Grnk the Mighty: Parts 1 & 2 now on 1.12 and 1.14 server

Discussion and development of scenarios and campaigns for the game.

Moderators: Forum Moderators, Developers

Post Reply
Chewan
Posts: 135
Joined: December 19th, 2013, 1:40 am

Re: Grnk the Mighty: Part 1 & 2 now on 1.12 server

Post by Chewan » June 9th, 2016, 2:15 am

I followed Grnk the Frail on his path through chapter 1 and 2 – twice, actually:
only knowing what is going to happen, I managed to win most of the difficult battles of this challenging campaign in the first attempt. The difficulty level was challenging too... :| So, no bugs, but no useful input either.
Nevertheless, I'd like to state my recognition of your efforts: it was a lot of fun and all the praise that has been sung so far is well-deserved. Once again, we see what artistic and coding possibilities exist, cool effects and a lot of plot twist ensure plenty of entertainment – a recommendable adventure, not only for experts.

One thing that stands out is the excellent layout of the text, the use of colors, different font effects and a generous arrangement instead of a dense formatting make the dialogs and messages a pleasure to read. Playing on Windows, I noticed that you even tackled the problem with bug #21649 (consecutive line/paragraph breaks are not rendered as expected)... Wow!

What I would be interested to know is:
* Grnk's baffling magic, which surprises even professionals... how did that come about after all? (The prunes are just, well, a tool for the player.)
* Why do you dispense with music? 3 1/2 years ago, you explained: I always play with the music off, so I forget that other people have it on...

Ah, also, thanks for providing some VERY helpful replays... evidence, that a goblin can truly beat frightening numbers of overpowering opponents. :D

mattsc
Posts: 1105
Joined: October 13th, 2010, 6:14 pm
Location: Wandering, mostly aimlessly

Re: Grnk the Mighty: Part 1 & 2 now on 1.12 server

Post by mattsc » June 10th, 2016, 2:53 pm

Hi Chewan, oh, wow, thank you for the glowing review. You're almost making me all self-conscious. :oops: Only almost though. ;-)

The consecutive line-break bug has always bothered me, so at some point I decided to figure out how to work around it. Glad to hear that there are people out there who notice and appreciate that. By the way, if I remember correctly, this bug is fixed in 1.13 (it required newer versions of some of the text rendering libraries, I think; well, I know the libraries where updated on at least some systems and I think that fixed the bug).

As for your questions, I'm afraid the answers will be somewhat disappointing:

Grnk's magic: Quite honestly, I don't know how it works and where it comes from. Nobody does, in fact. Even Grnk's teachers, who notice his talent, do not know why he has it in the first place, they just notice that it is there and help him develop and use it. Btw,
Spoiler:
As for music, what I said 3.5 years ago still is true and the reason why I removed it is the same reason why I am using almost exclusively existing art and am not trying to do that my own: because I do not know how to do it well enough that I would be happy with it (and don't have the time and patience to figure it out). Since I never have the Wesnoth music on myself, I don't have the experience needed for it, so I opted for simply not including any rather than doing a bad job.

Anyways, thank you again! I'm very happy to hear that you enjoyed it.


Edit: Another btw, my original plan for the second part of the campaign was for a much darker story than it is now. In the end, I opted not to do that for a whole bunch of reasons, some better than others. Maybe I will still try to write that story at some point and add it as the "dark branch" or something. That's not in the near future though.

Shtoobie
Posts: 16
Joined: July 13th, 2016, 3:40 pm

Re: Grnk the Mighty: Part 1 & 2 now on 1.12 server

Post by Shtoobie » August 16th, 2016, 5:26 pm

Finally finished this campaign. Wizards took me forever until I figured out the right strategy.

I'd say this is in my top 3, if not first, of best campaigns. Great writing, great story, interesting gameplay, and I really connected and grew fond of the characters, something that doesn't happen a lot for me. (Vanak was my favourite)
Spoiler:
Spoiler:
Once again, kudos to you for an amazing campaign. I hope there's more coming.

mattsc
Posts: 1105
Joined: October 13th, 2010, 6:14 pm
Location: Wandering, mostly aimlessly

Re: Grnk the Mighty: Part 1 & 2 now on 1.12 server

Post by mattsc » August 23rd, 2016, 2:14 pm

Hi Shtoobie,

Sorry for the slow reply, I was away for a while. Thank you very much, it's great to hear that you enjoyed it so much. Feedback like that makes it well worth the effort. Actually, any feedback does that, really, but of course the positive reviews feel even better. :)
Spoiler:
Spoiler:
Thanks again!
Attachments
Grnk2-Endgame_replay.gz
(175.47 KiB) Downloaded 207 times

