more difficulty levels and max gold limit

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sergey
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Re: more difficulty levels and max gold limit

Post by sergey » October 25th, 2019, 3:57 pm

gnombat wrote:
October 25th, 2019, 3:24 pm
In version 1.14 the names of the difficulty levels are always taken from these six values:
  1. Beginner
  2. Easy
  3. Normal
  4. Challenging
  5. Difficult
  6. Nightmare
Indeed, thanks for the information. I will use all except the Nightmare.

P.S. However, I am going to insert new difficulties between the existing. Not sure that those names will fit well. Since it will be UMC I think it is ok.
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.

gnombat
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Re: more difficulty levels and max gold limit

Post by gnombat » October 25th, 2019, 5:16 pm

sergey wrote:
October 25th, 2019, 3:57 pm
P.S. However, I am going to insert new difficulties between the existing. Not sure that those names will fit well. Since it will be UMC I think it is ok.
I'm not sure if the existing names really make sense in TRoW though - e.g., currently the hardest difficulty level is called "Challenging", but comparing it to difficulty levels in other campaigns I would say it should probably be called "Difficult". (Or maybe even "Nightmare", although it's not as hard as some other "Nightmare" levels, e.g., in SotBE.)

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sergey
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Re: more difficulty levels and max gold limit

Post by sergey » October 25th, 2019, 7:31 pm

gnombat wrote:
October 25th, 2019, 5:16 pm
I'm not sure if the existing names really make sense in TRoW though - e.g., currently the hardest difficulty level is called "Challenging", but comparing it to difficulty levels in other campaigns I would say it should probably be called "Difficult". (Or maybe even "Nightmare", although it's not as hard as some other "Nightmare" levels, e.g., in SotBE.)
I agree, it should be Difficult instead of Challenging.

P.S. Is it correct to assume that you liked the idea of adding two difficulty levels? There was a discussion on the discord that 5 difficulties may be redundant. I am interested to gather opinions.
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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Re: more difficulty levels and max gold limit

Post by gnombat » October 25th, 2019, 7:48 pm

sergey wrote:
October 25th, 2019, 7:31 pm
P.S. Is it correct to assume that you liked the idea of adding two difficulty levels? There was a discussion on the discord that 5 difficulties may be redundant. I am interested to gather opinions.
Right now in TRoW there's a big difference between the medium and hardest difficulty levels, so I think adding another difficulty level between those would be useful.

I don't really have an opinion about whether another level is needed between the easiest and medium levels (I don't think I've ever played the campaign on the easiest difficulty level, so I'm not really sure how easy/difficult it is).

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sergey
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Re: more difficulty levels and max gold limit

Post by sergey » October 25th, 2019, 7:51 pm

gnombat wrote:
October 25th, 2019, 7:48 pm
Right now in TRoW there's a big difference between the medium and hardest difficulty levels, so I think adding another difficulty level between those would be useful.

I don't really have an opinion about whether another level is needed between the easiest and medium levels (I don't think I've ever played the campaign on the easiest difficulty level, so I'm not really sure how easy/difficult it is).
I haven't played TRoW on easy too. Based on gold values in the code the difference between Easy and Normal is about the same as between Normal and Challenging.
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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sergey
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Re: more difficulty levels and max gold limit

Post by sergey » October 29th, 2019, 2:42 pm

I started to work on UMC version of TRoW with the proposed changes. This commit is an example of how I added more difficulty levels https://github.com/slavrenyuk/The_Rise_ ... 9c2462b733 Starting gold is increased, carryover percentage reduced from 40% to 5%-10%, character upgrades are not yet implemented.
Last edited by sergey on November 1st, 2019, 11:03 am, edited 2 times in total.
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.

Mawmoocn
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Re: more difficulty levels and max gold limit

Post by Mawmoocn » October 30th, 2019, 12:27 pm

The main problem with Hard mode is, levelling units won’t be a guarantee to win harder scenarios, being surrounded while on a bad terrain position, will essentially destroy most of your units (sometimes this ends your progress), perform guesswork games on where to move, because getting stalled can kill you or your turns, and you must engage on slug fest battles (ugh) or farm enemies to extreme heights to barely avoid slow or compromising fights for big battles.
(This does not cover every possibility but not farming could make it harder to traverse on succeeding scenarios as you may need to sacrifice units somewhere.)

Being very cautious or making an extremely aggressive approach, would neither work on a full campaign on Hard mode and higher difficulties. Additional farming of either gold or experience, would probably prevent you from restarting from scratch or backtracking. As such, you’re most likely compelled to gather "unfair" advantages unless you’re skilled or seeking some thrill..

