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Dark Embrace-MP

Author File Description
File Details
Ruleset: AoW: SM - Unofficial Patch 1.4
Map Size: M
Levels: 3
Single Player?: No
Co-Op vs. AI?: No
PBEM/Hotseat?: Yes
Multiplayer Online?: No
# of Wizards: 2
# of players: 2
Skill Level: Average
Password Protected: No
The Story

Infernus and Primordia have been mortal enemies for as long as either can remember. Their enmity has built with every passing campaign, every injury, every insult, every defeat, every victory. The level of fury and hate has finally reached the point where both are willing to risk everything in a single duel to the death. This time there will be no ransom, no last minute flight, no prisoner exchange, no honoring of any of the rules of war the elemental wizards typically employ to limit the carnage and loss. The loser will face utter destruction, and even the winner will face an unknown but certainly severe sanction from the judgment of the masters of their respective spheres. Possibly even expulsion from their order.

The only place the two can meet to avoid the watchful gaze of the Chancellory of Death and the Assembly of Jade is here in this underdeveloped corner of existence. A place so poor in resources and martial skill that none of the Elemental Clans have bothered to notice it. This won't deter Infernus and Primordia, who know that even a dull sword can cut if there's rage behind the blow.

The map

This is the MP version of the Dark Embrace map. You may make a straight ahead slog across the map to reach your foe or else take your chances with the teleporter system, (or even try both if you think you have the strength.) The map has my standard pool of rhyming-description heroes with a few new faces included. I've departed a little from my usual practice of not locking the wizards, if you're really motivated you can "unlock" the starting wizards in the editor; variable starting wizards shouldn't impact game play much (as long at the surrogate Primordia is good/neutral and the surrogate Infernus is evil/neutral) but the story won't make sense (no great loss?) The blocking terrain and the non-repeating teleporters should make the map play 'bigger' than most medium maps.


Thanks as always to The Sheik for the wonderful Wizard artwork.
Also thanks to Aquamote (gone but not forgotten,) for the tollbooth trick.
Thanks to Talon Thorn for the trigger/flag stuff in the Library - excellent info for the script challenged.
Finally, thanks to all those who have downloaded my previous maps, especially those audacious souls who've MP turn logged 'em here on Heaven Games.
AuthorComments & Reviews   ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )
I think this would be my favourite Needles map. There a lot of good about it and considerably less bad (imo).
Firstly, the terrain is very detailed without looking too cluttered. Although there is consistency present in the type of base terrain (the world) the areas are quite distinct from each other. This map really should be a joy to play blind as there will be something cool to discover every so often (I am sorry I spoiled it for myself)!

Secondly, the level of detail and care that went into the hero descriptions, city names, and items (sword called butterknife!) greatly enhances the atmosphere. Perfect for pbem to write about if you are without inspiration!

Thirdly, the map seems to be well designed from a multiplayer perspective. Its not symmetrical, yet, it looks quite balanced. There are no large potential gamekillers or unbalances to be seen (e.g., like spawns on 'always' in the time I looked). Knowing that pbems have mostly been successful on his maps and fun I would trust that this one is good to go 'as is'!

Great work!!

You are overloading me a bit with your map submission spree this evening (did you think I would write less? :p) so I will comment on the other maps another day.
File Author
Note: I've updated the file to correct Infernus being unavailable as a human player. GRRR- never make a last minute change expecting that things will work according to logic - like say setting "human - fixed" and thinking that'll mean human will be the default (or even AVAILABLE) choice for that player.

Thanks to Fubarno for finding this, I guess I'll have to give him a heroic incarnation in my next map... (now what rhymes with "Fubarno?")
Map Design4.0
I just finished a PBEM on this with Fubarno and the map is great for a 1 vs 1.

The random teleport system is a good concept (though I got stuck in an endless loop for quite a while with my best hero) and the general design itself is good - letting players develop a while before confrontation. I think the map-making must have started off at the top right corner as that area is the best looking to me :)

Some warning events could be added to inform the players of the random spawns on fixed days - seeing as they spawn in the shadow world, an unwary player can lose the capitol to them. Similarly some sort of sign or warning for the karagh (or was it there?)

Balance-wise, I think the shadow demons have a slight edge due to the availability of a flyer (skimmer) and a floater with physical prot (spirit) plus the possibilities of abominations. The syrons have the astral sprite and can get slithers (and nymphs) but the early availability skews it a bit in the shadow demon favor (not much can be done about it, I know - except maybe make the water route less accessible (another watchtower on the northern side as well and a guard on the water cave perhaps?)

In short, a great map! :)
Keep up the good work (lots of PBEMs going on on your maps and I am sure they will want more!)
Map Design4.0
Playability: 4
A good map to play as is balanced between the two sides... Except when one side gets a good summon spell (earth elemental) and the other doesn't. I did manage to win by taking the secret teleport to enemy capital though...! :)

Balance: 5
Very good.

Creativity: 4
Nice map.

Map Design: 4
Good terrain.

Story/Instructions: 4
Not much in game stuff but multi play so fine.

Additional Comments:
A good overall map.
Map Design4.0
Playability: 4
I just finished a game and the playability was very high. The only thing that made me desperate during mid-game was the random teleporter action, that hindered two of my best armies to fight as i needed them most. But on the other hand, you know that the teleporter-stuff is risky, so you don't have to use it if you don't like it. But anyway i would like to see an "emergency exit" that let you return your armies to your capital or something if you are fed up with teleporting around ;)

Balance: 5
Both sides are pretty balanced. In our game, the Shadowdemons got Water Elemental whereas the Syrons had the Fire Elemental spell.

Creativity: 4
What i do like is the idea of giving rewards if you search in shrines, tents and houses that are spread over the map. Sometimes its a trap though, so it is a kind of luck-game.

Map Design: 4
Pretty landscapes and well painted. Detail level is just the right for me.

Story/Instructions: 3
Not much story, but that doesn't matter. What i miss is a warning that you should better fortify your capitol because there is this secret teleport attack thing...

Additional Comments:
Not much to say, if you like a 1on1 where you have plenty of time to develop first, you can try this one.

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