The Sojournings of Grog (3.4.0 is out)

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Daravel
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Re: The Sojournings of Grog (3.0 on its way)

Post by Daravel » February 7th, 2012, 1:36 pm

Really, the Sceptre of Fire can be replaced with the Sceptre of Life from the omonymous campaign. I planned this as a solution, in case that The Dark Hordes enters again in mainline.
The type of sceptre it is isn't really important. The issue is that there is no mention of the red gem/sceptre until the story board between waves and waves and defence, where it is briefly metioned that there is a red gem (make the player think it will be important in defeating the dragon). But then it is never mentioned again until the epilogue where it is revealed to be the sceptre of fire (or life) and that's it. It should either be removed entirely, or given a greater importance in the plot.
Unlike some other UMC authors, I balanced it on Hard and made the other levels easier. I faced some campaigns, in past, that were tested only on Easy, and on Hard were unplayable.
Perhaps I should try the campaign on hard next. I consider myself to be an average player (normally play on the middle difficulty) but I'm pretty sure that 'easy' is too easy. I'll go through my replays and identify where; but essentially I levelled up loads of units and had tons of gold (finishing with 800-1000) and the only challenge came when I hadn't recruited enough units, but then I had plenty of gold to get more.

Edit: I've uploaded the file from my computer again, in case I made some changes after the last upload. I don't think I did.
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TSoG final.rtf
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Dialgoue editing for non-native English speakers - I will edit your scenario/campaign dialogue
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Jabie
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Re: The Sojournings of Grog (3.0 on its way)

Post by Jabie » April 3rd, 2012, 1:07 pm

Just finished Part I. Really enjoying the campaign so far. There's plenty to discover and the diificulty level (Easy) is, with one notable exception (see below), very well-pitched. A few observations.

The Long Way Home.

I had to save-reload a number of times in this scenario because I triggered Elyssa before I was ready to encounter her. Half my units were on the wrong side of the map and Grog and a scouting unit encountered her alone. Charging falcons are deadly!

The reason that half my units were on the wrong side of the map was because three of them (includsing my healer had gone off to deal with a Cactose and another couple had gone to grab the villages at the top. These problems could both be circumvented by removing the Cactose and automatically rewarding the player with the villagers adjacent to his starting camp.

Elyssa was able to summon the ever-so-cute Dust Devils, but was only able to do so on this map. I tried on sand hexes on other maps but she appeared to have forgotten the spell. Was this intentional or a bug?

A Doubtful Alliance.

This one was far, far too hard!!! I had to save-scum my way through this entire scenario (and I was playing on Easy). That's not a good thing.

The first problem is that the dialogue hints at a tomato surprise which never arose, but one which foreshadows events in the next scenario. My ally was clearly not to be trusted, so I left Grog in the keep and Zurg also lingered nearby stealing all my allies villages, so that when he did turn on me he would be weakened. Of course, my ally never betrayed me so two key units weren't involved in the combat and I'd weakened my ally for a marginal benefit of a couple of gold per turn.

A simple way around this issue is a minor dialogue change. Zurg: (Whsipers) "Do you think they'll betray us as soon as we've killed the Dwarves?" Elyssa: (Whispers) "It's unlikely. He'll probably want to take us to his leader first. The Undead are notoriously unimaginative." This would still foreshadow the events in the next scenario but would mean that the player is less likely to misinterpret them. The Undead aren't going to betray you in this scenario, so you don't need to watch your back.

The second - and far more serious - issue was that my Dwarven enemy was summoning Level 2 units and my ally was useless. I genuinely wondered if you copied and pasted the settings from Hard into the the Easy category by mistake! Whilst my ally was also summoning level 2 units, these weren't much good as the AI never makes the choices the player wants them too. (Indeed, it might work better if the ally went first and the player second. At least this way I'd be grabbing the free XP from nearly dead units my ally left behind rather than the other way round.)

