Return from the Abyss [SP campaign for 1.12/1.14]

Discussion and development of scenarios and campaigns for the game.

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lesasch
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Re: Return from the Abyss [WIP campaign for 1.12]

Post by lesasch »

Hi skeptical_troll,
if it does help with your playtesting, here is a replay for Scenario 10 on hard. Had to try several times due to Gnargs suicidal tendencies and bad tactics on my side but in the end it was quite playable. Even though I had to sacrifice some veterans :(
I do like the campaign a lot, catchy story and challenging battles, sometimes at the limit of being annoyingly challenging (I HATE centipedes by now). I definitely like the little specials (lighthouses, campfires etc). And it's fun playing Khalifates...

Thanks for this campaign (and for Hunters of the east as well, nearly all said applys to that one too) !
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skeptical_troll
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Re: Return from the Abyss [WIP campaign for 1.12]

Post by skeptical_troll »

Hi lesasch, I'm glad that you are liking the campaign and thanks for pioneering this scenario in advance on the release! :) Looking at your replay it seemed indeed too tense. Since that version I've made a few changes (which will be uploaded together with the rest of the second part), in particular I gave the player control of Gnarg (with a bit less gold) and moved the elvish leader closer to the river, so that the final hunt is less tedious. It should be easier now, although finish early and getting enough gold for the next one will be important.

You're not the first one having bad experiences with the centipedes, that level seems to be an early bottleneck. I may decide to decrease their number a bit, or make them weaker.

One question: is it clear that the shaman has the 'instigation' ability (helps in bad day times)? I'm afraid it is only vaguely hinted to in 'Path to Light', but I shall probably spell it out somewhere.
lesasch
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Re: Return from the Abyss [WIP campaign for 1.12]

Post by lesasch »

Hi skeptical_troll,
I somehow had a good look on the shaman and spotted the instigation-ability, if it does not show in the replay - im actually not a good player, forgetting a lot about using the traits... :(
I do not know, if i would have realized by reading the dialogue. Actually I just had to read through the scenario-file to spot the
"Dark and light, good and evil, the stones on which the world is built they are. Fear them not. Stay close to me in the battle, help you I will." but I have to admit that when I started to play that Scenario the first time it was late nighttime and I was a bit sloppy about reading.....looking for it it was easy to spot, so actually it is quite clear and I think it's a nice feature of your campaigns that it pays off to read dialogues attentively. By now, everybody who did not spot it can read it here ;)

I have to replay the "Path" anyway, I did not recruit a Spearman and had to leave the hero spear behind, can't stand that....

The centipede-level is a thing ... actually I do not think anybody will pass it in the first try as you have to be prepared for the bloody worms. Due to the hint, that one will not control dwarves for much longer i hardly recruited them because i didn't want to spoil XP... A save way to not manage the level, I only learned that by reading this thread ;)
My only way too avoid getting rooted by the centipedes was to use a lot of dwarves and to be prepared to move to the Cave where the Shrine is (see attached Replay). But on the other hand, why not - no-pro-players playing on hard should expect hard times.....And I really liked exploring the cave, it has some nice details. Liked the Lighthouse-feature! Maybe I have to replay the campaign on easy, just to relish the feeling of crushing worms....
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skeptical_troll
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Re: Return from the Abyss [WIP campaign for 1.12]

Post by skeptical_troll »

There we go: second part is now out!
Contrary to the first part, here you'll have a lot of sun, fresh air, wide distances, wind blowing on your face etc etc.. There are seven more scenarios in this part (and 2.5 cut scenes), but two of them are alternative in a fork. Similar to the first part, in some scenarios you will have to combine your khalifate units with other factions. Game mechanic might be a bit unusual from time to time, I personally tested and roughly balanced the scenarios a few times but your feedback is really welcome, as always.

If you had a version of the campaign with the dummy epilogue you can load from there, otherwise you should either start from 'path to light' or use :cl in debug mode to select the right level (search for 'with_the_orcs') and then adjust your gold.

@lesasch: thanks for the replay, that's a really creative way of passing the level! I never even thought of that :) I agree that many people will have to restart that scenario, luckily it's not a very long one (at least for my standards!). I may eventually remove that note on the dwarves.
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taptap
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Re: Return from the Abyss [WIP campaign for 1.12]

Post by taptap »

Thank you for the update...

