New Starcraft Campaign: Tales of Halcyon

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Arkanis
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Re: New Starcraft Campaign: Tales of Halcyon

Post by Arkanis » Wed Apr 29, 2020 3:08 am

Hi! I'm new to these forums (though I've actually been a casual reader for some time) and have created this account to be able to intervene and give my own insight in campaigns such as your own, which so far look pretty polished. So I decided I would play them chronologically; first TOH, then VOTS and finally I'll give a try to ESE.

Mission 1 was unexpectedly tricky. In my first run I tried going Marine/Firebat in moderate numbers with Goliaths for support against Mutas, but as soon as I attacked their first spawning ground they threw a bunch of Ultralisks upon my unsuspecting army and all but massacred it. I had expected that for a first mission I would be encountering mostly Zerlings + Hydras so... phew. I saw you used the 'Zerg Campaign Easy' AI for this mission, but this is a really weird script: it actually spawns Ultralisks and Guardians in large numbers.

Also, by the time I actually got successful and came near the Cerebrate, I saw the enemy Drones idle, just sitting there and doing nothing. I noticed that you deactivated Guardians for P1 (and not the Ultralisks? Lolololol), but the scripted AI will attempt to build them anyway. Since they won't be able to build them this may be causing the freeze issue. If you want the computer to go on the ZLing/Hydra/Muta combo, you should probably use 'Zerg Campaign Medium' instead, which is actually easier than the 'Easy' one lol (alternatively, you can also use one of the scripted SC campaign AIs).

As a result, I found Mission 2 easier. Even here, the occasional Carrier/Reaver attacks are triggered rather than some crazily-scripted AI, so at least we can be sure this is intentional and under control. Also, the vastness of space in the map coupled with the Protoss being an enemy gives somewhat of an eerie feeling to the mission which I really liked.

Having read other posts in this thread, I'm not as concerned about the 'Khaydarin in Halcyon? What the hell'-issue than the deux ex machina aspect of it, where the crystal appears just at the right time (i.e. just after Schezar's arrival and the Cerebrate's capture) at the right place (in the planet's moon). Plotwise, it can be justified in that it was all part of Schezar's plan: he already knew the crystal was there (probably having been left over by the Xel'Naga at some point, this is not difficult to justify) as well as the Cerebrate, so that's why he went to Halcyon in the first place. But this is not that clear from the mission dialogues, even if you'd suppose that Schezar would obviously conceal that key bit of info from the Governor because, well, he only sought to use Halcyon's resources to help him capture the Zerg and remove the Protoss threat.

In Mission 3 I was forced to get rid of the uppermost Kel-Morian base because they were too aggressive. Their persistent attacks were preventing me from focusing on the Protoss and drained me a lot of resources, which coupled with the scarcity of Vespene Gas available in the map required me to act quick. Plotwise, I don't know if this was intended, since taking them off is supposedly meant as an optional objective. Further, I see they use the 'Difficult' script (compared to the Protoss, which use the 'Medium' one only). Luckily enough, they have many of their advanced units disabled, though I fear this may cause the same effect as in Mission 1; probably a less difficult AI script should be used instead.

Mission 4 was wonderful... but hard. In the first run I was not expecting such a continuous attack wave and was ill-prepared myself to face it, so it brought me down fairly easily. In subsequent runs I was more prepared for what was to come, but the no Bunker-kill objective got me most of the time. This is one major flaw I see in this mission: this is a central objective and one that requires you to do a lot of micromanagement, to have your SCVs repair them and even place some of your units as cannon fodder, but there is no actual explanation in the plot as to why you cannot just rebuild your Bunkers once they are destroyed (only Larsson's mentioning that he wants all Bunkers loaded and some SCVs to repair them, but this doesn't explain why you can't just rebuild). Obviously you intended this for the mission to be more competitive, but I missed a context here.

Aaaand I have not yet played missions 5 and 6. I expect to do them within the next couple days, so I'll tell you once I do them.

Anyway, very promising work. The map design is intelligent and very natural-looking; this reminds me of the SC Precursor and Rebel Yell campaigns. Can't wait to see what else you have up your sleeve. ;)

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Re: New Starcraft Campaign: Tales of Halcyon

Post by Arkanis » Wed May 06, 2020 2:47 am

Just bumping this up since my previous review has been already approved. Also wanting to note that I have already played Mission 5 and will play Mission 6 later this day, so I'll try to make a review today or tomorrow if possible.

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Re: New Starcraft Campaign: Tales of Halcyon

Post by Andrea Rosa » Wed May 06, 2020 7:46 am

Hi Arkanis, welcome and thanks for showing interest in my works. Above all, thank you very much for sharing your detailed insights here.

