Tribute to Burning Suns -- TtBS

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fabi
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Tribute to Burning Suns -- TtBS

Post by fabi »

This thread is about the reimaged UtBS campaign,
called "Tribute to Burning Suns" or short TtBS.

The document is still work in progress.
History of the Project
Back when I was the maintainer of UtBS I began to develop a bunch of concepts for redoing parts of the campaign and its setup.

The basic idea developed around the Quenoth elves faction being rather bad designed.
When the work on the latest generation of character and unit portraits started I saw the chance for
redesigning the faction and some parts of the campaign around it.

While the work on the portraits went (and is still ongoing) on, the development of the new faction stalled, mostly because of the resistance throughout the developer community against most changes to the campaign.

Thus I dropped the maintenance and began working on the addon, being no longer bound to reach a consensus with all the people wanting to have a say on the campaign's future. The mainline campaign is in pure maintenance mode since then, variations are tried in the addon "UtBS-Eftboren".
State of the original campaign
This are some points where UtBS lacks mainline quality.
  • Outdated unit Portraits
  • Only a few story images -- That wouldn't be much of a problem, but they are distributed uneven. You see them all at the beginning.
    Still they could need some overhaul.
  • Outdated unit sprites
    The sprites are just a recolor of the original elves, the hunter line feels somehow different.
  • Tomato surprises
    There are a lot of them because of the RPGish nature of the campaign.
    Still some of them could be avoided to shorten the try and error saveloading.
  • The Quenoth elves faction
    • Current Quenoth elves differ to their ancestors, the woodland elves in the following points:
      • All units share the lawful alignment
      • Good defense values in sandy terrains instead of woodland
      • The Quenoth Ranger and Avenger feature the backstab ability instead of ambush.
      • The combat mage line of the shaman is missing
      • Addiditional unit, the Desert Horseman, a skirmisher
      • Additional unit line, Desert Hunter
    • Faction is only a ripoff of the woodland elves
    • Images are cheap recolors.
    • The faction is broken
    • The hunter line is better in almost all aspects, making the Fighter more or less obsolete.
      • More versatile damage types (blade/impact)
      • Overpowered because of the slow weapon special
    • The shaman
      • The slow weapon special is almost useless, it can be applied by the hunter line with less danger
      • Underpowered because of the slow weapon special
      • Reduced to a pure healer role, hard to level

The Quenoth faction differs in some small but important points to their woodland ancestors.

Let's have a look at the dream team of the faction, it's Desert Prowler combined with Desert Avenger.
Both equipped with 6MP they are able to hold the frontline and doing a lot of damage.
The Prowler can move behind enemy lines easily to enable the Avenger the backstab double damage,
while being able to flee in safety during the next turn.
The Prowler is also able to slow enemies, even more the better option if the target is vulnerable to impact weapons.

The both units do interact perfectly which each other while being overpowered on their own as well.
The Prowler with skirmish and slow while being a durable unit,
the Avenger with backstab and already a reasonable damage output without it while being as well durable.

The Marksmen and Sharpshooter advancements have still their usage with marksmanship,
but most of the time the Prowler/Avenger duo does better.
At least this units don't slow your front down, 6MP.

The fighter line is not worth to recruit, except for the leadership.
Only 4 hitpoints more from Champion to the Prowler,
but without any special features and slower.
There is no use case for the Champion in the faction, he and the Hero are completely obsolete.
Same for the fighter, but he can advance to the leadership featuring units.

The Captain and Marshal have the strong leadership ability,
this still makes them attractive to a certain degree.
Still one tends to not recall them later in the campaign, because of their slow speed.

The Shaman's slow weapon's effect can be applied by the Hunter line without less danger of using the unit. The non healing subtree was dropped and thus the whole line is a pure healing unit only, hard to level since their is usually no tactical reason to bring them to the enemy.

The Desert Horseman is much slower compared to the other side of the tree (8 vs 10 movement), still the skirmishing is a huge advantage.
You don't need a huge scouting range through most of the scenarios, thus in context of the campaign, the skirmisher is the best choice.

In general, you can master almost all battles in the campaign by using just the Sentinel/Prowler + Ranger/Avenger combination.
The shaman line is broken as well (because of the slow special) but still useful because of the healing.

Summary


Summary Broken Fine
  • Desert Fighter
    Slow and ineffective. This unit is a bad choice compared to the Hunter, only the Captain advancement with the leadership ability has some benefits.
  • Desert Hero
    Slow and ineffective
  • Desert Champion
    Slow and ineffective
  • Desert Captain
    Slow and ineffective, still the leadership makes the unit worth the money
  • Desert Marshall
    Slow and ineffective, still the leadership makes the unit worth the money
  • Desert Hunter
    The Hunter is overpowered, having the slow weapon special and being an adequate front line unit.
  • Desert Sentinel
    Horribly overpowered, especially when combined with Ranger/Avenger
  • Desert Prowler
    Horribly overpowered, especially when combined with Ranger/Avenger
  • Desert Archer
    The different damage type and the range makes him worth the price.
  • Desert Marksman
    The different damage type and the range makes him worth the price. Marksmen is also fine.
  • Desert Sharpshooter
    The different damage type and the range makes him worth the price. Marksmen is also fine.
  • code is in a bad shape, the campaign is hard to maintain


History and Setup
First, a quote from the only official source outside of the campaign.
Timeline of Wesnoth wrote: After the Fall

At some unknown point in the future, an unspeakable cataclysm scorched the surface of the lands. The Wesnoth magicians try to rise up a 3rd sun in the sky, but they fail and the `sun` fall down over Weldyn. The capital is no more. The King and his family are dead and there is no heir. The local leaders torn apart Wesnoth. The nights become longer, days hotter. Evil creatures show up. Forests died, hills turned into rocky wastelands and fields became barren deserts. In the apocalypse allies turned against each other and friends fought over what few resources remained. The great nations were destroyed, and huge numbers of people died. Still amidst the chaos somehow small groups of people survived, sheltered in hidden places. In this post-apocalyptic world survival is a daily struggle as a few remaining tribes eke out an existence among the ruins of fallen empires. Heroic bands of elves, nomadic refugee humans, savage hordes of orcs and dark necromancers all forge new lives under the merciless dual suns, Sela and Naia, of this new Wesnoth.