I finished Path to Light from an old mid-scenario save yesterday (earlier i had a lot of trouble with the naga, but this time i did not linger long and it worked fine) and looked around the next scenario a little. Today without any update in between I could start none of the campaign saves start of scenario, mid-scenario, none whatsoever (due to unknown unit type rfta old orc shaman). When I un- and reinstalled the campaign the saves work again, but even now the game crashes consistently when loading scenario save while I am in the replay of Path to Light.

Path to Light hands you a bunch of loyals toward the end, I did not bother hanging around to level them, but nothing really would have prevented it, which makes it possible to play quite gamey towards the end of Path to Light and start with 5 xp optimised loyal orcs in the next one. I don't think it matters much, the next scenario does not look that hard.
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skeptical_troll
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Re: Return from the Abyss [WIP campaign for 1.12]

Post by skeptical_troll »

Thanks for the replay. My impression is that it is definitely too long (and probably repetitive) now. Maybe decreasing the enemies a bit will do, it will be slightly easier and smoother, but will also reduce the xp-farming. I thought that in the final part the Nagas horde was sufficient to motivate the player to escape quickly. I don't think you can rotate indefinitely because you don't have healing and the enemies will just keep coming, so you may lose precious units. In your case you had quite an impressive army though, thanks to all the experience you gained.

I am not sure what is causing the bug, now that you re-installed the campaign is the problem limited to loading old saves from replays? It could be connected to the fact that I fixed the #textdomain of some units' .cfg file.
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Inky
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Re: Return from the Abyss [WIP campaign for 1.12]

Post by Inky »

It's really great to see that part II is here!! I've played the first 3 scenarios so far (campaign version 0.1.0). (I didn't have any issues loading my "At War" scenario start save from the older version.)

The Orcs Strike Back:
This was an epic scenario- it really had the feel of storming a fortress and was an intense battle from start to finish!

The objectives ("Defeat the enemy leaders") seem to imply that you have to defeat all leaders, but you only have to kill the two in the fortress. Also the gold carryover (40%) wasn't stated in the objectives.

This doesn't actually affect anything, but after this scenario when you view the full recall list (by using the recall hotkey without selecting a hex first) you can still see the orc units in the list.

Iron and mud:
I really loved this scenario's map, with all the extra areas to explore. Very creative design!

Objectives: Maybe specify "Khalifate explorers" just to make it 100% clear. I think that defeating all the leaders is actually faster than moving 6 explorers back to the starting camp, in addition to giving experience and the early finish gold. It also allows you to use the explorers in the battle and even get them killed (maybe it should be required that at least 6 survive?).

I didn't find all the free saurian reinforcements necessary (I was already winning the battle without them) but they were a nice flavor event.

Maybe instead of having tunnels to the dungeon entrances, a unit could get automatically transported to the dungeon when stepping on the trapdoor and vice versa. It's not a big deal, but the tunnel requires you to manually scroll the map all the way to the destination hex every time.
Replay summaries
At War:
Sent a few units to grab the huge clump of mostly unguarded villages in the center. The leaders just stayed in the northwest banking their gold (not recruiting much) until the enemies arrived, so that the main battle would take place near the starting keep where you get access to healing from the villages. Gnarg's troops acted as cannon fodder/distractions to protect Khafir's units. It's important to finish early because both Khafir and Gnarg benefit from the early finish bonus and need the extra gold for next scenario.
Finished turn 26/35. Losses (Khafir): lvl 1 Naffat, lvl 3 Mighwar. And almost every single one of Gnarg's poor units died for the cause :whistle:

The orcs strike back:
260 (Khafir)/185 (Gnarg) starting gold. This was a very tough battle with all the enemy reinforcements! In retrospect I should have been more careful about preserving units in the initial battle. After defeating the initial wave of enemies and fighting my way across the river, I tried to rush the fort as fast as possible before the reinforcements started piling up, since I was negative on gold and couldn't get more units. Got rid of the elvish leader first, and then made a big nighttime attack on the main loyalist leader. Fortunately for me the leaders were not too bright and would come out of their keep to attack, making them much easier to kill.
Finished turn 26/36. Losses: the orcs generously sacrificed themselves so all the Khalifate units could survive. I also got very good luck throughout the scenario.

