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Athendore II

Author File Description
Queen Elquein
File Details
Ruleset: AoW2: TWT - TS Standard Rules
Map Size: XL
Levels: 2
Single Player?: Yes
Co-Op vs. AI?: Yes
PBEM/Hotseat?: Yes
Multiplayer Online?: Yes
# of Wizards: 8
# of players: 5
Skill Level: Advanced
Password Protected: No
What is Athendore, you ask. Well, those who are familiar with my map Athendore for the good old AoW, will know what to expect from this sequel. But for those unfortunate people who either don't have AoW, or have AoW and for some weird reason haven't downloaded Athendore...this is what you can expect.

The map is gigantic in every possible way, and the computer controlled players (elves, dwarves and archons) will most likely give you a royal butt kicking unless you know how to play this game well enough. Now what is well enough...that's up to you to decide.

Every hero and item are custom made, and there are several hundred of both of them. Lot of signs all over the map, and quite a few events as well.

This map is prefect for long co-op pbem or hotseat games against the AI. Because of it's huge size, this map is not best for online games, although if your and your friends computers are powerful enough, then by all means, play it online.

And here is the story...



-History of Athendore-
Taken from the book "Athendore, Heaven or Hell?"
By Jadral Bilgor



(Part 1 written by Bluecollarheaven)


Part 1

Long, long ago, at the end of the Golden Age of the Immortals when Gods and Descendants of the Mortal Races walked together in the Lands of Athendore, the Eldriens were the favorites of the Gods. They were the last to be created after the Humans, and thus were made flawless. They were like the gods for they were creative and knew of all things under the stars.

But as with things perfect and favored, the Race of the Eldriens soon became arrogant and made themselves Overlord over the other Races. The First of the Eldriens, Darcel Zau'ch even dared to go against the Creators themselves and challanged them. He seduced a great number of women of other races, and many detestable creatures, were brought forth from these forbidden reunions. His younger brother, Eziar, stole the Fruit of Fertility and the Eldriens soon had many children amongst themselves.

Because they were perfect, children were born knowing the world around them, and had formidable power even though they were still infants. In a matter of a few years, these young Eldriens grew to adulthood and gained knowledge of their parents. They formulated new power and soon were able to take the minds of other if they so wished.

Choas reigned the world. And all the Races were driven to the brink of extinction as the Eldriens continued to expand and increase in power and number.

The Creator Gods of Athendore, Kobos (Lord of the Earth), Thunderust (Lord of the Storms) and Lorrien (Lady of Reefs), were outraged by the rebellion of their perfect race. And thus they cursed the Eldriens and rained down their terrible anger on the Proud Race. Within a day, the Great City of the Eldriens fell into rubble. Disease, horrifying and disfiguring, broke out amongst the Rebellous Race. Overnight, They Who Were Perfect became They Who Were Inflicted.

Darcel Zau'ch was the worst of the Inflicted Ones. For his flesh, melted and seeped into the ground. Even his eyes fell from his face. In his pain, he cried out to the Gods.

None of the gods would heed his cry. None except one. Alas! Orgun, the Scarred God, who bore some hatred for his immortal brothers for severely punishing him when he created the violent race of Orcs. He heard the cry of the Eldrien First Man, and went to him in the shape of a mighty Black Vulture.

When the other Immortals saw him swoop down on the Eldriens, they thought that the race of Eldriens were finally annihlated and their wrath ceased. And no Eldrien body was ever retrieved, buried or found.

Orgun took all of them to his secret home beyond the Black Stars and hid them from the rest of the universe.

For many hundreds of generations, the scarred god kept these people and daily, they hungered for the blood of those who still walked the earth under the favor of their creators. But there was hope for these corrupted beings. For Orgun's horrible and violent creation, the Orcs were allowed to live among the Fair races. Then there was the ever zealous, desert worshippers of the self made Skull God who kept themselves away from the rest of civilisation. Orgun, thus realised a plan and fused himself into an idol of the non-existent Skull God. Through the idol, he spoke to them and taught them to worship him. Those who were wise enough to see through it all and realise what was really conspiring, were taken away, sacrificially killed in ceremonious occassions or locked away in a dark dungeon for the rest of their lives.

Part 2

A great war break out. Orgun saw his chance, and released his wrath upon the unsuspecting people of Athendore. Several armies of his followers were ready to kill everyone who would stand against Orgun. And that they did.
One after another were killed. And for a long time, it seemed that there was no stopping them, and Athendore would fall under their might.

But the remaining free races of Athendore, Elves, Halflings, Dwarves, Humans and Frostlings, combined whatever forces they had, and raised to oppose Orgun's Champions. The losses were great. Never had the lands of Athendore seen so many bodies, so many innocent people dead, who only sought to defend their homes, their freedom and families.