??? Post-Wesnoth
  • The Quenoth elves adapt to life in barren world of the Great Southern Desert. Over time they lost their affinity for the woodlands of their ancestry and embrace life in the sandy wastelands.
  • Under the leadership of Tanuil, the Quenoth elves build and sustain a fortified village around a rare oasis. The village thrives amidst the hostilities of the desert.
  • One night, a meteor storm rains from the sky and destroys the village of the Quenoth elves. Under the Burning Suns begins. The next day, Tanuil, like many others, is missing and presumed dead. Kalehssar (Kaleh), nephew of Tanuil, takes leadership of the remaining Quenoth elves as the surviving next of kin.
There is no definition of how the universe is build around Wesnoth, thus I assume that Irdya is a planet similar to earth, in a similar solar system.
Like Earth, Irdya seems to have a big moon (suggested by the time of day images) building a double gravitational system.
I remember a discussion about Irdya being indeed flat but a search did not bring me some results.

The first artificial sun was brought into sky by magicians to enlighten the night, it was supposed to have an orbit in sync with Irdya's rotation,
always being at midday during Sela's (the natural sun) midnight hours.
It didn't emit much heat but some light in the visible spectrum and thus the climate of Irdya wasn't influenced much from the project.

Their success made them careless and they soon decided (or some ruler of the country did) to bring up a second one to distinguish the night even further.
This project failed, the artificial suns collided, melting into a new one called later Naia, while destroying Irdya's landscapes with the collision's debris.

Naja's radiation isn't as bright as the magicians intended with the two artificial suns combined but hotter.
The orbiting speed was increased because of the lowered orbit resulting into a very hot time of day (At the point in the cycle when both suns are at midday)
and a cold but short night time (often with icerain and temperatures much below the freezing point of water, at least at the location of the Quenoth's home in the Great Southern Desert).

While Sela still takes 6 turns to do a full cycle around Irdya (or better Irdya takes 6 turns to spin around one time) the cycle of Naja is now only 4 turns long.
The result is a repeating state after 12 turns, shortening the current time of day schedule of 16 times by the amount of 4.

It took many years to reach the current stable system of rotating bodies,
in the meantime the climate was very chaotic and lead to mass distinction.

The time of day schedule described here I intend for usage in UtBS does not necessarily need to be the final stable cycle, campaigns following the events can alter the time schedule at their will.

Although, the debris of the highly magical artifact did not only harm, the powers freed on their destruction protected certain areas, while altering the nature rapidly.
Most life on Irdya survived in such protected locations (the valley of the elves in IftU is one of them) or by fast mutating keeping only those mutations alive whose transformation was a benefit in the changed environment.

New lifeforms were born, while others vanished.

The Quenoth elves are one example of the survivors which got transformed,
some dwarves managed to life on in caves (without being transformed) and humans found safe regions.
Trolls survived because of their stable nature.
Concept and game mechanics
TtBS will try to recreate the atmosphere of its original but with more usage of Wesnoth's current possibilities.
UtBS was an innovative and unusual campaign at its creation time,
the goal is to reach the same level compared to current mainline and addon campaigns again.

The time schedule and the introduction of liminal units is the most differing aspect of the campaign, let's begin with it:
Naia -- Original Sun, far away from the artificial sun experiments, still on it's old 6 time slots a day schedule.
Seila -- Smaller Sun, orbiting Irdya in 4 time slots

The result is a cycle of 12 slots:

[table][tr][th]Slot Number[/th][/tr][/table] Why are tables not working?
  1. Dawn
    • Naia at Sunraise
    • Seila at Sunraise
    • Time of day bonus: 0 (best value for liminal units)
  2. First Morning
    • Naia at Morning
    • Seila at Midday
    • Time of day bonus: +25 (best value for lawful units)
    • Hottest time of day, fire damage in the open desert
    • All (night) precipitation is evaporated at this time.
  3. First Afternoon
    • Naia at Afternoon
    • Seila at Sunlit
    • Time of day bonus: +25 (best value for lawful units)
    • Hot time of day, some fire damage in the open desert
  4. First Dusk
    • Naia at Sunlit
    • Seila at midnight (not visible)
    • Time of day bonus: 0 (best for liminal units)
    • This is the time the Quenoth elves end their sleep
  5. Sunshift
    • Naia at First Watch(not visible)
    • Seila at dawn
    • Time of day bonus: 0 (best for liminal units)
    • This is the time the Quenoth elves end their sleep
  6. Dimday
    • Naia at Second Watch(not visible)
    • Seila at Midday
    • Time of day bonus: 0 (best for liminal units)
  7. Second Dawn
    • Naia at Sunraise
    • Seila at Sunlit
    • Time of day bonus: 0 (best for liminal units)
  8. Second Morning
    • Naia at Morning
    • Seila at Midnight
    • Time of day bonus: +25 (best for lawful units)
  9. Second Afternoon
    • Naia at Afternoon
    • Seila at Sunraise
    • Time of day bonus: +25 (best for lawful units)
  10. Second Dusk
    • Naia at Sunlit
    • Seila at Midday
    • Time of day bonus: +0 (best for liminal units)
  11. First Watch
    • Naia at First Watch
    • Seila at Sunlit
    • Time of day bonus: -50 (best for chaotic units)
    • Cold damage in the open desert
  12. First Watch
    • Naia at Second Watch
    • Seila at Midnight
    • Time of day bonus: -50 (best for chaotic units)
    • Cold damage in the open desert
Most likely the Quenoth will call the 12 slot cycle a day,
consisting of a night and the long twilight around the Dimday in the middle.

Since there is little lost when abandoning the current Quenoth elves faction,
a complete redesign, counting the alignment shift to liminal in, seems appropriable.

Just modifying the woodland elves does not fit my needs or expectations.
The proposed new Quenoth elves faction is designed about a basic concept of their culture and a concept for the gameplay of the units.

Most cultures from tropical or deserted regions of our planet prefer the morning and evening for their work, no one would be very active at midday or during the nights.
The Quenoth elves being lawful does not make much sense at all.

