Separate MP from SP

Brainstorm ideas of possible additions to the game. Read this before posting!

Moderators: Forum Moderators, Developers

Forum rules
Before posting a new idea, you must read the following:
User avatar
Crow_T
Posts: 851
Joined: February 24th, 2011, 4:20 am

Separate MP from SP

Post by Crow_T »

It is frustrating to see innovation held back due to the fact that it'd throw off MP balance. Why not have a "locked" MP mode and use SP as a testing ground for innovation/experimentation/just having fun? I understand that UMCs serve this purpose already, but much of that gets lost via versioning or is never seen by only mainline players. I don't think adding a lot of units would affect the download size of Wesnoth either, considering half of the current code is sound files. I feel that the SP mainline campaigns could be so much more dynamic and varied if the idea of MP balance were discarded. There are a lot of cool units floating in the ether: http://forums.wesnoth.org/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=38109

User avatar
Sapient
Inactive Developer
Posts: 4453
Joined: November 26th, 2005, 7:41 am
Contact:

Re: Separate MP from SP

Post by Sapient »

On the one hand, it doesn't make much sense for poacher to be able to hold his own against an elvish archer. On the other hand, it become really confusing when the same unit has different stats in different contexts. Given the choice between the two problems, I'd rather have things as they are now. Then if you want a weaker poacher or a stronger elven archer, you can adjust the graphics a little bit and stick it in your campaign folder. It's a lot easier to go from balanced to unbalanced than the other way around.
http://www.wesnoth.org/wiki/User:Sapient... "Looks like your skills saved us again. Uh, well at least, they saved Soarin's apple pie."

alluton
Posts: 420
Joined: June 26th, 2010, 6:49 pm
Location: Finland

Re: Separate MP from SP

Post by alluton »

Are you suggesting that usermade units will be used in mainline campaings? If so atleast UtBS already does so. I think mainline campaigns should anyway consist of mainline units that are balanced and have good quality portraits and animations. Afterall mainline campaigns are propably first ones new player will play.
"This game cured me of my real life addiction."
-Flameslash

User avatar
Ranger
Posts: 122
Joined: March 15th, 2013, 10:22 pm
Location: Salerno, Italy

Re: Separate MP from SP

Post by Ranger »

Nothing new, It was already proposed and rejected. :( http://forums.wesnoth.org/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=38527
Calling a spear a spoon and then saying "our spoons are different, WINR," is kind of unsatisfying, isn't it?

User avatar
Dixie
Posts: 1757
Joined: February 10th, 2010, 1:06 am
Location: $x1,$y1

Re: Separate MP from SP

Post by Dixie »

Disagreed. You can already add custom units in campaigns, it is done widely, even in mainline. Recruitment lists are also widely altered, they don't necessarily follow the MP factions lineup. The conflict is rather with altering units that serve in both eras. And this is a BAD idea. Where do you think most people learn to play? Do you think most players dive first hand in the MP games? No, they try a few campaigns and SP matches to see if they like the game and learn the basics. But what will happen if the same unit is different in SP and MP? Hell, what happen if the elvish archer (or any other unit) is a slightly different unit in every single campaign? People will not be able to learn any kind of constants and will always be confused. You will have demands like "Can you create a default era but with the elvish archer from liberty and the orcish grunt from TROW?" etc. It will be madness. I totally disagree with this idea.
Jazz is not dead, it just smells funny - Frank Zappa
Current projects: Internet meme Era, The Settlers of Wesnoth

User avatar
Ranger
Posts: 122
Joined: March 15th, 2013, 10:22 pm
Location: Salerno, Italy

Re: Separate MP from SP

Post by Ranger »

If every mainline campaign should be made only with mainline units, then what about South guard? Descend into darkness? Scepter of Fire? Hammer of Thursagan? Not even talking of UtBS here...
Calling a spear a spoon and then saying "our spoons are different, WINR," is kind of unsatisfying, isn't it?

User avatar
Dixie
Posts: 1757
Joined: February 10th, 2010, 1:06 am
Location: $x1,$y1

Re: Separate MP from SP

Post by Dixie »

Dixie wrote:Disagreed. You can already add custom units in campaigns, it is done widely, even in mainline. Recruitment lists are also widely altered, they don't necessarily follow the MP factions lineup. The conflict is rather with altering units that serve in both eras. And this is a BAD idea. Where do you think most people learn to play? Do you think most players dive first hand in the MP games? No, they try a few campaigns and SP matches to see if they like the game and learn the basics. But what will happen if the same unit is different in SP and MP? Hell, what happen if the elvish archer (or any other unit) is a slightly different unit in every single campaign? People will not be able to learn any kind of constants and will always be confused. You will have demands like "Can you create a default era but with the elvish archer from liberty and the orcish grunt from TROW?" etc. It will be madness. I totally disagree with this idea.
So to re-explain myself, since you apparently glossed over my post (I get some "I don't like you" vibes from you, but if it is the case, be assured that it is not returned), custom units are fine in campaigns, SP or even MP, mainline or not! In fact, they might even be desirable. What is not so desirable (IMHO), though, is customizing pre-existing staple units. Having a slightly different elvish archer and/or whichever other standard unit in every single campaign would make the game a nightmare to learn and play. You would have to constantly re-ajust and it would seem silly and pointless to even try MP. And this last bit is exactly what this whole idea is about: free customization of every single unit, in any context, totally disregarding MP balance.
Jazz is not dead, it just smells funny - Frank Zappa
Current projects: Internet meme Era, The Settlers of Wesnoth