Iron and mud:
235 starting gold. It's easy to rush the northwest merman leader during the first night since he doesn't start with many units and will come out to attack. After killing the NW merman I tried to put everybody on dry ground to face the main merman army coming from the southeast. After defeating the main merman forces, the army split in half, with one half going southeast toward the main prison and SE leader, and the other half going east and then south to the remaining leader.
Finished turn 40/50. Losses: lvl 1 Jundi, lvl 1 Khaiyal, lvl 3 Mighwar, 2 saurians.
Typos
10 Orcish territory

Line #:
49: Burlog had lead us to his people. -> led
257, 311: Falawèe -> Falaweè
470: During the battle messenger were sent. -> messengers

11 Orcs strike back

35: we swiftly marched south and east, where the Alliance stronghold lied, -> lay
560: You do not understand how orcs' mind work! -> minds
603: Caravans are sent periodically from Wesnoth, on the West. -> in / to
648: the power of Wesnoth's cavalry is renown in the whole continent -> renowned
904: loosing this stronghold -> losing

12 Explorer under the stars

16: I didn't participate to the jubilation -> in
20: trascended -> transcended
35: Soon they where walking down the hill -> were
35: Me and my men kept watching them, -> My men and I
35: For a long time, we could still hear their steps and their armors clinging, -> clanging
41: but in that moment I realize -> realized
46: It was a long time I did not look at the stars. -> since I looked
46: we estimated that the spring equinox had passed since few weeks, -> a few weeks ago
46: and that we were much north of the Khalifate -> far north
49: Not that it made any difference, since they run away in terror every time they spotted us. -> ran
52: while on the east the desert was too wide -> in / to
150: you probably don't know me, but I know you since you were a child. -> I have known you
183: I started meeting bands of armed man. -> men
292: but many others were pushed in a swamp were the horses could not run -> into, where

13 Dethroned King

861: What kind of men would I be if I abandoned them here? -> man
921: You didn't told me there were saurians in the swamp! -> tell
1136: How many men do your bring? -> you
1192: None of our men is here! -> are
1327: worrysome -> worrisome
1339: Neither me nor the other explorers said anything -> I
1454: Your queen bid you to fight for your freedom! -> bids
1484: Those humans are releasing the prisoners and fighting along with with my soldiers!
1496: Did those monsters found and killed him? -> Have those monsters found and killed him? / Did those monsters find and kill him?
1530: Rise your heads and spears! -> Raise
1635: the wise accepts and lives with his limits, for what painful it can be. -> however painful it may be.
1683, 1720: your were the spark that started the fire. -> you
Attachments
RftA-Iron_and_mud_replay.gz
8th scenario
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RftA-The_Orcs_Strike_Back_replay.gz
7th scenario
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RftA-At_war_replay.gz
6th scenario
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skeptical_troll
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Re: Return from the Abyss [WIP campaign for 1.12]

Post by skeptical_troll »

Hi Inky, thanks for your comments and for the corrections, as always!
Inky wrote:The Orcs Strike Back:
This was an epic scenario- it really had the feel of storming a fortress and was an intense battle from start to finish!
The objectives ("Defeat the enemy leaders") seem to imply that you have to defeat all leaders, but you only have to kill the two in the fortress. Also the gold carryover (40%) wasn't stated in the objectives.
This doesn't actually affect anything, but after this scenario when you view the full recall list (by using the recall hotkey without selecting a hex first) you can still see the orc units in the list.
I'm glad that you liked it, took a while to set up. In the ideal balance, I would like to reward the player that sends forces to cut out the naval supply, but on 'hard' this seems not doable at the moment. Maybe I could place the ford further north in the map, a bit out of the main action. I fixed the objectives and removed the orcs from the recall list, thanks for noting.

Iron and mud:
Inky wrote:Maybe instead of having tunnels to the dungeon entrances, a unit could get automatically transported to the dungeon when stepping on the trapdoor and vice versa. It's not a big deal, but the tunnel requires you to manually scroll the map all the way to the destination hex every time.
I've thought about that, but teleporting automatically the units would make it tricky if the player wants to keep them at the entrance for whatever reason (maybe there is a fight going on there) and it might also break the ZOC of a possible enemy adjacent to the trapdoor. I am not sure if there are ways of going around that, maybe an option dialog which ask confirmation to the player and triggers only if there is no ZOC? It might be equally annoying as scrolling the map though.

