Cities of the Frontier - now for BfW 1.11

Discussion and development of scenarios and campaigns for the game.

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Re: Cities of the Frontier (aka sim-Wesnoth)

Post by grizdog »

I'd like to keep this thread at least moderately active, please keep posting, and maybe esci will take notice and we can get him back here. So here is some idle chatter.

As I posted earlier, I don't really want too many changes, but after reading other people's ideas, I thought of some more, more for amusement than real inclusion. I do like the idea someone else posted about reclaiming land that was under water, as was pointed out, this happens in real life. Maybe this kind of land, if it didn't have a structure on it, would be far more susceptible to spring floods than ordinary land.

Also, a bank. It would allow you to go into debt. More banks, more debt. If you are not in debt, you could earn interest on your gold. A hardware store or lumberyard could make the peasant workers more efficient. Grain elevators, silos, or a store would make the winter more bearable. Killing a wild animal supports some units for one turn, as they chow down on the carcass.

More seriously, on easy and medium, it seems to me that you want to recruit two teams of peasant workers immediately and have them working constantly, perhaps surrounded by peasants so they are not interrupted. That's enough to have adequate (usually 15 - 20) farms and fortifications to survive the first winter. Once you have done that, everything else gets a lot easier. More than two teams are just too difficult to deal with, if you grow too fast you can't defend yourself.

More later, let's keep this thread alive and maybe flush esci out of hiding.
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Cities of the Frontier 0.6.0 - now for BfW 1.11!

Post by esci »

I'm not in hiding, I just periodically OD on Wesnoth, then get bored and go away for a while. Lately, however, I've been hacking away on CotF again, and I've made enough progress that I think it's worth doing a release. I admit to not having read through this whole thread, but if anyone has bug reports on the new version I will do my best to fix them.

Here's a list of (some) of the changes -- I wasn't keeping track of every last thing, so I'm sure there are some minor things I left out.
  • Now developed on / for BfW 1.11
  • "Calamities" now occur during the second summer (and all subsequent ones). Currently 4 possible events, all involving new enemies. These aren't fully balanced yet, but tend to be too easy rather than too hard.
  • [fixed] The outlaws now (usually) burn down villages. This used to work but was broken sometime around version 0.2.
  • Removed some debug messages I accidentally left in 0.5.1
  • Many new possible magical artifacts, some existing ones tweaked a bit. The most powerful artifacts still have drawbacks, but all are useful.
There are also a number of major balance changes, mostly aimed at making all-out expansion a riskier tactic:
  • Farms are back to producing 1 gold/turn in Autumn (still 2/turn in Summer)
  • Farms are now much more expensive (45 gold)
  • Map generation tweaks: you are less likely to find one gigantic field to build on
  • Animals now actively attack your town in the winter

The balance is still not quite where I want it to be (the game is relatively easy once you make it through the first winter), but it's much better than it was.

Note: doesn't work on BfW 1.11.7 due to a map generator bug. Upgrade to 1.11.8+
Original creator of the campaign Descent Into Darkness
Currently working on Cities of the Frontier
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Re: Cities of the Frontier - now for BfW 1.11

Post by Chrysophylax »

I'm so happy you're back! I love this campaign! I'm... less happy with the changes you're making.

Should calamaties occur every summer beyond the first? That seems a little excessive in terms of both flavour and gameplay. I'm also not wild about the autumn gold loss, partially on difficulty grounds and partially because autumn is harvest time. Perhaps you could give the player a lump sum bonus for the harvest and lower the income? Making farms 20 gold more expensive seems excessive; I nearly lost my first playthrough on easy due to the high cost of buildings (although I did make a library way too early, so a more practiced player would have had more leeway).

Personally, I like having a fairly peaceful mode; I would be pretty upset if later versions were substantially harder than the 1.10.5 version I have. (Perhaps you could make the increases in difficulty only apply to hard and normal?) Besides which, this is supposed to be Cities of the Frontier, not Hamlets. I think a better option is to raise the target gold level. I would certainly like it if you could continue playing after reaching the target without hacking the victory conditions. Could this be added? I'd suggest code to do it (it should be a fairly simple change to CAMPAIGN_VICTORY) but I have an exam on Wednesday and can't remember how to do menus.

