Creep War

Discussion of all aspects of multiplayer development: unit balancing, map development, server development, and so forth.

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piezocuttlefish
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Creep War

Post by piezocuttlefish » June 22nd, 2014, 4:53 am

This is the feedback forum for Creep War, a multiplayer scenario written by Blitzmerker and piezocuttlefish. If you have played Creep War, feel free to post any thoughts you may have about your experience.

If you have played multiple times, I am especially interested in your thoughts about the following questions:

1. What version of Creep War do you play (e.g., v0.2.12)?
2. What's your favourite format of Creep War to play (e.g. Long, Normal, Three Team)?
3. What era do you use to play Creep War?
4. Which heroes (in Creep War Era) do you never use?
5. Is there anything in the shop that costs too much or too little?
6. What is the most frustrating part about playing Creep War?
7. What is your favourite hero to play and why?

Creep War is also looking for translators. Please contact us if you would like to assist in translating Creep War to your language.

Thanks, and happy creeping!
Last edited by piezocuttlefish on June 28th, 2014, 4:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Ravana
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Re: Creep War

Post by Ravana » June 22nd, 2014, 7:22 am

I was told to contact you about interaction of creep war and ageless era, however this is bad time for me as I'm just leaving for next few days so I will talk more then.

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Re: Creep War

Post by Ravana » June 24th, 2014, 4:01 pm

Bug report: shopping became impossible after certain time, everything not too expensive was orange and everything too expensive was as usual. Including savegame.

1. you can get from save, 2. old 2team, 3. ageless rpg, 4. anything found in /data/core/ , 5. havent played your version enough to say, 6. cant say currently, 7. witch[advance options deadzone and after ageless 4.11.1 cold aura too]

Tried to find problem from code but you have successfully obfuscated it.
Attachments
Creep_War_Old_Turn_43_why_i_cant_shop.gz
(110.13 KiB) Downloaded 186 times

mmmax
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Re: Creep War

Post by mmmax » June 24th, 2014, 5:16 pm

hi, thanks for the updating of Creep Wars. I appreciate your time and effort.

1) i have played a few games of both the beta and the new release, but still have not downloaded the new release. Not quite ready to give that up.
2)My favorite format is the standard "old" map, ageless era, 1v1 with mirrored teams. i like the old because the creeps appear 1 by 1 and there is less chance of the creeps all crowding into the cave(and being useless) when there is a tight battle in front of a guard. However now i have noticed the creeps moving to the river in front of the team leader castle when they dont have a good attack choice. Dont know if this is any better or worse than previous AI decision of going to cave, but it is an interesting effect of tweaking the AI values.
3) ageless
4) I like to play a pseudo-random mirror game, so all units are usable and fun. I t doesnt matter as much about OP or underP units if each team has one.
5) This will be a long discussion in the comparsion of the 2 shops. will open a new topic if i can.
6) Besides the RNG? lol CW is and has been my favorite and most played map for wesnoth. I have played hundreds, if not 1000+ CW, it is a good game that because of the actions of the creeps, sitting around and playing a good defense is almost never the best option, it creates a space where well thought out aggression is rewarded.
7)I like almost all of them, but one of my favorites is from the despair faction, the unease

mmmax
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Re: Creep War

Post by mmmax » June 24th, 2014, 8:41 pm

General comments on new Creep War

First of all, thanks for the work on my favorite game.

1) Mirrored team option does not pair up the mirrors in an even way. The current method mirrors slots 1-2, 3-5, 6-7 4-8(creeps). In this way the west team always gets to move its mirrored pair first and it creates an advantage for the west team. Also note that the pairing of the creeps does not synch up with the pairings of the teams mirrored pairs. A much more even method would be to pair 1-5 2-6 3-7 4-8(creeps). This is the pairing that I and most of the other players use almost exclusively. Note the symmetry with the placement of the creeps. Also, this way makes blue and brown(2-6) the same unit, which i think is an important idea in creeps.
If you make this change, it may affect the change made to placement of the units into the cave. Prior it was west( x slot1 slot3 slot6) and east(x slot2 slot5 slot7) or if you look at it for mirrored pairs, unit a slots1-5, unit b slots2-6 and unit c slots3-7 the prior setup was west( x a b c) and east(x b a c). The new method of placings in the cave will produce west(x a b c) and east(c b a x). Looking at this in more detail(I just typed it in here for the analysis), it probably doesnt make a lot of difference one way or the other, though i expect that west will more often send 3 units south(on lake map) and east 3 units north, since all units can make minimum moves to that corresponding shop.

