Hunters of the East

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Hunters of the East

Postby skeptical_troll » December 30th, 2015, 5:21 pm

Hi everybody, few months ago I decided to have a go on making my own campaign. It took some time and it was a lot of fun.

I set the story in the eastern part of the Wesnoth map, between the Bitter Swamp and the Great River, in the years before the facts of 'Eastern Invasion', to which this campaign could be considered a sort of a prequel. I tried to be consistent with what I know about the Wesnoth world (I played the mainline campaigns), although I know this is not essential for custom campaigns.

It is the story of Swethorvast, an hunter of a village over there who wants to avenge his family and friends killed by undeads. His path will cross a group of exiled elves and other characters (well, it's a story..). I am happy to provide more details on request, if anybody is interested.
It has 13 playable scenarios + a few story-only ones (maybe too many, but when I was a child I wanted to be a director and I like to place dialogues on some scenery :oops: )

The campaign is complete in the sense that it is playable without major issues from the beginning to the end and it is approximately balanced, although difficulty may vary from scenario to scenario. However there could still be bugs which I could not spot, and I'm really at the stage where I'd need suggestions on how to make scenarios more balanced and fun from more experienced players.

I'm not a native speaker, I consider my English decent but I'm aware that one requires some advanced skills to make the text interesting and nicely readable. I tried my best and I'm planning some revision while I think of how to improve the gameplay.

Suggestions and help on anything, included but not limited to: balancing, story, maps, dialogues, titles, names; are more than welcome.

Thanks in advance everybody! :)

There is now a dedicated thread in the Feedback section. If you have played the campaign and want to give your general feedback you can use it.
Last edited by skeptical_troll on March 8th, 2016, 11:42 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Hunters of the East (new campaign)

Postby doofus-01 » December 30th, 2015, 5:27 pm

skeptical_troll wrote:Campaign files are attached, I'm a bit unsure whether I should release it on the server as it's still a bit rough. I have BfW version 1.10, I hope this is not a source of incompatibility with more recent versions.
I'd suggest upgrading to BfW 1.12 if you can, and uploading to the server. Don't worry about it being rough, there's no penalty for uploading fixes.
Bad Moon Rising(BfW 1.12 supported, but new work in BfW 1.13 only) | Trinity(BfW 1.12 only) | Archaic Era(BfW 1.12 & 1.13) | Tales of the Setting Sun(On Hold/Abandoned)
GitHub link for these projects
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Re: Hunters of the East (new campaign)

Postby skeptical_troll » December 31st, 2015, 10:56 am

Thanks for the advice, I did as you suggested. I have uploaded the campaign in the 1.10 and 1.12 servers. Although I coded and debugged using 1.10 I haven't used complicated stuff, so I assume it will work for 1.12 as it is (it compiled without problems). Is this too optimistic, in your opinion?

Does it make sense to keep posting addons in the 1.10 server? Or nobody uses it any more, except few lazy guys like me?
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Re: Hunters of the East (new campaign)

Postby ahmannar » December 31st, 2015, 12:10 pm

I think the first level is too much luck driven and, sincerely, making out alive of it is too much reliant on the number of bats that the enemy leader spawns. On the first try there were too much of them and i just had to replay the whole level again. On the second try there was less bats but the 2 that survived managed to kill my leader and i had to save load out of it.
Maybe some way to make this level less "lucky" would be preferable? Playing on normal, version 1.12.4.

EDIT: Nvm, there were more bats in the rear guard that eventually also catched me(the units travelled slower than i expected), so i don´t see how this is possible to win at the moment.
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Re: Hunters of the East (new campaign)

Postby skeptical_troll » December 31st, 2015, 12:30 pm

Thanks for your feedback. You are probably right that bats are too annoying. I usually manage to block them but I think because I played it many times and I know the exact moves one need to make, that's why users' feedback are useful. I tried to tweak the recruit pattern but probably is not enough (and I tested only on 1.10). One thing that maybe it is not clear is that you do not need to collect the gold with your leader, i.e. any unit can. I can probably modify the map to make the mountain trail quicker.

EDIT: I uploaded a modified version, hopefully now it is more reasonable.
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Re: Hunters of the East (new campaign)

Postby Paulomat4 » January 7th, 2016, 1:21 pm

Hi skeptical_troll,
I've been playing your campaign a bit and I really enjoy it!
The writing and scenario designs are really enjoyable, congrats to that!