I made a list of possible changes with implementation suggestions on the last page, including a bug fix for the elf-undead alliance problem. There's a possible bug in that the outlaw-strength-setting variable increases every season: I don't think this makes outlaws in the third winter three times as hard as in the first, but I thought I'd point it out just in case. If so then again, in terms of both flavour and gameplay, this seems excessive. The signs in general_macros are out of date; the west sign, for example, suggests that elves may come from the west in future versions.

Could a balancing factor be added to the game? For example, you could assess the player's position in terms of gold, number of villages and total level of units at the beginning of each scenario relative to your expectations for normal successful city. You could then adjust the difficulty appropriately by means of the spawn rates or the gold/income of the enemy leaders.
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Re: Cities of the Frontier - now for BfW 1.11

Post by esci »

I've just uploaded version 0.6.1 of CotF to the 1.11 add-on server. Note that this release will break any saved games from version 0.6.0, so do NOT update unless you are planning on starting over.

-Elves and undead are no longer allied with one another [thanks Chrysophylax!]
-For those interested in creating a true metropolis, like dogscoff, you now have the option to keep playing indefinitely after you win
-Autumn farm income is bumped back up to 2/turn on EASY difficulty only

I should note that Easy and Hard modes are essentially un-tested. I always play other campaigns on "Normal," so I don't have a good feel for how challenging the other modes should be: I just made some rough guesses in the various game parameters. I like the "saving for winter" mechanic that results from only getting 1 gold/village in autumn, but it makes sense to set it to 2 for easy. Further suggestions are welcome.

To Chrysophylax: the term "calamity" is perhaps a bit strong -- it's just the word I use internally. It means that some new enemies crop up in subsequent summers, sometimes in _place_ of the existing orc raids. I am trying to add some variety to the enemy mix. I'm not sure what you mean about a possible bug in the outlaw code: the outlaws are weakened (they get lower level units) during the first 3 seasons, but don't continually grow in strength after that. The idea was that outlaws are initially a major problem, but just an annoyance once your town is firmly established.

Finally, if anyone is actually interested in making a fork of CotF to add more features, I'm supportive and will give pointers about the code if you need them. If you just want to alter the difficulty settings to your liking, that's quite easy to do on your local installation. Just find your data directory, browse to add-ons/Cities_of_the_Frontier/utils and edit game_parameters.cfg. Nearly all of the game settings are stored there, and almost everything should be relatively self-explanatory.
Original creator of the campaign Descent Into Darkness
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Re: Cities of the Frontier - now for BfW 1.11

Post by michae1211 »

Ello, i've been laying battle for wesnoth for a while, and I love this game style XD, Only one thing I would add to it, is there any chance of actaully having like a diplomacy thing? I haven't really gotten far into it, I can barely survive the first winter, but yeah, Having diplomacy would really be fun, but I don't even know if that would be possible. thanks :D
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Re: Cities of the Frontier - now for BfW 1.11

Post by dogscoff »

Awesome! I've been away from Wesnoth for a while (currently throwing my spare time at but thought I'd take a quick peek into the forums. I discover that esci is back, CoF is updated and improved! This is a good day! I will have to download the latest version and have a game!
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Re: Cities of the Frontier - now for BfW 1.11

Post by stillcen »

Just got done playing though CotF on Medium difficulty.

I really like the concept of building your village/ empire, adds a dimention to the game, Loved it.

My suggestions;

Make the farm land space around the villages just the surrounding 6 hexes and leave out the 2 wing hexes. I understand the need to make the play spread out, but i would like to see more rampaging villians and the ability to build a more Fotress like village.

Allow roads to be built on the farm land between the villages, to allow greater mobility to fend off the rampaging hordes trying to destroy you.

I found myself standing down my L3 units, and purposly trying Not to level up my units. I felt a much greater need of numerous troops to cover my boarders than Elite troops. About 1/2 of my force was peasents. My idea for tweeking this is when a unit reaches L4(or L3+, whatever) have them aquire the Loyality trait. That way more enemies could be thrown at the player.

I am now going to try the campaign on hard,

What i would like to see is a "beseiged" feel. DarkForces always harasing on all sides, with determined foes coming in break ones defences. The need to keep light screen of defenders on all sides and never quite knowing where to send the extra troops to hold back the tide of attackers. Having to sortie out, to hold ground to build defences, so you town can expand.

