Travel to Old Dracos Isle
Well the WOC map making contest is over so here's my entry. Thank you for your interest and I hope you enjoy it!
||AoW2: TWT - TS Standard Rules
|Co-Op vs. AI?:
|# of Wizards:
|# of players:
Travel to Old Dracos Isle is a multiplayer scenario for up to three players. It can be played as a single player with the computer opponents set at emperor level as should also be if playing with only two human players. The scenario plays upon a small map and contains a story line as well as events. The sphere of the wizard player Anon was purposely changed to the sphere of water for reasons of both strategic and tactical gameplay plus also storyline. Finally the use of CALL HERO SPELL is not allowed. The spell may call forth the hero " YMBRIA " which already has a position on the map...so again
NO CALL HERO SPELL ALLOWED.
The Archons (Anon) are not allowed to conquer the Halfling city of Homm unless to liberate it. (Of course if the computer is playing Anon, that can't be helped.) The Archons being of Pure Good Alignment should not be attacking another city owned by a race of good alignment. In addition, this plays into the overall strategy of the game.
IMPORTANT NOTE FOR THOSE PLAYING AGAINST OTHER HUMAN PLAYERS...
(And of course this still would apply for single players also.)
If you are playing against one or two other human players, the first one to "CLOSE THE RIFT" (there is only one) gains the potential "ULTIMATE WIN" status. What this means is that if you defeat whoever your two or one human opponent(s) may be and were NOT the first to close the rift you win the scenario as a standard victory. However if you were the first and then defeated your opponents afterwards then you win the scenario as an ultimate victory thus "ULTIMATE WIN". So for those who are on the verge of defeat you can have a last act for defiance and can make way to attempt to "CLOSE THE RIFT" (if it has not been closed already) and keep your opponent(s) from an ultimate victory. In case you are wondering when the rift has been closed and by whom, the "Spirt of the Island" will have spoken about it and to all... have fun!
Now for those who like storylines...
At first a bright and intense glow then a thundering and echoing boom, this was the description given by those of Old Dracos Isle. Uncertain of it's source except somewhere near the center of the island's crater, the nature of it still remains unexplained. Some speculate that it was caused from a magical experiment that had gone wrong while an insane few believe it's the Isle itself seeking vengenace upon its inhabitants.
What is known is that Old Dracos Isle is a small desert island that was formed by an ancient volcano or possibly by an ancient impact crater from a falling star. This later description of course comes from the same insane few mentioned earlier. Whatever the case, the Isle has been known for its occasional find of gold as well as its numerous caves along with a few reports of bizarre storms and creatures.
As it stands now, the oldest inhabitants are the Halflings of Homm where they made their home along a spring fed river coming from the crater's rim. Archons exist on the island as well as do the Orcs in the Northeast and Humans in the West. The newest inhabitants to the island are the Tigrans who have been secretly expanding in the Northwest among other things.
One other comment that can be said about the island is its name. Ancient text tells about an island that was populated by dragons long time ago and that the island possess great sources of power. Past scholars suggested that the power came from the island's crater which contained rare and unusual elements and that the dragons were the gaurdians of it. Over time the dragons disappeared or died out and eventually many millenniums later the island was discovered by Halflings and thus settled. Of course this is only legend but since the recent "Great Boom" on the island a few are beginning to think otherwise.
|Author||Reviews ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )|
So what the heck is the "Ultimate Win Concept" you may ask?... Well having spotting it listed in the scenario's introduction, I said to myself, "Hmmmmm... for a multiplayer game, this just might be a really interesting twist. So since this past week I got a couple of buddies to play and can now tell ya, the tail is wagging! :) Please do read on...
Please also note that with this being a "multiplayer" scenario, the following scores are reflective from that perspective. However and without doubt, you could easily play this in single player mode but man were the tensions high as to see what the other human players would do...go for the standard victory or the ultimate win!
This map is very much playable from beginning to end. It was both highly fun to play while also being very interesting. (Great storylines for all and as well as for each player.) With three different players to choose from and with each their own "reasons for being there", the replayability factor is great! Also in addition to this and mainly because of the "choice" for either a "standard win" (to conquer the other players) or an "ultimate win" (to conquer and "close the rift"), this map provides for some really interesting and continuing gameplay. The map plays excitingly quick and depending on the tactics as well as the decision of whether to "close the rift", the game plays long enough for a good "aftergame talking, bs-ing and of course whining"! ("Dude you suck! I was the one to do all the work in taking out the Bone Dragons and the Shock Jocks and then you sneak through to take the credit for closing the rift! The next game you are so mine!") As for other things like bugs, never found any and because of the fact that you (maybe) are playing against other human players, this makes for smooooooth gaming!
Why a four you may wonder well because I haven't personally played all three players yet. At least not all three going for the "ultimate win"! However even with my "dogs" playing the other two, it would seem that this catergory would also get a "5" but since this review is from my POV, I have reserved this for being a "4" for now.
For a small multiplayer map and without placing the cities and the "goods" perfectly apart and thus an uninteresting symetrical map, the designer does a very good job. Of the races being played, Tigrans, Dark Elves and Archons, each race seems to be well thought out in regards to strengths and weaknesses. The Tigrans have their gold bonuses but only have one mine nearby and one node. (There are more but not readily available.) The Dark Elves working best at being underground have their mana bonuses but are a bit farther away from additional cities than the other two players. (For all lesser experienced players, quickly attaining Casting Specialist I is a smart move... "Web all those without pointed ears!" cried the Dark Elves!) Finally as for the Archons, they may seem to be the hardest to play which I actually liked playing in this game! The Archons always seemed to me to be one of the stronger races in the AOWII game as also do the Elves. (Of course not to mention that the spell "Sacred Wrath" kicks hard at the poop shoot!) But in this game Anon uses the sphere of water, nice change. Also if you play the Archons you will find a real neat thing (listen to what the good priest says) which reallllly helps out the Archon race because you know how those Tigrans like their sand! In summary, I felt that how each wizard with their appropiate race was set-up, the map played quite reasonable while also lending itself to the overall storyline.
