Why do people quit playing?

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grrr
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Re: Why do people quit playing?

Post by grrr » April 15th, 2008, 1:04 pm

Currently attack::attack(.) in actions.cpp looks like this:

Code: Select all

while (attacksLeft)
do

  if (attacksLeftForAttacker)
  then
    randomNumber = getRandom()
    ...
  fi
  
  if (attacksLeftForDefender)
  then
    randomNumber = getRandom()
    ...
  fi
done
So both attacker and defender get different random numbers in each attack iteration. That's a bit funny since together with how damage is applied (all or nothing) it's clearly the worst random based battle logic implementation you could choose. Considering that the fairer choice - attacker and defender share the same random number during an attack loop iteration - would also spare some code lines (only one sync check necessary etc.) you can only assume that *gasp* Dave did it on purpose!!1!!eleven!! :twisted:

But honestly - you literally *ask* people to quit wesnoth if they cannot accept that worst case scenarios are not only possible but quite likely to happen. In each game you will see it happen probably at least once if not more often, and now wesnoth even managed to drive off a bunch of pro poker players (ironic, isn't it?). In the long term it seems to slow down the growth rate of the wesnoth community considerably (now whether that's good or bad is another thing).

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Re: Why do people quit playing?

Post by PingPangQui » April 15th, 2008, 2:04 pm

grrr wrote:So both attacker and defender get different random numbers in each attack iteration. That's a bit funny since together with how damage is applied (all or nothing) it's clearly the worst random based battle logic implementation you could choose.
Why? This is exactly how I would expect it.
grrr wrote:Considering that the fairer choice - attacker and defender share the same random number during an attack loop iteration - would also spare some code lines (only one sync check necessary etc.)
This is no reason. It's a fair game (when setup right in multiplayer), thus fair play = play regarding the rules. Whether your idea would spare some code lines is totally irrelevant, since it would change the present rules.
grrr wrote:But honestly - you literally *ask* people to quit wesnoth if they cannot accept that worst case scenarios are not only possible but quite likely to happen. In each game you will see it happen probably at least once if not more often, and now wesnoth even managed to drive off a bunch of pro poker players (ironic, isn't it?).
Who cares? Randomness is actually what makes this game really interesting, i.e. there is no foolproof strategy.
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Re: Why do people quit playing?

Post by chains » April 15th, 2008, 4:06 pm

Wesnoth has GREAT replay value is doing a LOT to improve the replay value every release. Having played Wesnoth addictively for years, I have quit many times and come back just as many times. My situation isn't the most common group, but I think there are many like me. So, here is why I come back to Wesnoth and why I leave it.

The good things about Wesnoth,
1) It is open source, and has hundreds of contributors and a GREAT community
2) Extremely active programmers and developers making the game better EVERY Day!
3) It runs on my intel-based graphics laptop.
4) Campaigns are persistent! Being able to recall past units was the most fun I ever had until I got better than the AI...
5) I can install it on Ubuntu (with out too much trouble compiling from source)
6) Its the turn-based version of my favorite games :)
7) The factions are extremely balanced
8) There are great players who play the game often.

Now for some of the bad things.
1) I can't tell the difference between newbies and pros before I get stuck playing against one. Short of memorizing 200 names a day I just have to suffer. I don't want to play with someone who has never played online. So, to play one game that I enjoy I have to put up with 5-6 really bad games. Somedays I get nothing but noobs all day. Wesnoth provides me no feedback on who the new players are. I don't mind taking a charity game or 20, but I'd like to know that before I start the game. I end up just booting people or quitting games after they recruit. Not separating the vet games from the newbie games leads to mistreated newbies who quickly leave, and grumpy vets who can't find good games.

2) I can't tell who the truly great players are. For me playing the best of the best and losing is the only real replay value Wesnoth has once I mastered the AI.

3) Multi-player has zero persistence. In the campaigns you achieve something, in multi-player you just waste your time, to do it all over again 3 hours later. With nothing to earn, the game quickly feels pointless. So what if I quit a game it won't affect my future at all?

