Wings of Valor 2.0.4 (Drake Campaign for BfW 1.14)

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Konrad2
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Re: Wings of Valor 2.0.2(Drake Campaign for BfW 1.14)

Post by Konrad2 »

FTR, are the elves supposed to hate gates this much?

EDIT:
Heart Mountains
For the boss fight, my allies might have been changed to an allied side, and I can't recall anymore, but I can still recruit.
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Whiskeyjack
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Re: Wings of Valor 2.0.2(Drake Campaign for BfW 1.14)

Post by Whiskeyjack »

Full review forthcoming, I am still playing through the campaign. Just a quick note on this:
name wrote: May 26th, 2020, 5:25 am
Hejnewar wrote: May 23rd, 2020, 4:09 pm could use some more diversity somewhere in scenarios 3-6 I was getting bored of just killing everything every time. S7 came in the right time.
That is good to know. Some concepts come to mind for adding more gameplay flair to the scenarios in that range. I might have to do some experiments with these.
The "kill all enemies" condition feels really out of place for scenario 4. The merfolk are the invaders and have an easy line of retreat. There is no reason or explanation why they would fight to the last fish. Similarly, the player side has no motivation to do more than to drive them away. Maybe make this a battle about actually breaking morale and have the condition be to just kill the leaders and the kraken? The Northwestern leader would probably need a little more gold (or some other boon) to compensate though.
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Re: Wings of Valor 2.0.2(Drake Campaign for BfW 1.14)

Post by Hejnewar »

name wrote: May 26th, 2020, 5:25 amDid you find your play through of the campaign in general to be in line with the "Difficult" difficulty of other intermediate and expert level mainline campaigns?
Hard to say.
You mean like locational events when you reach iconic looking areas of the map?
Yes, for example one and only village or lava pool.
We maybe could remove the starting camp so that you have to take the scorpion keep with as few as a couple of gliders plus Gorlack and Reshan. That would make for a more challenging opening. Alternatively, the Scorpions could be replaced with Water Serpents that do not have an extreme fire vulnerability and perform well on the nearby terrains.
Or just use scorpions with normalised resistances (idk if they are in 1.14 but they should be in 1.15).
Do you suspect it is more the map or the scenario design that feels incomplete?
Some line of text look like placeholders because they don't have capital letters etc.
Bug in wolf micro ai.
No objectives at the very beginning.
One possible fix is to remove the snow from the mountain around Gorlack's eyrie. That would make initial defensive deployment less cumbersome. The challenge of deploying past the surrounding frozen terrain immediately beyond that would remain though.
Lizards just feel so useless there.
That is good to know. Some concepts come to mind for adding more gameplay flair to the scenarios in that range. I might have to do some experiments with these.
Good to hear. :)
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Re: Wings of Valor 2.0.2(Drake Campaign for BfW 1.14)

Post by Konrad2 »

Hejnewar wrote: May 26th, 2020, 12:47 pm Some line of text look like placeholders because they don't have capital letters etc.
Bug in wolf micro ai.
No objectives at the very beginning.
I'm pretty sure that the lack of capital letters which is exclusive to Gorlacks words is intended and is probably meant to express something along the lines of depression.

The lack of objectives was a sideeffect of the bug in the wolf micro ai. The actual scenario objectes are 'Kill all enemy units'.


Confrontation
Karron has 3 loyal Drakes. Together with him, there are supposedly one of each caste. So we have Karron for the Fighters, a Warden for the Clashers, a Hurricane Drake for the Gliders, and a Warrior for the Burners...
So I'm guessing that the Warrior is a mistake.
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Re: Wings of Valor 2.0.2(Drake Campaign for BfW 1.14)

Post by Hejnewar »

Konrad2 wrote: May 26th, 2020, 1:25 pm
Hejnewar wrote: May 26th, 2020, 12:47 pm Some line of text look like placeholders because they don't have capital letters etc.
Bug in wolf micro ai.
No objectives at the very beginning.
I'm pretty sure that the lack of capital letters which is exclusive to Gorlacks words is intended and is probably meant to express something along the lines of depression.

The lack of objectives was a sideeffect of the bug in the wolf micro ai. The actual scenario objectes are 'Kill all enemy units'.
In my opinion it doesn't look good.

