Chronicles of Elvenmar MP Campaign

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Rhuvaen
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Chronicles of Elvenmar MP Campaign

Post by Rhuvaen »

I've started converting the stuff I found on this page to multiplayer campaign format.

It's in German, it's incomplete, it's 1.0.2 version, and it's not strictly made as a campaign. Those are the challenges 8). The good things are: it has a meaty story and a mix of battles and RPG-type scenarios. Clearly a labour of love from an unknown author from the German translation team (Ivanovic? There's a character named like him :)). Ideally, the original author would take this up again or show up so we know who to credit for this.

I'm looking for people who want to help me in this endeavour by
- making sense of the story (the parts that are missing)
- creating/brushing up maps (they don't strike me as very good)
- balance and sort out the gameplay
- rearrange the scenarios so that it works out as an MP campaign

The last point isn't obvious: the scenarios have between 2 and 7 sides each and almost none of them feature all characters. Some ways of involving those players who currently wouldn't be playing in some scenarios must be found...

I've converted the first four scenarios into MP campaigns format - there's still some details with cross-scenario unit descriptions to be worked out (which prevents some dialogue being displayed - but that's still in German anyway :)).

But what's really lacking ATM is the whole story/concept/plot of the first scenario :shock:! All the others are pretty obvious and well done, but the first scenario is just a rough skeleton with a random map pasted in... :?

Does anyone know the authors so we might find out how the story starts? Has anyone played the original back when it was fresh and was told by the author what was going to happen? There's a story for the first scenario on the wiki page, but it's all a bit muddled and doesn't make much sense to me... :o

I've attached a zip-file of the whole thing - not that it's playable (the custom units and terrains for instance don't work in 1.1.12), but it should be possible to get an idea in debug mode at least. :wink:
Attachments
CoE.zip
Chronicles of Elvenmar, barely playable up to scenario 4, WIP (stripped of all images, sounds and music to be able to attach it)
(109.94 KiB) Downloaded 161 times

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Eldarion
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Post by Eldarion »

Yep, I'm the auther of the CoE campaign.

The whole campaign started as a normal multiplayer deathmatch and we started doing RPG like conversations and so I got the idea, to make a campaign of it.

I had a replay of the whole scenario, but I lost it. But that's not really problematic, because I know how this scenario should look like.

I just lost interest in it, because it took really long to create the scenarios in a decent way. I'm just not good at designing maps, but storywise I have enough ideas.

If you want to talk about the whole campaign, you can find me as chrber in the #wesnoth-de channel on Freenode.

Rhuvaen
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Post by Rhuvaen »

I should have known, Eldarion! The main hero is named like you. :wink:

A year or more ago I played a couple of games with you and some other guys from #wesnoth-de, which I remember were quite elf-centric and going on with a lot of thematic chat :D. Glad to see you came up with this campaign! (I'm just not really using IRC much, so I didn't stay on)
Eldarion wrote:I just lost interest in it, because it took really long to create the scenarios in a decent way. I'm just not good at designing maps, but storywise I have enough ideas.
My own MP campaign is still at only one scenario for precisely that reason (although I guess everyone has their own distribution of skills). I think it's not really feasible for a one-man team to finish a polished campaign these days - with requirements for fancy WML, good maps and story etc. At least not when one has RL responsibilities, too.
Eldarion wrote:I had a replay of the whole scenario, but I lost it. But that's not really problematic, because I know how this scenario should look like.
Ok - let me try to tell the story in my words and let's see where I get it wrong...

The Saurian allies of the elves of Elvenmar are sending for help against a Drake attack. The elves can't quite believe this and send only a small force led by Eldarion to lend aid and find out what happened. Approaching the Saurians' lands Eldarion comes across a Necromancer and his minions who has just established a base on the edge of the Saurian lands. The elves are unprepared for facing the necromancer's forces, and try to circumvent him to help the Saurians, who are really attacked by the Drakes.

Shortly after the elves arrive, the Saurians and Drakes agree to end their conflict. For some reason an artifact the Drakes had was responsible for their misunderstanding and the elves come into possession of this. The undead seem to be after this artifact - the Sphere of Envy. The heroes can retreat to safety in the Saurian stronghold and repulse the Necromancer's attack, and decide to take the artifact to Elvenmar - for safekeeping or destruction.

I can see how this story came from a FFA game :D! I can imagine that this story evolved quite spontaneously as the game progressed, but for a campaign we could use some more info (and might have to make it up):

1. What exactly is this "Sphere of Envy"? How did it cause the misunderstanding?
2. Where did the Drakes come from? What was their relation to the Saurians before the attack?
3. Why did they attack if they could be beaten that easily?
4. What is the necromancer's aim? The page mentions he was trying to obscure his tracks - what does that mean? I just assumed he was after the artifact, too.
5. How do the elves get the artifact? Are the Drakes beaten, or do they suddenly become peaceful?

