Posted on 02/11/19 @ 09:59 AM (updated 02/24/19
||The Conquerors 1.0c
|Required Modpack (if not included with the download):
"The Xandrian war has been the worst conflict in Dystonia for over four years. Fought between two tribes, the Xanders and the Traibs, the war has been going for four years, and both sides are starting to grow weary.
I one last push to gain the upper hand King Sebastian of the Traibs has sent his top solder, Drent to spy on King Yassen of the Xanders to find a weakness in his battle strategy. However, after three weeks he still hasn’t returned…
You play as Alexander, a mercenary hired by Sebastian. Your job is to spy on The Xanders, tell Sebastian everything you know and find out what has happened to Drent..."
Wrath of the Traibs is an epic story-driven scenario that has been in the works for close to ten years. Set in the fictional world of Dystonia, a huge backstory has been created to increase the realism and effect of the scenario. Included within this download are a background information document, a timeline of Dystonian History and a Map of the known world of Dystonia.
IMPORTANT: This is scenario is modded with The_Slayer90s Crusade Expansion. You must download this mod pack separately and install it in order to play this scenario, otherwise it will not work.
● A Giant Map of Central Dystonia, featuring the 5 Countries with many Towns, Settlements and Cities.
● A huge Backstory about the History of the World, Religion and Characters.
● Modded using The_Slayer90's Crusade Expansion.
● Classic fantasy features such as magic and whole new fantasy world and strange beasts.
● An Inventory System
● Ability to Buy Buildings
● 683 Triggers
● Part 1 of the Dystonian Chronicles Series
● Music by awesome rock/metal bands such as: Skillet, Black Veil Brides, Biffy Clyro, Love Robot, & Epica.
● Music by legendary orchestral groups such as: Immediate Music, Two Steps From Hell and X-Ray Dog, Future World Music & Audiomachine.
● Music from epic film and TV composers such as: Hans Zimmer, Murray Gold, Howard Shore, Ben Foster and Nicholas Hooper.
This scenario received nominations for Best Gameplay, Best Map Design, Best Atmosphere and Scenario of the Year at the 2019 Game of the Year Awards.
Mapshot | Town of Greentree | Zandrian Mines | Zandrian Farms | Bandit Camp | Mountain Ranges of Uldûrh | Gallendale Cathedral
● 24/02/19 - Minor Bug Fixes
I hope you enjoy playing Wrath of the Traibs. Please do give feedback and review.
Thanks for Downloading!
A BLACKFOREST STUDIOS PRODUCTION
|Author||Reviews ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )|
Wrath of the Traibs is the first entry of Possidon's "Dystonian Chronicles", an in-development saga about a vast continent full of rich history, lore, myths and legends, all of it loaded with discord and conflict. As an opener to such an ambitious endeavor, how well does Wrath of the Traibs succeed in introducing us to the universe the author has planned?
The scenario can be grouped into two segments; a classic role playing game, followed by a traditional build and destroy. The role playing segment begins with a small prelude where you control a side character who is sent to find the main character himself before taking control of him. At first glance, the world appears lifeless and static, but that's only because the side content doesn't activate until you control the main character. Once you do, you will see that the world is brimming with NPCs, quests, and discovery. Or, well, "see" as well as your hero allows it. With less line of sight than a villager and just a bit more than a sheep, exploration is reduced to a crawl. You can either zig-zag in hope to tediously uncover the accessible areas, or you can go in straight lines and inevitably miss a lot of the content. And while a couple of village areas are actually revealed via triggers, this is not a consistent thing throughout the scenario. It's a huge hit to the enjoyability of the scenario right away, and I simply don't believe getting the hero to have the appearance of a Huskarl should somehow take precedence over the player's ability to explore the world at a reasonable pace.
As you explore, you mostly encounter NPCs and bandits, the former giving you quests and/or offering you stat upgrades, the latter acting as an obstacle and to make the world more hostile, sometimes tying in with quests. Though attractive at first, much of the side content ends up being little more than fetch quests - busywork with little in the sense of depth. Some seem completely pointless, like helping a hunter track a boar that's 5 tiles away and could easily be found in less than 30 seconds (despite the line of sight issues). Others try to be innovative but fall flat in the attempt, like when you have to chose between murdering a target openly or out of sight of the guards, which ends up bearing no consequence, as the handful guards can be killed in one hit each. There absolutely were enjoyable parts among them, such as hunting for a beast in the forest, sneaking through enemy territory, and generally learning more about the world.
