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The Splintered Court feedback

Discussion in 'Fall from Heaven Official Scenarios' started by Kael, Dec 15, 2008.

  1. Avahz Darkwood

    Avahz Darkwood Chieftain

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    I found the ending appropriate,
    Spoiler :
    but a bit tossed in without any real logic behind it. We are talking about a summer queen who will have the best guards at all times and who isn't a push over herself. Not only that why would the winter queen give up so much power to Thessa and Amac. She pretty much gave them all the real power, enough power to end her with out much cause...
     
  2. Kael

    Kael Chieftain

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    Spoiler :
    This is the beauty of Faeryl. On the surface she looks to be a uniter willingly giving up power in order to ensure the peace of her people. She establishes order, recognizes the talented among them and does so without any hint that she is pushing any personal agenda.

    But what did she really do?

    1. Protected her former Svartalfar allies by making sure they are given legal and cultural protection.

    2. Sent Amelanchier away from the capital to guard the forts and the "untended" elven lands. He can defend her lands, a job he is suited for and Faeryl isn't insterested in doing anyway.

    3. Sent Thessa even further abroad. Putting her in charge of diplomacy and external wars. Putting her in the most difficult spot and focusing her and those most most likely to figure out Faeryl's ruse as far away from Faeryl as possible.

    4. Left Faeryl alone with the capital and the heart of the nation. The craftsmen, farmers, temples, artists, etc. Faeryl has a country to rule but doesn't have to be concerned with anything external to the world she governs. She has two levels of isolation between her and outside world, and therefor two levels of isolation between the outside world and her.

    5. The only negative to this at all is her agreement to come together with Amelanchier and Thessa for empire wide decisions. But what empire wide decisions are left? Faeryl already controls every part she cares about. And even if an empire wide decision does come up she has full faith that she can trick Amelanchier and Thessa into doing exactly what she wants (which isn't hard because usually exactly what she wants will be whats in the best interests of the elven kingdom anyway).


    Faeryl talks a good game, its a convincing argument. And it obviously worked thanks to a little guile and some help from Esus. But it isn't a compromise of any sort for Faeryl, short of Svartalfar victory it is exactly what she wants.
     
  3. MagisterCultuum

    MagisterCultuum Great Sage

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    Winning (at least with the help of a Worldbuilder-introduced Abashi) with the Svartalfar doesn't seem to change which civ I can play in The Black Tower.

    Also, if a civ is defeated really early I don't get the normal popups.

    How would I go about clearing the trophies? Trophy.cfg isn't exactly user friendly. What do all the s's, p's, and I's mean? I'm guessing the s's are strings, the p's are the trophy numbers, and the I's are the number of times it has been achived. Would changing all the I's to 0 be how to clear all trophies?
     
  4. Guale

    Guale Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2008
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    129
    My guess would be to change
    Code:
    I1
    sS'TROPHY_WB_THE_SPLINTERED_COURT_LJOSALFAR'
    to
    Code:
    I1
    sS'TROPHY_WB_THE_SPLINTERED_COURT_SVARTALFAR
    To reset them just replace everything with this
    Code:
    (dp1
    I1
    sS'description'
    p2
    S'store trophies value'
    p3
    s.
     
  5. Kael

    Kael Chieftain

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    I found an error with achieving that trophy (you should have gotten a python error if you have python errors turned on). It will be fixed in the next version.

    The best way to clear the trophies is simply to delete the file. But I believe that setting the I (integer) value that follows the trophy name to 0 will also work.
     
  6. MagisterCultuum

    MagisterCultuum Great Sage

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    I just noticed in ScenarioFunctions.py under if gc.getGame().isOption(GameOptionTypes.GAMEOPTION_WB_THE_SPLINTERED_COURT) that gc.getGame().incrementUnitClassCreatedCount(gc.getInfoTypeForString('UNITCLASS_TROJAN_HORSE')) is still present, even though I believe this unit was removed. Does that not cause problems?

    Edit: I just noticed that UNITCLASS_TROJAN_HORSE still exists in CIV4UnitClassInfos.xml, even though UNIT_TROJAN_HORSE is gone. I'm surprised this doesn't cause an error on loading, as there is a non-existent unit as the default unit of this unitclass.
     
