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Topic: 4th empire scenario feedback

freem

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Joined: 2012-07-03, 07:25
Posts: 33
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Pry about Widelands
Posted at: 2024-06-25, 01:58

Hello. Long time I connected on this forum, and long time I didn't played widelands, but I was bored and thought I could give it a new shot few years after.

The 4th empire scenario have mechanics that I find very unpleasing and even physically painful: the map starts spammed with roads and flags, and you need to remove them all, or close. There is no way to understand exactly when the trigger to validate the conditions will activate: perhaps few flags are hiding behind a bigger structure? You can't tell.

Another thing is that the game requires you to deconstruct wood cutters, while not saying so. Instead, it says to remove all small buildings which are inefficient... but woodcutters will have a non 0% efficiency (and even 100%) after few minutes, just the time tree people do their job.

So as it happens, I tried this scenario 3 times, the 1st, I did everything except get 10 recruits. Most of the game spent on x10 because of the horribly slow way resources grow back. When I met the barbarians, right near the yellow temple, they just nuked me with trained soldiers... At this point, my roads were efficient, but I still had to finish the mission I was assuming to be buggy.

So I retried, and removed all roads. This actually solved that case, and also proved me I was right, this condition is buggy. Plus, the UX to remove a flag is not good, you can only do that one by one, and it requires each time 2 clicks with a tiny mouse move, very repetitive, and yes, that is harmful. I went south, since in prev game barbarians were not there... but this time they were. In those 2 games, the armour smith never built a single damn helmet.

Tried a 3rd time, nuked the roads again, and... actually got tired of this, kill -9 $(pidof widelands) because why not. Plus, my right harm needs a rest from removing those cursed roads for the 3rd time. I really hate this. This is NOT fun.

That I can actually loose a scenario is a good thing, really. I've been waiting for that kind of possibility for years face-smile.png

But I would like it to get removed the bad gameplay elements:

  • this is 4th scenario, please don't disable all buildings except wood cutter at 1st. Tutorial's over, really.
  • remove the tedious "mission" to nuke all roads. If I redo this mission, I swear, I'll just manipulate the savegame with a script to do it! And I doubt this is the point..
  • only require removal of buildings which are actually unable to get any production, which excludes the wood cutters. Or otherwise don't put any of those woodcutters, which would be ok since next objective (which will pop after a while: put game on x5 or x10 and go take a nap, really) is to build 3 of them! (there are already 3 of them, and you don't have enough tools to populate 3 more...).

Also, it would be nice if problems, and according missions, would be just spammed at first, instead of requiring hours at x5 to x10 speed to be allowed to do anything. Really, after 3rd scenario, you can drop the tutorial stuff and give the player a bit less hand-holding. Maybe they'll loose, but this is fine. Tutorial's over, is not it?

Other things which would be nice:

  • I have noticed text in missions do not refer to the correct names of buildings in french
  • it would be good if there was a way to get reminded about how many flags to remove, or which houses, as because of the disabled economy and absence of stock, you have to replace the 3 wood cutters one by one... and the process is slow as shit, so it's not illogical for forget which ones were already replaced (perhaps just implement the repair system other buildings have, instead?)
  • allow to remove a flag without removing the roads it allows to have, when there are only 2 roads. This was present in settlers 1 (it was even possible to "pull" a nearby road toward a flag) and was very comfy. And give the deletion action a keyboard shortcut, too (settlers 1 IIRC used the "right+left click" thing to allow doing this faster but with reduced misclick risk). I know this is inspired by settlers 2, but this point is about UX, not gameplay. As long as there was no scenario spamming the pain, it was just inconvenient, but this became a really painful problem now, "thanks" to this scenario.

Sorry if the words are a bit harsh, this is not out of spite (just a bit of pain in the arm): if I still play widelands from time to time after all those years, love is clearly involved. BTW: I really like what was done with the notification system! It is so, so much better than the old stuff, and a neat improvement over the original Bluebyte games.


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kaputtnik
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Joined: 2013-02-18, 19:48
Posts: 2480
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Location: Germany
Posted at: 2024-06-25, 17:34

freem wrote:

Hello. Long time I connected on this forum, and long time I didn't played widelands, but I was bored and thought I could give it a new shot few years after.

The 4th empire scenario have mechanics that I find very unpleasing and even physically painful: the map starts spammed with roads and flags, and you need to remove them all, or close. There is no way to understand exactly when the trigger to validate the conditions will activate: perhaps few flags are hiding behind a bigger structure? You can't tell.

I agree that this objective is a bit nervy, but hey, that's part of the story.

So as it happens, I tried this scenario 3 times, the 1st, I did everything except get 10 recruits. Most of the game spent on x10 because of the horribly slow way resources grow back.

10x speed? You seem to be a bit impatient?

When I met the barbarians, right near the yellow temple, they just nuked me with trained soldiers...

Then you did something wrong, imho.

So I retried, and removed all roads. This actually solved that case, and also proved me I was right, this condition is buggy. Plus, the UX to remove a flag is not good, you can only do that one by one, and it requires each time 2 clicks with a tiny mouse move, very repetitive, and yes, that is harmful.

Again, impatient? The UI to remove flags is fine, in my opinion. Especially with the modifier key CTRL you can remove all roads/flags until the next crossing. So you don't have to do it one by one.

  • I have noticed text in missions do not refer to the correct names of buildings in french

Feel free to join the french localization team on transifex to fix wrong translations.

Sorry if the words are a bit harsh, this is not out of spite (just a bit of pain in the arm): if I still play widelands from time to time after all those years, love is clearly involved.

