Inconsistency with griffons?

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thespaceinvader
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Re: Inconsistency with griffons?

Post by thespaceinvader » July 12th, 2010, 5:00 am

Gryphon.

I'd reiterate my suggestion that a decision made at this point ought to have further-reaching consequences. If we try to elevate this to the status of a difficult moral choice (which we probably should) it needs to have difficult consequences - maybe you permanently lose some of your elves if you choose to kill the gryphons, for instance, versus being unable to use the gryphon riiders at al, and having the gryphons show up as a computer ide to aid you later (though you run the risk of the cliched 'the eagles are coming' line by using that course of action).

It's details like this that could elevate HttT above it's current wildly generic and bland storyline, and give the characters some moral growth.
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Re: Inconsistency with gryphons?

Post by johndh » July 13th, 2010, 2:59 am

thespaceinvader wrote:I'd reiterate my suggestion that a decision made at this point ought to have further-reaching consequences. If we try to elevate this to the status of a difficult moral choice (which we probably should) it needs to have difficult consequences - maybe you permanently lose some of your elves if you choose to kill the gryphons, for instance, versus being unable to use the gryphon riiders at al, and having the gryphons show up as a computer ide to aid you later (though you run the risk of the cliched 'the eagles are coming' line by using that course of action).

It's details like this that could elevate HttT above it's current wildly generic and bland storyline, and give the characters some moral growth.
I can certainly agree with all of that. I just went with a more conservative change because nobody likes when the new guy comes in and tells them that they're doing it wrong. :lol2:

I agree also that HttH doesn't seem to have a whole lot of depth. I haven't played all the way through it, but there seems to be an awful lot of, "Oh, there are some baddies blocking our path. Better kill 'em." It's got good art and the scenarios themselves are put together fairly well, but the plot and character development are a little lacking.
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Re: Inconsistency with gryphons?

Post by A-Red » July 13th, 2010, 4:31 am

johndh wrote:I agree also that HttH doesn't seem to have a whole lot of depth. I haven't played all the way through it, but there seems to be an awful lot of, "Oh, there are some baddies blocking our path. Better kill 'em." It's got good art and the scenarios themselves are put together fairly well, but the plot and character development are a little lacking.
That and pretty much every other mainline campaign.

The exceptions, in my opinion, are DiD, THoT, and UtBS. I would love to see the other campaigns raised to higher standards, just as the art, music, and gameplay have been.

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Re: Inconsistency with griffons?

Post by Sapient » July 13th, 2010, 4:45 am

The challenge with both those suggestions is how do we make it work from a gameplay perspective? I'm pretty sure we want Konrad to take the Gryphon Riders as a default, easy option. If you take out a significant number of allies in the middle of a scenario, that makes it really hard to beat... and makes it hard to justify making the choice as a player.
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Re: Inconsistency with griffons?

Post by thespaceinvader » July 13th, 2010, 5:53 am

Mm. I wonder whether it could be something a little different then (for myself, I almost never use GRs in HttT IIRC, so I wouldn't find their loss to be a major problem) - maybe if you choose not to take them you get a free loyal shaman line elf or something? I dunno. I just think the option to make the choice is better than the option to be railroaded through it.

Maybe if you defend them, instead of GRs you get some free loyal gryphons in your recall list - as many as you managed to keep alive.
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Re: Inconsistency with griffons?

Post by Dixie » July 13th, 2010, 3:44 pm

Yeah, maybe the griphons were attacked by orcs, trolls, ogres or something, and you can jsut save a few hatchlings, which you train into mounts/accept to serve as mounts since they are sentient and grateful...
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Re: Inconsistency with griffons?

Post by thespaceinvader » July 13th, 2010, 3:50 pm

Erm, they're already being attacked by your own opponents in the scenario...
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Re: Inconsistency with griffons?

Post by johndh » July 15th, 2010, 1:46 am

Sapient wrote:I'm pretty sure we want Konrad to take the Gryphon Riders as a default, easy option.
If he's doing what he has to do for the greater good, or whatever, then shouldn't that be the more difficult of the two? It looks to me like the difference between "This isn't going to be pretty, but I've got to do it anyway, for the sake of my people/kingdom/blahblahblah", and "I'd rather not get my hands dirty." I don't know how fighting giant flying carnivores could be the easy option, unless the alternative was sharks with laser beams or something equally unpleasant. :hmm:
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Re: Inconsistency with griffons?

Post by Icarusvogel » July 20th, 2010, 9:17 am

johndh wrote:
Sapient wrote:I'm pretty sure we want Konrad to take the Gryphon Riders as a default, easy option.
If he's doing what he has to do for the greater good, or whatever, then shouldn't that be the more difficult of the two? It looks to me like the difference between "This isn't going to be pretty, but I've got to do it anyway, for the sake of my people/kingdom/blahblahblah", and "I'd rather not get my hands dirty." I don't know how fighting giant flying carnivores could be the easy option, unless the alternative was sharks with laser beams or something equally unpleasant. :hmm:
The usage of gryphons as mounts is not vital to Konrad's quest. In my opinion, the "Oh, some baddies in our path. To arms!" that is often present in HttT is also present here to some extent. Konrad came over the Gryphon Mountain without any intention to steal some gryphons, if I remember correctly, and then he says something like "Oh look, gryphons. Why don't we kill a few of them, steal their eggs and ride them?"
Konrad seems to think that random killing always serves his cause.
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Re: Inconsistency with griffons?

Post by DoorOpener » July 20th, 2010, 8:34 pm

Sapient wrote:The challenge with both those suggestions is how do we make it work from a gameplay perspective? I'm pretty sure we want Konrad to take the Gryphon Riders as a default, easy option. If you take out a significant number of allies in the middle of a scenario, that makes it really hard to beat... and makes it hard to justify making the choice as a player.
Basically, my idea is an expansion on what TSI suggested.