I hope it's okay to ask this via the forum - it's easier to read than IRC one-liners... :)

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Eldarion
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Post by Eldarion »

Rhuvaen wrote:A year or more ago I played a couple of games with you and some other guys from #wesnoth-de, which I remember were quite elf-centric and going on with a lot of thematic chat :D. Glad to see you came up with this campaign! (I'm just not really using IRC much, so I didn't stay on)
Hmm, I don't remember our games in detail, but I know that we had nice sessions with RPG like talk.
Rhuvaen wrote:My own MP campaign is still at only one scenario for precisely that reason (although I guess everyone has their own distribution of skills). I think it's not really feasible for a one-man team to finish a polished campaign these days - with requirements for fancy WML, good maps and story etc. At least not when one has RL responsibilities, too.
Yeah, I would really like to do something about this campaign, because I have the basic storyline done. It just got more and more complicated to do the scenarios in a good time. It's a bit sad, that the Wesnoth editor is only usable for map making. So you still have to type all the commands in a text editor, which is really time consuming.
Rhuvaen wrote:1. What exactly is this "Sphere of Envy"? How did it cause the misunderstanding?
Its a magical artifact created by the necromancer. The whole plot gets clearer in scenario 10.
Rhuvaen wrote:2. Where did the Drakes come from? What was their relation to the Saurians before the attack?
As in question 1, its explained in Ivanovics dialouge in scenario 10. It should be just a mystery at the beginning. At the moment, nobody knows anything about the Drakes. They just appeared.
Rhuvaen wrote:3. Why did they attack if they could be beaten that easily?
The orb just destroyed all logical thinking of the Saurians. They just wanted the orb, so they started attacking the Drakes not thinking about consequences.
Rhuvaen wrote:4. What is the necromancer's aim? The page mentions he was trying to obscure his tracks - what does that mean? I just assumed he was after the artifact, too.
Well, to create such a powerful magical artifact, you lose some of your power forever. So its only natural, that Laurentius wants to have it back.
Rhuvaen wrote:5. How do the elves get the artifact? Are the Drakes beaten, or do they suddenly become peaceful?
A female Elvish Archer sneaked to the Drake palladium and was able to steal the orb. She was helped by three Saurian warriors. The scenario created Skaz and Delorien as important persons for the story. Skaz even got main hero.

Rhuvaen
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Post by Rhuvaen »

Thanks for your detailed reply! :D
Eldarion wrote:
Rhuvaen wrote:1. What exactly is this "Sphere of Envy"? How did it cause the misunderstanding?
Its a magical artifact created by the necromancer. The whole plot gets clearer in scenario 10.
Ok, the dialogue explains very well the background of the Drakes, necromancer and the Sulla. But it doesn't mention the "Sphere of Envy"...
Eldarion wrote:The orb just destroyed all logical thinking of the Saurians. They just wanted the orb, so they started attacking the Drakes not thinking about consequences.
Oh, the Saurians attacked... I got it.
Eldarion wrote:A female Elvish Archer sneaked to the Drake palladium and was able to steal the orb. She was helped by three Saurian warriors.
What I'm not sure about is this: how come the Drakes agree to a truce when the saurians/elves stole the artifact they were trying to guard for centuries? Maybe they recognise their old allies of Elvenmar and agree to leave the artifact with them, hoping for it to be destroyed?

The story is shaping up, now the gameplay of the scenario needs to be defined. I'm thinking about a random, shrouded map:
side 1 (Eldarion): starts on the road from Elvenmar, knows the location of the saurians and drakes (from saurian reports) GOAL: find out why the saurians are fighting the drakes - then: retrieve the artifact
side 2 (Laurentius): starts in one corner with the whole map shrouded :) GOAL: get the artifact
side 3 (Saurian Emissary): starts with Eldarion. GOAL: get to the saurian home to recruit and try to negotiate with the Drakes - then: help Eldarion recover the artifact
side 4 (Drakes): starts in one corner, with a nearby location where the artifact is kept. GOAL: protect the artifact and defend against the Saurians until they are pacified.
side 5 (Saurian Army, AI): attack the Drakes, get the artifact.

I'm thinking of having the general player set-up as follow:
Player 1: Eldarion (good player)
Player 2: Laurentius / Asgarath (evil player)
Player 3: Fjoergyn / other (Drakes in 1st) (good/other)
Player 4: Saurian Hero / Zora (good player)
Player 5: Zoran / other (optional good player)

So there will be 3-4 "good" players (with one occasionally playing a different side) with the heroes shared between them and one evil counterpart player (the GM, if you will). Of course the campaign will end if the evil player wins (at least the story is written that way), so it's much less of a player side than the good ones. Still, I think it's better to have player-controlled enemies where possible.

