DEMONWARS II - Transcendence & Immortalis V1.3
Posted on 07/10/07 @ 02:19 PM (updated 07/26/07
THE MAP-PASSWORD IS ERDEM (maybe that´s also good for me should I ever forget the password myself :)
||AoW: SM - Unofficial Patch 1.4
|Co-Op vs. AI?:
|# of Wizards:
|# of players:
DEMONWARS II - Transcendence & Immortalis
V1.3 (you didn´t really think, V1.2 was the last version, did you??) - no, of course still somebody detected a wonderful bug with a tremendous impact - this time concerning magic... I highly encourage everybody, how hasn´t played an older version too far, to restart this one. It´s harder but it prevents the use (abuse!) of magic which goes along with the story...)
V1.2 !!! IMPORTANT !!! KILLER-BUG removed!!! Attention all players of the V1 or V1.1 Version: If you meet Aydrian somewhere in the underworld (the blue player) - kill or avoid his armies AND DO !!!!!NOT!!!!! ally (or make peace) with him!! This will kill the story!!!
It is an unbelievable bug, that his troops can reach the tunnels (really not my fault...:-(
V1.1 - correction of a minor 'bug' (nothing vital but had to be changed) and one important thing changed...I can´t give too many details here...
Needs Patch 1.4.
ZIP includes own resources needed for this map!!!!!
(copy in User/Resources/transcendence - use the setup program to use these resources!!!) and the ahm file for the map. The Zip file is stored with all files and folders relative to your Shadow Magic folder so just extract to there with use relative folders turned on.
This is my second - and given the amount of work and time (and fun!!) that flew into it, by far most ambitious map to date.
It´s a big Epic. All you strategy-purists around will probably hate it and should rather avoid this one, haha!
Even with (almost) no 'take object A and bring to B' events, this secenario is largely story- and quest-driven; it´s like reading a novel and participating on it (like roleplaying). I hope that all those who love the mixture of adventure and strategy will enjoy it – and hopefully for many hours!
It cointains tons of events enbedded in an extensive storyline (based on two novels - the middle and final part of a great saga - the Demonwars, part II, by one of my favourite authors of fantasy literature - Bob Salvatore! This is my personal way to give credit to his numerous great novels of the past 20 years! - and I´m not only reffering to those about the prominent Drizzt ;-)
Due to several reasons, It is quite an unconventional scenario with lot´s of quests (both vital ones, that !have to! be solved as well as minor ones), some special effects!! ;-) as well as situations that might seem strange or surprising. Maybe not to those, who have read the novels...
But don´t be afraid - beside the roleplay-like main plot, there should be still enough challenging strategic elements!!!
Needless to say that this scenario is not for beginners but rather for veterans ;-)
Special: You will pretty soon find out, that magic plays a very minor role (at least in the first part of the story). This is a story-based fact and absolutely intended. Just very shortly for your understanding: In the world of Corona, magic is being practiced through the use of gemstones (without going into detail) by those, who have the ability to do it. Only very few people have both the ability and the necessary gemstones to practice magic.
Do also not wonder why you can produce in most towns only low-level units. This is also intended.
Try to live (or to survive) with what you have at hand - be inventive - find or recruit allies whereever you can and handle each of your units as if it was your last. That´s my good advise... ;-)
Technical stuff: This project called for an adaptation of many units, heroes and wizzards in order to achieve the fitting atmosphere, realize certain effects and adapt all a bit to the story background. (What I always hated for example was the limitation to only mounted heroes... some new 1.4 patch hero-types making the exception but I needed other stuff! ;-)
So I changed a lot ;-) without endangering the balancing of the game... (BTW: There is none, haha - as I prefer it, you start with little, find yourself surrounded by a lot (of enemies) and hopefully end up with a lot, surrounded by little (or nothing?)... or maybe the end is something totally different? Let´s find it out...
Password: I thought a lot about password-protecting this map or not. I came to the conclusion that I simply have to.