But the will to win was even greater than the losses they suffered. Even when severly outnumbered, they did what many thought would be impossible, and defeated anything and everything Orgun had. And in the end, they banished Orgun's Spirit from the mortal plains...or so they thought.

Then there was calm. No more fighting, no more suffering. Many thought that they could once again live their lives in peace, like they did before. But that was not the case. As soon as Orgun's forces had been defeated, the Elves, Dwarves and Halflings came to the conclusion that such war should never happen again. And it did not take long for them to find a way to prevent it from happening.

They gathered whatever forces they had and drove everyone off Athendore. Even Humans and Frostlings who had been fighting side by side with them against Orgun's forces.

A council was created by the Elves, Dwarves and Halflings. And the first thing it decided, was to summon more allies to secure the peace the land now had. And thus, the Archons came to Athendore. These haughty and proud people were the perfect allies. They would never allow such evil to rise again.

But fools they were, thinking that peace could be achieved in a way they tought it could be. The only thing they created, was bitter feelings amongst the banished people. Hatred, betrayal, revenge, arrogance.... Just like in the beginning.
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AuthorComments & Reviews   ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )
Steubeny
Rating
2.2
Breakdown
Playability1.0
Balance1.0
Creativity4.0
Map Design2.0
Story/Instructions3.0
Playability: 1
(Could have been a terrific experience but falls far short)

Balance: 1
(Absolutely hammered by AI)

Creativity: 4
(Can't argue with your ability to make a beautiful map )

Map Design: 2
(Just far too large)

Story/Instructions: 3
(Found them sufficient)

Additional Comments:
This could have been the best map we have ever played & have been playing AoW/AoWII from the get go. Unfortunely the author turned it into an ego trip.
cycl0ps Well Oidar thats an assumption or two that have no validity. In reviewing a map I try to remain objective and positive especially since people have put a lot of unpaid activity into their development. Second it is nothing about 'getting your butt kicked' but the look and feel of the game. Major questions here are :-
how many turns does it take?
Is it frustrating or fun?
What are the rewards like?
Answers it takes too long extremely frustrating especially when opponents have every spell in the book and cast them life mastery and poison domain within the first 20 turns meaning that the only real prospect is too destroy the power ups and the only reward worth having in the early part of the game is dominate held by the undead hero in the enclosed area underground - course you either have to get a tunneler of some description or let the undead do it for you.
Answer to this game long haul are air galleys sphinx's if you can get them and spirit of war for everything destroy the crap order one . Grab yourself some druids as soon as you get dominate anything down where the wolves are on the totally ridiculous berry tree in the bottom left. What exactly it's for is anybodies guess . Should beat it on emperor but it might take a couple of hundred turns.
For a shorter game as humans with the editor knock the external power of the dwarfs down to 1 (that gets rid of the poison domain stuff) set initial funds to around 2000 for humans have a nearbye air galley seeking refuge and change the town the orc warlord is protecting to tigrams rather than orcs. This at least allows a jump start on expansion and the odd sphinx or two. The game becomes emminently more playable. I ended up with hundreds of chariots and I didn't build any of them in both games (modified and original)stupid AI kept sending swarms of the things in attack so entangle and dominate the lot. Oh and since the map don't do you any favours destroy the teleporter and its twin towards the top of the screen in the lower level left side that makes the elves come harder routes and reduces how many required to be fought early on wonderful things air galleys and the odd knight or two.
There you go I've even told you how to beat it on emperor. Most of the stacks can be knocked out by an initial purge of anything flying or missile related then letting the galleys mop up. No point in spending too much time on magic here you get fireball geyser and vengeful vapour from the local magic vaults so casting specialist etc are the only ones worth doing. That's basically the problem it's not about knowing how to play the game it's the complete distortion of it. Reminds me of some of the campaign scenarios which render much of the functionality useless.

Queen Elquein
File Author
It is obvious that you, my dear, do not enjoy this map. So why not forget it then? If some people like it, then you should also accept that. Do not take all this too seriously. My map is made for those who enjoyed my maps for AoW. There are many less challenging maps out there that you will surely enjoy. So stop wasting your own time with my map, and go play those, and enjoy the game. :)

And for the little darling who thinks I turned this map into an egotrip...please, try and be more constructive. I have only continued making maps that I personally enjoy making, for people who enjoy playing them. And yes,believe it or not, there are plenty of those, who love this map, and enjoy playing it, even if they happen to lose.

But this is the curse of map making. It is impossible to make a map that would please even half of the community. When I begun to make maps for AoW, long ago, I tried to do that, to make maps that would be perfect for everyone. Heh...that was not possible. So now, I make maps that inspire me. I apologise, if my maps only frustrate you, and make you angry and irritated.

