Invasion from the Unknown 2.1.1 [Wesnoth 1.14]

Discussion and development of scenarios and campaigns for the game.

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Do you want this add-on on 1.14 NOW before After the Storm is ready?

Poll ended at June 14th, 2018, 5:59 am

Yes
7
32%
Hell YES
15
68%
Nah
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 22

Whiskeyjack
Posts: 393
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Location: Germany

Re: Invasion from the Unknown 2.1.1 [Wesnoth 1.14]

Post by Whiskeyjack » October 14th, 2018, 4:55 pm

Hey Shadowm,

I played through most of IftU months ago and just finished the last few turns today, here is the feedback I noted, while playing through the campaign. I played on version 2.1.1, easy, on Wesnoth 1.14.

On a more general note, I can say that after playing through the campaign again for the first time in years, I can now get, why you do not think so highly of a lot of the story - it is in some parts a weaker rip-off of UtBS, especially in the
Spoiler:
All that said, I wouldn't be as critical as you sometimes sounded of your own work, because I think some flashes of greatness are already there - the world-building in the background and some things concerning character development are really well done. Also, Mal Keshar is simply a great joy to play with, I really like his humor and think you did a great job working with his character!

For the scenarios: some gameplay, some typos, some story stuff.

Episode 1
Scenario 2: A Real Confrontation:
Scenario 4: Over the Sands:
Scenario 8: Errand of Hope:
Scenario 10: The Source of Light:
Scenario 11: Strike on Herthgar:
Episode 2
Scenario 14: Bye and Behold:
Scenario 14y: The Grand Council:
Scenario 15: Parting Ways:
Scenario 16: Dawn of War:
Scenario 20: The Heart:
Scenario 22B: Dark Hive:
Scenario 23B: Until Death:
Best regards!
Under blood-red skies an old man sits in the ruins of Carthage contemplating prophecy.

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Sadaharu
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Re: Invasion from the Unknown 2.1.1 [Wesnoth 1.14]

Post by Sadaharu » October 17th, 2018, 10:24 pm

Some parts of the story will be easier to understand once you've played After the Storm.

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shadowm
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Re: Invasion from the Unknown 2.1.1 [Wesnoth 1.14]

Post by shadowm » October 18th, 2018, 4:07 am

About the elvish NPCs (mild spoilers for AtS and UtBS as well):
Also, I tend to see the “you must be this attentive to enter this ride” check as a good thing rather than a bad thing since this culls out at least half of the people who wouldn’t be able to stomach AtS — or what’s supposed to come next, for that matter.

Late IftU spoilers:
Author of the unofficial UtBS sequels Invasion from the Unknown and After the Storm.
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SpiderAja
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Re: Invasion from the Unknown 2.1.1 [Wesnoth 1.14]

Post by SpiderAja » October 20th, 2018, 11:17 am

Spoiler:

denispir
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Re: Invasion from the Unknown 2.1.1 [Wesnoth 1.14]

Post by denispir » January 14th, 2019, 11:56 am

shadowm wrote:
June 9th, 2016, 7:23 am
In the meantime, perhaps someone from the audience here wants to figure out why this code wasn’t working as intended and computed the second region as if it had a radius of 10 rather than 5. Because I couldn’t — I just decided to replace it with the closest equivalent instead.
[This answer may sound a bit pedant, in addition to very late, but the intention is actually just helpful...]

Possibly someone or yourself found the actual source of the bug already (i have only read a few posts after this one, including answers by @gfgtdf, who is right it seems, see below). I guess the actual reason is a difference between natural language logic and math or software logic. In eg english you may say "[if] unit is here or there", while in formal logic you'd have to say "[if] (unitX is here) or (unit is there)". See what I mean? Formal logic makes logical operations (and, or, not..) on assertions which in software commonly represent conditions of potential actions or criteria of selection or sort or whatnot. You are here operating an OR on plain data, not assertions.

