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Downloads Home » Random Maps » Biz's Map Pack 1

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Biz's Map Pack 1

Author File Description
The_Biz
File Details
Version: The Conquerors
Style: Build and Destroy
Background/Motivation/Rant
I love strategic games. For a game to be strategic, it needs to have tradeoffs and choices. Some choices will be better than others in certain situations, but the same choice must not always be the best option. Without this decision depth, a game cannot call itself strategic. If the choices are too few or too obvious, then the game is shallow.

I also like competitive games. Equal players should have equal opportunities to win. Victory should be determined by skill instead of luck. Also, better players should be able to utilize their skills and win efficiently.

I've been playing AoC on and off for about 10 years. I have also played many other strategy games. AoC does some things well, and some things poorly. The repetition of fixed strategies, lack of balance, and narrow skill gap are only highlighting this game's shortcomings to the point of frustration. I don't know why we've had over a decade of games determined by the luck of who finds sheep or who has better fish or who has the better civ. This stuff isn't even hard to fix, and has driven countless players away...

So, instead of just complaining about it and moving on, I've decided to give it one last shot and try and make things better. AoC is a game full of potential held back by a handful of pretty glaring flaws. These maps are a starting point of a plan to enhance the game and amplify its strengths instead of its weaknesses.

Most of these maps were designed with 2 goals : strategic depth and competitiveness. Fixed strategy maps are pretty shallow and boring, so I wanted to give the player options. The tradeoffs between land and sea and booming and rushing make for much more strategic games, while the resource fairness and necessity to utilize a larger skill set make for much more competitive games.

You can expand each spoiler to see pictures and other details. Click a picture for a high-resolution view. On some pictures, the circle delineates one team. Standard resources means "8 sheep / 2 boar / 8 berries / 7+4+4 gold / 5+4 stone / maybe some deer"

All of these maps also support the regicide game mode, but without the extra villagers or a castle. The king replaces the scout. (regicide starting res are 500w 500f 0g 150s)

Mix of land and sea (amphibious)
  • Chaos
    Decent fish. Stone is farther than usual. Standard resources. No wolves.


  • Coastal GoldRush
    Good fish. Standard resources. No wolves.


  • Square Donut
    Good fish. Standard resources. No wolves.


  • Continents
    Players are randomly placed on some continents. You may or may not be connected directly to the enemy. You always have a path to your team. Center island has gold/stone. Outer islands have wood/relics.
    Good fish. Standard resources. Extra relics. No wolves.
    for 2v2, the host's teammate should join last (to minimize the chance of it ending up like Team Islands)


  • Quad Lakes
    designed for 3v3/4v4. 12 fish (200f) per player, evenly distributed across 4 lakes which do not have quick paths between them (except in 1v1/2v2)
    Standard resources. Resources in the center vary (sometimes relics, sometimes gold, sometimes stone, sometimes fish)


  • Migration Plus
    Good fish. Migration-like layout with 8 sheep / 2 boar / 6 berries / 4 deer / 5 gold / 5 stone and slightly bigger player islands. Player islands are connected to the mainland by shallows. Gold in the mainland tends to avoid the coast. No wolves


  • _Amphibious_Vol1
    A compilation that randomly chooses one of these maps (not all have equal probability for equal sizes)


    Open Land Maps
  • HardWall@Arabia
    Arabia-like layout with some forests much harder to wall.
    Standard resources. No wolves.


  • Valley of Gold
    Gold in a valley in the middle of the map. Steep hills on either side divide the teams.
    8 sheep / 2 boar / 6 berries / 3+3 gold / 5+4 stone. no wolves


  • Land Madness
    Arabia-like layout with all forests much harder to wall.
    5 sheep / 1 boar / 3 berries (under TC) . no wolves
    small groups of berries / deer / gold / stone scattered all over the map


  • Tiny Lakes
    Arabia-like layout with many tiny scattered lakes each with 4 fish (900f). If a lake is missing fish, there is another lake very close by that has fish.
    Standard resources. no wolves.


