How hard should hard be?

Discussion and development of scenarios and campaigns for the game.

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rogul
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How hard should hard be?

Post by rogul »

I am balancing my campaign and have got some feedback that a level is too hard. I have tweaked the money for the sides and playing it through I can finish it with 2 turns to go, but now I think it may be a bit too easy.

So how hard should hard be?

Obviously hard should require a really good grasp of tactics and strategy and uses of the different units for the given terrain, but should it come down to requiring luck? And is there any way to measure that luck, as I only play it through a few times, which isn't very statistically accurate, so I don't know if I have been especially lucky or not.

I have an optional objective, which if not met means there is no early finish bonus, and a fairly tight turn limit, so there comes a point where the leader has to make a beeline for the final location so they don't run out of time, but getting the balance for an enemy and ally side is tricky. Any tips?
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bumbadadabum
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Re: How hard should hard be?

Post by bumbadadabum »

I think this very much depends on how hard you WANT the scenario to be. There isn't one standard for how hard a campaign should be, and it's completely up to you what you see as "hard enough". Compare TSG and NR in mainline, for example. Both campaigns provide a certain amount of challenge, even though their difficulty varies greatly, and the way they create difficulty does as well. The main thing you need to make sure is that the difficulty you choose makes the campaign fun, and that everything is balanced well.
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Sudipta
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Re: How hard should hard be?

Post by Sudipta »

One thing i would like to remind you is that the player has no idea what to expect in future scenarios, unlike you, the developer. Since, you created the scenario, and the whole campaign, you can play in a style that is different from normal players. For example, you know what units will be best for future fights, what terrain to expect in future maps, number of enemies and enemy strength in shrouded maps, and all about surprise events ( tomato surprises. augh. ) Thus, what might seem as "normal" to you might be tough for the player. Generally, i would say that the player should be able to finish the campaign the first time without reloading from a couple scenarios back. If a particular scenario is hard, then the player might need to restart it with a better strategy, but it should still be doable with whatever gold or units available.( though the player might have to go back 1 scenario to finish with more gold or better units if he/she played poorly) Just giving you an opinion from the player's perspective.
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Jabie
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Re: How hard should hard be?

Post by Jabie »

A better question - and one which should be fundamentally addressed first - is "how easy should easy be?" Remember you might have a fascinating campaign with a great story and lots of interesting challenges, but if I can't complete the first level then I'm not going to see it all, and we've both wasted our time.

Players can always artificially raise the difficulty themselves by adding self-imposed rules (e.g. no hiring healing units), but they can't artificially lower the difficulty.
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Ravana
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Re: How hard should hard be?

Post by Ravana »

Actually, they can. 1.13 allows modifications for campaigns too.
Jabie
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Re: How hard should hard be?

Post by Jabie »

Ravana wrote:Actually, they can. 1.13 allows modifications for campaigns too.
How? Sure, a player can save-spam or go into debug mode, but isn't that an admission that the scenario was too difficult in the first place. And yes, the end user could "git gud", but that's still a barrier to progression for any potential player.

Please note that I'm not saying that the game should have no challenge, just that any scenario or campaign designer should err on the side of caution when setting up Easy levels. Make the campaign accessible to all players, then scale upwards, rather than focusing on the hardest levels, and scaling down.
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Ravana
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Re: How hard should hard be?

Post by Ravana »

https://forums.wesnoth.org/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=41918 wrote:Single-player campaign initialization and progression now shares a substantial amount of code with multiplayer games setup. Among other things, this means eras, modifications, and game creation options are now available in single-player campaigns
Means that you can create modification that makes certain side weaker.
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zookeeper
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Re: How hard should hard be?

Post by zookeeper »

When someone says the player can't artificially lower the difficulty, modding the game is obviously excluded just like use of debug mode is.
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