Altered era/ruleset

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eurydike
Posts: 39
Joined: March 20th, 2018, 1:43 am

Re: Altered era/ruleset

Post by eurydike » October 3rd, 2018, 6:58 am

I discovered this add-on yesterday and have not gotten around to playing a game with it yet. It has not even been possible, because the wesnoth.org DNS has expired and there has not been many people on the multiplayer servers. I found this add-on interesting and wanted to create a forum reply to the thread, and try and comment on first impressions and other things.
1. how do you prefer to play?
on which maps or random map generators?
what size of map do you prefer and with how many human and AI opponents?
2. what you liked most and why?
3. what confused you or seems unclear?
4. what annoyed or frustrated you?
5. what seems missing or would be nice to have?
1. I have to skip this one due to just having discovered the add-on.
2. I liked the custom abilities and weapon specials most. The miniature icons next to the units are also interesting.
3. I think the rule "desperate stand" seemed most unclear.
4. So far I can't say anything has been annoying or frustrating
5. I like the custom abilities & weaponspecials, would probably like new ones too.

First of all it seems like an awesome piece of work, I looked over all the modified factions and their abilities. I hope it's okay that I'm commenting on this, despite not having played a proper game. Concerning the broader abstractions involved I like the style of simulation where units have qualities that correspond to their appearance and abilities which are realistic and logical in terms of the perceived mechanics of the simulated world. For an example 'triggered' weapon special makes intuitive sense as even if the user is slowed, a gunpowder based device would still function normally. This correspondence between the abstract rules and the imaginary world improves the overall feeling. Second abstraction that I find pleasant is the type of increase in gameplay complexity provided by the weaponspecials such as "shield" or abilities such as "fortify", and in general I like games where there are abstract rules. Not all types of increases in complexity necessarily increase the amount of fun one can have while playing, nor they necessarily result in differences that feel meaningful rather than packaging the same concepts in new wrappings. So I think there are novel concepts in this add-on which sort of work on these levels. I think in some way abilities such as "fortify" are perhaps even of a higher quality than what you typically have in the mainline mechanics.

Considering the type of complexity increases, the abilities such as reckless, fortify, shield etc. they can create new strategic niches for units and in a sense create new roles for units in wesnoth. So increasing the complexity in the right way, allows for increasing diversity, without getting just "more of the same". With creative ideas like the ones in this add-on, it would be possible to expand the gameplay content overall.

Simultaneously it is that with a large set of complicated rules it creates a learning curve for players, which might make it hard to get started. But then if the concept is good, it should be worthwhile to learn. Also if the complexity is such that it makes intuitive sense, it's much easier to grasp how everything works, when you can be somewhat guided by the overall feel of things. What should and what oughta work in some situation etc.The "desperate stand" rule appears to be a bit arbitrary and perhaps with respect to the broader themes mentioned earlier, a bit unintuitive. Ad-hoc recruiting definitely changes gameplay mechanics, but it also makes intuitive sense, from this perspective of simulation, that recruiting could be possible from villages. Rebirth seems to be a rule that is unrealistic, which is still okay. From these slightly critical points I'd like to make a suggestion, which is, that you could use the scenario options function to allow players to toggle some of the rules on/off. I think the primary candidates for this would be the three mentioned, desperate stand, rebirth and ad-hoc recruiting. Some scenarios might not be very suitable for ad-hoc recruiting. Regardless I think these are interesting rules.

No healing on levelup. I find this to be a very realistic and gameplay changing rule. It doesn't make sense that a unit that gets wounded and goes through heavy engagement with opposing units suddenly goes through a transformation and becomes hundred percent healthy again. You could see that it's a more realistic course of events that units slowly accumulate experience and then gain new skills. Retreating wounded units is a concept that already takes place in wesnoth almost everywhere, and protecting experienced units also takes place. This sort of forces players to take care of units that are very close to leveling up. On the other hand, since the healing from advancing a unit is so useful, a lot of the game tends to be around getting units close to leveling up and then recovering hitpoints for free. Removing this feature in a sense does also make these subgames slightly less impactful, as a losing battle won't be turned by a couple of units getting levelups. On the other hand it does also make experienced units better than they are otherwise, the fact that a unit can approach leveling up makes it better.

So in summary I like this add-on as a concept and many of the features seem very interesting. I'd want to see some of those abilities taken to mainline factions. I hope this comment was not too disrespectful. It makes me sad the forum thread has not attracted interest from many users, there are so many interesting concepts in this add-on. Great work!

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