The Rise of Wesnoth (alternative mechanics) UMC add-on for 1.14

Discussion and development of scenarios and campaigns for the game.

Moderators: Forum Moderators, Developers

User avatar
sergey
Posts: 439
Joined: January 9th, 2015, 9:25 pm

Re: The Rise of Wesnoth (alternative mechanics) UMC add-on for 1.14

Post by sergey » November 4th, 2019, 6:31 pm

Thanks for reply otzenpunk. I will think about what you said. Anyway, here are my counterarguments.
otzenpunk wrote:
November 4th, 2019, 4:46 pm
I see why you did that, but I think this would remove any incentive from the game to keep an eye on your treasury
Do you know about old carryover system? It was 80% without minimum starting gold. The new one is 40% on top of minimum defined gold. With the old system it was much more important to manage your gold. However, it was replaced with the current one because of the balance issues. Further reducing carryover percentage makes gold management less important, but the balance becomes better.
otzenpunk wrote:
November 4th, 2019, 4:46 pm
1. Go heavy: Spend all your money to recall/recruit as many of your best units as possible. Although you might go heavily into gold negativity, you're going to finish the scenario as fast as possible and your early finishing bonus will hopefully more than offset your debt and provide you with a reasonable carryover.
2. Go light. Don't overrecruit and maintain a balance between income and maintaining costs. This means, you probably don't recall all your high-levels, but rely on cheaper level 1 fodder to a higher extent, maybe even don't spend a certain amount of your money at all, but rather keep some in your pocket to pay upkeep costs in the early turns. As a result, it might take a little bit longer to finish than with variant 1, but you get to keep more of your finishing bonus, because you don't have to even out your banking account first.
3. Heavily restrain yourself. Just recruit a couple of units and start earning money early on to maximize your carryover to the next scenario.

With a reduced carryover to 5% or 10%, which means effectively, that 90% or 95% of your money is just thrown out of the window at the end of the scenario, I would expect that basic strategic decision you have to make at the beginning of each scenario is gonna be removed, because everything else except variant1 doesn't provide you any benefit any more. It's just economically not sane to save a comparably awful lot of money just to maybe get a single more unit in the next scenario
Are you sure that "everything else except variant1 doesn't provide you any benefit any more"? I don't see how reduced carryover percentage affects those strategies. In any case you are trying to maximize gold carryover. In any case your carryover is reduced if the percentage is 10% (or 5%) instead of 40%. I think your are biased because in option 1 you spent all your money and you don't feel that they are "thrown out of the window". However, I must disappoint you. From 90% to 95% of early finish bonus is also wasted. Probably it is not so painful since you never had that gold in your hands :) Are you ok with losing 60% of your gold with the current system? :hmm:
otzenpunk wrote:
November 4th, 2019, 4:46 pm
and your point system does its own to discourage you from any cautious approaches
If you mean that the points system encourages early completion.. Then I am happy, because that's what it is supposed to do. The most cautious approach is to grab almost all villages, farm XP and finish scenario as late as possible. Doesn't sound fun.

If you have any specific examples where the new system won't work, please share them. Here is an example where the 40% carryover doesn't work. In the other words, the next scenario will be completely imbalanced.
Author of SP scenario Dragon Fight and SP campaign Captured by a Nightmare.
Created The Rise of Wesnoth (alternative mechanics) version of the mainline campaign.

otzenpunk
Posts: 56
Joined: February 11th, 2018, 5:32 pm
Location: Hamburg / Germany