I found some minor writing errors from time to time, but nothing that would disturb me. Maybe if I get to it later i might look at it again and report.

Scenario 1 was impossible first try, I redid it after you uploaded a fixed version and it was doable. Still it's the hardest scenario. Maybe limiting the enemy to 1 bat per turn would make it a bit easier to fit the difficulty level of other scenarios.

Scenario 2 was really enjoyable, seeming hard at the beginning, but is doable.

Scenario 3 took me 3 days of playing and it's really long. while hard at the beginning it gets easier every time you kill an enemy leader. I really like finding different location, like the amulet, the shadowmage, the wolf or the goblin ^^
I took the time to defeat all enemy leaders since you have no turn limit. I now have ~1500 gold in the next scenario though which is a bit much I guess. Maybe you should reduce the income of villages by 1? Also adding a turn limit would be nice to force the player to take some risks. I ended on turn 90 while taking really much time, so maybe set the turn limit to 90 or 100? I could have ended on turn 60 if i wanted I guess by moving all carts to the island.

Now in scenario 4 I'm not sure if I found a bug.
I still have the ranger from the last scenario with a silver crown on my recall list, as well as all caravans. I'm not sure if they should be there.
I didn't really play the scenario yet though.

Just wanted to give you a big head's up and thank you for making that campaign!
To all players reading, just give it a try. It's really polished for a first upload :)
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Re: Hunters of the East (new campaign)

Postby skeptical_troll » January 7th, 2016, 2:44 pm

Hi Paulomat4,
thanks a lot for playing the campaign and for your encouragement, that's really rewarding after the time I spent on it!
I agree with your concerns on scenario 1, I can probably make it easy and smooth, at the end it is the first and in my initial intentions it was more a story-prologue than a real fighting scenario. I'm glad that you enjoyed the second!

Concerning scenario 3:
here I brutally violated the commandment of 'making small maps' and I am a bit afraid that I was too ambitious. The final gold is quite a problem, because depending on how you play and how the forest 'evolves' you may get really high or really low final income, at least in my experience. I think I will just remove the carryover, the next scenario is an easy and relaxing one (which reveals my feeling of guiltiness about scenario 3) which can be beaten with little gold. The story would also justify such a choice, as scenario 4 occurs few years after scenario 3. The spirit of the third scenario would be to march through the forest, defending the caravans, leaving the other factions to fight each other, reach the island and defend it for 10 turns. When I designed it I didn't consider that the brave wesnothians would have never given up in killing all the leaders :)
That's also the origin of the 'bug' in scenario 4: if you don't move the carts to the island, the event that removes the caravan and the bandits does not trigger, so you have them again in the next scenario. This will cause you some problem if you keep playing the campaign, in which case I'd suggest you to load the last save of the forest and move the carts to the island. I think there is still quite some work I need to do on this scenario, starting from setting 'victory_when_enemy_defeated=no' and setting some turn limit to something like 80 - 90 - 100 depending on the difficulty, as you suggest.

Thanks a lot again, it was very helpful! I'm having another pass myself to the whole campaign and I'll probably release a refined version in 1-2 weeks, hopefully with some other useful inputs from the users.

EDIT: I just uploaded a newer version where I corrected a critical bug I wasn't aware of in scenario 7. If you are playing this campaign please download this new version. I made also minor improvements to the other scenarios.
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Re: Hunters of the East (new campaign)

Postby Paulomat4 » January 8th, 2016, 11:04 am

here I brutally violated the commandment of 'making small maps' and I am a bit afraid that I was too ambitious.

I don't think you were too ambitious. apart from the huge gold carryover it was a really fun scenario without problems.

I think I will just remove the carryover, the next scenario is an easy and relaxing one (which reveals my feeling of guiltiness about scenario 3) which can be beaten with little gold. The story would also justify such a choice, as scenario 4 occurs few years after scenario 3.

I think this is a good idea. Story-wise it makes sense and it helps you with balancing later scenarios.
But please don't remove the possibility to win through beating all enemy leaders. When I work on my campaign I just try to deal with every possible situation, as impossible as it may seem.

This will cause you some problem if you keep playing the campaign, in which case I'd suggest you to load the last save of the forest and move the carts to the island.