If I make maps in the future, you people better stay away from my maps then, eh darlings? ;)
Lena Elvar
Rating
5.0
Breakdown
Playability5.0
Balance5.0
Creativity5.0
Map Design5.0
Story/Instructions5.0
Playability: 4
I had much fun with this map. The places all over this map were great, and had obviously been done with great care. I really had fun exploring the places on this map. ANd I think I still have not seen it all.

Balance: 5
It is clear that the computer players are supposed to be lot stronger than the human players. Even as it took me 4 tries to beat this map, I think that every race has equal chances to win this map. It was much easier when my friend was playing this with me in the Hotseat mode.

Creativity: 5
The use of terrain is the best I have seen for this game so far. There are some pretty surprising looking places. And most places look very natural. Well as natural as a computer game can look like.

Map Design: 5
Not sure how this differs from creativity, but this map is just plain beautiful and detailed everywhere.

Story/Instructions: 5
I loved the story, what more can I say. Many maps seem to be missing a good story.

Additional Comments:
I really liked the map Athendore, and even as this map wasn't as good as that was, this is still simply a great map. I am not bothered by the difficulty, as I can have fun even if I do not win. I'm a big fan of very large maps, and hope there will be more maps like this. There were few errors on this map, but nothing critical.
Lucky Strike
Rating
4.4
Breakdown
Playability4.0
Balance4.0
Creativity5.0
Map Design5.0
Story/Instructions4.0
Playability: 4
A very playable map. The only detraction being the extra long AI turns in the mid-late game. I like to read a page or two between turns, so I don't mind : )

Balance: 4
Not all of the starting races that a human can play are of equal power. You might want to be familiar with what each race starts with when playing multi-player, so each human is roughly equal.

Creativity: 5
A very very fun map with lot's of neat events. It feels like a role-playing game.

Map Design: 5
Simply put, it's gorgeous! The one issue I have is that road building underground is severely limited in some areas due to the terrain.

Story/Instructions: 4
Meh, the story was better than most. I don't really care about the story that much in these types of games anyhow.

Additional Comments:
This is easily the best custom map for AoW2 I've ever played! Like the author said, this is not a map for beginners. For those of you (like me) who a tired of the late game consisting of mop up drudgery, this is the map for you. It is quite difficult from beginning to end.
Lord Vito
Rating
1.0
Breakdown
Playability1.0
Balance1.0
Creativity1.0
Map Design1.0
Story/Instructions1.0
Playability: 1
Fun until turn 40.

Balance: 1
No balance to speak of.

Creativity: 1
To many blank signs.

Map Design: 1
First map I've ever seen with to much stuff.

Story/Instructions: 1
Story makes no sense and seems pointless.

Additional Comments:
Map was okay, not the best by far.
Arcana
Rating
4.0
Breakdown
Playability3.0
Balance2.0
Creativity5.0
Map Design5.0
Story/Instructions5.0
Playability: 3
A time-consuming scenario with challenges that will be fatally overwhelming to casual players.

Balance: 2
The A.I. only wizards start with tremendous advantages. It might be a scenario best left alone by impatient non-experts.

Creativity: 5
A very complex, rich, and sophisticaed work of imaginative genius!

Map Design: 5
Inspect the map in the editor and you shall contemplate its vast, exquisite, and twisted beauty.

Story/Instructions: 5
This coruscant scenario displays a deep and complex creative genius, somewhat intoxicated by the arcane intuitions of Darkness.

Additional Comments:

Why does the agregate score for map design indicate 0: a compilation bug?

[Edited on 01/08/03 @ 01:44 PM]

osho
Rating
2.8
Breakdown
Playability1.0
Balance2.0
Creativity4.0
Map Design3.0
Story/Instructions4.0
Playability: 1
long turns leads to levels of annoyance previously unknown to mankind. Sadly i dont hate myself enough to put myself through completing this map.

Balance: 2
goes beyond impossible this is not challenging but lunacy.