Re: The Rise of Wesnoth (alternative mechanics) UMC add-on for 1.14

Post by otzenpunk » November 5th, 2019, 2:13 pm

sergey wrote:
November 4th, 2019, 6:31 pm
Do you know about old carryover system? It was 80% without minimum starting gold. The new one is 40% on top of minimum defined gold. With the old system it was much more important to manage your gold.
Yes, I know the old system. I think some of the mainline campaigns still use it, or at least did until one or two releases ago. And no, I beg to differ. The main improvement of the new carryover system is in my view, that you profit from every gold coin you manage to save during the scenario, as long as your bank account is positive, at least. With the old system, everything below 125% of the following scenario's starting gold was just wasted, so that you often had no intent to take care of your gold, because you'd gonna get the minimum anyway. Sure, there are scenarios, where you've had the opportunity to amass huge amounts of gold and carry them over to the next scenario almost completely, but the tipping point, where the old style carryover would have favoured you above the new one, is 2.5 times the starting gold of the following scenario, which is often quite unlikely. (And exceptions to this rule are probably balanced in itself, because the campaign designers want you to start the following scenario with huge amounts of money.) So the old system was in a sense quite comparable to what you want to implement. Both generally devalue efficient gold management more than the current 40% system does.
Are you sure that "everything else except variant1 doesn't provide you any benefit any more"? I don't see how reduced carryover percentage affects those strategies. In any case you are trying to maximize gold carryover.
5% are basically peanuts, often not enough to cover the costs of one single additional unit in the following scenario, and 10% isn't this much more. With this system, the criterion of "maximizing gold carryover" is just not worth to consider for your strategy any longer, or at least loses a heck of a lot on the priority list. With your point system, it would probably lead to going "all in" everytime, to maximize your points. Without the point system, it would probably instead tend to the other direction and milk XP until the very last turn.

Under the current carryover regiment, gold management is more important. I've got one example from The Hammer of Thursagan. The scenario Troll Bridge is a fairly easy one. You're probably entering it with a certain amount of gold carryover and the Troll chief is pretty weak. BUT the scenario is short, the map is small and there are just 5 villages. If you just gonna recall all of your best troops and wipe out your opponents in record time, your going to miss the additional two or three veteran units in the following pretty hard scenario, that you could have provided for, if you had just used a minimum set of one lvl2 road block plus a castle of lvl1 thunderers. So the whole scenario is basically an exercise in self-discipline, and I like that.^^
I think your are biased because in option 1 you spent all your money and you don't feel that they are "thrown out of the window". However, I must disappoint you. From 90% to 95% of early finish bonus is also wasted. Probably it is not so painful since you never had that gold in your hands :) Are you ok with losing 60% of your gold with the current system? :hmm:
Yes, I am ok with this system. Because it's a balanced approach to the problem, that on the one hand you want to reward efficient play, but on the other hand there always is a corridor of possible amount of money the player might start a scenario with, and you don't want this corridor to get to wide, because otherwise it's going to be difficult to balance.

There are certainly situations, when I'm getting mad at myself for poor resource management, for example when I recruit a couple of reserve units for 50 gps shortly before the end of the scenario, because I'm running low on troops, but then I win anyway before they even manage to enter the battle, and I think fsck, that's one veteran less in the next scenario for nothing. With less carryover, it wouldn't matter, because 3 or 5 gps are seldomly in any way important.

There are special cases though, where the 40% rule seems a little bit hard, because it doesn't let you save money for a longer time. In Liberty for example, there is a scenario where you help someone to clean his forest of some undeads, and then you're provided with an offer to choose one of three possible rewards, where one of these is 500 gps. This is just a useless option, because these 500 gps are reduced to 200 immediately after you've got them, and the upcoming scenario isn't even this hard, that you need this money, so you can save it, and *poof* it's down to 80 gps in the scenario after. But this is how the rules work, and if you know that, you're just not going to take this particular option. And if you're a campaign writer, you just have to take this into account, when giving out extra treasure chests at the end of scenarios. (Like in the aforementioned Troll Bridge, where you get 200 gps in the end, because the author obviously wanted to give you additional 80 gps for the next scenario. This is not the same btw as just raising the minimum starting gold for the next scenario, because you only get these 80 gps if you didn't blow up your treasury and went into negatives.^^)
otzenpunk wrote:
November 4th, 2019, 4:46 pm
and your point system does its own to discourage you from any cautious approaches
If you mean that the points system encourages early completion.. Then I am happy, because that's what it is supposed to do. The most cautious approach is to grab almost all villages, farm XP and finish scenario as late as possible. Doesn't sound fun.
No, that is not a cautious approach, but artificially prolonging the end. A very cautious approach, as I meant it, would be just to recruit enough units to win the scenario, but not a single unit more. You're going to lose most of your lvl1s during the battle, and in the end you own the map and beat the enemy leader with just a couple of veterans left and noticable positive income.
If you have any specific examples where the new system won't work, please share them. Here is an example where the 40% carryover doesn't work. In the other words, the next scenario will be completely imbalanced.
I haven't played TRoW for quite some time, but I don't remember it being grossly imbalanced, and I really don't think it is, given that it is in mainline for so long. There are quite a couple of reasons though, how things like this could happen.