I just deleted them from my recall list. Did you store any of these units to use them later again or do you spawn a new Ranger? (I guess the caravans are not needed anymore but the ranger probably is.)
If you stored him then I really need to redo it.

EDIT: I just uploaded a newer version where I corrected a critical bug I wasn't aware of in scenario 7. If you are playing this campaign please download this new version. I made also minor improvements to the other scenarios.

Great, will do :)
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Re: Hunters of the East (new campaign)

Postby skeptical_troll » January 8th, 2016, 1:01 pm

Paulomat4 wrote:This will cause you some problem if you keep playing the campaign, in which case I'd suggest you to load the last save of the forest and move the carts to the island.

I just deleted them from my recall list. Did you store any of these units to use them later again or do you spawn a new Ranger? (I guess the caravans are not needed anymore but the ranger probably is.)
If you stored him then I really need to redo it.


You guess right, they are stored, so you'd need to load the game and move the caravans (and Rorth) to the island. I will implement an alternative ending where I consider the defeat of all the leaders so that this problem is avoided. There are actually other scenarios where I did not consider the possibility that the player kills all the enemy leaders, I should be more careful with this.
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Re: Hunters of the East (new campaign)

Postby Paulomat4 » January 11th, 2016, 8:52 am

Hi again,
Over the weekend I downloaded the new version and went back to the end of scenario 3 to redo it.
A few things that you might want to improve.


General
1. Your lvl 3 Shadow mage (or shadow lord or whatever he's called) has no attack icon for his melee attack. There are tons of attack icons whirling around in numerous add-ons and the forum. My suggestion is to take the attack icon that I used in my add-on (the rising) for my own shadow-lord unit. Or take whatever icon you want.

2. The name "Master Warrior" sounds weird and is far too generic. Maybe think of something like "the dancer of the sword" or whatever.

Scenario 3

3. Once I moved all carts to the island I had quite a few difficultys to survive against the saurians. They recruit so many units. :o also my units are scattered all around the map which makes it hard to put up a wall against the saurians.
two suggestions:
- reduce the gold that they get when the event is triggered
-during the event where you're fortifying the island, start by fortifying the southern side of the island. Or go western side, souther side, the eastern side and lastly northern side. That would make more sense story-wise since we're mainly pressured by the south-west (even more if you didn't kill all other enemy leaders like i did)

the thing below is purely cosmetic
4. During the fortification event Rorth notifies you each time that you've completed something. The Problem is that the terrain changes only after rorth told you that it did. Now I didn look into the code you use but my guess is that you use something like this:
Code: Select all
[event]
name=turn x
[terrain]
#bla
[/terrain]
[message]
#bla
[/message]
[/event]

The thing is that wesnoth doesn't redraw the map until the event is over. This can be solved easily by inserting the tag
Code: Select all
[redraw]
in the event.
So that it would look like this:
Code: Select all
[event]
name=turn x
[terrain]
#bla
[/terrain]
[redraw]
[/redraw]
[message]
#bla
[/message]
[/event]


Scenario 4
Nice as it is. :)

Scenario 5
5. Is really good and enjoyable as well, but I found a bug. The elf called Harildur (I believe it's the leader of side 4) never appeared for me. I beat te scenario anyway since I still had my huge gold reserve from scenario 3, but yeah.

6. This one's purerely cosmetic as well. Why are the blue elves on a huge group of great trees? It's an unnatural shape of great trees that suggests there's something unnatural (or something like magic :shock: ) at work there. It also reduces the importance of the two great trees next to the cave entrance. I'd suggest just using a normal forest or something else to give the elves a terrain advantage. :)

7. There's a village group on the south western side of the map. I send a few wolves there expecting an event of some sort. Maybe you could add something small? Could be something simple as a simple talking event or whatever.

Scenario 6
8. Is unbeatable for me at the moment. The passage o fire and the abyss are fine, but the passage of water is just unbeatable for me. Tons of lvl 2 units with poison and strong melee attacks against my Master bowman Swethorvast plus 2 lvl 1 units at max? I even send a druid back from the passage of fire as soon as i got one to heal him but I either run out of time or lose swethorvast.