The way it works out is that the player has very few Level 2 units of any worth. With the exception of the Captain (Leadership) and maybe the Sydhe (Healing your allies), your Elves have such lousy defence and mobility that they are more of a liability than an asset. Those arrows aren't much good against dwarven armour and melee on unfavourable terrain is always going to favour the dwarves.

You've probably got one or two decent trolls from the previous scenario, plus Elyssa, the White Whelp and maybe Bubble, but the main bulk of your army is made up of Level 1 Troll Whelps. There have been no intervening scenarios in which you can level the units up. After the first wave from your opponent - which goes down pretty fast, skeletons struggle to match up to the dwarves impact weapons, so only the Wraiths and Shadows are of any real benefit - you've an inferior army against an opponent with dug-in defences.

Then there's the time limit. 30 turns! I only just made it, and, as I said previously, I was save-scumming pretty much all the way. Had I played this scenario honestly there's no way I would've gotten past it.

I think I mentioned before, but I was playing on Easy. This scenario is far too hard on the Easy level. A solution suggest itself: limit my both enemy (and my ally) to Level 1 units. As the bulk of my army is also Level 1, it will be a fairer fight all round.

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Re: The Sojournings of Grog (3.0 on its way)

Post by Elvish_Hunter » April 3rd, 2012, 3:11 pm

Jabie wrote:Just finished Part I. Really enjoying the campaign so far.
Thanks for your feedback. Recently I was unable to maintain the campaign, because I was helping Daravel coding another add-on, as well as doing some mainline stuff; but soon I should be able to restart my mainteniance work. :)
Jabie wrote:Charging falcons are deadly!
Do you think that removing the Falcons will be a good idea? They may be deadly, but have also really low hitpoints, so they shouldn't be much of an issue - at least, they weren't when I tested.
Jabie wrote:These problems could both be circumvented by removing the Cactose and automatically rewarding the player with the villagers adjacent to his starting camp.
OK, I'll make it so all the villages near the starting position will be assigned to the player's side.
Jabie wrote:Elyssa was able to summon the ever-so-cute Dust Devils, but was only able to do so on this map. I tried on sand hexes on other maps but she appeared to have forgotten the spell. Was this intentional or a bug?
I already specified in some messages that the spell don't work for much time, that means it is available only for that scenario.
Jabie wrote:A simple way around this issue is a minor dialogue change. Zurg: (Whsipers) "Do you think they'll betray us as soon as we've killed the Dwarves?" Elyssa: (Whispers) "It's unlikely. He'll probably want to take us to his leader first. The Undead are notoriously unimaginative." This would still foreshadow the events in the next scenario but would mean that the player is less likely to misinterpret them. The Undead aren't going to betray you in this scenario, so you don't need to watch your back.
Thank you. I'm still adding the revisited dialogues by Daravel, and this will be a nice addition.
Jabie wrote:The second - and far more serious - issue was that my Dwarven enemy was summoning Level 2 units and my ally was useless. I genuinely wondered if you copied and pasted the settings from Hard into the the Easy category by mistake! Whilst my ally was also summoning level 2 units, these weren't much good as the AI never makes the choices the player wants them too.
...
the main bulk of your army is made up of Level 1 Troll Whelps
...
Then there's the time limit. 30 turns!
Some other people thought that the first part was a bit too easy. Oh well. :hmm: So, what I'll do is enabling only L1 recruits on Easy, some L2 and some L1 on Normal (using the LIMIT_CONTEMPORANEOUS_RECRUITS macro), and only L2 on Hard. Also, I'll raise the turn limit by 10 on all difficult levels. Maybe I'll also raise the player's gold by 50: on Easy, this will mean starting with 200. Do you agree with this proposal?
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Re: The Sojournings of Grog (3.0 on its way)