Arkanis wrote:
Wed Apr 29, 2020 3:08 am
Also, by the time I actually got successful and came near the Cerebrate, I saw the enemy Drones idle, just sitting there and doing nothing. I noticed that you deactivated Guardians for P1 (and not the Ultralisks? Lolololol), but the scripted AI will attempt to build them anyway. Since they won't be able to build them this may be causing the freeze issue. If you want the computer to go on the ZLing/Hydra/Muta combo, you should probably use 'Zerg Campaign Medium' instead, which is actually easier than the 'Easy' one lol (alternatively, you can also use one of the scripted SC campaign AIs).

I wanted Ultralisks to be present, but not Guardians (since air units are not available to the Player, because the farming world of Halcyon has very limited military capability). Unfortunately, none of the AI scripts from the original campaigns seemed to meet this requirement, so I resorted to Zerg Campaign Easy with Guardians being disabled. Zerg Campaign Medium upgrades its units to level 2, which is something I did not want to happen. I'm aware of the Drones issue, but the rest of the AI seems to work fine. Even more strangely, it does not happen every time, but I have no experience regarding the innermost working of AI scripts, so I may be missing some key information or obvious details. Anyway I'll see if I can solve this problem. Now that I think about it, maybe I could use the AI script from "New Gettysburg", which uses Ultralisks but not Guardians, however I don't remember if it upgrades past level 1.

Arkanis wrote:
Wed Apr 29, 2020 3:08 am
As a result, I found Mission 2 easier. Even here, the occasional Carrier/Reaver attacks are triggered rather than some crazily-scripted AI, so at least we can be sure this is intentional and under control. Also, the vastness of space in the map coupled with the Protoss being an enemy gives somewhat of an eerie feeling to the mission which I really liked.

That's the exact feeling I wanted to convey.

Arkanis wrote:
Wed Apr 29, 2020 3:08 am
Having read other posts in this thread, I'm not as concerned about the 'Khaydarin in Halcyon? What the hell'-issue than the deux ex machina aspect of it, where the crystal appears just at the right time (i.e. just after Schezar's arrival and the Cerebrate's capture) at the right place (in the planet's moon). Plotwise, it can be justified in that it was all part of Schezar's plan: he already knew the crystal was there (probably having been left over by the Xel'Naga at some point, this is not difficult to justify) as well as the Cerebrate, so that's why he went to Halcyon in the first place. But this is not that clear from the mission dialogues, even if you'd suppose that Schezar would obviously conceal that key bit of info from the Governor because, well, he only sought to use Halcyon's resources to help him capture the Zerg and remove the Protoss threat.

Perfect analysis, not much else to say about that.

Arkanis wrote:
Wed Apr 29, 2020 3:08 am
In Mission 3 I was forced to get rid of the uppermost Kel-Morian base because they were too aggressive. Their persistent attacks were preventing me from focusing on the Protoss and drained me a lot of resources, which coupled with the scarcity of Vespene Gas available in the map required me to act quick. Plotwise, I don't know if this was intended, since taking them off is supposedly meant as an optional objective. Further, I see they use the 'Difficult' script (compared to the Protoss, which use the 'Medium' one only). Luckily enough, they have many of their advanced units disabled, though I fear this may cause the same effect as in Mission 1; probably a less difficult AI script should be used instead.

Yes, it was indeed intended, plotwise. I needed a computer player that played aggressively mostly with infantry units, and Terran Campaign Difficult does provide such level of aggressiveness. Luckily, as far as I know, this doesn't cause their workers to become idle. I have tried to complete the mission without stealing the Morians' resources, and it can be done (but in this case it is necessary to discover the resources in the lower left corner of the map).

Arkanis wrote:
Wed Apr 29, 2020 3:08 am
Mission 4 was wonderful... but hard. In the first run I was not expecting such a continuous attack wave and was ill-prepared myself to face it, so it brought me down fairly easily. In subsequent runs I was more prepared for what was to come, but the no Bunker-kill objective got me most of the time. This is one major flaw I see in this mission: this is a central objective and one that requires you to do a lot of micromanagement, to have your SCVs repair them and even place some of your units as cannon fodder, but there is no actual explanation in the plot as to why you cannot just rebuild your Bunkers once they are destroyed (only Larsson's mentioning that he wants all Bunkers loaded and some SCVs to repair them, but this doesn't explain why you can't just rebuild). Obviously you intended this for the mission to be more competitive, but I missed a context here.

