Does the AI cheat?

General feedback and discussion of the game.

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bineteri
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Post by bineteri »

I've been playing the game for 2 weeks now and I feel that the AI at medium is ... weird. It often makes foolish desisions like running away at dawn when it could kick my ass.
It seems that your formation is the most important thing in this game. when the AI cannot find a week point, it runs away.
One thing that took me around a week to figure out is that you can see where an enemy unit will be able to go on its next turn by hovering your cursor on it. Using this tool, I now find the game a lot easier.
sawchain
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Post by sawchain »

turin wrote:use the SIX MAIN DIRECTIONS, NOT THE USUAL FOUR.

really, this is the oddest criticism of the game I have ever heard. i can understand most... but how can you complain about the very fact its a hex-based game?
Read. Think. Understand.

I repeat myself. :roll:

The criticism is that the game takes you from kindergarten and puts you into a graduate level course.

You go from a tutorial which is easy to win on your first try to a real challenge where you must understand complex strategies to master.

The solution to this problem I suggest is an extended 'advanced tutorial' which discusses more complex topics and strategies. The North/South, East/West discussion is merely a single suggestion for a single topic in the advanced tutorial.

When you think something is odd, don't presume it is so. You may not have all the information.
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Elvish_Pillager
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Post by Elvish_Pillager »

sawchain wrote:The criticism is that the game takes you from kindergarten and puts you into a graduate level course.
I would kind of agree... The Elves Besieged was recently 'rebalanced' very unfavorably, and now it's too hard for the first scenario of the first campaign...
It's all fun and games until someone loses a lawsuit. Oh, and by the way, sending me private messages won't work. :/ If you must contact me, there's an e-mail address listed on the website in my profile.
quartex
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Post by quartex »

sawchain, if you haven't already, please play in "Easy" mode if you're having difficulty. There are some players who think that they should be able to play in Normal difficulty, and get mad when they keep losing. I find easy to be very challenging and would probably get my ass kicked in normal. So if you're having problems, play on easy.

I don't know about the other campaigns, but I found Heir to the Throne and The Rise of Wesnoth both playable on Easy. I realize that they may be some balancing issue with scenarios like "Elves Besieged" and "Crossroads" in HttT. If you have problems with a scenario, go back a few scenarios and try to build up more advanced units. Concentrating your experience on a few unit so you can level them up fast is an important part of the strategy of this game.
pg
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Post by pg »

sawchain: have you tried multiplayer? personally the luck factor in single player annoys me but in multiplayer i find it very fun.
sawchain
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Post by sawchain »

quartex wrote:sawchain, if you haven't already, please play in "Easy" mode if you're having difficulty.
Ok, ok... I admit it... I started out on Hero level. I didn't want to think I had to play the 'easy' level.

However, I HAVE since played on easy, and still find it to be a challenge. The back breaker for me was when I attacked the North-Western leader in 'Elves Besieged' with five elvish archers and had a grand total of ONE hit out of all five attacks. This is NOT an exaggeration.

I understand that as probability goes I could've been dispraportionately successful. However, why, when I have worked so hard to perfect my strategy, should I accept a simple roll of the dice to decide who wins? It's simply disheartening to a player to have the game say "The next five attacks mean nothing. ... and oh by the way ... ALL enemy attacks are successful on this turn as well."

I suppose my conjecture is this: I simply dislike the idea that I am not in control. Dice rolling is not my idea of strategy. ( As an interesting side note, I LOVE chess. No random involved there. )
Dacyn
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Post by Dacyn »

Integral
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Post by Integral »

sawchain wrote:The back breaker for me was when I attacked the North-Western leader in 'Elves Besieged' with five elvish archers and had a grand total of ONE hit out of all five attacks. This is NOT an exaggeration.
I just did some quick figuring, and I get a chance of 1 in 2000 of this happening. Unlikely, but not unthinkable. IMO, Wesnoth is a lot more like nethack than like chess: its strategy is about managing risk, and about building up a significant enough pile of resources than you can survive one or two bouts of bad luck.

