Age of Wonders II Heaven Julia with Gameplay background
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Downloads Home » Scenarios » The Dark Mountain 1.1

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The Dark Mountain 1.1

Author File Description
File Details
Ruleset: AoW2: TWT - TS Standard Rules
Map Size: S
Levels: 2
Single Player?: Yes
Co-Op vs. AI?: No
PBEM/Hotseat?: Yes
Multiplayer Online?: Yes
# of Wizards: 2
# of players: 2
Skill Level: Average
Password Protected: No
A small multiplayer map for two people with a volcano In the center. Good for a quick but interesting game
version 1.1
AuthorComments & Reviews   ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )
Map Design3.0
Dark Mountain -- Review

Playability (5/5)

(+) No two games should be much the same due to random setup of guardians and cities.
(+) A few dungeons in out-of-the-way places.
(+) Map has a few surprises for first time play of map.
(+) Random settings throughout map add additional unknowns for decent repeat play of map.
(+/-) AI can not take advantage of ruined cities, but this does not seem to significantly affect game.
(-) AI does not put up much of a challenge for advanced players (set game to hardest). This map still makes it a great multiplayer map for advanced players (pbem, online), but single player is more for the average skilled player.

Balance (4/5)
(+) Map does a good job in balance considering that it uses various uneven advantages and disadvantages on each side, in an attempt to make a balanced game. I consider this is a desirable design strategy over "mirrored" player positions.
(+) Random setup of sites has been done so as to minimize their effect on game balance.
(+) Magic spheres seem to be reasonably matched given the amount of mana available on the map. Life vs Air, but low emphasis on magic puts emphasis on military might.
(+) Goblins are weaker than Elves, but their units are cheaper, and high level units are comparable. I found it to be a good race match for the map.
(+/-) Elves start with 50 more gold than the Goblins.
(-) Goblins seem to have a slight disadvantage in the upward climb of expansion. Both the AI and I were able to advance further/faster as the Elves. If tweaked a bit, I'd give it a "5" easily (Goblins need a bit more gold income).

Creativity (4/5)
(+) Map has various advantages and disadvantages on each side, in place of the almost-standard "mirrored" map design.
(+) Overall design and object placement makes sense.
(+) Races feel "in their element" in how player must use them to expand.
(-) Only a few events.
(-) Story concept is original and interesting, but needs to be developed more.

Map Design (3/5)

a) Graphic use (3/5)
(+) Adequate use of overall map graphics. Different "zones" make sense.
(+) Broken road is a nice touch in desert terrain.
(+/-) Reasonable use of elevation.
(+/-) Some use of detail graphics.
(-) Limited transition between terrain types.

b) Placement of Objects (3/5)
(+) Good choice of site types and locations.
(+) Interesting use of sites and cities.
(+/-) A few dungeons, adequate for the map.
(+/-) A few signs.
(-) Only a few events.

Story/Instructions (2/5)

(+) The map does have a story that fits the map.
(+) Basic map instructions/recommendations included (play with teleports off).
(-) Very little storyline - just a basic "go get em" statement. Map would benefit in having an interesting story. Author should write a short introduction or find a writer to do it for him.
(+/-) A few signs.
(-) No sub-plots (though it is a small map).
(-) No messages inside the game to denote special events or accomplishments.

Summary Comments:

This is a nice small map, with enough randomness to it to keep players coming back, yet not too much to break the balance. What really intrigues me is how the map is anti-symmetric, yet it has been well-thought out so as to keep it balanced. Multiplayer maps like this are a rare find! The main drawback to the map is it's lack of a good story. It also seems to be a little harder for the Goblin player to expand. AI plays at average player skill level (set to hardest), but multiplayer (pbem, online) is for advanced players (as noted by author), though average players may find it a good challenge too.

MothAssassin This was the first map I was able to win without cheating.

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Map Design3.0
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Size:30.17 KB