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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thanks taken and very much appreciated!!
The famed artifacts are all well hidden and guarded :-) Not supposed to be found easily ... but I´m sure sooner or later you´ll stumble upon one or the other, maybe you find hints where to find an item as well?!
Regarding your scepticism: I can completely understand your point. But I think, after some 30-40 turns you have probably figured out, that this new concept is working pretty well.
That´s partly also thanks to the Diwggs mod which brings a lot of changes in general gameplay (higher spell-upkeep costs, higher rewards in ruins/crypts... to name but a few) that are supporting this map-concept perfectly.
And don´t forget everybody: This map is basically intended to be played in multiplayer (hotseat/pbem,online) mode. So all the goodies will be divided among all the players (and their many heroes...). That relativizes the odds somewhat.
For single players, this map offers at least some challenge but rather an unusual, new gameplay and (hopefully) a lot of fun will all the event-driven stuff.
The Fairy Queen quest is one of the simplest of quests in this map but I have to admit it´s possible that I forgot to give a reward for this one ;-)
So don´t worry about it - at least you got some XP for cleaning up this area...
Thanks again for your nice words and have further fun with the map!
Well, although i'm registered since more than 4 years i think it's my third post ever^^.
This map is one of the best i've ever played!
Currently i'm playing it in multiplayer(hotseat) with two other friends(actually i always play AoW only with these 2 guys) and we had already a lot of fun and great battles, although we have just played 25 turns.
It is really huge, beautifully designed and i think we will need till summer to beat it completely^^.
And, most important, i have deinstalled my beloved BraveNewWorld 3 especially for this map!;-)
But i have some questions though:
1. ok, it's more or less a stupid one, but do you think the map is now (almost) bug free? Cause the worst thing that can happen is, that we play countless hours and reach a point from which we can't proceed because of a bug
2. The quests, well, we got already some text events, but no "real" mission, do these text events give hints? I have understood them all but at the moment i think they are not more than a nice story addition^^.
3. following the second question, are there time controlled events at all?
Last but not least:
We have found a minor bug. We were able to choose "Path of..." by level-up of one of these heroes: Judas Iscariot, Jack the Ripper, Seth. Sorry, don't know it exactly anymore, but these 3 heroes are in use.
Hey! First of all thanks for your nice comments!
regarding your questions:
1) As much as I hope that there are no more bugs, I can´t tell of course. If I knew of further bugs, I would wipe them out..... ;-)
BUT: I can assure you: 90% of the so-far discovered bugs were more or less only minor things that simply had to be corrected because they were not nice.
only 10% were really critical and would have led to bad situations in the game (for single players, almost no bug would have been critical because you can load the savegame from the day earlier).
So I´m 99,9% sure you don´t have to fear any really critical bugs that prevent you from finishing the map - there´s always a work-around-solution if there´s a bug somewhere.
One more point also in regards to a comment from ratpeddler in his review (he stated stat he was trapped in several locations): Yesterday, I fixed one such bug from version 1.5 to 1.6 (see thread)
BUT: (Important for everybody): There are "rooms" or simply locations where you think you are trapped but in fact, you are not. There might be a secret door out of that area.
The secret doors in the map work with random chance. The random factor always differs so sometimes you find such a scecret door quite fast, sometimes you have to step on a certain hex several times before the message pops up that you foudn a secret door. The reason is, that you are not supposed to find a secret door so easily...
I think there exist only 1-2 such locations in the map where you get teleported INTO such a small chamber without an obvious exit. IF something like this happens, you should simply walk in the chamber along the wall (in circles) until eventually the secret door message pops up.
2) The messages from the beginning were, as you have suspected, more or less only story... But you should have gotten the quest to find the 8-set-artifact, this should answer your question for the timed-events. There are some more quests you can get throughout playing, some of them are timed, some not. But everything that is important, will be controlled via quest!!
3) yes there are.
thanks again for your nice words!
Ah, and a final note in regards to your last comment with the path of … feat. That´s no bug - that´s something that you can´t influence.
