Bold New Maps

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Doc Paterson
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Re: Bold New Maps

Post by Doc Paterson »

Some of you have tried very early drafts of this map. While there are no doubt more things to adjust, I'm pretty happy with this version. I've included the 1.9x map and config (which looks better imo, due to the volcano graphics, which don't exist in 1.8x), and the 1.8x map and config.

Post your thoughts. I'm most interested in whether or not people find the extra units to be a fun twist. Take note of their traits, too. ;)
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Re: Bold New Maps (Updated with the crazy new Hornshark!)

Post by Doc Paterson »

Another update to Hornshark. Some recent, relevant discussion from elsewhere:
Doc Paterson wrote:So....perhaps a forest next to every village was a little extreme. In retrospect, I can't remember what I was thinking when I did that- Probably that Elves were disadvantaged in some other way, but I think I was wrong.

Most of you saw my (still unfinished, but probably lost) game with TBS, in which Elves punished a Cav heavy recruit, and performed a daring rush on the P1 right side. He played it really well, and I definitely made a mistake or two, but, I was reminded that-

-I've yet to see Elves loose on this map (4-0 or 5-0 iirc) ... :)

-I was fixated on making sure that Cavs weren't too OP on this map, and this heavily influenced all of the forest and shroomage that grew up around the villages and the village regions. Additionally, I decided to give Loys pretty weak starting units, figuring "they don't need it." ;D I think I went a bit too far, but let me know if you guys think I'm wrong in thinking that I was wrong. ;)

So, I'm going to tone that down a little, and will also be modifying the starting points of one of P2's units, allowing them to put their Ogre in whichever side village they choose (most of you will know what I mean).

I also did a number of miscellaneous terrain rearrangements, and may yet again power up Undead, a small bit. :D
Horus2 wrote:You wanted to see elves lose, so here it is. ;D Version is the one in RMPv34.
I know it was not our best play, but there are things this replay illustrates well. Some impression:

UD starting units are not as bad as it seems now. I looked through every factions units and realized with the help of Sorrek p1 is able to do a decent rush against the young ogre. I think no other faction can do this nasty surprise. I wish to experiment further with this possibility, maybe against a stronger opponent, but the important thing is now that UD is OK in my eyes.
Vegetation seems a bit dense for true, but only a Minimal deforestation can do wonders, just to prevent the "solid yet flexible elvish lines" scenario.
Also i'm not sure if loyalists should get additional handicap on the top of that they already have with current starting units. 3 loyal lvl1, none of them has impressive traits, woodsmen are dimmed to prevent fast levelup... so they might have more materials than f.e. a rebel, the elves have a small advantage in overall with the quality-factor considered, i think. And worthy to mention: the young ogre's destination is pretty clear, he becomes immobile on both sides, and the rest of the human warband is heavily into pierce attack, so they can be outplayed with adequate units (and UD starting units are all pierce resistant!)

Sidenote: In my opinion currently the Knalga trespassers are the most fearsome.

But if changes are already on way, then let's see it! There is no price in altering the map and everybody gains some experience; in worst case it has to be altered again.
Doc Paterson wrote:Thanks for the feedback, Horus. I've just finished the newest version. Some notable changes:

1.) Against my better judgment, ;)I powered up UD a little more, based on several opinions that they were still too weak. Easy to revert of course, if it proves to be to much, but as it stands, Sorrek and his counterpart now have the strong trait as well. One of the L0 saurian corpses was replaced with a ghoul. I can't imagine people saying that UD are still too weak after this, but we'll see. :)

2.) Indeed, the predictability of p2's Big Baby Ogre placement was not too cool. I rearranged all of P2's starting positions for their left-side units. They now no longer have a pre-flagged village, but can still flag all of their villages slightly faster than P1, due to the positionings of said units. They can also safely place the Ogre in either of their forward left-side villages, without fear of theft. Perhaps hard to describe, but you'll see what I mean.

3. The Big Baby Ogres were given the strong trait, bringing them to 6-3. As it was, they weren't very useful, and were basically big meatshields with limited combat ability. This is a small change, but I think it will help.

4. Some slight deforestation did occur, as did many miscellaneous terrain adjustments.

5. Loys got a small buff. The bowman now has level 1 leadership, which isn't particularly useful, but gives the smallest of boosts to his young followers. He also has *ranged* first strike, which I love for flavor purposes. I'll probably give him a fixed name at some point in the future (as I did with the skeletons) that fits his "quickdraw" abilities. :) Loys will probably need a bit more, but this is a good start, imo.

* * * * *

Agreed that the Dwarf scouts are really nice. Time will tell if the Knalgan starting team is a little OP. If so, I'll probably replace one of the two scouts with something else.

Anyways, here it is. There may be a few changes that I forgot to mention.