Post by Jabie » April 3rd, 2012, 10:12 pm

Elvish_Hunter wrote:
Jabie wrote:Charging falcons are deadly!
Do you think that removing the Falcons will be a good idea? They may be deadly, but have also really low hitpoints, so they shouldn't be much of an issue - at least, they weren't when I tested.
I'd leave them in for now, at least til the Khalifate is finished. My suspicion is that it wouldn't have been such a difficult fight if I had my entire team with me, but due to the Villages and Cactose, I'd split the party. As you've addressed the matter, hopefully it would be a problem for anyone else.
Elvish_Hunter wrote:
Jabie wrote:Elyssa was able to summon the ever-so-cute Dust Devils, but was only able to do so on this map. I tried on sand hexes on other maps but she appeared to have forgotten the spell. Was this intentional or a bug?
I already specified in some messages that the spell don't work for much time, that means it is available only for that scenario.
Thanks. I figured it was a one-shot, but thought I ought to report it in case it was a bug.
Elvish_Hunter wrote: Some other people thought that the first part was a bit too easy. Oh well. :hmm: So, what I'll do is enabling only L1 recruits on Easy, some L2 and some L1 on Normal (using the LIMIT_CONTEMPORANEOUS_RECRUITS macro), and only L2 on Hard. Also, I'll raise the turn limit by 10 on all difficult levels. Maybe I'll also raise the player's gold by 50: on Easy, this will mean starting with 200. Do you agree with this proposal?
Yes, that seems reasonable. The scenario before (where Grog gets home and has to free his people from the Dwarves) was great. A nice exploration / dungeon crawl scenario.

First three scenarios of Chapter II down. Scenario 1 was great. I lasted about 20 turns and fled with a sizable wodge of cash (~600 Gold)

I found scenario 2 to be a nightmare. Admittedly I messed up my strategy, going for the nearest leader but not killing him in time and then scrambling back to defend the moat. Also I probably recalled too many high level units and not enough cannon fodder. Still, on Easy, it might be worth considering removing or reducing in power the nearest leader. The player will still be against 4 Orcs and at a massive economic disadvantage.

Scenario 3 was fine. An easy fight after the last two seige scenarios, presumably designed to build up your money and level a few troops. Saurian Leader 1 fell very quickly and then it was just a case of maintaining a decent line and marching down the sides of the valley. Half the time the Saurians seemed more interested in the Worms than me - a situation I was only too happy to exploit.

I liked the Worm, but I felt he should have been guarding something. I tried finishing the scenario after saving it from the Saurians and when mercy proved unrewarding, I put it to the sword, but didn't get any additional benefits (beyond the XP!) Maybe it could have some Opals in its lair or its eggs could a rare ingredient that enhances Zurg's spells. Or perhaps there could be the half-digested trinket like a helmet or a boomerang for Grog. From an aesthetic perspective, you could use a Crater for the Worm's lair and it increases it defence to 60% whilst it's on its lair.
Last edited by Elvish_Hunter on April 4th, 2012, 8:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Fixed quote tags

Daravel
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Re: The Sojournings of Grog (3.0 on its way)

Post by Daravel » April 3rd, 2012, 10:43 pm

I have to say that "A doubtful Alliance" shouldn't be too difficult on easy. All your veterans from the beginning of the campaign should be level 3 by now (except perhaps the shyde) and the trolls from the previous scenario should be close to levelling. I think I sent my forces off in all 3 directions. I can attach a replay for you if you would like to see?

You also struggled on scenario 3 of part 2. I wonder if you have enough high level recruits? For reference, I had about 10 level 3 trolls by that point.
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Re: The Sojournings of Grog (3.0 on its way)

