(Updated on 05/26/12
The Koran 4.822 is almost the same as the other versions, except it is a little harder, the enemy can defend itself, and has more goodies in it.
||Build and Destroy
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The map is playable, but incredibly tedious. You play as the Egyptians fighting the Viking "Holy Book Thieves". It would be a run-of-the-mill modified random map "build and destroy" game, if it were not for the tremendous balance issues described below.
Balance is totally out of whack. The player starts off with four imams next to a monastery, with an enormous number of relics, so you have practically infinite gold from the start. This, coupled with the market you start with, gives you practically infinite resources. As if that wasn't enough, when you bring the nobleman to your mosque, the "Nobleman's Family" gives you 77,777 of every resource! It isn't even difficult to accomplish: the only hostile thing between the nobleman and the mosque is one wolf! You're supposed to defend the mosque from the enemy, but the AI only attacked me once throughout the entire scenario, and barely left a scratch.
There's not a lot of creativity to be found here; events that occur are more confusing than anything. At one point you get the announcement "YOU EARNED THIS!" and the camera pans to where several ships have spawned under your control. They proceed to battle enemy ships on a small oasis. The purpose of this event is a mystery. You continue to get random messages and events throughout: "you find the autobiography of Aristotle" and therefore get a trebuchet (???), "you find the autobiography of William Wallace", and he shows up at your mosque! Opening up the editor shows these events are actually tied to picking up relics, but the player has no way of knowing this!
Map Design: 2
The map appears to be a slightly modified random map. The parts that the designer altered show a serious lack of effort. Your starting units are scattered about haphazardly: in the west corner are some villagers, an imam and some resources on a tiny island with some ships, which serves little purpose. An enormous Gaia palisade surrounds your base. The Great Pyramid appears to have been placed as an afterthought.
The story in the history section isn't too bad, and I liked the little conversation between the nobleman and the camel rider. However, the scenario doesn't really tell the story terribly well, and many instructions are rushed past the player at the beginning, then never mentioned again.
I'd recommend the designer play through a few of the better-rated campaigns and scenarios on the blacksmith, just to get a feel for how a good scenario is put together.
To improve this scenario, I'd vastly reduce the reward for bringing the nobleman to the mosque (make it 500 gold or less) and remove all those relics next to the mosque. I'd also make it clearer that the events occur when the player or the enemy picks up a relic, and not just randomly. That's another thing: the trigger assumes that it's the player who picks up the relic, whereas the events occur if the enemy picks up a relic as well. I'd disable monks for the enemy in the next version.
[Edited on 07/20/11 @ 06:38 AM]