I'm planning an update in which the Bunkers will have increased armor (2 instead of 1), so to give the Player a bit more of breathing room without changing their default HPs. As for the context regarding the inability to rebuild Bunkers, it is implied that in such a frantic scenario the fall of a single defensive structure would be fatal. Besides, if the Player was able to rebuild the Bunkers, then I don't know what kind of defeat condition could have been implemented, apart from Larsson being killed. Moreover, Halcyon City is an established settlement, and not a base that is being gradually expanded, so the ability to build any additional structure is disabled by default. Elite Firebats are the key to victory, because they can be stim-packed many times. Also, in this map Larsson works better in normal mode, because he has a faster rate of fire than in siege mode and doesn't produce splash damage on the Bunkers.
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Re: New Starcraft Campaign: Tales of Halcyon

Post by Arkanis » Fri May 08, 2020 7:00 am

Andrea Rosa wrote:
Wed May 06, 2020 7:46 am
Hi Arkanis, welcome and thanks for showing interest in my works. Above all, thank you very much for sharing your detailed insights here.
You're welcome! So here comes part 2 of my review, but first:
Andrea Rosa wrote:
Wed May 06, 2020 7:46 am
I wanted Ultralisks to be present, but not Guardians (since air units are not available to the Player, because the farming world of Halcyon has very limited military capability). Unfortunately, none of the AI scripts from the original campaigns seemed to meet this requirement, so I resorted to Zerg Campaign Easy with Guardians being disabled. Zerg Campaign Medium upgrades its units to level 2, which is something I did not want to happen. I'm aware of the Drones issue, but the rest of the AI seems to work fine. Even more strangely, it does not happen every time, but I have no experience regarding the innermost working of AI scripts, so I may be missing some key information or obvious details. Anyway I'll see if I can solve this problem. Now that I think about it, maybe I could use the AI script from "New Gettysburg", which uses Ultralisks but not Guardians, however I don't remember if it upgrades past level 1.
Actually, 'Zerg Campaign Easy' DOES upgrade its units to level 2. Even to level 3. Check it:

Code: Select all

; ASC3 File generated by ScAIEdit III
;
; Script name : Zerg Campaign Easy

script_name Zerg Campaign Easy
script_id ZLOf

start_campaign
wait 1

start_town
defaultbuild_off
default_min 0
wait 1

build 1 lair 150
build 2 drone 130
build 6 drone 80
build 1 spawning_pool 80
build 1 hydralisk_den 80
build 1 evolution_chamber 80
build 1 spire 80
tech burrowing 30
upgrade 1 overlord_speed 30
upgrade 1 overlord_capacity 30
upgrade 1 z_flyer_attack 30
upgrade 1 z_carapace 30
upgrade 1 z_flyer_carapace 30
upgrade 1 zergling_speed 30
upgrade 1 hydralisk_speed 30
defensebuild_gg 1 hydralisk
defenseuse_gg 1 hydralisk
defenseuse_gg 1 zergling
defensebuild_ag 1 hydralisk
defenseuse_ag 1 hydralisk
defensebuild_aa 1 mutalisk
defenseuse_aa 1 mutalisk
defensebuild_aa 1 scourge
defenseuse_aa 1 scourge
defensebuild_ga 1 mutalisk
defenseuse_ga 1 mutalisk
wait 1500

attack_add 3 zergling
attack_prepare
wait 500

attack_do
attack_clear
wait 1500

attack_add 3 hydralisk
attack_prepare
wait 500

attack_do
attack_clear
wait 3000

attack_add 6 zergling
attack_prepare
wait 500

attack_do
attack_clear
build 1 ultralisk_cavern 80
build 1 queen_nest 80
build 3 queen 80
build 1 hive 150
build 1 greater_spire 80
defensebuild_gg 1 ultralisk
defenseuse_gg 1 ultralisk
defensebuild_ga 1 guardian
defenseuse_ga 1 guardian
tech ensnare 30
tech parasite 30
tech spawn_broodling 30
upgrade 1 z_melee_attack 30
upgrade 1 hydralisk_range 30
upgrade 1 z_missile_attack 30
upgrade 2 z_carapace 30
upgrade 2 z_flyer_carapace 30
capt_expand
upgrade 1 zergling_attack 30
wait 3000

attack_add 3 mutalisk
attack_prepare
wait 500

attack_do
attack_clear
wait 3000

attack_add 2 ultralisk
attack_add 6 mutalisk
attack_prepare
wait 500

attack_do
attack_clear
build 1 greater_spire 80
build 1 defiler_mound 80
build 3 defiler 80
build 2 hive 150
tech plague 30
tech spawn_broodling 30
upgrade 2 z_melee_attack 30
upgrade 2 z_missile_attack 30
upgrade 2 z_flyer_attack 30
upgrade 3 z_carapace 30
upgrade 3 z_flyer_carapace 30
wait 3000

