Posted on 03/06/01 @ 12:00 AM (updated 04/22/03
||Build and Destroy
Designed by Hector Ocampo
Finalist and winner of the 5th place in the Mongolian Campaign Contest by Ensemble Studios with the campaign named: "The Rise of Genhis Khan". Creator of the Artificial Inteligence (AI) Script: "Mexico".
There is a legend that counts that long time ago in some countries around the world, the Hopians, peacefull and rich tribes lived in some places known as Labyrinths, (because they did a lot of "winding roads"
between the jungles or forests, in that way they could hide from invaders or wild animals easily ). They lived from farming and fishing. It is said that the places in which they lived were plenty of food and wood and good
places for farming. However minerals like gold or stone were not so plenty. Fortunatelly they didn't need gold because of the magic of their treasures. The legend says that those "relics" give gold to the owners,
and it is supposed that they had lots of them.
It is not known why, but today those tribes doesn't exist anymore. One man said that it is still possible to see some things of the Hopians abandoned on the Labyrinths.
If you go there bring with you your scout and a monk. In that way since your arrive you could bring the relics near to you and wait until you could build a monastery to place them. Labyrinths are hilled places,
with great lakes, big forests or jungles.
Be carefull, some invaders could be there trying to know more about the Labyrinths, or looking for those incredible "relics"….like you.
What will you find in this map?
A great random map with good realism. With a lot of wood and food. It is a land based map but it has some lakes near every player to allow fishing or secure sea trade. Stone and gold are placed on good quantities but not plenty. However there are a lot of relics on the map.
You start with the usual villagers and scout, but now a monk is included so you can begin to pick relics as soon as the game start and placing them near your Town Center waiting for a monastery to be built.
It is a map in which ranged units play their best, this is because of the winding paths (they can be protected against infantry or cavalry by strips of forests), cliffs and elevations. So maybe you may prefer to use archers, scorpions, onagers than champions or cavalry.
Some extra resources or relics are far away from players but they could be locked behind forest. So if you find them you could need “extra work” to get them.
Based on the great review done by RF_Gandalf this random map has been improved by doing the following:
1) Some patches on the player lands (road), have been added. This allows to place all
the missing resources.
2) More resources have been added, some small gold and stone mines.
3) Boars and wolfs have been added adequately. In the case of tropical maps the animals are Javelina and Jaguar.
5) Connection generation setting is now to all lands.
6) The size of the lakes is smaller, so there is more space to allow objects placement.
7) The land percent for forest or jungle is a little bit small, so there is more room on the map but the main idea of Labyrinths still remains.
8) Length of the cliffs reduced to 4-8. The mistake that RF-Gandalf noted with lenght misspell has been corrected to length, so cliffs are placed properly.
9) It is a less crowded map.
10) The story line is more precise and gives a better detail about the kind of the map and what will you expect to find in it.
11) Of course Labyrinths with CP option has been all deleted.
12) The probability of having an snow map or jungle map or forest map has a minor change.
The more probable is forest map, then jungle map and finally snow map my this pecentages:
36%, 34% and 30%.
13) The shallows frequently placed on slopes are almost avoided.
RESUME: A big increase on playability, theme still remains the same but improved and a little increase on realism.
Thanks to RF_Gandalf and Warturtle for the reviews.
|Author||Comments & Reviews ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )|
I am using an outline form in my reviews to help give more complete coverage.
First off, the author includes 2 map scripts, Labyrinths and an extra version to help the CP. The 'CP' version is VERY flawed in that a dock is scripted for each player but only appears for some - this 'CP' version is junk and should be avoided because of its unfairness. The rest of this review will be directed only towards the basic Labyrinths map script.
THEME: (3) Suffers most from a lack of play testing to find the problems with lack of resource placement and unconnected players. I like the basic idea, and the author gets some points for his idea, but the execution of the theme is inadequate.
*** UNIQUENESS: This map script does vary from most of the previously released scripts. I liked the multiple small 'winding paths' that usually appear.
*** RANDOMIZATION OF MAP (if applicable): The map does vary in forest and lake placement, which leads to not having the exact same map game after game.
*** RANDOMIZATION of TERRAIN PATTERNS (if applicable): The author includes 3 terrain patterns, a good point to help prevent repetitiveness in the script.
*** WRITE UP: Nice little story, but the author should specify that he made a map with really abnormal resources. There are no boars on this map, sheep/turkeys are not in every terrain pattern, deer are scripted differently. And there are more relics than normal on this map, a fact not specified in the write-up.
VISUAL APPEAL: (3)
*** REALISM: Mostly looks real. However the shallows frequently placed on slopes detract from the otherwise good realism.
*** BLENDING OF TERRAINS: Adequate.
*** EYE CANDY: Adequate. One of the terrain patterns seems to be a bit heavy with eye-candy, but this is not a real problem.