CIB
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Post by CIB »

Hmm... I'd like to help, but I just started learning WML about one week ago and I'm also creating my own multiplayer campaign...
I'm thinking of having the general player set-up as follow:
Player 1: Eldarion (good player)
Player 2: Laurentius / Asgarath (evil player)
Player 3: Fjoergyn / other (Drakes in 1st) (good/other)
Player 4: Saurian Hero / Zora (good player)
Player 5: Zoran / other (optional good player)
Having the players play good and evil in a RPG campaign sounds a bit weird to me... What, if the evil player wins right away? In a usual campaign the game would end and you would have to reload. But if the enemy is controlled by a human, you can't do that(don't think there are too many people who want to be the evil, if the campaigns ends when if they win). So you'd have to make different scenarios for different results of the game. And if you do that, one or more players would always lose most of their troops, maybe even their leader. A campaign, where you don't have "your team", with which you play the whole time sounds boring to me.
Anyway, a campaign, where the game ends, if a certain player wins can be much fun, too, it just would be more lets-see-who-is-the-best than I would expect from a RPG campaign.(sorry, if it's hard to read, my English isn't too good :p)

Rhuvaen
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Post by Rhuvaen »

CIB wrote:Having the players play good and evil in a RPG campaign sounds a bit weird to me... What, if the evil player wins right away?
I too find that problematic. The advantages of having a human opponent of course are:
- he can follow custom objectives
- he can develop a personality and chat :)
- he can have fog enabled and not see
- he's much less predictable

The disadvantage is that of course he's not "supposed" to fulfill his objectives if the campaign is to go on. There is a certain mindset of player (consider him a GM in pen-and-paper rpg's) that would be suited for this. But even if not, he can see it as a challenge - should he succeed, he wins immediately, but his odds are worse.

It would also be possible to create branches in the campaign depending on who wins. That would be very desirable, but I'm not sure it's possible with this story - and it's a lot more work, too! Hm, I'll think about it - but having the dead heroes be "revived" then is a stretch of the imagination, as well as less challenging overall.

EDIT: I think there's some more disadvantages to having a human baddie:
- if he's a poor player or doesn't understand the objectives, he can spoil the game (doesn't have any team-mates to watch over him)
- he's much more constrained role-wise (at least in this story)

EDIT2: I'm really undecided about this and would like to hear some opinions. :wink:

CIB
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Post by CIB »

EDIT: I think there's some more disadvantages to having a human baddie:
- if he's a poor player or doesn't understand the objectives, he can spoil the game (doesn't have any team-mates to watch over him)
You don't play campaigns with people, who you don't know anyway, do you?

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Eldarion
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Post by Eldarion »

Well, the problem is that the AI is not really suitable for a role playing setting. That's the problem. And the people who play this campaign with me, are really interested in the story, even if they have to lose.

Don't know how we can sort this out.

Rhuvaen
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Post by Rhuvaen »

Eldarion wrote:Well, the problem is that the AI is not really suitable for a role playing setting. That's the problem. And the people who play this campaign with me, are really interested in the story, even if they have to lose.
Hm... the story is transported through messages. So player or AI, the different characters behave and talk as scripted. Usually the antagonist side (in this campaign, also) is following their (secret) agenda and the protagonists try to foil them. So the baddies have more information about what's going on than the good ones. Of course, the player controlling the baddies doesn't, since the story is revealed to him at the same pace as the protagonists. In that respect, playing the antagonists differs from being a GM in pen-and-paper RPG.

There is nothing wrong with controlling the antagonists by AI, because in some situations the antagonists will act surprisingly and reveal a new twist in the story, which will make the player controlling the antagonist blink as much in surprise as the main characters' players (destroying a bit the feeling that the antagonist is pulling the strings).

In this story, it's slightly different because some scenario features the antagonist actively going about and trying to achieve his goals, and the story does have a lot of suprises for that character, also.

I guess what Eldarion means is that the on-going chat creates a special atmosphere if there's a human opponent who can mock and threaten and bluff the good players in real time, and not (just) following some scripted events. It would also be possible to reveal some parts of the story in advance through the objectives of one side only (giving the antagonist just that little bit of information they can use to hint at events to come).

The main reason I'd go down the route of having the antagonist player-controlled is that a human can follow more interesting objectives than "bash-the-enemies", and some scenarios here rely on that.

On an unrelated note, this will have to wait until the bugs are fixed... :cry:

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