1.12 Campaign: A Rough Life - version 1.2.5

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1.12 Campaign: A Rough Life - version 1.2.5

Postby Jacques_Fol » August 16th, 2008, 3:18 am

UPDATE: Version 1.2.5 of the campaign is now available on the 1.12 Add-ons server.

Dear all,

I present to you again a meagre little newbie campaign called A Rough Life that I suppose has survived the Wesnoth blackout better than my original post on the topic and the replies thereto in this forum. It is my best, first ond only campaign, finished but still unpolished and definitely unbalanced. If you decide to tackle it (and I will appreciate it if you do), be advised that even at the Easy setting it may still be hard to beat.

I have been away (and still am) and thus largely oblivious to what has been happening in the Wesnoth community, but some short time before the forums collapsed I have been happy to find some responses in the original thread. Hard as it is to do it from memory, I will try to address the main issues raised therein:

1. Improving the campaign

I will try to balance out the campaign once I get back, notably decreasing the enemy forces in campaign 9 and such like. I will also try to remove the silly little glitches like multiple versions of certain characters appearing on the recall list.

As for other improvements, I lack both the skills and time to do them. I am very grateful for the offer made by Octavius to improve on my pathetic mapping skills and would very much welcome such help for the benefit of the campaign - it's out there for teh community to enjoy and improve. The only limitation to bear in mind is that I was quite static in making most of my enemies appear (to account for my poor WML skills), so it would be nice if the new maps allowed for similar banalities (such as, the scorpions in scenario 3 all appear at precisely defined places). So, Octavius, if the offer still stands, I gratefully accept (with all due credit and more), but hope that the new (and much improved)maps would make it easy to adjust the scripting.

If anyone else wants to chip in with their skills, also feel free to say so - gratitude guaranteed.


2. Leveling and character changes

Someone pointed out that Jacques was leveled in the first scenario only to be reset back to the Thief in the second one. Octavius was right in guessing at this as an intentional move, the long journey on the ship weakening shackled Jacques back to his meagre self - I think I provide a flimsy explanation for it in the campaign text itself.

*ALERT - FROM HERE ON THERE BE SPOILERS*

The idea also seemed important because Jacques undergoes a character change twice during the campaign. In scenario 5 (I believe), he becomes a Trapper if he has already leveled beyond Thief or knows to advance to Trapper when he does. I reckoned it would be silly if a Level 3 Assassin changed into a Level 2 Trapper and so wanted to keep the leveling at the minimum, but maybe it would still be preferrable to do it like this and let Jacques progress as much as he wants and then morph into a Trapper.

Later on, he also morphs into another character (by chance, they are all chaotic and logically consistent enough in weaponry, although at first I thought he would morph into neutral and lawful, but I guess I like it better that way) - that one I snatched from the UTBS campaign, including the animations, so any problems with that that Octavius pointed out should already be present there. (And I possess no skills to amend them.)


3. Strategy and other little tidbits

There were a few comments directed at the difficulty levels of the game. I agree that it is probably way to difficult, especially if one starts losing the "faithful" and costless sidekicks (ie, the four captives that first appear next to Jacques in scenario 2, and others later on). I will balance the game out, although I also thought it should require some inventive new approaches. There may always be other solutions.

For instance, someone kindly wrote about there experiences with scenario 1, where it was impossible to beat the enemies even when stationed in the villages behind the SW base. Actually, my idea of the best place to be was not in the villages themselves (which are outside the camp's walls and thus allow the enemies to attack from the better position of the camp), but at the camp's fence, receiving the enemies as they come and break their spears against the better placed encamped defenders (or, for that matter, attackers). If one survives the initial struggle against the SW camp with enough fighters, one can try to maintain a defensive line and heal outstanding forces in the villages behind it. I hope that makes some sense.