Solely adjusting gold, can be problematic on certain conditions, if a scenario contain some of these: high but cheap (free/gold doesn’t matter) damage units, marksman/magical units, gold boost by upkeep, advantageous enemy keep, compromising keep position, and bad terrain cover when moving hordes of your own units.

For normal or common scenarios, these aren’t a problem unless they only use one type of unit (example: trolls/mages/horseman only) and have no other existing allies or enemies of more than one. Special events could make balancing tricky if forgotten on their particular effects (added enemy/ally/damage/trigger for gold boost).

Adjusting gold would pose no problems probably. AI behaviour and the aforementioned problems, could make it trickier due to these issues:
  1. AI behaviour probably differs for Easy and Hard.
  2. Certain campaign configurations (like enemies can only recruit certain units/special events), would be problematic when the unit characteristics differ from what has been encountered before (element of surprise).
  3. Spoiler:
It only affects a small portion of the game, hopefully.


Mainline campaigns follow a certain format (breathable/easy -> level -> death/sacrifice scenarios and repeat), that makes adding/reducing gold an important part on modifying campaigns.

A small far fetched example to this is, if the map design doesn’t fit to the associated gold boost/reduction, the following scenarios after it would be easier/harder if you lack enough levels or gold to supplement additional difficulty especially if you’re at a decent range of your enemy.

Some complaints about easy is harder than hard on this scenario.
Scenario 4: Valley of Trolls

To avoid special case scenarios, some sort of label should be placed somewhere on the scenario/public file, listing it as uncommon scenario that may need special attention.

So... to make this easier, proper definitions of how campaign difficulty works should be documented somewhere? Including scenario types (Descent into Darkness has some scenarios that allows you to auto recall surviving units and have no existing villages though it's a special case like Liberty's first scenario)

For example:
Campaigns have Rookie, Novice, Intermediate, Hard and Expert level "scenarios" (it was listed like that) and when you select a campaign you’ll get a new set of difficulty ranges from Beginner, Easy, Normal, Challenging, Difficult, and Nightmare.

Basically this spoiler contains some of those labels but you’ll see that they’re not classified the same after selecting a campaign.

The reason could be different spike levels on these campaigns... well basically taking a guess here.
Spoiler:
Only few campaigns use 4 "difficulties" (after selecting a campaigns) range and I don’t know if 5 difficulty plan should be made for every mainline campaign listed here? (like making A Tale of Two Brothers harder)

So I guess the easiest difficulty could be a story walk-through with warnings that it’s much easier than how it should be? (I got the idea from The Ravagers UMC)


Max gold is overkill for Nightmare campaigns :lol:.

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octalot
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Re: more difficulty levels and max gold limit

Post by octalot » October 30th, 2019, 4:42 pm

Mawmoocn wrote:
October 30th, 2019, 12:27 pm
So... to make this easier, proper definitions of how campaign difficulty works should be documented somewhere?
Fully agreed both that this ought to be documented, and that there ought to be proper definitions. At the moment we have consensus on where the docs will go (the in-game help's "Gameplay" section), but not about what the different difficulty levels should mean.

I welcome your post, and hope we'll have further discussion here. The most recent previous debate was in https://r.wesnoth.org/t18640 "my Outpost hurts hard", which started with discussion of Eastern Invasion's Outpost scenario, and the bug-tracker issue to add the documentation is #4280.

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sergey
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Re: more difficulty levels and max gold limit

Post by sergey » November 1st, 2019, 11:08 am

This topic resulted in UMC version of TRoW with the proposed changes https://forums.wesnoth.org/viewtopic.php?t=51087 Thanks for replies and feedback!
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.

Tad_Carlucci
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Re: more difficulty levels and max gold limit

Post by Tad_Carlucci » November 1st, 2019, 12:56 pm

Continue the discussion there, or on GitHub Issue 4533
I forked real life and now I'm getting merge conflicts.

shevegen
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Re: more difficulty levels and max gold limit

Post by shevegen » November 10th, 2019, 3:08 pm

I think having more difficulty levels and more variety in it, is a good thing. Especially for
older players who wish more challenges.

Some game maps don't scale easily, due to horrible design and constraints. This is typically
on smaller maps; larger maps tend to have more freedom and opportunity.

Anyway:

Beginner
Easy
Normal
Challenging
Difficult
Nightmare

I think this list is better than just having three or four.

But I believe this is not the only part that could be adjusted.

You could add an extended menu option and then allow more fine-tuned control,
including changing statistics of units e. g. decrease their hp by a percentage
(similar as to how warcraft 3 handled that).

The drawback is that it can make the game more complicated and new users
may get confused, so the usability interface should remain simple, but perhaps
add some additional entry for "adjust difficulty" either way (including being able
to change the difficulty level at a later time, too, without needing to restart;
sometimes only for a single scenario; people already "work around"
this to some extent by saving and reloading, so this would just be a
feature of convenience. For multiplayer, you need all participants to agree
to this of course but this can be handled.)