As hunters, they would have specialized at the twilight times of day and the two sun setup gives a lot of them in the schedule. Further I suggest that the rough environment and the limited amount of food you can gather by hunting in the desert has always kept their numbers slow, having effects of their hunting and combat tactics.

Thus I assumed them being a hit and run sort of faction,
one that relies on the right time of day very badly.

Regarding the culture, the most basic question is where does their meal come from?
In an earth like setup, there is not many different possibilities:
  1. Hunting
    hunting is their traditional way of paying the bills.
  2. Farming
  3. to rear animals
  4. trading
At their oasis, the Quenoth could do all of them:
  1. Hunting is their traditional way of paying the bills.
  2. Farming could be in its first tries, at least around the oasis.
  3. Animal rearing, most likely in a nomadic form of life is also an option,
The Quenoth and their evolution
OurElvesAreBetter
The Quenoth elves are a collection of different elf mutations, which made it through the fall, building one society.
Additional to these humanoid life forms they learned to tame the "dire lynx", a big cat specialized at dry regions.
It may have had existed before, like the dire wolf, or be a mutation.

The Dire Lynx is still weak compared to horses regarding the bearing capacity.
Thus only female Quenoth elves use them as a mount.

Since the Quenoth live rather isolated, their is not much trade and exchange of goods.
Their tools and weapons are made out of the limited materials available to them.
(body parts like sinews and bones, some woods, stones, material made out of plants)

In general, there are two main directions of mutation,
the first one did adapt to the deserted environment by specializing on the twilight time of days being the more corporal part of the society.
They build the hunters and warriors of a tribe.
In lack of a proper name for this species, let's call them "Carnal Quenoth" (a working title).

These elves are smaller than their ancestors, the ears are less lengthy, and are covered by hair (or even fur) to protect them from the cold desert nights. The color of the skin is darker, but not black. It is more in a red/gold/ochre tune, adding camouflage during twilight times.
Some of the tribes add additional camouflage by tattooing.
Hair color is brown/red/golden.
Eyes should be noticeable different to those of Wood Elves.
The Carnal Quenoth see best at twillight, (I would suggest cat like mutation) let's see what a possible artist can do out of it.

So far 3 base Carnal Quenoth units with their trees are planed:
  • Scout/Hunter
    • lvl1
    • HP: 30
    • MP: 8
    • Female only unit
    • Very light gear, if any. I suggest a silk robe.
    • Uses the dire lynx as mount
    • Beastmaster concept (like the Goblin Wolf Rider) -- the animal is doing most of the fight
    • Weapons are claws and jaws(blade), some of the tree's units may use bolas(impact) featuring not the slow but the stun weapon special.
      • Jaws : 5 - 3 melee (blade)
      • Bolas : 4 - 2 ranged (impact) stuns
    • Alignment: liminal
  • Beastmaster/Hunter
    • lvl1
    • Both Genders or male only
    • MP 6
    • HP 35
    • Weapon:
      • Boomerang 3 4 ranged blade
      • claws (blade)
    • Alignment: liminal
    • Abilitiy: lynxmaster -- leadership for the direlynx
  • Quenoth Warrior
    • lvl1
    • Male only unit
    • Weapons:
      • Spear 7 3 melee piercing
    • somewhat heavier gear
  • Direlynx
    • Not cheap to avoid mass spam
    • Support unit
    • level0
    • Movement: 8
    • low hitpoints: 12
    • Alignment: liminal
    • Weapon jaws(blade), Bite(Piercing)
    • Advancement A
      • level1
      • twilightstalk
    • Advancement B
      • level1
      • skirmisher
    • Advancement C
      • level2
      • Advances from A and B
      • skirmisher
      • twilightstalk
The second mutation type returned some of the elves to the more spiritual form of their fairy ancestors.
Those less corporal entities aren't affected by the elements that much still giving them the choice to train the usage of the elements of their chosen alignment.
The members start with the neutral alignment but certain advancements allow to specialize on lawful or chaotic.
They build the priest/schamans caste.
  • Mystic line
    • Sibyl
      • Prophetess
    • Moon Singer
      • Moon Shyde
    • Sun Singer
      • Sun Sylph
  • Sibyl
    • Lvl 2
    • Alignment: neutral
    • HP 26
    • MP 5
    • Ability: heals +8, cures
    • Weapons
      • Staff - 4 2 melee impact
      • Blowgun - 2 2 ranged pierce poision
  • Mystic
    • Lvl 1
    • Alignment: neutral
    • HP 26
    • MP 5
    • Ability: heals
    • Weapons
      • Staff - 4 2 melee impact
      • Blowgun - 2 2 ranged pierce poision
  • Prophetess
    • Lvl 3
    • Alignment: neutral
    • HP 46
    • MP 5
    • Cost 52
    • Ability: cures, heals+8
    • Weapons
      • Arcane wave 12-2 melee arcane
      • Blowgun - 2 2 ranged pierce poision
  • Sun Sylph
    • Lvl 3
    • Gender female
    • Alignment: lawful
    • HP 46
    • MP 5
    • flies
    • Abilities: regenerates at day +8
    • Weapons
      • Fire Aura 12-2 melee fire magical
      • Blowgun 2-2 ranged pierce poison
  • Moon Shyde
    • Lvl 3
    • Gender female
    • Alignment: chaotic
    • HP 46
    • MP 5
    • flies
    • Abilities: regenerates at night +8 (or +12?)
    • Weapons
      • Cold Shock 12-3 melee cold magical
      • Wing Strike 2-2 melee impact poison magical
      • Blowgun 2-2 ranged pierce poison
  • Sanddancer
    • alignment neutral -- advancements stay neutral
    • HP 26
Campaign Layout
Keratur plot
I'd like to remove the whole plat around Keratur.
It does not add anything to the already complicated story and comes out of nowhere.
We don't learn about Kaleh's brother until he reveals himself.
Scenario one:
Scenario2:
Scenario 3:
Scenario 4:
Scenario 5:

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Elvish_Hunter
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Re: Tribute to Burning Suns -- TtBS

Post by Elvish_Hunter »

fabi wrote:[table][tr][th]Slot Number[/th][/tr][/table] Why are tables not working?
Because they are not implemented. See this topic: http://forums.wesnoth.org/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=31385 . (Yes, sometimes I felt the need to use them :) ).
Current maintainer of these add-ons:
1.14: The Sojournings of Grog, A Rough Life, The White Troll (co-author), Wesnoth Lua Pack
1.12: Children of Dragons

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lipk
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Re: Tribute to Burning Suns -- TtBS

Post by lipk »

UtBS is by far my favourite campaign, and I welcome every efforts to further improve it. I find the gameplay and unit changes mostly good, but I somewhat disagree with the plot modifications.