Otherwise I have to say it again but I really like the prose. Especially the poem to the entrance of the cave was beautiful. Keep it up! :)
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Re: Hunters of the East (new campaign)

Postby skeptical_troll » January 11th, 2016, 12:52 pm

Hi Paulomat, thanks again for your feedback! so, coming to your points:

I copied the shadows mage as it is in Liberty (in Wesnoth 1.10), without checking details, so thanks for pointing this out.

Paulomat4 wrote:2. The name "Master Warrior" sounds weird and is far too generic. Maybe think of something like "the dancer of the sword" or whatever.


mm, for narrative reasons, I'd like to have something generic here, as he is sort of a legend and I wanted him to remain a bit 'undefined'. Also, later in the story it is said that it's true name has gone lost. If 'Master Warrior' sounds weird I'd need to come up with something, or justify better early on why it is called just like that. Any suggestions anyone?

SCENARIO 3: in the last version I uploaded I warn the player from the beginning that he will need to defend the island for 10 turns, so hopefully he will realize it's better not to scatter all the units far from the caravans. I will also balance the gold I give to the saurians better (according to difficulty level), and change the fortification order as you suggest sounds very sensible. Also, did you find annoying that the cart transformed into villages without warning? I think the player might like to place them where he wants (inside the island) before it happens, but haven't thought on how to code it exactly. Thanks for the 'redraw' issue, that was exactly the issue.
SCENARIO 5
Paulomat4 wrote: The elf called Harildur (I believe it's the leader of side 4) never appeared for me.


This is another consequence of my bad coding in scenario 3 :( . This is the same leader of the elves in the forest, which you are not supposed to kill. I had coded a 'last breath' event in which he runs away, but I'm afraid it didn't work on wesnoth 1.12. I fixed it in the last version I uploaded, but for you that means going back to scenario 3. What I will do is to upload a version in which if harilur is not found, a new Elvish Captain with the same id is spawned at his place. Unfortunately he's quite an important character in the story (you already missed some small dialogue in scenario 5) so you can't just go on without him. I'll try to do it later on

Paulomat4 wrote:6. This one's purerely cosmetic as well. Why are the blue elves on a huge group of great trees? It's an unnatural shape of great trees that suggests there's something unnatural (or something like magic ) at work there. It also reduces the importance of the two great trees next to the cave entrance. I'd suggest just using a normal forest or something else to give the elves a terrain advantage.
.

I'm not completely sure of what I had in mind :) I actually wanted it to look like a mystic place, or a ritual place for elves. That's also why I placed the queen at its center and not in her keep. The chess-like disposition looked also interesting from a tactical point of view, as it makes a bit more difficult to defend than a 'natural' forest area. The optimal would probably be to have some smaller trees than the two at the cave, or maybe I can have Nirydia say something like 'we were attacked while performing a ritual'. I need to think about it.

Paulomat4 wrote:7. There's a village group on the south western side of the map. I send a few wolves there expecting an event of some sort. Maybe you could add something small? Could be something simple as a simple talking event or whatever.


Good idea, I think I'll do that! Initially that village was a place where your wolves would have clashed with orcish riders, sent by the AI for village grabbing. Now I moved a bit up the orcish leader on the east (to avoid too much 'empty' units movements after defeating the leaders) and it does not happen any more, so I'm partly regretting it.

Paulomat4 wrote:Scenario 6
8. Is unbeatable for me at the moment.
.

Ah! The water path does not require anything complicated, but it is like solving an 'enigma' . The key is hidden in the inscription on the monolith at the southern border of the underground lake. I think I can make it more clear, like having Swethorvast commenting 'mm, another riddle!' or something. I hope it is not too obscure, if so I may need to change it. If you can't go through I can post the solution (or you can look at the WML code, from which it is pretty obvious).

Ah, and keep updating the campaign because I'm often releasing fixes (last version is 1.1.0)!

Thanks again!

EDIT: new version submitted. If you update it you should find Harilur when you need it, or if you want to replay scenario 5 he should arrive as scheduled.
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Re: Hunters of the East (new campaign)

Postby Paulomat4 » January 12th, 2016, 8:47 am

If 'Master Warrior' sounds weird I'd need to come up with something

I don't know, the name Master Warrior just sounds weird to me in a medieval fantasy setting. It's hard to put my finger on what exactly bothers me with it. :hmm:

Also, did you find annoying that the cart transformed into villages without warning?

