Scenario Review: DiD 1 - Saving Parthyn

Feedback for the mainline campaign Descent into Darkness.

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max_torch
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Re: Scenario Review: DiD 1 - Saving Parthyn

Post by max_torch »

(1) Level, version? Hard, 1.12.0
(2) Difficult? (1-10) 3
(3) Objectives? Defend the river fort - It's not clear if it means the orcs cannot step on the encampment Malin starts in or if the orcs cannot step past the river or if you just have to at least stay alive for two nights.
(4) Dialog? It shows how truly undead phobic everyone in Wesnoth is.
(5) Challenges? There is little challenge because even if you do very little and just hold, the forces of Drogan are enough to obliterate the enemy. The challenge is to let Malin steal some kills as he is very very helpful once he has levelled in the next scenarios.
(6) Fun? (1-10) 6. Because zombies make more zombies!
(7) Changes? It's fine as it is.
(8) Restarts? Restarted several times trying to get more xp for Malin, but I got tired of trying again and again so I just settled for the 13 xp Malin got. Also once you know that the spearmen and bowmen leave you well you stop worrying about their safety in this scenario.
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czarkoff
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Re: Scenario Review: DiD 1 - Saving Parthyn

Post by czarkoff »

(1) What difficulty level and version of Wesnoth have you played the scenario on?
Easy on 1.12.2

(2) How difficult did you find the scenario? (1-10)
1

(3) How clear did you find the scenario objectives?
Very clear.

(4) How clear and interesting did you find the dialog and storyline of the scenario?
Clear and interesting, albeit the storyline is only logical if player recruits walking corpses. If player decides not to do so (which is a logical choice unless he already knows that he won't be allowed to retain his human army), Malin actually is not banished, and the storyline is logically broken.

(5) What were your major challenges in meeting the objectives of the scenario?
No challenges at all. I didn't even have to reqruit.

(6) How fun do you think the scenario is? (1-10)
Little fun, actually. Before you can even start to do anything useful the ally comes and crushes the enemy.

(7) What, if any, are changes you would have made to the scenario to make it more fun?
I would consider limiting ally's money and only allow him to recruit L2 units. This way he could land substantial help without completely overwhelming the enemy.

Also, I would make player automatically resurrect fallen human fighters, focing (or at least raising chances of) Malin to be banished anyway.

(8) Was there any event that caused you to lose the game and forced you to reload or restart the scenario?
No.
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shadow12
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Re: Scenario Review: DiD 1 - Saving Parthyn

Post by shadow12 »

(1) What difficulty level and version of Wesnoth have you played the scenario on? Med
(2) How difficult did you find the scenario? (1-10) 2
(3) How clear did you find the scenario objectives?
The objective said to defend the river ford for two days. I took that to mean Do not let them cross. But one got to the other side and the game did not end. If the enemy had all gotten across and swarmed the other side would it have continued? Maybe the scenario objective was to keep Malin alive for two days.

(4) How clear and interesting did you find the dialog and storyline of the scenario?

I think the storyline is VERY interesting! I am curious to see how Malin fairs descending into dark magic.
The artwork in the intro was beautiful!

(5) What were your major challenges in meeting the objectives of the scenario? I wanted to get more kills but the allies were blocking me.

(6) How fun do you think the scenario is? (1-10) 5.

(7) What, if any, are changes you would have made to the scenario to make it more fun?
The ability to recruit different types of units. Less allies. I tried to level up the humans, which was a waste because they never appear again. I should have focused on giving Malin the kills.

(8) Was there any event that caused you to lose the game and forced you to reload or restart the scenario? nope.
Sometimes life unexpectedly throws a Troll or a nasty Queen Naga in your path.
Entengelaende
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Re: Scenario Review: DiD 1 - Saving Parthyn

Post by Entengelaende »

(1) What difficulty level and version of Wesnoth have you played the scenario on? Hard, 1.12.6
(2) How difficult did you find the scenario? (1-10) 3
(3) How clear did you find the scenario objectives?
(4) How clear and interesting did you find the dialog and storyline of the scenario? Okay
(5) What were your major challenges in meeting the objectives of the scenario? Getting as much xp as possible
(6) How fun do you think the scenario is? (1-10) 7
(7) What, if any, are changes you would have made to the scenario to make it more fun? None
(8) Was there any event that caused you to lose the game and forced you to reload or restart the scenario? No particular event, but either not enough xp or Malin Keshar dying.
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Britannicus
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Re: Scenario Review: DiD 1 - Saving Parthyn

Post by Britannicus »

(1) What difficulty level and version of Wesnoth have you played the scenario on?