Shtoobie
Posts: 16
Joined: July 13th, 2016, 3:40 pm

Re: Grnk the Mighty: Part 1 & 2 now on 1.12 server

Post by Shtoobie » September 2nd, 2016, 8:11 pm

Also sorry for taking so long, haven't been on here a lot lately.
Spoiler:
Spoiler:
Attachments
Grnk2-Endgame_replay.gz
(162.82 KiB) Downloaded 203 times

mattsc
Posts: 1105
Joined: October 13th, 2010, 6:14 pm
Location: Wandering, mostly aimlessly

Re: Grnk the Mighty: Part 1 & 2 now on 1.12 server

Post by mattsc » September 4th, 2016, 10:53 pm

Thanks for posting your replay, Shtoobie. That's an interesting way to do it and I will take that into account when I rebalance and/or rearrange this scenario.

And:
Spoiler:
Thanks again!

User avatar
Samonella
Posts: 374
Joined: January 8th, 2016, 5:41 pm
Location: USA

Re: Grnk the Mighty: Part 1 & 2 now on 1.12 server

Post by Samonella » October 14th, 2016, 6:11 pm

Hey, thanks for making a great campaign; all those shining reviews are well deserved. I think I found a bug though. In Mercenaries (the first scenario you fight orcs with Rutburt) I lose after two of the starting loyal units die:
Kill_them!_More_for_me!!.gz
(92.66 KiB) Downloaded 188 times
From this save you can easily kill two of them. Looks to me like the problem is the difference between last breath events and die events.
EDIT: I'm playing BfW 1.12.6, in case that's important.
mattsc wrote:As for music, what I said 3.5 years ago still is true and the reason why I removed it is the same reason why I am using almost exclusively existing art and am not trying to do that my own: because I do not know how to do it well enough that I would be happy with it (and don't have the time and patience to figure it out). Since I never have the Wesnoth music on myself, I don't have the experience needed for it, so I opted for simply not including any rather than doing a bad job.
If someone else, maybe eventually me, were to make a list of 4-5 songs per scenario would you use it? I'm not exactly a music expert, but I do play with it on, and have at least a bit of experience from choosing songs in my campaign. At any rate, I think even a shoddy soundtrack is much better than silence (with the exception of one song playing over and over *cough cough dead water cough*)
The last few months have been nothing but one big, painful reminder that TIMTLTW.

Creator of Armory Mod, The Rising Underworld, and Voyage of a Drake: an RPG

mattsc
Posts: 1105
Joined: October 13th, 2010, 6:14 pm
Location: Wandering, mostly aimlessly

Re: Grnk the Mighty: Part 1 & 2 now on 1.12 server

Post by mattsc » October 16th, 2016, 12:15 am

Hi Samonella,

Thank you! I'm glad you like it. :)
Although if you have not gotten to scenario 8 (Trap) yet, you might want to wait before you say that. That one is rather polarizing. I know lots of players hate what I make them do in that one. :twisted:

I see what you're saying about the bug and can reproduce it. I'm sure that was working correctly before, but I think i switched some die to last breath events "recently", so you might quite well be right. I'll look into it and fix it for the next version. Thanks, for reporting it.
Samonella wrote:If someone else, maybe eventually me, were to make a list of 4-5 songs per scenario would you use it? I'm not exactly a music expert, but I do play with it on, and have at least a bit of experience from choosing songs in my campaign. At any rate, I think even a shoddy soundtrack is much better than silence (with the exception of one song playing over and over *cough cough dead water cough*)
Yes, absolutely, if somebody else wanted to do all that work, I'd be happy to include that. For me personally, I prefer the silence, but since that is an easy option in the preferences, I have no objections to that at all.

Cheers and thanks,
mattsc

User avatar
Samonella
Posts: 374
Joined: January 8th, 2016, 5:41 pm
Location: USA

Re: Grnk the Mighty: Part 1 & 2 now on 1.12 server

Post by Samonella » October 16th, 2016, 11:11 pm

mattsc wrote:Although if you have not gotten to scenario 8 (Trap) yet, you might want to wait before you say that. That one is rather polarizing. I know lots of players hate what I make them do in that one. :twisted:
Actually... this is my second time playing part one, and I loved every bit of it. It's part two that turned me off, due to some unenjoyably hard scenarios. For example, the very first one, which I finally managed to beat without cheating today (on "Challenging").
Grnk2-Intervention_replay.gz
(23.57 KiB) Downloaded 227 times
And it even this one came right down to the wire, with some serious luck on turns 14 and 15. Besides that, it took way too many save/loads to figure out exactly when and how far I could move Grnk without the skeletons coming back for him, and I started the whole thing over more than once. Anyway, I think the easiest difficulty should have a couple extra turns or a few less skeletons.. either one would have changed a frustrating challenge into an fun one. Or maybe there's a better strategy, and I'm just playing the whole thing wrong?
The last few months have been nothing but one big, painful reminder that TIMTLTW.