I also agree that in this scenario, as things stand, finishing off the enemies is easier than retreating with the rescued explorers (I now request them to stay alive even in the former case, as you suggested). I was considering adding enemies reinforcements towards the end from the south-east (they are even mentioned in the initial dialog), which would also make the final fight more interesting.
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taptap
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Re: Return from the Abyss [WIP campaign for 1.12]

Post by taptap »

At War: The reduced carryover is to mitigate the dual carryover game logic fault, I assume. Great to see someone recognise it. (Guess it is a decent fix until there is a better solution. Say a dialog/slider deciding how early finish bonus is distributed among allies?) This is harder than I initially thought, I tried going east in force in an earlier attempt, but that did not work out. I did fairly well around the keep, but the center hill area nearly turned into a disaster (went with insufficient forces and had to extricate loyals), forgot to move the batal earmarked for the area there. The rest is rather sloppily played and I got lucky here and there (after decidedly bad luck initially). I am oddly constrained in using non-loyal high level units for upkeep reasons and without healing veterans do considerably less work than you would hope for. Yet, the L1 northerners I recruited with Gnarg lacked damage output so bad... Did not get the elves to attack me out of order as I wanted, a lot of good grouping going on. (I realised most of my Khalifate veterans have 6 movement. I have mostly slow jundi type units and fast units of the other types in the recall list incl. different traits on loyals compared to Inky.)
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ahmannar
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Re: Return from the Abyss [WIP campaign for 1.12]

Post by ahmannar »

I started playing this campaign and i must say that it´s quite good! The mechanic of having limited recruits is interesting and, although it doesn´t make a difference now, it will probably do in the end of it (i´m currently at 78 available recruits).
Spoiler:
Looking forward to end this one :)
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skeptical_troll
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Re: Return from the Abyss [WIP campaign for 1.12]

Post by skeptical_troll »

taptap wrote:The reduced carryover is to mitigate the dual carryover game logic fault, I assume.
Indeed, I remembered you pointing this out regarding some scenario of Hunters of the East, so I chose this way to reduce the bonus and make it consistent with the standard 40%. It still makes early ending much preferable than banking, but the difference is not so drastic and the bonus comes in a reasonable amount.

I noticed that in your replay the villages in the central valley (which are clearly very important) were better defended by the AI compared to Inky's case. That, I think, made things more difficult for you but I'm not sure on what this difference is due to.
ahmannar wrote:I started playing this campaign and i must say that it´s quite good! The mechanic of having limited recruits is interesting and, although it doesn´t make a difference now, it will probably do in the end of it
Thanks! Since the campaign is only 66% complete, the number of recruits is impossible to balance for the moment (if not veeery tentatively), so it is more a flavor thing to give the feel of a close group of comrades. In the future I might make numbers more tight, but during the whole campaign the players got plenty of allied sides to complement the Khalifate troops, so hopefully nobody will get stuck due to this.
Spoiler:
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Inky
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Re: Return from the Abyss [WIP campaign for 1.12]

Post by Inky »

skeptical_troll wrote: Iron and mud:
Inky wrote:Maybe instead of having tunnels to the dungeon entrances, a unit could get automatically transported to the dungeon when stepping on the trapdoor and vice versa. It's not a big deal, but the tunnel requires you to manually scroll the map all the way to the destination hex every time.
I've thought about that, but teleporting automatically the units would make it tricky if the player wants to keep them at the entrance for whatever reason (maybe there is a fight going on there) and it might also break the ZOC of a possible enemy adjacent to the trapdoor. I am not sure if there are ways of going around that, maybe an option dialog which ask confirmation to the player and triggers only if there is no ZOC? It might be equally annoying as scrolling the map though.
Hmm maybe the automatic teleporting could only happen if your unit has at least 1 movement point left? That way a unit won't get teleported if an enemy is adjacent to the trapdoor (because moving adjacent to an enemy unit makes it lose all its movement). I guess doing it this way might be unclear to the player though.

