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!
|Author||Reviews ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )|
The randomn/forced transporters are a bit much at times for trying to get around such a large map. However, for all the scripting the map worked very well.
I stayed alive to see most all of the map. As stated in SP AI probably won't kill you, but exploration needs to be planned.
Very nice map, lots of ideas with the user controlled doors, transport spots, etc... Makes a strong case for DWIGGS!
Map Design: 5
Great except for a few places where it was hard to navigate because of the overly complex landscape.
I got started before all the fixes. So I ended up with a number of very nice stacks trapped. I wasn't careful enough on my save files. However, I was far enough along not to want to restart.
[Edited on 01/18/09 @ 03:23 PM]
|Roger the Rampant
Enormous replay value due to the fact that so many things in this map change each time you play it. Some teleporters also take you to different destinations every time you enter them.
I found this map to be well balanced.
The concept is not totally unique, but it was implemented more effectively than any other dungeon map that I have seen previously.
Map Design: 5
To make a map as complicated as this one work properly must take the patience of a saint, it requires an enormous amount of tweaking and playtesting, but Morgul666 actually managed to achieve this in a relatively short period of time.
There is enough background information and various storyline events that manage to keep you engrossed in the map.
I have to say initially that this is one of the best maps that I have ever played. If there was one thing I would change it would be that annoying message "Do you want to open the door? YES/NO" every frigging time you go through a gap where a door used to be, by setting the event settings to once per player. I would also give all wizards custom messages. Those aside though, this is an astonishingly complex map which shows great humour, great mapmaking skill and an in-depth knowledge of how to play the game. It is quite clear to me that Morgul666 is a mapmaking genius. I don't like the idea of downloading custom resources just to play one map, but in all fairness this map wouldn't work properly if units with "path of ???" were roaming around, and this was one of the major downfalls of the previous map I played which had dungeon on all three levels. Hopefully once Upatch 1.5 sorts out the problems with "path of ???" demolishing walls we will see more maps of this kind. Anyway I would recommend that people do go to the trouble of installing the custom resources and playing this map, because if you don't do it you will be missing out on a really fun experience. Download it now! :)
A beautiful map and with so many avenues for exploration and conquest that no two games can/will play the same way. Random spawns and the teleportation system add to this. Great work by the entire team.
Each wizard has options to exploit the AI, the good and neutral races perhaps a bit more but with enough build-up time available to all wizards, this usually evens out - except for wizards whose heroes can get resurrect.
I suggest getting that last project you had in mind in the FR setting out quickly and hope its as inspired as this one.
Edit: I meant to give a 5 for Balance.
[Edited on 05/29/09 @ 10:24 AM]
One of the best, if not the best, MP map I have ever played. And I don't say this lightly.
What makes this opinion even more impressive is that this huuuge map is entirely underground. Yes, no vast deserts and deep forests... but man, you will see something different around every corner! The many events and unique areas really feel immersed in an incredibly rich world. Adventures can be found almost everywhere. Some stand alone, but others will lead you to discover more secrets of this magical and cursed place called the Undermountain.
The map plays very unique. And this is due to the random teleports which allow only single-stack armies to travel large distances in minimal time. Alternatively, you can travel the map with multiple stacks, which will make you strong, but you'd have to prepare for days of travel... Furthermore, cities are relatively rare, giving more emphasis on expansion and exploration to get an advantage.
I was part in one of the first pilots of this map, and I can only imagine how it has improved with all the changes I see.
For those of you would believe this map can never be finished, we have recently proven you wrong. http://aow.heavengames.com/cgi-bin/forums/display.cgi?action=st&fn=25&tn=3897&f=25,,30,60&st=800
(Well worth to read too)
Thank you Morgul and team!!!
Something needs to be done to play Humans down. Removing a Scorpion Priest from that group in a summonning circle and a Succubbus in a Shadow Weed (both can be relatively easily and early converted and together with a Cardinal from the recruitment site form one hell of a team).
Also, independent spawns seem almost never to threat Humans' starting area in contrast with some other positions.
Map Design: 4
A great map and a great implementation of many ideas. Of course, stretching limits you sometimes drop the ball :) Not that it matters a lot with uch a great map.
Every 5 here is a very solid 5. Thumbs up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
[Edited on 12/26/11 @ 07:28 AM]