2)The overall increase of and sooner appearing creeps. I like the idea of new creeps, however most of them seem to be stronger ones. This may lessen the effects of the heroes, especially when combined with higher level creeps coming out sooner. One of the significant strategies prior was the new level creeps coming out every 15. This definately factored in to my decision on wether to attack or retreat for healing. It was worth some extra risk to make my creeps level up quicker than my opponent. With creeps coming out at many different kill counts, I think this removes a level of strategy in the game. Also, it seems(i dont know) that there is more of harder creeps coming in early, than weaker creeps staying in later. If this is correct, then it increase creep strength and decreases the effectiveness of the heroes. Do we really want this? Hard to decide if this is really the case here, but in the few new games i have played it seems that the number of creeps leveling up have increased( saw 2 orc grunts make it all the way to level3 in one game, i know this could just be random here way too small of sample size). ps I really like the nagas being included in the creeps get some water creeps out there. not sure if i like the lichs in the max-creeps, but thats mostly because i have a gamer crush on those girls in white dresses, which before were absolutely the strongest units in the game.

Ill put my comments about the new shop in a different post. Hope this opens up more discussion and again thank you for your work here.

mmmax

piezocuttlefish
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Re: Creep War

Post by piezocuttlefish » June 25th, 2014, 6:37 am

Ravana wrote:Bug report: shopping became impossible after certain time, everything not too expensive was orange and everything too expensive was as usual. Including savegame.

Tried to find problem from code but you have successfully obfuscated it.
Ravana,

Thanks for submitting the saved game! I should be able to submit a correction for that bug tomorrow. It happens when you access the guard menu, your team has a dead guard, and there is a unit standing in the guard's place. You can never purchase an item again after that. It's a one-line fix.

The new shop is harder to understand, but super easy for adding items. I separated the data from the implementation to a significant degree, so you don't have to know how the shop works too much—you just make the items you want.

I'm excited about working on the Creep War interface with Ageless Era. I would really like to get the Mirror Enemy/Fog Clearer to work properly in Ageless, and that will require implementation of a couple macros. I'll get back to you with the interface needed for that to work properly. I think mmmax at the least will be very happy with that addition.

piezocuttlefish
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Re: Creep War

Post by piezocuttlefish » June 26th, 2014, 1:04 am

I've shuffled around a bit of the Enemy Mirror/Fog Clearer code so that any era can provide the interface that Creep War needs to handle fog clearers. If you want your era to be able to provide this interface, implement the following:

Code: Select all

[event]
	name=era_get_random_unit_type
	first_time_only=no
	[set_variable]
		name=$weapon.unit_type_var
		rand=<A LIST OF ALL YOUR RANDOM UNITS GOES HERE>
		[/set_variable]
	[/event]
The code for the Mirror Enemy side itself is what you would expect:

Code: Select all

[multiplayer_side]
    id=CW Mirror
#textdomain wesnoth-Creep_War
    name= _ "Mirror Enemy"
    image="units/unknown-unit.png"
	{MAGENTA_IS_THE_TEAM_COLOR}
    type=Fog Clearer
    leader=Fog Clearer
[/multiplayer_side]
Unfortunately, I can't find any way to get the era to talk to the scenario to make sure that a Fog Clearer doesn't get displayed or chosen in a scenario that doesn't support it. As a workaround, in Creep War Era I implement an event that gets rid of Fog Clearers in start:

Code: Select all

[event]
	name=start
	[store_unit]
		[filter]
			type="Fog Clearer"
			canrecruit=yes
			[/filter]
		variable=fog_clearers
		kill=no
		[/store_unit]
	[while]
		{VARIABLE_CONDITIONAL fog_clearers.length greater_than 0}
		[do]
			[fire_event]
				name=era_get_random_unit_type
				[primary_attack]
					unit_type_var=temp_unit_type
					[/primary_attack]
				[/fire_event]
			[unit]
				type=$temp_unit_type
				id=$fog_clearers[0].id
				name=$fog_clearers[0].name
				side=$fog_clearers[0].side
				canrecruit=yes
				x=$fog_clearers[0].x
				y=$fog_clearers[0].y
				random_traits=no
				to_variable=temp_hero
				[/unit]
			[kill]
				id=$fog_clearers[0].id
				[/kill]
			[unstore_unit]
				variable=temp_hero
				[/unstore_unit]
			{CLEAR_VARIABLE temp_unit_type,temp_hero}
			[store_unit]
				[filter]
					type="Fog Clearer"
					canrecruit=yes
					[/filter]
				variable=fog_clearers
				kill=no
				[/store_unit]
			[/do]
		[/while]
	{CLEAR_VARIABLE fog_clearers}
	[/event]
If you have any good suggestions on how to do this, please let me know!