Post by Elvish_Hunter » April 4th, 2012, 8:29 am

Jabie: I edited your quote tags, as they were completely messed up and the message became difficult to read.
Jabie wrote:I found scenario 2 to be a nightmare. Admittedly I messed up my strategy, going for the nearest leader but not killing him in time and then scrambling back to defend the moat. Also I probably recalled too many high level units and not enough cannon fodder. Still, on Easy, it might be worth considering removing or reducing in power the nearest leader. The player will still be against 4 Orcs and at a massive economic disadvantage.
In that scenario you're not supposed to go killing enemy leaders! You just need to stay in your cave and defend along the river, rotating wounded units and sending them to healing.
Jabie wrote:I liked the Worm, but I felt he should have been guarding something. I tried finishing the scenario after saving it from the Saurians and when mercy proved unrewarding, I put it to the sword, but didn't get any additional benefits (beyond the XP!) Maybe it could have some Opals in its lair or its eggs could a rare ingredient that enhances Zurg's spells. Or perhaps there could be the half-digested trinket like a helmet or a boomerang for Grog. From an aesthetic perspective, you could use a Crater for the Worm's lair and it increases it defence to 60% whilst it's on its lair.
I will consider this. Originally, I added them for two reasons:
- that part of the map was strangely empty
- Worms are the favourite food of Saurians (see their idle animation...) :P
Suggestions for the item are accepted. Maybe it can be a stone that gives +20 arcane resistance, or something that gives a weak ranged arcane attack to the Troll Shaman that picks it, or a loyal Worm (although this one seems me a wrong solution...), or something else.
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Re: The Sojournings of Grog (3.0 on its way)

Post by Jabie » April 4th, 2012, 9:28 am

Daravel wrote:I have to say that "A doubtful Alliance" shouldn't be too difficult on easy. All your veterans from the beginning of the campaign should be level 3 by now (except perhaps the shyde) and the trolls from the previous scenario should be close to levelling. I think I sent my forces off in all 3 directions. I can attach a replay for you if you would like to see?

You also struggled on scenario 3 of part 2. I wonder if you have enough high level recruits? For reference, I had about 10 level 3 trolls by that point.
1.4. I had some L2 and L3 Elves, but they're really not much cop underground. 30-40% defence vs 60-70% defence soon mounts up the damage. Had I been up against L1 units with the odd L2, the Elves would have been OK, but up against their contemporaries they were in troubel.

3.2. Yeah I had a large mix of L3 and L2 units. Possibly not enough gold. Like I said, my tactics weren't the best and I shouldn't have sallied out to begin with. I also recalled a couple of humans I wanted to level up when I should have stuck with Trolls.

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Re: The Sojournings of Grog (3.0 on its way)

Post by Jabie » April 11th, 2012, 11:52 am

I've finished the campaign. Damned good fun. Excellent work. My notes from individual scenarios:

Defence / Wave After Wave

It might be easier to establish a fourth human leader (ideally an L2 White Mage) who acts as the town mayor. This would give you a named character for the final scenario rather than "Human Leader"

I could have done with a recruit list that included Horseman (a cheap mounted unit to grab a few external villages that I would be perfectly willing to sacrifice) and Thieves (the cheapest human unit, useful for grabbing internal villages, high evasion might soak several attacks where I need to plug holes) Healers weren't an issue, as there were plenty of villages.

What was the Human Temple for? I tried visitting it with several units but never got any benefit from it. I read about a Gale Whip in a forum thread (hopefully for Grog, who could have done with a ranged attack) but I never saw one.

I managed to kill one of the orc leaders (used Griffons for an assassination mission) It would be nice if this was reflected in the final mission. Perhaps for every leader you kill you get a free loyal unit or a gold bonus.

The Back Door

This one's a bit of a mess, I'm afraid. I sent Grog and Jaash to the wrong signposts. Whilst I admit this was my own stupid fault, marking the signposts with overlay text might help others from making the same mistake.

Then there's the Village at 14,20, which is within one move of Jaash. If you move him there (a not unreasonable maneouvre on the first turn) you can be chastised by Wose and then killed (ending the scenario) in the first attack. Admittedly, you are loosely warned about the forest, but it's still a bit much to get KO'd in the first turn by enemies you didn't even know existed, especially as the Wose dialogue doesn't trigger til you've got there.

The Drake is also problematic. If you drag the Wose towards the Eastern path and then fly across the mountains, you can uncover the Drake leader before you reach the Humans. He appears to be programmed to be invulnerable but the player won't necessarily know that and might easily plough in with ineffectual Griffons.

