Reworking/Revising The Sceptre of Fire

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nemaara
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Re: Reworking/Revising The Sceptre of Fire

Post by nemaara »

About the units vs. items thing, sure. I like the idea of a Thursagan "Rune Shop", that's a really nice way to do it.

S5/6, okay about the map size. S3, you have a point. I would still make it a liiiiittle smaller, but if you don't want to that's okay.

S1 and S4, I could work on balancing them a little better to be more in line with what I have in mind (as long as you think it's okay). It's not that the spread needs to be bigger, but especially for S1, I didn't like the vast abundance of enemies. Besides being "too much" for a first scenario (to me), it also made the second scenario a bit weird, since I had a lot of L2s and even L3s to just hold the gate super easily and just muscle through the trolls.

As for the actual map of S1, I really liked what you did with moving the castles and making a proper flanking force. ^_^

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doofus-01
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Re: Reworking/Revising The Sceptre of Fire

Post by doofus-01 »

nemaara wrote:
January 7th, 2020, 1:31 am
About the units vs. items thing, sure. I like the idea of a Thursagan "Rune Shop", that's a really nice way to do it.

S5/6, okay about the map size. S3, you have a point. I would still make it a liiiiittle smaller, but if you don't want to that's okay.

S1 and S4, I could work on balancing them a little better to be more in line with what I have in mind (as long as you think it's okay). It's not that the spread needs to be bigger, but especially for S1, I didn't like the vast abundance of enemies. Besides being "too much" for a first scenario (to me), it also made the second scenario a bit weird, since I had a lot of L2s and even L3s to just hold the gate super easily and just muscle through the trolls.

As for the actual map of S1, I really liked what you did with moving the castles and making a proper flanking force. ^_^
Thanks, no problem if you want to make revisions too, I'll keep an eye out to test them. Regarding S1 balance, that sounds pretty important, I might have just gotten sick of testing that scenario and didn't get it right. The only thing to keep in mind is that the elves are supposed to be an overpowering force, closing in and squeezing the dwarves into the situations they find themselves. Making the elves weaker and defeat-able would ruin that.
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nemaara
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Re: Reworking/Revising The Sceptre of Fire

Post by nemaara »

Alright, I pushed a commit modifying the gameplay a little bit. Please feel free to test to see if you like it. I reduced the elven reinforcement gold quite a bit (opting to give them a larger income instead) and modified the map somewhat as well.

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doofus-01
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Re: Reworking/Revising The Sceptre of Fire

Post by doofus-01 »

nemaara wrote:
January 14th, 2020, 7:23 am
Alright, I pushed a commit modifying the gameplay a little bit. Please feel free to test to see if you like it. I reduced the elven reinforcement gold quite a bit (opting to give them a larger income instead) and modified the map somewhat as well.
I tested it, and found that the scenario was basically over by turn 6, with minimal engagement, and it was just a matter of moving the caravans the last stretch. I guess we have different playing styles, and since we can't assume the player will do what either of us would do (and won't replay 30 times to find out what the "right style" is), maybe pressure needs to come from something else. Some threatening fauna, or an elf-instigated avalanche?

Or maybe moving the secondary elf leader further in, so there is a battle at the "mountain pass" region in the upper right, without crap mobility or slow caravans being such an annoyance. :hmm:
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nemaara
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Re: Reworking/Revising The Sceptre of Fire

Post by nemaara »

I remember the scenario being like that prior to my commits (I seem to recall thinking that maybe you wanted it to be a bit easier as a starting scenario, which was okay with me), but maybe I'm remembering wrong.

I guess to put more pressure on the player, I'd probably move the main elvish castle a bit closer to the road, or we could have them start with a couple riders. Threatening fauna/avalanche would also be okay, but might be a bit much for a first scenario. :hmm:

I don't have time right now, but when I'm a little more free, I'll try one of the above (unless you get to it first) and see how they work out.

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doofus-01
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Re: Reworking/Revising The Sceptre of Fire

Post by doofus-01 »

nemaara wrote:
February 1st, 2020, 8:48 am
I remember the scenario being like that prior to my commits (I seem to recall thinking that maybe you wanted it to be a bit easier as a starting scenario, which was okay with me), but maybe I'm remembering wrong.
The general trend was there, but it's gotten more so now. Could be the map just needs a complete overhaul; I'd tried to take a "light touch" with revisions, and I do remember liking this scenario way back when I first played it because it was one of the first I'd seen that wasn't just a matter of killing the enemy leader. But that was long ago, it's hard to know what a new player expects these days. The issue with the tedious caravan march up the mountain pass is due to the map design, it will be much easier to scrap the map than to tailor the AI.
nemaara wrote:
February 1st, 2020, 8:48 am
Threatening fauna/avalanche would also be okay, but might be a bit much for a first scenario.
Might be, but there's also something to be said for a strong opening. The second scenario has the custom gate graphics, it wouldn't be that crazy to have something in the first too.

I don't know what the timeline is for 1.16, but I believe we have plenty of time to work this out.
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Whiskeyjack
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Re: Reworking/Revising The Sceptre of Fire

Post by Whiskeyjack »

Stuff copied from discord so it doesn't get lost:
I am changing the smaller stuff in the spoiler as I go and will do a PR for that, if I don't hear anything to the contrary :)
If you want me to work on any of the stuff reported below (besides graphical issues), just say the word.


Scenario 1/2: The runes only last for the scenario, but the rune variable doesn't get cleared, so that a unit can not take the rune again in a later scenario. Is this intentional? I'd have expected a different behavior.

Code: Select all

[set_variable]
	name=unit.variables.{ID}_rune		# variable stays forever
	value=yes
[/set_variable]
[...]
[object]
	silent=yes
	duration=scenario				# object gets cleared after the scenario
 	[...]
[/object]
Scenario 2: The ToD in the caves is not cave (night), but outside ToD. Should it be like this?