It would exceptionally (believe me!) reduce the fun-factor for the player if he saw the map (especially certain details) before playing. It´s somehow like reading the end of a novel first... I know a person who actually is doing that but I´m pretty sure she is the exception ;-)
Furthermore, the chaotic scripting as well as the many special, intricate tricks I had to apply in order to enable certain "happenings" are very sensitive and if but the slightest change was done by somebody (i.e. remove a seemingly innocent unit from a certain place or whatever else), it could have a tremendous impact on the gameplay (worst of which would be not being able to proceed at a certain point or even win the map).
BUT1: For all who would like to examine the map just from design-perspective, I have attached a version completely cleared of all scripts and adapted a few things ;-)
BUT2: I highly encourage all who would like to enjoy the map fully, NOT to view it upfront (only perhaps, if you should be stuck somewhere and look for a possible way out ;-)
final (and most important) note:
Even if you might get annoyed of reading at some points throughout playing, please do it - for your own sake. Most parts of the story might be helpful in understanding what it´s all about,or to understand the motives of certain protagonists or quests or anything else.
Of special importance though, is reading the descriptions of the quests! Every important task is controlled by a quest that you don´t lose track.
ONCE MORE: There are MANDATORY quests that HAVE TO BE SOLVED IN TIME, otherwise you lose the game!! This will of course be mentioned clearly in the description of the quest!
Last sentence before the last word:
I´m currently thinking about the possibilty of making a double-player map out of that still goes along with the main plot which might prove to be another challenge, if not even an impossible task. But nonetheless, it won´t happen anytime earlier then winter, as I have to take holiday now from mapmaking for a while ;-)
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I scored lower here purely because the map is quite unforgiving. I lost count of the number of times I had to reload because of moving somwhere i wasn't sposed to, or the wrong people dying.
Dosnt really apply in a single player game.
Map Design: 5
Overall this map was amazing. To have a story thats so linear, yet allows for so much is really quite amazing. I've tried making purely story driven rpgish maps before and its always very hard to compensate for what players might do. I don't think I can give you credit for the story, but I can for the level of detail, not only in the carefully put together chain of events and story, but in the design of the map itself. There were no areas of the map that didnt feel complete. Everywhere I went seemed very natural, very nicely drawn. I can see that a huge ammount of thought and time went into this map.
Took me a few attempts to win this one. My first try I think i ruined the story. In the part where you have to find the entrance to the caves, I killed lots of zombies then explored the tunnel and found I wasn't sposed to be in there. So I came out and ran into the hills where zombies cant reach. After this my rangers took pretty much the entire north area. Kinda reaslised I'd done somthing wrong when the events stopped happening :P
My second attempt I got it right and the story unfolded with few problems. One issue was, you have a city belonging to blues underground. This city builds 1 halberdier per turn, and its only a matter of time before they run out of space and any subsequent unit built spawns in the tunnels. Due to this I had met the blues before my rangers had left the cave. The fact that he allied with me ruined the 2nd part of the story i think, I was able to buy all his structures, citys etc off him. At the part where he was attacking the monks I had already taken his main city. After killing him defending the monks my wizard and his stacks got teleported underground. Had to reload to move them away to prevent this. Other than that the whole story/plot worked fine.
Slight issue with the nomad players, I think we were sposed to be at peace after playing out the story, but they all kept declaring war on me. This is possibly coz my dragon had been going around systematically razing every nomad city in the desert. So I ended up just killing them all. No big deal, but I dont think it's what was intended.
Another small issue, the event near the end where the elves are sealed off from the outside world, your shadow void area tries to go over a mountain, which dosnt work. My rangers were able to enter the area by walking over the mountains.
Playability: 4 - rerate
You know the troubles I had to play this map at the beginning (thanks for the help). So many reloads takes the gloss off the map and makes it very frustrating to play.
Balance: 5 - rerate.