In contrast, scenario 9 was envisioned to require different tactits for the three waves of the opponents. The first wave should be relatively easy to defeat (at least at the Easy setting). The second wave should be harder but still possible to prevail. The third wave should be the one where it would probably be better to run away rather than fight. In running away, there are still options. One is to try and make use of the secret tunnel from the mountain cottage to the temple (unknown and unusable to the Shadowhounds), the other to wall in at the temple and slow their advances with some sturdy units. Either way, the aim here was to survive the night rather than defeat everybody. Still, I guess the enemy is overpowering, so it will be scaled down.

(Btw, did anyone manage to visit the villages in scenario 8 before defeating both opponents, or are they too much out of the way?)

Let this be enough for this time, especially as my borrowed time in an internet cafe is also running out. As said, the game will be somewhat polished still beyond the beta version, but any comments, advice, suggestions or offers of help will already be appreciated (I hope the game can still be found on the add-on server).
Last edited by Elvish_Hunter on March 8th, 2015, 10:17 pm, edited 20 times in total.
Reason: Updated topic title and campaign version
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Re: Campaign: A Rough Life

Postby markm » August 16th, 2008, 3:46 am

Wow, nice and eloquent writing-style! A pleasure to read! Dunno if I'll have time to check out your campaign but doing so is definitely getting a bump on my to-do list on account of your lovely writing. :)

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Re: Campaign: A Rough Life

Postby Turuk » December 2nd, 2008, 6:13 pm

I am well aware that I have donned robes, grabbed a staff, and waved my hands over this thread. It does, however, serve a purpose.

Recently, while browsing through the content on the add-on for another new campaign to try my hand at, I stumbled on to A Rough Life. After playing through the campaign, I realized that I really enjoyed it, especially the well-written dialogue and interesting storyline. I will not expound on that here as you can read it above. Point being, I noticed that the author has not been around since reposting this thread and so the campaign was never truly finished. I humbly requested the permission to maintain this work, and so I now have the rights to do so.

I am not the type to tamper with another's hard effort, so much of the maps(with slight alterations where needed), dialogue and story will remain the same. However, as noted above, parts of the scenario need to be balanced/polished/changed in order to improve it's playability. I am looking for people who could take an interest, spend some time downloading the campaign and playing through it, and then let me know their thoughts, experiences, problems or anything of the like. Some of the problems have been addressed above, but feel free to note them again if they still persist, I am not sure of how much Jacques_Fol was able to address when he he last published the add-on.

So please, play and hopefully enjoy, let me know what you think of his work, and I will do my best to fix any problems.

EDIT
Scenario 1
- Map reworked to make the player less likely to rush peasant's to hold fort.
Scenario 3
- Map reworked to include "remnants" of old road to make the use of non-Saurians more efficient.
Scenario 4
- Code fixed so the save file is different from Scenario 2.
Scenario 5
- Map reworked in accordance with the measures taken for Scenario 3.
Scenario 7
- Enemy units moved to surround Jacques and his band, thus making it easier to protect Kyoko without save loading.
Scenario 8
- Night Guardian given skeletons to recruit, no more pesky spirits.
- The Lord Protector now comes out to play.
Last edited by Turuk on December 6th, 2008, 6:46 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Campaign: A Rough Life

Postby Orcish Shyde » December 5th, 2008, 12:08 pm

Tried to tackle this at Medium, have so far got to the level with the lich and the spectre, which I'm putting off to post this. What so far I am thinking:

1) The desert levels could do with a facelift, the only thing you have that's really useful in the desert is Saurians and the beast leaders were boring to fight. I'd make them new units outright with a touch less HP and combat stats to match how hard they are to kill.

2) Kyoko shouldn't start the dragon scenario wounded, I had to saveload several times to end up with a first turn - FIRST TURN! - on which she didn't die.