  7. Kael

    Kael Chieftain

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    Weird. I would have expected an error from that too. But I'll get it cleaned up. Thanks.
     
  8. Old MacDonald

    Old MacDonald Chieftain

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    Or how about having them as unlockables? So if I complete the splintered court scenario as the Svartalfar, I get access to the Svartalfar minor leaders?
     
  9. Avahz Darkwood

    Avahz Darkwood Chieftain

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    This makes sense but,

    Spoiler :
    now it feels as if Faeryl is a more neutral isolationist [especially with your note of (which isn't hard because usually exactly what she wants will be whats in the best interests of the elven kingdom anyway) ] than evil. She actually cares about the elven nation as a whole not just her pale skins and her personal power, or am I reading her evil nature wrong? Is she more like Hitler evil were she sees all elves as superior to other races and will exterminate others as needed. Or is she still going to rid Erabus of the other elves in her own spare time? I always saw her as power hungry with a jealous streak a mile long. Is it possible she may actually be a better queen for the elves than that goody goody grave warmer?

    Over all I do like the way it ended though: The Svartalfar lost the war, but Faeryl still won in the end.
     
  10. akots

    akots Poet

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    It seems, the scenario is quite balanced on emperor difficulty and normal speed. It's pretty tough mostly because the AI allies, at least in my game, did not comprehend what they need to do. I played as good elves. For example, one of the allies up north near Calabim, had 2 cities for the whole game apparently losing the starting settler and not receiving any immigrants. The one in the middle built 40+ Priests of Leaves for some reason and twice that amount of rangers and housed them all inside their land attacking mostly with champions. Since I could not gift him copper (cannot give cities our resources, can only receive, I resume this is a feature) and for some reason, he did not connect his own iron or mithril, those champions of strength 6 were slaughtered massively promoting enemy units. Evil elves, on the other hand, were pretty much OK and got a few wonders including one which gives invisibility in your borders and that was pretty unpleasant until I was able to capture it.

    Early rush was out of the question since I was researching essentially on my own with very little help from the allies and hence the game lingered for about 270 turns. Good thing, I was able to capture the mirror somehow and this really helped as it was possible to farm 5-6 very experienced assassins. That made the trick. The standard tactics was having 3 mages covered with tigers against enemy assassins casting whirlwind storm on the defenders in the city (mostly crossbowmen, 2-3 per city) while druid was entangling them. This was followed with with horde of assassins of my own finishing when probabilities got over 90% with the elite troops. it was very gory and I sacrificed 150+ assassins to take over all the cities which made it for quite a tedious game. However, as a plus, map was nice, production was huge, and immigrants were quite in abundance later on. I finished with 15 cities close to domination limit.

    Mild spoiler on gameplay:

    Spoiler :
    Baron got himself very powerful by capturing all available barbarian cities while Alexis struggled to survive.

    Another thing, there is no deer on the map, so good elves could not build the beast riders whereas evil ones did not need any resource and these pesky cats were quite a problem in the middle of the game before mithril got hooked up.


    So, to sum it all up:

    Pros: nice map
    Spoiler :
    if not for the deer
    , good plot, I loved the intro and the ending. Very nice development of events (both allies in trouble, had to rush to help them survive in the early game). The scenario is balanced for gameplay.

    Cons: ridiculously stupid AI allies, do not understand what they should do, did not help at all, did not react to requests for attacking, left cities undefended while having a horde of troops 3 tiles away. They both wasted their world spell (treant defenders) early in the game when Alexis declared on them but actually, there were no enemy troops attacking them inside their lands so treants were just wondering around for a few turns and then were gone without doing any damage to anything. Immigrants coming a bit too randomly, it might be nice to know when they actually are going to come to prepare extra gold for buying settlers and it would be nice to know how much it would cost, at least approximately. Very tedious warring, too many troops to move around. AI defending very passively, mostly sitting in cities and not trying to counterattack.
     
