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Topic: campaigns are needlessly restrictive

king_of_nowhere
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Posted at: 2019-05-12, 17:49

there are two issues related to that:

1) empire and barbarians start with a 2-mission tutorial - in fact, empire tutorial is still not done by mission 2, as you still can't make colosseum and training camp.

There is already an in-game tutorial, having to crawl through many tutorials again, and being unable to build anything at all before having completed the various objectives, is annoying. I think a player should at least be able to make some more buildings without having to complete everything. that way, an experienced player can already start the next objective, and save some time. I understand that the campaigns are aimed at very casual players, and I'm not trying to change the fact, but they should not force a player to do stuff in such a very specific way.

It also hopefully should not require much work from the developers.

But the greatest offender is the next point

2) there is no reason whatsoever to not unlock all the campaigns immediately.

Instead, you can only start by playing the barbarian campaign. Playing that unlocks empire, then atlanteans, and then I suppose frisians.

So, I already played the other campaigns in build 18, and I wanted to try the new frisian campaign, but I can't do it without replaying a lot of stuff that i already did.

If the campaigns had some sort of chronological order or interwined events, it would make sense, but as it is, there is no contact between the various campaigns. They may as well be different continuities. So there is absolutely no reason to not let one play immediately the frisian campaign, and every reason to let them.

And hopefully, this would be even easier to code


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hessenfarmer
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Posted at: 2019-05-12, 20:55

king_of_nowhere wrote:

there are two issues related to that:

1) empire and barbarians start with a 2-mission tutorial - in fact, empire tutorial is still not done by mission 2, as you still can't make colosseum and training camp.

There is already an in-game tutorial, having to crawl through many tutorials again, and being unable to build anything at all before having completed the various objectives, is annoying. I think a player should at least be able to make some more buildings without having to complete everything. that way, an experienced player can already start the next objective, and save some time. I understand that the campaigns are aimed at very casual players, and I'm not trying to change the fact, but they should not force a player to do stuff in such a very specific way.

I do not quite understand what you mean by this. Campaigns are aimed at singleplayers of every skill. The matter in the scenarios is that in difference to a normal singleplayergame the scenario tries to tell a story. We already tried to implement some variety in the scenarios (especially empire 4). However as objectives are the only way to bring the story forward they need some sequence from time to time. So if you have specific proposals for a specific scenario we surely can discuss this, but this is limited to the story and the map. E.g. in empire 03 someone would run into deadlock to easy if we don't have some limitations.

Furthermore it is quite common in games like widelands to have a story where buildings or actions are limited.

It also hopefully should not require much work from the developers.

But the greatest offender is the next point

2) there is no reason whatsoever to not unlock all the campaigns immediately.

Instead, you can only start by playing the barbarian campaign. Playing that unlocks empire, then atlanteans, and then I suppose frisians.

So, I already played the other campaigns in build 18, and I wanted to try the new frisian campaign, but I can't do it without replaying a lot of stuff that i already did.

If the campaigns had some sort of chronological order or interwined events, it would make sense, but as it is, there is no contact between the various campaigns. They may as well be different continuities. So there is absolutely no reason to not let one play immediately the frisian campaign, and every reason to let them.

And hopefully, this would be even easier to code

there had been a very easy hack for this since a lot of time. YOu just need an editor to edit the campvis file in your homedir (can be found in the forums as well). Fortunately the logic for revealing the campaigns has been changed in trunk already. Now they are all visible but not active. they are activated in the following manner bar 1 activates bar2 and emp 1, emp 2 activates emp3 and atl 1 emp4 activates fri 01 as well as atl 1 does. In future scenarios it is possible to take some data from the previous scenario. so you would have a significant disadvantage if not playing them in the correct order. This is already used in frisians 1 where you take some soldiers with you.