attack_add 4 hydralisk
attack_prepare
wait 500

attack_do
attack_clear
wait 3000

attack_add 3 guardian
attack_add 3 hydralisk
attack_prepare
wait 500

attack_do
attack_clear
wait 3000

attack_add 16 zergling
attack_add 4 hydralisk
attack_prepare
wait 500

attack_do
attack_clear
wait 3000

attack_add 3 mutalisk
attack_prepare
wait 500

attack_do
attack_clear
upgrade 3 z_melee_attack 30
upgrade 3 z_missile_attack 30
upgrade 3 z_flyer_attack 30

:block1
wait 3000

attack_add 5 ultralisk
attack_add 2 guardian
attack_add 2 mutalisk
wait 6000

attack_add 12 zergling
attack_add 10 hydralisk
attack_prepare
wait 500

attack_do
attack_clear
wait 4500

attack_add 10 mutalisk
attack_add 3 guardian
attack_prepare
wait 500

attack_do
attack_clear
wait 3000

attack_add 14 hydralisk
attack_prepare
wait 500

attack_do
attack_clear
goto block1
I'm unsure who thought than sending you waves made of 5 Ultras, 10 Mutas, 14 Hydras, 3 Guardians or 16 ZLings was "easy", but I hope they were summarily fired.

I think you have several alternative choices available of campaign AI scripts. 'Terran 11 - Zerg Town' (the New Gettysburg one) is one of them, as it doesn't go past level 1 (I think it doesn't even upgrade to level 1, actually). As a side note, it mainly focuses on defense and light attacks (it spawns some sporadic Ultra but it's not a big deal). Otherwise, you also have 'Zerg 7 - Air Town' (the Zerg mission where you had to destroy Zasz's rogue Garm Brood). It's more aggressive than T11 and builds Utralisks, but not Guardians and doesn't go beyond level 1 either.

You also have some Zerg AIs in the original Protoss campaign that could serve your purposes, namely 'Protoss 4 - Zerg Town' (though I don't know if this would suit a more classical B&D mission, since it was designed to fit the original P4 mission, which was more of a hit-and-run to rescue Tassadar and bring him back to the beacon) and 'Protoss 9 - Ground Zerg' (this one goes heavily for Ultras, but doesn't do Guardians nor upgrades past level 1).

To summarize them up, these ones would meet your requirements (Ultralisks, no Guardians, no levels 2/3):
  • Terran 11 - Zerg Town: builds some units for defense, attacks are mainly ZLing/Hydra/Muta + some occasional Ultras. Stays at level 0.
  • Zerg 7 - Air Town: attacks are mainly aZLing/Hydra/Muta (stronger than T11, though) + some occasional Ultras + some Muta-only waves. Stays at level 0.
  • Protoss 4 - Zerg Town: attacks are mainly ZLing/Hydra/Muta + some occasional Ultra. Attacks are stronger than both T11 and Z7. Upgrades to level 1.
  • Protoss 9 - Ground Zerg: builds some units for defense, will always attack you with Ultralisks + alternates between ZLings and Hydras. Only builds Mutas for defense. Upgrades to level 1.
In any case, I think that any one of them is easier than "Zerg Campaign Easy" lol.
Andrea Rosa wrote:
Wed May 06, 2020 7:46 am
That's the exact feeling I wanted to convey.
Then you did a great work at it. ;)
Andrea Rosa wrote:
Wed May 06, 2020 7:46 am
Yes, it was indeed intended, plotwise. I needed a computer player that played aggressively mostly with infantry units, and Terran Campaign Difficult does provide such level of aggressiveness. Luckily, as far as I know, this doesn't cause their workers to become idle. I have tried to complete the mission without stealing the Morians' resources, and it can be done (but in this case it is necessary to discover the resources in the lower left corner of the map).
Ok, seems fair. Yes, I did not see the "idle worker" issue there.