I think the neutrals at the beginning are too strong as it is 50-50 whether you survive the combat. Too many fights are won or lost by luck, not skill. If you could pick your fights a bit more, then it would have been better.
Map Design: 5
4 or a 5 for this. Some very nice touches such as the shadow void to stop you going north over the mountains and the warning message to keep the dragon west of the far mountains. Very nice. Also liked some of the individual graphics of towns with the building extra around them,
Story is great. Too much if anything!! :)
Instructions are not so good as you can miss things - like the caravans at the beginning. They wander off so you have no chance to find them in 10 turns.
It is a very very hard map to play at the beginning. Reload after reload, plus not knowing where to go really makes it tricky. Not knowing which fights you have to win or loose is also tricky and I had to use every dirty stupid-AI-beating trick to survive long enough to get the rangers to where they need to be. Once you get the dragon out, it becomes too easy. I built 16 balistas in each city I took (with just the dragon) and my income rocketed. Then it was just a matter of advancing to red central - he died - I bought all his troops and then killed off all the other AI with one hero stack. The plot was then lost. What did I miss? From red capital, was I meant to go south to the island or across the mountains? I got no further story from that point I got the chariot for my wizard. I went across in balloons to take on blue. Walked straight up to his capital and kicked his sorry ass. At that point I guessed it was over. I have since explored all the upper map and got nothing else to tell me where to go, so my hero has just gone into the zombie tunnel... Turn 220 or something, and I am scared to restart!
Very challenging though! I can see how some players get problems and do not continue. Muchus respect for such a monster of a piece of work!!!!! Hope the comments are constructive.
PS find the chalice quest comes about 6 times when you move about and the graphics for the heroes disappear when being shot or attacked in manual combat.
[Edited on 05/01/08 @ 08:00 AM]
I think ratings for the individual fields for a single player and muliplayer games should be based on different criteria. To me "Playability" for single players should be based on the fun and excitement a person has while playing. This is a difficult scenerio and because of this it heightens the extiment level because you struggle throughout the game, sometimes wondering if you'll survive until the next turn. For me who plays only single player this is what I desire in a scenerio. only drawback and why I did not rate this a 5 is it is not a scenerio you can play more than once. Fantastic job!!!!
In a single player scenerio "Balance" should be based on how strong the AI is. Because of the inherent weakness of the AI there are too many scenerios that are easy to win at in single player. This game was a challenge all the way throughout
There is no question of the creativity of this scenerio. The way a person needs to play to win, to the story and scriped events. It is not the "Standard" map and a person cannot use his "Standard" strategies to win. The scrpting of events causes you to re-think your play, and the limiting of city structures plays a big role in this also
Map Design: 4
Again an excellent job. Each area based on the geographoy of the inherent race felt different and appropriate for this area, there were some nice individual details, keeping the north and east seprate from the south. The map helped the story line and the characters.
Very well done! the scripted quests moved the story along. I do not want to give away any spoilers (even though in the posts there have been alot disscussed already). I have never read these books but because of this scenerio and the story I will read them and I think this says alot for the quality of the story and instructions in this scenerio. It has two story lines and two parts of the game, that in the end come together very nicely
Additional Comments:I can see where many people would become frustrated with this scenerio, becuase it does not allow a person to follow his standard play of building a huge high level army and destroying the enemy AI. The player of this game from the very begginning is at a strict disavantage and not until late in the game (it took me 295 turns to complete this game) do you feel like you will succeed. I enjoyed the quests, scripted events, and also the thrill of wondering what I can do next as a player to not only move closer to winning but to merely staying alive!!!
Again fantastic job!!! Thank you for something different.
LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!
The only reason I give it a 4 is becuase I had to reload every other day... But I loved every moment of it!
It is nice and challenging, seriously. Fits super well!
I love how I felt like I was relieving the book! So very very good!
Map Design: 5
WOw you reall put Salvator's worl into perspective
This story is great! As is the book!