(updated 01/28/04) Age of Wonders II Heaven :: Battles of Creation - The Blackened Mire
Age of Wonders II Heaven Julia with Gameplay background
Welcome
Downloads Home
Review Guidelines
Main site
Forums
Code of Conduct
Search

Advanced Search
Scenarios
Home
New Releases
New Reviews
New Comments
Top-Rated

Submit File
Browse Categories

Downloads Home » Scenarios » Battles of Creation - The Blackened Mire

Download File Post Review Post Comment

Battles of Creation - The Blackened Mire

Author File Description
jamieJME
File Details
Ruleset: AoW: SM - TS Standard Rules
Map Size: M
Levels: 2
Single Player?: Yes
Co-Op vs. AI?: No
PBEM/Hotseat?: No
Multiplayer Online?: No
# of Wizards: 3
# of players: 1
Skill Level: Advanced
Password Protected: No
Welcome to the incredible land of Erithnia

In a prequel to the most popular single player map for Age of Wonders 2, The Blackened Mire brings a whole new level to single player maps for Shadow Magic.
In this purely single player map, all decisions carry consequences: will your word be iron, will you be fair, protect the weak, reward the loyal. The choice will be yours....
Pushing the editor to its limits with almost 500 events and never seen before FX events, the combined efforts of the story, game play and graphics will give single player fans the most intense experience with Shadow Magic to date.



It is a time when innocents suffer
A time when frostlings flee
It is a time when evil roams at will
A time when orcs are marching
It is a time when purity is being corrupted
A time when snow is turning black
It is a time when a champion is needed against the tides of death
A time when a wizard is needed to combat the deathly threat
It is the time to prepare to play the prequel for 'The Battle Of Creation', the map that has had over 5000 downloads and overwhelmingly positive reviews
It is the time when you will return to the famed world of 'The Battle Of Creation'
The time when single player for Shadow Magic shall truly come of age.
Pages: [1] 2 3 » Last »
AuthorComments & Reviews   ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )
Horza666
Rating
4.6
Breakdown
Playability4.0
Balance4.0
Creativity5.0
Map Design5.0
Story/Instructions5.0
Playability: 4

Balance: 4

Creativity: 5

Map Design: 5

Story/Instructions: 5

Additional Comments:

At first: playablilty and balance are judged 4 due to the experiance a player need to succesfully survive the map. For sure the master-players will give it a 5 ! (but it's getting harder as you play along the map !)

This map is the editor pushed to the limits and sometimes beyond.

This map is the best single-player map i played since i have AoW (and i have played all of the series).

Beautiful landscape along with a mindthrilling story ! Everything fits perfect, the events work, and the player will see the result of every decision later in the game !

I'm not finished at all with my testplay, so this review will get an update.

To the devs ! Place this one along with the 1.3 patch !

Cheers
swolte
Staff
Rating
5.0
Breakdown
Playability5.0
Balance5.0
Creativity5.0
Map Design5.0
Story/Instructions5.0
Although I played it as an early beta, I do have a fairly good impression. Of course, I know jamie so the review may be a bit biased..
I also gave a million tips and taught him everything you see here.

Playability: 5
Map played very well for me. It was tense and I remember exactly what happened. I usually dont play Single Player maps but I must admit this one got me addicted. I tried playing it 'ironman' and had to reload twice! It was a lot of fun, especially as I thought I had lost but carefully fought back.

Balance: 5
Well, its sp so adjust the settings if you think it's too hard/easy. As a start I wouldnt recommend it to a new player for sure! (unless you love reloads).

Creativity: 5
This map will (hopefully) change the future of mapmaking. As far as I know, this map is a masterpiece in all respects; terrain tricks as well as events!
Please get inspired while playing! This shows there is SOOO MUCH life beyond the random map generator!

Map Design: 5
Map has been tested to death (also by me). Additions made after testing proved to be very interesting. A nice example is the use of boats (by the AI..).

Story/Instructions: 5
This was my biggest concern in the beta version. I didnt get the story and names followed up real quick! A lot has improved since. I still havent played the new version. But I strongly believe this masterpice has to stand out so thats why I think it deserves 5 points as an average!

Additional Comments:
(The part about that I gave a million tips and taught him all was a lie, unfortunately.. ;()
Minstrel
Rating
4.8
Breakdown
Playability4.0
Balance5.0
Creativity5.0
Map Design5.0
Story/Instructions5.0
Playability: 4
Not a map for the fainthearted. I played the map only once and I must confess several reloads. Beware for the evil armies of bone dragons, warlords and canons.