What if the scenario has a third option introduced - if Konrad helps the Gryphons instead of attacking them, then the Gryphons voluntarily give some of their eggs to Konrad to be used to train as riders? As a bonus, the Gryphons could choose to send some riderless Gryphons immediately to Konrad's aid.

To summarize, the following 3 options would be available in dealing with the Gryphons:

1) The enemy defeats the Mother Gryphon and steals the eggs - no Gryphon Riders for Konrad
2) Konrad defeats the Mother Gryphon and steals the eggs - Konrad has Gryphon Riders eventually
3) Konrad defends Gryphons successfully against enemy attack - Konrad has Gryphons immediately and Riders eventually.

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Re: Inconsistency with griffons?

Post by boru » July 20th, 2010, 9:14 pm

DoorOpener wrote:To summarize, the following 3 options would be available in dealing with the Gryphons:

1) The enemy defeats the Mother Gryphon and steals the eggs - no Gryphon Riders for Konrad
2) Konrad defeats the Mother Gryphon and steals the eggs - Konrad has Gryphon Riders eventually
3) Konrad defends Gryphons successfully against enemy attack - Konrad has Gryphons immediately and Riders eventually.
Sounds good. What will be the elves' reaction to option 2?
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Re: Inconsistency with griffons?

Post by A-Red » July 20th, 2010, 9:22 pm

But if the gryphons are non-sentient animals--and mainline treats them as such, which is the point of this thread--then they wouldn't give Konrad anything, for any reason.

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Re: Inconsistency with griffons?

Post by Dixie » July 20th, 2010, 9:28 pm

boru wrote:
DoorOpener wrote:To summarize, the following 3 options would be available in dealing with the Gryphons:

1) The enemy defeats the Mother Gryphon and steals the eggs - no Gryphon Riders for Konrad
2) Konrad defeats the Mother Gryphon and steals the eggs - Konrad has Gryphon Riders eventually
3) Konrad defends Gryphons successfully against enemy attack - Konrad has Gryphons immediately and Riders eventually.
Sounds good. What will be the elves' reaction to option 2?
Well, maybe the panicked gryphons just attacked anything in sight and it became self defense, in which case I wouldn't see why elves would object all that much. I mean, loving nature and protecting it is a thing, but if a grizzly bears decides he's gonna have you for lunch, you'd better see to that not happenning.. So in order to have the 3rd ending, the player would have to avoid the mountains and the gryphons as much as possible so as not to kill any.
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Re: Inconsistency with griffons?

Post by johndh » July 20th, 2010, 11:23 pm

Dixie wrote:Well, maybe the panicked gryphons just attacked anything in sight and it became self defense, in which case I wouldn't see why elves would object all that much. I mean, loving nature and protecting it is a thing, but if a grizzly bears decides he's gonna have you for lunch, you'd better see to that not happenning.. So in order to have the 3rd ending, the player would have to avoid the mountains and the gryphons as much as possible so as not to kill any.
While that would make the difficulty match the payoff, I'm not sure what justification there would be for the gryphons joining Konrad afterward if they're not sentient.
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Re: Inconsistency with griffons?

Post by turin » July 20th, 2010, 11:51 pm

So, I happened to be browsing the forums (which I do occasionally, even though I have no plans to resume working on Wesnoth-related materials), and this thread caught my attention. Since I'm the original writer of SoF and thus made possible the current confusion, I'd like to clarify what I was trying to do with Krawg, the talking gryphon. Note that this is what my intention was, not necessarily what ended up happening, and in any case there's no reason to stick with what I say here.

Originally, Krawg is not supposed to be as intelligent as a human, elf, dwarf, or orc. He's on a level above most animals, but below anything we'd consider "rational." The problem I had with conveying this is that I couldn't say "this gryphon walks up to one of the dwarves and starts acting friendly, it cocks its head and looks at him in a way that seems to invite the dwarf to ride him, the dwarf does so." That wouldn't work the way Wesnoth dialogue is set up. So instead I made him speak English but with a horrible bird accent. Not the best solution, I admit. I actually somewhat advocate changing it -- at least rewriting it to be more comprehensible, even if it remains accented.

But having Krawg talk had another purpose, too -- it was supposed to emphasize the storybook/mythic quality of the campaign. Most Wesnoth campaigns are supposed to be straight history; SoF is intended to be the myth built up around the forging of the scepter, explaining why the it's as important as it is. When I did it I was thinking about The Hobbit, and how there are talking eagles; the eagles being able to talk didn't make me think that killing eagles in general was wrong, just that these eagles were special. I was going for the same thing with Krawg.

What I certainly was not going for was gryphons in general being intelligent enough that they deserve to be treated as rational. If it's OK to kill eagles or wolves, it should be OK to kill gryphons.

All this said, obviously what I was going for didn't entirely succeed. People are taking Krawg the talking gryphon and assuming it means gryphons can actually talk. My preferred solution would be to edit SoF so that Krawg still talked, but also make it more obvious that SoF is not straight history and that Krawg talking is both unusual and not entirely historically accurate. (Note that this is a good idea for other reasons as well -- the whole timeline for the forging of the scepter reeks of mythic time, like the ten years it took to siege Troy, rather than realistic time.) If it's changed so that gryphons are actually rational beings, it causes a lot of other problems -- the whole idea of gryphon riders is called into question. And I'd rather not make Krawg just a generic speechless gryphon. But all three of those are reasonable courses of action, and I don't have any say anyway, so do whatever you like!
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