Scenario 10: Gryphon Mountain

Feedback for the mainline campaign Heir to the Throne.

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lifaen
Posts: 6
Joined: February 11th, 2020, 11:19 am

Re: Scenario 10: Gryphon Mountain

Post by lifaen »

Content Feedback wrote: December 7th, 2005, 4:03 pm (1) What difficulty levels and game versions have you played the scenario on?
version 1.12.6, medium
Content Feedback wrote: December 7th, 2005, 4:03 pm (2) How difficult did you find the scenario? (1-10)
6 if you want the eggs, 2 for just winning, as the rest of the scenario is basically walking around a map full of high-defence terrain while you have magical and marksman attacks and the enemy doesn't.
Content Feedback wrote: December 7th, 2005, 4:03 pm (3) How clear did you find the scenario objectives?
It is not very clear that you only need to kill the gryphon mother to get the eggs and do nothing else to actually retrieve them.
Content Feedback wrote: December 7th, 2005, 4:03 pm (4) How clear and interesting did you find the dialog and storyline of the scenario?
I find it astonishing that the enemy general makes such a fuss about the eggs, wanting to keep them out of the player's hands at all cost. I mean, gryphon riders are nice to have, but not really a necessity for the rest of the campaign.
Content Feedback wrote: December 7th, 2005, 4:03 pm (5) What were your major challenges in meeting the objectives of the scenario?
Getting the eggs. The only units on your roster that are fast enough to even get to the gryphon mother before the ogres kill her are elvish scouts and their advancements. And if you don't have a few outriders at this point, it is very difficult to get the killing blow before the ogres get there. I had 2 riders (lvl-2) and 2 scouts go after the eggs, and it was only by luck that one of my scouts got the killing blow – it could have just as well been an ogre who was also there by then.
Content Feedback wrote: December 7th, 2005, 4:03 pm (6) How fun do you think the scenario is? (1-10)
4. The eggs are very difficult to get if you haven't spent the previous scenarios pointlessly levelling up elvish scouts. Otherwise, it's just beating up another relatively weak contingent of the evil queen's troops.
Content Feedback wrote: December 7th, 2005, 4:03 pm (7) What, if any, are changes you would have made to the scenario to make it more fun?
Give the player a chance to get the eggs without having to waste XP advancing elvish scouts in the previous scenarios (for all other scenarios in the campaign, lvl-1 scouts are actually better, as they require less upkeep and should never be involved in any serious fighting).
Tad_Carlucci
Developer
Posts: 503
Joined: April 24th, 2016, 4:18 pm

Re: Scenario 10: Gryphon Mountain

Post by Tad_Carlucci »

I usually get the eggs using slower units. You have to use the terrain to your advantage to get up there quickly, and it can help to send a few flankers around to distract the opponents. I made some changes for 1.14 which you should check out which have to do with how you choose to complete this campaign.
I forked real life and now I'm getting merge conflicts.
mikeanthony
Posts: 56
Joined: July 31st, 2013, 8:48 pm

Re: Scenario 10: Gryphon Mountain

Post by mikeanthony »

I'm just replaying the HttT campaign, and re-discovering this mission. I must say, it makes me uncomfortable. HttT is the classic 'good vs bad' campaign, where the good guys are genuinely good old fashioned heroes and the baddies are clearly on the bad end of the spectrum. Which sits well; it's what you want in a classic swords-n-sorcery epic, at least for the main flagship campaign behind wesnoth.

but replaying this mission, I was struck by how 'off' it feels being asked to kill a mother gryphon for reward; I mean, even trolls and goblins are made to be characters we sympathise with in other campaigns, which works well. Noble, beautiful gryphons are unquestionably on the 'good' end of the inherent moral spectrum in such a fantasy universe - and killing mother-anythings to abduct their young is just... wrong.

I get that some stories need morally questionable stuff. The legend of wesmere mission with Landar slaughtering the saurians feels grim, but it fits the story; you know that this is a 'bad' thing happening even as you're playing through it, and there's a comeupance and a setting-to-rights as the story progresses. With gryphon mountain, there's no such thing. Killed a mother trying to defend her young? great work, well done you - have a new unit recruit type. it just feels wrong.

the entire tone could be changed with a bit of reworking to the dialog (even driving off the mother gryphon, or stealing the eggs without killing her, feels slightly less unpleasant - even better, 'rescuing' her from the loyalist attackers from the north), or the level could be re-designed slightly.

it might sound like a small detail, but it's genuinely knocked my enjoyment of the campaign replay down a notch. maybe I'm being overly-sensitive. but I think if we're wanting the game to appeal to a wider audience and new young players, it's important to consider details like this.

anyway, just my opinion on this. others may beg to differ (that's what a forum is for, after all!)
Tad_Carlucci
Developer
Posts: 503
Joined: April 24th, 2016, 4:18 pm

Re: Scenario 10: Gryphon Mountain

Post by Tad_Carlucci »