Well, I'm not checking files of things that I play where would be the fun if I knew everything already. Now I should say "Another one?" surviving for x turns till big dragon comes could be funnier.
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Re: Wings of Valor 2.0.2(Drake Campaign for BfW 1.14)

Post by Konrad2 »

Hejnewar wrote: May 26th, 2020, 1:41 pm Well, I'm not checking files of things that I play where would be the fun if I knew everything already. Now I should say "Another one?" surviving for x turns till big dragon comes could be funnier.
I didn't check the files for that. :D I just reported the bug and played the scenario after the bug was fixed. That's easier.

Replays:
(I accidentally didn't save my replay from the first scenario.)
Spoiler:
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Re: Wings of Valor 2.0.2(Drake Campaign for BfW 1.14)

Post by name »

Konrad2 wrote: May 26th, 2020, 7:23 am FTR, are the elves supposed to hate gates this much?
Well according to canon, steel has a powerful negative reaction with the elves' fae essence and... well... no, they should not; it is a bug. :)

Unfortunately, I ran out of time to experiment with specifically controlling the AI aggression towards different enemy types, before the release. The logic that I would hope to implement eventually is for the elf AI to drop the priority of attacking specifically the gate units after the total number of remaining gate units falls below a certain value. However, great care must be taken that the elves still work to dismantle the gates, otherwise a fairly clever player might just pick off elves slipping through a limited few gate breaches, indefinitely. The more the elves widen choke points by destroying gates, the more it becomes futile to try to hold them back.
Whiskeyjack wrote: May 26th, 2020, 8:31 am Full review forthcoming, I am still playing through the campaign. Just a quick note on this:
Noted, but since this is "thematic" in nature (rather than game play) I will wait for you to finish the campaign to avoid any potential spoilers.
Hejnewar wrote: May 26th, 2020, 12:47 pm Yes, for example one and only village or lava pool.
I have a couple ideas for what can be done with these. Perhaps also for the one lake.
Hejnewar wrote: May 26th, 2020, 12:47 pm Or just use scorpions with normalised resistances (idk if they are in 1.14 but they should be in 1.15).
Ah, good point, I had forgotten about that change.
Hejnewar wrote: May 26th, 2020, 12:47 pm Lizards just feel so useless there.
True. While the healers still play a role and a half, it can be tedious moving them along.
Hejnewar wrote: May 26th, 2020, 1:41 pm
Konrad2 wrote: May 26th, 2020, 1:25 pm I'm pretty sure that the lack of capital letters which is exclusive to Gorlacks words is intended and is probably meant to express something along the lines of depression.
In my opinion it doesn't look good.
That was the intended effect, yeah. If this stylization is generally too distracting or ugly then it will get removed.
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Re: Wings of Valor 2.0.2(Drake Campaign for BfW 1.14)

Post by Whiskeyjack »

Alright, on to the full review of version 2.0.2 medium difficulty on Wesnoth 1.14.12.

Broadly speaking, I have mixed feelings about the campaign.

I won't comment too much on gameplay, because drakes are not my faction and the fact that I didn't like playing many of the scenarios (and debugged my way through 3) might be mostly on my end.

The story works a lot better than what I gleaned of the original version and I especially want to laud the fact that it flows dynamically enough that the latter half of the campaign doesn't feel like a check-list of fighting every other faction once, although gameplay-wise, the campaign is just that. Scenario 7 is a dumpsterfire compared to the others though and the following scenarios have a few big problems which are mentioned in the various scenario reviews.

Some of the world-building is really well done and this is the strongest aspect of the campaign in my eyes. Nevertheless, I have a few issues here as well.

General feedback:
Scenario 1: The Hunt:
Scenario 2: The Raid:
Scenario 3: The Contention:
Scenario 4: Islands:
Scenario 5: The Three Sisters:
Scenario 6: Elensefar:
Warning: tirade ahead.
Scenario 7: Wesmere:
Scenario 8: Foothills:
Scenario 9: Heart Mountains:
Scenario 10: Fire Meets Steel:
Scenario 11: Confrontation:
Scenario 12: Epilogue:
Taking an overall perspective, I can't assess the campaigns gameplay adequately - it's simply not for me. The story, not counting scenario 7 and the hick-ups towards the end, can't compete with the best of mainline, but is certainly far from the worst. That being said, those are some heavy detractors in my eyes and some of those things should be worked out before adding this to mainline.
Lastly, my use of the word "review" on several occasions was probably misplaced - the fact that this is mostly negative feedback is not an assessment of the whole campaign, but rather just that, feedback focusing on areas and things that can (or should) be improved, so I hope you don't take this as bashing or negative - it comes with good intentions :)

Edit: Konrad2 pointed out to me in discord that the "loyal" units don't demand upkeep and that the player can heal via oases in the first scenario. About the upkeep - is there a reason to not just give them the loyal trait, as is usually done in mainline? Working with what players know and expect can only help. For the oases: central game mechanics like that need to be made clear to the player IMO - I wasn't the only person completely missing that.