Creativity: 4
has good ideas with some imaginitive events

Map Design: 3
surface looks nice but what could be a beautiful underground has been savagly defaced so the underground no longer looks like the underground

Story/Instructions: 4
very good beginning story but trails off as it has not been sustained through the use events

Additional Comments:large amount of potential as map looks nice but spoilt due to extremly long turn times.
geuskens
Rating
4.8
Breakdown
Playability5.0
Balance5.0
Creativity5.0
Map Design5.0
Story/Instructions4.0
Playability:
GREAT! I really do like a co-op game with my friends on this map. You just cannot mess with each other, you have to work together. (especially this steamtanks
coming your way, lovely).
People who lose this map should consider playing more than one race. Do not play the undead, except as a major challenge. The humans are Ok to play with if you play this map the first time, but it is also not a bad idea to let the AI play this one, because it will survive for a very long time. (And you can trade spells (geyser)). Build GOOD heroes, and consider playing 3rd/4th level units more than you are used to. The key to success in this map is in my opinion maintaining your empire (with cannons and real good units), casting spells like "call hero" and
building true super-heroes (level 30 I mean).
The dwarves, archons and elves start threatening you only at turn 50. (except if you are playing undead, which is for the very brave and skilled I guess).
So you have enough time to expand a little (not to far actually, because then you will be facing units you cannot handle) and build things like masterguilds (cannons, high production), all mana buildings (temple, shrine of magic etc), and you prepare your empire for very bad times. You can also invest in long term projects like "scholar", because the game is going to be long term anyway.


Balance: 5
Any computer AI is stupid. No one can help that. Writing AI is really difficult (not to say impossible). So, Elquein is right in helping the AI when he wants to make a real hard map. And it is hard. The designer of this map has given the dwarves, elves and archons a vast amount of resources. (check the upper right corner of the undergound in the map editor). Well done.

Creativity: 5
Good. I like the draconian embassy :)
love the halfling heaven underground :)

Map Design: 5
Good.


Story/Instructions: 4
I even don't play campaigns because I dislike the stories. Wanna fight! But this story seems to be Ok.
Friend of mine liked it.

Additional Comments:
To the designer: Respect.
the_second_stran
Rating
4.4
Breakdown
Playability4.0
Balance3.0
Creativity5.0
Map Design5.0
Story/Instructions5.0
Playability: 4

In the begining (I'll lose the James Earl Jones voice)...I have never posted anything at this heaven before and would like my name to be the_second_stranger (I couldn't even get "stranded" in)...but anyway, now that I've got that cleared up I'll pull up my britches and announce that I found this map compulsively playable. In fact, I have played it several times with various races and difficulty levels. It's quite hard, yes, but that is what makes it interesting and challenging enough to keep trying...although the constant stacks of Iron Maidens and Rune Masters brought me close to tears on more than one occasion. I have also found that I knew more cursewords than I previously had believed...this map could pass for a vocabulary building (or rebuilding) excercise. The impatient should note that turns (because of an wealthy,arrogant dwarf) can be prolonged affairs.

Balance: 3

The CPU has plenty of resources, particularly the minable kind, which it seems to use....I assume that "balance" does not refer to overall dificulty but whether the playable races more or less get an equal shot....Frostlings seem a little lost and lonely to me (poor cold things)as they don't have a lot of goodies (cities, mines, and such) close at hand, and the Undead have got quite a tough time of it as they must migrate enemy cities or raze them (this got me a bad reputation...or perhaps "worse" is the appropriate term ;-). On the other hand, each race has a unique surrounding landscape and story (except the coldies..) that makes them fun to play.

Creativity: 5

The map has quite a few custom items that don't unbalance the game (except the ones that the enemy has got, ehem...) as well as a viable storyline and plenty of interesting rascals, jibes, and little worlds (halflings like white lightening...small wonder they're so merry!) to make it an immersive experience. Bravo!

Map Design: 5

A big map with plenty of unique and aesthetically satisfying topography...before overland spells begin desolating it. In contrast to several other fine maps ("Battle of Creation" comes to mind)this map does not get so carried away with "strong currents" and other such irritants that A) my screen becomes a slow, murky morass of futile attempts at mouse movement, or B) I end up wondering what the mapmaker thought these particular features added to the player's experience. There are, though, more than a few empty signs (perhaps some inebriated halfing prankster has been carrying out a little vandalism?).

Story/Instructions: 5

A complete and well written storyline that avoids the high cheese language while still preserving a sense of fantasy and antiquity (did I just write that?). Perhaps a few more individualized messages and events would help to give the player a stronger sense of who each character is throughout the map, as well as something to do while he/she waits for the *****ed dwarf player to finish his turn :-P A few grammar and spelling errors might intermittently scandalize certain pedants...

Additional Comments:

I would encourage people who review maps not to confuse/confound all categories with difficulty level. This map is hard to be sure, but it also has plenty of detailed work and imaginative features that make it worth the loss of a lot of time and a little esteem. Thanks, your majesty.
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Rating
4.1
Breakdown
Playability3.8
Balance3.5
Creativity4.5
Map Design4.5
Story/Instructions4.3
Statistics
Downloads:8,876
Favorites: [Who?]2
Size:641.68 KB
Added:12/12/02
Updated:12/13/02