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

Post by Inky » March 4th, 2017, 8:07 am

Well the scenario is definitely more interesting now! Somehow I managed to get through it only losing cannon fodder (hope minimum gold is enough for next scenario because I spent all my gold on fodder). I spammed Arifs (for marksman) and had them attack the footpads/poachers in the southeast. I'm not sure if the SE bandits are too strong, I surely would have had an easier time if I had recalled more veterans instead of spamming level 1s.

Either way I don't see a way to get any gold out of this scenario especially with all the villages being razed, so maybe next scenario needs more minimum gold now :hmm:
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Re: Return from the Abyss [WIP campaign for 1.12]

Post by skeptical_troll » March 4th, 2017, 10:19 am

Thanks for testing it again! I am happy with it for the moment, my only concern is that the standard player will have less starting gold than you and he/she will probably have no alternative to use powerful veterans to quickly open a way to the bridge while minimizing the risk of infection.

The razing mechanics is intended to reduce the gold carryover, because I want to avoid the 'blitzkrieg' tactic in the next scenario :whistle: :twisted: I tested the forest with minimum gold on 'medium' and felt it was balanced, I still have to play it on 'hard' but my guess is that it should be ok, probably only requiring more time to build up enough resources to counterattack.

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

Post by TorMac » March 4th, 2017, 2:35 pm

Playing through and loving it. Strong writing. Did not read all previous posts (too many spoilers) so some of this might have been covered.
Really emphasizing some clues might help - i.e. in the first ("losses will be heavy, but as long as...").
I definitely went over the turn limit in the second one, and it took a couple of tries before I worked it out. ("Be careful about digging too much")
For the third scenario more emphasis on "our blades will be useless here" ...
First scenario is too hard the first time around, IMHO.

Only thing I could say about the writing is that some longer texts early on are a bit long. (Hence some clues are missed).
Once you get committed it is easier to go through backstory (how they ended up in this situation)... Some writers would suggest making the first chapter only action and no backstory except what occurs logically in the action.

Just suggestions. It's a lot of fun the way it is.
Napoleonic Warfare for Battle for Wesnoth project.

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

Post by skeptical_troll » March 5th, 2017, 4:43 pm

Hi TorMac, thanks for the suggestions. Giving more hints about using dwarves in the third scenario is certainly a good idea, otherwise people will find it out after losing a game (happened to others as well).

Can you explain better what you think might help in the second scenario? Warning the player not to immediately open all passages?
TorMac wrote:Only thing I could say about the writing is that some longer texts early on are a bit long. (Hence some clues are missed).
Do refer to the initial story screens or to the dialog (or both)?

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

Post by TorMac » March 5th, 2017, 8:07 pm

skeptical_troll wrote: Can you explain better what you think might help in the second scenario? Warning the player not to immediately open all passages?
Yes - I think that was the big pitfall for me the first time around.
skeptical_troll wrote: Do refer to the initial story screens or to the dialog (or both)?
I think the screens at the very start of the campaign. By the time I reached the lost city scenario I was way into the dialogue.
Also, the game crashed when a giant myriapod advanced a level. The bug, I think, is in line 16 of Giant_Myriapod.cfg - the units have the 'saurrian' prefix.

Again, awesome campaign.
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Re: Return from the Abyss [SP campaign for 1.12]

Post by skeptical_troll » April 5th, 2017, 2:38 am

The third and final part is out, so the first complete version of the campaign is finally available!
This last part includes other six playable scenarios (one of which is actually really short) and 4 cutscenes (epilogue included). I tested and roughly balanced the new scenarios myself, and small changes and edits to the text are quite likely in the next days (in particular to the last 2), however this should be reasonably close to the final version.

Since the standard mainline music does not have much middle-eastern sounding tracks I dug into the available UMC music production, finding few suitable tracks. This of course increases the size of the add-on, apologies to those who find this inconvenient. I also found here in the forum attack/defense animations for the arif (attached) which, to my incompetent eyes, looks perfectly fine, so I included them in the campaign. I couldn't find who the author is, if anybody knows it, I'd like to give him/her credit.

As usual, feedback and suggestions on anything are really appreciated! :)
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Re: Return from the Abyss [SP campaign for 1.12]

Post by taptap » April 6th, 2017, 8:29 pm

Roaming the dunes

1st bug: the uncovering of hidden units messes up movement of own units. They end up not being able to move the whole movement allotment afterwards. Since you can uncover units not only from front, but also while moving around units later, that can mess up disposition against ogres badly. (I could continue moving, but not the whole way. But it might be related to a problem with my mouse I have. Sorry if that is the case.)

***

I currently have a weirdo problem with my mouse (double clicks "sometimes" when I do a single click), but don't see how this alone would mess up my movement. I will try with a new mouse next :)

The spawning mechanism creates massive amounts of units, sometimes you clear one hex move one tile and it spawns behind you. (Maybe it is my fault for bringing some L1 and using my gold (over 300) since I won't carry it over, but I end with ridiculous amounts of enemies against the ogres.) The code does not read like they were intended to be a major obstacle, but e.g. the undead spawn more than once even though the code says "until all have spawned". Combined with the lack of clarity what you will face, this is rather frustrating.
Last edited by taptap on April 7th, 2017, 10:45 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Return from the Abyss [SP campaign for 1.12]