4) Good games get stuck REALLY often. A continuous back and forth if either side pushes too hard, the game is a loss. This is especially true of 1v1 maps where the villages are really far apart. Niether side can attack, and if one does, he loses his ass. Even Isars has this problem with 4 good players and balanced teams it takes 2-4 hours... and the game often comes down a simple single 50/50 rng roll...

5) The only 2v2 map I can complete a game on in less than an hour is Isars. And 1v1 games aren't dynamic enough, too few units... too little variation in alignments.

6) The RNG screws many good games. I can't tell you how many times I've watched 6 units be unable to kill a single suarian... "odd" rolls can make wesnoth fun, but they also make it pointless very quickly. You should make the mod that makes 50% damage determined and 50% random an official option box as the maintainer of that addon is long gone years ago now. That was a really fun mod that went a long way to make players feel better about RNG.... RNG might not determine who wins or loses... but a couple bad rolls in a row and the rest of the game is a lot less fun. It has an extremely powerful affect on the "fun factor" of a game. If I am up by more than 20 points from ev and winning I feel like I got cheated out of a tough win. If I'm down by more than 20 I feel like I got cheated out of a tough win

The first thing wesnoth needs to do is define its users by requirement categories. There are many different types of wesnoth players all looking for something different from wesnoth.

Here are some solutions to my user category:
1) Have the lobby flag user names that haven't played at least 10 games So I can stop playing with people who are only in the lobby to test the game once and never learn to play. (I'd prefer a nice icon system that battle net has: win games, earn icons. Brain dead simple.

2) Rate players who want to be rated. (thank god for eye rouge )

3) Add some persistence to the multiplayer. Even the forum has that... make lots of posts have a cool title under your name. Why can't wesnoth do the same thing? Play lots of games have a cool lobby profile. If phpbb can do it why can't wesnoth?

4) Make maps that are not just more balanced, but also more fun. making a map perfectly even for all sides in all conditions has the affect of making the map stagnant. Symmetrical maps with villages really really far apart, with only 2 obvious lanes to attack on are really boring. One reason why Star craft was so god damn fun is because you NEVER knew what the other guy might do. Drop shuttle in the back of your resources... maybe hit your expansion... maybe raid your main force... maybe hit your ally in any number of differentways. In wesnoth I can almost always predict the other guy's moves because there is very little choice once you understand what the good moves actually are. I understand the problem of first mover advantage, and start time make maps that have villages to close together unbalanced. So, how about we randomize who gets to take the first move, so the host isn't always the one with the advantage?

There is nothing wrong with making maps that have small advantages in them if you randomize which player gets that advantage. Or change who has the advantage from turn to turn. If I am slightly better than player B, I'm HAPPY to give him the advantage so the game is more fun. Especially if the advantage is tactical and not so obvious. Granted I can just give him 25-50 gold... and I would if I could tell he was a newbie before the game started.

I'll come back to play Wesnoth with every major release for years to come.

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Re: Why do people quit playing?

Post by Velensk » April 15th, 2008, 7:25 pm

I realy feel diffrently, I'd say beating another player (assuming it's a good one) is more of an accomplishment than toasting the AI in a campain. I'd also say that most good games I play don't stall, and what's more, the player that attacks is not nessisarily the one that will lose. Infact I think I've seen more games lost by people trying to defend when they shouldn't, then I've seen a well planned and executed offence break the attacker.
Last edited by Velensk on April 15th, 2008, 7:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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SumnerH
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Re: Why do people quit playing?

Post by SumnerH » April 15th, 2008, 7:27 pm

chains wrote:Wesnoth has GREAT replay value is doing a LOT to improve the replay value every release...
2) I can't tell who the truly great players are. For me playing the best of the best and losing is the only real replay value Wesnoth has once I mastered the AI.
This is odd, it seems to me like you say that the game has great replay value. Then you say that the main storyline campaigns have no replay value, only the online death match part does. To me, one limited part of the non-storyline game being playable against other people is not having "GREAT replay value".