Challenging, Version 1.12.6

(2) How difficult did you find the scenario? (1-10)

3

(3) How clear did you find the scenario objectives?

Very clear, imo it's unnecessary to point out you can also kill the enemy leader. That should be implied if not otherwise stated.

(4) How clear and interesting did you find the dialog and storyline of the scenario?

Pretty decent, sets up the story.

(5) What were your major challenges in meeting the objectives of the scenario?

Realizing that fords are treated like dry land in every aspect.

(6) How fun do you think the scenario is? (1-10)

8, it's great having to work with Walking Corpses, pretty unique battle.

(7) What, if any, are changes you would have made to the scenario to make it more fun?

Maybe make the ally less powerful, once he arrives, you can pretty much kill the rest of the enemies with just Malin.

(8) Was there any event that caused you to lose the game and forced you to reload or restart the scenario?

Once accidentaly placing Malin in the water.
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Konrad2
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Re: Scenario Review: DiD 1 - Saving Parthyn

Post by Konrad2 »

(1) What difficulty level and version of Wesnoth have you played the scenario on?

Challenging, Version 1.14.1

(2) How difficult did you find the scenario? (1-10)

6 (no Walking corpses)

(3) How clear did you find the scenario objectives?

Not clear, with the new map it's unclear at what point the Orcs have broken through the 'river fort'. #3308

(4) How clear and interesting did you find the dialog and storyline of the scenario?

I like it. :D

(5) What were your major challenges in meeting the objectives of the scenario?

Figuring out how much ground I can give and at what point it's too much. (See (3).)

(6) How fun do you think the scenario is? (1-10)

8, it's nice to be able to chose whether you want to use necromancy now or not yet.

(7) What, if any, are changes you would have made to the scenario to make it more fun?

Maybe adjust my allies strenght according to my choices? Like, once I recruit corpses, my ally loses 'gold', as in, if he has not enough gold to cover for the loss of gold, units that are alive and whose costs cover the difference, run away, because scared.

(8) Was there any event that caused you to lose the game and forced you to reload or restart the scenario?

See (3).
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LordWolfDan
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Re: Scenario Review: DiD 1 - Saving Parthyn

Post by LordWolfDan »

(1) What difficulty level and version of Wesnoth have you played the scenario on?

- 1.14.5, Normal

(2) How difficult did you find the scenario? (1-10)

- 6

(3) How clear did you find the scenario objectives?

- Clear

(4) How clear and interesting did you find the dialog and storyline of the scenario?

- Good start, really good. It sets up the likable, yet tragic character that Malin Keshar is

(5) What were your major challenges in meeting the objectives of the scenario?

- Trying to have some of walking corpses left against orcs

(6) How fun do you think the scenario is? (1-10)

- 6

(7) What, if any, are changes you would have made to the scenario to make it more fun?

- I like it the way it is

(8) Was there any event that caused you to lose the game and forced you to reload or restart the scenario?

- None
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ElvishMystical0
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Re: Scenario Review: DiD 1 - Saving Parthyn

Post by ElvishMystical0 »

Content Feedback wrote: March 11th, 2008, 8:15 pm A review of Saving Parthyn - the starting scenario of Descent into Darkness
(1) What difficulty level and version of Wesnoth have you played the scenario on?
I think 1.10, 1.12 and 1.14, medium and hard levels.
(2) How difficult did you find the scenario? (1-10)
Overall this is a 5-6, depending on whether you use Walking Corpses and also whether you know how to use them. Playing this campaign a few times taught me how to play the Undead and this campaign is a great way to learn how to play Undead.