  11. phoulishwan

    phoulishwan Chieftain

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    I know for certain you can gift resources to your allies, this was mostly on the original version, but I also just played the first Decius scenario under patch h, where I gave my Bannor allies my only source of copper as a couple Axemen were bearing down on one his cities where he only had 2 warriors in defense, they upgraded to copper weapons as expected so the 2 axemen were no longer much of a threat. I always take all their palace's mana as soon as I'm was ready to build adepts (because I can put casters to much better use than the AI), but I was giving them all my excess happiness & health resources as well to help their growth.

    I did find myself sending some of my workers to my allies lands helping them connect up vital resources, especially resources I didn't control and wanted for myself. As the Illians and Hippus I grew tired of having to actually road and connect 90% of my Doviello allies territory, hell even build some mines and farms at their improvement-less CAPITAL but they are a rather backwards lot with the unfortunate ability to upgrade their workers into Beastmen, for the AI at least...on the offense for me it sure is nice to get new recruits instead of deleting workers when far away from my homeland. Which I'm guessing is why they never completeled their own improvements...because the instant there is a threat they'd upgrade their workers to offensive units. I did this too when playing as the Doviello but I also know to keep a few workers around to get the important jobs done.
     
  12. nihonjeff

    nihonjeff Chieftain

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    Hm. I actually had a really quick and easy Svart win with this scenario. Popped Poisons early from a goody hut, cranked out Alazkan and a couple support hunters, and ran roughshod over the Ljos. Between Gibbon's Mistforms and Alazkan's Mirror, it was an easy win. Met the Baron, but never saw a single werewolf the whole game. Calabim and Lanun were also total nonfactors.
     
  13. Old MacDonald

    Old MacDonald Chieftain

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    My two cents regarding the Ljosalfar ending:
    Spoiler :

    Well, I don't like it. If you play through - and win - the scenario as Arendel, it's a bit of a slap in the face to have your character murdered (in a very sadistic fashion) at the end, despite the fact that you "won" the game.

    And having Faeryl take her place, out of nowhere, means that you do not even get a partial victory, because it doesn't take a genius to figure out what's going to happen next. This is a total victory for the Svartalfar, nothing less.

    So I don't like it. I accept that this is dark fantasy, and that the good guys can not really win, but this is a just total loss, and there's the added annoyance of having the character you've played killed without being given any chance to save her.

    In general, I dislike situations where games take control away from you, and gives the impression that it didn't matter what you do. This sort of reminds me of another game I played, called Ascension to the Throne. It's an RPG with turn based tactical combat, sort of like King's Bounty (and it's pretty good, too). It also had an ending that did something like this.

    More spoilers (including some for the AttT-ending):
    Spoiler :

    Basically, the final battle sees you and your allies fighting a demon, and killing him. But then the ending cinematic shows the same fight, only here your allies are killed and the demon escapes to hell, with your character following him. Well, it really bugged me, because I fought that fight, I killed the demon and my allies (including my character's love interest) survived - and then the ending cinematic just wiped all that out and replaced it with a much darker result.

    I feel that this is, essentially, what's happening here too. It's sort of clever, but it's way too harsh, and it means everything you did was in vain. And this wasn't because you made the wrong choice or anything, but because the game just "cheated" and decided that particular outcome for you.

    Phew, that got a bit longer than I had planned. Of course, my opinion is usually pretty much worthless, so take it with a spoon of salt or something. But I do honestly believe there should be some changes made to this ending.
     
  14. nihonjeff

    nihonjeff Chieftain

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    All I have to say about the appropriateness of the Ljos ending is that it really got people talking, and even seemed to make some folks fairly upset.

    I believe that's the highest praise a writer can receive. Kudos to the design team.
     
  15. Mesix

    Mesix One of Porg

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    I played through this scenario and enjoyed it. The map seemed balanced. My allies took the fight to the enemy, and victory was achieved after a long (6 hour) bit of gaming. My position was relatively isolated from the enemy with my two allies forming a buffer. this allowed me to build huge cities surrounded by cottages and research like mad.

    My primary tactict was the same as the last couple scenarios that I have played. Air II mages casting Maelstrom on an enemy city to reduce defender hp and then mop up with combat units. No need to pound down defenses with this spell. It may be a bit overpowered if it is this effective in just about any situation.