1. The next scenario will indeed be completely imbalanced, because the player doesn't play on his appropriate difficulty level. Try the next harder one.
2. The campaign author(s) intentionally designed the scenario this way, because the player does need a lot of money in the next scenario. Players who don't finish this scenario with a huge amount of money will probably struggle in the upcoming scenarios, because these are hard or even impossible to win with minimum gold.
3. The maximum number of turns and/or the number of villages is too high, considering that the player has completed it in less than two third of the time. Reducing the turn number would reduce the carryover by a lot. As I wrote above, I don't think this is the case here, though, because it's in mainline and would have happened long before, probably.

User avatar
sergey
Posts: 439
Joined: January 9th, 2015, 9:25 pm

Re: The Rise of Wesnoth (alternative mechanics) UMC add-on for 1.14

Post by sergey » November 5th, 2019, 3:20 pm

We should read this topic https://forums.wesnoth.org/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=22226 Interestingly that it was 20% initially, but than changed to 40%.
otzenpunk wrote:
November 5th, 2019, 2:13 pm
5% are basically peanuts, often not enough to cover the costs of one single additional unit in the following scenario, and 10% isn't this much more. With this system, the criterion of "maximizing gold carryover" is just not worth to consider for your strategy any longer, or at least loses a heck of a lot on the priority list. With your point system, it would probably lead to going "all in" everytime, to maximize your points. Without the point system, it would probably instead tend to the other direction and milk XP until the very last turn.
Are you sure that the upgrades are so important, leading to "all in" everytime to maximize your points? :)
otzenpunk wrote:
November 5th, 2019, 2:13 pm
I haven't played TRoW for quite some time, but I don't remember it being grossly imbalanced, and I really don't think it is, given that it is in mainline for so long.
Yep, it is perfectly balanced, considering how old it is :P

Here is what I think. Carryover percentage should depend on the number of villages. More villages - lower percentage and vice versa. If campaign author wants the next scenario to require a lot of gold, they should increase starting gold. Otherwise it is tomato surprise.

P.S. I understood and noted you point of view. 5%-10% is too low, it removes any incentive from the game to keep an eye on your treasury. What do you think about 20% or 30%?
Author of SP scenario Dragon Fight and SP campaign Captured by a Nightmare.
Created The Rise of Wesnoth (alternative mechanics) version of the mainline campaign.

Tad_Carlucci
Inactive Developer
Posts: 445
Joined: April 24th, 2016, 4:18 pm

Re: The Rise of Wesnoth (alternative mechanics) UMC add-on for 1.14

Post by Tad_Carlucci » November 5th, 2019, 4:09 pm

I've always had a problem with the idea that adjusting your starting gold (or carry-over from the previous scene), was the primary tool to "balance" a scene. I just can't think of an alternative which can be broadly applied. That is, until these buff-points came along. They should provide another tool to balance things out.

I do worry that you're dropping the carry-over too much. And I also worry that the buff-points will over-balance in favor of the player.