Nonetheless, you may be doing some cheating since you are the creator of the map and you'd obviously know where the resource spots are, how to get to them and where the enemy units are placed. ;)
Andrea Rosa wrote:
Wed May 06, 2020 7:46 am
I'm planning an update in which the Bunkers will have increased armor (2 instead of 1), so to give the Player a bit more of breathing room without changing their default HPs. As for the context regarding the inability to rebuild Bunkers, it is implied that in such a frantic scenario the fall of a single defensive structure would be fatal. Besides, if the Player was able to rebuild the Bunkers, then I don't know what kind of defeat condition could have been implemented, apart from Larsson being killed. Moreover, Halcyon City is an established settlement, and not a base that is being gradually expanded, so the ability to build any additional structure is disabled by default. Elite Firebats are the key to victory, because they can be stim-packed many times. Also, in this map Larsson works better in normal mode, because he has a faster rate of fire than in siege mode and doesn't produce splash damage on the Bunkers.
That would be appreciated.

As for the context... hmm. I can buy the "established settlement"-bit with regards to the inability of rebuilding, but using the Bunkers as a defeat condition could be stretching it too far IMHO since after all, you are basically requiring to player to defend a defensive structure. You know, in one of my runs it felt awkward because I had the city's gates fairly well defended and could have endured some more damage (the loss of the Bunker did not look fatal at all). Still, losing one Bunker meant that I lost the mission.

Additionally, the mission's goal is for the player to defend the city, but in practice there is no chance in hell that the city will get overrun. The Zerg onslaught will obviously target the Bunkers first because they are in their way to get into the city, and once you lose one, the defeat condition is triggered.
(Somehow, this reminds me of the final Protoss mission when Tassadar thinks about crashing his ship into the Overmind because of the "enormous losses sustained", yet the Overmind is literally surrounded with Carriers, BCs, Archons and the such :])

As an idea, maybe you could resort to using the main buildings as the non-expendable bit of the mission. Allowing the player to lose the Bunkers without losing outright, but not their Barracks, Factories, etc. This could allow for more flexibility in the player's defense strategy, specially in the area around the main Gate which has some space to spare (for the East and West gates, the Barracks are right there, so they'll come next once the Bunkers fall but this is ok). It would also add to the mission's tension if the player was forced to fight it out throughout the city's streets by the time the dropships are meant to arrive. However, this would require some additional testing and work, though, since it would re-focuse the player's action (from having to defend the Bunkers at any costs to being able to sacrifice them if needed) so I'm just dropping it as an idea. :D

Ok, so this said I'm going for Mission 5 and 6. Both of them were fairly long and an increase of the mission's difficulty, but I think this is natural considering that these are the last missions in the campaign. They both have some similarities in that they are large maze-style maps, in which you have to circumvent some obstacles/enemies to reach and destroy the main enemy bases & rescue some units scattered throughout the map. They are still B&D in nature, but they require some micro-management to get things right.

For Mission 5, the idea about nuking the Zerg hives and designing the mission to convey the idea of nuclear fallout is nice and original (for example, having to bring the civs to the refuge), but it suffers somewhat from the fact that you can't actually force the player to use nukes to destroy the enemy hives. I myself almost never used them, since it meant exposing Jenkins too much (Overlords everywhere), they take too much supply space for what they are worth. Siege Tanks proved to be much more effective in my case, because by the time I got to clean a Zerg cluster from enemy units I could just destroy the hives myself without having to wait for the nukes. I did use them to clear the way to the final hive though, since you seemingly used a triggered attack there to launch a swarm of Zerg units into the unsuspecting player. ;)

Nonetheless, I understand that what you intend in this mission is very difficult to accomplish with triggers, so the end result is still quite satisfying. If anything, I'd recommend for the nukes to be made cheaper so that the player has an actual incentive to use them actively rather than sporadically. You can't build additional Silos nor Ghosts and are required to use nukes in a one-by-one basis with a unit that will trigger a defeat condition if killed, so you could maybe make such a prospect more attractive for the player.

Finally, with regards to Mission 6, there isn't much else to say since I think it worked fairly well. The inability to build BCs and the frequent nuking from the purple Terran AI made it harder but I guess this was entirely intended so that's ok. :D I really liked that you recovered the Protoss from missions 2 and 3 as prisoners here since it helped establish more continuity to the plot, and also the reference to the L3 Lagrangian Point which was a nice scientific touch.

Overall, your campaign is really good. Plot is coherent and entertaining, map design is cool and natural and you have shown to make an intelligent use of triggers for enemy attacks, ambushes, etc. This is most interesting since you are using .scm maps only. You have applied the principle of "less is more", and did so magnificently for crafting an enjoyable experience. As I pointed out, there may be some minor issues or things that others or myself would do differently, but this is obvious since it's not our campaign. In any case, my sincere congratulations.