If you translate into (pseudo)code, you will immediately catch the issue:

Code: Select all

# Which is right?
if unit.pos = (x1,y1) or (x2, y2)
if (unit.pos = (x1,y1)) or (unit.pos = (x2, y2))
# Or closer to your case:
if (is_in_area unit (x1,y1,r1) or (x2, y2,r2))
if (is_in_area unit (x1,y1,r1)) or (is_in_area unit (x2, y2,r2))
The issue is also similar to those 2 versions of switch syntax:

Code: Select all

switch with n
    1: action1
    2: action2
switch
    case n = 1, action1
    case n = 2, action2
Because of its base syntax that makes code alike data to a certain point, WML is very lax concerning logic and more generally meaning (and can only be thus, or it would have a huge decoding cost). Thus, your formal-logically "wrong" expression is decoded and executed anyway, which means that the engine will somehow operate an OR on plain data, as said above, and what actually happens then depends on implementation details, but I guess that gfgtdf's interpretation is very right. (This would mean that is does not in fact exactly allow a radius of 5 IIUC.)

denispir
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Joined: March 14th, 2013, 12:26 am

Re: Invasion from the Unknown 2.1.1 [Wesnoth 1.14]

Post by denispir » January 14th, 2019, 5:46 pm

Holà @Shadowm!

I have played (medium difficulty) and greatly enjoyed the first part of IftU, enjoyed more than in a previous playthrough many years ago. Actually there were then imo annoying aspects/flaws that caused me to only play it through on my 3rd attempt. I initially had the intention to play more riskily as I usually do, accepting more deaths; but actually only did so for the first 2 scenarios (2 & 4 losses) and S11 Strike on Herthgar (3 losses, all l3) to try and kill all leaders in such few time. Here are some comments mainly on gameplay, plus potential proposals.

Warning: Very very very long post ahead! [Edit: introduced sections.]
S01 Border Patrol:
This battle is always pretty difficult for me during the first turns of real combat, especially at night indeed, then all is rather too easy (so that I always lose a unit by excess of confidence). Though the new version seems to flow better. I would maybe test some of the following:
  • Reduce ennemy initial gold very slightly, for an amount ranging from enough to force them recruiting about 2 units less costly, up to recruiting 1 less unit altogether.
  • Increase their income, in part by placing a few more villages that they will logically reclaim, so that it is not so high in both the initial and final phases of the scenario.
  • Give ennemies leaders bodyguards, maybe 1 to a leader, 2 to the other one.
  • Also, in the next and further scenarios we will meet a hoard of new unit types, in fact whole unit lines, some of them more or less surprising (berserker dogs, flying demons, shaxthal, invokers). In this first scenario we only confront very standard unit types, except for the invoker (deadly magical attack but so easy to kill, like the dark adept line).I would add in Border Patrol one surprising type plus one not so, thus announcing what will come later. Maybe those would show up only later in the fight (I mean change recruit list/pattern mid-scenario).
  • I finally wonder about the falcons, would give them a role (what?), if only for fun just like their sheer presence. Say, there is a nesting area on this landscape, in which we or enemies will surely wander, where units there get rushed to and attacked by all falcons. I would also change their default movement (from plain random?) to some kind of form, albeit semi random, eg just a trend to move around the landscape.
  • Or better, add rabbits as falcon preys? (Look for the "wolves" [predator] Lua micro AI.)
S02 A Real Confrontation:
The hardest scenario, has always been AFAIK, though again seems to flow better after Reconstruction ;). I would still not change much, since some harder scenarios are a Good Thing, except maybe find ways to introduce diversity of toughness, both in space and time; read: space and time rythm. About space, maybe make or increase the difference of gold (start/income) between ennemies. About time, rather than usual & artificial reinforcements unjustified by the story, what about placing treasures or artifacts in villages or other constructions like temples. This may be justified (possibly with the help of dialogue) by the fact that, IIUC, we are now fighting right inside this elven folk's territory, the Valley, as also well shown by the landscape, and possibly even at its core... Then, enemies finding most of such treasures or artifacts before us would increase their power or gold. (EDIT: after reflexion this kind of surprise may be too much for an early and already difficult scenario.)
03 Memories from the Depth:
Rather easy except for final confrontation with Mal Keshar. I made the mistake of not recruiting fresh potential suiciders (had enough of the shaman & hunter lines), even vaguely remembering of him, so I lost a prowler in trying to slow him, my first non-hero l3; but cheated by restarting the turn.
Possibly indirectly suggest the player (maybe need to form more/new troops taken among the Valley elven folk).
  • Also, this I noticed by replaying the last turn more than once, Mal Keshar's behaviour looks unpredictable: I cannot find the logic behind him attacking or instead staying on keep whenever a unit enters his range. Is there any random at play? (not a critic) [Note: no time or energy to explore the scenario source.]
I take this one for a half story/dialogue scenario. Even having played already, thus somewhat knowing not only what is told here but the whole story as we learn it stage after stage, there is for me much too much information about backstory, context, history of Irdya (and more!). Too much to memorise, even just to understand all at once here.
  • I would place some basic pieces of the contextual & historical puzzle in narrator-told [story] pages and just a little more in dialogue (reluctantly, by Anlindë to Galas), all before this scene with Mal Keshar.
  • Also, what the h*ll does Anlindë do to Mal Keshar? I noticed nothing on screen, in data, or gameplay, except that I was told by dialogue that something happened.
04 Over the Sands:
fluid and rather easy, no comment
05a Crossfire:
I always love scenarios where enemies also fight one another. Usually just for fun I try to balance them by constantly fighting more against the one that presently looks dominant. In this scenario, it was even more fun to do so from the central oasis, also good form a lanscape harmony perspective. By me this time the outlaws were the toughest to exterminate (!), but I think last time the undead were stronger. I also only kept my rider by sheer luck when its leader jumped from the keep onto its back.

