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Topic: fri03 observations

tothxa
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Posted at: 2021-05-25, 12:40

I think the images for Claus Lembeck and Henneke are reversed: the son is the old man. Though the old man looks more like the grandfather of the young one, so maybe Boldreth should be used for Lembeck? But it also depends on what is the intended look... the old man may be fit for a refugee, while Boldreth looks like someone out for revenge.

(I wanted to complain about the lack of big spaces near the starting position, but Nordfriese's comment on my bug report made it clear that this is intentional. Should I open a bug though that the purpose of the d. is too obvious? face-wink.png )

I failed miserably, as all of the Northern island was occupied by the Empire by the time I got through, so I wonder how much faster I should have been. I understand now that these campaigns are intentionally mean to the player (though I don't think that's necessary to be hard, but that's just my opinion), but could it be possible (for v1.1) to include some hint to the player when the Empire occupies the port space? I thought about it for a while, and I came up with this: Lembeck has a dream that gives him an uneasy feeling that he may be too late. So it is not too obvious for the first time players that they have already lost, and they can still play it through to the Empire shore, but in the end they can see how far they had been.


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Nordfriese
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Posted at: 2021-05-25, 12:58

The images are just placeholders because my portrait drawing skills are less than zero face-wink.png
I could create unique images in the style of the fri01 "portraits" (for 1.0) though tbh I don't know if this would be better or worse…

The purpose of the diker is intended to be somewhat obvious. You're just not meant to do this before having conquered the whole starting island.

I failed miserably, as all of the Northern island was occupied by the Empire by the time I got through

Wow, they never did that to me face-tongue.png
I had initially included a debris barrier that vanishes into thin air when the player settles on the northernmost island, to prevent the AI from claiming the port space. But I removed this because the only problem actually observed was that the AIs expanded way too slowly and had to receive considerable help. (see https://github.com/widelands/widelands/issues/4558)

I think dreams and omens would not fit very well to the story. But when the player has seen the whole southern coastline of an island and is seeing that the only port space is blocked by another tribe, Lembeck could say "Oh no, there's nowhere to land here, we're stuck. This is the end of our journey, we have failed."

Edited: 2021-05-25, 12:59

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hessenfarmer
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Posted at: 2021-05-25, 13:00

I don't think the frisian camapign is "mean" to the player. It is just very difficult to give a challenge even for advanced players. Like the challenge Maps of King_of_Nowhere (see the addon for them or download seperatly from our maps section)
You could also try to play in the easiest difficulty (standard is medium).


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hessenfarmer
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Posted at: 2021-05-25, 13:06

Nordfriese wrote:

I think dreams and omens would not fit very well to the story. But when the player has seen the whole southern coastline of an island and is seeing that the only port space is blocked by another tribe, Lembeck could say "Oh no, there's nowhere to land here, we're stuck. This is the end of our journey, we have failed."

The idea was to tell the player that he has lost in the exact moment the portspace is blocked imho.
until we may invent naval warfare we could simply activate the 2 hour mark to try to obtain an even bigger amount of gold alternatively. For the storyline the news about the blocked way north as well as the fare for the trip could be delivered by a foreign scout.


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Nordfriese
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Posted at: 2021-05-25, 14:27

Some "better" portraits are up https://github.com/widelands/widelands/pull/4891

I think giving the player advance warning about the blocked portspace like this would be illogical. If a scout appears, where would he come from? He'd need to have landed on the player's current island somehow. And why would Iniucundus bother to send one in the first place? He's just passing through and wants to avoid any trouble, which is most easily done by trying to stay unnoticed of anyone who might be around. Letting the player discover his failure for himself is more logical imho, even if it involves having to play for a bit longer than necessary beforehand.


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hessenfarmer
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Posted at: 2021-05-25, 14:38

@Nordfriese
I am totally fine with this. However it meight be you did not get the point of the suggestion. the idea was to give the exact time of loosing to the player to selfevaluate his current progress (how far did I reach, how much should I have done), because he can't tell if the Port was blocked only minutes ago or hours ago.
But this is definitly not for v1.0 and for 1.1 we might better aim in having scenario replays rather than having such a feature that is hard to explain storywise.
For the images I would like the suggestion of tothxa better than the new images


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tothxa
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Posted at: 2021-05-25, 18:48

@Nordfriese:

I agree that the new images are good enough for now.

Re. diker: What's the point when I already went all around? OK, some routes get shorter, but by that time it hardly matters.

