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The Knights' Tale

Author File Description
File Details
Ruleset: AoW: SM - Unofficial Patch 1.4
Map Size: L
Levels: 2
Single Player?: Yes
Co-Op vs. AI?: Yes
PBEM/Hotseat?: Yes
Multiplayer Online?: Yes
# of Wizards: 5
# of players: 2
Skill Level: Advanced
Password Protected: No
This was inspired by the first tale from the Cantebury Tales by Chaucer. In this game, you play the role of one of two knights fighting a duel for the hand of a noblewoman in marriage. Find a way to finish the game: either by trouncing your opponent, defending your lady-love from the depredations of elves and halflings, or convince her to ally with you as husband and wife (with deepest apologies to all non-heterosexual players out there ;P ). It's been designed to allow even single-play, but I think I should recommend PBEM instead for this sort of map.

NEW CHANGES (v1.2.2):
June 17th, 2008
o Buffs meant to serve AI players have been ratcheted down. Now, to balance it out, AI Arcite and Palamon obtain new settlers to create their own towns. Palamon no longer receives a cash bonus.
June 18th, 2008
o A broken request that was to allow one of the knights to purchase hookers has been fixed.
o Fixed another broken event that caused inevitable war between you and Emelye.
o Rat_peddler's suggestions were written into this game, not to mention parts of the Palamon storyline (seeing that Palamon is meant to be high on heroes and questing, and less on combat)
o More items and scripts pressed into service for Sir Palamon of Thebes. These range from useful announcements to downright wacky and absurd gags.
o Swolte's suggestions for graphics have been taken to heart, and so you will discover that the mountains in the orc lands are a dull, stone grey instead of the flaming sulphrous yellow they were in v1.0.0. A new strategy for constructing a map may be implemented in future story-driven ones (though I admit I make plenty of mistakes)
June 20th, 2008
o In response to poor Ibobs (and possibly the other poor souls who don't read in-game message popups) I've implemented a MINOR update of the Haste Berry Orchard south of the Carville highway bridge - so that they don't get mauled by old man Trundle's pit, doo...sorry, I meant pit bull terriers. That fast.
June 21st, 2008
o Upgraded this map to v.1.2.2, with the new upgrades being how diplomatic victory could be secured. Previously, I had been playing the old Shadow Magic campaign, looking at the Abydor and Urland scenarios to find out how to produce quests without time limits. I concede that I found nothing to replicate them, and think that these were more like quests without any controls attached to them.
So now both Arcite and Palamon diplomatic victory conditions are now based on flags and counters, and not quests. Hopefully this will be a step forward with this map. Also, additional miniquests have been added to help Palamon use both Archon and Undead troops. Additionally, merchants (caravans) should now teleport each time you flag a structure or hit the appropriate trigger.
July 1st, 2008
o Returned from a "pilgrimage" to Santiago de Compostela. I did not walk or ride the whole thing, but I somehow feel rejuvenated from my stay.
o It's been confirmed -- I will BE graduating with my BA Politics / I.R. soon. That means more stress on preparing and rushing everything. As if I hadn't gotten stressed enough on my pilgrimage tour in Spain.
o Colakorn's comment has made me very happy, because the teleport event is now working as it should be.

There may still be some bugs. Again, I recommend PBEM as the computer AI doesn't seem strong enough to take advantage of all buffs, events and offers via events in the game.

o Teleport events do not seem to work (I've even created a scenario lab of sorts, and it's been proven that teleport events don't seem to work with this patched version I'm using, and it's screwing up how some quests and events occur.
o There are some buggy requests. I have resolved some, they being caused by faulty linking of outcomes, but even still there may be some faults. I will squish every bug as it appears. You can help me by contacting me if it goes wrong.
o I still have no idea how much to set player relations to prevent alliances from happening.
Setting Emelye to "CPULord" makes her too weak (see Rat Peddler comment below) and anything above that can make her as murderous and stubborn as Sol Niger. Either I can't manage that, or women were born to be stubborn (lol j/k) :P
o Some heroes have no descriptions. It's impossible trying to dream up 20 alibis for 20 separate heroes to distinguish them, as well as study personal finance and investment alongside preparing for exam re-sits and a trip to Spain. Ow!

Before I begin, I should make a confession about myself.
Firstly, I am not one of the best mapmakers. I'm as lazy as hell, and I have my own cross to bear these days in the real world. This often meant slipshod working of the events, poor balance issues (though my homemade wizards make up for that, i.e. Arcite has the same traits as a human Knight with a silver award) as well as poor foresight. I am not a good player either, and prefer competitive play on Rise of Rome or Rise of Nations. The sole reason why I love AoWSM is because sometimes it becomes eye crack.
Secondally, usually when I produce a scenario, it's usually to produce a "garden" of sorts where I can go for "walks" and exlore. Expect it to score high marks in the graphics section and less substantially in the gameplay area.
It's my greatest epic so far, and as you can see, I've been experimenting with terrain styles and have been trying to build all sorts of cities using the Unofficial Patch. I doubt I'd download anything else.