Note: those both sides globally move and defend badly on sand, so that initial luck plays a great role, especially whether some early footpads, only decent unit on this terrain, survive and possibly reach a village; near the enemy castle since the AI still has no notion of "retreat for heal". It is also somewhat surprising that those native folks are not easy on their native lands.
  • Thus, I would consider using the Khalifate instead (Dunefolk I mean), more or less anywhere we presently see outlaws. This, despite your remark some time ago (top of page 2 of this thread) that "they wouldn’t fit there due to their supposed dislike of magic". Well, what magic are you talking about? Outlaws also don't use magic anyway...
S6 Moon Valley:
First: why this name?

Battle scenario against an alliance of several enemy sides always are or rather can be pleasant and interesting, provided an original landsape leads us to an original, adapted tactic, which may be the case here. However, as others have said, with 3 4 orcish enemies, each a little strong, this scenario is strangely & surprisingly easy: just because enemy units remain close to their keeps instead of fighting us, except for (part of) the stronger NW enemy side, so that we can concentrate on one at a time. This is not justified by the story (and I cannot find a reason), nore are justified the late reinforcement of the main enemy.
  • Maybe this is an attempt to provide novelty in such a common battle against multiple sides, but I would here suggest another way of doing so, namely introduce another team. This time only one, and instead of undead or outlaws/Dunefolk, since we are in mountains and close to the entry of a cave network, I am thinking at trolls or even better dwarves, thus storywise announcing our future meeting with their folk and King. There may be a dwarf patrol (reminding of S01 Border Patrol), possibly an especially strong one due to Chaos threats already known to the local dwarf folk. Then, at the end of the battle, if not all are dead, there may be a short dialogue and the leader may lend us a loyal scout as guide through the caves. See also below. Indeed, this all would require orcs actually fighting and a whole rebalancing...
S7 Goliath:
Just too easy, and the Goliath "boss" far too weak. I was prudent for no reason (did not even watch the type's data). But the map is great in my view, like all others by the way.
  • You may just overpower this Goliath unit (as you do for the dwarvish flamethrowe, as noted by a player). Same for further appearances of Goliath's.
S8 An Errand of Hope:
I enjoyed this one very much, as well as all other wander/travel scenarios of IftU part 1. The central phase battle is pleasant and challenging. The northern front was tough (for me), with a proportion of stronger enemies, but again mainly because of the flying demons.
  • Since we here first meet Althurin the runemaster, it would be interesting to have the dwarvish scout with us as evoked above. This would also make it more fluid or natural storywise for us to join their side so fully and instantly, here as well as later when helping to defend the dwarf capital.
S9 The Library:
In my view, this scenario suffers from a similar flaw as the first one: pretty tough as start, then not at all. However, it is completely different because the first phase is also very easy for any player knowing or intuiting how to defend a bottleneck, or just hold a frontline... with superior units *and* healers by us, attackers just do not have the slighting chance. They will slowly erode, after which *we* become the attackers. I have no concrete idea on how to make this more fun or interesting, concerning combat or tactic.

