Descent to Undermountain for DWIGGS 5.0 __V 3.1
Posted on 12/20/08 @ 12:47 PM (updated 02/26/12
V 3.0 August 3rd 2011
||AoW: SM - Unofficial Patch 1.4
|Co-Op vs. AI?:
|# of Wizards:
|# of players:
New Map-version with new resources and an all new Wizard!
The Morrigan (Fey Folk) was replaced by Moradin, Leader of the Dwarves!
Much more fitting into a Dungeon surrounding than Fey Folk!
Of course, the map-painting changed in the former area of Morrigan from natural landscape to dwarven-built caverns.
The Morrigan starting Heroes were mostly distributed into verious fortresses or recruitment sites throughout the whole map and Moradin got his own 9 new Starting Heroes of which the player can choose of.
Apart from that, only a few minor map-changes since 2_2, nothing worth mentioning.
(old version-updates removed from File-Description.
Finally, after almost exactly one year of hard work and (apart from several almost-nervous-breakdowns on my side due to most equisite ‘bugs’...) MUCH mapmaking fun, I´m glad to be finally in the position to present the result of a quite ambitous project: The (afaik) second MMBEM (MapMaking by Email - the greatest invention since the eucalyptus candy on a stick - thanks hatstand!) product called "Descent to Undermountain" (DtU) !
A map designed for Dwiggs mod V 5.0. Would be great if more players could be won for this great mod with this map !!
First of all, here come the requirements how to play this map:
1) Dwiggs mod V 5.0 is required. Pls. get it from the download section
2) The ZIP-file contains the DtU map and the folder DtU resources.
Make sure to copy the resource folder into the following folder:
Drive…XYZ /Age of Wonders Shadow Magic/ USER/ RESOURCES
In order to be able to play the map, you have to choose the DtU resources in the file: AOWSMsetup.EXE in the lower right corner of the screen.
Some notes (lay back and relax ;)...
Originally started with a team of seven ambitous members, we ended up with three fix members.
So, as much as I´m happy with the map as it is now, I am a little bit sad that the project didn´t function in a way I had hoped for in the beginning and lost some of it´s original MMBEM character, namely that all members contribute at least those portions that they chose to fill at the beginning of the project due to various, mostly personal and understandable!!! problems (so no offence meant here to anybody!! we all have a RL that sometimes can be a real pain in the neck ;) )
Many areas couldn´t be finished by the original mapmaker so it´s a bit sad that a part of the exclusivness of the map might have suffered from the fact, that in the end much more had to be done by a single person than anticipated upfront...)
Anyway: Each team-member contributed something very special to the map, even if it was not that much in certain cases, so in the end it was still worth doing this map as MMBEM and I´d probably do it again if I could turn back time!
The involved mapmakers are (in no particular order like what or how much they contributed):
Psykitty, Albaron, Ecthelion, Ravencourt, LAL, Kaskoid and my humble self.
I´d also like to thank the one and only Groll (whom I could unfortunately not win for this project in the beginning but at least, I was able to get some artifacts from his previous works implemented into this map (which saved a lot of time! Thanks mate! I dedicated you something very special in the map, hehe ;)
And last but not least thanks Roger for playtesting and maybe (hopefully) also some events in a possible map update which I plan to do if I think it´s worth doing an update.
For those who are interested in who did which sector(s), pls check the following thread.
Now to the map itself. I´ll try to keep it as short as possible since most will be explained in the map introduction.
here come the facts:
- In addition to being designed with the Dwiggs 5.0 mod, the map comes with an own resource file since many of the original Dwiggs-settings had to be changed/adapted (e.g. most of the hero-sprites but also other stuff) to my personal liking, hehe ;)
- It´s a pure Dungeon map, means, all three Levels (surface world included) have Dungeon character - with some exceptions of course, so you will still find some trees ;) ...