3) On principle Jacques shouldn't just become a normal Trapper - he'd still have some skills from when he was a rogue, especially backstab & moving 6 hexes a turn (especially if you're going to spend much more time in the desert!). I'd even say he should get poisoned arrows at level 3, since he hasn't been hunting things to be eaten. Yes this might make him a little more powerful than most, but there's only one of him, so it should be manageable. While I'm on that, is it possible to change his name to just "Jacques" on his third character change, given he's not all that dishevelled anymore?

4) I was a little disappointed not to be able to recall that one Ruffian I levelled up to a Thug. Any that do level up should go back to Ruffian status and then rejoin you for the second scenario as the gobbos decide they're feisty enough to be worth selling.
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Re: Campaign: A Rough Life

Postby Turuk » December 5th, 2008, 1:26 pm

Orcish Shyde wrote:1) The desert levels could do with a facelift, the only thing you have that's really useful in the desert is Saurians and the beast leaders were boring to fight. I'd make them new units outright with a touch less HP and combat stats to match how hard they are to kill.


I agree, that is one problem I ran into as well when I played through. The grunts are good for absorbing damage and the archer's ranged attack is nice, but the lack of mobility on either makes them useless compared to the Saurians. I think I may make the desert interspersed with the "remnants" of old roads, to symbolize the time when the people used to live above ground.

Orcish Shyde wrote:2) Kyoko shouldn't start the dragon scenario wounded, I had to saveload several times to end up with a first turn - FIRST TURN! - on which she didn't die.


Noted, I also might rework that so the units for the throne are level 3s instead of 2's, and possibly give the player more space to maneuver.

Orcish Shyde wrote:3) On principle Jacques shouldn't just become a normal Trapper - he'd still have some skills from when he was a rogue, especially backstab & moving 6 hexes a turn (especially if you're going to spend much more time in the desert!). I'd even say he should get poisoned arrows at level 3, since he hasn't been hunting things to be eaten. Yes this might make him a little more powerful than most, but there's only one of him, so it should be manageable. While I'm on that, is it possible to change his name to just "Jacques" on his third character change, given he's not all that dishevelled anymore?


That's an ongoing issue that I have to address, I agree with why the character changes are in place for the storyline, but I do not like that the player is penalized for attempting to level up the main character only to have him reset. That ties into the issue of leveling up his "friends" only to have them be reset on new levels.

Orcish Shyde wrote:4) I was a little disappointed not to be able to recall that one Ruffian I levelled up to a Thug. Any that do level up should go back to Ruffian status and then rejoin you for the second scenario as the gobbos decide they're feisty enough to be worth selling.


I may or may not change this. I am currently reworking the first map to be a bit harder (as it is easy to just rush a peasant and wait the turns out in the 60% defense fort. Especially if you go southwest, as the mud takes up the attention of the other peasants and the goblins.
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Re: Campaign: A Rough Life

Postby Orcish Shyde » December 5th, 2008, 7:32 pm

Just played through the Lich/Spectre scenario, have the following thoughts:

1) Fighting ghosts when your only magic units are Saurians isn't easily done. This is meant to be a hard campaign, though, or such was the impression I got.

2) The Lord Protector really should come out to play; since your only hope against him is non-magical thugs & bandits, non-marksman attacks, it leaves a bit too much to chance if he's always sat on a keep and can nuke one of your troops every turn.

3) Take the Shadows off the Lord Protector's recruit list; it's too easy for them to execute Kyoko. Replace them with Wraiths or maybe L2 skeleton units is my advice.

Also, the following bugs:
- A second L1 Kyoko was created at the start of the level, and the old one put in your Recall list. I got around this by recalling the old one, debugging the new one to nigh invulnerability & keeping the new one far from harm. Strangely the old Kyoko got used for The Long Night of Shadows.
- Kyoko & Luxor really should have those silver crown thingies to mark them as vital units.
- The units for Luxor & that dwarf character are not named as such. Minor issue I know, but anything that can improve a campaign is good.
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Re: Campaign: A Rough Life

Postby Turuk » December 5th, 2008, 9:06 pm

Orcish Shyde wrote:1) Fighting ghosts when your only magic units are Saurians isn't easily done. This is meant to be a hard campaign, though, or such was the impression I got.


