Secrets of the Ancients (Undead Campaign)

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beetlenaut
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Re: Secrets of the Ancients: Undead Campaign (now complete!)

Post by beetlenaut »

Ardonna is likely to level up to a sorceress around scenario 3, after which her portrait normally wouldn't change. I decided to split the portraits more equitably by leaving the original portrait for two levels. So, that one was intentional. The others...not so much! Thanks for the report. I took care of it.
Campaigns: Dead Water,
The Founding of Borstep,
Secrets of the Ancients,
and WML Guide
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zookeeper
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Re: Secrets of the Ancients: Undead Campaign (now complete!)

Post by zookeeper »

Playing on easy, I've found "Abandoned Outpost" to be way too difficult. Basically I have no units that can attack a spider without any risk of dying on the next turn; Death Knights are my best tanks against them, but if they take two bites in retaliation, they'll be down to just 35HP and thus can die from just one spider's web attack (and usually there'd be more than one).

On my first try (well... the first on which I managed to clear the first encounter), I ended up running out of turns as I was wearing out the last spider nest one by one.

As an alternative I tried to recruit a pile of sacrificial ghouls to poison as many of them as possible, but the first spider I attacked immediately killed 3 of them in retaliation (the third ghoul finally managed to poison it), so that plan went down the drain.
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Crow_T
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Re: Secrets of the Ancients: Undead Campaign (now complete!)

Post by Crow_T »

The spider board is brutal, I too am struggling with it- Spectres seem to do OK but I only have 2. I was considering ghoul spam as well, maybe I will have more luck...
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Re: Secrets of the Ancients: Undead Campaign (now complete!)

Post by beetlenaut »

OK. For EASY and MEDIUM difficulties, I made some small changes to the terrain, gold, number of spiders, and turns. I hope they add up to a less frustrating scenario. (I didn't change HARD.)

Yeah, spectres are the most useful units to have, but even wraiths tend to do fine if the spiders are on flat (where they only get 30% defense). You also have enough gold for some ectoplasmic cannon fodder, and it's likely that at least one will survive and level.
Campaigns: Dead Water,
The Founding of Borstep,
Secrets of the Ancients,
and WML Guide
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zookeeper
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Re: Secrets of the Ancients: Undead Campaign (now complete!)

Post by zookeeper »

With those changes the difficulty seemed about right.

The next scenario was pretty easy, because the trolls weren't very numerous and I could usually engage them a few at a time.

The next one, "North Knalga", was pretty difficult though, mostly due to the swarm of lvl2/lvl3 dwarves that rush at you in the crystal caves and the tight turn limit (I managed a win at turn 28/30 I think).

The final scenario seemed like it'd be really tough (since it seemed obvious that the other three keeps would be put to use), but thanks to the chokepoint bridge it wasn't too difficult at all after I survived the first night and killed the nagas and most of the saurians while easily holding off the knights with just a handful of units. One thing that made the saurians a lot easier to deal with was the fact that they pretty much only recruited Soothsayers and Oracles; I think I only saw one ambusher. My recall list was probably somewhat average (excluding the loyals, none of whom I had lost):

3 Spectres
3 Banebows
2 Death Knights
2 Ghasts
1 Draug
1 Lich
1 Necromancer
1 Nightgaunt,
1 Shadow,
3 Bone Shooters,
2 Dread Bats,
1 Necrophage,
1 Deathblade

Overall it was an enjoyable campaign, with my biggest complaint probably being how Rudic was useless for combat 90% of the time because of his relatively low HP. :mrgreen:

Finally, a couple more typos:

- "Fires of the mountian"
- "life force of the dwaves"
- "The dwaves circled around"
- "Dan Tonk" should be "Dan’Tonk"
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beetlenaut
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Re: Secrets of the Ancients: Undead Campaign (now complete!)