The text for the Ranger death was a little odd. "He was kind of necessary" As if his death was no more a minor inconvenience than losing a toothbrush on holiday. "Only he knew the secret paths that would have led us directly to the dragon. We have failed." would at least give a little more reasoning behind his loss.

Flying across Sands.

Excellent scenario. Tight and challenging, but never unfair. I'm glad that the AI didn't target Jaash specifically, but targetted the Griffons in general. (I'm not keen on scenarios which specifically target your leaders. I don't mind leaders being targetted, but when you leader gets attacked solely because you'd lose the scenario if he dies, it all feels a little game-y.)

A Powerful Ballista

Another interesting scenario. The merfolk can level up here, but the Elves never get a chance to do so. Rescuing a Loyal Fisherman (stats as Villager but also has a Net attack) from a couple of Naga in the village at 25,40 might add a little colour and give the Elves a bonus unit in the next scenario (albeit not a very good one)

Dragon Bane

The finale. Congratulations on stating upfront that this is the final mission. This should be a standard adopted in all Wesnoth campaigns. The ability to control my allies was useful too. I'm pretty sure had the human faction been under AI control it would have dived into the river instead of standing on the bank.

It's a tough scenario to balance, mainly cos you lose if *any* of your leaders die. Against a human you wouldn't stand a chance, they'd send the main body of their force against your weak point and send high-HP and evasion units to ZoC lock you. To some extent the AI did this, but thankfully nowhere near as effectively as another player would. If you're interested in the metrics, my Humans and, to a lesser extent, Elves came under the greatest pressure.

It in this scenario that all the pay-offs should come in. As I said before having one named leader for Wave After Wave will give you a character to defend rather than the rather moribund "Human Leader" If any of the other leaders survived from WAW, they can turn up as bonus characters in this scenraio. (This also implies a bonus for doing well in WAW) A small gold boost for killing each of leaders (especially if it's spelt out to the player) would be a nice touch too.

Jaash and the other Griffons which start in the elf keep really need to start outside of it. It's easy to miss them and then either have to restart or miss a recruitment round.

I could have done with the capability to recruit a few cheap level one units for village gathering / sacrificial lambs and the humans could have done with a healer (I used Paladins and villages) but that's relatively minor.

Kaleh ought to have Camoflague and Sustenance as he probably had these ability in UtBS. Camo is relatively ineffectual in this scenario (there are a couple of beaches, but they don't come into play much. Sustenance is more useful, but it only works during daylight hours so it's hardly a game breaker.

What happened to the Ballistae in the previous scenario? I guess you could make the ships immobile (anchored), but maintain the ballista. With range 2, the only one that's likely to be of much use is the one on the flagship with range 4. Alternatively you could state that they've been dismantled t help build the keep or that they only had limited ammunition.

****

As I said before, this is an excellent campaign and worthy of mainline consideration. Congratulations on your hard work.

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Re: The Sojournings of Grog (3.0 on its way)

Post by Elvish_Hunter » April 11th, 2012, 6:53 pm

Jabie wrote:What was the Human Temple for? I tried visitting it with several units but never got any benefit from it. I read about a Gale Whip in a forum thread (hopefully for Grog, who could have done with a ranged attack) but I never saw one.
When you visit it in Defence, the unit should get a new weapon. Didn't work for you?
Jabie wrote:The text for the Ranger death was a little odd. "He was kind of necessary"
Don't worry, Daravel took care of this in the new dialogues. :) Now I'll try to do as much bugfixes as I can for the 3.0.0 version.
Jabie wrote:Rescuing a Loyal Fisherman (stats as Villager but also has a Net attack) from a couple of Naga in the village at 25,40 might add a little colour and give the Elves a bonus unit in the next scenario (albeit not a very good one)
Or maybe, a loyal Merman Brawler (from DW)? This will make the reward "interesting".
Jabie wrote: Congratulations on stating upfront that this is the final mission. This should be a standard adopted in all Wesnoth campaigns.
The idea is hardly mine, as I took it from Bad Moon Rising, when I played it in the 1.6 version. Nevertheless, I decided to make the text cyan, so it's more evident, and to commit it in mainline. Since I have commit access, please file a bug report on Gna, so I can work on it, and this suggestion will be implemented for all mainline campaigns in 1.11.0. :wink:
Jabie wrote:As I said before, this is an excellent campaign and worthy of mainline consideration. Congratulations on your hard work.
Thank you. :D Although I haven't answered to all your other points, I'll consider all of them, and try to implement them in the next versions. Thanks again for the detailed feedback!
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Re: The Sojournings of Grog (3.0 on its way)