Scenario 2.5 (Reaching the Runecrafter): The torch is displayed at the top of the tile, not in the middle (it therefore looks to illuminate the wrong tile, because visually it is displayed one further up).
Victory condition says that all three heroes should reach the end of the tunnel, but the WML event says y=1-5 for two of the three which includes some hexes further to the left and can lead to some confusing end condition triggers. Making it y=1-3 for all would probably be more appropriate.

Scenario 3:
story wrote:"Much to his chagrin, Alanin was dispatched to scout further up the rails, but he soon came back and claimed the rails ended, the tunnel was unfinished to the north. For this reason, Rugnur lead the dwarves up the cold tunnel, and began to search for the runesmith named Thursagan. Thursagan, the Sage of Fire."
I can't really make any sense of these lines. What is this supposed to say? ("For this reason"? What is the alternative? What is the significance of the tunnel being unfinished? Why don't the dwarves know of the status of their own tunnels?)

The snow on 6,29 clips over the cave wall at 5,30 a little.

Might have been the placement of Thursagan's hut (28,16), but the scenario felt quite on the easy side - find the hut with Krawg, send a scout unit over, in the meantime, just defend the base. The random units even ignored him for a final night attack on the stronghold, so I didn't feel threatened to even lose a unit at any point.
Thursagan wrote:Well, now we are in the caves again! Come on, back south, to the city.
While this line certainly could be spoken by Thursagan, it sounds much more like something that one of the dwarves that just left the caves northward would say.

Scenario 4: One coal reserve was placed on a castle hex for me, which was kinda weird. I changed the filters to also exclude castle hexes (in addition to cave walls asf. - will be in the PR mentioned at the start). However, I'm not sure if my solution (excluding Kud) works for keeps, as the keep data in a save looks like this: 4 Kud, 1 Kud. No idea how to deal with that number or what it even means.
Under blood-red skies, an old man sits
In the ruins of Carthage - contemplating prophecy.

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doofus-01
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Re: Reworking/Revising The Sceptre of Fire

Post by doofus-01 »

- It's certainly possible there are bugs with the runes thing; the non-cleared variable sounds like one.
- the maps probably need touch-ups, they looked fine to me, but I got tired of looking at them.
- I don't think "tribes" is necessary, but I don't remember where it came from. I generally tried to take a light touch to changing things, but the old dialog needed some work. Possibly nemaara changed some of it too.
Whiskeyjack wrote:
April 18th, 2020, 1:17 pm
The ToD in the caves is not cave (night), but outside ToD. Should it be like this?
Possibly. It's at an entrance, so doesn't seem that strange to me at least.
Whiskeyjack wrote:
April 18th, 2020, 1:17 pm
I can't really make any sense of these lines. What is this supposed to say? ("For this reason"? What is the alternative? What is the significance of the tunnel being unfinished? Why don't the dwarves know of the status of their own tunnels?)
Alternative is to continue up the rails. How would they know the status? Some dwarves knew at some point, but not the ones the player has.
Whiskeyjack wrote:
April 18th, 2020, 1:17 pm
I am changing the smaller stuff in the spoiler as I go and will do a PR for that, if I don't hear anything to the contrary :)
If you want me to work on any of the stuff reported below (besides graphical issues), just say the word.
A PR sounds good, no objection from me. I'll look at it for the map/terrain things, probably nemaara is better for dialogs. Thanks.
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Whiskeyjack
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Re: Reworking/Revising The Sceptre of Fire

Post by Whiskeyjack »

Alright, I'll do the PR when I'm through with the whole campaign.
doofus-01 wrote:
April 18th, 2020, 11:46 pm
Alternative is to continue up the rails. How would they know the status? Some dwarves knew at some point, but not the ones the player has.
Ah, it's talking about different tunnels. I think I'll expand the quotes to say side tunnel and main tunnel, because the fact that the tunnel refers to two different tunnels (even in the context of "north" both times) while the tracks/rails pertains to the same object kind of confused me.
Under blood-red skies, an old man sits
In the ruins of Carthage - contemplating prophecy.

Whiskeyjack
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Re: Reworking/Revising The Sceptre of Fire

Post by Whiskeyjack »

PR forthcoming soon(TM).

Feedback for the last scenario: This definitely needs more work before it can move to stable!

- on easy: the orcs actually beat the elves and Bar'Gathor was lucky and survived. This made the scenario unwinnable - I had to debug this.
- the runes around the central cavern are displayed on top of units.
- the runes as well as the central monolith (or even the cavern itself) do not have any moveto dialogue whatsoever, which is weird, considering we are on an exploration mission and (in the case of Bar'Gathor surviving for some time) have no idea what we are supposed to do. The heroes should at least discuss the significance and implications of what they see (so we are actually doing some searching story-wise).
- the trolls (besides the small tablet sequence on the leader) simply go down without a word. This is a missed opportunity for world-building and scenario flavor. What are they doing here? What is their objective? Why do they lived on a plugged volcano with a trigger? Some hints when, e.g., engaging a shaman for the first time could be very valuable here. (probably @nemaara)
- the whole mechanic with collapsing the bridges on first kill can lead to tomato loss, when you have a leader standing on a bridge but still have no idea what will actually happen (dialogue only triggers on first tablet destroyed). Extra minus points if this happens for an AI vs. AI engagement with orc vs. elf. Some flavor dialogue for a unit falling into the lava (and possible reactions of the crew) would be beneficiary as well.

Edit: The PR (#4882) is up.
Under blood-red skies, an old man sits
In the ruins of Carthage - contemplating prophecy.

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