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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.
Pages: « First « 1 [2] 3 » Last »
AuthorReviews   ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )
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.
ZombieEater
Rating
4.4
Breakdown
Playability5.0
Balance3.0
Creativity5.0
Map Design5.0
Story/Instructions4.0
Playability: 5
You can choose 5 out of the 8 Wizards, and each will require a different strategy. You can have an easy start, with good expansion until the fighting starts, or you can have it tough from start to finsh.

Balance: 3
The AI has some sizable advantages in Spells, Gold, Mana, Cities, but it's still just our good ol' AoW2 AI.

Creativity: 5
Athendore II is taking advantage of a lot of design tricks. Great to look at, but will probably require some better than average horse-power under the hood of your PC to stay that nice later in the game.

Map Design: 5
Well designed, a lot of thought and energy has gone into this map. Some signs are missing inscriptions, everything else is very well done and polished to a shine.

Story/Instructions: 4
A great overall story, little bits and pieces on the map, but it seems to be less story driven later on. However, you'll be too busy playing the game to notice.

Additional Comments:
A map that's hard to play, but not hard on the eyes.
BlackRose
Rating
4.8
Breakdown
Playability5.0
Balance4.0
Creativity5.0
Map Design5.0
Story/Instructions5.0
Playability:5

Truly a brillant map and still my favourite even for AoW SM. Quite hard but why do all the work and make it easy?

Balance: 4
(Faboulous, one would expect the undead side to be difficult, but perhaps not the Frostlings... tough going for them.)

Creativity: 5
(What can you say, the story and the writing as well as the events are brilliantly set up.)

Map Design: 5
(Still one of the best if not the best!)

Story/Instructions: 5
(Again, very stylish, well written.)

Additional Comments:

I wish someone would update the file to fix the creativity setting, which has shown an average of 0 for monthes now, dont be mislead by the overall rating, its bugged!
inimene
Rating
4.8
Breakdown
Playability4.0
Balance5.0
Creativity5.0
Map Design5.0
Story/Instructions5.0
Playability: 5
long turns were annoying but i survived it by watching good tv show same time

Balance: 5
AL VERY hard! hardest i seen! WOOW i liked it! usually al so easy that i play about 50 turns and i consider myself winner goz i got too big armyes and hes got nothing

Creativity: 5
great

Map Design: 5
amazing exept few empty signs... but i never unerstand the places names anyway

Story/Instructions: 5
great

Additional Comments:
i played whit al emperor and althrou my wizard died once i had 2 black spiders qeens ready and took back the sameturn, so i was saved and didnt have to transfer my wizard into pointless castle whit 1 wiz tower, also when my best hero had dreadreapers army i was almost invincible:D
The_Stranger
Rating
4.6
Breakdown
Playability4.0
Balance4.0
Creativity5.0
Map Design5.0
Story/Instructions5.0
One of the traits of a great map is that the player can come back to it time and again and find something new to try. In this sense, Athendore II is a terrific map. It's excruciatingly hard, yes, in part because the computer players get big advantages. But this difficulty is a weclome change from the typical all-too-easy AOW II single player scenario.

Turns will become long, because of map size and resources. A player simply needs to expect this and decide if they want to play or not. Also, if getting jumped by nasty stacks of 3 and 4 level units disturbs you, then choose another scenario and don't take out your frustrations by slapping this one with a bad rating. It's meant to be hard.


The map is beautiful and full of little worlds to discover. There are very unique cities and spaces that give it a magical ambience. The strong storyline drops off a bit after the first several turns, mainly because the competing players must develop their own as the game wears on (and it will be a long one). The author, in a sense, relinquishes control to the player, and I think that's a good thing. There are still plenty of signs and cities and strange, quirky spots that remind the player of the world they are playing in.

Each race has a reasonable chance, although some have it easier (or less hard) than others. The Frostlings seem to have a sparser set of resources to start with, and the Dark Elves are usually the first cpu eliminated. On the whole, though, the human player can suceed with any of these groups. What I like is that the author hasn't just cut and pasted resources so that every one's start mirrors everyone elses'. Every player has a different beggining, but no one is extremely disadvantaged (in relation to the other non cpu only players, at least ;-)

In summary, be prepared for a long and varied challenge if you choose this map. I'm glad I did...again...and again....and...

I wish the author would make another for SM.
Arsiel
Rating
4.6
Breakdown
Playability5.0
Balance4.0
Creativity5.0
Map Design5.0
Story/Instructions4.0
Playability: 5
Fun and hard map to play, I still return to this map when waiting on a new one to come along.
Balance: 4
Some of the playable races like the frostling and human are a bit harder to play.