Post by Pokonic » April 19th, 2012, 8:58 pm

Elvish_Hunter wrote:
Jabie wrote:Rescuing a Loyal Fisherman (stats as Villager but also has a Net attack) from a couple of Naga in the village at 25,40 might add a little colour and give the Elves a bonus unit in the next scenario (albeit not a very good one)
Or maybe, a loyal Merman Brawler (from DW)? This will make the reward "interesting".
Or, as a third option, if he (the Fisherman) is alive at the end of the senario, the elves start the first turn with a few extra level 1 Mermen. After all, he is a Fisherman, and would presumaby be friends with the local Merfolk and could get some of them to fight.

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Re: The Sojournings of Grog (3.0 on its way)

Post by Elvish_Hunter » May 16th, 2012, 9:15 am

Finally, I uploaded version 3.0.0 of TSoG on the 1.10 server. The main change, this time, is that I added Daravel's dialogue revision, as well as the usual bunch of bugfixes and improvements. The changelog is included with the campaign, as always.
By the way, I added translate=true to the PBL file, so translators can start working on the campaign, if they want.
Also, this upload does not mean that the development is finished: I already have some suggestions to implement for 3.0.1... :wink:
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Re: The Sojournings of Grog (3.0 on its way)

Post by Daravel » May 17th, 2012, 2:11 am

Awesome. I'm going to have to replay the campaign again (to catch all the typos I probably made).

I have a feeling that the campaign may be a little too easy. When I play it will be on hard so we shall see.
Was there anything else you wanted me to edit? I have a feeling I agreed to do a description for the gold mage?
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I can also help re-write your campaign dialogue, drop me a PM (Completed projects: The Sojournings of Grog)

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Re: The Sojournings of Grog (3.0 on its way)

Post by Elvish_Hunter » May 17th, 2012, 7:41 am

Daravel wrote:Was there anything else you wanted me to edit? I have a feeling I agreed to do a description for the gold mage?
Yes, a description for the Gold Mage will be nice. 8)
EDIT: I just uploaded version 3.0.1, that fixes the textdomains and a few other issues with translations.
Current maintainer of these add-ons:
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Re: The Sojournings of Grog (3.0 on its way)

Post by Elvish_Hunter » September 3rd, 2012, 10:14 am

Verson 3.0.2 is on the 1.9/1.10 server. This version features minor changes and bugfixes, like the three main characters having special ellipsis, fixed Stun not working in B7, and a QR Code in the epilogue pointing to this very forum topic. In case that you're wondering how I created such code, I wanted to use a free, offline and possibly open source software: my choice fell upon Zint Barcode Studio, that allows creating almost every kind of barcode, not only QR Codes. You can find it here: http://sourceforge.net/projects/zint/ .
Please note that, most likely, this will be the final version for the 1.9/1.10 series, as I'm planning to port this campaign to 1.11 as soon as I can.
Current maintainer of these add-ons:
1.14: The Sojournings of Grog, A Rough Life
1.12: Children of Dragons, Wesnoth Lua Pack, The White Troll (co-author)
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Re: The Sojournings of Grog (3.0 on its way)

Post by tr0ll » September 10th, 2012, 12:52 am

awesome! i just finished UtBS on 1.11.0 and looking forward to a sequel. dont rush though, i need to work and catchup on sleep a bit this season which doesnt happen when there are lots of add-ons to try :P

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