{quote]
(3) How clear did you find the scenario objectives?
[/quote]

I'm not a newbie to Wesnoth or to the campaigns, so this is the usual, standard opening scenario in a campaign - overcome an obstacle, defeat a leader all within a certain number of turns.
(4) How clear and interesting did you find the dialog and storyline of the scenario?
The theatrics as always with Wesnoth is good, and this has the basis of a good story - good enough to turn into a movie. But it's woefully underdeveloped. The basics are all there. You have the main character (Malin) of a young man eager to use fresh knowledge to solve a persistent problem thwarted by both a common enemy (Orcs) and an authority figure (Drogan).

Drogan is an authoritarian. I mean, he talks of executing people on the spot. This is not a nice man to be around. Malin is a bit one dimensional, when this has the potential for him to be motivated by good but corrupted in some ways.

just to be nit picky on a language point 'closed mouthed' is not typical English. I know of the massive efforts of international developers and many people who work to develop Wesnoth for who English is not their first language, and they all do great. But the usual way for it to 'sound English' is to either say you kept your mouth shut on something, or you kept quiet about something.
(5) What were your major challenges in meeting the objectives of the scenario?
My first Wesnoth campaign was The South Guard and I have also gone through HTTT, so I'm aware of Walking Corpses and the damage they can do. Some say that they're cheap and useless. I disagree. There are no useless Wesnoth units for me. Walking Corpses can make things difficult for you as a newbie Wesnoth player in scenarios such as Muff Malal's Peninsula in HTTT and that second scenario in The South Guard.

However here they're on your side. My challenges here had everything to do with the following:

1. Working out how to use them against the Orcs.
2. Figuring out the TOD stuff. Orcs and Undead are both chaotic. But one is stronger than the other during the day and then again during the night.
(6) How fun do you think the scenario is? (1-10)
I like Walking Corpses. They have a certain style about them. They don't have much movement, and they're not the easiest unit to play, but they make quite expressive sounds. Each time you hear that "Urgh! Urgh!" you know they're making the effort. You can tell by the "Argh" sound when they die that they're not happy about it.

For the above reason I give this an 8.
(7) What, if any, are changes you would have made to the scenario to make it more fun?
I got quite a lot of fun out of the sounds of the Walking Corpses trying to kill Orcs and the Orcs suffering. So I was quite amused.
(8) Was there any event that caused you to lose the game and forced you to reload or restart the scenario?
Oh Lord where do I start? I learned quite a lot from this scenario. I learned for example, that trying to defeat a bunch of lvl1 and lvl2 Orcs with a Spearman, Malin and half a dozen Walking Corpses during the day on land is a bit unrealistic.

I learned that while the Undead appear to have the edge at night, during the day it's the Orcs who have the edge.

I also learned that chill waves and shadow waves can be as unreliable as Orcish Grunt swords.
Mawmoocn
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Re: Scenario Review: DiD 1 - Saving Parthyn

Post by Mawmoocn »

(1) What difficulty level and version of Wesnoth have you played the scenario on?

1.12.6, Hard, Bat and loyal units only gameplay

(2) How difficult did you find the scenario? (1-10)

6

(3) How clear did you find the scenario objectives?

Defend the outpost might be better way to describe the objective?

(4) How clear and interesting did you find the dialog and storyline of the scenario?

I thought it was possible to overturn fate by avoiding recruitment of undead units. Mentioning the sister, made me have false hopes that you can fight against fate.

(5) What were your major challenges in meeting the objectives of the scenario?

Keeping loyal units alive. I let them die once I knew it was nearly an impossibly hard task to keep all of them alive.

(6) How fun do you think the scenario is? (1-10)

4

(7) What, if any, are changes you would have made to the scenario to make it more fun?

A way to fight against his predetermined "fate".

(8) Was there any event that caused you to lose the game and forced you to reload or restart the scenario?

Trying to let loyal units live and fighting against the bulk of Orcish Grunts and Crossbowman.
Mawmoocn
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Re: Scenario Review: DiD 1 - Saving Parthyn

Post by Mawmoocn »

(1) What difficulty level and version of Wesnoth have you played the scenario on?

1.14.8 (1.14.7), Hard, Bats and loyal units

(2) How difficult did you find the scenario? (1-10)

6

(3) How clear did you find the scenario objectives?