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king_of_nowhere
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Posted at: 2019-05-12, 23:11

hessenfarmer wrote:

I do not quite understand what you mean by this. Campaigns are aimed at singleplayers of every skill. The matter in the scenarios is that in difference to a normal singleplayergame the scenario tries to tell a story. We already tried to implement some variety in the scenarios (especially empire 4). However as objectives are the only way to bring the story forward they need some sequence from time to time. So if you have specific proposals for a specific scenario we surely can discuss this, but this is limited to the story and the map. E.g. in empire 03 someone would run into deadlock to easy if we don't have some limitations.

Furthermore it is quite common in games like widelands to have a story where buildings or actions are limited.

ok, you mostly persuaded me. I still think that in empire2 you should be able to start making wells and farms before you finish making mines, but it's ok, not worth being nitpicky over details for a specific objective on a specific scenario.

there had been a very easy hack for this since a lot of time. YOu just need an editor to edit the campvis file in your homedir (can be found in the forums as well). Fortunately the logic for revealing the campaigns has been changed in trunk already. Now they are all visible but not active. they are activated in the following manner bar 1 activates bar2 and emp 1, emp 2 activates emp3 and atl 1 emp4 activates fri 01 as well as atl 1 does. In future scenarios it is possible to take some data from the previous scenario. so you would have a significant disadvantage if not playing them in the correct order. This is already used in frisians 1 where you take some soldiers with you.

wouldn't it be simpler to just have all the four campaigns unlocked from the beginning? and by all four campaigns I mean bar1, emp1, atl1 and fri1 all available at first. Unless they are planned to interact later on. what's the rationale for not letting ppeople play atl1 if they haven't finished emp2?

and the existance of an easy hack does not make it right. it would be like saying that there's a hole in the floor but it's ok as long as you are careful to step around it.


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WorldSavior
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Posted at: 2019-05-12, 23:43

king_of_nowhere wrote:

hessenfarmer wrote:

there had been a very easy hack for this since a lot of time. YOu just need an editor to edit the campvis file in your homedir (can be found in the forums as well). Fortunately the logic for revealing the campaigns has been changed in trunk already. Now they are all visible but not active. they are activated in the following manner bar 1 activates bar2 and emp 1, emp 2 activates emp3 and atl 1 emp4 activates fri 01 as well as atl 1 does. In future scenarios it is possible to take some data from the previous scenario. so you would have a significant disadvantage if not playing them in the correct order. This is already used in frisians 1 where you take some soldiers with you.

wouldn't it be simpler to just have all the four campaigns unlocked from the beginning? and by all four campaigns I mean bar1, emp1, atl1 and fri1 all available at first. Unless they are planned to interact later on. what's the rationale for not letting ppeople play atl1 if they haven't finished emp2?

and the existance of an easy hack does not make it right. it would be like saying that there's a hole in the floor but it's ok as long as you are careful to step around it.

+1

king_of_nowhere wrote:

But the greatest offender is the next point

2) there is no reason whatsoever to not unlock all the campaigns immediately.

Instead, you can only start by playing the barbarian campaign. Playing that unlocks empire, then atlanteans, and then I suppose frisians.

So, I already played the other campaigns in build 18, and I wanted to try the new frisian campaign, but I can't do it without replaying a lot of stuff that i already did.

If the campaigns had some sort of chronological order or interwined events, it would make sense, but as it is, there is no contact between the various campaigns. They may as well be different continuities. So there is absolutely no reason to not let one play immediately the frisian campaign, and every reason to let them.

And hopefully, this would be even easier to code

+1

And by the way, in build 20 the imperial campaign may be harder than the atlantean one, not easier.


“It's a threat to our planet to believe that someone else will save it.” - Robert Swan

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hessenfarmer
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Posted at: 2019-05-13, 14:27

There had been already a lot of discussions regarding the campaign visibility in the past: my personal favour would be to have them all 4 with their first mission ready from the beginning. in a campaign the order should be kept as the story evolves from mission to mission.
Reasons for doing it like in the current state could be that a player starting with the atlanteans or frisians might get frustrated and leave. So we try to guide him to better gameplay. (additionally in the past the reason for not showing them was to not spoiler on the story)
In my opinion we could keep the current logic of order of missions but instead of enforcing it we could encourage the player to follow our recommendation by displaying warning tooltips.