----------------------------------------------
Finished the rest of Part 2! (campaign version 0.1.1)

Occult Ridge / Misty Valley

I played both branches and they seemed very balanced in terms of gold and XP available, and difficulty. I especially liked the mechanic in Misty Valley of the tide coming in and out - very cool!

The Plague

-The peasant leader starts with 44/23 HP. I assume this was intentional to make him live longer but it looks strange; maybe make him a higher level unit instead?
-The scenario seems too easy because you can just bypass the village using the swampy crossing to the right. I never had to fight the western bandits, only the southern ones. Maybe modify the map so Khafir's units are forced to go through the village?

Forest of Crossing Paths

-Maybe allow Rynwarth's units to also trigger the dialogue with the goblins?
-The bandit leader seems too weak at the beginning, because right now you can just quickly swarm him with powerful veterans. I used the 2-hex northwestern keep (I think using the fort could work too) to recall several Khalids etc. and killed the leader on turn 12/57. Probably the main cause of this is that the previous scenario was too easy so you could get quite a bit of carryover (I started Forest of Crossing Paths with 160 = 80 + 80 carryover gold).

p.s. I always like reading the two dwarves' dialogue at the end of each scenario :)
Replay summaries
(Branching path) Occult ridge:
215 starting gold. This scenario took me a few tries, because I kept trying to recall a veteran or two which made the enemy too powerful and they'd end up killing one of my leaders. It seems the best way to go here is to only get some level 1 spam (preferably with a little bit of XP, so they can level by killing one of the enemy leaders), and use some of them as bait to lure the enemies onto bad terrain.
Finished turn 15/21 with 108 carryover, one level 1 naffat loss

(Branching path) Misty Valley:
265 starting gold. Recalled several good veterans and some naffat type units (definitely the most useful units in this scenario) to set woses on fire. Took the lower path, advancing during the day when the terrain is good.
Finished turn 20/32 with 100 carryover, no losses but I got lucky so there should have been.

The Plague (continued from Occult Ridge):
238 starting gold. This scenario is very easy if you only get units which can quickly move through the swampy area. (Jundi line are very good here since they have 6 movement and only 2 movement cost for swamp.) The eastern bandits never catch you and by the time the western bandits kill all the villagers your units are already safely in the south. So you only have to fight the southern bandits, which are pretty weak.
Finished turn 9/15, no losses.

Forest of Crossing Paths:
160 starting gold. Cheap method: spammed powerful veterans from the 2-hex northwest keep and just rushed the bandit leader, killing him before the loyalists showed up.
Finished turn 12/57, a couple veterans lost.

I am going to replay this scenario the way it was actually intended, though :)
Typos
14_01 Early escape

14: Most just avoided us, but we manage to speak with a few of them. -> managed
17: The fact that they were asking question about my father worried me deeply -> questions
17: and I could not make a sense out of it. -> make sense
63: The explorers agrees that -> agree
96: Wait for the night, than follow the river to the East -> then

14_02 Prompt departure

14: The saurians reserved great honors to us, and we spend several days with them -> spent
17: The fact that they were asking question about my father worried me deeply -> questions
17: and I could not make a sense out of it. -> make sense
175: Wait for the night, than follow the river to the East -> then

14a Misty valley

258: but the knowledge of their origins went lost long ago. -> was
266: They fight to preserve the purity of the land the live on -> they
601: I don't see that species since our mission to the Ethernal-Earthquake Island, thirty-six years ago. -> haven't seen
621: I wasn't enjoy this place anyway -> enjoying
621: despite of the interesting fauna -> despite / in spite of

14b occult ridge

118: And cold, despite of that small active volcano. -> despite / in spite of
360: They may do, -> They may,

15 Plagued Village

11: "siege_of_laurelmore.ogg" -> laurelmor
30: A few long-abandoned huts were the only sign of civilization we could see, neither we found any road to follow, -> and we could not find any road to follow / and we found no roads to follow
33: the charge of the Wesnoth's cavalry. -> Wesnoth's / the Wesnothian
36: although everything lied in a neglected state. -> lay
36: other were surrounded by tall palisades -> others
36: despite a column of armed man was marching near their houses. -> despite a column of armed men marching near their houses.
176: Don't cross the bridge, if you care of your life!! -> for
180: Why are you shouting at us so disrespectfully -> missing punctuation at end
298, 301: unit -> units
565: May the spirits have mercy of their souls. -> on