So back on to my map. There are no screenshots, because despite this map being a fight to the finish with one of your opponents, it was built for you to EXPLORE. I have not had the time to fully check it for bugs, and don't feel like it, but if you do, feel free to let me know and I'll patch it if I can. I have had some issues with the AI, in that if it is very high, sometimes your lady-love will turn on you for no reason (my hope was to create a space where two opposing factions could fight it out, with a 3rd caught in the crossfire). I'm supposed to graduate this year with a degree in Politics, so examining the relations and drama in interpersonal and international affairs has been an obsession of sorts here. Let's hope it carries through.

With that, I leave you to feel free to explore your surroundings. Be careful what you do. Almost every action that you take and do (should have or) has an effect on how the girl of your dreams sees you. Good luck!

So much for the 666th scenario to be uploaded to AoW2Heaven :P
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AuthorComments & Reviews   ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )
rat_peddler Victory on Day 7 playing Palamon. Emelye took the first offer of alliance once I got the seeing well.

Declined the offer to continue the play. Arcite offers peace on Day 11.

I think this needs to be a little harder then that. I think you can prevent the second one by diplomacy settings. The first with winning conditions that would at least require mimimum days or proximity.

[Edited on 06/16/08 @ 11:50 PM]

File Author
I know, it's really hard to produce a good scenario based on this because firstly, it's night difficult to set Emelye to be at peace with both suitors at all times, without making alliances. Probably, I will have to rethink this one over.

o The first time I played this as Arcite with Emelye as a CPU king, I nearly got destroyed. Whether this was meant to be is anybody's guess. I then tried to set Emelye to declare peace to each suitor as they arrived, but this has not worked out properly.
o Player relations are the worst part. I still have no idea at what "level" player relations must be set to get my ideal diplomatic settings.
o Additionally, a buff meant for Palamon as an AI has been cut out completely, because it was found that it could still work even when the player was a human.

[Edited on 06/17/08 @ 06:03 AM]

PrinceNicola Please,tell me,my friend how can I change the avatars of the WIZARDS??????????
rat_peddler Here's an idea.

How about an engagement ring that is necessary for victory as well? It could be housed in some strong central location that must be conquered to get it. Kinda like capture the flag. Then it must be brought to Emelye. Gives a chance to prevent it being presented by the one not getting it.
Women! Indeed one of few things for which wars can be waged. I think this is a very powerful story setting and an original way of putting the motivations of the Wizards (instead of the usual territorial fights). I wish there was more love themes in maps.

The setting is indeed beautiful and the author is displaying a great artistic talent. Each area has something unique to it, which is quite rare these days. Sometimes I feel the contrasts are a bit too strong (yellow mountains in wasteland), but in retrospect, it may also add to the fantasy atmosphere.
I bet mapmakers will find it very inspiring looking in the editor (thanks for not password protecting). I know I did. Again, great originality is shown.

As for gameplay and balance. The author was very straight up with this, and unfortunately some of the comments confirm that a sloppy job was being done. I hope the author takes the time and make each and every one of the aspects of mapmaking of good quality. Glad to see we are getting revisions but it seems some really major ones are in place.

My advice. Please play-test your map and focus on the areas which are event heavy (make a test version). Then, from each side, play at least 25 turns! Then, implement the changes and try it again for 25 turns using a bit of a different strategy. This is about the minimum amount of care you would need to take with a map containing this many events and is so asymmetrical.

The map is worth it!
PrinceNicola What is the size of the wizard avatars? I can't browse mine... :((
File Author
Acknowledged, rat_peddler. Fortunately for you, there IS such a thing built into the game, and yes, it's an engagement ring XD. I will have to figure out whether it needs an extra storyline there ...... or not.
I was wondering if any of you could help with the playtesting part. If you can help, that would be really fun. I'm sorry to have presented such a piece of garbage that really didn't work. I checked: there are about 70 triggers and I've been pretty frustrated that some aren't working the way they should be. I've been checking my copy of the final level of the SM campaign to see how triggers should be set, but I've playtested a simple lab sample and unfortunately, the teleport event does not work :,( does anyone have any idea what went wrong? I set it to teleport independent units on refuge......
o Swolte: I did one once, but it was heavily panned.
o PrinceNicola: I have uploaded some wizard portraits to this website, you can take the time to browse for them and examine them.
Each wizard portrait is in the form of a 180*940 pxl image, containing the wizard's headshot (180*220) at the top, and joined by his/her full-length body shot (or something passable enough) at 480*720 pxl. I wish someone would collect all the wizard avatars that have marched in and out of AoW2Heaven and compile them in one big family.
Have fun. SM has been one of my fave games and probably will be for the rest of my life (till AoWIII or AoWII(c) comes out ;) Even Rise of Nations doesn't come close to this.

[Edited on 06/18/08 @ 02:32 AM]

morgul666 hey Swolte,

If you want love stories I can offer you to play my Demonwars map ;)
A fair portion of the storyline deals with that mundane topic ;)

ibobs Dead by turn 7. Walked straight with my wizard into four doom wolves! Fairly unfair dont you think?

And it starts so nicely...
File Author
iBobs, that was no bug. I had written in nicely that each and every action you took would have potential repercussions. You should read each and every notice. I'm sure that if I was driving across your back yard without regard for your safety, you'd have set 4 doomwolves on me if you were pissed off enough at me.

That you walked into 4 doomwolves shows that at least one part of the map is still working :P

[Edited on 06/19/08 @ 02:35 PM]

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