Well, in fact you can but I learned too late that I could have prevented that probably quite easily by adapting the game resources but I didn´t want to change the resources now again after the map was already released...
I think if everybody sticks to the rule NOT to choose such a path of... feat in a level-up, it´s fine.
There are always three options to choose from so no need to take this one.
The AI heroes shouldn´t get that feature because I gave them no priests/shamans, only fighters and rogues. At least I never saw an AI Hero with a path of…feat in many testgames some of which I played up to turn 100…
[Edited on 01/23/09 @ 03:35 PM]
Thx for the answers!
Concerning the "bug": well, i just thought you wanna know it.^^
A really nice map full of fun! I enjoy every part of the map. Rather than trying to finish the game quickly, I try to visit every part of the map. At turn 160, I still have tons of places to visit.
One problem I found is that some of the quests are not working. I cannot now remember all of them but, one was about killing a spider queen under the Halflings city. I finished the quest, but there was no message. In addition, when I got quests from Gods, it was almost impossible to do them because of the distance (and all those mystical teleporting globes).
One advice to other players. Do not kill the statues! They may be useful if you got a scroll to thaw them.
Thanks for all your efforts!
great to see that at last somebody found out what´s about the statues, haha :-)
There are also some of stone...
hmm, I think somebody else had the same problem with the quest under the Halfling Ciry - I assume, you mean not spider queen but FAIRY Queen...?!
Yeah, guess I forgot that reward, ashes over my head...I´ve again some small changes (no bugs this time, just a few changes) for a 1.7 version so I think, I´ll add that damn award and message as well to this version ;-)
And in regards to the god´s quests: Of course the mapmaker has no impact on those... they are game-controlled. I agree that in this kind of map where certain areas are sometimes hard or even impossible to reach it can be really challenging to solve such a quest but in my testgames, it was only rarely the case (maybe 20%) that I couldn´t solve such a quest.
Thanks for your praise!!
Ooops! Yes, it was a FAIRY queen. I think I saw too many spiders underground...
Ah, one more question. When I was transported to some places, I could not get out of the place. Are they intended? I am playing using Humans and there is one place underground almost NW corner like this. I transported my best stack there and played more than 20 turns hoping something would happen. Well, I had to replay all those turns. Now, I am really careful whenever I use any transpoters.
[Edited on 01/30/09 @ 08:29 PM]
You had to rebuild a teleporter not too far away from your starting town to get to this underground place...
In the middle of this underground area is antother teleporter (which is also razed!) so if you managed to rebuild one teleporter... ;-)
nobody said everything was easy in Undermountain ;)
Apart from that, there are only very very few locations in the map (if you are playing the latest version at least) where you get teleported to and apparently there´s no way out.
But there is always a way out - and be it a secret door that has to be found...
In fact there was a bug up to version 1.5 where you could get yourself teleported to a place without exit but I think and hope, that´s the last bug of this kind unless somebody else reports of a definite other location where something like this happens.
The teleporter (and the place I transported to) I was talking about is at underground level, a bit more south from the one you mentioned.
I found another bug. I found an item containing a dangerous ghost. The quest requires me to give the item to the Archon angel hero. I did it, but nothing happened. One more quest to the brothel... This is a funny quest. I guess you meant Chi in Chinese by 'gea'. Is that right? Anyway, I ran upto there not to screw up my precious one (You know what). Again, nothing happened.
I will report whenever I find more. It must be difficult to simply locate the bugs because of the size of the map.
Thanks again for making this marvelous map!
[Edited on 02/02/09 @ 09:01 PM]
Hmm, I have some questions/comments to all of the three points you mentioned but in order not to give away too many spoilers I´d appreciate if we could clarify this via email, is that OK for you?
If you want, you can send me and email to Kimmuriel at gmx dot de and then I´ll answer you.
Would be great if you put the coordinates of that teleport into the mail (that one that apparently leads to a place without exit) as well as the coordinates of that Archon angel as well as which artifact you are refering to (the one with the ghost inside...)
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