Edit 2: alright, it seems the oases are a (relatively new) feature and not campaign-specific. There a probably a lot of older players like me that do not know about them, though, so a hint certainly would not hurt.
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Re: Wings of Valor 2.0.2(Drake Campaign for BfW 1.14)

Post by name »

Whiskeyjack, thanks for the detailed bug reporting and review.

One reoccurring thing I noticed was your desire for more back story type information and explanations. Quite a lot of this exists (and if I recall correctly, some of it was even in early drafts) but had to be cut for length. I hope we chose approximately the right balance between detail and brevity, but ultimately some players may want more lore while others want to get right into the action without too much dialogue popping up. (Simlarly, some may desire a tonal focus with the levity of NR while others want more serious character drama as per UtBS or DiD.)

So I will see if I can respond to all of your questions and points regarding the story and canon with more of the back story stuff that was either hinted at or did not find its way into the current version.

General Feedback:
Scenario 1: The Hunt:
Scenario 2: The Raid:
Scenario 3: The Contention:
Scenario 4: Islands:
Scenario 5: The Three Sisters:
Scenario 6: Elensefar:
Scenario 7: Wesmere:
Scenario 8: Foothills:
Scenario 10: Fire Meets Steel:
Scenario 11: Confrontation:
Scenario 12: Epilogue:
Last edited by name on June 6th, 2020, 1:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Wings of Valor 2.0.2(Drake Campaign for BfW 1.14)

Post by Hejnewar »

For me gameplay was mostly fine, but I don't play for the same reasons as others at least in my opinion. I play to exploit and destroy enemies in easy manner, thus I mostly focus on overall strategy than battlefield tactics (I like that too but only on small scale big scale takes too much time for me recently so I just prefer to have so much more of everything that enemy simply cant compete). I enjoy creating and using wierd things to gain advantage. I was able to do that here in few scenarios this my rating instantly goes up - I simply treat them as hidden rewards.
If I were to play all scenarios fully intended way I don't know if my rating would be so high.
name wrote: June 5th, 2020, 5:59 pm Switching between kill all units and kill all leaders is an easy fix if that makes a difference. The rush AI should be seeking out and hunting the player's forces so that mopping up is not time consuming though. If that is not happening, the AI settings may need to be adjusted for this scenario in particular.
This for me is not a good line of thought, in fact cleanup can feel tedious and unnecessary, but in fact switch between kill all units and kill all leaders is hardly a difference. You need to kill most units anyway. In The Three Sisters scenario if mai objective was to save all lizards from cages that would make a difference. If you need to kill all enemy leaders but you dont have to do this with brut force but rather with one glider rescuing saurians that then kill leader - that would make a difference.
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Re: Wings of Valor 2.0.2(Drake Campaign for BfW 1.14)

Post by name »

Hejnewar wrote: June 5th, 2020, 7:49 pm For me gameplay was mostly fine, but I don't play for the same reasons as others at least in my opinion. I play to exploit and destroy enemies in easy manner, thus I mostly focus on overall strategy than battlefield tactics (I like that too but only on small scale big scale takes too much time for me recently so I just prefer to have so much more of everything that enemy simply cant compete).
[...]
In The Three Sisters scenario if mai objective was to save all lizards from cages that would make a difference. If you need to kill all enemy leaders but you dont have to do this with brut force but rather with one glider rescuing saurians that then kill leader - that would make a difference.
Based on your earlier feedback, SigurdFireDragon removed Gorlack's starting camp so that you have to take over the southern keep with only Gorlack, Reshan and four gliders before you can recruit (the scorpions are also now using 1.15 stats so they have some resistance). This makes the opening a bit smaller scale and more unique.

But last night after reading what you just wrote above, I got inspired to take it further and play test The Three Sisters again without allowing myself to recruit at all. Turns out it actually plays well with just the named characters, a small wing of gliders and the saurians you rescue. With a few more tweaks, I suspect this approach could deliver more of what you are talking about.

