On Randomness and Game Longevity

General feedback and discussion of the game.

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Temuchin Khan
Posts: 1732
Joined: September 3rd, 2004, 6:35 pm
Location: Player 6 on the original Agaia map

Post by Temuchin Khan »

Rev_the_Avacado wrote:I like the fact that the statistics can be fickle at times.. it makes for heroic last stands and gives the lowliest goblin spearman a chance to lead the charge and break through the ranks.
Yes! I love it when a unit makes a heroic last stand!
Tropico
Posts: 25
Joined: May 3rd, 2006, 1:18 pm

Post by Tropico »

Eleazar wrote:Personally, i find the randomness liberating.
I prefer to have an general overall strategy, and a more specific goals for the next few turn. It's not practical to have a highly detailed strategy for many turns, because there are too many variables. You can't consider all the probable scenarios for many turn in the future.
I agree completely. I just re-discovered this game and it is better now than it ever was for me.

In the end Wesnoth's level of randomness is perfect for the type of player it's designed to cater to, namely a casual, fun, free-wheeling, improvisational type of player that even though he does build his skills and gets better at it over time, it never crosses the line where he stops experimenting with wacky stuff and trying impossible things just because.

This player will fire up Wesnoth and load up a map and simply dive into the combat, having a generally good strategy but not sweating it when the details completely derail everything... he will indeed send goblins against cavalry just on the off chance they'll get a lucky hit... on winning he'll say 'I rock!', on losing he'll shrug, roll his eyes and say, 'man the RNG screwed me over on that one' yet at the same time secretly knowing that maybe not... then he'll load up another map and go at it again.

In multiplayer this type of player will freely boast of being the King of Wesnoth when he wins, and similarly freely rib his opponents about being favored by the RNG when he loses, but always keeping it light and fun and in good taste, and always willing to fire up a rematch. In short, he plays for the fun of it.

This is all in stark contrast to the other end of the player-spectrum: The player which exhaustively analyzes and details every stat of every unit and compares it against every other in each possible combination, who actually really really cares that every race is perfectly balanced against all others, who studies and writes minutely detailed plans and contingency plans covering every outcome of a game in order to win, and basically ends up subconsciously putting himself and his own sense of self-worth on the line at every game he plays. On losing a multiplayer this player will also hint that RNG is to blame, but not in a playful way, but instead in a "I'm still better than you, you just won cause the RNG won it FOR you", validation-needy type of way.

I personally am very happy that Wesnoth plays for the former type of player and not the latter. There are scads and scads of strategy games that do that already, why the need for any more? Wesnoth fills in the previously (and sorely) empty niche of the 'casual wargamer', and it does it wonderfully.

Having said all that, I can certainly see an offshoot of Wesnoth, maybe 'Wesnoth: Battlegrounds" or whatever, specifically designed to cater to the serious win-or-die tournament players. Wesnoth itself, though, is not that game.
ott
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Posts: 838
Joined: September 28th, 2004, 10:20 am

Post by ott »

Tropico wrote:
Eleazar wrote:Personally, i find the randomness liberating.
In the end Wesnoth's level of randomness is perfect for the type of player it's designed to cater to, namely a casual, fun, free-wheeling, improvisational type of player that even though he does build his skills and gets better at it over time, it never crosses the line where he stops experimenting with wacky stuff and trying impossible things just because.

This is all in stark contrast to the other end of the player-spectrum: The player which exhaustively analyzes and details every stat of every unit and compares it against every other in each possible combination, who actually really really cares that every race is perfectly balanced against all others
We obsessive types have a great alternate outlet: contributing to the game. Part of the reason the game is fun is because Nitpickers, Inc. have been through the unit stats, tried to balance factions, carefully weighed options, and obsessed on behalf of the freewheeling, improvisational types. :-)

Oh, and it does help that some of those top (free-wheeling, risk-taking, improvisational) players are members of Nitpickers, Inc...
Having said all that, I can certainly see an offshoot of Wesnoth, maybe 'Wesnoth: Battlegrounds" or whatever, specifically designed to cater to the serious win-or-die tournament players. Wesnoth itself, though, is not that game.
Wesnoth is random. Randomness can be fun. Feel the force!
This quote is not attributable to Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.
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