JaMiT
Developer
Posts: 511
Joined: January 22nd, 2012, 12:38 am

Re: Separate MP from SP

Post by JaMiT »

Crow_T wrote:Why not have a "locked" MP mode and use SP as a testing ground for innovation/experimentation/just having fun?
Because that would be more restrictive than having "locked" mainline MP eras, while using UMC MP eras as a testing ground for innovation/experimentation/just having fun?

Keep in mind the full text of the note from "About the Ideas Forum":

"Default multiplayer is balanced! The default multiplayer era (consisting of Loyalists, Rebels, Northerners, Knalgan, Drakes, and Undead) is almost perfectly balanced. Any suggestions that want to change this balance are almost guaranteed to be instantly shot down. If you attempt such a suggestion, you had better provide thorough research."

Pay particular attention to the last sentence. Getting changes into multiplayer is not impossible, but it is up to the one making the suggestion to see how it affects balance. How does one do this? Through single-player? NO. You would create a new era based on the mainline era, but with your proposed changes in it. Then you would try out a few games versus the AI, a few games versus friends, and a lot of games played by some of the best players out there. Maybe some other trials. Get feedback. Make sure the result is balanced. Then submit your findings.

Use MP, not SP, as a testing ground for MP innovation.

Crow_T wrote:I understand that UMCs serve this purpose already, but much of that gets lost via versioning or is never seen by only mainline players.
If something was lost via versioning, then it lacks the popularity necessary for it to have a maintainer, hence lacks the support necessary to be considered for mainline.

If a player opts to only play mainline content, then they are not interested in experimentation, so they would not be interested in experimental eras (or other experimental material) being added to mainline. Pointing out these players works against your intended goal.

Crow_T wrote:I feel that the SP mainline campaigns could be so much more dynamic and varied if the idea of MP balance were discarded.
Can you give an example of a SP mainline campaign opting to not do something because of MP balance?

Crow_T wrote:There are a lot of cool units floating in the ether:
Adding units for the sake of adding units tends to lower the overall quality of a campaign. Just imagine if Konrad started HttT being able to recruit elves because he was raised in elven lands, and able to recruit demons because Crow_T was bored. How many new players would look at that and wonder at the internal consistency of the campaign?

Much better would be to write a new campaign featuring those units. Since you are interested in such a thing, perhaps you are the one do so.

User avatar
Ranger
Posts: 122
Joined: March 15th, 2013, 10:22 pm
Location: Salerno, Italy

Re: Separate MP from SP

Post by Ranger »

Dixie wrote: So to re-explain myself, since you apparently glossed over my post (I get some "I don't like you" vibes from you, but if it is the case, be assured that it is not returned), custom units are fine in campaigns, SP or even MP, mainline or not! In fact, they might even be desirable. What is not so desirable (IMHO), though, is customizing pre-existing staple units. Having a slightly different elvish archer and/or whichever other standard unit in every single campaign would make the game a nightmare to learn and play. You would have to constantly re-ajust and it would seem silly and pointless to even try MP.
So, it seem that Dwarvish Scout is(was) a custom unit while desert elves were a customized faction, is that right?

JaMiT:

Code: Select all

--<---Whole idea---<-----

      (Your head)

:roll:
Calling a spear a spoon and then saying "our spoons are different, WINR," is kind of unsatisfying, isn't it?

User avatar
Dugi
Posts: 4960
Joined: July 22nd, 2010, 10:29 am
Location: Carpathian Mountains
Contact:

Re: Separate MP from SP

Post by Dugi »

I agree with Dixie. Units shouldn't be different in singleplayer and multiplayer, because it would be insanely confusing. I remember how was I confused with the elves in UtBS that had no sorceress line (I usually used them as main offensive force) and rangers had backstab. Some UMC slightly hack this with things like the Death Baron advancement path, but campaign-dependant advancement paths like Dwarvish Arcanister, Grand Marshal, Ancient Lich or Armageddon Drake are present even in core stuff, so different advancement paths don't seem to be considered confusing enough. You rarely advance in PvP multiplayer anyway.

It would be less confusing if campaigns were using completely new factions rather than slightly altered old factions, but numerous factions usually results in an unpleasant lack of animations or even good sprites.

In singleplayer campaigns, you can create custom factions from mainline units, that is a significant difference from multiplayer. You can also alter the factions by extending advancement paths, like I did in Legend of the Invincibles or Crendgrim (or maybe someone else) did in Ascension Era. This way, the result will not be confusing, but attractively different.