I felt that way until I was working on HttT a couple years ago and did the to-dos. Now, I'd say the scene is more like your good old-fashioned AD&D alignment check. You're playing good, you did evil. Be glad you don't have any Paladins in the party.
I forked real life and now I'm getting merge conflicts.
Konrad2
Forum Moderator
Posts: 2601
Joined: November 24th, 2010, 6:30 pm

Re: Scenario 10: Gryphon Mountain

Post by Konrad2 »

mikeanthony wrote: March 4th, 2020, 7:55 pm I'm just replaying the HttT campaign, and re-discovering this mission. I must say, it makes me uncomfortable. HttT is the classic 'good vs bad' campaign, where the good guys are genuinely good old fashioned heroes and the baddies are clearly on the bad end of the spectrum. Which sits well; it's what you want in a classic swords-n-sorcery epic, at least for the main flagship campaign behind wesnoth.

but replaying this mission, I was struck by how 'off' it feels being asked to kill a mother gryphon for reward; I mean, even trolls and goblins are made to be characters we sympathise with in other campaigns, which works well. Noble, beautiful gryphons are unquestionably on the 'good' end of the inherent moral spectrum in such a fantasy universe - and killing mother-anythings to abduct their young is just... wrong.

I get that some stories need morally questionable stuff. The legend of wesmere mission with Landar slaughtering the saurians feels grim, but it fits the story; you know that this is a 'bad' thing happening even as you're playing through it, and there's a comeupance and a setting-to-rights as the story progresses. With gryphon mountain, there's no such thing. Killed a mother trying to defend her young? great work, well done you - have a new unit recruit type. it just feels wrong.

the entire tone could be changed with a bit of reworking to the dialog (even driving off the mother gryphon, or stealing the eggs without killing her, feels slightly less unpleasant - even better, 'rescuing' her from the loyalist attackers from the north), or the level could be re-designed slightly.

it might sound like a small detail, but it's genuinely knocked my enjoyment of the campaign replay down a notch. maybe I'm being overly-sensitive. but I think if we're wanting the game to appeal to a wider audience and new young players, it's important to consider details like this.

anyway, just my opinion on this. others may beg to differ (that's what a forum is for, after all!)
It's all up to you. You can decide not to attack them, you don't lose if you don't kill them. You even have the option to defend the gryphons from the invading enemy army (which has a suitable reward to go with it).
So really, it is indeed an alignment check.
Zrevnur
Posts: 69
Joined: January 11th, 2020, 12:04 pm

Re: Scenario 10: Gryphon Mountain

Post by Zrevnur »

Various posts in here seem to be hinting that there is more to it than what the scenario objectives (in 1.14.9) say. My feedback on that (if true) is that I do not (at all) like that. BfW is a strategy game and not an RPG or point-and-click adventure. If the scenario objective is misleading then it turns into some sort of guess-the-scripter game. I am playing BfW because I like strategy games and not point-and-click-and-die-and-reload-and-click-elsewhere-etc adventures.

(And about the alignment check perspective. Here you are sort of following a story told by the scripters and not playing your own character so I dont think its a good comparison. But for me the aforementioned part is the main issue.)
mikeanthony
Posts: 56
Joined: July 31st, 2013, 8:48 pm

Re: Scenario 10: Gryphon Mountain

Post by mikeanthony »

Konrad2 wrote: March 4th, 2020, 9:13 pm You even have the option to defend the gryphons from the invading enemy army (which has a suitable reward to go with it).
So really, it is indeed an alignment check.
What?! I'd never looked at the code for this level (generally don't, it spoils the gameplay), and every time I've played, even on lower difficulties, the gryphon units get wiped out by the loyalists so quickly; I just did a save-load to ensure that the gryphons survive this time, and sure enough "something" has happened... (I'm not looking in the source, and no spoilers please! I'd advanced a couple of levels but I'm re-winding to play from this point to find out what the "something" is!

thankyou, you've just made my re-play through this campaign a lot more interesting and satisfying! Although there was no way at all to know that outcome was there, perhaps it should be hinted at in the dialog (although saying that, it might be very frustrating to tell the player about an outcome that might be impossible to prevent, given that whether the gryphons survive seems to depend entirely upon the random recruitment and movement of the AI loyalist team; if they really go for the gryphons and get a few lucky hits then there is absolutely nothing you can get there quick enough to make a difference, as far as I can tell?)
Tad_Carlucci
Developer
Posts: 503
Joined: April 24th, 2016, 4:18 pm

Re: Scenario 10: Gryphon Mountain

Post by Tad_Carlucci »

Do NOT look at the code, that probably won't help.

DO look at the terrain.

You have units which can make it up the mountain before she's in danger. The trick is timing; don't waste a turn: get moving as quickly as possible, choose your path carefully. It's better to arrive in time, too weak, with reenforcements due shortly, that to arrive to a warm carcass.
I forked real life and now I'm getting merge conflicts.
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