I'll try VotS next. ;D

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Re: New Starcraft Campaign: Tales of Halcyon

Post by Andrea Rosa » Fri May 08, 2020 9:20 am

I'm trying a different approach, by keeping Zerg Campaign Easy while setting very high research time (1 hour) for upgrades past level 1, and also adding a trigger that will automatically send potential Guardians to a remote location of the map where they will eventually be removed. If this fails, I will try one of the campaigns scripts that you kindly suggested. At this purpose, I have replayed "New Gettysburg" and I can confirm that 'Terran 11 - Zerg Town' does not upgrade to level 1, however I have ruled it out because it's way too passive.

As for the cheaper Nukes, I'm going to cut their cost in half, reduce their building time even more, and maybe increase Jenkins' HPs too, though he can always be protected by Defensive Matrix. My only doubt is whether to extend the Nukes cost change also to the final mission or not. Probably I will do it, for the sake of consistency.

Arkanis wrote:
Fri May 08, 2020 7:00 am
and also the reference to the L3 Lagrangian Point which was a nice scientific touch

My compliments, apparently you are the first one who got it. Science bonus points for you!

Thanks again for your detailed review Arkanis, I'm happy to have given you a few hours of fun. As for VotS, you may want to wait a couple of days before playing it, since I'm going to update it with a few adjustments. Cheers!
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Re: New Starcraft Campaign: Tales of Halcyon

Post by Andrea Rosa » Sat May 09, 2020 6:06 am

@Arkanis

After much experimenting, I can tell with certainty that the problem of the idle Drones in the first mission is NOT related to the fact that Guardians were disabled, because I re-enabled all units and technologies and it happened again. I've found out that the Drones stop gathering resources when one of the peripheral Hatcheries is destroyed (in fact, if you go straight to their main base, the Drones will not freeze). So I tried all of the suggested campaign AI scripts, but to no avail: as soon as an Hatchery is destroyed, the Drones freeze, regardless of which AI script is used. At this point I really have no idea what to do next. I guess we'll have to live with this minor issue. Most importantly, the rest of the AI works perfectly, since it does never stop to train additional units, so I'll keep 'Zerg Campaign Easy' (with Guardians disabled) because it provides the amount of challenge that I want for this mission.
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Re: New Starcraft Campaign: Tales of Halcyon

Post by Arkanis » Sun May 10, 2020 8:16 am

Andrea Rosa wrote:
Fri May 08, 2020 9:20 am
I'm trying a different approach, by keeping Zerg Campaign Easy while setting very high research time (1 hour) for upgrades past level 1, and also adding a trigger that will automatically send potential Guardians to a remote location of the map where they will eventually be removed. If this fails, I will try one of the campaigns scripts that you kindly suggested. At this purpose, I have replayed "New Gettysburg" and I can confirm that 'Terran 11 - Zerg Town' does not upgrade to level 1, however I have ruled it out because it's way too passive.
Andrea Rosa wrote:
Sat May 09, 2020 6:06 am
@Arkanis

After much experimenting, I can tell with certainty that the problem of the idle Drones in the first mission is NOT related to the fact that Guardians were disabled, because I re-enabled all units and technologies and it happened again. I've found out that the Drones stop gathering resources when one of the peripheral Hatcheries is destroyed (in fact, if you go straight to their main base, the Drones will not freeze). So I tried all of the suggested campaign AI scripts, but to no avail: as soon as an Hatchery is destroyed, the Drones freeze, regardless of which AI script is used. At this point I really have no idea what to do next. I guess we'll have to live with this minor issue. Most importantly, the rest of the AI works perfectly, since it does never stop to train additional units, so I'll keep 'Zerg Campaign Easy' (with Guardians disabled) because it provides the amount of challenge that I want for this mission.
Yes, Terran 11 is a very passive AI (understandable, since it is designed to not overwhelm the player in that mission as their bases are next to each other).

What you say is very puzzling, why would the Drones stop working once that lonely Hatchery is destroyed? Nonetheless, if the AI can still build units then that's not that of an issue, since you can always use trigger cheats to give it more resources so that it never runs out of them. But it would be useful to know why this is happening in case it can be fixed in the future AND, most importantly, to prevent such conflicts from taking place in future maps.
Andrea Rosa wrote:
Fri May 08, 2020 9:20 am
As for the cheaper Nukes, I'm going to cut their cost in half, reduce their building time even more, and maybe increase Jenkins' HPs too, though he can always be protected by Defensive Matrix. My only doubt is whether to extend the Nukes cost change also to the final mission or not. Probably I will do it, for the sake of consistency.
You can do it for consistency, but it is not that much required considering that in the final mission you can build more than one Ghost/Silo. It'd depend on whether you wish for the player to have incentives for using nukes or not. This is clear for mission 5; for mission 6, I don't know.
Andrea Rosa wrote:
Fri May 08, 2020 9:20 am
Arkanis wrote:
Fri May 08, 2020 7:00 am
and also the reference to the L3 Lagrangian Point which was a nice scientific touch
My compliments, apparently you are the first one who got it. Science bonus points for you!
Yay me! :lol:
Andrea Rosa wrote:
Fri May 08, 2020 9:20 am
Thanks again for your detailed review Arkanis, I'm happy to have given you a few hours of fun. As for VotS, you may want to wait a couple of days before playing it, since I'm going to update it with a few adjustments. Cheers!
You're welcome! Thanks to you for crafting this interesting little universe. It is not very common to find well-designed campaigns, and not all that do are able (or willing) to properly convey the original SC's spirit, so to speak.

