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Rodmar18

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I uploaded a first report about scenario 2 in the Feedback folder in the DropBox.
Next one in september! Meanwhile, I can still access the forum and the Dropbox, so I can advance on the translation.
 

Hiliadan

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Jun 17, 2018
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I'm under the impression that there are two odd files in the DropBox: Race_Draconians.xml and GameConcepts.xml.
The Draconian one is to update their race description to say they have Shadow Walker.
The Game Concept one, it seems you indeed added it by mistake on 22 December 2019 so I guess we should remove it.

I started testing map 3C again. So follow up on these tests: https://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/threads/shadow-realm-campaign.1123808/post-26135291

- Turn 10: I animated Ingewal. It's tough to have no resource structure in Ingewal's domain.
Forgot if I already asked that but is it normal that Esnodil is Undead?
- Turn 12: the roaming Shadow Demons near Ingewal attacked me but stack by satck so was quite easy to beat: 1 Bombard + 1 Larva, then again same group, then again, instead of all attacking at once.
- Turn 13: Allie cleared one of the 3 Larva Pool. She also sent a Settler nearby to settle...
 

Refineus

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- Turn 10: I animated Ingewal. It's tough to have no resource structure in Ingewal's domain.
Forgot if I already asked that but is it normal that Esnodil is Undead?

If Esnodil is undead, everyone should be undead. "Sydran, Grevara, Paxanaria, Meandor" there is a feature that makes that possible, but not intentional if you play normally.
 

Hiliadan

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I'm in map 3C and I used your save from map 2 (that you gave me last year) and I don't see Sydran, Grevara, Paxanaria so I don't know about them. Meandor is Undead indeed.

I guess it's voluntary but the Shadow Gate south-west of the surface map (south of the Goblins) is inactive from the surface.

Turn 13-14: Allie has only Lyra and Werber remaining. But the Shadow Demons from Werlac do not attack further as they would probably lose vs the defending stacks of Allie. Seems to be well balanced.

Turn 15: Morrandir sudenly triggers a "The Halflings at Lyra [...]" dialogue with no visible reason.
The dialogues need improving (English and story).
Allie cleared all the Larva Pools at the United cities Shadow Gate, triggering a "Failed: Another player has prevented you from completing your quest". Unsure if it matters for the rest of the map, but would be good to change the behaviour of the Quest or of Allie, because in theory I should count as having completed it.
The Settler stays near the Wizard Tower Ruins on the Shadow layer but does not settle, weird. But I guess we can't do anything about that.

The Outpost of Bleg (Goblin) has no structure in its domain. So when it suggests becoming a Vassal, it makes no sense (2 gold/turn for a cost of 262 gold in my case).
Another general comment: it's quite disturbing that the Shadow Gates are not aligned between layers. That can stay that way and be fine but it makes it harder to know where you have to go and how units move from one place to another (e.g. to follow Allie's or Werlac's moves).

North-western corner of the map, water appears between a Mountain and the void, weird. See image:
By the way, I just saw the Fortress of Rasadac and wonder why Allie controls it with no defender and Serena does not try to take it back. Also, why the "Excavation site" sign, seems weird.


Turn 17: I cleared the 2nd Larva Pool from the northern Shadow Gate.

Turn 18: Werlac's 2 Demon Lord, Harvester and Bombard are still at the smae location, at the border of Lyra's domain, above Trifas' ruins. They haven't moved for 4 turns I guess.
2.3 stacks of Serena appears east of the map, moving towards Werber. All Shadow Elves.

Turn 19: same remark for "Stop the city demons" that Allie completed and which led to Quest failure for me.

North of the Goblins of Hadok, there is a sign "Undefined area", to remove I guess?

South of Lyra, before the bridge, there is an empty sign.

Turn 20: Serena's troops apparently retreated. Not much action in the last 8-10 turns...
I finished exploring the south-west of the map (west of the impassable mountains), it's very empty.