On the online PVP stuff, it sounds like a key addition would be stats tracking--having the lobby list players win/loss ratios or (better) ELO scores, possibly with snazzy titles for particular levels of ELO. Maybe with detail pages that have separate ELOs by faction, 1v1/2v2/whatever, by map, fog/nofog, and so forth--and total wins by map/faction/etc, most consecutive wins, whatever.

Generally, the more stats you list the more fun it is for players; even if you're not the all-around best, there's always something to excel at. And that keeps players interested, which means they keep playing and hopefully getting better.

The other key would be tournaments; organize an annual single or double-elimination tournament, perhaps seeded by ELOs and open to whoever wants to play, and perhaps with a number of knockout brackets (e.g. everyone knocked out in the first round plays a "beginner" tournament among themselves) and possibly a handicapped draw-your-partner 2v2 tournament as well (if you have 30 players in the tournament, pair the top 15 randomly with the bottom 15 rated).

The nethack tournament lists a lot of stats: overall ascension rates, rates broken down by what race/class you play, special conduct games (foodless, atheist, etc), low scoring ascensions by race/role, fastest ascensions (by turn-count and by real-time), etc along with some "reach" trophies (e.g. the Full Monty with Bells On requires ascending all 13 roles consecutively, in order, and in the process ascending every race/gender/special conduct/alignment) that may or may not be won every year.

Personally, though, I'm more interested in the main game than the online play.

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Re: Why do people quit playing?

Post by megane » April 15th, 2008, 8:28 pm

......I'm sorry, but this is making my head hurt. Wesnoth is not Halo. Wesnoth is not World of Warcraft. The reason you don't get 3 silver stars by your name for having won 357 out of 400 games is because it's a casual environment, where no one gets ostracized by the community just because they're a poor player, and because, being free, there's no reason to suck people in with addictive, oh-man-only-3-more-hours gameplay.

I do, however, realize that there exist so-called "hardcore" players, who are apparently unable to enjoy themselves unless they know for an absolute fact that they are better than everyone else. Well, you know what? Join the ladder. It keeps your stats. It allows you to know how good the person against whom you're playing is. And best of all, those of us who don't mind losing don't have to "get in your way."

As for the randomness "ruining a game you could otherwise have won": if a few bad rolls made you lose, I'm sorry to tell you this, but it's you who lost it, not luck. One of the most important (but often ignored) lessons to learn is how to set up so that the game's randomness doesn't affect your strategy overmuch; do you really think that Doc, for example, has a lot of games "ruined" by a turn of bad luck? No; he's good enough that his strategies can survive setbacks like that. In my opinion, the moment you stop being a newbie and start becoming an actually skilled player is the moment you begin planning for the RNG to hate on you.

:wink:

Sorry to get all ranty, but come on, people. Seriously. Learn to stop worrying and love the RNG. :mrgreen:
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Re: Why do people quit playing?

Post by eyerouge » April 15th, 2008, 9:06 pm

megane wrote:One of the most important (but often ignored) lessons to learn is how to set up so that the game's randomness doesn't affect your strategy overmuch; do you really think that Doc, for example, has a lot of games "ruined" by a turn of bad luck? No; he's good enough that his strategies can survive setbacks like that.
You're right to some degree, depending on what mad stunt a player pulls - it's obvious that you shouldn't risk the whole game on some weird odds.

The problem is that what you claim is also false seen from another perspective: You can never "plan" for the rng unless you have a 100% chance to succeed. Nobody can do that, not Doc, not Dave nor anyone else. Sure, the difference between a new player such as myself and a veteran would be that the veteran has plenty of backup plans and precautions, that the veteran knows that he can send yet another unit to the attack if needed etc etc, but in the end you don't have any guarantee really.

The most pressing part of the perceived problem is that it is often fully rational to play with the odds on your side and that it even then yields results which you could not have foreseen (after all, if you foresaw them you wouldn't ever fail.. and since the odds are with you, you still believe that you will get away with whatever you are doing=).

Say I attack unit x, the defender, with 3 of my units, and that the defender has only 30% defense in the given terrain. If for the sake of simplicity my attacking units are not needed elsewhere on the map it would usually make perfect sense to attack the defender, especially if I know nothing can kill them off the next turn and so on.