Creator of Armory Mod, The Rising Underworld, and Voyage of a Drake: an RPG

mattsc
Posts: 1105
Joined: October 13th, 2010, 6:14 pm
Location: Wandering, mostly aimlessly

Re: Grnk the Mighty: Part 1 & 2 now on 1.12 server

Post by mattsc » October 16th, 2016, 11:59 pm

That's great on Part 1. :)

As for Intervention, the intention was more to make it tricky to figure out rather than difficult to play per se. Looking at your replay, you have figured out the most important part, that is,
Spoiler:
I have attached one of my own replays, if you're interested. It's on medium difficulty and I finished comfortably in 7 out of 13 turns.

If you don't mind, try it again with those thoughts in mind and let me know if you still think it's too difficult. I'm not opposed to making it easier on the 'challenging' difficulty, but I think the main problem is figuring out the right strategy rather than the difficulty of the scenario itself. And yes, I admit that that is somewhat tricky, but that's intentional. It's meant to be a puzzle to be solved, rather than a hard battle. [And by the way, I think with a little bit of tweaking, the way you played it would work too. It's great to see that there's a somewhat different way to do it also!]

If there are other scenarios which you think are too hard, please let me know. I won't promise that I will actually make them easier, but I do promise that I'll take the comments seriously and will do so if I agree. :) Either way, I really appreciate the feedback, thanks!
Attachments
Grnk2-Intervention_replay.gz
(24.12 KiB) Downloaded 199 times

User avatar
Samonella
Posts: 374
Joined: January 8th, 2016, 5:41 pm
Location: USA

Re: Grnk the Mighty: Part 1 & 2 now on 1.12 server

Post by Samonella » October 17th, 2016, 2:48 am

Well, I was able to reenact what you did with no problem whatsoever.
mattsc wrote:
Spoiler:
That's something I didn't know about the ai, but I'll emphasize that they sometimes did come back for Grnk. I think it was whenever he was close enough to potentially attack the leader, even if the leader couldn't attack him. You can see this easily from this save:
Grnk2-Intervention_Turn_7.gz
(31.91 KiB) Downloaded 197 times
Also, might I recommend adding some (any) explanation for why you have to finish in 2 1/2 days? Running out of turns is always peeving, but it's even worse when there's no apparent reason for a time limit in the first place.
Finally... maybe I should have guessed, but it changes everything to know you don't have to kill the leader. Having the silver mage with my main force would have made a world of difference.

Anyway, thanks for the replay. Now the second scenario won't be so difficult, with the extra turns (gold) and veterans.
The last few months have been nothing but one big, painful reminder that TIMTLTW.

Creator of Armory Mod, The Rising Underworld, and Voyage of a Drake: an RPG

mattsc
Posts: 1105
Joined: October 13th, 2010, 6:14 pm
Location: Wandering, mostly aimlessly

Re: Grnk the Mighty: Part 1 & 2 now on 1.12 server

Post by mattsc » October 17th, 2016, 8:32 pm

Samonella wrote:That's something I didn't know about the ai, but I'll emphasize that they sometimes did come back for Grnk. I think it was whenever he was close enough to potentially attack the leader, even if the leader couldn't attack him.
Ah, yes, that's right, the AI does that. If you want to read a bit more about it, it's described on the wiki here.
Samonella wrote:Also, might I recommend adding some (any) explanation for why you have to finish in 2 1/2 days? Running out of turns is always peeving, but it's even worse when there's no apparent reason for a time limit in the first place.
Hmm, yeah, I'll need to think about how best to do this. The reason why the turn limit is there and so short is purely practical from a scenario design point of view. I could only get it working the way I wanted with a relatively small number of enemy units and then you can get it done quickly, so the turn limit should not be too high or one gets too much carry-over gold. But it would be nice to anchor that in the story somehow. There's a number of different ways to do that, I'll think about which I like best.
Samonella wrote:Finally... maybe I should have guessed, but it changes everything to know you don't have to kill the leader. Having the silver mage with my main force would have made a world of difference.
Another good point ... And no, you couldn't really have guessed that. I'll think about that too.
Samonella wrote:Anyway, thanks for the replay. Now the second scenario won't be so difficult, with the extra turns (gold) and veterans.
Yeah, that's how I was imagining it when setting up the scenario. Good to hear that this worked for you in the end.

User avatar
Samonella
Posts: 374
Joined: January 8th, 2016, 5:41 pm
Location: USA

Re: Grnk the Mighty: Part 1 & 2 now on 1.12 server

Post by Samonella » October 22nd, 2016, 5:04 am

Thanks for the link, I clicked around from there quite a bit.

