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Downloads Home » Scenarios » Return of the Dark Lord

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Return of the Dark Lord

Author File Description
File Details
Ruleset: AoW: SM - TS Standard Rules
Map Size: M
Levels: 2
Single Player?: Yes
Co-Op vs. AI?: No
PBEM/Hotseat?: Yes
Multiplayer Online?: Yes
# of Wizards: 8
# of players: 4
Skill Level: Any (depends on AI difficulty setting)
Password Protected: No
Surface Minimap:
Cavern Minimap:
Here is the story outline:
"Alliance of Elves, Dwarves and Humans had defeated the Dark Lord, but the Evil is too deeply rooted in the heart of the Dark Domain. The new Dark Lord is about to rise, and not every leader of the old Alliance is prepared to trust the others."
1. The environment of "Return" is full of surprises - even in solitary play it pays to be as careful as if you were playing against a human.
2. Balanced play means it is hard to achieve a decisive advantage too quickly. On the other hand you will have also a safety net if a disaster strikes. Therefore don't despair & reload; concentrate on creating YOUR OWN story.
3. Old Duke is for a veteran player: biggest potential, but encircled by enemies. Serena offers a quiet play with long development time OR a ruthless battle of annihilation early on. New Apprentice can head a drive against the Dark Lord OR can expand underground while containing the hords of the evil warriors. Finally the Dark Lord is the protagonist here; his position allows arguably the best strategic flexibility, with a couple of special resources as well.
4. AI is set to "aggessive".
5. You can not build Teleportation Gates (it is a Medium map, after all) and Sanctuaries (to exclude top-level units for play balance reasons) in this scenario. Also a few settlements are restricted in terms of growth.
6. I recommend to use "allied victory" - in my view it is not fun to wipe out your minor allies after you get rid of the major threats. But this is a matter of taste. ;)

Many of my heroes are based of the art of Mr Lockwood; I use this opportunity to offer my gratitude to him.

I would highly appreciate your questions, feed-back and sharing with me the feelings you experienced while playing this scenario.

Regards and Have Fun,
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AuthorComments & Reviews   ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )
(Hmmm, I don't know why the file information doesn't show up on this file, can you perhaps try and resubmit entire (like a new file, and I'll make this disappear).

Just a quick comment: The map looks quite detailed and with some nice areas. No place is boring! It is clear from the amount of well crafted events that this was a 'labour of love', and that the author has familiarized himself well with the editor.

A quick glance at the items and signs learn that the map also contains a healthy sense of humor.

I dare not comment on balance with this many events but I think its safe to say that the game will prove interesting!
File Author
Thanks a lot for your kind comment, Swolte. Please do let me know if there surfaces an opportunity to try this scenario against human player(s). :)
W4rbird Very good map! I really enjoyed playing it.
Map Design4.0
Playability: 5
I like smaller higher quality maps!

Balance: 4
Even with Emperor settings the AIs are not a great challange.

Creativity: 4
I liked the event driven access to the hidden chamber for Dark Lord.

Map Design: 4
Lack of background info on heroes stops this from being a 5.

Story/Instructions: 4
Good start with coverage for multiple players.

Additional Comments:

I played as the Dark Lord assuming this was the best choice for single player. I have now played Old Duke as well. It was harder then Dark Lord.

[Edited on 01/08/08 @ 10:10 AM]

File Author
Thanks a lot for your rating, Rat Peddler. Please try other players, for example, the Old Duke - it migth immerse you into a livlier environment. :) Also, should you have a chance to assess the balance against human player(s), I would be very interested to learn your opinion.

I actually tried to build a classic 3-corner gaming situation (as it is inherently unstable) and let every player to create his/her own story, unconstrained. Indeed, an alternative approach would be to write my own story and hand-hold a player along its path.
Both approaches have value, but the first one in my opinion makes a better use of interactivity of a strategy game. For relaying the author's story with a fixed (if branching) plot a book or a RPG would be as good a medium.
PawelS How did you manage to change the color of independent units to black?
File Author
You know what, PawelS? I don't know. :(
It just turned black at some point, and I thought that it's cool. Just a bug, I think. If you manage to find out more - please do let me know. :)
PawelS I created a new thread about changing the color of independents at the scenario design forum.
Aiakos Nice map! I like small maps too. The balancing is near good, i think the Dark Lord is most easily to play, and as opponent acceptably. The idea and some event realisation are very cool, especially the 2. Dark Elv Queen as balancing. I like dramatic situation. But I would increase the probability of this nice event (it appears only in a special situation and for the Dark Lord or the Old Duke as human player). So I would suggest to change the (1.)event already works, if only somebody conquers the capital, to let break out the civil war.

I don`t know if you know the alternative of copy&paste for events, because it looks a bit in disorder. It makes also easier (especially if you edit it later) to handle an amount of events if you divide the sections with an empty event. I saw this in other good event maps. Only my tiny suggestion.
poldi how am I supposed to activate the summoning pool near the Dark lords starting point? I tried to step on the pool with both the dark lord or Joseph, both with dagger in hand, in equipment and dropping the dagger, but nothing happens (apart from revealing landscape like an ordinary reflecting pool).

any hint?
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HGDL v0.8.0

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Map Design3.5
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Size:3.42 MB