What I believe that some people are trying to say in here is that there are plenty of cases in Wesnoth where it doesn't matter if you do the most rational choices - the outcome could still be something totally different than the expected. That is a problem for any strategical game, and the larger the problem, the less strategical the game gets. (Notice that I'm not saying that Wesnoth has this particular problem to a larger degree than any other comparable game, nor that I'm convinced anything should be changed even if I loved chains suggestion about only letting 50% of the damage be rng and the rest guaranteed.)

Now, all this would of course depend on how you define a "rational choice" and what role rng chances play in rational decisions. Most scholars would probably admit that a decision that goes against the chances is less likely to be rational (again, all depending on the rest of the scenario as it's impossible to speak of the rationality of a choice if you're not familliar with the circumstances). Blunt examples: I don't jump from an airplane without a parachute, because chances are high that I'll die. I do ride cars because even if there are some good chances I'll die doing that, I deem them small enough and prioritize getting from point a to b to a degree where I'm ready to take the chances.

My point is that it's not really fair to claim that you can "plan around" the rng. Yes, you can play cautious and you can always assume the worst case scenarios and have plan after plan after plan, but the fact remains: You won't tame the rng - the rng will tame you ;) Needless to say, veteran players are the very definition better at handling bad rng rolls. That doesn't prove anything since that wasn't the critique, granted I understood it correct.

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Re: Why do people quit playing?

Post by DEATH_is_undead » April 15th, 2008, 9:35 pm

Maybe the games based too much on luck? I find that makes games annoying...
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Re: Why do people quit playing?

Post by Wintermute » April 15th, 2008, 10:10 pm

eyerouge wrote:The problem is that what you claim is also false seen from another perspective: You can never "plan" for the rng unless you have a 100% chance to succeed. Nobody can do that, not Doc, not Dave nor anyone else.
Sure you can. Anyone can, even Doc, or Dave!! It's called Expectation, and you really can't do much without it! It's used all the time in the 'real world' to predict likely outcomes. Anyone who plays poker uses it to know when to bet. In wesnoth, you can't really play WITHOUT an idea of expected value. If you ballpark that you have a 60% chance to gain from an attack, with not too much risk of a counterattack, then you should go ahead with the attack, etc.
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eyerouge
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Re: Why do people quit playing?

Post by eyerouge » April 15th, 2008, 10:27 pm

Wintermute wrote:
eyerouge wrote:The problem is that what you claim is also false seen from another perspective: You can never "plan" for the rng unless you have a 100% chance to succeed. Nobody can do that, not Doc, not Dave nor anyone else.
Sure you can. Anyone can, even Doc, or Dave!! It's called Expectation, and you really can't do much without it! /../ If you ballpark that you have a 60% chance to gain from an attack, with not too much risk of a counterattack, then you should go ahead with the attack, etc.
I read meganes claims as if they went "beyond" expectation. He writes:
megane wrote:do you really think that Doc, for example, has a lot of games "ruined" by a turn of bad luck? No; he's good enough that his strategies can survive setbacks like that. /../ set up so that the game's randomness doesn't affect your strategy overmuch;
What I tried to show, in defesce for those who always whine about the rng, is that they have some kind of point as the most rational move, taking everything (including rng chances) in account, can still prove to be lethal for you. It's kind of crossing the street: Logic says it's okey to do it in most cases and that you won't die when you do it. Hence it's rational to cross it if you a) want to get to the other side and b) there are no cars in sight and no cars are expected to pop up from nowhere etc. If you cross the street, and get hit by a drunk, eventhough the conditions a & b were met, one can't really blame you for not being rational. It would be fairer to say that you had "bad luck", if one uses that terminology to begin with. Hence, it follows that since there de facto is a rng at all in Wesnoth, it must be true that some times the better player doesn't really win. (I'm still not an advocate of the theory for that this would be a reason for people leaving, and I'm also not claiming that all this matters in the typical average game.)

