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Topic: Slow start (poor hamlet & basic outpost)

blind3rdeye
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Joined: 2020-03-26, 08:47
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Pry about Widelands
Posted at: 2020-04-20, 13:34

hessenfarmer, I understand that things must be built in the correct order, one at a time; and that the tools must be made in the correct order. And I understand that you can expel the worker of the lumberjack hut to send it to wood hardener. I've done all that. The issue is that the mere existence of the those two buildings at the same time means that the economy things you need two lumberjacks (one for each building); and once that request is made, there seems to be no way to cancel it. So if you don't dismantle the lumberjack hut before building the wood hardener, then you run the risk of wasting a critical iron on an unwanted felling ax.

As for the need to reload being part of the fun, I totally disagree. I do think the careful planning and micromanagement is a good part of it. I see it as a problem-solving puzzle, in which there are many possible pitfalls - so it will probably take several tries to work it out, and that's fine. But if there is a need to reload, then I see that as a design flaw. I view reloading as a sign that the player has failed, but wants to try again. And while it is fine for the player to want to do that, I don't think the game should require the player to do it. I believe it should be at least possible to win without relying on reloading. (A new player can be expected to try many times, and reload etc; but an expert at the game should be able to do it without reloading.)

Edited: 2020-04-20, 14:35

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hessenfarmer
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Posted at: 2020-04-20, 14:28

blind3rdeye wrote:

hessenfarmer, I understand that things must be built in the correct order, one at a time; and that the tools must be made in the correct order. And I understand that you can expel the worker of the lumberjack hut to send it to wood hardener. I've done all that. The issue is that the mere existence of the those two buildings at the same time means that the economy things you need two lumberjacks (one for each building); and once that request is made, there seems to be no way to cancel it. So if you don't dismantle the lumberjack hut before building the wood hardener, then you run the risk of wasting a critical iron on an unwanted felling ax.

Spoiler:

The trick is to only provide iron to the Toolsmith when you are sure that he will made the correct thing.

As for the need to reload being part of the fun, I totally disagree. I do think the careful planning and micromanagement is a good part of it. I see it as a problem-solving puzzle, in which there are many possible pitfalls - so it will probably take several tries to work it out, and that's fine. But if there is a need to reload, then I see that as a design flaw. I view reloading as a sign that the player has failed, but wants to try again. And while it is fine for the player to want to do that, I don't think the game should require the player to do it. I believe it should be at least possible to win without relying on reloading. (A new player can be expected to try many times, and reload etc; but an expert at the game should be able to do it without reloading.)

It is not required, As I managed to do it without, but I needed to restart once for empire.


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blind3rdeye
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Posted at: 2020-04-20, 14:39

The one iron thing doesn't seem like a spoiler to me. I'm already trying to do that. The question is how can I be sure they will make the right tool? I've got all of the tools set to zero in the economy settings; so it is only making tools for workers that the economy requests. The issue is that the economy requests an extra lumber jack for the wood hardener, and I don't want the metal worker to help with that request. To be honest, I feel like we're talking at cross purposes here. I don't feel like you've understood the problem that I'm describing.


That said, I'm quite confused now. I was just doing some more testing; but now my metal worker isn't producing any of the tools for pre-existing vacant buildings. ie. my lumberjack hut, wood hardener, and tavern are all vacant - but the metal worker doesn't want to make their tools. If I tell the economy to make a spare, it then the tool gets made and the worker gets recruited to go to the vacant building - but otherwise nothing happens. However, if I construct a new building, the required tool is auto-produced like before. (But the other vacant buildings still don't get their tools.)

On the one hand, this is great because it completely removes the problem that I've been talking about. But on the other hand, I don't understand why this is happening, and I'd guess that it is caused by a bug. But the most confusing part for me is that this is happening on the same save that I was just testing on, when I was getting the unwanted felling ax. I don't understand what has changed. I can't reproduce what I was seeing before. (But I'm pretty sure that if I started from scratch I'd see the original problem, because new buildings are still getting their tools.)


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hessenfarmer
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Posted at: 2020-04-20, 14:50

blind3rdeye wrote:

The one iron thing doesn't seem like a spoiler to me. I'm already trying to do that. The question is how can I be sure they will make the right tool? I've got all of the tools set to zero in the economy settings; so it is only making tools for workers that the economy requests. The issue is that the economy requests an extra lumber jack for the wood hardener, and I don't want the metal worker to help with that request. To be honest, I feel like we're talking at cross purposes here. I don't feel like you've understood the problem that I'm describing.


That said, I'm quite confused now. I was just doing some more testing; but now my metal worker isn't producing any of the tools for pre-existing vacant buildings. ie. my lumberjack hut, wood hardener, and tavern are all vacant - but the metal worker doesn't want to make their tools. If I tell the economy to make a spare, it then the tool gets made and the worker gets recruited to go to the vacant building - but otherwise nothing happens. However, if I construct a new building, the required tool is auto-produced like before. (But the other vacant buildings still don't get their tools.)

On the one hand, this is great because it completely removes the problem that I've been talking about. But on the other hand, I don't understand why this is happening, and I'd guess that it is caused by a bug. But the most confusing part for me is that this is happening on the same save that I was just testing on, when I was getting the unwanted felling ax. I don't understand what has changed. I can't reproduce what I was seeing before. (But I'm pretty sure that if I started from scratch I'd see the original problem, because new buildings are still getting their tools.)

Okay I'll try this out again tonight as I was talking from my memory. So if it is possible without dismantling (as this shouldn't be required imho) I'll let you know how, but perhaps on PM to not spoil the info.