Thanks for your feedback, mmmax! It's great to get feedback from someone who plays so many Creep War games.
mmmax wrote: 1) Mirrored team option does not pair up the mirrors in an even way. The current method mirrors slots 1-2, 3-5, 6-7 4-8(creeps). In this way the west team always gets to move its mirrored pair first and it creates an advantage for the west team. Also note that the pairing of the creeps does not synch up with the pairings of the teams mirrored pairs. A much more even method would be to pair 1-5 2-6 3-7 4-8(creeps). This is the pairing that I and most of the other players use almost exclusively. Note the symmetry with the placement of the creeps. Also, this way makes blue and brown(2-6) the same unit, which i think is an important idea in creeps.
If you make this change, it may affect the change made to placement of the units into the cave. Prior it was west( x slot1 slot3 slot6) and east(x slot2 slot5 slot7) or if you look at it for mirrored pairs, unit a slots1-5, unit b slots2-6 and unit c slots3-7 the prior setup was west( x a b c) and east(x b a c). The new method of placings in the cave will produce west(x a b c) and east(c b a x). Looking at this in more detail(I just typed it in here for the analysis), it probably doesnt make a lot of difference one way or the other, though i expect that west will more often send 3 units south(on lake map) and east 3 units north, since all units can make minimum moves to that corresponding shop.
You've pointed out some things I hadn't thought of before. Thanks! I'd like to learn more about your suggestions. I did move the starting units so that there is rotational symmetry in the game. I also did this with the three player version. Moreover, based on what you pointed out, I moved players 1 and 2 again, so that the vertical positions are now {1x36} and {75x2}. This should encourage player 1 to head to the north lane and player 2 to head to the south lane.

It's clear to me that West now gets to move each of its copies before east does. What I don't see, however, is how this creates an advantage for West. In v0.2.12, Players 1 and 2 and players 6 and 7 would often fight on the same lane, whereas now, they are each encouraged to fight on a different lane. In the north lane, West arrives first. In the south lane, East arrives first. What players 3 and 5 do is up to them; it's a toss-up whether they meet or not. This seems both balanced and symmetric to me.
mmmax wrote: 2)The overall increase of and sooner appearing creeps. I like the idea of new creeps, however most of them seem to be stronger ones. This may lessen the effects of the heroes, especially when combined with higher level creeps coming out sooner. One of the significant strategies prior was the new level creeps coming out every 15. This definately factored in to my decision on wether to attack or retreat for healing. It was worth some extra risk to make my creeps level up quicker than my opponent. With creeps coming out at many different kill counts, I think this removes a level of strategy in the game. Also, it seems(i dont know) that there is more of harder creeps coming in early, than weaker creeps staying in later. If this is correct, then it increase creep strength and decreases the effectiveness of the heroes. Do we really want this? Hard to decide if this is really the case here, but in the few new games i have played it seems that the number of creeps leveling up have increased( saw 2 orc grunts make it all the way to level3 in one game, i know this could just be random here way too small of sample size). ps I really like the nagas being included in the creeps get some water creeps out there. not sure if i like the lichs in the max-creeps, but thats mostly because i have a gamer crush on those girls in white dresses, which before were absolutely the strongest units in the game.
To address the issue of stronger creeps appearing earlier, I tried to make the weaker creeps appear and disappear a bit earlier and the stronger creeps appear and disappear a bit later. If that doesn't match what you're experiencing, please let me know which creeps seem imbalanced for when they appear.

I'm glad you like the naga. Honestly, that's the creep change wiith which I'm happiest. Aquatic heroes were getting a free ride, as the other creeps weren't able to harrass them as much. I tried out the hoplite initially, but I think he was too tough for heroes to handle.

I go back and forth on whether I prefer clear steps or gradual steps for creep levelling. I agree that gradual steps does remove that consideration of whether or not to run home before you get that last kill. On the other hand, I'm not sure that that is an important strategic consideration to have; it seems like just happenstance. Maybe you can convince me that needing to consider creep boundaries adds to gameplay?