Upon story and map, all was pretty good, except maybe a little too many history-revealing glyphs. (Again, too much at once for me.)

Note: I did not step on Igor, the wolf rider evoked in some other posts; too bad! (Maybe because I certianly sent a wraith there instead of a living unit?)
S10 The Source of Light:
This scenario was my favorite; just enjoy! I do not know why since it has nothing absolutely special, nore some set of factors I can identify, except that as said I like wander/travel scenarios, especially yours and the ones of UtBS (and Galuldur's and some more as well).

I lost some time for not having divided my forces enough, well enough "topographically", and well enough in terms of overall force (esp lack of healer for some who needed it more). Also I just did not imagine (remenmber) thesheer bigness of this "underground landscape". As said I just nevertheless *loved* this scenario.

I was a little mislead and frightened by a bit of instruction seeming to suggest that the whole magic system had to be activated by *specific* people. Not only there was no such point, but have of the glyph were triggered by ghost-line units and just worked. If I put this in parallel with a later information at the entrance of Elynia's "dormitory", then what is meant may well be: non-otherwordly folks...

(I had a prowler killed again in the battle of the next scenario, S11 Strike on Herthgar, namely the unit who took the berserker potion found here, somewhat weakened but achieved by a single fighter because I forgot to watch after the one unit who had taken this... deadly potion!)
S11 Strike on Herthgar:
The big but short battle with 3 allied dwarf sides against 5 Chaos sides; which leaders are suggested to be killable even with so few turns (19?); and they are! I finished _both_ southern leaders on the very last turn... and had to replay once this very turn for that... and to give the final blow to whom I wished to ;) (AMLA ahead for a shyde and l4 for Althurin). I enjoyed it very much, however all ran a little too easily (for me, possibly lucky, I did not check the stats) compared to what man may intuit from the initial setup; I guess.

Actually, dwarves are very strong, not to mention their initial guard of N units, and could probably hold most fronts without any help by us. I even let them finish the second NW side alone, and they killed the NE leader before I had a chance to do it myself, even if my side was the one that wiped out most strong units there. I also judge that enemies are far too spread out, as often with the AI. There are at least 2 AI parameters about grouping movement and/or fighting, which you probably know far better than me and may help (?) (ah, Wesnoth's AI...) (or maybe use micro AIs favoring grouping).
  • This is typically a scenario where in my opinion turn limit makes no sense, even more so here because the enemy units (xp source) not killed by us will be by our allies, so that there is nothing to gain in slowing down the pace of action, even more so because next scenario only allows recruiting for a single turn.
  • Storywise, there may be a justification for an initial (and fake) turn limit, namely that in a previous scenario the king may have sent a messenger squad informing and asking for help toward a neighbour, northern dwarf kingdom (other northern folks are evoked somewhere already, and that is the way we will finally escape in next scenario). The messengers would come back announcing the arrival of "the cavalry".
  • Then, a choice may be setup by dialogue, where the player either chooses to safely prepare a retreat (thank to cavalry) for N (3?) turns and wins unless hero death, or instead chooses to hold fast fight further (to prevent information to the yet unknown enemy big boss?) and has to kill all enemies, without turn limit.
Such a setup would I guess allow for or even require enemy sides a little more powerful.
S12 The Escape:
As mentioned in other posts, this one travel scenario is easy, but still nice, because each enemy group is so weak compared to our now all-level 3+ elite commando; provided players do not launch too far ahead a lone unit. An easier scenario is nice, but this one looked to easy to me; and the previous one was not that hard neither (since as said I could envision persuing its alternative objective), nore long or heavy.
  • I would add to each enemy squad 1-2-3 units, only or mostly of the highest level available.
S13 Face Your Fate:
Well, on one hand it's very interesting, if only for an original change, to face a pretty strong force of individually rather strong units, with only zombies (berserker! dwarf! zombies) and other l1 undead fresh recruits available ;). On the other hand, I can hardly stand living an *announced* tragedy (idem about [other] fiction), even if I did not like Anlindë that much.

Note: She is my least beloved hero, apart from Galas who in my view is rather "tasteless as usual", more or less deprived of character (sic!); but still not as insipid/bland/vapid as nearly all mainstream campaign heroes...

(Hum: Poor berserker prowler who died there and then just because of my inattention!)

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