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hessenfarmer
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Posted at: 2020-04-21, 09:38

blind3rdeye wrote:

The one iron thing doesn't seem like a spoiler to me. I'm already trying to do that. The question is how can I be sure they will make the right tool? I've got all of the tools set to zero in the economy settings; so it is only making tools for workers that the economy requests. The issue is that the economy requests an extra lumber jack for the wood hardener, and I don't want the metal worker to help with that request. To be honest, I feel like we're talking at cross purposes here. I don't feel like you've understood the problem that I'm describing.

That assumption was correct. As there are 2 bugs in this thing. Thanks to your report I retested this and we have at least 1 of the bugs that should be fixed for b21.


That said, I'm quite confused now. I was just doing some more testing; but now my metal worker isn't producing any of the tools for pre-existing vacant buildings. ie. my lumberjack hut, wood hardener, and tavern are all vacant - but the metal worker doesn't want to make their tools. If I tell the economy to make a spare, it then the tool gets made and the worker gets recruited to go to the vacant building - but otherwise nothing happens. However, if I construct a new building, the required tool is auto-produced like before. (But the other vacant buildings still don't get their tools.)

I can confirm this and this needs to be fixed for the new release. It seems like a not satisfied worker economy request is not saved with the economy. but it isn't recreated on saveloading either so I needed to produce the tools manually after loading my game.

On the one hand, this is great because it completely removes the problem that I've been talking about. But on the other hand, I don't understand why this is happening, and I'd guess that it is caused by a bug. But the most confusing part for me is that this is happening on the same save that I was just testing on, when I was getting the unwanted felling ax. I don't understand what has changed. I can't reproduce what I was seeing before. (But I'm pretty sure that if I started from scratch I'd see the original problem, because new buildings are still getting their tools.)

Exactly. This bug lies within saveloading. However the original bug is confirmed also. You can't avoid the felling ax without dismantling or saveloading using the above bug. As we need to fix the bug I propose to change the order of the tools in barbarian toolsmithy to have the firetongs earlier then the felling ax. (in empire it is exactly like this as the firetongs are produced before the pick for the second stonemason).


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blind3rdeye
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Posted at: 2020-04-22, 11:59

Thanks for looking into it. face-smile.png

Regarding the order of the tools, having tongs first would be barely enough, in the sense that you would still waste iron on the ax before finishing other important tools. (I believe you can get some food and a mine going, but you still wouldn't have a geologist, so you'd probably have an exhausted mine unless you happen to know the map in advance.) So that's probably ok. It would be easier if the ax was last on the list; but really, moving the ax around the list is a kind of kludge solution. It's would work, and that's probably good enough, but I wonder if there is a better approach. (I can think of a few ideas which would be good for this mode - but my ideas wouldn't be easy to justify in normal play...)


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blind3rdeye
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Posted at: 2020-04-24, 09:47

I just finished my first full game with a poor-hamlet start. I played on "The Far North", 1v1 - me as barbarians with poor-hamlet, vs a normal AI as empire with a standard start. It feels pretty good to come from almost nothing and end with conquering a huge map. face-smile.png

It's was a bit tense seeing the AI borders so close pretty early in the game, knowing that I can't really do much with a solo rookie soldier.

Then later, I had to fight them to get a control of some gold mines. I was attacking with my small army of rookies to conquer a small patch of land so that I could start training my soldiers. I don't think I could have won if I wasn't able to exploit the AI's over-reliance on short-range military buildings. (My army was too weak for any sustained fights; but I was able to keep them out of attack range by just rushing their small buildings whenever they built close to my border.)

The late-game vs AI is always a bit anti-climatic though; because once the player is strong enough to fight the AI toe-to-toe, it's almost as if the AI gives up. They just trickle in weak soldiers; and they end up with no army and a weak economy. Interestingly, in this phase of weaker army, they seem to build more fortresses. In any case, they don't seem to transition well to the exhausted mining phase. Even with a huge amount land, they seem to produce nothing. (Well actually, their 'wares' graph is often much higher than mine, but they seem to produce nothing useful.) Although the AI wasn't really doing much at the end I was still having some fun just expanding to new areas; finding hidden pockets of much-needed iron, and trying to scale up my economy. It's always funny to see when everything was running smoothly and suddenly the economy grids to a halt because all the bakeries have run out of water... I though I had plenty of wells, but what I really had was a large stockpile. :p

In any case, I recommend The Far North as a good map for this kind of start. It's a map with plenty of interesting features, and it is big enough that you can get properly set up before getting roasted by the opposition.

(I didn't mean for this thread to be about trouble-shooting problems. I mostly posted it because I'm interested in people's thoughts about these kinds of starts!)


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hessenfarmer
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Posted at: 2020-05-01, 19:51

I pushed a branch which prevents the issue with barbarians
https://github.com/widelands/widelands/pull/3888


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Denethor
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Posted at: 2020-06-10, 16:31

hey... just tried the challenge with barbarians as well and I was able to get to a point where it was only a matter of time to gather enough wood. I played without any enemies though just to figure out the build order. I felt like it took me way too long to get to a point where I had established even the most basic economy.

I solved the issue of having the toolsmith produce "the right" tool by demolishing my wood hardener and rebuild it later. I am pretty sure that I didn't have any iron left for an additional axe, so is it even possible without demolishing either the lumberjack or the wood hardener (sure to be the better choice) or relying pretty much on "luck" to have the necessary tool produced?

I didn't try to cut the roads for the wood hardener though. Can anybody confirm that this works?


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the-x
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Posted at: 2020-06-10, 17:11

Thats right, they are far to low and sometimes frustrating. We should about double the start resources.


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