I had the same issue, but I agree, Jacques intended this to be a tough campaign, so that will probably stay as is.

Orcish Shyde wrote:2) The Lord Protector really should come out to play; since your only hope against him is non-magical thugs & bandits, non-marksman attacks, it leaves a bit too much to chance if he's always sat on a keep and can nuke one of your troops every turn.


You raise a good point, when I get to this scenario for changes, I will address that problem in some manner. Either make him come out to attack, or make it more viable ways for him to be killed without decimating your troops.

Orcish Shyde wrote:3) Take the Shadows off the Lord Protector's recruit list; it's too easy for them to execute Kyoko. Replace them with Wraiths or maybe L2 skeleton units is my advice.


Noted, I will look into that and maybe give him both to add a bit of variety.

Orcish Shyde wrote:- A second L1 Kyoko was created at the start of the level, and the old one put in your Recall list. I got around this by recalling the old one, debugging the new one to nigh invulnerability & keeping the new one far from harm. Strangely the old Kyoko got used for The Long Night of Shadows.
- Kyoko & Luxor really should have those silver crown thingies to mark them as vital units.
- The units for Luxor & that dwarf character are not named as such. Minor issue I know, but anything that can improve a campaign is good.


When I touch on the other issues, I will address these in the code as well. Know that even if I cannot fix it right away, you are giving me a nice long to-do list from both your posts so far, which is appreciated. The more things you note/bugs you find, please let me know.

Per your previous post, I spent some time today reworking the maps of the two slaving scenarios, so that it looks as if old roads wind through the dunes, but parts of them have been covered or uncovered by the shifting sands. This changes how the map plays significantly, and renders the use of other units besides Saurians much more effective. There is now also a bit of road to the upper keep, in order to facilitate faster movement through the mountains/not make it such a bottleneck.

EDIT:
Orcish Shyde wrote:2) Kyoko shouldn't start the dragon scenario wounded, I had to saveload several times to end up with a first turn - FIRST TURN! - on which she didn't die.


This is addressed now. While she still starts the scenario wounded, I rearranged the initial start points of the trolls to be below the scorpions. This not only make it look as if they are looking to encircle Jacques and his band, but Jacques now stands at the head of his band, being the daring heroic leader and all that. So it manages to play quite nicely, still difficult given the dragon, but much easier to protect her.
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Re: Campaign: A Rough Life

Postby Orcish Shyde » December 6th, 2008, 10:06 am

Warning: further whining incoming. :P

I didn't have a problem in principle with Jacques' character change on reaching level 3 - though a custom unit line would be an easier means to the same end. What did bug me, however, was the following:
1- The Human Commander sprites from UtbS look pants compared to mainline stuff. I could cook up a Leadership frame for an otherwise-normal Ranger if you want, since you were willing to use entirely mainline graphics for Kyoko (who, by the way, already has a suitable Leadership L3 frame - have the Enchantress raise her staff as if to shoot faerie fire when leading)
2- You'd have done better to modify the Quenoth elf movement setting thingy from Under the Burning Suns. Jacques suddenly having -10% vs arcane bugged me a little, and would have bugged me a lot more if all the ghost units in The Long Night of Shadows weren't already dead by the time he reached L3. 30% defence in caves when the final scenario is entirely undergound is not fun.
3- I swear I saw the Battle Commander change into a Ranger for some frames.

Bug report: Kyoko L3 appears to have no AMLA option. I'm guessing she isn't physically able to turn into a Sylph, so this would be better off sorted out.