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Post by cedric »

Elvish Pillager wrote:The Elves Besieged was recently 'rebalanced' very unfavorably, and now it's too hard for the first scenario of the first campaign...
Recently? Hmm, the Elves Besieged has not been changed in monthes (3 monthes). Do you mean as a side effect of a unit change?

--
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Post by Darth Fool »

sawchain wrote: However, I HAVE since played on easy, and still find it to be a challenge. The back breaker for me was when I attacked the North-Western leader in 'Elves Besieged' with five elvish archers and had a grand total of ONE hit out of all five attacks. This is NOT an exaggeration.

...

I suppose my conjecture is this: I simply dislike the idea that I am not in control. Dice rolling is not my idea of strategy. ( As an interesting side note, I LOVE chess. No random involved there. )
Hmmm.... I don't know why you are attacking the north-western leader. You certainly don't have to attack him to win the scenario.

As an interesting side note, I too, love chess. wesnoth is not chess, is not meant to be chess, and doesn't even pretend to be chess. Part of the strategy involved in wesnoth is the art of minimizing the effect of the randomness on you by choosing good terrain for your units to defend in, and when possible, attacking enemy units in terrain that is bad for them. Chess is also an information complete game. There is no fog-of-war. This doesn't make it better or worse, just different. If you like information-complete deterministic games above all others, stick to Chess and Go. to quote someone...
Read. Think. Understand.
...
When you think something is odd, don't presume it is so. You may not have all the information.
good advice. You might wish to apply it to your understanding of the game of wesnoth... :)
sawchain
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Post by sawchain »

Darth Fool wrote:As an interesting side note, I too, love chess. wesnoth is not chess, is not meant to be chess, and doesn't even pretend to be chess. Part of the strategy involved in wesnoth is the art of minimizing the effect of the randomness on you by choosing good terrain for your units to defend in, and when possible, attacking enemy units in terrain that is bad for them. Chess is also an information complete game. There is no fog-of-war. This doesn't make it better or worse, just different. If you like information-complete deterministic games above all others, stick to Chess and Go. to quote someone...
I agree that the overall strategy in Wesnoth (as it is in real life warfare) is to eliminate (or minimize) the amount of unpredictability in the outcome of the battle.

The fact is that in Wesnoth the amount of influence the user has over the outcome of a battle is small. The major factor is that the outcome still comes down to a die roll.

As a solution I would suggest a class of units that have a nearly guaranteed chance to hit, but can inflict on small amounts of damage. Like an archer who will inflict two damage points but who has a 90 or 100 percent chance to hit.

As for whether or not I will continue to play Wesnoth, I think not. I do think the game is good. It seems to be well written, well designed, it has good artwork, good sound, and I know that some agree that it has good gameplay. These things all come together to make a game the many consider good. The fact is, though, that Wesnoth simply doesn't meet my taste.

I wish the Wesnoth community the best.

Good bye.
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turin
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Post by turin »

(second) worst idea ever.

I really don't want to elaborate further.... basically, it all has to do with the fundamental randomness of the game, and the whole refutation of deterministic mode...
For I am Turin Turambar - Master of Doom, by doom mastered. On permanent Wesbreak. Will not respond to private messages. Sorry!
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allover
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A different new user experience

Post by allover »

For contrast, let me describe my experience when I started.

For background, I've played a certain amount of xconq, freeciv, ASC, and bos-stratagus (the beginnings of a starcraft game). Not a lot, and not multiplayer - I don't feel comfortable playing multiplayer until I feel I'm "good" at a game.

