satisfied that Gwiti was dead. But the Elves knew the truth: one so deep in the dark magic as he could not truly be slain, only banished or rendered powerless, and so they set a guard over the collapsed mountain."
"Gwiti would, however, take long years to recover even a fraction of his former power."
Circon's plans seem reasonably good to me and I plan to make the following scenarios pretty much along those lines
7.An original ending - this one is not going to be easy to think of ( I have some ideas, but I am not sure how good they are)
8.Pehaps some diverging paths, alternate endings, and scenarios with some elements of randomness -
9.Campaign music - I will use the discarded music from Wesnoth 0.9/1.0, and add other later if I can
10.Art (sprites and portraits). Most of the sprites present in the campaign are outdated. This part is very difficult and time consuming so for a start I intend to resort to cheap recolors and ripoffs from the other campaigns and from the graphic library. I would appreciate if anyone would like to help me with the art, otherwise I will have to learn to make it myself along the way
Doing everything will take me many months - I am not a guy that works quickly, so don't rush me
Here is the current version of The Dark Hordes, in case you want to try it and you can not or you do not want to use the campaign sever
Note : due to the board limitations, I had to split the campaign data into 2 parts. Just unzip them both together in the right directory