@WorldSavior: If you compare difficulty of empire 3 or 4 with atlantean 1 you might be right. (I need to test them again with my latest AI changes to confirm they are still of the intended difficulty). But comparing emp1 with atl1, the atlantean one is definitely harder. Even in Emp2 the enemy is locked in a stone wall with no chance to escape due to quarries forbidden, so it is no real match for player with a running economy.


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WorldSavior
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Posted at: 2019-05-13, 19:53

hessenfarmer wrote:

There had been already a lot of discussions regarding the campaign visibility in the past: my personal favour would be to have them all 4 with their first mission ready from the beginning. in a campaign the order should be kept as the story evolves from mission to mission.
Reasons for doing it like in the current state could be that a player starting with the atlanteans or frisians might get frustrated and leave.

At the other hand, both campaigns aren't marked as easy but as harder. And if a new player doesn't find atlantean or frisian tutorials - couldn't he get frustrated as well and leave?

By the way, it could be good if choosing "tutorials" (after starting Widelands) would give a hint that the tribe-tutorials are in the campaigns, couldn't it?

So we try to guide him to better gameplay. (additionally in the past the reason for not showing them was to not spoiler on the story)
In my opinion we could keep the current logic of order of missions but instead of enforcing it we could encourage the player to follow our recommendation by displaying warning tooltips.

Tooltips which warn about both campaings wouldn't be bad.

@WorldSavior: If you compare difficulty of empire 3 or 4 with atlantean 1 you might be right. (I need to test them again with my latest AI changes to confirm they are still of the intended difficulty). But comparing emp1 with atl1, the atlantean one is definitely harder. Even in Emp2 the enemy is locked in a stone wall with no chance to escape due to quarries forbidden, so it is no real match for player with a running economy.

True. I meant that Emp as a whole campaign is harder than Atl.


“It's a threat to our planet to believe that someone else will save it.” - Robert Swan

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GunChleoc
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Posted at: 2019-05-13, 20:17

I think we have agreement on unlocking all 4 campaigns. Since we have them sorted according to difficulty, I don't think that we need an extra warning sign.

Since we now save which scenarios have been solved rather than which campaigns/scenarios are visible, this is really easy to implement https://code.launchpad.net/~widelands-dev/widelands/unlock-all-campaigns/+merge/367371

ok, you mostly persuaded me. I still think that in empire2 you should be able to start making wells and farms before you finish making mines, but it's ok, not worth being nitpicky over details for a specific objective on a specific scenario.

We can certainly think about relaxing the availability of buildings a bit. We already did that with Barbarians 2 where the Barrier is now available as soon as you start expanding.

Edited: 2019-05-13, 20:24

Busy indexing nil values

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Nordfriese
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Posted at: 2019-05-13, 20:24

I think we have agreement on unlocking all 4 campaigns.

I agree as well

Since we have them sorted according to difficulty, I don't think that we need an extra warning sign.

By the way, perhaps the difficulty indicators should be changed? Red usually means hard and green easy, here it´s the other way around. And is the meaning of "flag" difficulty obvious to new players?


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GunChleoc
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Posted at: 2019-05-13, 20:25

Nordfriese wrote:

By the way, perhaps the difficulty indicators should be changed? Red usually means hard and green easy, here it´s the other way around. And is the meaning of "flag" difficulty obvious to new players?

Yes, please! I'd love to have new graphics for that.


Busy indexing nil values

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hessenfarmer
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Posted at: 2019-05-13, 22:24

WorldSavior wrote:

True. I meant that Emp as a whole campaign is harder than Atl.

Thats one thing I currently work on. Making the Atlantean campaign harder and longer. At least I will double its missions face-wink.png


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