Clear

(4) How clear and interesting did you find the dialog and storyline of the scenario?
One night, a particularly powerful strike stormed the city and Malin could only watch as his father was cut down by one of the savage orcish warriors.
"a particularly powerful strike stormed the city" something feels off in this statement, I don’t know how to reword it...

Bias opinion inside spoiler, read with caution.
Spoiler:
(5) What were your major challenges in meeting the objectives of the scenario?

Controlling ally and enemy movement and keeping loyal units alive.

(6) How fun do you think the scenario is? (1-10)

7

(7) What, if any, are changes you would have made to the scenario to make it more fun?

No comment

(8) Was there any event that caused you to lose the game and forced you to reload or restart the scenario?

Orcs passing by the marker, because of my negligence.


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Konrad2
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Re: Scenario Review: DiD 1 - Saving Parthyn

Post by Konrad2 »

(1) What difficulty levels have you played the scenario on?

1.15.6, Summoner (Challenging)

(2) How difficult did you find the scenario? (1-10)

4, but I got quite lucky with the enemy recruit a lot of Wolf Riders.

(3) How clear did you find the scenario objectives?

Clear.

(4) How clear and interesting did you find the dialog and storyline of the scenario?

Quite interesting.

(5) What were your major challenges in meeting the objectives of the scenario?

Not rusihing at the enemy.

(6) How fun do you think the scenario is? (1-10)

7, thanks for the Sushi. :D

(7) What, if any, are changes you would have made to the scenario to make it more fun?

-

Scenario stats:
Spoiler:
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mal_shubertal
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Re: Scenario Review: DiD 1 - Saving Parthyn

Post by mal_shubertal »

(1) What difficulty level and version of Wesnoth have you played the scenario on?
1.16.6 Summoner (Challenging)
(2) How difficult did you find the scenario? (1-10)
4 to just survive, 11 to take out the orc leader on hard difficulty (I couldn't figure out how to do it)
(3) How clear did you find the scenario objectives?
Not super clear. Drogan tells you, "You've got ta hold tha river fort", the victory conditions say "defend the river fort for two nights", and the defeat conditions say "orcs reach the outskirts of Parthyn". In practice, this seems to be implemented in a pretty forgiving way, since I played it a few times and sometimes there would be orcs on my castle tiles at end of turns, but I would still win. There's a signpost southwest of the fort that I ASSUME represents the 'outskirts of Parthyn' that orcs can't cross. It would be helpful if it were made more explicit exactly which hexes would trigger the loss condition if an orc touched them. This could be done visually with a continuous fence that delineated the entire perimeter of Parthyn, and changing the loss condition to 'an enemy unit touches the fence around Parthyn', for example, and maybe making those hexes flash briefly at the beginning of the scenario. In that case, you would change the victory condition to just 'survive until end of turns'.
(4) How clear and interesting did you find the dialog and storyline of the scenario?
I like the writing on the intro, the way it describes the villagers seeing the undead with "empty eyes bleeding with fetid magic" and Darken Volk having "a rasping voice reminiscent of crackling bones". It helps drive home the 'irrational' fear they have of necromancy that drives their behavior later in the campaign.
I also like how Drogan, Dela, and Malin are all written differently. Drogan has a lot of his words spelled differently to emphasize his heavy 'country' accent, whereas Malin speaks in more standard/'educated' english which makes sense if he's been off at Alduin studying for the past 8 years. And Dela's accent is sort of halfway in between, which makes sense for the half-educated daughter of a rural baron. There are a couple times in the dialogue after Malin recruits the first undead unit where Drogan says "you" instead of his usual "ya", but otherwise the accents stay nicely consistent.
(5) What were your major challenges in meeting the objectives of the scenario?
Figuring out what would trigger the loss condition
(6) How fun do you think the scenario is? (1-10)
6. It's an interesting challenge to face some overpowered lvl 2 orc enemies with mostly lvl 0 zombies and a few lvl 1 loyalists. It makes the player think hard about using time of day, terrain, and the plague ability to maximum effect, while farming as much xp as possible for Malin.
(7) What, if any, are changes you would have made to the scenario to make it more fun?
Clarifying the objectives, see (3)
(8) Was there any event that caused you to lose the game and forced you to reload or restart the scenario?
I tried a couple times to rush the orc leader, but I could never manage it, so I settled for just surviving and that went much better!
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JL42
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Re: Scenario Review: DiD 1 - Saving Parthyn