Re. AI expansion: Doesn't the bug report say that after save and reload the AI starts working properly? I didn't do it in one go. (not even counting the first 3 tries where I messed up right at the start... one of those was with the warehouse that led to the lua bug)

edit: Re. failure announcement: Yes, please! face-smile.png In addition to the other one though, not instead of it.

@hessenfarmer:

I played them on the lowest difficulty (even that is called hard anyway), but that's not the problem. By meannes I don't mean (ouch) that they are challenging, where it is clearly communicated. It's things like hiding critical info from the players so that they have to start over not because of their own fault (I think this was explicitly admitted by Nordfriese in some older thread on fri01, though there the worst part was fixed by forcing an autosave before the enemy HQ can be attacked), or small annoyances and gotchas in the maps, like the minerals on the volcano island: at first, for a long way nothing, so most players will just give up searching by the time they get to the other side of the volcano, where there's a lot. Similar effect with the first stone mountain to the West in fri02. I think there were more of the like, which I can't recall now. But you also said similar things about emp04.

Re. progress: Indeed, I did look for the replay first. I wanted to ask if I can turn them on for scenarios, so you have just answered my question. Thanks! edit: You also got my point right.

I ruled out the scout idea, because all the way through the scenario they never know what lies ahead. OK, Nordfriese doesn't like the dream thing, as it's too much like a prophecy. How about this: There's already a mention of a gathering storm when they meet the Empire. The message could say that they noticed the gathering storm clouds far in the North, so that's what makes Lembeck worry that they may be too late to make it.

Edited: 2021-05-26, 01:05

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Nordfriese
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Posted at: 2021-05-25, 20:34

Okay, adding a few messages along the way "There seems to be a bad storm coming, better be quick" – "The storm is getting worse, we must hurry" – "The storm has broken, it's too late now" would be doable for 1.1.

Regarding mountains, if that's meanness then nearly half the official maps are mean in this sense face-wink.png Lots of maps have mountains where you need to send geologists at every spot to discover the few precious mining places among all the worthless ones.

Replays for scenarios are a long-standing wishlist item. And with the new training-wheels feature under development (which is also affected by the same mechanism) those may well become a must-have for v1.1.

Re. diker: What's the point when I already went all around? OK, some routes get shorter, but by that time it hardly matters.

Well giving you such a shortcut right at the start would really be too easy wouldn't it face-wink.png The shorter routes are very valuable in this scenario though, the shape of the starting island forces players to build an inefficient economy layout unless you plan ahead in veeery great detail. So this tends to be a useful bonus. Additionally you can use diking to gain some land to the north and south as well, making it even more useful; and if you still don't think it useful you don't have to build one. Lembeck says that it would be slow and expensive and leaves judgement whether the use is actually worth the cost up to the player.

Re. AI expansion: Doesn't the bug report say that after save and reload the AI starts working properly?

Yep, and the time of the first save-reload does have a significant impact on the AIs' performance despite the efforts to mitigate it. What we have currently is the narrow middle ground between way too easy and unmanageable, which works fairly well at least most times. When the bug is fixed the AI difficulty may need to be revised.


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hessenfarmer
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Posted at: 2021-05-25, 21:03

Well, early diking is still possible. However it costs you lot of trees which are hard to produce and to afford the port, and the whole seafaring industry you more the less need the whole island. Only gain if you are lucky might be a small path to the other side allowing double side expansion, which is alittle bit faster. The time I got the samll path I was through 3/4 the way on the other side. Gaining land was an advantage though.


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tothxa
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Posted at: 2021-05-26, 01:00

Nordfriese:

Regarding mountains, if that's meanness then nearly half the official maps are mean in this sense face-wink.png Lots of maps have mountains where you need to send geologists at every spot to discover the few precious mining places among all the worthless ones.

The meanness is in fooling the poor player into believing that the volcano island is useless, when it's actually full of resources once the Atlanteans are beaten — just when the player doesn't need those resources that much any more for a while.

BTW it's also mean, as in more painful than hard, that we have to expand one small spot a time in the only possible direction a lot: both on the original and the volcano islands.

Re. diking: I didn't want to post a spoiler, but now it's out anyway, so yes, I managed to do it early too. At first (fourth…) I did it the slow and expensive way, but hessenfarmer's post started me thinking about the efficiency, and it made me realise that there is a good old method to prevent workers working at spots where they shouldn't… face-smile.png So I started over (the brand new translation should be tested anyway face-smile.png ), and indeed, the "ford" is ready in a snap. The Eastern direction is just so much better for expansion that it's now definitely worth it. — As for the purpose of gaining land: I don't think so. I had left it running out of curiousity in the old game, and it only gave me 2 medium spots in the end. Quite a few triangles are filled with beach sand instead of arable land.


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