Turn 21: was finally able to Animate a 2nd city: Sparrowdale. Very disappointed that it's an Outpost. :D
My troops finally passed Lunaris and I started moving on the south-west road to meet the Shadow Demons.
Lost several units fighting the Shadow Demons due to Werlac's Fireball and Magic Fist.
One of my scouting unit followed the road south of Lyra and I suddenly have a dialogue with Kundra, even though I don't see her. Then I get a war declaration and -200 alignment, which causes my morale to decrease (even though it doesn't matter for the Undead units, still annoying). The border of Kundra's city is visible 2 hexes away from where the dialogue triggers.
Esnodil went to attack Lasberg through water.

Turn 22: it seems that me going south-west of Lunaris triggered Werlac's Demons to finally move. The turn after, they butchered Esnodil's troops.

Turn 23: Esnodil's troops got crushed at Lasberg...
Werlac does not move the Larvas he got through Spawn Larva with his Lords' stack, but unsure if there is anything we can do about that.
Serena has not cleared Watchtowers and other structures in her domain, she seems bugged? She takes a lot of time to play (2nd worse, the worse being Mab).

Turn 24: I completed the Harbour Shadow Demon Quest.
Reanimated Fasburg, again an Outpost. :'(
Finally entered UG near Serena's western surface cities (she is still Neutral to me). Triggered a dialogue with Mab. War declaration with Mab, alignment malus... (same issue as reported above)

Turn 25: I reached the Master Shipyard, I was expecting a script to trigger a ferry or at least a transport boat or something but nothing happened. Either remove the "take the ferry" indication on the sign north, or add a script.
(Esnodil has a Succubus)
Overal, so far, I feel the map is a bit too tedious (like map 2 was with a lot of road to travel with not much action): the road to reach Lunaris is long, then to reach the united cities even longer, and there aren't that many sites on the way, and no event. Clearing the Larva Pool is an interesting idea but I don't think it is necessary to have the player do it 3 times, with not much action each time. There was no sense of danger for Lunaris over those 25 turns. There was a small sense of danger for the united cities but then I saw the Demons never attacked them and there was anyway no way I could reach them before at least turn 30...
 

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Rodmar18

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I'm in map 3C and I used your save from map 2 (that you gave me last year) and I don't see Sydran, Grevara, Paxanaria so I don't know about them. Meandor is Undead indeed.
I remember that your gave me two saves to end map 2; one has Sydran and Grevara undead, and the other is normal.
 

Hiliadan

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Starting a new test on 3A....

Unsure if it's something we control but the text took some time to appear on the very first screen. So I wondered whether there was a bug and not text rolling.

The map on the screen “The ceremony has started” is unclear about where we are. Could you please add a sentence to say where we are, and a location on the map, or use another screen.

(BTW, my first test of map 3A a long time ago: https://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/threads/shadow-realm-campaign.1123808/post-25173397)

Got this error when the map launches:
[23:00:09][ERROR][WORLD_ACTIVATE]Assertion failed: "false"
[23:00:09]Message: [WORLD_ACTIVATE]Failed to add stack #40002E47 to group 2! A stack belonging to another player side is already in the group!
[23:00:09]d:\source.aow.gog\aow\aowc\source\ageofwonders\strategicmap\entities\Stack.cpp(458): (click to open)

When the map opens, there is a sound, like when visiting a Shrine or something. Would be great if it could be avoided.

Stop Werlac Quest: “fell apart” => “fall apart”
 

Hiliadan

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Map 3A still:

General comment: weird that the Lost Library at the starting location has also defenders “above” it, not just inhabitants as usual

Also the starting Cave might be reduced in size or filled with more stuff (but ideally not a Animal's Den because it also allows to get a Baby Shock Serpent with 92% chances with the balance mod and 100% chance without it), because currently it leads you to waste some of your troops' movement without encountering anything, which is a bit boring.
AND/OR give a starting message indicating we should head west to the exit of the Cave, so that you don't have to waste movement looking for the exit.
That was an old comment from my previous test. I saw you took into account many of the comments I made (other than this one) but I still feel that the cave is a bit too empty and you spend several turns moving troops for not much. So either add a message as I suggested, and/or add more stuff to do. Also, you added an Animal's Den, even though I advised against it, and, as I feared, I was able to Befriend a Shock Serpent... but it's not even a Baby, it's a Mature Shock Serpent! So the rest of the game will be too easy with soon a T4 with me. I strongly suggest to replace by a Haunted Boneyard or Necromancer Circle.

