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The Shadow Stone

Author File Description
File Details
Ruleset: AoW2: TWT - TS Standard Rules
Map Size: M
Levels: 2
Single Player?: Yes
Co-Op vs. AI?: No
PBEM/Hotseat?: Yes
Multiplayer Online?: Yes
# of Wizards: 3
# of players: 2
Skill Level: Advanced
Password Protected: No
Cybele, the Great Mother holds and protects her children, nutures them, provides for their needs. In return, her children will go to any lengths to make sure her image is unmarred, and that her relics remain untouched by unclean hands. Her most valuable relic is a black stone set in a ring, the Shadow Stone, they covet it, worship it, and will go to any length to make sure it stays safe, for Cybele has told them that it is more important than they can imagine.

However, word has spread of this strange stone and two wandering races have appeared near the dark caves that Cybele's folowers reside in. Through their magic arts, they have been able to look closly at the Shadow Stone and they can see it for what it is and they want it for themselves.

This is the first co-op map to be made by The Wizards Of Creation - the guild for elite mapmakers. Feel free to visit our website (links can be found in the link section).

Below are the people who created this map. (Thanks to all at the WOC who commented on this map)

Layout and scenery - Damon Rellik
Heros and items - Magog
Storyline and unit placement - Mr Pickles
Events and finishing touches - JamieJME
AuthorReviews   ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )
Map Design4.0
I played this as a single player rather than a co-op, and enjoyed it very much. There are only two playable options but they seem fairly well balanced as far as acess to resources and such although in such a way that they don't seem identical. Very good job with that!

The computer player has a some substantial advantages in regards to starting units and resources, of course. But, goodness, would the game be any fun (or any challenge) if it didn't? ;-)

The map is creative without being cluttered. The towns and resources are well spaced, and there are also some suprising graphical enhancements that look great (the entrance to the bad gal's lair).

The storyline is fairly spare, and I didn't encounter a lot of events to help it along, but it's certainly sufficient in regards to giving the player a sense of what they need to do and why. It is also well written.

Quite a fun map, which I could not (and did not) stop playing until I had the "Shadow Stone." Thank you to all the contributers.

P.S. Is there supposed to be an event triggered by bringing the stone to the sacred spot? I brought it there with a heroine, but nothing happened...does the wizard have to perform the deed? Or is that part of the story simply mind candy?
Map Design5.0
Playability: 3
A map for advanced single players. Might get a little frustrating when one is not used to all the little tricks you need to win. Very much fun playing co-op against AI.

Balance: 4
The balance for the two human possible players is fair.

Creativity: 5
Customized items, heroes and wizards. Going well along with the story. Not too much, but fits perfectly into gameplay.

Map Design: 5
No question, this is one of the highlights. Really pretty landscape all over the map.

Story/Instructions: 4
Not too much story, but enough to give the player the right feeling about the background story. Well done !

Additional Comments:
Hope we get more of this from the WOC folks. High quality, fun to play and last but not least everytime something new to discover... (for my own mapmaking ;) )
Map Design5.0
Playability: 5
Nice and fun to play as SP. Challenging but winnable on the hardest setting.

Balance: 5
I only played the map once, however looking in the editor, it looked that the sides were very balenced.

Creativity: 5
A nice layout with some of the TC items used. Custom heros and items as well as wizard discriptions. Also some good events.

Map Design: 5
Lots of different terrain all looking very good.

Story/Instructions: 4
A nice story at the begining, however it trails a bitoff after the begining. It would be nice to see it carry all the way through as well as maybe give us some background on the shadow stone itself!

Additional Comments: A great map to play. Well done wizards of creation

[Edited on 07/19/03 @ 11:36 AM]

Roger the Rampant
Map Design4.0
*hopes that this will correct the scoring*
Map Design4.0
Playability: 3
(Insert Playability analysis here)

Balance: 3
(Insert Balance analysis here)

Creativity: 4
(Insert Creativity analysis here)

Map Design: 4
(Insert Map Design analysis here)

Story/Instructions: 1
(Insert Story/Instructions analysis here)

Additional Comments:What a waste of time!

First of all, the adventure map is average at best; aside from three locations, there’s nothing special about it.

I played the map at Emperor difficulty: I admit I don’t play multi, but I have no problems with beating the AI at the hardest level.

However, the beginning was frustrating. The computer opponent had a great advantage and the hardest part of the plot was surviving its initial attacks and keeping your heroes. I promise you epic sieges and some save-and-load. Needless to say, I had to restart my poor computer after those – but it was worth it. That’s the good news. The bad news is the rest of the map is a drag. There are dozens of cities to capture, many of them with towers. It’s my fault, since I was a great Heroes of Might and Magic fan ( so sue me! ) and played it Heroes style. How? Form a party or two of uberheroes and supporting units and kill everything that moves, while defending your cities. Heh, I should have known better but what the heck. Also, I should have gone for Archons instead of Humans since my opponent was, as it were, “evil”.

Anyway, by then I had several uberheroes and explored the underground. I easily found my enemy and saw that the wizard had the Shadow Stone, the artifact I had to find. Now, is it just my version of the game…? When I kill the wizard she went to the void with all her artifacts, including the bloody stone. I remember this problem in AoW 1, but I think there was a patch later on. So, what else was I suppose to do but hunt down the enemy wizard and force her into the void again and again. Eventually, the computer had no towers left and lost the game.

What about the Shadow Stone, and the Guardian, and the portal? I have no idea (and I don’t care anymore). There were no hints, events, story… Bah.

There were some additional features, even cool mapmaking tricks. Nevertheless, there were flaws as well. My female wizard roared like an angry Orc, a Hafling city had no name, the diplomacy was weird and changing against any logic and my (mis)deeds…

The map got excellent reviews, so I thought I should throw my two cents. To sum it up, it was a week of my life that cannot be regained.

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Map Design4.4
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