I have also seen orcish grunts get to level 3, but not very often. I just decreased the amount of damage they do in the hopes of reducing that occurrence even further. I have also delayed the appearance of the liches. I agree that the sylph should be the dominant creep for a while. However, I don't want to see heroes neglecting cold resistance the entire game; I think liches provide a balancing factor in that way.

I look forward to your comments about the shop. Cheers!

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Re: Creep War

Post by Ravana » June 26th, 2014, 5:13 am

After some effort I could believe how that code works but this isnt something I would include in era files, so here is list of level 1 ageless units to put to random if

Code: Select all

[variable]
	name=era_id
	equals="Ageless RPG Era"
[/variable]
Spoiler:
Already had this list for orocia, else I wouldnt have bothered creating it in this format. Didnt include level 0 or core units there.

piezocuttlefish
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Re: Creep War

Post by piezocuttlefish » June 26th, 2014, 5:59 am

Ravana wrote:After some effort I could believe how that code works but this isnt something I would include in era files, so here is list of level 1 ageless units to put to random if
Already had this list for orocia, else I wouldnt have bothered creating it in this format. Didnt include level 0 or core units there.
With all due respect, maintaining a list of your era's units is your era's problem. If you would like to externalise an interface to your era that I can hook into and a unit specifically created for mirroring other units, then let me know. I can adapt Creep War's solution around yours, whatever you come up with. On the other hand, if you think I'm missing something and know a way I can provide a unit-by-unit mirror without tapping into the era, let me know. Best I know, I can't provide the mirror service entirely in the scenario.

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Re: Creep War

Post by Ravana » June 26th, 2014, 7:01 am

piezocuttlefish wrote: With all due respect, maintaining a list of your era's units is your era's problem.
Might be better that way indeed, but unless there is major problem in current ageless then no sooner than 2 months from now.
However era wouldnt know what side numbers to mirror.

sylph
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Re: Creep War

Post by sylph » June 27th, 2014, 2:59 am

1. What version of Creep War do you play?
the version where killing a guard is victory

2. What's your favourite format of Creep War to play?
the version where creeps spawn from the keep

3. What era do you use to play Creep War?
Creeps Wars v0.2.12

4. Which heroes (in Creep War Era) do you never use?
Peasant, Ruffian, Woodsman, Mudcrawler, Walking Corpse

5. Is there anything in the shop that costs too much or too little?
the shop balance is unimportant compared to the unit balance

6. What is the most frustrating part about playing Creep War?
lack of balance - units not equally strong for the game. A unit like Oricsh Assian adds to creep wars with marksmen, poison. The tactical considerations make the game more fun to play. However, compared to other max level units it is not balenced.

7. What is your favourite hero to play and why?
sylph - it seems to peak at the appropriate time. If a bunch of pros play (does not happen much) it seems that the max level units are the most important units. sylph is a strong late game unit.
If I spoke the truth, they would put me in a straitjacket. So, I left the society.

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Ravana
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Re: Creep War

Post by Ravana » June 27th, 2014, 2:34 pm

Well scratch what I said about mirror, this is scenarios job. I would do it in 1.11 as setting, and before as menu item that is removed after first moveto; and effect would be replace unit types that need to be mirrored, and correct ones not those I heard you have currently.
Any way that includes list is redundant in this case.

mmmax
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Re: Creep War

Post by mmmax » June 27th, 2014, 7:13 pm

Thanks for your feedback, mmmax! It's great to get feedback from someone who plays so many Creep War games.
mmmax wrote: 1) Mirrored team option does not pair up the mirrors in an even way. The current method mirrors slots 1-2, 3-5, 6-7 4-8(creeps). In this way the west team always gets to move its mirrored pair first and it creates an advantage for the west team. Also note that the pairing of the creeps does not synch up with the pairings of the teams mirrored pairs. A much more even method would be to pair 1-5 2-6 3-7 4-8(creeps). This is the pairing that I and most of the other players use almost exclusively. Note the symmetry with the placement of the creeps. Also, this way makes blue and brown(2-6) the same unit, which i think is an important idea in creeps.
If you make this change, it may affect the change made to placement of the units into the cave. Prior it was west( x slot1 slot3 slot6) and east(x slot2 slot5 slot7) or if you look at it for mirrored pairs, unit a slots1-5, unit b slots2-6 and unit c slots3-7 the prior setup was west( x a b c) and east(x b a c). The new method of placings in the cave will produce west(x a b c) and east(c b a x). Looking at this in more detail(I just typed it in here for the analysis), it probably doesnt make a lot of difference one way or the other, though i expect that west will more often send 3 units south(on lake map) and east 3 units north, since all units can make minimum moves to that corresponding shop.
You've pointed out some things I hadn't thought of before. Thanks! I'd like to learn more about your suggestions. I did move the starting units so that there is rotational symmetry in the game. I also did this with the three player version. Moreover, based on what you pointed out, I moved players 1 and 2 again, so that the vertical positions are now {1x36} and {75x2}. This should encourage player 1 to head to the north lane and player 2 to head to the south lane.