(Just a short explanation at this point in regards to Undermountain (I´m sure, some of you are familiar with that Mega-Dungeon from the Forgotten Realms): Like the original Undermountain, this here is more than simply a huge Dungeon. It´s partly a magically crafted ‘realm’ on it´s own where anything is possible and where various worlds come together somehow. Creatures of all thinkable (or even non-thinkable) kind dwell here and nobody knows exactly, where they come from and how... - nobody apart from one person of course: The notorious mage Halaster Blackcloak the mad, the Creator of Undermountain. It´s said he still dwells somewhere whithin the Dungeon although nobody has seen him since ages (or at least nobody survived to report…)
-DtU is rather a pbem- or multiplayer than a single player map due to the simple fact, that the AI is extremely unlikely to win the game in terms of the actual Game Win Condition (they can eventually destroy the human player(s), which generally is rather unlikely...) But Ithink, the map offers a fair portion of unconventional gameplay which compensates for the unlikeliness of the AI to win the game ‘regularly’ so also single play should offer enough fun (if not the AI (alone) then it´s the Indies who might give you a hard time in Undermountain probably…)
- What is the regular Game Win Condition? Target is, to collect the armament of Gorm, an ancient artifact-set that lies scattered throughout the Dungeon at secret locations. It´s said, that who wears the complete set becomes invincible…
- The random factor of the map is immense: Replayability is always given. Just one example: The locations, where these set-artifacts lie hidden, will always be different in each game!
- Here´s what the map offers apart from the a.m.:
--> scores of riddles/special locations/Quests of different kinds
--> doors and secret doors leading to special places with sometimes unpredictable outcome
--> special random-teleport-system
 constant random spawns of Indy-stacks in all three Levels making player´s life(s) harder...
--> special effects
--> Unconventional gameplay. It´s not the usual building up of an empire. It´s more RPG-like roaming through a gigantic and EXTREMELY dangerous dungeon with the accompanying hack&slay & collect items factor ;). BUT: (for the freedom-lovers and enemies of plots): THERE IS NO OVERALL PLOT THAT HAS TO BE FOLLOWED!!!! There are indeed some small subplots to be discovered that CAN be followed but it´s no rpg-like mainplot apart from the task to collect the artifact set!
Gamestart: Each player starts to pick a team of heroes from a quite big variety at their starting location (each player gets the same amount of money to buy his starting-team).
During gameplay, all players can find innumerable more possible allies.
--> roughly 100! brandnew heroes, even some with description ;)
There´s probably more to write about at that point but I think, I let players find it out on their own.
I highly recommend to play pbem only if you have a fast playing team - otherwise, a game with this map could last very very long...
Final note: The maps comes without password protection.
To all of you who think, they have to change something in the map: DON´T BLAME US MAPMAKERS IF SOMETHING DOESN`t WORK ANYMORE !!
This map has been designed very carefully and with a lot of thought behind and with a lot of sensitive details. The smallest change MIGHT have a TREMENDOUS impact – even if it wouldn´t seem so.
Be aware of that. That´s all I can say.
With that, I react to the fact that obviously most people don´t like password protection.
And meanwhile I admit that, beside that negative effect that you can see many things that you should not have seen upfront, the good thing about it is the possibilityt to learn from this map in terms of event-programming at least.
I also learned again many new things the hard way during the mapmaking process.
I also checked several routines in other maps to see how others realized certain things and found out, that these things did not work properly in their maps as well – probably without the author knowing)
These routines work correctly in the DtU map thanks to hours spent on figuring out, how certain damned events/triggers work during gameplay. (It´s more than a miracle that my hair didn´t turn grey in the past year... But I assume my neigbours think, an insane rowdy is living next to them given my occasional outbursts ;) )
Final note: No map is without bugs – at least not in the initial version. This map has been tested thoroughly – especially the many event-driven things. Anyway, if you discover any obvious bug, pls. report it either here or maybe better in the main thread. I´ll keep an eye on both.
In the name of the whole team - Enjoy playing!
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Haven't had time to look it over very well, but a quick peek and it looks pretty good, and I didn't want to hold up on approving. Nice Chhristnas present from the lot of you ;)
CG - Downloads admin
been trying this scenario and looks pretty cool
game keeps exiting on its own though after turn 24 i think, when the indies are moving
make that after turn 23
it's actually exits right before my turn is about to go...not at the indies
do i need past dwiggs mod versions installed? - i just have 5.0 and then the scenario (plus, of course, the 1.4 game patch)
Hmm, no idea. Never happened to me that the game exited.
Only thing that happened to me twice in about 10 testgames was, that when the Indies were moving (also somewhere around turn 30 +/- 5) the game froze. It would look as if all was fine but the Indies turn would last endless. Maybe they would have continued after a long time but after 5 minutes I stopped and reloaded.
The first time when it happened, I´m not sure if I remember right, but I think the freezing happened again and again in this turn.
The second time (in another testgame), I reloaded and then the turn worked fine suddenly.