Thoughts on The Long Night of Darkness: it isn't hard, it's murder - which given the campaign difficulty and the tone of the mission may well be a good thing, or just caused by me being the kind of guy who always thinks he'll need everything he's currently got and then some for the final mission. However, one point stands more than any other: GET RID OF THE SHADOWS AND NIGHTGAUNTS. Having Luxor executed in 1 turn, from full health, on a village, was not conducive to my enjoyment. Hell, replace them all with Spectres if you must - thereby increasing the overall difficulty at the same time as removing the fake difficulty created by Shadows at night.

OK, whining over. I guess the trouble with Shadows in campaigns is that they're balanced for multiplayer, where you (normally) have only one keystone unit for them to murder, whereas you almost always have more than one in campaign mode.
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Re: Campaign: A Rough Life

Postby Turuk » December 6th, 2008, 2:42 pm

Orcish Shyde wrote:I didn't have a problem in principle with Jacques' character change on reaching level 3 - though a custom unit line would be an easier means to the same end. What did bug me, however, was the following:
1- The Human Commander sprites from UtbS look pants compared to mainline stuff. I could cook up a Leadership frame for an otherwise-normal Ranger if you want, since you were willing to use entirely mainline graphics for Kyoko (who, by the way, already has a suitable Leadership L3 frame - have the Enchantress raise her staff as if to shoot faerie fire when leading)
2- You'd have done better to modify the Quenoth elf movement setting thingy from Under the Burning Suns. Jacques suddenly having -10% vs arcane bugged me a little, and would have bugged me a lot more if all the ghost units in The Long Night of Shadows weren't already dead by the time he reached L3. 30% defence in caves when the final scenario is entirely undergound is not fun.
3- I swear I saw the Battle Commander change into a Ranger for some frames.


You use the royal you, though I have just taken over this campaign. :P But I know what you mean about the graphics, I had noted that myself when I played through. In order:
1)I have not touched whatever graphics Jacques used. I may take you up on that leadership frame for the Ranger, but instead I might just borrow the Ranger graphics from mainline, give the unit leadership, and call it a "Battle Commander."
2) You raise a point I realized in the code last night, in that depending on how the player has given Jacques experience affects when he levels. You said that Jacques was not level three until some point during the scenario of the Long Night of Shadows? I started out the scenario prior to that, The Shadowlands, with him as a level three. Though it is completely possible for the player to start the Long Night with him as still a Trapper.
3)I saw that too, and it happens so fast that you think you missed it unless you watch him attack. That should be addressed when I give him the Ranger sprite.

Orcish Shyde wrote:Bug report: Kyoko L3 appears to have no AMLA option. I'm guessing she isn't physically able to turn into a Sylph, so this would be better off sorted out.


Indeed, she is not supposed to level past her L3 Elvish Queen.

Orcish Shyde wrote:Thoughts on The Long Night of Darkness: it isn't hard, it's murder - which given the campaign difficulty and the tone of the mission may well be a good thing, or just caused by me being the kind of guy who always thinks he'll need everything he's currently got and then some for the final mission. However, one point stands more than any other: GET RID OF THE SHADOWS AND NIGHTGAUNTS. Having Luxor executed in 1 turn, from full health, on a village, was not conducive to my enjoyment. Hell, replace them all with Spectres if you must - thereby increasing the overall difficulty at the same time as removing the fake difficulty created by Shadows at night.


I am going to address this by imposing a line of code that will limit the number of recruits of each unit that will be made. This way the computer will be limited to potentially 1 of each. I am also making the reliance less on the ghost unit (and it's advancements) and more on the idea of skeletons, as the temple for say the Shadowlands would still have had guards. I am going to put all changes/updates in my first post, or the third post down on the page.
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Re: Campaign: A Rough Life

Postby Orcish Shyde » December 6th, 2008, 2:51 pm

Two more minor gripes, as if your to-do list isn't big enough... plus one I didn't mention earlier, stupid me:

1: The Day of Reckoning... The turn limit is 60. In debug mode, I needed 39 turns just to complete the objective. I don't like having to cheat through a good campaign, so removing the turn limit would be advisable.
2: The scenario after that, you get a choice that I won't mention for spoiler reasons, which ends the campaign if you choose wrong. EDIT: Have made both choices, and can now see the reasoning behind it; that said, on principle you ought to get one last mission on the "good" path, now if only I could think what it would be...
3: There's two scenarios called Captivity. This causes something of a problem when autosaves come in.

