(updated 09/30/02) Age of Wonders II Heaven :: Oracle's eye AoW2
Age of Wonders II Heaven Julia with Gameplay background
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Oracle's eye AoW2

Author File Description
Magog
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: 8
Skill Level: Average
Password Protected: No
This map is a copy of the AoW1 map Oracle's eye. I've also copied the heroes and items from AoW1 to create a nostalgic feeling... :)

It's a multiplayer map with 8 wizards and all races. One advice is to let the AI play the wizards in the middle (Tanchiro and Juliar).

Remember to disable "Teleportation gates" and "Build outpost" to make gameplay more AoW1:ish...

I guess you can play this map in SP as well, but it's got no story so it will get boring after a while.... :)

Edit 020930 : The goblin wizard had Dark elves as default race. Changed to Goblins.
AuthorComments & Reviews   ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )
TalonThorn
Rating
3.6
Breakdown
Playability4.0
Balance5.0
Creativity2.0
Map Design4.0
Story/Instructions3.0
Oracle's Eye, version 2

It has been untold years since Menlen the Oracle created the marvelous box, called the Oracle's Eye. Amazingly, the little box is still intact, as is the number of warlords and rival kings who come to peer into it. But perhaps even more amazing is how the little land has seemed to grow and change even as time has passed.

Indeed, the small woods have grown into thick forests and many things have fallen into neglect. Small towns on the surface have faded, becoming only a keep or a tower to support a small garrison, while the underground villages have prospered, even gaining the potential of becoming thriving large cities in time. The shipyards have been abandoned, and though a ship does occasionally dock at each, all the shipyards have since taken on other roles. Even the great alters at the center of the isle have failed in their purpose -- yet the powerful wizards that now rule there have since discovered an alternate way to make use of them.

One thing has not changed…tiny figures within Oracle's Eye still play out their battle for supremacy within the great glass eye, and the oracle still gains some peace as the visiting pilgrims still stare at the amazing illusion. The pilgrims watch as each race vies to rule over the other, though now where heroes once ruled, wizards have taken their place -- wizards who care not so much for any one race over the other. Though wizard or hero, and though their methods may differ, yet the illusion still speaks the same.

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Playability (4/5)

(+) All player cities are set up with fixed starting units (not random generated defenders).
(-) Non-player city guards are randomly generated, causing problems (weak defenders).
(+/-) Medium number of cities and few sites to take
(-) No dungeons; no magic items.
(+) Map has boats but they are not required for gameplay, so the AI is not restricted by this.
(-) AI does not put up much of a challenge, but this is consistent with original map.
(+/-) Map is a good for multiplayer (online/pbem), but not single player.
(+) Weaker races have random bonus starting units. All other races have no random units to cause balance problems.
(+) Stronger races were excluded (Undead/Archon) to reduce player count from 12 to 8.

Balance (5/5)

(+) Map is basically a "symmetrical map," with some minor differences. Starting positions are reasonably matched.
(+) Starting units, spells, and resources are reasonably matched.
(-) Two races in the center of map have easer access to mana nodes. Questionable disadvantage since AI is a little sluggish on this map. This can be avoided by players playing the six outer ring positions.

Creativity (2/5)

(-) Map is a recreation of AoW map of same name.
(+) Author has creative solutions to various items that do not translate from AoW to AoW2.
(-) Story concept is same as original.
(-) Events do not exist (but did not exist on original map either).

Map Design (4/5)

a) Graphic use (5/5)
(+) Good mix of terrain types and foliage.
(+) Good use of terrain to divide map into sections.
(+) Good use of elevation.
(-) The map has no feel of a "history," but neither did the original.
(+) Variety in use of resource sites (over original map design).

b) Placement of Objects (2/5)
(+) Map has "zones" that are of a certain terrain type, and transition into other "zones" nicely.
(-) No dungeons nor magic items (but none in original map).
(-) No signs nor messages about terrain/locations/etc. (but again, none in original map).
(-) Absolutely no scripts (and none in original map either).

Story/Instructions (3/5)

(+) The map does have a story that fits the map.
(+) Instructions are implied within the story.
(+) I like the background story; it is original, even though it is a remake.
(-) No sub-plots (none in original).
(-) No messages inside the game to denote special events or accomplishments.
(-) The players start out in villages, rather than cities or towns with wizard towers.

Summary Comments:

This delightful map, originally from AoW, is now thankfully available to AoW2. The author has made allowances for some races in their weakness, and has come up with creative solutions to the non-translatable differences between AoW1 and AoW2. I would rate the conversion a 4 or 5, but the rules of map review give this map a somewhat lower rating. If you liked the original, by all means play the sequel!

As before, the map is terrible in single player, but should be a delight in multiplayer (online or pbem). You don't need all wizards/players for the game to be fun, but I do recommend at least 3 players (but more is better). One significant change: there are only 8 players due to AoW2's limits, so the Undead, Archons, Dark Elves, and Dwarves of the inner circle are non-playable (original map allowed 12 players).
Magog
File Author
That's a great review Talon. Thanx.
Magog
File Author
Here are some comments I got for this map at my old site, aow2battleground.com :


Alpha_Pig commented on 09-29-2002 07:08 that: It pleases me to know that the person who reviews our maps is a good map maker himself...keep up da good work :)

good commented on 10-24-2002 03:29 that: Its good.No wait...Its really good

epod commented on 11-05-2002 04:50 that: im so glad someone remade this map... it was one of my favs from AoW, along with the first conflict. i originally heavily modded both of these maps, and added side quests etc, but lost it all when my pc crashed. all i want now is a conversion of the first conflict! good job magog, keep it up! (any chance of you making the first conflict?)hehe

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Rating
3.6
Breakdown
Playability4.0
Balance5.0
Creativity2.0
Map Design4.0
Story/Instructions3.0
Statistics
Downloads:1,502
Favorites: [Who?]0
Size:80.60 KB
Added:09/28/02
Updated:09/30/02
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