Balance: 5
Always on the edge but progressively the balance will shift in your favour (well, may be).

Creativity: 5
An nice adventure like map with event triggered decisions, combined with the all the classical features of AoW.

Map Design: 5
Very nice landscape and AoW SM events used to their full extent. A textbook for apprentice designers.

Story/Instructions: 5
Good story telling through the end of the scenario.

Additional Comments:
You will be hooked to your computer until the game is over. The drawback is that it is hard to play the standard single player maps after this one. Again an excellent map by jamieJME (IMO better than Battle of Creation) and instantly a classic.
jamieJME
File Author
Thanks a lot for your reviews guys. They are greatly appreciated! :-)

And a big thanks goes to all the people who gave feedback on the map while I was developing it. In particular, Swolte!

[Edited on 04/21/04 @ 04:21 PM]

BlackRose
Rating
4.8
Breakdown
Playability4.0
Balance5.0
Creativity5.0
Map Design5.0
Story/Instructions5.0
Playability: 4

This is traditionally not my style of map, I prefer the larger maneuvering and space, but for what it is it cannot get any better. You'll keenly feel the loss of every unit and even the smallest bit of help will have you fervently thanking your computer, (or the designer!).

Balance: 5

This category is misleading, the scenario is not meant to be balanced, its meant to be hard. So a five is what suits it.

Creativity: 5

Hard to get any more creative, a totally original story (?) with characters and script. Never mind the effort that went into designing the map and events!

Map Design: 5

Best of its kind out there, its different than Athendore which I also gave a five, but there is nothing of the kind to compare it too (not really, its a brand new step!). It plays beautifully and looks it.

Story/Instructions: 5

The most well documented scenario to date, tonnes of work and time went into this and it shows. The effects bring real life to the text and it gets very involving!

Additional Comments:

Bravo!

(Keep the Rankings coming, a good scenario deserves our support!)
Tom Bombadil
Rating
5.0
Breakdown
Playability5.0
Balance5.0
Creativity5.0
Map Design5.0
Story/Instructions5.0
Playability: 5
I must say that JME exceeded my expectations in every way imaginable here. The events were excellent! The map itself was designed in such a way as to necessitate the player to make very difficult decisions as to resource allocation and troop construction. This was not just a simple "build and charge" map.

I must say that this is the first single player map that I've played with AOW II or SM with the exception to the II campaign. I didn't expect to be hooked on my computer until dawn. Very well done JME!

Balance: 5
Balance was excellent. Unfortunately, the ai in aow leaves a little to be desired, but the overwhelming construction capacity of the ai in this senerio made the battles intense, an experience that I don't often have against the ai.

I always hated the glutton as a troop, but I must say that I can't wait to try them mp again. I've never seen so many knights get gulped up!

Creativity: 5
I saw things in this senerio that I didn't even know you could do. The rising and lowering of the march, the terrain change to go to the fire dude, all very well done. I give JME another round of applause.

Map Design: 5
As near as I can tell, this was flawless. The ai was moving against me with flyers and gluttons, so there was no defend one city really well and keep the ai away.

Story/Instructions: 5
The story was great. As a matter of fact, I've chosen frosties/air specialist in a number of games since, lol. The events were great! Unfortunately, I let that little hobbit live, but I never got another message from him :(. I also let the dwarves get killed :(. I triggered the event that must allow the evil guys through on accident. Sorry buddies!

Additional Comments:
This was a great map. If you haven't played it, give it a shot. I think that you'll be amazed with the amount of detail that JME used. Further, I think that you'll see things that you've never seen before in a game of aow. All in all, great job JME!
Galahad_2nd WARNING -- SPOILERS

This is one of the best maps I've ever played. I'd like to rate the story/instructions as a "10" but the rating only goes up to five. This is a very creative map with a detailed and original story. I love the use of signs and messages to give clues and get the player to make meaningful choices and solve clever puzzles.

However, I'm not so sure about the play balance. I think that it is too hard. I've finally gotten up to turn 54 after many reloads. In the early game, when you are trying to get the items to rescue your wizard, you can get the Yetis and Doom Wolves which are just sufficent to defeat the goblins of the north -- but it is very tough to get enough gold to pay the maintenance on them long enough to do the job especially since some of the gold piles are random. In the mid-game, you face wave after wave of Gluttons and orc chieftains which often requires reloading and replaying turns -- I would have enjoyed it more if the orcs' production was trimmed back a little so that I could have got on with the plot of the story rather than doing so many nearly identical battles. Now, on turn 54, I've finally captured most of the enemy cities and have his capital surrounded, though I avoided the concentration of dragons in the south and heeded the warning to avoid the fire area in the NW. But the enemy capital is surrounded by shadow void and I don't have any clues at all of how to get through. I still see swarms of Gluttons everywhere, and I have a warning that my capital far to the north will be attacked in 10 turns. So I haven't finished the game and might have to start over from the beginning. I'll probably try it again in a few weeks.