Creativity: 5
WOW
Map Design: 5
Again what can I say, I love this map.

Story/Instructions: 4
Some of the quests are difficult to understand or to accomplish like terror/grimshaw.

Additional Comments:
Der_Zorn_Gottes
Rating
4.2
Breakdown
Playability5.0
Balance2.0
Creativity5.0
Map Design5.0
Story/Instructions4.0
Playability: 5
Very challenging map. Took me 3 restarts untill I figured out how to survive. I really liked the challenge

Balance: 2
Very unbalanced, obviously. I ain`t even speaking of the CPU-position, but about the playable wizards. The humans can expand very fast and save, while the frostlings just suffer throughout the game. They are also often the first to be attacked. That doesn`t really matter in SP though.

Creativity: 5

The scenario (beating the odds)is not very original, but the map itself is awesome. It never repats itself, and that on XL-scale

Map Design: 5

The only word I can find is beautiful. Just a really god map, I enjoyed exploring it enormously
One small negative point are the many empty sings.

Story/Instructions: 4

OK, there is not so much story going on, but this map emphasises more on exploring than on story. And the land you explore is explained very nicely with so many signs (every empty one hurts).


Additional Comments:

I played all 5 wizards, and I would suggest that to others as well. You have much less time waiting, and even 5 vs 3, the enemies are overwhelmingly stronger than you. The greatest problem is the domain thing. When you lose your first hero to a holy storm / lighting storm you will know what I mean.
However, once you managed to put your domain up (probably the human wizard will do that), you are on the path to victory (having domain almost everywhere, with healing water, fire domain and domain of damnation...)
bluecheese
Rating
4.6
Breakdown
Playability4.0
Balance4.0
Creativity5.0
Map Design5.0
Story/Instructions5.0
Playability: 4
+Highly challenging
+Action packed!
+/-XL map and overwhelming CPU = a very very long game
-Long waiting times
-overwhelming CPU forces you to abuse AI stupidity
-temptation to save/load a lot

Balance: 4
The playable races seem reasonably balanced. But I must admit luck plays a larger role when you're always so badly outbumbered. I find undead to be slightly harder to play. I haven't had time to try humans or frostlings yet but I found Dark Elves to be easier than Orcs.

Creativity: 5
It's very creative in terms of being insanely challenging. Otherwise, it's just another conquer the world map. I also like all those suprises on the map.

Map Design: 5
The author obviously invested a lot of time making this map pretty. And it really really shows. Aside from a few empty signs, this is hands-down the most intricately designed map I've ever played.

Story/Instructions: 5
I'm no mythology or literature expert, but it seems the creator integrated a lot of ideas into the map, from a book.

Additional Comments:
Wow! First off, I love challenging maps. This is probably the most challenging map I've ever played. But it's definitely beatable. I played with CPU Emperor each time and did fine. It just took a long time to switch from building defensive to offensive.

Those who claim this map is impossible clearly doesn't understand the strategy behind this game. The basic strategy for this map when starting is not to fight with brute force when you are so badly outnumbered. Make sure in each battle your opponent loses more. Otherwise, just don't fight. And seige weapons for defense are an absolute must. You can defend against almost anything with a party of cannons in your city with a wall. Even balistaes will ensure a few kills.

Don't think you lose the game just because you lose a city. I lost cities about a billion times throughout the game.

Great map. Hopefully the author will continue to make maps like these

[Edited on 08/12/05 @ 11:52 PM]

naeco
Rating
5.0
Breakdown
Playability5.0
Balance5.0
Creativity5.0
Map Design5.0
Story/Instructions5.0
Playability: 5
This is a huge map. Tons of structures and units. The map was designed for AOW2 but I played with AOW:SM and it still ram a lot my PC ressource.

Balance: 5
Playable at every race except the good alliance.
The map gives players great challenge and it should be ! I was having fun defending myself for the first 200 turns. Beating stacks of lv4 of the enemy is a great fun !
It's a very pity that the mapmaker no longer contribute such work to AoW community.
And it's a shame that people give bad note to the map because of its difficulty.

Creativity: 5
Amazing idea of making this scenario ! Thumbs up !

Map Design: 5
There're not a lot of XL maps out there and this one is unique ! Designing an XL map with such detail is a great work of the map maker!

Story/Instructions: 5
Great story !
There's empty description of heroes and empty signs but no big deal. Marvelous !

[Edited on 11/18/06 @ 12:34 AM]

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Rating
4.1
Breakdown
Playability3.8
Balance3.5
Creativity4.5
Map Design4.5
Story/Instructions4.3
Statistics
Downloads:8,926
Favorites: [Who?]2
Size:641.68 KB
Added:12/12/02
Updated:12/13/02