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Topic: Campaign feedback

No0815
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Joined: 2016-05-01, 14:52
Posts: 49
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Pry about Widelands
Posted at: 2016-05-03, 20:02

Hi everybody! I discovered Widelands only barely a week ago. So I'd like to use the chance to give some feedback on the campaign and the tutorial being still a noob, pretty much. I already played the campaign with build-18 but since I read that it (maybe) got reworked I'm replaying it with development builds now. Don't wanna report issues that already got fixed or changed face-smile.png

I'll start with the tutorial: I have been playing a lot of Settlers II in the old days so I'm already quite familiar with the basic functions. I still gave the tutorial a shot even though I can't really tell if a complete beginner might be satisfied. It's nice to have such a detailed tutorial and I'm pretty sure it does a good job explaining the basics. Some things I noticed:

  • Basic Control
    • If you remove the first "No Rocks" message from the quarries before the second comes in the next step of the tutorial doesn't trigger.
    • Maybe dismantling should be explained before burning down. The formulation "the wares are lost" might be confusing if one does not yet know that you get back building material by dismantling.
  • Seafare
    • It might not be important at all but the tutorial doesn't tell if the shipyard should be built on the north or on the south part of the isle.
    • The tutorial could be more precise about how to navigate during an expedition. It took me quite a while to figure out on my own, that
      • ships just sail straight in the direction they are sent until they encounter land
      • that they can be redirected at any time and therefore be navigated precisely at any given point
      • removed two points, I didn't read the instructions close enough X)
  • Economy
    • It even has a back-story to it, nice
    • Maybe this would be a good place to explain the display of the work area, too. I still don't know what else it might be able to indicate aside from work area/coverage and potential coverage of extension

Edit: Trying to figure out how to fix formating ...

Edit 2: Finally figured it out and added a point

Edited: 2016-05-05, 20:11
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GunChleoc
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Joined: 2013-10-07, 15:56
Posts: 2891
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Location: RenderedRect
Posted at: 2016-05-04, 08:22

Welcome to the forum, and thank you very much for your feedback! It is alyway good to have a fresh pair of eyes.


Busy indexing nil values

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No0815
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Joined: 2016-05-01, 14:52
Posts: 49
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Pry about Widelands
Posted at: 2016-05-05, 11:37

Thanks! I'm currently trying to find out how to get the nested list to work but it's quite frustrating. I wanted to continue with part 1 of the barbarian campaign but instead I already wasted an hour in improving my post (for the worse) face-confused.png


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GunChleoc
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Joined: 2013-10-07, 15:56
Posts: 2891
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Location: RenderedRect
Posted at: 2016-05-05, 12:14

Headers might be easier, like this:

# Header 1
## Header 2

Header 1

Header 2


Busy indexing nil values

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No0815
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Joined: 2016-05-01, 14:52
Posts: 49
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Pry about Widelands
Posted at: 2016-05-05, 17:30

@GunChleoc: That would only partially solve the problem. Maybe I'll try it to make it at least somewhat more readable.


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kaputtnik
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Joined: 2013-02-18, 20:48
Posts: 1710
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Posted at: 2016-05-05, 19:51

You are using bbcode. I don't know how to make such a list with bbcode.

Maybe you should use markdown (but 'strikethrough' isn't available here): For each nesting you have to apply 4 spaces at the beginning of a row:

* First level
    * Second Level (4 spaces at the beginning)
    * second level, second entry (4 spaces at the beginning)
        * third level (8 spaces at the beginning)
    * second level (4 spaces at the beginning)
* first level
  • First level
    • Second Level (4 spaces at the beginning)
    • second level, second entry (4 spaces at the beginning)
      • third level (8 spaces at the beginning)
    • second level (4 spaces at the beginning)
  • first level

Is this what you wanted?

  • Basic Control
    • if you remove the first "No Rocks" message from the quarries before the second comes in the next step of the tutorial doesn't trigger.
    • Maybe dismantling should be explained before burning down. The formulation "the wares are lost" might be confusing if one does not yet know that you get back building material by dismantling.
  • Seafare
    • It might not be important at all but the tutorial doesn't tell if the shipyard should be built on the north or on the south part of the isle.
    • The tutorial could be more precise about how to navigate during an expedition. It took me quite a while to figure out on my own, that *ships just sail straight in the direction they are sent until they encounter land
      • that they can be redirected at any time and therefore be navigated precisely at any given point

The last two are omitted (because of strikethrough doesn't work with markdown)


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No0815
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Joined: 2016-05-01, 14:52
Posts: 49
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Pry about Widelands
Posted at: 2016-05-05, 20:16

kaputtnik wrote:

You are using bbcode. I don't know how to make such a list with bbcode.