Post by beetlenaut »

Thanks for the report! I'll add a couple turns to North Knalga. Do you think I should increase the difficulty of the final scenario?
Campaigns: Dead Water,
The Founding of Borstep,
Secrets of the Ancients,
and WML Guide
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zookeeper
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Re: Secrets of the Ancients: Undead Campaign (now complete!)

Post by zookeeper »

beetlenaut wrote:Thanks for the report! I'll add a couple turns to North Knalga. Do you think I should increase the difficulty of the final scenario?
I'm not sure. Maybe the dwarves, humans and elves (or some of them) could arrive a turn earlier? All of them met my units after I had already pretty much taken care of the knights, saurians and nagas, so they weren't much of a threat.

My main worry in the scenario was to not lose many of my best units, because after the first 5 turns or so, there was no way I'd ever have gotten to positive gold again. If I'd have lost just a handful more units early on, the rest of the scenario would have become a lot harder or at least a lot slower. So, I wouldn't suggest making the early fights harder. Maybe if the merman leader actually stayed in his castle and kept recruiting (assuming he has enough income to keep it up), it could keep the pressure up at the river.

That said, I was playing on easy and it still wasn't a complete cakewalk, so it might already be just right.
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Re: Secrets of the Ancients: Undead Campaign (now complete!)

Post by beetlenaut »

I had the merman stay in his castle, but that way, he could be safely ignored until most of the map was cleared. I changed it to have him come into the center.

I decided to make the dwarves and elves show up a turn earlier, but didn't do anything else. I'm calling the campaign done now.
Campaigns: Dead Water,
The Founding of Borstep,
Secrets of the Ancients,
and WML Guide
blackjack
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Re: Secrets of the Ancients: Undead Campaign (now complete!)

Post by blackjack »

I get a couple of LUA errors on the "Becalmed"... I think the AI can't handle the 2nd trapdoor. This is in Wesnoth 1.16
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Re: Secrets of the Ancients: Undead Campaign (now complete!)

Post by beetlenaut »

Yeah, this is an engine problem. You can't use any trapdoor if there is a unit on the hex where it comes out, and if the AI tries to do it, you get that error. I submitted a bug report, but it hasn't been fixed yet. It won't affect the game, and it seems not to affect the savefile either.
Campaigns: Dead Water,
The Founding of Borstep,
Secrets of the Ancients,
and WML Guide
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taptap
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Re: Secrets of the Ancients: Undead Campaign (now complete!)

Post by taptap »

Played the first chapter (? up until and incl. Blackwater) on necromancer difficulty. Pleasantly difficult (although I am not in shape) all around, by far not as mindboggingly hard as Founding of Borstep, but I needed more than one attempt in several scenarios. I have trouble keeping my skeletons alive, doing much better with the archers and end Blackwater with minimum gold. So far, well done, very varied opponents and maps.

In Bandits one attempt turned sour because I overrecruited bats and thus my main army turned out to be too weak. I finally did it the slow way, taking the main fight close to the keep so leader could intervene with magical attacks (Ardonna started close to L2). (UK1, you didn't think of that right?) Two recalled blood- and a vampire bat flew diversion missions and took down one or two isolated units as well. (I wonder whether you can play this as bat assassination as well.) I found the ship pretty cool and sufficiently hard, as I started with rather limited gold and the sailors stopped coming below deck at one point, so I had to reemerge on deck to make it, which turned out not as easy as it seems due to zones of control on deck slowing deployment.
I am a Saurian Skirmisher: I'm a real pest, especially at night.
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beetlenaut
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Re: Secrets of the Ancients: Undead Campaign (now complete!)

Post by beetlenaut »

taptap wrote:Pleasantly difficult...not as mindboggingly hard as Founding of Borstep
Excellent! That's what I was going for this time.
Campaigns: Dead Water,
The Founding of Borstep,
Secrets of the Ancients,
and WML Guide
Wayirr
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Re: Secrets of the Ancients: Undead Campaign (now complete!)