EDIT: One last thought concerning the final scenario in the "bad" ending. While murdering all those peasants is fun, it's a little out of character for Jacques to suddenly go apeshit without even letting the people explain, and frankly, the downer ending from nowhere isn't my cup of tea. Maybe if for some reason they really were guilty as charged e.g. spellbound by a DA somewhere on the map, no explanation given as Jacques gives him no time to explain.
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Re: Campaign: A Rough Life

Postby Turuk » December 6th, 2008, 3:23 pm

Hey, I always appreciate the help, so add away. I am thinking of titling the document Orcish Shyde's Thoughts and Complaints. :P

Orcish Shyde wrote:1: The Day of Reckoning... The turn limit is 60. In debug mode, I needed 39 turns just to complete the objective. I don't like having to cheat through a good campaign, so removing the turn limit would be advisable.


Fair enough, I will take a look at that and extend/remove it.

Orcish Shyde wrote:2: The scenario after that, you get a choice that I won't mention for spoiler reasons, which ends the campaign if you choose wrong. EDIT: Have made both choices, and can now see the reasoning behind it; that said, on principle you ought to get one last mission on the "good" path, now if only I could think what it would be...


I know what you are talking about, and I had the same thought, though I am going to leave off making a new scenario until the current ones are properly fixed.

Orcish Shyde wrote:3: There's two scenarios called Captivity. This causes something of a problem when autosaves come in.


Hmm at what point? I only have one scenario named as such, the 2nd one. Where did you encounter this problem?

Orcish Shyde wrote:EDIT: One last thought concerning the final scenario in the "bad" ending. While murdering all those peasants is fun, it's a little out of character for Jacques to suddenly go apeshit without even letting the people explain, and frankly, the downer ending from nowhere isn't my cup of tea. Maybe if for some reason they really were guilty as charged e.g. spellbound by a DA somewhere on the map, no explanation given as Jacques gives him no time to explain.


Agreed as well, I feel that Jacques_Fol wanted to give a choice of two endings, but really did not know how to close the story. (Given that the good ending feels unresolved and that the bad ending involves Jacques doing something not very consistent with the rest of the story.)

As always, I appreciate the comments, gripes and thoughts, so anything else feel free to note it here. Hopefully after this weekend I will release a new version with some of the changes accomplished.
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Re: Campaign: A Rough Life

Postby Orcish Shyde » December 6th, 2008, 5:52 pm

The second scenario and the scenario after the first desert mission, where that bandit kills the Orcish Leader, are both called Captivity. Maybe you've already fixed that in your copy of the campaign, I dunno.
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Re: Campaign: A Rough Life

Postby Turuk » December 6th, 2008, 5:58 pm

Ah, I now see what you are talking about. The file is effectively labeled Unrest in the Ranks for the scenario name, but is saved as Captivity for some reason. Problem number 19, identified and added to the list. :P

EDIT:
Problem found and fixed.
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Re: Campaign: A Rough Life

Postby jani » December 6th, 2008, 6:48 pm

Noob question
How can i kill ruphulus in day of reckoning i have killed all his minions and cleared the whole map and every time i kill him he just respawns
How many times do i have to kill him?
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Re: Campaign: A Rough Life

Postby Turuk » December 6th, 2008, 7:15 pm

Given the hints in the text dialogue, move Kyoko to where it hints, and then taking the clues from what occurs there, move her to the next indicated spot.

I do not want to give away any spoilers about that as it greatly effects the story. Just know that the ending of the scenario revolves around Kyoko.
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