Keep the feedback coming- It's much appreciated. :D

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Re: Bold New Maps (Updated with the crazy new Hornshark!)

Post by Rigor »

u like quoting urself, eh ? :D do u also stand up, taking a good look at the mirror every morning (maybe longer than necessary?) :mrgreen:

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Re: Bold New Maps (Updated with the crazy new Hornshark!)

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Rigor wrote:u like quoting urself, eh ? :D do u also stand up, taking a good look at the mirror every morning (maybe longer than necessary?) :mrgreen:
Of course! As you can see, I like quoting everyone!

(The quotes were to fill people in on the reasons for the change, without having to rephrase/repeat everything that was said in the Secret Clubhouse.) ;)
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Re: Bold New Maps (Updated with the crazy new Hornshark!)

Post by Zaroth »

Just my three cents about usability, as I'm neither an expert player nor expert mapmaker, but I know something can be confusing when I see it:
Doc Paterson wrote: 5. Loys got a small buff. The bowman now has level 1 leadership, which isn't particularly useful, but gives the smallest of boosts to his young followers.
I looked in the WML and it looks like the leadership skill doesn't grow with the bowman's level (macro {ABILITY_LEADERSHIP_LEVEL_1}) and it won't get better as he levels (I can be wrong however, I'm still a WML noob - maybe the macro grows together with the character's level). This is not a good idea from the intuitivity standpoint... If I saw a unit with leadership, I would never assume as a player that the ability to inspire won't grow with the unit. You should either change the name of the skill, make it grow together with the bowman or switch to less troublesome and confusing means of balancing :-)

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Re: Bold New Maps (Updated with the crazy new Hornshark!)

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Zaroth wrote:Just my three cents about usability, as I'm neither an expert player nor expert mapmaker, but I know something can be confusing when I see it:
Doc Paterson wrote: 5. Loys got a small buff. The bowman now has level 1 leadership, which isn't particularly useful, but gives the smallest of boosts to his young followers.
I looked in the WML and it looks like the leadership skill doesn't grow with the bowman's level (macro {ABILITY_LEADERSHIP_LEVEL_1}) and it won't get better as he levels (I can be wrong however, I'm still a WML noob - maybe the macro grows together with the character's level). This is not a good idea from the intuitivity standpoint... If I saw a unit with leadership, I would never assume as a player that the ability to inspire won't grow with the unit. You should either change the name of the skill, make it grow together with the bowman or switch to less troublesome and confusing means of balancing :-)
That's true that it doesn't grow with him, and I haven't yet decided if it should. I don't think of leadership as being primarily an "ability to inspire," (not that that isn't part of it), but rather as tactical ability, which wouldn't necessary have to grow as he levels. Anyways, we'll see.
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Re: Bold New Maps (Updated with the crazy new Hornshark!)

Post by Atz »

The main problem from a player perspective is that it's unintuitive. If I saw leadership on this unit, I would naturally assume it works the same way as it does on every other unit.

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Re: Bold New Maps (Updated with the crazy new Hornshark!)

Post by Scatha »

That's fair enough on flavour grounds, but in mainline Wesnoth the leadership ability description says that it counts the difference in levels, and I know of no exceptions to this. I think it would be fairly confusing to players who weren't in the know (albeit it wouldn't come up all that much, since you have to level the bowman -- but on those grounds, there's not much reason not to have the leadership scale).

Giving it a name other than 'leadership' could work.

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Re: Bold New Maps (Updated with the crazy new Hornshark!)

Post by Doc Paterson »

Well, for anyone not familiar with the new Hornshark, I will say that there's a LOT that's unintuitive on there. I don't think it's anything that a serious player can't handle though. In every case, they only need to carry out a close observation. I'm not that concerned with it being overly easy to understand, the first time around.

The bowman doesn't currently have parallel leveling leadership because I question if it would be too good. It's a lot more complex than "X faction has a unit that can level to level 2 leadership, and Y faction doesn't...."

Anyways, like I said, I'm still considering this but I'm considering it on grounds of balance, not intuitiveness.
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Re: Bold New Maps (Updated with the crazy new Hornshark!)

Post by Scatha »

Sorry, I didn't explain myself clearly enough.

It's not just that it's unintuitive. A bowman having ranged first strike is a bit unintuitive, but easy enough to see in the unit description and then understand (also, it's a really awesome idea flavour-wise).

It's that the behaviour differs from the in-game mouse-over description of the ability. There's no in-game way for players to discover what's happening without looking at damage calculations, *after* levelling up the unit (so it's bound to throw them off the first time it happens). And even then it's something which is really a bug (ability not matching its description).

Perhaps something as simple as calling it "Level 1 Leadership" rather than "Leadership" would fix this, though. I agree that you shouldn't make balance decisions based on what's intuitive.