Post by Wayirr »

Finished playing this campaign. Liked second scenario the most. Classical ones when you recruit a keep of units and fight enemies who also recruited a keep of units are quite boring. The fourth one was also very cool.

I have played with medium difficulty. Scenario-wise review follows:
Spoiler:
I wonder why you can never recruit other walking corpse variations? Specifically bat zombies. You are supposed to have plenty of bats, why can't you revive others? Bat corpses are better then human ones on difficult terrains. Also did you consider adding soulless to recruit list? Or letting the player to level corpses beyond lvl1?

Are you going to continue the campaign or at least hint, if it's know how long the main chars lived
Olix
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Re: Secrets of the Ancients: Undead Campaign (now complete!)

Post by Olix »

I just finished playing through this campaign, it's fun. I like all the maps and the varied enemies. I thought the campaign had a good increase in difficulty and scale as it went along - from raiding graveyards for zombies at the start, through to raising Dwarf cities at the end.

The plot was good, though I felt that some of the character's motivations were weak in places. In particular, I thought Vendraxis was rather undeveloped - he was quick to join up with these random necromancers that had just killed his whole clan. Similarly for the Carcyn and Shynal, the two humans you pick up: they didn't mind at all about you killing their father and destroying their town. There also no tension or distrust between the two lead characters - after their first meeting, they immediately trusted each other completely, and set off on a big coordinated plan to discover immortality. It's nice that these two get along as equals, rather than as master/apprentice. Evil mages in fiction do not usually work together as equals. Still, I think the story would be stronger if they did not initially trust each other. I would have had a small party of runaway mage hunters from the academy interrupt their initial meeting in the cave. The common enemy and the shared experience of fighting off their pursuers would be the bonding event for Ardryn-Na and Ras-Tabahn.

I think it would be fun if Vendraxis and Rudic had level 3 upgrades. In particular for Vendraxis, it would be nice if he could become a Lich (or otherwise get a powerup) when all the human characters do so.

The only scenario I didn't enjoy was Mountain Pass, with the Gryphons. It was kind of tedious fighting an enemy with such a massive advantage in maneuverability.

There were a couple of maps (with the Orcs, and the Saurians + Naga) which I thought would have been more interesting as three way battles - the Orc one at least seems like it would have been a natural fit for a FFA map.
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Re: Secrets of the Ancients: Undead Campaign (now complete!)

Post by beetlenaut »

Wayirr wrote:I wonder why you can never recruit other walking corpse variations? Specifically bat zombies.
That would have made it too easy I think. In "reality," a necromancer should be able to raise any unit that dies on the battlefield, but that would be ridiculous.
Wayirr wrote:letting the player to level corpses beyond lvl1?
Olix wrote:I think it would be fun if Vendraxis and Rudic had level 3 upgrades.
Why does everyone always want three levels for every unit, and awesome power-ups? I think it's more interesting to have a variety of levels, and it's quite possible for units to be overpowered, especially when they are loyal.
Olix wrote:I thought would have been more interesting as three way battles
I avoided them on purpose. Plot-wise, three way battles can be interesting, but they are very hard to balance, and need to be redone every time the developers improve the AI. I get annoyed playing them too. It's boring to watch the other armies fight each other.
Wayirr wrote:If they are so hard to level, you might add some perks for them maybe
They are the perks! They really are too fragile for Training Session, so level them later when they have better chances.
Olix wrote:The plot was good, though I felt that some of the character's motivations were weak in places.
I had all this sorted out in my mind. I also had a lot of it in the dialog when I started, but the dialog got really long. I spent a lot of time making it as short as I could so the players would actually read it.
Spoiler:
Wayirr wrote:Are you going to continue the campaign or at least hint, if it's know how long the main chars lived
I'm not planning on extending this campaign, but
Spoiler:
Campaigns: Dead Water,
The Founding of Borstep,
Secrets of the Ancients,
and WML Guide
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