I think that most people are failing to notice that Wesnoth is a completed game, and changes being done are mostly to enhance the possibilities of UMC and to improve graphics (however, some of the late changes are rather a step back, maybe replacing a good sprite with a 10% better baseframe with no animation frame while the previous one had 20 of them). That is, seek innovative stuff in UMC, it won't become a part of the core (unless an innovative campaign becomes a part of mainline).

Or maybe someone will fork wesnoth, insert tons of innovations, spend years balancing it and then it will be finished, never to be innovated again until someone forks it again.

User avatar
Crendgrim
Moderator Emeritus
Posts: 1328
Joined: October 15th, 2010, 10:39 am
Location: Germany

Re: Separate MP from SP

Post by Crendgrim »

Dugi wrote:[...], like I did in Legend of the Invincibles or Crendgrim (or maybe someone else) did in Ascension Era.
I.. never even heard of that era. Good to know I created it.
Dugi wrote:It would be less confusing if campaigns were using completely new factions rather than slightly altered old factions, but numerous factions usually results in an unpleasant lack of animations or even good sprites.
Then we'd get tree elves, wood elves, forest elves, ... (castle elves, anyone?). That would be even more confusing and complicated.
UMC Story Images — Story images for your campaign!

User avatar
Dugi
Posts: 4960
Joined: July 22nd, 2010, 10:29 am
Location: Carpathian Mountains
Contact:

Re: Separate MP from SP

Post by Dugi »

I.. never even heard of that era. Good to know I created it.
Sorry, I really thought it was you who created it... It was ancestral, sorry.
Then we'd get tree elves, wood elves, forest elves, ... (castle elves, anyone?). That would be even more confusing and complicated.
Tree elves, wood elves, forest elves? Synonyms? In this case, I meant rather generic elves, desert elves, snow elves, dark elves etc. Or generic humans, nomads/Khalifates, tundra humans (generic fantasy barbarians from the north), cave humans etc. Enough different visually and functionally to avoid confusion (you would not confuse lavinians from Imperial era with normal Loyalists). But I wasn't seriously suggesting this, because it had the other problem I mentioned.

JaMiT
Developer
Posts: 511
Joined: January 22nd, 2012, 12:38 am

Re: Separate MP from SP

Post by JaMiT »

Ranger wrote:JaMiT:

Code: Select all

--<---Whole idea---<-----

      (Your head)

:roll:
Since explaining the idea is apparently beyond your capabilities, feel free to sit out and let someone else do so, instead of acting like a jerk.

Dugi wrote:It would be less confusing if campaigns were using completely new factions rather than slightly altered old factions, but numerous factions usually results in an unpleasant lack of animations or even good sprites.
Campaigns do not actually use factions at all. Factions are a multiplayer-only concept. (This is even mentioned in the game's help, if you open it while playing a campaign and take a look at the "Factions" section.)

Dugi wrote:Tree elves, wood elves, forest elves? Synonyms?
Near-synonyms, which is the point. One person creates a "tree elves" faction. Someone else decides that faction is not quite right, so they make some adjustments. In order to avoid confusing players (by having two "tree elves" factions with different stats), this second faction gets named "wood elves". Then a third person decides to make a different set of changes and calls this new faction "forest elves". Three similar, yet different, factions with similar, yet different, names.

User avatar
Dugi
Posts: 4960
Joined: July 22nd, 2010, 10:29 am
Location: Carpathian Mountains
Contact:

Re: Separate MP from SP

Post by Dugi »

Campaigns do not actually use factions at all. Factions are a multiplayer-only concept. (This is even mentioned in the game's help, if you open it while playing a campaign and take a look at the "Factions" section.)
I tend to call any group of units you can recruit 'faction', so it seems that I have wrong terminology here. Anyway, I was trying to say that you have different sets of recruits in singleplayer than in multiplayer usually, that is quite a difference.
Near-synonyms, which is the point.
I didn't mean extremely similar groups. I meant groups with different appearance and different units, otherwise it would be obviously confusing. But that's meaningless anyway, because nobody would do the spritework properly, but it appears that nobody understood that I wasn't suggesting this, just telling that it isn't a good way.

User avatar
Crow_T
Posts: 851
Joined: February 24th, 2011, 4:20 am

Re: Separate MP from SP

Post by Crow_T »

If something was lost via versioning, then it lacks the popularity necessary for it to have a maintainer, hence lacks the support necessary to be considered for mainline.
That's not a very good argument considering that in all FOSS projects there is a fluctuation of volunteer contributers. *Also LotI is very popular but I doubt anyone is crazy enough to maintain it besides Dugi :twisted: There is thread here dedicated to recoding old campaighns that have fallen by the wayside, by no other reason but lack of able bodies to keep them up. And I'm not saying to change all of the numbers, but just expand mainline factions with alternative units that could add more dimension to campaigns. It's kind of sad to see many cool units fade into obscurity. The same goes for terrain/doodads, if you dig here you find some really nice stuff, but for some reason they never merged with core Wesnoth so now they just kind of go away. ATM music/sound is half the download size, adding more gfx wouldn't be too costly. One solution is to offer a semi-official expansion pack that would be added to core making it easy to utilize for content makers.

Post Reply