MGC14 - The Departure of Boromir
~~The Departure of Boromir~~
||The Conquerors 1.0c
HockeySam18's entry to the MGC'14
Based off the Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien, as well as the films directed by Peter Jackson.
Background: Having reached the Falls of Rauros, the Fellowship prepares to cross the Anduin to escape the army of Orcs hot on their trail. However, temptation strikes as a semi-possessed Boromir waylays Frodo near the summit of Amon Hen, the 'Hill of Seeing,' an encounter that Frodo barely escapes, leaving a suddenly remorseful Boromir in his wake. As the Orcs approach, their close proximity unbeknownst to the Fellowship, Aragorn encounters a mortified and paranoid Frodo. This is where our story begins...
-A short intro cutscene, followed by fast-paced Fixed Force and RPG gameplay and fighting, capped by a final boss fight.
-Custom soundtrack, voice acting, and sound effects, courtesy of Howard Shore, the LoTR films, and TOAO DaVe (for one particular sound effect).
-Difficulty dynamism- three distinct levels of difficulty, guaranteeing that there is something for players of all levels.
-Realistic units- principal characters and unit classes are tailored (through use of triggers and unit/hero type) to have strengths and weaknesses befitting their roles in the LoTR canon.
-To my comrades at Stormwind Studios, for general inspiration and providing excellent advice.
-To my playtesters: Cysion, Croatianboss, and Sir Dolphin 2.
Note: The latest version of the UserPatch is necessary to play this scenario. You can download it here.
See the readme that I've attached in this download for more info regarding the scenario, setup, etc. Enjoy!
A Stormwind Studios production.
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"The Departure of Boromir" is a short RPS-style minigame featuring a series of intense duels and small battles. It is also the winner of the 2014 Minigame Competition.
This scenario is a lot of fun. It consists of three small battles in which you use each of your heroes' strength to overcome the orcish onslaught. It's pretty simple, but it's a tightly packed, well-executed and well-balanced showcase of RPS fighting styles. The music and dialogue snippets also add to the experience.
All three battles are challenging, and it took me a few restarts to get through the scenario, but the scenario did become progressively easier. The first battle was, in my opinion, pretty much perfectly balanced, as my heroes were all down low HP levels as the battle wound down; by the last battle there was much less need to micromanage, and I was able to win this one without a single restart. All in all it's a mixed result, landing the overall score here at a 4.
As mentioned before, the scenario is a pretty simple but well-executed showcase of various RPS fighting styles, all requiring you to use your micromanagement skills to get through the challenges. The techniques have been used many times before, but the author still manages to mix them up to get a ratehr fresh feel to them. Apart from that, there nothing that really stands out. The map design is great, and here the author also uses known techniques to achieve great results. All in all, in terms of creativity this is a solid scenario.
MAP DESIGN: 5
The high point of the scenario. The entire map is very well-crafted, from the tighly packed bushes and rocks that serve as a battleground early on, to the abandoned ruin in the center, and to the little stream by the hills used in the finale. It's a gorgeous map, and well worth a top score.
STORY & INSTRUCTIONS: 4
The insructions are a bit lack-lustre, as you're thrown into each fight with no idea what to expect. I think it would improve the scenario to have some basic instructions and hints for each fight, while still not giving everything away in detail. The story, then, closely follows the scene from the Lord of the Rings in which Boromir, in an attempt to rectify himself after threating to take the ring from Frodo, sacrifices himself in saving Merry and Pippin. The scenario pretty much requires prior knowledge of either the books or the films; while I don't suggest you retell the whole story up until this point, a little more backstory would still be good for those who haven't seen/read LotR, or haven't done so in many years.
Overall, this is a fun, action-packed minigame, worthy of its title as winner of the MGC14!
The Departure of Boromir is HockeySam18's winning entry to the 2014 Minigame Competition. The scenario retells the famous scene from Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, whether the titular fellowship are attacked by a band of Uruk-Hai near the hill of Amon Hen.
As a huge Lord of the Rings fan I thoroughly enjoyed this scenario. There are a number of LOTR based scenarios, but most are pretty poor and lacklustre. This scenario is not, in fact its up there with one of the best I've played in the Blacksmith. The scenario involves three battles in which you must uses the strengths of each hero to overcome the onslaught of attacks from the Uruks. The scenario is intense and provides much entertainment as you must uses different tactics to survive each battle.
The scenario is pretty much perfectly balanced overall, and each battle has a different challenge. The first battle is balanced well, the player is given control of a single unit, Aragorn and must fight of the initial wave of Uruk-Hai. The wave is balanced well with a good amount of units against the players single unit. It relies on this use of the up-hill advantage to survive. In the second battle you gain the help of Legolas and Gimli, giving you missile attack and a strong axeman. The waves here are much stronger and you can take a couple of restarts to complete this part if you don't find a good spot to funnel the enemy in. The final battle was easier and required less management and thought. The Uruk army is well balanced as well with a selection of stronger units (Woad Raiders) which the player should concentrate their attacks on before taking out the weaker units.
The scenario is fairly simple with many different RTS factors used. Each of the three battles are very different and require the player to use different tactics. The scenario creatively uses UserPatch effects and civ bonuses to get the most use out of the whole scenario, a clear sign that the author is very knowledgeable and skilled with the game and the editor. There's not really anything new that the scenario brings to the table, but everything that has been done has been executed perfectly. One nice touch that I enjoyed was the custom dialogue that was written, copying the lines from the film's script and using sounds and dialogue from the film to read out each line to the player. This must have taken quite a bit of work to cut and extract each line and its a welcome addition to the scenario.
Map Design: 5
The map design is as good as one could find in a minigame scenario. For such a small map, its amazing to see a design thats so busy, yet accessible for all units to move around without getting stuck or lost within the vast amount of trees and eye candy. The use of UserPatch's off-grid placement tool has been utilised well and effectively to create clumps of trees and bushes, making it look very similar to the Amon Hen you see in the film. Terrain mixing and elevation is used effectively and overall the map is a work of art. This is probably the most beautiful minigame I've ever played.
The story is the familiar story that any Lord of the Rings fan knows and loves. The emotional scene of Boromir's departure is dealt with well and is atmospheric and effective. The scenario tells the story almost word-for-word as the film version, obviously shortened to make room for the gameplay, and uses the same dialogue as the film's script. The story relies on the player having some prior knowledge of the story of Lord of the Rings up to that point, but does give a small bit of backstory. It is clear that the author of the scenario is a fan of the series and is knowledgeable in not only the film series but the books and extended writings as well. The Instructions are clear for the most part, but could have a bit more information on whats going on as it can take a bit of guess work on the players part. Hints are provided and are helpful if the player gets stuck.
Overall the Departure of Boromir is a fantastic minigame scenario and a worthy winner of the 2014 competition. A highly recommended download.