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Re: Bold New Maps (Updated with the crazy new Hornshark!)

Post by Atz »

Yeah, that's what I meant by "unintuitive". If the unit just has the ability "leadership", there's no way for me as a player to tell by looking that it doesn't level with the unit. In fact if you're using the default leadership description it will actually give me incorrect information. I don't care what balance considerations you have, expecting players to magically know that the UI is lying to them about how their units work is horrible design, and certainly goes against the KISS principle. Would you have a unit that levels up without warning when its XP bar is only half full, or a unit which is actually a spearman but uses the sprite of a Saurian Augur? As a player, am I perhaps expected to look through the scenario WML to check that my units actually work the way the game tells me they do?

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Re: Bold New Maps (Updated with the crazy new Hornshark!)

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Atz wrote:I don't care what balance considerations you have, expecting players to magically know that the UI is lying to them about how their units work is horrible design
Well, thank you for the opinion. I guess coming from the school of old NES, I find unintuitive "glitches" to be kind of amusing- things that you can only learn from experience with the game, and not in any manual, or on anything you can see on screen. It's also a common feature of several fighting games that I'm really into. Now I'm guessing that this opinion of mine will outright drive you crazy- that is obvious from your above post. However, it's all irrelevant, seeing as after more playtesting and consideration, I've decided that leadership of any level does not suit this character, and is not needed by the faction. In compensation, I've decided to give all of the loyalist units TELEPORT. :D

(kidding) ;)

I think enough space has been taken up with this discussion about deceptive idiosyncrasies of design, so if you want to continue talking about that, I'd say let's do it elsewhere.
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Re: Bold New Maps (Updated with the crazy new Hornshark!)

Post by Doc Paterson »

I have told the two winners of the TGT that I will incorporate their names into the new Hornshark. Below is a list of the starting units. The unnamed ones are available. So, Dauntless and Neki, you can each choose one, and give it a name, within reason. ;)

I'd rather not have the names be as simple as "Dauntless" or "Neki," so you can choose a supplementary title if you like ("Neki the Destroyer," "Tolthor the Dauntless," etc.) A scrambling of your name might also be cool. If you don't want to also choose the specific way in which the name is integrated into the unit name, just choose your unit, and I will do that for you. :)

Also, specify player 1 or player 2, because both sides have unique names. If you want your chosen unit to have a similar name for its mirror on the other playerside, that's fine, and I'll take suggestions for that.

(EDIT: You also don't have to use your name if you don't want to. You can just make something up, if you like.)

Loyalists:

Spearman
Young Ogre (P1: Big Baby Bo, P2: Big Baby Dro)
Peasant
Woodsman 1+2 (both are currently called "Clockwork Boy" in the upcoming version, and will have the mechanical trait ;))
Bowman (has ranged first strike, and I'd like his name/nickname to reflect that in some way)

Drakes

Clasher
Skirmisher
Augur
Young Ogre (P1: Big Baby Bo, P2: Big Baby Dro)

Undead

Skeleton (P1: Sorrek, Chosen of Death, P2: Rukhos, Chosen of Death)
Dwarf WC
Dwarf WC Soulless
Saurian WC
Saurian WC Soulless (P1: Rzrrt the Hunter P2: Tyxrrn the Stalker)
Ghoul

Elves

Archer
Mermaid
Fighter
Young Ogre (P1: Big Baby Bo, P2: Big Baby Dro)

Knalgans

Dwarvish Scout x2
Ruffian
Thug
Young Ogre (P1: Big Baby Bo, P2: Big Baby Dro)

Northerners

Goblin Impaler
Naga
Orcish Leader
Young Ogre (P1: Big Baby Bo, P2: Big Baby Dro)
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Re: Bold New Maps (Updated with the crazy new Hornshark!)

Post by neki »

That's so cool! Thanks for the prize, Doc!

I would like the name of the Undead skeleton to be

for P1: neki, the brutal one
for P2: "It's neki, baby!" or "neki, baby!" which one you find more appropriate :)

Meh, mehhhhh, now I saw your named/unnamed condition. If we can still arrange something for the skeleton, I'd owe you one ;). If not, just make the same changes please for the........ Orcish leader

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Re: Bold New Maps (Updated with the crazy new Hornshark!)

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neki wrote:That's so cool! Thanks for the prize, Doc!

I would like the name of the Undead skeleton to be

for P1: neki, the brutal one
for P2: "It's neki, baby!" or "neki, baby!" which one you find more appropriate :)
I think you overlooked the part above where I said
Doc Paterson wrote:The *unnamed* ones are available.
:P

The Skellies are already named. the whole point of making the above list was to show which units were still available for naming. ;)
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