In all other testgames, the problem did not occur.
Maybe it has something to do with the huge map? Maybe some PC´s have problems with it, maybe it´s another problem, I don´t know.
Maybe there is one spot in the map where the indies have a problem when they get there?!
My buddy played till turn 140! and another game also quite long and he had no problems at all.
Which mode are you playing? classic mode (One player after eachother) or simultaneous mode?
I always play classic mode, my buddy always plays simultanuous mode. Maybe it has something to do with that?
BUT: I would rather try a new game before switching to simultanous mode because a lot of the game fun and difficulty gets lost in simult mode since the random spawns are currently not working in simult mose (I´ll try to fix that next year)
regarding your question whether you need past Dwiggs versions installed... No idea honestly. I do have them installed, but I´m 99,99% sure that my buddy has only Dwiggs 5.0 and as I said, he had no problems so I´d rather assume that should not be the problem`s rootcause..
[Edited on 12/25/08 @ 09:59 AM]
i'll give it another shot and do things a little different to see if it happens again - love the scenario though and the characters are cool interpretations of some of my favorites from fiction (i got jarlaxle and of course artemis heading up my squad).
thanks again for the scenario and attempt to answer my issue - happy holidays
regarding the ... I call it "Stop movement bug" (stolen from the Groll who mentioned that phenomenon several times before and I never understood what he means ;) )
If the following happens (like it obviously happend to Clockwork in turn 24 and like it happend to me in 2 out of 10 testgames:
It´s Halasters turn and suddenly the game freezes. Everything (the whole graphics like nodes and so on) are still active and everything seems fine but Halaster is not continuing and finishing his turn so that the Indies never get their turn to start.
Then do the following:
switch (while the game is stil running!!) to another application on your PC (i.e. into the internet like I´m always doing anyway when it´s the computers turn)
after you did it (one second is enough) switch back to the game and most probably, the turn will have switched from Halaster to the Indipendents. If not, go back to the other application and wait a little longer - it will happen sooner or later!
Then happens the following: It´s the Indies turn but they won´t do anything (probably because the game ended in something like an endless loop or something else)
So: SAVE the game here (under a new name!!!!!)
quit the game, and restart AOW.
load this new game, the Indies will do their turn like they should have done before!
PLEASE: Don´t ask me why this happens, probably not even God knows. It´s probably one of 1,827192 Billion unexplaiable bugs of this game, the challege is always to find the right trick how to outwit the bug ;)
Here´s what I further know about it (according to my buddy):
- It happens obviously not only in this map (and also not only with Dwiggs!) but with many custom-made maps and also under normal 1.4 patch.
- It seems only to happen in Classic mode?! (That´s only an assumption, might not be true, but never happend in Simultanuous mode till now!)
I hope, this helps guys like Clockwork when to a.m. "bug" happens!
[Edited on 12/28/08 @ 09:24 AM]
Very good map. Some new tricks that I haven't seen before.
As to the clocking bug. Something similiar happens in simulatenous. It clears alot of times by "un-ending" your turn and then ending it again.
I plan a real rating when I either complete or run out of interest. I am many turns into the map, but have not yet gotten one of the special artifacts. I probably play to carefully as usual.
In regards to your last sentence: You can´t play too careful in this scenario! It´s a good strategy to be very careful.
Sooner or later you´ll find the first artifacts. Maybe you can already see one or maybe more Heroes who are holding such an artifact (depends on how deep you already descenced into the 2nd & 3rd Level) but how to get to them is a different story :)
Even I didn´t get to a Gorm artifact in any of my testgames before turn 60... but that´s also because they are at different locations in every game...
"stop movement bug" means that two or more AI stacks are stuck on the same hex (which should not be possible of course). You can see the animations of all stacks and can also click through the single stacks. The game continues to be playable though.
This "super-stack" unfortunately does not move at all and continues to "capture" more regular stacks in case the AI moves one to or through this hex.
It seems to happen when there is an event with the "stop movement=true" condition, the AI is moving more than one stack at a time, one stack triggers the condition and out of a sudden all stacks get stuck on this hex.
I first encountered this (very frequently) with Gates of Elocin (Groll is such a big fan of "stop movement=true"), in particular in front of Dain's castle which is loaded with events like this.
Since this bug can _completely_ cripple the AI it is imho the most severe bug of AOW:SM.
In short: The phenomena described above is not the infamous "stop movement bug" but something completely different :-)
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