Post by JL42 »

What difficulty levels and game versions have you played the scenario on?
v. 1.16.10
Summoner / Challenging
How difficult did you find the scenario? (1-10)
6
How clear did you find the scenario objectives?
Mostly clear. It's a bit confusing about how far back you have to hold the orcs. The defeat condition just says that they can't reach the city's "outskirts," wherever that is. I got it into my head that they couldn't step onto the land at all (probably in part because Drogan says you "have to hold the river fort") but apparently they can come in a lot further than that and you're still OK. It can definitely affect strategy during the fight, so it would be useful to clarify.

I also feel like it's awkward that the "special objectives" (book, monolith, etc.) aren't labeled or mentioned in any way. To figure out what they do and whom they affect the player has to meticulously explore the map with different units, and then restart the scenario to make effective use of that information. Either that or just look at the online walkthrough and hope it's accurate. This is kind of frustrating. It's actually the same issue I noticed in the Liberty campaign with Harper's backpack etc. The new special objectives are really neat in terms of adding complexity to the decision-making (determining when and if it's worthwhile to leave the fight and go after them), and I definitely think they should be kept; but the aspect where the player has to figure out what, if anything, the various items do is just a time-waster. This is an issue throughout the entire campaign that for me required a whole lot of pointless exploration and reloading. There are numerous special items that have to be figured out, plus in some scenarios a huge amount of map clutter that doesn't do anything at all. I would recommend just labeling the active ones on the map, or at least some dialogue like, "I left my spellbook in the south" and "Darken said I could learn from that monolith," etc., so that the player knows which ones to look at and what units can benefit from going there.
How clear and interesting did you find the dialog and storyline of the scenario?
The story elements are clear and very well-done. (The overall story of Malin is just brilliant, and most of the writing in the campaign is great.) Again similar to the Liberty campaign, it seems like there's been an attempt to add "dialect" to some of the writing, with questionable results. This one isn't nearly as bad as Liberty, because there are fewer affected lines, the phrasing is a bit better (more pronunciation markers, less grammar errors), and most importantly since it's only side-characters affected it's not so distracting when they sound janky and dumb. In fact it may contribute to the sense of the villagers being small-minded and mean, which helps to explain Malin's situation. It's still a bit cringe though, and not really up to the writing quality of the other dialogue in the campaign. Maybe keep it, but try to polish it and tamp it down a bit so it's not quite as extreme? The problem is that they come off sounding like absurdist caricatures, which clashes with the generally serious tone of the story.
What were your major challenges in meeting the objectives of the scenario?
The main difficulty is just having relatively weak units compared to the enemy. I struggled at first because I was trying to give kills to Malin and he kept getting overwhelmed. Eventually I figured out that I needed to be more conservative and use more plague, which made things a lot easier.
How fun do you think the scenario is? (1-10)
7
What, if any, are changes you would have made to the scenario to make it more fun?
Work on the writing a bit, and label/explain the special objectives, as noted above. The overall map and setup is well done.

---------------
About the Overall Campaign:

I was a bit conflicted about how to rate this campaign, because it has some elements that are just completely epically awesome, but other elements that are still glitchy and frustrating. The best parts are the overall story with its nuance and moral complexity, the final scenario concept, and the unique leveling system. A lot of the maps seem to have improved since the last time I played, with more interesting terrain and tactics and new "special objectives"; those changes seem generally great. On the downside though, the implementation of the leveling system has some confusing and frustrating aspects, some of the writing is not up to the story's overall standards, and there are numerous minor glitches, poorly placed objectives, confusing descriptions and events, confusing map clutter, etc. To avoid repetition I'll put the details of leveling issues etc. into the last scenario thread. Overall I'm going to give the campaign 5 out of 5 stars, because I think its awesomeness outweighs the lingering problems. But, it could definitely still benefit from patching up in places.
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holypaladin
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Re: Scenario Review: DiD 1 - Saving Parthyn

Post by holypaladin »

A small comment on the dead fish reanimated by Malin. Since we already have a fish souless variation it would be good to replace with it souless swimmer that doesn't fit the context here.
„Ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam"
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