You made things too rational. The meteor originates from a natural disaster, the elves leave the oasis for a very practical reason. The original storyline featured much more mystery. The Quenoth were forced to set off by a supernatural phenomenon, and were following the call of their god. Discarding this would not only seriously affect the campaign's overall atmosphere, but would also kill the point of the story, that the calvary of the elves was set up by Yechnagoth.

I dislike the removal of Keratur, too. He does have a role in the campaign, he's the one who informs Kaleh about the fate of the ones who were fallen along the way. I agree that currently he doesn't seem to be a much important person, but in my opinion the solution would be to emphasize his role rather than removing him. Maybe there could have been more survivors left behind, not just him, and he could report the death of those?

Finally, the elvish captain is called Garak, not Garad. Or do you plan to rename him as well? :wink:

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Xudo
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Re: Tribute to Burning Suns -- TtBS

Post by Xudo »

I'm not a specialist in cosmic matter, but....
If the rotation of the Sela is not slowed down, why nights becomes cooler?
If whole known surfaces become desert, where is all water now?

You can make Direlynx a level 1 unit with appropriate cost and a following abilities for beastmaster.
(buff limited at 25%. lynx should be less_or_equal to master)
Spoiler:
And make advancements in two ways:
BM still have Beastmaster and Lynx gets twilightstalk. (and generally increase pierce damage)
BM loses Beastmaster and gains Backstab. Lynx gets skirmisher. (and generally increase blade damage)

In UTBS point has been made what Quenoths main enemy are necromancers and hordes of undeads. Because main role of warriors is defense of Quenoth, they should be equipped with impact melee weapons rather than spears. For example this or spears with following weapon special:
first strike will be "pierce", all other - "impact", reset after fight ends. (First they point enemy, and then they use spear as battle staff)

Two scenarios in a row without recruiting with "survive" goal looks very hard.
Last edited by Xudo on June 26th, 2012, 6:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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taptap
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Re: Tribute to Burning Suns -- TtBS

Post by taptap »

I agree that the desert elves are broken and I would imagine twilight as the best time of the day in a desert (especially when there are two suns) too, but I would be careful in restraining your imagination by pseudoscientific explanations. After all, the story involves mages raising a new sun to the sky (obviously they found enough material for that on Irdya) - little use to argue about orbiting speed after that. I wouldn't add units that make all alignments easily available. The aim is specialization and ToD-preference after all.

Also, I guess it is no help to you to add comments on single ideas now.

Just a question to comprehend your text: Which kind of stun do you mean? (There are at least two stuns in use. One disrupts enemy ZoC, another reduces enemy strikes by one (until 1)).
I am a Saurian Skirmisher: I'm a real pest, especially at night.

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Re: Tribute to Burning Suns -- TtBS

Post by fabi »

lipk wrote:UtBS is by far my favourite campaign, and I welcome every efforts to further improve it. I find the gameplay and unit changes mostly good, but I somewhat disagree with the plot modifications.
:)
You made things too rational. The meteor originates from a natural disaster, the elves leave the oasis for a very practical reason. The original storyline featured much more mystery. The Quenoth were forced to set off by a supernatural phenomenon, and were following the call of their god.
Right, both components stay in their places.
The Quenoth will never learn (although the player might get some idea if he prefers rational answers) that the fallen star is not a supernatural phenomenon.
Still the false Eloh will call Kaleh in his dreams and tell him to leave.
Not even the narrator needs to give a rational for the events happening.
Just consider the text part of the campaign writing process, I don't plan to spoil the story/prose with scientific lessons.
Discarding this would not only seriously affect the campaign's overall atmosphere, but would also kill the point of the story, that the calvary of the elves was set up by Yechnagoth.
Agreed, I consider the plot around Eloh one of the campaign's core elements, and there is not much to do better with it, nor can I see a detail that can be discarded. I will fix the text to point out that those story parts won't change.
I dislike the removal of Keratur, too. He does have a role in the campaign, he's the one who informs Kaleh about the fate of the ones who were fallen along the way. I agree that currently he doesn't seem to be a much important person, but in my opinion the solution would be to emphasize his role rather than removing him. Maybe there could have been more survivors left behind, not just him, and he could report the death of those?
Giving him a role during the first two scenarios, leaving him (believed dead) behind and a reappearance later on was an alternative to the removal I still consider. Still, currently he can just be left out without much effects to the campaign thus he will be easily to add later on.
I am still not sure about his motivations and intentions.
Yes, he was left behind and there might have been a bad relationship between the brothers we still don't know about.
But is that enough to convert him into a mystical Ninja, escaping countless times?
Then you discover his identity: "Oh, it's not a mystical Ninja, it's just brother Kerah, in a bad mood."
Somehow that story turn is funny, accidentally funny.
Reminds me to StarWars.

And wouldn't joining the tribe with his own identity again give him a much better position to get revenge on Kaleh?
I am fine with mystic in the storyline, the current implementation is just silly, it feels added later.
And in fact, it was added later.
The first few versions of the Campaign didn't feature the ninja brother.
Most of the stuff that was added later did more harm than good, imho.
xudojnik wrote:...If the rotation of the Sela is not slowed down, why nights becomes cooler?
You have a bigger difference in temperature when day switches to night.
During the daytimes the country is heathen up by the power of two suns, if both vanish the high difference in temperature lead to strong winds.
You can have temperature differences around 35°Celsius from a day to night in earth's deserts as well:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gobi_Desert#Climate

The artificial sun is much nearer to Irdya than the natural sun. It won't reach all of the planet's surface at all times because of that, the planet will still have frozen poles, or at least one frozen pole.