There seem to be 2 ways of thinking about this. The first is in a general game with either random or chosen units(just a special form of random since they all come from different random players). In a general game the only thing that is important is where the units start, not which unit start where. i.e. (x136) (x163) (x316) (x361) (x613) and (x631) are all equivalent in starting position, remember this is a random start so any unit can be in any position except for the x position, the nothing starts here position. The idea that plays a big part here is the distance from the shops.
The middle two positions in the cave are equal distance(3 tiles) from each shop, ignoring any differences in the mp for a tile type. So units in these two positions have a equal distance choice in going north or south. The units at the top or the bottom of the cave have unequal distances to the shops, 3 to the closer shop and 4 to the farther one. So there is a positional advantage for the top unit to go north and the bottom unit to go south.
In the ver2 starting positions west(x136) and east(x257) it was always quicker to send 3 units south instead of north. However, with your new starting position, which i like very much, it is the most even. West and east both have the same cost to send all units north or south and can quickly move 2 units to either north or south. I think that your new positions are excellent, but dont think your reason is correct, hence the long winded discussion of it. At this point, please keep it as is, now the actual order may or may not be best, it will depend on the mirror arrangement which is the second way of thinking about the starting positions.

It's clear to me that West now gets to move each of its copies before east does. What I don't see, however, is how this creates an advantage for West. In v0.2.12, Players 1 and 2 and players 6 and 7 would often fight on the same lane, whereas now, they are each encouraged to fight on a different lane. In the north lane, West arrives first. In the south lane, East arrives first. What players 3 and 5 do is up to them; it's a toss-up whether they meet or not. This seems both balanced and symmetric to me.

Since, west always gets to move its mirrored unit first it does have an advantage. The short answer to this is first strike, after all this is a special ability because striking first is an advantage. A longer answer can be shown by two mirrored units attacking each other. At full or lots of hp they can attack back and forth and it would be fairly even, however when they get to low hp the attacker has a clear advantage. For example, lets take 2 units standing on 50% terrain defense, each with 10hp and attacks of 10*2(at 50%). If you think that this is an even battle, you would be mistaken. When the first unit attacks there is 50% chance the second unit dies on the first strike, so half the time it never even gets to attack back, if it does live its first attack(at 50/50) only kills the the first unit 25% of the time, remeber the 2nd unit has already died half the time. Now if the first unit survives the second unit's first attack it gets to try again. The first units second attack occurs 25% of the time and at 50/50 it will kill the second unit 12.5% of the time. Now, if both units are still alive(only a 12.5% chance, remember 2 dies 50%, 1 dies 25% and 2 dies 12.5% so far(50+25+12.5=87.5%) unit 2 gets to try again at 50/50 and unit 1 dies 6.25% of the time. So over all unit 1 kills unit 2 62.5%, 2 kills 1 31.25% and both survive 6.25%(which is the chance of 4 50% attacks all missing). So with two even battleing units, the attacker has a killing advantage of 2 to 1 (62.5 to 31.25). I would consider this a signiicant advantage for the first attacker and west always get to attack first, so advantage west.
Another idea to look at for mirroring is the slots of the creeps. The creeps are a mirrored pair !!! Right? They are always in slots 4 and 8, 4 turns apart. Why not have the other mirrored pairs 4 turns apart? It keeps all mirrored pairs the same distance apart. In your current version (1-2, 3-5, 6-7, 4-8) the mirrored pairs are 1,2,1 and 4 turns apart. My proposal 1-5, 2-6, 3-7 4-8 keeps all mirrored pairs 4 turns apart. This seems more fair to the pairs and a more even way of separating them. Also note other nice symetries here, such that unit 1 gets to attack right after its creeps have attacked and its mirror, unit 5 gets to attack right after its own creeps have attacked.