Ok, I'll wait until you update it before playing it. :]

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Eredalis
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Re: New Starcraft Campaign: Tales of Halcyon

Post by Eredalis » Sun May 10, 2020 8:48 am

That's a well known problem. (at least for me) :)
If you want to avoid freezing SCV's/Drones/Probes, then you make sure to NOT ONLY use the 'Zerg Campaign Easy' script. Use it in combination with 1 or 2 'Zerg Area Town' scripts and all is well. I suppose the reason for this bug is hard-coded, so you will never find another solution for that problem.

/edit
I checked now mission 1 and I recommend to change some things here:
Use a group (Force) only for computer players, don't put a neutral or rescueable player in their force. There is player 1 (red Zerg) with player 7 (white neutral Terran) in mission 1.
As for the groups (Force/Forces) in trigger menus, use a clean definition for active AI's. For example, the red Zerg should have all their corresponding AI code lines regarding base building just for player 1. And not for Force 2...

To be more specific:

Code: Select all

PLAYER 1

CONDITION
Always
ACTIONS
Modify resources for Current Player: Set to 5000 ore.
Modify resources for Current Player: Set to 5000 gas.

CONDITION
'Switch 1' is set.
ACTIONS
Execute AI script 'Zerg Campaign Easy' at 'Main Zerg Colony'
Execute AI script 'Zerg Campaign Area Town' at 'Mining Colony 1'
Execute AI script 'Zerg Campaign Area Town' at 'Mining Colony 2'

CONDITION
Current Player accumulates at most 500 ore.
ACTIONS
Modify resources for Current Player: Add 1000 ore.
Preserve trigger.

CONDITION
Current Player accumulates at most 500 gas.
ACTIONS
Modify resources for Current Player: Add 1000 gas.
Preserve trigger.
Everything else like unit creation and attack triggers (etc.) can technically stay in the "Forces" group, though I would rather recommend using a second computer player for that kind of purpose. For example, you can use instead a "Set All Units On Random Suicide Missions" with a "Preserve Trigger" for this secondary AI. As soon as you create now units via trigger, they attack with precision until they are dead.

/edit²
Found another little thing:
LARSSON
Seems fair. You are in, Mr. Schezar
Between "." and "You" is one spacebar point too much.

/edit³
Another thing: No big time locations over the Main Hive Cluster / Command Center / Nexus for the main script. Use simply 4x4 locations just around the main building. In mission 1, it's not good that two main buildings contained in one script location. For 'Area Town' scripts you can expand the location at pleasure.

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Re: New Starcraft Campaign: Tales of Halcyon

Post by Arkanis » Sun May 10, 2020 9:18 am

@Andrea Rosa

I can confirm that the Drones in Mission 1 become idle when the first Hatchery is destroyed. They'll still collect whatever resources they may be gathering at the time of the Hatchery's destruction, but once delivered to the Hive they will just sit there doing nothing.

Plus, this only happens with THAT Hatchery. I tried killing the uppermost one first, and even the one within the main base (not the Hive, but the Hatchery next to the Extractor), both in the same and in different runs, and everything worked fine. I even tried saving and loading the game again, and it's the same. The bug only happens when you destroy that specific Hatchery (located at X: 768, Y: 1392), it doesn't matter whether you destroy it first or later on.

EDIT: I tried removing the Hatchery and replacing it with a new one, yet the problem persists. There's something up with that Hatchery in that location that the AI doesn't like.

EDIT 2: Incidentally, though, I found there is one trigger for a "Larsson Transmission" when you bring Larsson close to the Sunken Colonies past the bridge and Switch 4 is cleared (it is set once the Colonies are destroyed). I've never seen this trigger in action while in-game. I fear this will only trigger when Larsson is in Siege Mode in that location, not in Tank Mode. I'm not sure whether you had intended for this to play only when Larsson is purposedly set in Siege Mode in that location (something which may happen or not).