The "Great southern desert" does have strong cold winds mostly from the south beginning in the late evening phase.
This winds transport cold air from the south pole into the desert, the temperature reaches low areas and they are falling fast.
We have similar weather systems on earth as well.
If whole known surfaces become desert, where is all water now?
I don't think that happened.



Many thanks for the code, I will use it.
And make advancements in two ways:
BM still have Beastmaster and Lynx gets twilightstalk. (and generally increase pierce damage)
BM loses Beastmaster and gains Backstab. Lynx gets skirmisher. (and generally increase blade damage)
In this model the Beastmaster and his Lynx don't level independently, right?
You want two units recruited together that are bound somehow to each other?
The idea is interesting, but what happens if the beast dies?
In UTBS point has been made what Quenoths main enemy are necromancers and hordes of undeads.
This is one of the points where TtBS will differ.
So far only two scenarios are planed to involve undeads, I want to get rid of all occurrences that aren't strictly necessary.
The Kahlifate will make a nice enemy (or ally) to the Quenoth, also there is plenty of enemies that can be taken from IftU.
Because main role of warriors is defense of Quenoth, they should be equipped with impact melee weapons rather than spears.
Hmmm, yeah.
The faction does also need some form of disadvantages.
That is one of the biggest problems of the classic desert elf faction, the already versatile woodland elf faction is given additional power,
its only weakness is dealing fire or cold damage.
Thus I tend to move the warrior from a slower, more durable tank into a fragile hitter.
The player needs to life with the lack of a frontline blocking unit,
the classic desert elf faction featured the hit, but the run was just not necessary.

There are plenty of weapons around doing impact damage, the bola or the boomerang and staff.
I am not sure if the factions needs an additional melee impact damage dealer.
For example this
The Nunchaku is on the other hand a nice weapon, I am just hesitating a little with the cliché.
At least it is fair to say that it is producible by them and I will set it on the list.
If there is the need for a melee impact weapon I will try to consider it.
At least a potential portrait artist needs to have a lucky hand to not make it look silly.
or spears with following weapon special:
first strike will be "pierce", all other - "impact", reset after fight ends. (First they point enemy, and then they use spear as battle staff)
This might be doable with some WML tricks, but it's hard for the player to get, the damage calculation won't work, the interface can't display the issue.
I guess that is a no go.
Two scenarios in a row without recruiting with "survive" goal looks very hard.
It is three in a row.

I consider that a relief to the player.
Let's have a look at scenario3:
You start in that huge map, full of shroud, not knowing what awaits you.
How is your recruiting strategy? How many gold do you spend? Are there villages to earn money?
Do I need healers or hitters?
The scenario is a tomato surprise, to solve it best restarting is nearly a must.
The not recruiting solves all those problems.
Saving enough elves for winning scenario2 is a victory condition in scenario1.
Same with three and two.
The balancing is easier since we know roughly about what units the player can count on.
taptap wrote:I agree that the desert elves are broken and I would imagine twilight as the best time of the day in a desert (especially when there are two suns) too, but I would be careful in restraining your imagination by pseudoscientific explanations. After all, the story involves mages raising a new sun to the sky (obviously they found enough material for that on Irdya) - little use to argue about orbiting speed after that.
Well, to draw a working time of day schedule you need to make some of this thoughts.
At least if you want the player to recognize a time of day image and to know what to expect next which is a nice feature IMHO.
If you believe the explanation for the time of day schedule is too technical, don't worry.
This sort of stuff won't make it into the campaign.
Important is that the player recognizes a pattern in the schedule and is able to predict further states.
The classic campaign has a weird and not logical schedule, wasn't easy to recognize.
I wouldn't add units that make all alignments easily available.
The aim is specialization and ToD-preference after all.
Well, yes.
Still I think the neutral units aren't much of a problem, they will act fine in interaction with the others.
They will need to retread at the wrong time of day as well, being not very frontline suitable.

Still the player needs to have some work during the non liminal times of day.
The specialized units can help to cover the run during that time or prepare the attack at the end of their preferred time.
They are meant to be loners solving special tasks or to support the liminal team at their worst times.

The non liminal units won't make a suitable army nor shall they be usable to hold the line.
They are not meant to open other time slots for the offensive.
Also, I guess it is no help to you to add comments on single ideas now.
Quite the contrary. Please tell me your thoughts.
Just a question to comprehend your text: Which kind of stun do you mean? (There are at least two stuns in use. One disrupts enemy ZoC, another reduces enemy strikes by one (until 1)).
The disrupting enemy ZOC stun is what I mean.

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Xudo
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Re: Tribute to Burning Suns -- TtBS

Post by Xudo »

fabi wrote:
And make advancements in two ways:
BM still have BeastmasterLynxMaster and Lynx gets twilightstalk. (and generally increase pierce damage)
BM loses BeastmasterLynxMaster and gains BackStab. Lynx gets skirmisher. (and generally increase blade damage)
In this model the Beastmaster and his Lynx don't level independently, right?
You want two units recruited together that are bound somehow to each other?
The idea is interesting, but what happens if the beast dies?
There are a number of options:
  • Make them independent units (simple, trivial)
    • BM with LM actually can buff any Lynx (with level requirements)
      Lynx can surround units without skimisher and by that to buff BM with BS (Scout\Hunter with stun will suit here)
    Simulate "empathy" of Beasmaster and his Lynx (non trivial)
    • They can share hitpoints and xp They can divide damage taken (by healing) or just harm bound unit
      They both can die if one of them dies
To bind BM to Lynx you need to store their Primary Key (underlying_id or whatever) inside their variables and track die, defender hits, attacker hits events. Other way is to store coordinates and to update them in moveto event.