Now, finally, the second way of looking at the starting positions in the cave is for when the units are mirrored. Lets call the mirrored units a,b and c, for this disussion it does not matter which slots are paired together, just that a=a. b=b and c=c. You can fill in the number of the slot when the mirrored pair position discussion above is settled. So, with your new starting positions it is west( unit open unit unit) and east(unit unit open unit), so if we look at the unit which start at the top of each players cave, the main question is do you want the same mirrored unit at the top or a different one? This question also applies to the bottom unit in each persons team and i think it should have the same answer that is given to the two top units. If your answer is the same mirrored pair then it should be west(a x b c) and east(a b x c). If you answer is they should be different then either west(a x b c) and east(c b x a) or east(c a x b) or east(b c x a). I think all of the answers has its pros and cons and are all just about even. However my opinion is a slight prefence for different at the ends but the middle unit the same, so that would be west(axbc) and east(cbxa). I think any answer you get here would be a good one.

Now, if i take that a step farther and make the mirrored units a=1,5 b=2,6 c=3,7(which is my opinion on how the mirrored units should be created) then the starting positions would be west(1x63) and east(72x5). For a comparsion purpose your proposal of mirror a=1,2 b=3,5 and c=6,7 and with your current cave starting positions west(1x36) and east(75x2) would give a setup of west(axbc) and east(cbxa). Nice!! We both agree on where the mirrored pairs should appear!!! Just not on which slots should be paired on the mirrors.

I feel strongly that the pairs should not be paired the way you suggest and i would probabaly not use your implementation for a mirrored game, mostly because of the first strike advantage for west, but instead would continue to use my current ad-hoc method. Thank you very much for taking all of this under consideration.

Cheers! mmmax

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Re: Creep War

Post by piezocuttlefish » June 28th, 2014, 7:59 am

Ravana wrote:Well scratch what I said about mirror, this is scenarios job. I would do it in 1.11 as setting, and before as menu item that is removed after first moveto; and effect would be replace unit types that need to be mirrored, and correct ones not those I heard you have currently.
Any way that includes list is redundant in this case.
Oh, mirroring is absolutely the scenario's job. I have my mirror code in place. I just need two things from the era in order to provide that service:
1. A special unit. When the user picks this unit, this lets the scenario know that the user wants to mirror
2. An event that provides a list of random types. If all the units in a cycle are set to mirror, the scenario needs to be able to pick a random unit.

That's it. The scenario handles the mirror code—there's no way an era could have any idea which sides opposed which sides.

I don't care if the unit you use is a Fog Clearer or some generic unit you create. I just need *something*

v1.11 will provide extra scenario options, which is great. I like that individual players can choose to mirror (requires a special unit), but adding the ability for the host to force mirroring is also nice (requires no special unit). Ideally, I would *still* have that event in the era, as it would also allow the host/scenario to force random.

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Re: Creep War

Post by Ravana » June 28th, 2014, 11:23 am

piezocuttlefish wrote: I just need two things from the era in order to provide that service:
1. A special unit. When the user picks this unit, this lets the scenario know that the user wants to mirror
2. An event that provides a list of random types. If all the units in a cycle are set to mirror, the scenario needs to be able to pick a random unit.

v1.11 will provide extra scenario options, which is great. I like that individual players can choose to mirror (requires a special unit), but adding the ability for the host to force mirroring is also nice (requires no special unit). Ideally, I would *still* have that event in the era, as it would also allow the host/scenario to force random.
While ageless is indeed most popular of eras that require download any solution that can't adapt to any set of units is incomplete.
1) That set_menu_item is just the way to let scenario know, so side 1, generally host, can choose at start if there is mirror. If you wish you can turn that menu off if era used is exactly your creep war era that has list you want for your way.
2) Wesnoth already provides that for you, I even added a bunch of different randoms to ageless 4.11.
b) Just add more options to the set_menu_item, players can tell side 1 if they want mirror for some positions.
i) It's hosts choice who is side 1 so host is the one who can force it. Giving possibility for scenario to force that is not something I would help to achieve in any way.

On a side note I saw problem in creep war 3.3 at start, unit didn't teleport, but I'm going to try if I can reproduce it before posting savegame.
No problem there with my local creep war so that cant be ageless problem, only possibility is your scenario then.
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