Maybe you should use markdown (but 'strikethrough' isn't available here)

That's exactly what I figured out in the meantime, about an hour ago face-smile.png . Strikethrough was the reason I used bbcode in the first place. Oh, well, I found another solution.

Oh, and I added another point to "economy" I just came up with today.


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No0815
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Joined: 2016-05-01, 14:52
Posts: 49
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Pry about Widelands
Posted at: 2016-05-06, 11:08

Okay, let's talk about ... the first barbarian scenario. I'm trying to be not too nitpicky but I just want to mention: "Could be better" or "Could be improved" does not mean it's actually bad currently at all. And, furthermore, when it's about improving one tends to focus on the things that can be improved (which, somehow, lies in the nature of things) and let slip by the things that already are good or simply work fine.

The setup as an introduction in creating a basic economy makes perfect sense, the story is interesting and fits in well with the quests. And the hidden village is a nice easter egg face-smile.png . I also couldn't find any game breaking issues.

Though I still hit on some problems. The building space is rather limited which is made even worse with the terrain being pretty rough and trees blocking most of the remaining places for bigger buildings. Please bear in mind that most people playing this scenario are beginners that know next to nothing about how to built a working economy in Widelands. Don't expect them to be able to use the given space efficiently and to assess where appropriate building places are hidden under the trees. The player should be able to mostly focus on the given tasks, I think, and not be overwhelmed by too many obstacles that aren't even mentioned in the missions. The economy in Widelands is more complex than in Settlers II and even though I was prepared with more knowledge from old times than the average player it was often quite exhausting to fit in the sentries without having to wait for the lumberjack to remove all the trees, worrying if I might accidentally cover up valuable places for bigger buildings.

Some more specific things that can be frustrating:

  • Seeing that most buildings were hardly productive at all because there were (way) to few suppliers and not enough space to fit in much more.
  • Running out of logs because you need a lot of those in the early and mid time of this scenario and you can't produce more because you don't have the space, nor the workers
  • I even got the "no trees" message from one of the lumberjacks near my headquarters which made me wonder how many rangers might be required to provide enough trees for each lumberjack. I didn't yet know about different growing conditions for trees at that point of time. Then again, a player shouldn't even have to worry about that in the first scenario.

So here is what I would suggest:

  • Remove the quests for lime kiln, charcoal kiln, reed yard and maybe even cattle farm. They aren't really necessary yet and are hardly ever working anyway. These tasks can be moved to the next scenario without much alteration, I guess. This would also leave more building space for the other quests.
  • Add a quest for a metal workshop instead. It's more useful at this point and could make use of the iron produced. Boldreth could approach Thron after the smelting works are finished and say that they could use the iron to produce weapons but admit that tools might be more useful currently.
  • It's not really necessary to built up a efficiently working economy in this scenario but to prevent frustration point it out at a suitable time in the mission texts
  • Please make the area around the headquarters more tree friendly. Like I said, it's nothing the player should have to worry about at this point.
  • Since we already eased the shortage of space, giving more building space might not be necessary but sure wouldn't hurt either in the early stage. I'd rather make the given space less rough and more building friendly

One more minor point:

The message "Another cold day" is coming a bit early. Better give more time to give the building order for the sentry. Same for "In the night" shortly after this. It can be a bit annoying if you need some time trying to find a good place for the sentry, maybe struggle with something, finally try to give the building order and then are interrupted by the message.


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king_of_nowhere
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Joined: 2014-09-15, 18:35
Posts: 1311
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Posted at: 2016-05-06, 12:34

No0815 wrote:

  • I even got the "no trees" message from one of the lumberjacks near my headquarters which made me wonder how many rangers might be required to provide enough trees for each lumberjack. I didn't yet know about different growing conditions for trees at that point of time. Then again, a player shouldn't even have to worry about that in the first scenario.

one ranger for each woodcutter is enough if the terrain is fertile. is it possible that the campaign map still uses snow as terrain? it was made much less fertile after we reworked the way trees work. if that's the problem then fixing it should be relatively simple. otherwise, if the terrain was good, it may be simply a matter of too many buildings preventing the ranger from planting.


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No0815
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Joined: 2016-05-01, 14:52
Posts: 49
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Pry about Widelands
Posted at: 2016-05-06, 16:01

The problem is that the land around the headquarter isn't optimal for growing tree. Meadow would be fine but the mountain is to close. Because of the lack of space a significant part of fertile ground is occupied by roads and buildings so that too many trees end up being planted on the mountain, I guess. I didn't observe it closely since I was busy with the objectives. There is a lot of snow indeed but it doesn't really mater, in this case, because it's unwalkable anyway.

Now that I think about it: Tree growing probability maybe should be part of a campaign scenario. But not this one (and neither the second one), like I said, people really shouldn't have to worry about this so early, there are plenty enough other things to learn in the first scenarios.


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