But, that's one of the reasons for this POC Campaign. We need to get some milage on these new ideas and push for people to provide actual feedback on how they're finding things.

Conceptual arguments are fine. But what would really help would be some concrete examples from replays, especially from comparison replays, would go a long way to answering a lot of the open questions.
I forked real life and now I'm getting merge conflicts.

User avatar
sergey
Posts: 439
Joined: January 9th, 2015, 9:25 pm

Re: The Rise of Wesnoth (alternative mechanics) UMC add-on for 1.14

Post by sergey » November 5th, 2019, 7:22 pm

Tad_Carlucci wrote:
November 5th, 2019, 4:09 pm
I do worry that you're dropping the carry-over too much.
Let's wait for feedback from people who played it. Earlier I mentioned scenario where 40% carryover breaks balance. Here is another example, even 60% could work well there:
TRoW_Rough_Landing.png
In my opinion carryover percentage shouldn't be the same for all scenarios, it should depend on amount of villages. 5% - 10% for all of the scenarios is another extreme, I agree with that. However, this is an experiment, we can afford that in UMC.
Tad_Carlucci wrote:
November 5th, 2019, 4:09 pm
And I also worry that the buff-points will over-balance in favor of the player.
It depends on implementation, isn't it? It is possible to allow only minor and expensive buffs. It won't be fun, so we should find a middle ground.
Author of SP scenario Dragon Fight and SP campaign Captured by a Nightmare.
Created The Rise of Wesnoth (alternative mechanics) version of the mainline campaign.

white_haired_uncle
Posts: 557
Joined: August 26th, 2018, 11:46 pm

Re: The Rise of Wesnoth (alternative mechanics) UMC add-on for 1.14

Post by white_haired_uncle » Yesterday, 5:46 am

I just finished on easy-normal. I'm not sure if I ever played the mainline, so I can't comment on differences, only my experience.

Most scenarios were pretty easy, a few just down right brutal.

The point system was interesting, but I felt it was missing something. I didn't really pick up on any reason to choose upgrade X vs Y. BTW, by the last few scenarios I was left with only HP upgrades (which seemed very expensive compared to the others, even early on).

You might provide a little more info on upgrades, like the hachet (I think?) is ranged and the shield bash is impact.

The leadership upgrade is a bit confusing, when you consider the units that have access to it also have a path to having "Leader" or "Commander" in their unit name. That made me wonder if they were going to get leadership anyway on advancement. If you look at the help, it talks about their leadership, while not listing leadership as a trait/ability.

One thing that really bugs me about BFW is that ending up with 0 gold is the same as ending with -3000. In so many scenarios, it seems clear that I'm going to end up negative, so I just recall/recruit as much as I can at the beginning and not worry about it. Personally, I'd like to see units desert if you can't pay them or something. With almost no carryover, in this campaign I never even considered trying to save any gold. What might be interesting is to start every scenario with the minimum gold, with any excess gold carried over from the previous scenario converted (at some rate, perhaps based on difficulty and not necessarily linear) into points, instead of just getting points for finishing early.