Great job! Howllling of a job to incorporate three different perspectives about the "Great Boom" while maintaining a multiplayer style of gaming. Overall the map seemed to just flow nicely with just enough of a storyline, events and extra encounters while keeping true to the simple fact that "It's you or them... attttackkkkk!" Although there are no customized heroes and what not, sometimes you just want to play and like a buddy of mine likes to say "Not here to take names, just here to kick some butts!". Furthermore, the simple fact of adding the "Ultimate Win" concept for a multiplayer game is a nice creative touch that really gives some unique fun to multiplaying. Great use with the storms too, they seem purposeful with the island's mystery. So... four legs and a wagging tail makes five!
Map Design: 5
Again for a small map to be played as a multiplayer scenario, a job well done! The map had a logical feel about it. Great use of the elevation tool and mountains to make you feel that the island IS a crater! Also the "oversized looking teleporter" near the center was way cool! :) I am not a big fan of desert settings but this one was neat to look at and was even neater to see the...... not to try and give anything away but the good priest of Homm knows! Also I liked very much the island feel meaning being surrounded by water. As a multiplayer game, this makes for some possible naval battles! (Hey, stop rocking the boat... uh oh... bucket please... cool a tapeworm!) One more thing is I like the overall placement of the cities and their sensible as well as strategic locations. Also for being on a small map there are just the right amount of mines, nodes and etc. which allows for enough forces but definetly not too many which in the end result makes for a game of important decision making as to what units you can afford to build and where to deploy them.
Excellento! Although some may feel that a multiplayer scenario doesn't really require a storyline, the author of this baby brings to you a story that is not only very interesting but keeps you drawn in with event messages and signs throughout the map! Having said earlier about how each player has their own bit of a storyline, the overall story unifies these with the other aspects of the map as well as the goal of the scenario; to conquer the other players and/or be the first to "close the rift". Great work here and for those who may wonder how the Shadowolfe faired?... As Arachna, she the Spirit Isle declared me as the "one" but of course about the other times it's a different story... growl!
Hmmmmm... comments that are additional are usually things that a writer has forgotten to say earlier. I had one more thing to say but I forgot it while writing the previous statement about what a writer forgets to say earlier... oh heck... Anyway this scenario was/is a whole lot of fun to play so if you get the chance, try this scenario with a couple of your buddies or one and I'm sure you will enjoy it too! Of course if you are schizo, who needs friends try this map anyway! :)
Oh I just remembered what I wanted to say... this map is password protected, yes I know, this is a bummer. However at least I knew the "dogs" I played against didn't get any inside information about it! Have fun!
This map review is basically the judge report written by myself and Swolte when their map was entered in the Wizards Of Creation Desert Shadows map making competition. I have tried my best to convert our marks, however, it doesn't swap over cleanly so below, I will keep the report in its original format. Do not pay too much attention the the actual marks I have given the map, for I have used them to try and get the overall mark to be the equivilent to its WOC mark:
Playability 45 out of 60)
Jamie says - This map is a fun and involving map to play, especially at the beginning. The sides are all relatively balanced but with no similarities meaning that playing a different side will be a whole new experience. There are many ways to carry the fight to your opponent, especially with ships which do not normally play an important role in AoW2. However, there are lots of independents around, especially underground that are not really suited for MP games.
Swolte says - Some nasty guard area's may cause some unpleasant surprises, some stacks are too much imo (spiders). Looking at this map before you start playing is therefore recommended! Next to boat attacks there are few possible surface fronts. Boat (tricks) will be very feasable and if played well, the key to winning this map. Outsmarting your opponent by going underground will be difficult, once you have underground control of the DarkElves area (easier for the Tigrans: neutral-> migrating advantage), the game shouldn't be far from over.
Visual Beauty 20 out of 25
Jamie says - The underground looks great and the surface is above average. The halfling area looks particularly good. The map layout is very good and play will take place all over the map and there are no choke points where all the action will occur.
Swolte says - Map is well detailed, certainly high quality! No stunning scenery or things that made me think: wow, though!
Storyline and events 12 out of 15
Jamie says - This map has a great storyline which is incredibly involving. The beginning few turns are well scripted but die down once the action begins. Signs tell some of the story as well as having some light-hearted humour. There are also a large number of events used to carry on the story; events create mini objectives such as shutting down the rift as well. There are no custom heroes, items or wizards which is a pity.
Swolte says - The events are well linked to eachother and look decent! Little cutomised items and heroes. The story is actually quite extensive without becoming too long. A lot more is hidden in the events, also some good humor can be found in the signs: ! ;)
Total – 78/100
Jamie says - By far the best part of this map is its storyline and events and the scenery supports the game play as well. This is a map that could very easily be made into a great SP map (happily the beginning feels like a SP map anyway) I found that the dark elves had easier access to the ‘mystical’ parts of the map, perhaps surrounding it in stone walls would prevent this as well as making it seem more unusual. Also, it would have been great to see more humour around the map, I will finish with my favourite example of this which is on a sign as you approach a pool:
Ah...a water hole but unsafe to drink...
Maybe volcanic gases you may think...
But wait, something else, what is that...
It is a Glutton and wow is it fat!!!
EDIT: I have just noticed that the map is passworded. Normally, I would deduct marks for that, however, as a non passworded version can be found at our website it doesn't really matter (too much! But why not remove the password, please! :-) )
[Edited on 07/26/03 @ 07:08 AM]