The question is: how exactly you will bind them?
  • Lynxmaster can "recruit" Lynxes by yourself
    • Via tricky management of recruitment list
      Via [menu_item]
    Lynxmaster can "bind" Lynx recruited in standart way
    • Via [menu_item]
      Via tracking of "select" events

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Re: Tribute to Burning Suns -- TtBS

Post by lipk »

Giving him a role during the first two scenarios, leaving him (believed dead) behind and a reappearance later on was an alternative to the removal I still consider. Still, currently he can just be left out without much effects to the campaign thus he will be easily to add later on.
I am still not sure about his motivations and intentions.
Yes, he was left behind and there might have been a bad relationship between the brothers we still don't know about.
But is that enough to convert him into a mystical Ninja, escaping countless times?
Then you discover his identity: "Oh, it's not a mystical Ninja, it's just brother Kerah, in a bad mood."
Somehow that story turn is funny, accidentally funny.
Reminds me to StarWars.
You can see everything as funny with a certain sense of humour. If you don't want to keep him, though, naturally I can't do anything against it. One thing you might want to consider, however: unlike what you seem to remember, Keratur and Kaleh are not brothers. Keratur is the son of the former leader of Quenoth (died in the catastrophy), Kaleh is just a nephew. So, in fact, Keratur would come before in the inheritance line. I always thought that that could be a source of some interesting conflict among them. Most likely, the evolution of their relationship could be used to illustrate Kaleh's development from the chief-by-accident to the self-confident leader. On the other hand, Kaleh's changing attitude towards Eloh and her commands already does exactly the same thing, so it might become a bit overdone this way :hmm: I don't know. Do what you want.

Some nitpick on the other things:

The Sybil's and the Mystic's stats are nearly identical. Is that intentional?

The fur thing: It might come in handy during the nights but having a thick hair on your body is pretty lethal at daytime in the desert. Humans are actually believed to have lost their fur because they left their nice shady forests and their cover was fatally impractical on the plains. It blocks heat exchange and prevents you from sweating. Regarding that the elves had already reached a high level of civilization when they were forced to change environment, staying hairless and putting on a coat during the nights seems to be a much more reasonable solution for me.

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Re: Tribute to Burning Suns -- TtBS

Post by Elvish_Hunter »

OK, finally some time for a more complete answer...
fabi wrote:Like Earth, Irdya seems to have a big moon (suggested by the time of day images) building a double gravitational system.
Not exactly. Irdya has two moons, one of which is much smaller and never visible. http://forums.wesnoth.org/viewtopic.php ... 15#p370694
fabi wrote:Seila -- Smaller Sun, orbiting Irdya in 4 time slots
A small typo here: it's Sela. :eng:
fabi wrote:So far 3 base Carnal Quenoth units with their trees are planed:
In TSoG, I made it so that the Desert Hero can advance also to Desert Vanquisher. These are the current stats for the unit:
  • Lvl 3
  • Gender male
  • Alignment: lawful
  • HP 60
  • MP 5
  • Weapons
    • Sword 11-4 melee blade
    • Vanquish (sword) 21-1 melee blade marksman
    • Bow 7-3 ranged pierce
Do you think that may be interesting?
fabi wrote:Fog of war is enabled.
The fog of war lies above the original map of the oasis, whenever the players uncovers a fogged terrain tile for the fist time it's going to be replaced with the actual terrain graphics.
From a coding point of view, I think that it'll be simpler to enable shroud as well, and replace the whole map at once. Besides, the shroud can be caused by the debris still suspended into the air - pretty much like when a volcano erupts.
On the other hand, this is a situation where the new events that will be available on 1.11 ( enter_hex and exit_hex, see https://gna.org/patch/?3186 ), combined with [filter_vision] in SLF, may be useful.
fabi wrote:"Scenario 3":
Huge desert map.
Since you don't mention her, Elyssa will be removed? If not, in TSoG I made it so that she can advance from Silver Mage to Gold Mage. Many players liked that advancement, and since on Hard I suppose that there will be enough enemies to level her up to 4, are you available to add it for testing?
fabi wrote:The Kahlifate will make a nice enemy (or ally) to the Quenoth, also there is plenty of enemies that can be taken from IftU.
One of the possibilities may be also to make a battle between Aragwaithi, Khalifate and Desert Elves, as all of them have good movement on desert terrains. It may be also an additional opportunity to balance these three factions.
Current maintainer of these add-ons:
1.14: The Sojournings of Grog, A Rough Life, The White Troll (co-author), Wesnoth Lua Pack
1.12: Children of Dragons

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Re: Tribute to Burning Suns -- TtBS

Post by alluton »

So Irdya has one sun far from planet which is something like earth's sun and secondary sun that is very close to the planet but doesn't produce much heat so it is likely to be very small (Propably those mages coudn't anyway raise big suns.) Also it has one moon same size and smaller invisible moon (How does that happen?). If night-day cycle would be stable it would propably be extremely complicated.

Looking from completly scientifistic view I'd say when those two suns collide something would be thrown out of the system by the change in gravity likely Irdya or the smaller moon.


Edit: For day-night schedule you should know orbits of the suns atleast.
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Re: Tribute to Burning Suns -- TtBS

Post by Telchin »

If you split the first scenario because of the tomato surprise, are you going to do the same with "Out of the Frying Pan"? I found it agitating that first you have a limited number of units (as if you recall too much, they will drown) and when you finally get out of that cave, suddenly you should be able to fight a standart battle against an enemy that can recruit. Sure it gives you a keep and some money at that point, but I was deeply in red numbers, because of upkeep of my recalls, so I had to fught the humans with what I had.
Speaking of tomato surprises and "Out of the Frying Pan", are you going to keep the Flesh Golem? In the next scenario he becomes controled by Eloh, which sort of punishes the player for all effort in finding him and keeping him alive.

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Re: Tribute to Burning Suns -- TtBS

Post by fabi »

xudojnik wrote: There are a number of options:
  • Make them independent units (simple, trivial)
    • BM with LM actually can buff any Lynx (with level requirements)
    • Lynx can surround units without skirmisher and by that to buff BM with BS (Scout\Hunter with stun will suit here)
  • Simulate "empathy" of Beasmaster and his Lynx (non trivial)
    • can share hitpoints and xp
    • can divide damage taken (by healing) or just harm bound unit
    • both can die if one of them dies
To bind BM to Lynx you need to store their Primary Key (underlying_id or whatever) inside their variables and track die, defender hits, attacker hits events. Other way is to store coordinates and to update them in moveto event.