    A couple of bugs:

    It has already been reported that Yggrdale (spelled wrong?) does not bear the proper fruit as a resource. In my game it provided pigs. It was inaccessible in the wilderness, so it had little impact other than cosmetic on my game. A mouseover said that it provided 8 food and +3 with a Pasture. What would an 11 food tile look like? Would there be 2 loaves and one extra food? I'm tempted to load an autosave and WB me an extra settler to find out.

    The popup side story for the Baron appeared after I had already won. I'm guessing that the side story for Alexus and the Barron are each tied to a specific leader being defeated. If you defeat that leader last the text box seems a bit out of place after having read the end scenario text already.

    Spoiler :


    Overall a good job on this scenario. It is fun and thematic.

    Happy Holidays to the design team and all the other playtesters out there.
     
  16. DioBrando

    DioBrando Chieftain

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    Spoiler :

    I don't think she died. My guess is that Amelanchier or someone else will find out what happened and go save her, or that she'll get out of there by her own. I mean hey, Viconia (BG2) was buried alive, and she survived just fine!
     
  17. Old MacDonald

    Old MacDonald Chieftain

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    Well, yeah, sort of. I am sorry if I sound angry, I guess that because Fall from Heaven is generally such an enjoyable and well made game, I tend to forget it's not a commercial game, but a much more personal work of creativity made by a handful of talented people in their spare time. I hope I didn't offend anyone, and if I did I apologize.

    Minor spoilers again:
    Spoiler :
    Having said this, you should never underestimate the bond that's created between the player and the player character (in this case, Arendel). Especially players who try to roleplay. This twist ending, while clever in many ways, is very unfair to the people who've won playing as her. Because as I said, it feels like a total loss, that shows up from nowhere. Kael said it himself - Faeryl got exactly what she wanted.

    I think that, since Arendel did indeed kick her butt, she should at least have had the decency to ... well, not win the game and (seemingly) kill off your character. Yeah, she's a hot, evil elven chick who everyone loves (except me, because I see her as the Isabella of FFH, and I hate Isabella so much), but she still shouldn't get a free victory when she didn't earn it. :)

    There, I'll probably shut up now. :)
    Spoiler :
    Heh, true enough. If Faeryl can magically take Arendel's place and lock her away where noone can find her, then I suppose anything could happen. Maybe Arendel will come back as a zombie and lead a new race of undead elves to purge the world of the Svartalfar in the next FFH? :)
     
  18. nihonjeff

    nihonjeff Chieftain

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    I never do. I'm an avid roleplayer myself. My point is that well-written tragedy has the potential to really affect people emotionally, which is what the designers have done.

    Spoiler :
    To me, saying that what happened to Arendel is unfair to the players is like saying that Shakespeare was being unfair to theatergoers for killing off Romeo and Juliet at their moment of triumph. Those two had won, but a bit of miscommunication convinced Romeo that Juliet was dead instead of just faking it, and he kills himself. (did I just spoiler-tag Romeo and Juliet?)


    Yes, it provokes a strong reaction, but that's what tragedy is supposed to do. I realize that theater and RPGs are two different animals, but remember that FfH isn't even strictly a role-playing game. It's a 4X game with some role-playing elements in which the only real connection we have with the characters beyond that which we create ourselves is controlling the military, political, and economic arms of their empires. Oh -- and their card games. :)

    That the creators have managed to create such an incredibly rich world populated with such intriguing characters that they were able to provoke these kinds of reactions despite the lack of a game mechanic to truly immerse the player in the character is a testament to their creativity and their years of work.

    Don't get me wrong, Old MacDonald. I'm not saying you shouldn't be upset. All I'm saying is that this tragedy is an integral part of the FfH experience that we've been given, and I think that to call it an unfair trick on the part of the creators is to do them a bit of a disservice.
     
  19. westamastaflash

    westamastaflash Lord Commander

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    Baron offered me an alliance if I gave him Ameliancer, so I said OK. Is this supposed to make him a permanent ally or what, he didn't change anything...
     
  20. MagisterCultuum

    MagisterCultuum Great Sage

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    It doesn't create an actual alliance, but makes him declare war on all your enemies.
     

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