Critics are always welcome!


Fight simulator for Widelands:
https://wide-fighter.netlify.app/

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tothxa
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Joined: 2021-03-24, 11:44
Posts: 452
OS: antix / Debian
Version: some new PR I'm testing
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Posted at: 2024-06-26, 00:01

freem wrote:

the map starts spammed with roads and flags, and you need to remove them all, or close. There is no way to understand exactly when the trigger to validate the conditions will activate: perhaps few flags are hiding behind a bigger structure? You can't tell.

Actually, after a while, this objective gets a clarification that you can have at most 3 flags with only 1 road and 1 flag with more than 4 roads. It doesn't say explicitly, but the roads of buildings also count, so not having dead ends is trivial, but you may have to temporarily remove some roads from busy crossings to satisfy the other one.

You can also hide buildings in the show/hide menu (or the "U" shortcut) to make roads behind them visible.

Another thing is that the game requires you to deconstruct wood cutters, while not saying so.

Indeed, that's a bug. It should be clearly stated before the goal of 3 lumberjacks and 2 quarries that the old lumberjacks are to be destroyed as inefficient.

Instead, it says to remove all small buildings which are inefficient... but woodcutters will have a non 0% efficiency (and even 100%) after few minutes, just the time tree people do their job.

Yes, it's misleading. The "fake" lumberjacks (like the "fake" foresters) have a long delay in their programs that makes them less efficient, but you can't tell that from their status lines.

So as it happens, I tried this scenario 3 times, the 1st, I did everything except get 10 recruits. Most of the game spent on x10 because of the horribly slow way resources grow back.

Well, cleaning up the roads is much lower priority than anything else, so you should concentrate on starting production, and do the road cleanups while you wait for resources. The rest of the scenario can progress regardless of the roads.

That I can actually loose a scenario is a good thing, really. I've been waiting for that kind of possibility for years face-smile.png

Well, that's what the Frisian campaign is there for... face-smile.png

But I would like it to get removed the bad gameplay elements:

  • this is 4th scenario, please don't disable all buildings except wood cutter at 1st. Tutorial's over, really.

I think it fits the story. And yes, tutorial's over, so you get much less help on how to actually do most things.

  • remove the tedious "mission" to nuke all roads.

That's a pretty fundamental part of the story, so I don't think it will ever happen. But I believe you can actually win the scenario even if you don't clear that objective, and @kaputtnik told you about how you can do it faster.

  • only require removal of buildings which are actually unable to get any production, which excludes the wood cutters. Or otherwise don't put any of those woodcutters, which would be ok since next objective (which will pop after a while: put game on x5 or x10 and go take a nap, really) is to build 3 of them! (there are already 3 of them, and you don't have enough tools to populate 3 more...).

This is not a tutorial any more. face-wink.png

Also, it would be nice if problems, and according missions, would be just spammed at first, instead of requiring hours at x5 to x10 speed to be allowed to do anything.

You should do more things in parallel instead of always just waiting for one of them. If you let the game time progress hours before you can actually train soldiers, then that explains how the Barbarians can level up so much.

Really, after 3rd scenario, you can drop the tutorial stuff and give the player a bit less hand-holding.

What parts do you consider hand-holding?


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tothxa
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Joined: 2021-03-24, 11:44
Posts: 452
OS: antix / Debian
Version: some new PR I'm testing
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Posted at: 2024-06-26, 00:25

Created a bug report for the lumberjacks: https://codeberg.org/wl/widelands/issues/4832


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mxb2001
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Joined: 2019-05-20, 17:49
Posts: 267
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Version: 1.2
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Location: The land of the thirsty spider
Posted at: 2024-06-26, 16:56

This was a memorable scenario. Frustrating at times but probably one of the best I've played on WL. The road removal is kinda finicky but the more OCD you are the better I guess. For sure the control click removal helps although you gotta watch out. Of course rebuilding roads is free so...


--
To Boldly Go Where No Man Has Gone Before

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hessenfarmer
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Joined: 2014-12-11, 22:16
Posts: 2681
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Location: Bavaria
Posted at: 2024-07-11, 22:13

Ok I was on holiday for a while and really enjoyed being afk for a while.
However I do not fully agree with some findings in this thread.

I agree that the road objective is a bit enerving, however it was introduced to support the story. And that brings me to the point of the problem with the lumberjacks. All scenarios designed by me, try to deliver a story and create a atmosphere for this story. ( I beleive this to be the same for @Nordfriese as well). This means the texts and speaches of the characters are important, to deliver the story and the atmosphere. Therefore we placed some specific hints in the story texts.
In this case Amalea clearly names the lumberjacks to be inefficient in the last of the introduction messages. Furthermore they remain at 0% for approx 6 and a half minutes. This is much longer then it takes to just go to the small and inefiicient buildings and initiate the dismantling. So if you read the texts carefully and start to fulfil the objectives at normal speed, I deemed it pretty much impossible to not realize to dismantle the lumberjacks.

So on the one hand @freem does not want to be guided to much and proved to be impatient enough to not read the texts carefully and one the other hand he said he was to lazy to remove the lumberjacks in the first 6.5 minutes. this sounds a bit unbelievable.

However we might add that we need 3 new lumberjacks due to the inefficiency of the old ones.
But it is practically impossible to foresee all not so logical actions of a player. For example the restriction of the buildable buildings at the beginning was set due to a complaint of a player that run into a deadlock due to not reading the texts carefully.
If we tend to have scenarios only with objectives and no story, why should we play them and not just a free game. For me the objectives only make sense when incorporated into a story line.


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