The question is: how exactly you will bind them?
  • Lynxmaster can "recruit" Lynxes by yourself
    • Via tricky management of recruitment list
      Via [menu_item]
    Lynxmaster can "bind" Lynx recruited in standart way
    • Via [menu_item]
      Via tracking of "select" events
All good ideas, I will need more time to evaluate all options.
It is not only a question of function but also of style.
Having a personal animal is a nice touchy and charmy thing.
Still, it's a war game and I don't want the total overdesign.

This also sets some pressure.
Isn't easy to find a similar goody for every unit in the faction.
lipk wrote:
Giving him a role during the first two scenarios, leaving him (believed dead) behind and a reappearance later on was an alternative to the removal I still consider. Still, currently he can just be left out without much effects to the campaign thus he will be easily to add later on.
I am still not sure about his motivations and intentions.
Yes, he was left behind and there might have been a bad relationship between the brothers we still don't know about.
But is that enough to convert him into a mystical Ninja, escaping countless times?
Then you discover his identity: "Oh, it's not a mystical Ninja, it's just brother Kerah, in a bad mood."
Somehow that story turn is funny, accidentally funny.
Reminds me to StarWars.
You can see everything as funny with a certain sense of humour.
If you don't want to keep him, though, naturally I can't do anything against it.
No, you can. I am listening to good ideas.
One thing you might want to consider, however: unlike what you seem to remember, Keratur and Kaleh are not brothers. Keratur is the son of the former leader of Quenoth (died in the catastrophy), Kaleh is just a nephew. So, in fact, Keratur would come before in the inheritance line. I always thought that that could be a source of some interesting conflict among them. Most likely, the evolution of their relationship could be used to illustrate Kaleh's development from the chief-by-accident to the self-confident leader. On the other hand, Kaleh's changing attitude towards Eloh and her commands already does exactly the same thing, so it might become a bit overdone this way :hmm: I don't know. Do what you want.
Ah yes, maybe they were brothers in early versions of the campaign.
The order of how the leadership passes to the next relative of the former leader can make a nice additional side plot.
It just doesn't work with joining the tribe in disguise and appearing as a Ninja, countless times.

Thus I would like to introduce him in the first two scenarios, let the player in the believe he died while defending the oasis against the undead.
He can join the tribe later on and claim for the leadership openly, still being psychotic because of all the events.
Do you have more thoughts on the issue?

Regarding the leadership, I would like to have Garak to be in command for his remaining lifespan.
I bet that Kaleh and Nym are glad to don't have the burden of being responsible for the future of the tribe, at least early on.
Some nitpick on the other things:

The Sybil's and the Mystic's stats are nearly identical. Is that intentional?
No, it's for sure a copy and paste problem.
I have more actual stats handwritten somewhere.
The fur thing: It might come in handy during the nights but having a thick hair on your body is pretty lethal at daytime in the desert.
Well, some animals do with it, at least Camels do.
Still, a thick fur is not proposed on the whole body, only on the ears and maybe some other extremities (Nose, lips, limbs) that could easily freeze off and regular do on humans in extreme cold situations.
Also it's only proposed for the Carnal Quenoth, not for the fairy ones.
Humans are actually believed to have lost their fur because they left their nice shady forests and their cover was fatally impractical on the plains. It blocks heat exchange and prevents you from sweating. Regarding that the elves had already reached a high level of civilization when they were forced to change environment, staying hairless and putting on a coat during the nights seems to be a much more reasonable solution for me.
Yes, the evolutions of humans is a nice field to look at.
Still I believe other high developed mammals (or non mammals, some birds are of high intelligence as well) do well with other cooling mechanisms.
A desert specialized animal/humanoid should certainly not rely on heavy sweating, the loss of water is to high with that method.

Camels do sweat, but not that much because they can change the temperature of their body.
Still they have a fur.

I also like to have the Carnal Quenoth being more of an animal, the mutation of them is somewhat of a backwards step,
like the return to the more fairy Quenoth is one as well.
But the fur thing is only a minor issue. The last decision on that detail will be in the hands of the artist, it's only a thought.
Elvish_Hunter wrote:OK, finally some time for a more complete answer...
fabi wrote:Like Earth, Irdya seems to have a big moon (suggested by the time of day images) building a double gravitational system.
Not exactly. Irdya has two moons, one of which is much smaller and never visible. http://forums.wesnoth.org/viewtopic.php ... 15#p370694
fabi wrote:Seila -- Smaller Sun, orbiting Irdya in 4 time slots
A small typo here: it's Sela. :eng:
Good to know, thanks.
fabi wrote:So far 3 base Carnal Quenoth units with their trees are planed:
In TSoG, I made it so that the Desert Hero can advance also to Desert Vanquisher. These are the current stats for the unit:
  • Lvl 3
  • Gender male
  • Alignment: lawful
  • HP 60
  • MP 5
  • Weapons
    • Sword 11-4 melee blade
    • Vanquish (sword) 21-1 melee blade marksman
    • Bow 7-3 ranged pierce
Do you think that may be interesting?
I am not sure.
Your proposal might fix this subtree of the fighter line to stand up with the rest of them,
but I don't see how this unit could fit into the redesigned Quenoth faction.
fabi wrote:Fog of war is enabled.
The fog of war lies above the original map of the oasis, whenever the players uncovers a fogged terrain tile for the fist time it's going to be replaced with the actual terrain graphics.
From a coding point of view, I think that it'll be simpler to enable shroud as well, and replace the whole map at once. Besides, the shroud can be caused by the debris still suspended into the air - pretty much like when a volcano erupts.
On the other hand, this is a situation where the new events that will be available on 1.11 ( enter_hex and exit_hex, see https://gna.org/patch/?3186 ), combined with [filter_vision] in SLF, may be useful.
Hmmm, well.
I see fog of war and shroud more of an abstract concept than a concrete situation caused by events.
Fog of war means that the units are familiar with the terrain, they just don't know of the enemies outside their vision range.
Shroud means the terrain is unknown to them.
The Quenoth know the surroundings and the oasis itself well,
thus I came up with the fog of war + terrain exchange idea.
fabi wrote:"Scenario 3":
Huge desert map.
Since you don't mention her, Elyssa will be removed? If not, in TSoG I made it so that she can advance from Silver Mage to Gold Mage. Many players liked that advancement, and since on Hard I suppose that there will be enough enemies to level her up to 4, are you available to add it for testing?
Elyssa won't be removed, don't see a problem with the Gold Mage advancement. (I started playing TSoG yesterday, wasn't aware that it features the Quenoth
as the player's faction, still I didn't met Elyssa yet.)
fabi wrote:The Kahlifate will make a nice enemy (or ally) to the Quenoth, also there is plenty of enemies that can be taken from IftU.
One of the possibilities may be also to make a battle between Aragwaithi, Khalifate and Desert Elves, as all of them have good movement on desert terrains. It may be also an additional opportunity to balance these three factions.
Shadowmaster already suggested an "After the Fall Era", would be nice.
The caveat is that currently the Quenoth don't need to be balanced against other factions, only the scenarios need balancing.
And I am not a multiplayer developer at all, I would need help with that part of the project.
alluton wrote:So Irdya has one sun far from planet which is something like earth's sun and secondary sun that is very close to the planet but doesn't produce much heat so it is likely to be very small (Propably those mages coudn't anyway raise big suns.) Also it has one moon same size and smaller invisible moon (How does that happen?). If night-day cycle would be stable it would probably be extremely complicated.