The play balance could be improved by a) having a little more gold or mines or farms available to the player in the early game; b) cutting back the orc production capability a little; and c) giving some clues about how to get through the shadow void to the enemy capital.

I'm not giving it a numerical rating since I haven't finished it yet. But in summary, this is one of the best maps ever, except that it is a little too hard for my tastes. Not hopeless -- I'm sure that I could win it eventually -- but the above suggestions might make it even more fun.
jamieJME
File Author
Galahad_2nd, I'm sorry to hear you are having difficulties with the map. Thanks for your suggestions, becasue of your comments and others, I am considering making an easier version to go along with the original but that won't be for some time I'm afraid.

If you head over to
http://aow.heavengames.com/cgi-bin/forums/display.cgi?action=st&fn=32&tn=3977&f=32,,0,45&st=45
This thread has become the help thread for the map and if you post questions/troubles, I'm sure that I or someone else will be able to help you.

You are actually told how to avoid the barrier in the storyline but without knowing how far down the storyline you got, I can't tell you what you have missed. Drop me an email or talk about it in the forums and hopefully I can help you through, it sounds like you have very nearly finished it so take heart! :-)


Timelord
Rating
4.6
Breakdown
Playability4.0
Balance4.0
Creativity5.0
Map Design5.0
Story/Instructions5.0
Playability: 4
This map offers various options while playing that we can play it in different ways but ultimately, the units and over-all strategy don't change much (unlike the Battle of Creations :) )

Balance: 4
My personal opinion is that Balance in an SP map should not be considered as a category...but Jamie, you've manouevered the AI into some strong positions using the terrain and the AI is quite a challenge.

Creativity: 5
The use of FX events was an eye-opener...for me, atleast. That sphere around Iceina alone makes this map deserving of a 5. (And initially when you posted the screenshot, I had thought you must have dabbled in photoshop).

Map Design: 5
Great work in transitioning from one terrain into another. And also, making the map so as to make the AI challenging is not a small feat.

Story/Instructions: 5
The most important aspect of an SP map is the story and it has been beautifully wrought in this map...you cannot help but doing certain thing just because your character in the story is like that...like helping the beggar first time around. A story that makes you feel deserves the best.

Additional Comments:

One of the best SP map so far in SM (though Battle of Creation was better IMO)...absolutely immersing storyline and the events take hold of you, never allowing you to go into a lull. And getting a chance to try out different choices and having those choices affect your game is a first of its kind.
BlackRose Hello folks I just wanted to clear something up this is quoted directly from the review guidelines! Essentially Balance Rating is not what most people think it is and its covered in the Review Guidelines as such! The Balance rating that most people use is considered for rating MP maps only!

"Most perfectly balanced scenarios should not be able to be completed without the player losing a few times. If a player is able to complete the entire scenario the first time, then it's probably too easy for their level of play. On the other hand, a player should not need to reload 15 times to get by a certain part of a scenario. The ideal scenario balance happens when a player gets stuck, but she knows it's possible to complete the objective if only she did something a little differently. A player should not win by luck; the scenario should be constructed so that a player can learn from mistakes and use her skill to complete the objective.

Multi-player scenarios are reviewed a bit differently in terms of balance. Each human player should start out in an equal position with equal starting resources and equal starting units. Obviously, the set-ups don't have to match exactly, but they should be balanced. There are many creative techniques scenario designers can use to make each player's experience different, yet still balanced. If you choose to review multiplayer scenarios, it's your job to ensure that each starting position is balanced with every other starting position.

Note that non-playable sides may have been deliberately boosted to add challenge and thrill to the gameplay and are not usually considered when assessing balance. Also keep in mind the designer may also have specifically made one of the playable positions more difficult than the others. If so, the designer should state this somewhere in the scenario's description or instructions."


You can check the Review Guidelines for further info!
Pages: [1] 2 3 » Last »

Post Review Post Comment

HGDL v0.7.1

Login
Forum Username:


Password:




Create a new account
Forgot password?
Rating
4.6
Breakdown
Playability4.5
Balance4.4
Creativity4.8
Map Design4.7
Story/Instructions4.7
Statistics
Downloads:12,978
Favorites: [Who?]0
Size:181.06 KB
Added:01/25/04
Updated:01/28/04
New Files