Edit: I think it's fair to say that most rng complainers overestimate the role the rng plays, while at the same time people who are in defense of the rng seem to underestimate it at times. :P Nobody can ever become a veteran in Wesnoth without apparent skills. That said, fact remains that rationality alone won't guarantee you a win in here, as it would in for example chess.
Last edited by eyerouge on April 15th, 2008, 10:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Why do people quit playing?

Post by Fosprey » April 15th, 2008, 10:29 pm

You can play little about luck. But you can't play too much around it. I will present a scenario i happend to have the other day, there was a Front elvish fighter with 28 life, and and 8XP to level up, and was protection a line of fighters, archers and shamans. it was day, i had leader ship i was loyal, i had 5 mage, and 5 spearman, all in range, i need to remove the front fighter to have access to the archers and shamans and fighters with the rest of my army.
What should i do don't attack? plz. Of course i sended my 3 mages with leadership at day to pawn the fighter, THEY FAILED, the fighter survived and i couldn't move forward the rrest of my army, and just attack the sides, next turn, HE double attack my mage, level up the fighter, and he destry my 3 mages, ALL THIS AT DAY WTIH ME WITH LEADERSHIP. i lost half my army, next turn, i couldn't kill a unit, and he proceed to destroy the remaining of my army...
You can't fight that, you just can't, all this at day with leadership, granted.

As i said, since there is luck you don't pull small edges, but you will definitly pull big edges, but if they fail, you are screwed.

I agree with chains about almost everthing.

Final point, i spend all they day learning how the WML code ,and it seems pretty easy.
I will look for people who know C++ to see if they want to help with other parts.
So i will also this opportunity to ask something that i didn't know where to ask, i want to start a thread about making a less luck based era. But i don;t know where to make it, i woudl guess i should pt it on ERa and faction CONTRIBUTIONS, but this far i'm not contributing anything, in fact i would like to make the thread for people to start contributing ideas. So where should i post it?

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Re: Why do people quit playing?

Post by Aethaeryn » April 15th, 2008, 10:36 pm

eyerouge wrote:I don't follow: Wesnoth supports random maps, doesn't it? Not that I ever used the function, but from what I've seen it's there. There are also plenty of maps one can download from the net, and also a map editor that lets people draw their own.

Surely this can't be any real reason for why people leave Wesnoth.
Note how I said "better" random maps. The current random map system is horrible and I've only ever seen it used by newbies (at least for MP, but I doubt many more people play random maps on hotseat). The maps are just so horribly imbalanced, that even just a little bit better an algorithm to get mainline-style maps would be 10x as good. I mean, huge chunks of mountain in the middle of the map? I know it's not that easy or it would've already been rewritten, but it shouldn't be that hard for an increase in replay values of the game by changing the method for how it handles maps, by default generating them in a more balanced (though not perfectly balanced) manner.
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Re: Why do people quit playing?

Post by Noy » April 15th, 2008, 11:04 pm

fosprey wrote: Final point, i spend all they day learning how the WML code ,and it seems pretty easy.
I will look for people who know C++ to see if they want to help with other parts.
So i will also this opportunity to ask something that i didn't know where to ask, i want to start a thread about making a less luck based era. But i don;t know where to make it, i woudl guess i should pt it on ERa and faction CONTRIBUTIONS, but this far i'm not contributing anything, in fact i would like to make the thread for people to start contributing ideas. So where should i post it?
There was already a less luck mod made by sauron. It failed largely due to a lack of interest. He made one appeal on here to see if there was interest in maintaining the mod, and didn't feel there was enough so he stopped updating it. You're welcome to create an era, but I think you will not find much support among the playing public. We've actually started to lock luck threads because we find them a distraction. Exceptions might be made however.


Eyerouge I would have liked to post in this thread but I haven't had the time. Basically I believe that Wesnoth is a very special game that really will only interest a narrow segment of the gaming public... a reality that we should accept and embrace. For people like Chains and Fosprey, the most I can say is that wesnoth might not be the game for you.