Also, I might get a dialogue next turn, but I am now in sight of the Ice Queen blocker and no dialogue triggered.
 

Refineus

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Map 3A still:

General comment: weird that the Lost Library at the starting location has also defenders “above” it, not just inhabitants as usual


That was an old comment from my previous test. I saw you took into account many of the comments I made (other than this one) but I still feel that the cave is a bit too empty and you spend several turns moving troops for not much. So either add a message as I suggested, and/or add more stuff to do. Also, you added an Animal's Den, even though I advised against it, and, as I feared, I was able to Befriend a Shock Serpent... but it's not even a Baby, it's a Mature Shock Serpent! So the rest of the game will be too easy with soon a T4 with me. I strongly suggest to replace by a Haunted Boneyard or Necromancer Circle.

Also, I might get a dialogue next turn, but I am now in sight of the Ice Queen blocker and no dialogue triggered.


Before I start to spend time on fixing bugs and things that are reported here.

Are you playing the version from 2019-12-21? If you play the steam version of the campaign I will be haunting for ghosts, really.
 

Hiliadan

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The version from 21 December is the same as the one on Steam since the Steam release is from 24 December. And yes my file is the 4761 KB one: SW-03A.cam. I took the latest ShadowCampaign.acd from the Dropbox (31 May 2020).
(I realized I hadn't taken the latest campaign's .xml so if some text changes had been made, I didn't have them; I copied/pasted the file now, so I should have the latest texts now)
 
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Rodmar18

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Reposting in the right thread:

Before I return to testing scenario 3 (Fire path), and without spoiling too much, can you reassure me that being about to loose most of my army due to attrition before gaining a city is intended (and then I'll rebuild an army). I have only so few resource income, and I've kept alive all the gathered and gained troops on my way. I even postponed freeing the last chamber until the very limit of the 10 turns timer because I suspected already I could have an issue with all those L2/L3 free units. Should I have known, I would have even postponed the liberation of the second chamber instead of letting them eat my gold. Those units are handy but not necessary to clear a path. Shall I send my army on suicide runs? I'm playing on easy, around T25. In about 2 turns, I should be in bankruptcy if I don't sell more magic items.
 

Rodmar18

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Well, I whined a bit too early.
As I said part of the problem is that I spared all my units but one or two. Second cause is that an elemental stack destroyed the starting place. Perhaps it's because I spared too many rifts to farm them afterwards.
But the Archon surfaced just in time to start clearing sites, and as I was ghouling cities or migrating them, I spent perhaps 4 turns in bankruptcy (I refrained from using alignment-hitting annexation options to not piss off the Archon). Things were better after one full stack of humans deserted (knight, evangelist, priest, T1s), and a rear-guard stack of ghouls was almost eradicated by elementals coming after SD waves (I didn't left a healer with them). Reflecting upon this, I could have beelined to the nearest well of souls because I just had researched Puppetmaster on purpose: they perhaps wouldn't have deserted. I did this with another human stack who kept loyal (although in the red). Thanksfully, I had spared skill points to get Sustainable Warfare as soon as possible. and now the Archon also have the volunteer skill on stack.
Anyway, now at T44, with second team out and about to cast animated ruins, I have no more issue with gold. Even more, I spared so many site defenders that I can afford to declare war on indy towns now.

Oh, didn't I say that I had been lucky with the deathbringer's skill, and AD's befriend? This could explain that.:rolleyes:
 

Rodmar18

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You can find a first report about scenario 3B tested on easy, in the /draft/feedback folder. I went on until T59 in spite of some settings being bugged (diplomacy, roamers?). I think it's better if I make a new pass when I return from vacation, and those issues get reviewed. Next time, I test on difficult.
 

Refineus

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I read through your report and I think know some of the problems behind the map. As this a story map.

The thing that happens is that the combination of story elements letting the enemies waiting to long will make them defenseless eventually.

I will see if I can alter a.i. In general I have managed to solve it before by just giving them some defence. This a 4 vs 2 normally.
 