Tbh i didn't even realize that they spawned where the carts were. I just found it weird that one of the villages was replaced a turn later by castle terrain because it was on the edge of the island ^^
Maybe once you have all caravans and rorth on the island move them all to a position where you want them with
Code: Select all
[move_unit]
. Maybe move rorth on the keep and the caravans some in the middle.
You could also place a campfire and move the caravans in a circle around it to make it feel even more like a camp.

Thanks for the 'redraw' issue, that was exactly the issue.

You're welcome :) I had the same issue as well :)

I had coded a 'last breath' event in which he runs away, but I'm afraid it didn't work on wesnoth 1.12. I fixed it in the last version I uploaded, but for you that means going back to scenario 3. What I will do is to upload a version in which if harilur is not found, a new Elvish Captain with the same id is spawned at his place.

You don't need to do that just for me if it works now. I'll just modify the campaign myself to get it to work.

Good idea, I think I'll do that! Initially that village was a place where your wolves would have clashed with orcish riders, sent by the AI for village grabbing.

Actually, that's exactly what happened.

Ah! The water path does not require anything complicated, but it is like solving an 'enigma' . The key is hidden in the inscription on the monolith at the southern border of the underground lake. I think I can make it more clear, like having Swethorvast commenting 'mm, another riddle!' or something. I hope it is not too obscure, if so I may need to change it. If you can't go through I can post the solution (or you can look at the WML code, from which it is pretty obvious).

oh, i didn't notice this. I'll restart from scenario 5 then and pay more attention.
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Re: Hunters of the East (new campaign)

Postby skeptical_troll » January 12th, 2016, 9:23 am

Paulomat4 wrote:I don't know, the name Master Warrior just sounds weird to me in a medieval fantasy setting. It's hard to put my finger on what exactly bothers me with it.


What about him not willing to reveal his name and demanding to be simply called 'the Master'. Does that sound weird as well?

Paulomat4 wrote:. Maybe move rorth on the keep and the caravans some in the middle.
You could also place a campfire and move the caravans in a circle around it to make it feel even more like a camp.


At the beginning I thought to place a campfire in the middle using the same trick as scenario 2 (shooting fire if you go through), then I decided to avoid the repetition. I might reconsider it, especially if saurians are too tough.

Paulomat4 wrote:Ah! The water path does not require anything complicated, but it is like solving an 'enigma' . The key is hidden in the inscription on the monolith at the southern border of the underground lake. I think I can make it more clear, like having Swethorvast commenting 'mm, another riddle!' or something. I hope it is not too obscure, if so I may need to change it. If you can't go through I can post the solution (or you can look at the WML code, from which it is pretty obvious).

oh, i didn't notice this. I'll restart from scenario 5 then and pay more attention.


No, no need to restart from 5, I meant the underground lake in scenario 6, or if you want at the beginning of the water path, on the left there is a monolith and if you move a unit there it should trigger a message.
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Re: Hunters of the East (new campaign)

Postby Paulomat4 » January 12th, 2016, 10:01 am

What about him not willing to reveal his name and demanding to be simply called 'the Master'. Does that sound weird as well?

i think "the master" alone sounds better than "the master warrior" although that reminds me of doctor who ^^

At the beginning I thought to place a campfire in the middle using the same trick as scenario 2 (shooting fire if you go through), then I decided to avoid the repetition. I might reconsider it, especially if saurians are too tough.

You could place it the just for decoration purposes. But it's not really important.

No, no need to restart from 5, I meant the underground lake in scenario 6, or if you want at the beginning of the water path, on the left there is a monolith and if you move a unit there it should trigger a message.

well, I'd like to read the dialogue of harildur.

He's now there in scenario 5, but he doesn't recruit at all, although he's on a keep and has enough gold. The only thing I can think of is that he has really weird ai parameters or a missing recruit list. (maybe it needs to be defined in the
Code: Select all
[unit]
tag when creating a unit with canrecruit outside of the
Code: Select all
[side]
tag, but i'm unsure.
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Re: Hunters of the East (new campaign)

Postby skeptical_troll » January 12th, 2016, 10:19 am

I think I know what the problem is. I noticed that in wesnoth 1.12 if a persistent side loses (i.e. the leader is killed or stored without setting defeat_condition=never) than it's no longer saved for next scenarios. Since I'm not specifying again the recruit types for that side in scenario 5, he simply does not have any unit type to recruit. Hopefully now is fixed.
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