As for the place of randomness in strategy. I've posted extensively about the subject, much of it in regards to Sauron's less luck mode. I'll reproduce part of the comments from that thread here.
http://forum.wesnoth.org/viewtopic.php?p=171704#p171704
Noy wrote:
Sauron wrote: see above.

To all other ppl who want to say I made this mod because I were losing because I am a bad player - for your information - it was already written here, waste no time and place in this thread. Go throwing dices and call it strategy game.
Okay here is where I disagree. There are players who are very skilled at this game. As sapient pointed out the game is deterministic already, just with a random element, which you scale. Now there are players who win on a constant basis... not because they are lucky, but because they are skilled at strategy.

Where I disagree with you is your assertion that Random elements are not realistic. Actually they are, and really "strategy" is about minimizing how uncertainty can affect military operations. Combat is never straight forward. Units are often delayed due to unusally strong resistance, or may crush an enemy faster than anticipated. If we look today at the revolution in military affairs, its not about increadibly powerful new weapons or advances in destructive technologies, rather its the application of information technologies into warfighting in order to reduce the fog of war, IE "the random elements" in conflict.

All the top tacticians in the world have to deal with "random elements" and often do so by putting themselves into a place where they can minimize luck's effects on their position. During the first Gulf War, Colin Powell when asked why did he deploy five carriers quipped "because I couldn't deploy six" That is because conventional military's strategy towards dealing with uncertainty is by brining to bear overwhelming force. Military victories today are deterministic only because so much weaponry is expended that there is no way one could lose. This is what is behind the US military's Maneuver and firepower based doctrine.

In this game, I would argue that the best players actually take luck into account. They try to set up situations where they can minimize the influence of luck in a game. That often means ensuring that one posessess overwhelming power at a decisive point of contact. Interestingly enough I've found that 3-1 ratios of force (which is a standard in Military thought) roughly correspond a winning fomula when one side attacks another. Decisive power changes from unit to unit (because of different resistances on the part of the defender) and I find it has interesting results.

The random element in the game brings with it realism. As combat in Wesnoth is a simulation, there is no real way that we can simulate exactly what happens in combat. We can't have real elves and humans slugging it out, so we use randomness to give us a simulation of combat, within an overly deterministic model. Removing randomness is actually in itself unrealistic, and in some ways reduces the strategic realism of a game. The US army can't bank on killing 1 insurgent for every 40 rifle shots, so why should the game be 1 orc for 2 attacking archers? the world ain't that perfect, and neither should the game.
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Re: Why do people quit playing?

Post by PingPangQui » April 16th, 2008, 7:12 am

Megane, you have spoken from my heart.
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Re: Why do people quit playing?

Post by JW » April 16th, 2008, 8:53 am

Lastmerlin wrote:Ok long post. I hope you enjoy reading and dont care about some language mistakes :)
Everyone should go back and read this post. It hits on so many things from perspectives I think have been neglected.

I've stopped playing a few times, for various reasons either combined or alone. I'll list them all here as well as reasons why I've come back several times:

Reasons why I've left:
1) RNG pissed me off for a few weeks - the psychology is important (as lastmerlin pointed out) and I'll address that at a later day.
2) played other video games that gave more interesting replay value
3) Noy pissed me off
4) real life

Reasons why I've come back:
1) The EoM
2) the people: I love running into Doc, Aeth, Bece, jb, and guys like that on the server or in the forums. Jetryl, megane, Eternal, and others continue to impress me with their works.
3) There really isn't any. I surely don't play Wesnoth any more. I didn't even for months as I updated the EoM really - only a rare test here and there. I pretty much figured out all the strategies of Wesnoth as I wrote the HTP guide. It was pretty easy once I got the hang of it. Sure, some things were changed, but as has been mentioned, the advice is still sound to this day for the most part. The only real changes in 2 years have been to holy/arcane, and the cheap units. The Clasher also got firststrike. There really haven't been many major strategic changes in Wesnoth, and that makes it difficult to hang around for a gamer like myself.

There's a lot more I want to say, but I'm afraid of overloading people's brains with one post. Perhaps I'll write more later.

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