Just my thoughts


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Re: Cities of the Frontier - now for BfW 1.11

Post by HaChol »

Downloaded your campaign just now. Got the Error load game could not process, because map was not found.

Would be interesting to see, nontheless!


please remove comment-out hash (#) :
line 6 " #map_data="{~add-ons/Cities_of_the_Frontier/maps/}"

Now game would start properly :)

Happy building!!
The fruit of a righteous man is the tree of life, and the wise man acquires souls.
And I said, I will perish with my nest, and I will multiply days as the chol.
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Re: Cities of the Frontier - now for BfW 1.11

Post by Baltese_Windragon »

Hey, thanks a lot for making this campaign/scenario. It's very unique and a lot of fun to play.

More could be done, though, to increase its replay value. Since the strategy is pretty linear (build lots of farms close to each other and protect them), even though it has lots of random events, I still don't feel like it's worth playing through again because there's really only one overall strategy one can do. This is a problem because the scenario is really begging to be played multiple times! To increase replay value, you might:

-making the map (partially?) randomly generated, so there's different terrain to work around
-make one or two different ways to generate income, so people can try making different economies
-maybe make special villages on the map that offer special advantages (so you have a reason to try holding different areas of the map)

Anyway it's a very cool map. Have you ever played caesar II btw? The border signs idea reminded me of that game...
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Re: Cities of the Frontier - now for BfW 1.11

Post by grizdog »

It looks like esci and I are on complementary schedules. Thanks again, great campaign.

I am surprised you made it even harder to find an open area to build your village. In my experience, if you don't find a nice open area pretty near the center of the map, you are finished, usually sooner rather than later. Making the farms more expensive will change the strategy, certainly - I expect to recruit one team of workers, not two, the first year, build a bowyer quickly and everything else will take a long time. That will make it very hard to fight off the undead, and critical to avoid early trouble with the elves.

I am less surprised by the reduction in income, but I would have put it in the summer rather than fall. Summer is already almost too easy, it needs a little balancing. Maybe it would be worth considering an extra 50 in starting gold, what with the more expensive farms and the difficulty in accumulating enough gold to build infrastructure and survive the winter.

If I want to adjust the code to make it a little easier to find an open area to build, I suppose I could change the temperatures in the map_generation.cfg file? Also, how difficult would it be to make it possible to reclaim land, or swamp, from water? You might have adjust the deep water as a result, which would require some care. Are other people finding it too easy to find a place to build?

Great campaign.
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Re: Cities of the Frontier - now for BfW 1.11

Post by dfTruF »

I've played Cities of the Frontier on BfW 1.10.* and I must say that this is the best non-linear, sandbox like campaign for Wesnoth.
It has many elements that should be standard for today good strategy game, joined together:
+ random map
+ seasons of year
+ random enemy raids from random directions
+ random artifacts at random places
+ city defense
+ balanced economy micromanagement

What other campaign for BfW do you know which joins all these aspects together?
After over 5 times of playing I feel that I can play this campaign again 5 times more, easily. And I even didn't play this campaign for BfW 1.11 yet.
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Re: Cities of the Frontier - now for BfW 1.11

Post by ichbinsehselber »

I just wanna say thank you for this nice mod / campaign! Just played it till the start of autumn. And the building really makes it interesting. Enjoyed it! Played it with the current dev version and the triggers all seem to work fine (as far as I can tell)

As an optional extension I propose to add something like a lookout post which helps during the fog of war seasons.
Perhaps to put only on hills or mountains and then they give vision to some range? If this is hard to implement perhaps it could add movement and fly to a unit and put the combat value to a low number.
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Re: Cities of the Frontier - now for BfW 1.11

Post by Gwynnedrion »

I hope I'm not necro'ing but I just have to add that I loved this campaign and I do hope work on it will continue some day :)
”Rise, adept, and tell me about the enemy.”

You are a Horseman: you charge ahead without thinking of the consequences.(80%)
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Re: Cities of the Frontier - now for BfW 1.11

Post by Cashcam24 »

I love this campaign but I can't seem to find it on the computer version though I can on the mobile version
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Re: Cities of the Frontier - now for BfW 1.11

Post by Triglo »

Is this campaign still available via in-game add-ons tool? I am trying to download and can't find it in the list of add-ons :-/. I've got wesnoth 1.12.4
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