I started Wesnoth (0.8.something) and saw the welcome screen; "tutorial" looked promising, so I ran it. It was easy. Really easy. But it's the tutorial... so I started the main game, on easy, since the game looked complicated and I had no idea how to play. I started with Elves Besieged; looked easy (although I should point out that the elves are not, in fact, besieged in this scenario - they're just invaded) so I recruited a bunch of troops and ran for the exit, avoiding battle as much as possible, since I was watching the orcs wipe out my allies right left and center. I got there (with one mistake, placing some elves in grass next to a crossbowman in hills and expecting them to win). I played onward, generally trying to win with a mad rush for the villages followed by mass recruiting to send a swarm at the enemy leader. The first game I actually lost was the Isle of Anduin, which I lost several different ways before being careful enough of the NW lich. I proceeded onward, taking several tries (and save-loading from time to time) with most of the scenarios, up to the Sceptre of Fire. That one took a lot of work; I eventually took the sceptre by sending the biggest force I could recruit as a mob towards where I knew the Sceptre should be from reading the code (and from several trial runs that just involved sending out gryphon riders looking for the cursed thing). Even then it was a fifty-fifty chance which passage to choose. I finally took it (with Konrad, as I was offended by the idea of Li'sar becoming ruler of Wesnoth, even though it leaves Li'sar rather screwed, weapon-wise). I then won the choice, the swamp, and the cockatrices, and got to the Return to Wesnoth. Great, except for all those levels before I realized leveling up units was important... so I'm now in the process of replaying the whole campaign both on Medium and on Easy.

In general, I find it really hard to build up many strong units on Easy - just not enough enemies for my strategy (which is still oriented to winning with minimal losses rather than leveling-up units). And Medium is just plain hard, so far. But I think Easy is about the right level of difficulty for me - I admit I like to be able to blow through the first few levels of a game; it's okay to get me stuck once I'm hooked. And Medium, Hard, and all those other campaigns promise to keep me entertained for a long time on single-player mode, which I find extremely rare in FLOSS games.

I've played ASC, which is deterministic, like people keep wishing for. I understand very well the frustration of surrounding a single enemy unit with strong fighters and still not being able to get it out of your way to put your healer in just the right place because the dice fall wrong. ASC replaces this with the frustration of knowing that there's no way you can possibly kill that enemy unit that's in the way; you just have to sit there and watch it butcher your damaged units. Either way has its drawbacks; either way affects what kind of tactical problems you have to solve. But neither is easier, and both are frustrating. It's just as frustrating to pound away at an enemy unit with your artillery for eight rounds when you *know* it will take eight rounds as it is when you're just hoping to roll a hit.

ASC is also specifically designed so that even in campaign mode, while the units you get on level n+1 resemble those you should have finished level n, they don't depend on it. So you never need to wonder whether you should re-play a level to get more experienced units (or whatever) out of it. I sort of like this feature, in that it's annoying to feel I have to start the game over to make any forward progress. But on the other hand, that means once you're done with a level, you're *done* with it, and there's no point playing it any more. So I think it detracts from the replay value of the game.
quartex
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Post by quartex »

sawchain you want units that have a very high chance of hitting. Use mages, they are designed to be able to kill enemies that have great defense, or are holed up in villages or great defensive terrain. Can't beat magic automatic 70% hit chance.

Elvish marksman and sharpshooters are also useful, automatic 60% hit chance everywhere.

There is some luck but Darth Fool is right. Attack an enemy when he is on great terrain and you will probably miss a lot. That's why your archers miss a lot when attacking an enemy leader in a castle. You can minimize the miss chance by using terrain to your advantage.

Frankly complaining about the randomness of the game isn't going to get you anywhere. Instead learn to use the terrain and units to your advantage.

If you really want a strategy game with no randomness, check out the game "Massive Assault". I'll post about it in the off-topic forums.
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Re: A different new user experience

Post by Invisible Philosopher »

allover wrote:In general, I find it really hard to build up many strong units on Easy - just not enough enemies for my strategy (which is still oriented to winning with minimal losses rather than leveling-up units).
As long as your units don't cost 20 gold or more each, it is entirely to your advantage to throw away some inexperienced units in order to help get others more experience. There is no reason to keep them, no advantage to having them on your recall list.

However it is still a problem that the low number of enemies in Easy interferes with getting levelled units (especially for a player who isn't [very skilled]).
Play a Silver Mage in the Wesvoid campaign.
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