Looking from completely scientific view I'd say when those two suns collide something would be thrown out of the system by the change in gravity likely Irdya or the smaller moon.
Please have a look at what scientists believe how our earth moon came in it's place. You will notice, it's also a story of collision but one that didn't end in the bodies leaving the solar system (Thanks god!). Not that that can't happen.
Edit: For day-night schedule you should know orbits of the suns atleast.
Right, It won't hurt to come up with something more logical than the current schedule,
without having to explain every nerdy detail to the player.
Telchin wrote:If you split the first scenario because of the tomato surprise, are you going to do the same with "Out of the Frying Pan"? I found it agitating that first you have a limited number of units (as if you recall too much, they will drown) and when you finally get out of that cave, suddenly you should be able to fight a standart battle against an enemy that can recruit. Sure it gives you a keep and some money at that point, but I was deeply in red numbers, because of upkeep of my recalls, so I had to fught the humans with what I had.
Speaking of tomato surprises and "Out of the Frying Pan", are you going to keep the Flesh Golem? In the next scenario he becomes controled by Eloh, which sort of punishes the player for all effort in finding him and keeping him alive.
Yes, "Out of the frying pan" is another candidate for a potential split.
Still I am not that advanced in the campaign with my planning, I will keep an eye at the Flesh Golem issue.

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Re: Tribute to Burning Suns -- TtBS

Post by lipk »

Yes, the evolutions of humans is a nice field to look at.
Still I believe other high developed mammals (or non mammals, some birds are of high intelligence as well) do well with other cooling mechanisms.
A desert specialized animal/humanoid should certainly not rely on heavy sweating, the loss of water is to high with that method.

Camels do sweat, but not that much because they can change the temperature of their body.
Still they have a fur.

I also like to have the Carnal Quenoth being more of an animal, the mutation of them is somewhat of a backwards step,
like the return to the more fairy Quenoth is one as well.
But the fur thing is only a minor issue. The last decision on that detail will be in the hands of the artist, it's only a thought.
Well, we can go deeper in this, just for fun. The basic difference between camels and humans is that the latter had to radically change its lifestyle. Pre-humans mainly consumed fruits which didn't run away. The only thing they cared about is beating up their fellows to get to a higher rank in the society (this feature haven't yet from their kind, unfortunately). Pretty much the same way gorillas, chimpanzees and other apes live today.

When they moved to the plains, they could no longer just collect fruits. They had to hunt. The prey did try to run away, and they had to chase it. However, their body construction was simply unsuitable for such an intensive exercise, and it could easily overheat from it. This is why humans mainly cool themselves by sweating. It was just occasionally needed. Sweating is both effective and controllable.

Of course this is absolutely offtopic, just as you said, it'll be up to the one who actually draws the sprites/portraits.
Ah yes, maybe they were brothers in early versions of the campaign.
The order of how the leadership passes to the next relative of the former leader can make a nice additional side plot.
It just doesn't work with joining the tribe in disguise and appearing as a Ninja, countless times.

Thus I would like to introduce him in the first two scenarios, let the player in the believe he died while defending the oasis against the undead.
He can join the tribe later on and claim for the leadership openly, still being psychotic because of all the events.
Do you have more thoughts on the issue?
I'd fake his death during the disaster, not the battle. If he would survive the meteor, that would mean that he becomes the legit heir, even if for just a short time. That would make Kaleh's position much weaker later when defending his rank, since Keratur wouldn't demand to "get leadership", only to "get back".

If you go with this plot change, it could be a good idea as well to switch the rebel leader in "Blood Is Thicker than Water" to Keratur.

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Re: Tribute to Burning Suns -- TtBS

Post by tr0ll »

one adaptation to the sun could be increased skin pigment, ie darker colour. another possibility is that they wear light clothing that covers most of the body, but then they might not be distinguishable from khalifa
since elves are semi-magical they could have adapted any number of ways, including changing body temperature or storing water in their fat etc.
one would think they might develop a rapport with desert cacti as they did with trees/treants.

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Re: Tribute to Burning Suns -- TtBS

Post by alexanderthegre »

Or they could have grown stegosaurus-like plates on their backs :mrgreen:

Seriously, though, the temptation to abuse the rule of cool here is massive. Too many bizzare biological features can ruin suspension of disbelief.

To throw in my opinion on what elves would do in a desert-apocolypse,
IMO they have a very great grasp of magic, possibly better than that of humans. They probably would have fewer biological adaptions, and more magical ones. For instance, they might protect themselves (and their woses) using small magical domes that keep out the desert heat, or use ice magic to keep their buildings cool and supply them with water.

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