As for gold in general: I'd love more options here than just the "village generates
income" or "you found a map". Perhaps make it an "economy extension"
in general that can stay flexible. Then people stick to the old sisimpler default,
but this economy extension can have more adjustments - offering crafting,
farming etc... more economy. Making wesnoth a bit more of an economy-based
game IN ADDITION to the strategic element.

The key would be to keep the base simple, but to allow for extensions and to
make sure that the extensions work (which requires some code management
in general ... it's quite sad to see that changes to WML lead to problems with
scenarios no longer working or becoming buggy. That should be considered
in the long run too since some campaigns will be abandoned.)

> So I guess the easiest difficulty could be a story walk-through with warnings that it’s much
> easier than how it should be?

I don't think a simple walk through would be a good idea if wesnoth is a STRATEGY game.

What would then be the point of that? I disagree with it. EASY should be easy but not
auto-walkthrough auto-solve. But actually, giving per-scenario hints would not be bad;
could use the wiki for that and register hints into the scenario for people to query,
perhaps connecting it with the in-game help functionality. I read on the wiki some
suggestions how to solve difficult scenarios, like that cave scenario where I would
have to hire lots of footpads or so with 70% defence to avoid losing too much health
from trolls.

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octalot
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Re: more difficulty levels and max gold limit

Post by octalot » November 10th, 2019, 7:11 pm

Mawmoocn wrote:
October 30th, 2019, 12:27 pm
So I guess the easiest difficulty could be a story walk-through with warnings that it’s much easier than how it should be?
That could be done as a mod that would work with almost any campaign. Right-click on a keep to spawn Armageddon Drakes on all vacant castle hexes, or something similar that leaves no doubt that it's easier than it should be. :twisted:

Mawmoocn
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Re: more difficulty levels and max gold limit

Post by Mawmoocn » November 14th, 2019, 5:47 pm

shevegen wrote:
November 10th, 2019, 3:08 pm
You could add an extended menu option and then allow more fine-tuned control,
including changing statistics of units e. g. decrease their hp by a percentage
(similar as to how warcraft 3 handled that).

The drawback is that it can make the game more complicated
I agree that it can be confusing but, increasing enemy damage/HP by percentage, can allow fewer units to be used as a way to minimize spaces used by your enemies as another alternative for gold.

Tweaking stats won’t suffice if movement/other elements are important/dependent on completing certain scenarios.
shevegen wrote:
November 10th, 2019, 3:08 pm
(including being able
to change the difficulty level at a later time, too, without needing to restart;
sometimes only for a single scenario; people already "work around"
this to some extent by saving and reloading, so this would just be a
feature of convenience.
I think we need stats or articulate feedback on the most save loaded scenarios to know the real problem.

This can’t be compensated when you lack gold or damage and damage reduction.

Tactics are limited to map design, unit recruits, and recalls.
It won’t apply when you have enough gold or lack correct units.

For easy difficulty, if there was a way to ensure you have the (acceptable not harsh) minimum requirements for the next scenario, it can solve lack of unit and gold while losing guesswork needed for the next scenario.

I think it’ll be harmful, if the minimum requirements can’t or won’t fit certain play styles and if applied for higher difficulties.

Basically, I think the current UI design is very tempting to use save loading and most scenarios that can take more than 2 hours, is quite punishing, if you lose without some sort of assurance/checkpoint.
shevegen wrote:
November 10th, 2019, 3:08 pm
it's quite sad to see that changes to WML lead to problems with
scenarios no longer working or becoming buggy.
Well, maybe listing what needs to be replaced, would be a great help for maintainers.

I assume transferring design mechanics could be done easier if you got this information.
shevegen wrote:
November 10th, 2019, 3:08 pm
EASY should be easy but not auto-walkthrough auto-solve. But actually, giving per-scenario hints would not be bad;
could use the wiki for that and register hints into the scenario for people to query, perhaps connecting it with the in-game help functionality.
If you’re here for the story, it’ll help immerse you with nearly no problems (aside from broken difficulty), and can (possibly) be a great stress reliever :lol:.

Anyways, I don’t like hints that give away everything and can’t be applied if you lack something it needs. :eng:


octalot wrote:
November 10th, 2019, 7:11 pm
Right-click on a keep to spawn Armageddon Drakes on all vacant castle hexes, or something similar that leaves no doubt that it's easier than it should be. :twisted:
It needs magical berserk weapon special :lol: :lol: :eng:, otherwise, Elvish Slyph Ancient Lich is better. :whistle:

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