Rodmar18

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Please note that, although not being a "competitive" player, I don't think that I wasted time before reaching the surface. Do you want me, next time, to record exactly on which turn each separate group enters the last area before the surface is reached, so that you could then put hard protections on cities or hard inhibition on roamer sites, until the player is about to make it to the surface?

Should I report in the SR thread about an elder unit not leading a stack (Leader was a recruit Bone Dragon, with an Elder Bone Dragon in the same stack), or is it a scenario setting?

Also, does the trick of using heroes in place of leaders prevent Yaka and Nekron (and Meandor in scenario 2) from using battle enchantments?
 

Refineus

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3b has seen some fixes for a.i. I set each a.i to be offensive for 5 turns and shift there pattern to let allied forces also be offensive meanwhile evil side stay defensive and then change sides again. ldeally the enemy a.i is set up to not take out ally too fast before the player reaches the surface and to survive the roamers. It needs to be controlled. If it works I probably will add this pattern for the rest of scenarios to balance the a. I without turning them to passive whimps

I will see if I can overlook some minor issue in 3A before I go on holidays.
 

Refineus

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I concluded some of the fixes in general on all scenarios.

The most notorious of all fixes are the ones that been leaving me clueless for a while, why sometimes quests are completed in a playthrough and next playthrough it does not. Especially in my other campaign project I almost start to think people intentionally could not complete maps just because they... did not assassinate the target and charmed them over instead.

Well, it turns out that if you mind-controlling a unit that is meant in my script language to function around "death" does not count as killed upon mind control. So now all my maps have a secondary function on ownership. That should take care of some game-breaking progressing in this campaign where it's likely to happen.

I included the new campaign pictures available for scenario 1.
 

Rodmar18

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If I'm not wrong, this has always been the case for normal quests (when you have to kill heretics, etc). I guess that it's logical if it's also the case for scripted quests.
 

Hiliadan

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Should I report in the SR thread about an elder unit not leading a stack (Leader was a recruit Bone Dragon, with an Elder Bone Dragon in the same stack), or is it a scenario setting?

Also, does the trick of using heroes in place of leaders prevent Yaka and Nekron (and Meandor in scenario 2) from using battle enchantments?
Yes, please report on the open beta thread, it's not specific to the campaign.
For heroes instead of Leaders, that should not prevent battle enchantments. It's just that the AI has very bad casting priority. Hopefully someday I'll be able to work on that in the balance mod but it's a very difficult & tedious (& thus time consuming!) topic.

Also @Rodmar18 please answer me on Steam. :p

@Refineus : have you seen the updated intro text from Drax on the Word draft for 3A? We could try to finalize 3A in the coming weeks/months. I'll try to work on the text with Drax, Rodmar and you.
 

Hiliadan

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Continuing the test of map 3A:

Turn 6
When I reached 2 hexes from the Ice Queen ("Frostlings! Who is your commander in this territory?"), the dialogue finally trigger. As noted in my post above, it should trigger a lot earlier, when they get in sight.

Turn 7
I meet Birnhilda due to the big vision range (6 hexes) of Sydran, at the Dirt Cavern Wall area (when I go clear the Mithril Mine). That triggers the "Brisska belongs to our master!" dialogue. I assume it is not intended? Probably need to add additional distance to prevent that.
We still have the usual issue of "declare war"'s -100 alignment. Unsure if a fix was found for this?
Also, as we have Grevara, the player can just go attack Birnhilda, is that intended? That's what I'm going to do.
Weirdly, Birnhilda controls 3 Tigran units on the Wicked Flames in the domain of Witekelk. Would be better to have Frostlings?
Surprisingly, the Crystal Tree nearby has no defender and is "explored". Weird.
(the reward set for Mithril Mine makes no sense, I note that for correction in the main mod)

Turn 8
When I went through the Dirt Cavern Wall, that declared war on Tempest, Artica and Werlac (I guess I got in range of sight of Birn's units and they're allies), without triggering any message. (so again, I suddenly become Evil due to -300)
I took Witekelk.

EDIT: note at self, here is the next post from my old tests: https://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/threads/shadow-realm-campaign.1123808/post-25270669