  • _LandRush_Vol1
    A compilation that randomly chooses one of these maps (not all have equal probability)



    Choke-point Land Maps (Unwallable)
  • Reverse Arena
    Bases are much smaller than arena. Fighting occurs on outsides instead of in center. Cannot wall off Oasis-style.
    8 sheep / 2 boar / 6 berries / 7 gold / 5 stone. No wolves. Deer / gold / stone on outsides.


  • Focal Point
    Enemies are only connected through the center. Center may have gold / stone / relics / lake (no fish). Cannot wall off the center.
    Standard resources. No wolves.


  • Icy Forest
    Cannot wall off paths to enemies BF-style.
    Standard resources. No wolves.


  • Precut Michi
    The number of pathways varies (usually bigger maps have more). They cannot be walled.
    Standard resources (not michi resources). No wolves.


  • _Chokepoints_Vol1
    A compilation that randomly chooses one of these maps (not all have equal probability)

    Special thanks to the folks who tested these with me. You know who you are...

    Edit:
    Fixed some bugs with coastal goldrush, valley of gold, icy forest (and the respective compilations)

    I also added some maps that I had lying around. They work, but I wouldn't consider them 100% finished.
  • 2TC@Separation and 2TC@Watercross 1v1. They aren't the typical multitown maps.
  • Safe_Eco@Regicide. Neat map only for regicide. Economy and military are totally separate, so there is no raiding. Just war.
  • Moats. Pretty much a land map with some interesting routes to opponents. Could be regicide.
  • Fairer Nomad - nomad with fairer resources and fish (with 1.0f you start with nomad resources)
  • AuthorReviews   ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )
    Zetnus
    Rating
    4.3
    Breakdown
    Theme5.0
    Visual Appeal3.0
    Playability5.0
    Theme: 5
    Seeing as this is a map pack and not a single map, the underlying theme is best understood as the unifying purpose that underlies these maps. Namely, providing "strategic depth and competitiveness" by presenting the player with decisions about how to develop, while ensuring a very balanced start.

    The theme of providing diverse strategic challenges is well implemented by using unwallable terrains and uncommon map layouts.

    At the same time, the maps are all "fair" in that every player has an equal start so that luck does not play a major role in the outcome of the match. For example, none of the maps have wolves, and starting resources tend to be close to the player and easy to find.


    Visual Appeal: 3
    On average across all the maps, the visual appeal compares to that of the standard ES maps, thus warranting a 3.

    There is little to no eye-candy, and terrain mixing, while present, is often very subtle (grass is mixed with grass, but contains no dirt patches). This makes sense given the theme of playability, as eye-candy and lots of varied terrains might distract the player.

    The use of ice terrain to prevent walling tends to clash horribly with the surrounding terrains (the notable exception being Icy Forest). While this feature is certainly important for the game-play of many of these maps (and I don't suggest getting rid of it), it simply doesn't look visually appealing.

    Bamboo is prolifically used as forest terrain, and often that doesn't look particularity appealing. Once again, there is presumably a functional reason - it's easier to find sheep and boars behind bamboo than behind other trees.

    There is no mixing of water terrains (ie. shallower patches within deeper patches). This could probably be implemented without affecting playability.

    Ultimately, I feel that push to maximize playability, strategic depth and fairness has come come at the cost of visual appeal.


    Playability: 5+

    This is where this map pack really excels. It provides many opportunities to try out different strategies (booming/rushing/attempting to wall/going for water).

    Starts tend to be well balanced and provide access to the necessary resources.

    If you are the kind of person who only enjoys a map if you get a fair start, then this is definitely a download for you!

    The layout of most of these maps generally doesn't vary much between loads, so if you enjoy variability and having to work with what you are given, then it could get repetitive for you. Luckily, this pack contains many maps, so you can just switch to a new one when that happens.

    Overall, these maps are designed with playability in mind and it definitely shows.


    Additional Comments:
    I recommend this map pack, especially if you are looking for a set of fair and balanced maps.

    Well done!

    [Edited on 01/15/15 @ 05:00 PM]


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    Rating
    4.3
    Breakdown
    Theme5.0
    Visual Appeal3.0
    Playability5.0
    Statistics
    Downloads:2,203
    Favorites: [Who?]1
    Size:33.91 KB
    Added:03/06/12
    Updated:07/22/12