User avatar
sergey
Posts: 439
Joined: January 9th, 2015, 9:25 pm

Re: The Rise of Wesnoth (alternative mechanics) UMC add-on for 1.14

Post by sergey » Yesterday, 9:37 am

white_haired_uncle wrote:
Yesterday, 5:46 am
I just finished on easy-normal. I'm not sure if I ever played the mainline, so I can't comment on differences, only my experience.
Congratulations on the foundation of the Kingdom of Wesnoth! :D
white_haired_uncle wrote:
Yesterday, 5:46 am
Most scenarios were pretty easy, a few just down right brutal.
By brutal you mean hard? Do you remember which exactly scenarios were hard?
white_haired_uncle wrote:
Yesterday, 5:46 am
The point system was interesting, but I felt it was missing something. I didn't really pick up on any reason to choose upgrade X vs Y.
Well, it is not crucial, but there are reasons to pick more important upgrades first. Like additional movement point, leadership, hammer for Burin (vs undead). There are other considerations too. For example, I buffed Haldric in early scenarios to increase his chance to get kill (on higher difficulties he starts as 0 lvl unit). I gave strong trait to Burin once he got both melee weapons, which seemed like more optimal points investment. There were other situational upgrades that I choose depending on the scenario / map.
white_haired_uncle wrote:
Yesterday, 5:46 am
BTW, by the last few scenarios I was left with only HP upgrades (which seemed very expensive compared to the others, even early on).
I assume you found Burin and Edren? HP upgrades are endless, but their cost is increasing.
white_haired_uncle wrote:
Yesterday, 5:46 am
You might provide a little more info on upgrades, like the hachet (I think?) is ranged and the shield bash is impact.
Good point! Shield already has the description. I will revise other upgrades.
white_haired_uncle wrote:
Yesterday, 5:46 am
The leadership upgrade is a bit confusing, when you consider the units that have access to it also have a path to having "Leader" or "Commander" in their unit name. That made me wonder if they were going to get leadership anyway on advancement. If you look at the help, it talks about their leadership, while not listing leadership as a trait/ability.
I see. I will remove the leadership (and other) notes from units description.
white_haired_uncle wrote:
Yesterday, 5:46 am
One thing that really bugs me about BFW is that ending up with 0 gold is the same as ending with -3000. In so many scenarios, it seems clear that I'm going to end up negative, so I just recall/recruit as much as I can at the beginning and not worry about it. Personally, I'd like to see units desert if you can't pay them or something.
I was thinking about HP penalty. For example, if player has 0 gold and -5 income, next turn they will still have 0 gold and 5 random units (5 unit levels?) will be harmed (e.g. -8 HP or -20% HP). That penalty should not kill (like poison). Though, it's not likely that I will implement such penalty for this add-on. I don't want to change additional aspects of the game.
white_haired_uncle wrote:
Yesterday, 5:46 am
With almost no carryover, in this campaign I never even considered trying to save any gold.
Perhaps I will increase the carryover percentage. Up to 20% for example.
white_haired_uncle wrote:
Yesterday, 5:46 am
What might be interesting is to start every scenario with the minimum gold, with any excess gold carried over from the previous scenario converted (at some rate, perhaps based on difficulty and not necessarily linear) into points, instead of just getting points for finishing early.
Interesting idea, thanks for sharing it!
Author of SP scenario Dragon Fight and SP campaign Captured by a Nightmare.
Created The Rise of Wesnoth (alternative mechanics) version of the mainline campaign.

white_haired_uncle
Posts: 557
Joined: August 26th, 2018, 11:46 pm

Re: The Rise of Wesnoth (alternative mechanics) UMC add-on for 1.14

Post by white_haired_uncle » Yesterday, 9:21 pm

Harrowing Escape and Sewer were a couple that I thought were very hard (especially if you're mislead as the the exit of the sewer). In comparison, the one with the dragon was super easy (weird, because saurians usually tear me up).

I found Burin and Edren, and kept them throughout the campaign. Not finding them, or letting them get killed, would have made the campaign significantly harder. Same with
Spoiler:
.

I get the HP upgrade increasing cost, and it makes sense towards the end, especially if you've earned and spent a lot of points. But, it's really expensive compared to other options. The first HP upgrade costs the same as leadership (IIRC). I can increase one unit's HP by 1 (what 2-3%), which really only makes a difference is he comes JUST THAT CLOSE to death (in which case I have to reload anyway), or I can do several more points of damage every turn for the rest of the campaign. Not worth considering, though I did spend time to wonder why I would even consider it. Maybe +1 HP for ALL units, including those I've yet to recruit for the rest of the campaign would be in the same league with leadership.

HP damage for lack of gold is an interesting idea. Without enough to pay for proper upkeep, like food, it makes sense your troops would get weaker (or slower, or do less damage, now that you got me thinking about it).

Post Reply