The Battle for Wesnoth 1.8.4

August 12th, 2010 by Crusader

Version 1.8.4 of The Battle for Wesnoth, the lauded open source fantasy-themed turn-based strategy game, was released:

  • Campaigns:
    • Delfadors Memoirs:
      • Make Lionel’s portrait in Delfador’s Memoirs story screens the same as his unit portrait since there doesn’t seem to be a current higher-res version available
    • Descent into Darkness:
      • Made ‘Alone at Last’ slightly easier. Also, Dela is no longer invulnerable but cannot be assassinated easily.
    • Legend of Wesmere:
      • Removed gold overlay when defeating both leaders
      • Reduced the difficulty of scenario 14 and improved the AI of the ally.
    • Liberty:
      • Increased the difficulty in ‘Glory’ by making the defenders behave more intelligently.
  • Language and i18n:
    • Updated translations: Chinese (Simplified), Galician, Japanese, Serbian, Vietnamese.

Also, I stumbled across this essay at Gameology concerning the user-made Flight to Freedom campaign, which uses it to examine the social messages in fantasy games and fiction:

The second, more difficult shift requires that the player choose not to explore and conquer the entire map. The second shift in thinking is the true “line of flight” for the Drake war machine, because exploration and conquest are basic components of Wesnoth and the entire genre of strategy gaming. Deterritorializing strategy gaming in this way necessarily throws the other conventions of the genre into question. The ludological feeds back into the narrative, giving new meaning to the game text in which Malakar claims that the Dwarves are not his people’s enemies and that the Drakes should only fight them where necessary.

As a result, “River of Skulls” raises the question of whether we, as players, should take pride in wiping out the enemy in any videogame. This question of in-game violence, usually raised only by the mainstrean media and only in terms of graphic 3-d violence, is a nonstarter with most gamers. The common response is “it’s just a game.” And it is just a game, but I am far from the first to suggest that we are trying to have our cake and eat it too: if nothing one does in a game matters outside the game, then games cannot be meaningful or useful in any way; but if games can be meaningful, their meaning can be objectionable.

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