This also got me thinking that in Elensefar, if Karron is given a tidy sum of gold and recruit ability, then the player only needs to help him take the city's keep and Karron's forces will mostly do the rest. I will have to test this.
Hejnewar wrote: June 5th, 2020, 7:49 pm I enjoy creating and using wierd things to gain advantage. I was able to do that here in few scenarios this my rating instantly goes up - I simply treat them as hidden rewards.
If I were to play all scenarios fully intended way I don't know if my rating would be so high.
Interesting. Which scenarios allowed you the agency to pull off weird strategies that became the high points of your play through and what were those strategies?

Also, do you still have the replays from your play through?
Hejnewar wrote: June 5th, 2020, 7:49 pm This for me is not a good line of thought, in fact cleanup can feel tedious and unnecessary, but in fact switch between kill all units and kill all leaders is hardly a difference. You need to kill most units anyway.
That is what I suspected; just wanted to make sure kill all units was not accidentally much more grindy than the norm.
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Re: Wings of Valor 2.0.2(Drake Campaign for BfW 1.14)

Post by Whiskeyjack »

Thanks for the detailed replies - I had some reading up to do for this and am a little short on time this weekend, so it took me a little time to get back to you. I have put some stuff in additional spoilers because of additional quotations.
General feedback:
Language:
Dragons:
Canonicity and timeline:
Oof, time's run out on me and I didn't even get to the specific scenarios yet (except for the stuff I pulled up for more general discussions). I'll follow up on that as soon as I can - with the additional research this takes quite some time :D

Edit: Enother idea about the Elensefar problem which would allow to keep the current timeline: scrap Elensefar as a city completely! Instead, make this the coordination center of coastal settlement efforts where the main army forces for the region are stationed. This would probably require a little more (human) dialogue - and subtle hints that this will evolve into the city named Elensefar (maybe drop something that could motivate etymology?) would be great - but would work considerably better with the RoW epilogue and 4YW. I think this would make it even more important to change the human elements of the map though (keep, villages, bridges, piers) and let the geography speak for itself, but I already argued that the map is not different enough from the one in HttT in this regard anyway.
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Re: Wings of Valor 2.0.2(Drake Campaign for BfW 1.14)

Post by SigurdFireDragon »

Whiskeyjack wrote: June 7th, 2020, 10:55 am I have quite often seen people use colors to describe writing styles or moral orientations (even journalism, I think), but I have never quite understood that or found a definition anywhere. As something like that doesn't exist in German, I find it quite hard to grasp. Can expand on that?
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Re: Wings of Valor 2.0.2(Drake Campaign for BfW 1.14)

Post by name »

General Feedback:
Language:
Dragons:
Canonicity and timeline:
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Wings of Valor 2.0.3 (Drake Campaign for BfW 1.14)

Post by SigurdFireDragon »

Version 2.0.3 is up.

Changes:

01 The Hunt
Balancing changes, kills needed is now 15, difficulty adjusted by spawning rate.
Water serpents spawns added in the deep water lake.
Reminder about hexes that provided bonuses added.
Some moveto events added.

02 The Raid
Balancing changes
Fix spelling for Vladnir's name in story
Dialog improvements

S05 The Three Sisters
Gorlack now has to take the island with just starting units and saurians found on the map.
Scorpions now have 1.15 normalized resistances.
Dialog improvements

06 Elensefar
Balancing changes
Karron's side is more durable and able to help with the cleanup.
Brazier is now lit by moving on the hex, instead of adjacent.

08 Foothills
Ensure Reshan is onscreen when lighting barrels
Clarify objectives
Fix incorrect defense animation for cairn.

09 Heart Mountains
Fix player being able to recruit for dragon fight.

10 Fire Meets Steel
Lava and dry mountains added near keep for easier initial deployment of forces

11 Confrontation
Make intendant from the burner caste
Konrad2 wrote: May 26th, 2020, 1:25 pm Confrontation
Karron has 3 loyal Drakes. Together with him, there are supposedly one of each caste. So we have Karron for the Fighters, a Warden for the Clashers, a Hurricane Drake for the Gliders, and a Warrior for the Burners...
So I'm guessing that the Warrior is a mistake.
It actually was a subtle bit of characterization, with Karron not wanting reminders of Gorlack. It probably needs more support if its to be kept, so it has been changed for now.

As far as new nagas in 1.15 being used on S04 Islands, they currently have descriptions that place them in the south of the great continent. If that changes, I'll consider adding them.

May change how the loyal intendants are designated, but that would be in the next version.

Thanks to everyone who gave feedback.
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