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Re: New Starcraft Campaign: Tales of Halcyon

Post by Andrea Rosa » Mon May 11, 2020 1:34 pm

Arkanis wrote:
Sun May 10, 2020 9:18 am
EDIT 2: Incidentally, though, I found there is one trigger for a "Larsson Transmission" when you bring Larsson close to the Sunken Colonies past the bridge and Switch 4 is cleared (it is set once the Colonies are destroyed). I've never seen this trigger in action while in-game. I fear this will only trigger when Larsson is in Siege Mode in that location, not in Tank Mode. I'm not sure whether you had intended for this to play only when Larsson is purposedly set in Siege Mode in that location (something which may happen or not).

Yes, that trigger is intended to fire only if Larsson goes into siege mode in that particular location, and if the Sunken Colonies are still present when this happens.
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Re: New Starcraft Campaign: Tales of Halcyon

Post by Andrea Rosa » Mon May 11, 2020 1:37 pm

UPDATE


ALL MISSIONS

- The campaign has been rebranded as "Veteran Level"
- Auto-centering function for "End of Briefing" (mainly for those who have StarCraft Remastered).


MISSION 1 "DEUS EX MACHINA"

- New sound effect in mission briefing.
- New triggered attacks.


MISSION 2 "BAD MOON RISING"

- New triggered attacks.


MISSION 3 "UNNATURAL SELECTION"

- The available resources have been slightly increased.


MISSION 4 "THE STAND"

- Bunkers have +1 armor.
- The Player's starting amount of minerals has been reduced from 1600 to 1500.
- Minimal changes to the map.


MISSION 5 "TURNING THE TIDE"

- The cost of Nuclear Missiles has been cut in half (100 minerals, 100 gas). This change does not apply to the final mission.
- Marcus Jenkins' Hit Points have been increased from 180 to 250.
- The available resources have been slightly increased.


MISSION 6 "ORBITAL DELIRIUM"

- The available resources have been slightly increased.
- The "Thank You" text is now yellow colored
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Re: New Starcraft Campaign: Tales of Halcyon

Post by chris » Tue May 12, 2020 12:27 am

Updated the files on the spreadsheet.
Also updated the scores:
gameplay: 55% to 70% (this is largely because of the changes in the 5th mission which have fixed one of the biggest problems with this campaign)
plot map relation: 75% to 80% (again, because of the mission 5 changes)
production value: 55% to 65%

Overall score is now 73% instead of 70%

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Re: New Starcraft Campaign: Tales of Halcyon

Post by Andrea Rosa » Wed May 13, 2020 5:11 pm

Sorry Eredalis, I had missed your latest post.

Eredalis wrote:
Sun May 10, 2020 8:48 am
If you want to avoid freezing SCV's/Drones/Probes, then you make sure to NOT ONLY use the 'Zerg Campaign Easy' script. Use it in combination with 1 or 2 'Zerg Area Town' scripts and all is well. I suppose the reason for this bug is hard-coded, so you will never find another solution for that problem.

In the very first version of ToH (2015) there were actually two Zerg Area Town scripts. Unfortunately, they generated a host of different problems: the main problem was that sometimes the Red Zerg kept sending drones attempting to rebuild the destroyed Hatcheries, completely stopping to do anything else. Since this did not happen in every game, it went totally unnoticed during early testing, and was fixed three years later (see my post on the second page, October 11 2018).

As for the other changes you have suggested (better organized Forces, smaller locations for AIs, etc) I figured them out by myself and are already present in this update, with the exception of the triggers used by a Force instead of a computer player. In any case they don't cause problems because they are organized that way only in the first three missions, and in those maps the Forces are made by a single computer player. In missions 5 and 6 some Forces contain multiple computer players, so I have used clean definitions.

Thanks anyway mate.
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Re: New Starcraft Campaign: Tales of Halcyon

Post by chris » Wed May 13, 2020 10:14 pm

Eredalis wrote:
Sun May 10, 2020 8:48 am
If you want to avoid freezing SCV's/Drones/Probes, then you make sure to NOT ONLY use the 'Zerg Campaign Easy' script. Use it in combination with 1 or 2 'Zerg Area Town' scripts and all is well. I suppose the reason for this bug is hard-coded, so you will never find another solution for that problem.
Well eredalis.... There is actually one last solution. Customizing the AI. But yeah, that's top level modding and I don't expect that Andrea will do that. Still, it's worth mentioning.

While it's an annoying bug, I haven't really noticed it at all while playing and it's unlikely that other players will.

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