Anyway, Fred. That's the scenario that made me give up on my first play-through. This time, I beat it on my second try:
Grnk2-Fred_replay.gz
(73.71 KiB) Downloaded 188 times
I don't know if that's how you're supposed to win.. I don't know why the enemies on the west side decided to sit around instead of attacking like they did on my other tries.. I don't even know why the scenario is named Fred. All I know is that I didn't enjoy being outnumbered 3:2 against an ai that apparently you have to exploit to beat, when I have no idea how to exploit it, and I can't even move my leader around. And it doesn't help that the ai started taking 10+ seconds per move; it peaked around turn 11.

I guess that doesn't mean it's a bad scenario, just that I didn't like it. Maybe some people enjoy poking around a foreign ai, looking for exploits?

The ai was really weird in the next scenario too, although this time it made things much easier. The only difficult thing was that some of the saurians retreated all the way back to their castle, so I could barely catch them before time ran out.
Grnk2-Lizards_replay.gz
(83.67 KiB) Downloaded 194 times
EDIT: I thought the previous two scenarios were great, btw. I'd say the one you're fighting trolls was just a bit too hard; I think I would have lost without a lucky prune making two trolls almost kill each other.That's despite me taming all the strong animals except some of the tuskers, who were mostly killed by wolves.

Also, I just realized that I completely forgot about prunes in Fred and Lizards... but Grnk was rarely in the middle of the action, and they usually miss for me anyway.
The last few months have been nothing but one big, painful reminder that TIMTLTW.

Creator of Armory Mod, The Rising Underworld, and Voyage of a Drake: an RPG

mattsc
Posts: 1105
Joined: October 13th, 2010, 6:14 pm
Location: Wandering, mostly aimlessly

Re: Grnk the Mighty: Part 1 & 2 now on 1.12 server

Post by mattsc » October 22nd, 2016, 2:42 pm

I'm sorry to hear that you did not enjoy those scenarios, but that by itself is fine. Everybody has different preferences. Having said that, the AI in the Fred scenario does not work as it should (as it says in one of the intro messages). The fact that the enemy units hang out like that in the west is not at all what they are supposed to do. They're meant to act somewhat more defensively, but still attack and advance overall. I am still hoping to be able to fix that some day, but so far I have not been able to figure it out yet (I've had very little time to work on this).

In any case, the goal for the scenario is absolutely not forcing the player to find exploits against an AI. In fact, one of my main goals for this AI is to prevent one from being able to exploit some of the weaknesses of the default AI. But for now, that's just not working and so the scenario is set up to work with what's there. I don't like it either, but it is what it is for now. I looked at one of my last replays and I actually ended up playing it very similarly to what you did.

As for Lizards, that's interesting. I usually play it with a more "frontal assault" and had not noticed that the two sides separate like that if you're coming around the flanks. I'll have to see if I can do something about that. That might be easier to fix than the other scenario, don't know.

The bottom line is, AI development is difficult ... :|

In any case, as always, thanks for the feedback, I appreciate you taking the time to write all this!

Oh, one more thing, if you forget to use the prunes, that'll definitely make all the scenarios harder. They are balanced assuming that you do (while taking their variations and fail chance into account).

User avatar
Samonella
Posts: 374
Joined: January 8th, 2016, 5:41 pm
Location: USA

Re: Grnk the Mighty: Part 1 & 2 now on 1.12 server

Post by Samonella » October 24th, 2016, 2:22 am

I played a few more scenarios. I though Paradise was pretty easy and Converted was pretty hard (because of the time limit), but both were still quite enjoyable. The next two scenarios were somewhere in between.

I love other elements of your campaign too, btw. The story is great, the characters are great, and I never know what will happen next. The clarity and grammar in the writing are great too, and that's not exactly common in UMC. Here's one line that I had to re-read a few times though, from the intro to Passage:
This actually is a spoiler, unlike when I usually use this:
Aaand here's a bonus, if you're interested. An ox cart that's not pulled by a horse! Just a frankenstein with a cow from the franken packs. I don't know who the original artist was.
ox_cart_no_driver.png
ox_cart_no_driver.png (7.4 KiB) Viewed 2590 times
ox_cart.png
ox_cart.png (7.67 KiB) Viewed 2590 times
EDIT: Eh the horse harness doesn't fit the ox very well. Here's a slight redraw that looks a lot better IMO:
ox_cart_no_driver.png
ox_cart_no_driver.png (7.39 KiB) Viewed 2589 times
ox_cart.png
ox_cart.png (7.66 KiB) Viewed 2589 times
The last few months have been nothing but one big, painful reminder that TIMTLTW.

Creator of Armory Mod, The Rising Underworld, and Voyage of a Drake: an RPG

Post Reply