16 Forest of the crossing paths

25: a mountain ridge sticked out of the woods -> stuck
25: I knew that the desert lied just beyond those mountains. -> lay
25: and we were approaching our land from a different route, which I had never threaded myself. -> treaded
28: I sent sentries to the top of nearby hills and granted few hour of sleep to my exhausted men. -> a few hours
498: now they hold a much better position then us. -> than
671: Beside, -> Besides,
691: However, my knowledge of the forest is somehow limited. -> somewhat
1587: I don't see what is so special about this mushrooms -> these
1790: One of the closest agent of the emperor and one of the strongest leaders of the cult died -> agents

17 News from the West

17: he was challenged by a few of Rynwarth's soldier -> soldiers
92: Since then we have been unable to make return to our land, -> return / make a return
100: That is actually were we are coming from -> where
136: letting them administrating justice in place of our guards. -> administer
136: Wesnoth transformed into a place were mistakes were hardly tolerated, -> where
228: Why not killing him then? Why keeping him alive in the cave? -> kill, keep
235: However, this time there was a factor which he cannot predict, -> could not
255: The only thing I now is that this is terribly worrying, -> know
289: I think I have a future to think of now, for hopeless it may look. -> as hopeless as it may look
Attachments
RftA-The_Forest_of_the_Cros..._replay.gz
11th scenario (16)
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RftA-The_Plague_replay.gz
10th scenario (15)
(64.82 KiB) Downloaded 248 times
RftA-Misty_Valley_replay.gz
9th scenario, other branch (14a)
(67.59 KiB) Downloaded 241 times
RftA-The_Occult_Ridge_replay.gz
9th scenario (14b)
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Re: Return from the Abyss [WIP campaign for 1.12]

Post by skeptical_troll »

Inky wrote:-The peasant leader starts with 44/23 HP. I assume this was intentional to make him live longer but it looks strange; maybe make him a higher level unit instead?
Now I changed the max_hitpoints so that it is 44/44, but I agree it's still a bit strange. On the other hand it makes sense for him to be a peasant, for story reason. Alternatively I can pretend he has an armor and give him some resistance.
Inky wrote:-The scenario seems too easy because you can just bypass the village using the swampy crossing to the right. I never had to fight the western bandits, only the southern ones. Maybe modify the map so Khafir's units are forced to go through the village?
So, this is meant to be a very easy one, although in my original idea I was thinking of an engagement with the western forces together with the peasants (with the risk of infection). Changing the maps is probably the way to go.
Inky wrote: -Maybe allow Rynwarth's units to also trigger the dialogue with the goblins?
Indeed, I overlooked that. It has been fixed now
Inky wrote:-The bandit leader seems too weak at the beginning, because right now you can just quickly swarm him with powerful veterans. I used the 2-hex northwestern keep (I think using the fort could work too) to recall several Khalids etc. and killed the leader on turn 12/57. Probably the main cause of this is that the previous scenario was too easy so you could get quite a bit of carryover (I started Forest of Crossing Paths with 160 = 80 + 80 carryover gold).
I knew you would have done that! :D :whistle:
Carryover is certainly part of the problem, so once I fixed the previous scenario maybe this won't happen anymore. Alternatively I can just leave one hex to recruit in the northwestern keep, so that it won't be possible to have enough firepower for the blitzkrieg strategy, and give the bandits more starting gold so that by the time Khafir reaches the fortress they will have piled up enough units. I will probably change a few things in these last two scenarios anyway.

Thanks for testing this part and for the corrections! :)
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sergey
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Re: Return from the Abyss [WIP campaign for 1.12]

Post by sergey »

Hi, skeptical_troll!
The campaign is great. Gameplay is fun, story is amazing and it makes me feel like I am personally participating in the events :)
I am on scenario 4 "The Old Castle" and found one minor bug.
Spoiler:
Author of SP scenario Dragon Fight and SP campaign Captured by a Nightmare.
Created The Rise of Wesnoth (alternative mechanics) version of the mainline campaign.
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skeptical_troll
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Re: Return from the Abyss [WIP campaign for 1.12]

Post by skeptical_troll »

Thanks a lot! Well spotted, I fixed it, will be updated in the next release. :)
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