Post by skeptical_troll » April 6th, 2017, 8:49 pm

taptap wrote:the uncovering of hidden units messes up movement of own units. They end up not being able to move the whole movement allotment afterwards.
Hu, really? The event which spawns enemies should stop the movement, but not remove the remaining MP. So in principle you should be able to continue moving the unit, if it has movement left. At least this is the intended behavior and it works on my version. Or did you mean that this uncovering mechanic breaks planning of the disposition?
EDIT: ok, I'll investigate the issue, if it's a common problem I'll change the implementation. Meanwhile, if you want to fix the issue locally, you can add a [allow_undo][/allow_undo] inside the enter_hex events that trigger the spawning, i.e. lines 554 and 644 of the 18_roaming_the_dunes.cfg file. In that way the movement should not be interrupted (but if you undo you may spawn more enemies, of course)

****
I see, the way the spawning is coded actually disfavors huge numbers of lvl 1, but of course the player cannot know it. I wanted it to be somehow proportional to the amount of units carried for regulatory purposes, since the gold available from the previous scenario is kinda unstable. If you have around ~20 units I can see how this can become a nightmare. I uploaded a new version where I put some upper threshold on the number of enemies spawn at the same time. Also lvl 1 enemies will be more likely then lvl 2 (at least for ogres). The comment I wrote above the undead part was my initial idea, which I kept only on easy.

I'm not able to reproduce your problem with the movement, does it happen for all units? in all terrain types?

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Re: Return from the Abyss [SP campaign for 1.12]

Post by ForestDragon » April 8th, 2017, 5:51 am

Hi, so, i think you should make the music come in a seperate add-on, which is a dependency, something like 'Return from the Abyss Music' (quite a few addons use this method). this will:
1.reduce the upload/download time of the campaign itself. mainly the updates.
2.make it more 'user-with-slow-connection'-friendly', since it'll make the music optional
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Re: Return from the Abyss [SP campaign for 1.12]

Post by skeptical_troll » April 8th, 2017, 11:40 am

ForestDragon wrote:Hi, so, i think you should make the music come in a seperate add-on
Thanks for the tip, the next release will have the music on a separate add-on.

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Re: Return from the Abyss [SP campaign for 1.12]

Post by taptap » April 10th, 2017, 7:52 pm

Roaming the Dunes: Much easier with low initial unit count. Outmanoeuvered the main orc host in the desert. (I took no carryover as no carryover at all, hopefully I did not damage myself for much later.) Didn't manage to focus on Yold, sadly (he survived though, but I didn't take him into town in the next one). The whole thing might not exactly be as you envisioned it, but avoiding more fighting by doing something as simple as going in circles felt good in such a long combat intensive campaign.

Uqraba's Frontier: Uh, bad news. Where is dad? I love how you made an animation solely for not screaming across the battlefield. It is almost as if the map is that large only to heighten the impact of this fact. (Chose the most deserving = veteran infantry for going to town.)

P.S. What is the purpose of the Qanas / Hadaf unit line? Anyone using them? They just feel so much worse than the alternatives, so close to the outlaw ranger in damage output. Also ... all khalifate cav is quite brittle at higher levels isn't it? Still great to have some after all the time infantry only play.
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Re: Return from the Abyss [SP campaign for 1.12]

Post by skeptical_troll » April 10th, 2017, 10:16 pm

I think outmaneuvering is perfectly fine, given that there is finally a terrain advantage. I did some changes at the spawning mechanism, as it felt a bit flawed. I went back to the initial idea of only spawning enemies once, up to a total number and that's it. I also added a line of dialog at the beginning suggesting to avoid overrecruiting, at least for the first stage. I finally understood what the problem was with the movement points, it's actually specifically mentioned in the wiki, it happens when the hex triggering the event is already occupied by one of your units (that's why it didn't show up on basic debug). Now I corrected for that and it should be fixed.

My take on Qanas/Hadaf is that they are a bit more versatile than the Saree/Jawal liminal line, as they have enough HP/resistance to occasionally hold a line and being lawful they benefit from the +25% at day. I only advance them from the cheaper Rami though, not from the expensive Khaiyals.

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Re: Return from the Abyss [SP campaign for 1.12]

Post by taptap » April 11th, 2017, 6:25 pm

The Sewer of Uqraba: This can turn legit hard. This is not the first attempt and was played with map knowledge to a point, so I kept slow units in a suitable place to move on. Going completely with 6 mp units would have been better. Misplayed the cistern where I stupidly moved too far at first, thus had more fighting to do than otherwise necessary. Dedicated to the hero rats, especially the two who held the bridge after the cistern for several turns. Finished with 2 potions left, but I had several (3-4?) cave agility bug heals (although I lost quite a bit of health to the bug earlier as well).

Dwarves: Reunification with the people trailing us is suitably comedic. Not sure I like Othrondor's deal and the whole ankh business. This magic chain seems over the top to me.

I understand that you can't give me dwarven veterans for balance reasons, but I sure looked whether some of my old L2 and L3 from the outpost defence are still there :whistle:
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Re: Return from the Abyss [SP campaign for 1.12]

Post by skeptical_troll » April 11th, 2017, 10:45 pm

This level is indeed on the hard end at the moment, and things tend to get complicated at the cistern, usually. I might need a better warning for the players, or to slow down the wave from the west. I should also make clear that potions are to be used only in this scenario.

Those 2 rats really did you a great service!

story
Spoiler:

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Re: Return from the Abyss [SP campaign for 1.12]

Post by taptap » April 11th, 2017, 11:18 pm

Spoiler:
Big part of the difficulty is that I have only three mixed fighters (and brought 3 melee specialists and got two more + Ahlir on the way). Since I have to keep running I can hardly stop to destroy the enemies coming after me and only the retaliation is keeping them away. Still think the choice of units was good. The dragonspear wielder and two L4 with damage output and slow, two batal and one tineen seems a balanced choice for me. (No cav since I cheated by looking at the scenario titles before.)
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