This is where I can unfortunately only award a low score, as nothing in the scenario seems to have been made into anything resembling a challenge. For most of the role playing section, you are treated to a hopelessly overpowered hero unit who, even when left on autopilot, can beat most of what the game throws at him. Combine this with even just a few of the numerous upgrades you can collect along the way, and even the handful of special encounters that are meant to be difficult can be won without breaking a sweat. The build and destroy section doesn't improve on this either, as you immediately acquire a large army, with heaps of resources and a blooming economy to sustain it all, while your enemy readily wears himself out by splitting his army into small groups that individually attack a single, easily defendable passage. By the time I pushed forward to attack the two enemy bases, they were almost devoid of soldiers, and the leaders you have to kill are only formidable due to absurdly large stat increases, which still didn't keep my army from overrunning them with relative ease.
Between the tons of side content, upgrades tracked by an inventory system, and other neat little things like magical barriers, the creativity is somehow both one of the scenario's highlights and one of it's let-downs. While a great many things are present, they feel underdeveloped. Cutscenes for the most part only consist of dialogue, with minimal camera-work or movement here and there. Bandits do not patrol, ambush the player, or really interact at all outside of a few quests. They are static hostile units scattered across the world. While a heap of triggerwork is present, it's not always quite as elaborate as it should be for the grandiose feeling of scale the plot attempts to convey. The author expects the base game and the player's imagination to do most of the work - triggers used only to the bare minimum necessary to convey the information visually... which unfortunately leads to some scenes feeling underdeveloped and flat. Dialogue passes by extremely fast on the speed suggested for the scenario. Music and sound effects are used to good effect, although in some cases the choice of loud battle songs is an odd setting for a regular conversation. There is also a number of bugs, a few broken quests, and some serious oversights.
Map Design: 5-
The map design, although arguably a bit dated, is generally top notch. Elevation, terrain mixing, and detailed eye candy placement are all present and used effectively. There isn't anything particularly innovative or creative about it, but it divides the world nicely, serves it's gameplay purposes and looks beautiful throughout. I see no valid reason to deduct a full point here.
Story / Objectives: 3
The world of Dystonia is rich with ancient history and lore, and the player is encouraged to learn more about this. My favorite part of this were the custom statues of kings that you could select to find out a bit about each king. I might have appreciated them even more if there was a side quest or even just a little bonus dialogue for collecting them all.
The main story was a bit rushed, with underdeveloped characters and some very, very convoluted plot explanations. I can't help but shake the feeling that the author was more concerned with creating twists and turns for the story than building a coherent and developed narrative. Of course, demanding Oscar-worthy writing from an Age of Empires 2 scenario is a wholly unrealistic expectation, but some of the things that I am told are going on are so downright illogical that I'm not afraid to say the entire story could benefit from a full redraft.
The writing itself is decent, with a few typos, grammatical errors or formatting issues here and there. I feel like some objectives could use some more direction on where to actually go in the world, but other than that they were solid. The history, scouts and hints sections were generally just as detailed and helpful as they needed to be.
Final score: 3.2
A list of bugs that I found:
- Purchasing "Steel Traib Sword" from the blacksmith in the first town does not remove gold from your stockpile.
- In the camp of the first bandit lord (in Ehr) is a friendly villager called Elenore. She has no interaction whatsoever.
- Objective for quest to find spade is broken.
- Quest to retrieve stolen horse from cart guy has no objective.
- Entering the Lars camp before the conversation with the guards ends turns them hostile (good detail), but the conversation continues and they remain hostile even after Alexander shows them the seal.
- The quest to tame the knight's horse can be accidentally broken by locking the horse in before it moves away from it's spot.
- It's possible to trigger the trap in Versali forest but move past it by going over the left rock, so you keep control of the old Alexander unit during and after the cutscene.
- If you don't talk to the travelers near Kenji's tent, their dialogue still plays when you kill one of them and disguise yourself as the other.
- There is no note for the Statue of King Yassen in Baclava.
- At the start of part 3, if I didn't kill all purple guards earlier in the section that explicitly tells me to avoid them, they will remain hostile and attack my freshly gained town and farms. I thought these were soldiers of that same kingdom?
- Purchasing buildings is broken. I immediately own all buildings and can use them, but I lose lose gold anyway when selecting them (hard to know which buildings I own or not).
- I also already own the entire army of King Yassen and have no need to throw away 2000 gold.
- There can be some dialogue overlap with King Yassen at the beginning of part 3 if you've already killed all 3 bandit lords.
- There are two General Desmonds. One at the Xandar castle and one at the gold mine. Neither ever say or do anything, but I assume control of both at the beginning of part 3.
Lastly, I am fully aware how it may come across that I, previously a playtester of this map who backed out before providing much meaningful feedback, am now hammering down on the finished work with a rather harsh review. Should the scenario be updated, I will no doubt edit this review to reflect on any improvements. Regardless, I hope my feedback proves helpful to the author in his future endeavors, and I genuinely hope to see more of this fictional world that is so brimming with potential.
[Edited on 01/12/20 @ 05:09 AM]