*** UNIQUE GAMEPLAY FEATURES: The premise is winding connected pathways. However sometimes the opposing players are separated by strips of forest and cannot attack without clearing forest with Siege Onagers, Trebs, or Lumberjacks. This is not mentioned in the map description at all, and detracts from gameplay when variable or unexpected..
*** RESOURCES: This is the biggest problem with the script. Many times the start area resources do not place. The author has used a 'road' terrain as the player_lands. Unfortunately some resources do not place on this - berries, gold or stone. In several startups, players were missing some of their gold and stone, and once I saw missing berries. In addition, much of the extra gold and stone on the map places between narrow strips of wood and is sometimes fairly inaccessable. Finally, there is sometimes a problem with important resources locked behind forest.
*** MAP SIZE SCREWS: The crowding, lack of connections between players, and problems with resources seem worse on smaller maps. The 'road' terrain on smaler maps covers a wider circle around each player's base in a 1v1 game and therefore more resources are missing as above.
*** AI: The AI plays this map well, except that it did not ever build any fishing ships on the lakes (not a fault of this map, but common in most maps with smaller amounts of water due to limitations of the AI).
SCRIPTING FLAWS: The cliffs are sometimes too long because of an error in the word "length" (written as lenght).
OTHER NOTES: The main problems with the map could have been avoided with 2 simple changes. First, the author could have placed small dirt or grass patches on the road terrain where berries, gold and stone could be placed. Second, the connections could have been made between all players instead of just teams, in order to give a more consistant connection between players. The cliffs also seemed to be blocking pathways, and in a crowded map like this cliffs can be a real problem.
SUMMARY: Interesting idea for a map script, and it seemed to work better on the larger sized maps with appropriate number of players. However a 1v1 on any map size and games played at a size larger than expected for the number of players led to resources being dropped. A revised script would get a significantly better score. Don't bother with the "CP" version at all.
This review is again referred to Labyrinths map script and not to Labyrinth with CP.
Indeed there is a lack of resources like gold or stone, however it is indicated on the great story line. The small quantities of gold are balanced with the high number of relics. Actually the stone is not an extremelly important need on this map.
UNIQUENESS: Great!! The small 'winding paths'are extremelly difficult to de to appear on a random map script, however the author did a good job here.
RANDOMIZATION OF MAP : Good variations, specially between small maps and big maps.
RANDOMIZATION of TERRAIN PATTERNS: There are three terrain paters, this prevents repetitiveness on the map. IMO the one called "BOSCOSO" is the best one, it seems to be an old forest.
WRITE UP: Actually on the story it is indicated that there are a lot of relics, less minerals an a lot of food and wood. I don't know why the previous review done is indicating that the author didn't specify this, however I agree about an unbalanced quantity of resources, but the problem could be avoided during the game using trade.
VISUAL APPEAL: (4)
REALISM: Incredible!! specially on the Forest, It looks pretty real. I agree with the previous review:
However the shallows frequently placed on slopes detract from the otherwise good realism.
BLENDING OF TERRAINS: Adequate.
EYE CANDY: Very good.
UNIQUE GAMEPLAY FEATURES: The Labyrinths make this map ideal for archers. It's a little bit hard to use rams, onagers, scorpins, etc. I think the author should mentioned this. In this way the players could choose a good civ like mayans, britons, chinese, etc. Sometimes The enemies are protected with natural barriers that have to be cleared with Siege Onagers, Trebs, or Lumberjacks.
RESOURCES: Actually not a big problem because of the enormous quantity of wood, there are good quantities of fish and a big number of relics. However it should be advised that this map won't have the normal resources at all. The game, however, is not afected with this.
SUMMARY: Good RMS but could be improved a lot. However it is a pleasure to play it specially when you played the map sometimes before and you know the basics of it. Download it.
On your mark ,, get set ,, GO ! That's right , the beginning of this map is more or less a monk race. Each map ,depending on size will have between 16 to 24 relics evenly spaced throughout the labryinth stlyed map. Gold and stone are limited, and scripted close to each civ ,so a drive for relics takes priority. Although the map is called "Labryinth" , it is not one of those walking up to dead ends ,type map which nobody likes.
THEME : For someone to create a random map and call it "labryinth" takes sheer guts ,as the name alone instills the idea of a boring walk around map ,which this wasn't. It is a unique concept that the author pulled off quite well and does not distort in any size map. The "Blacksmith" introduction to the map is informative and helps to appreciate the map a bit more.
VISUAL APPEAL : I've never seen a forest naturally grow in the shape of a lybrinth before , which takes away slightly from any natural look . The balance between land and water is good , and the forest is not overcrowding the civs ,as they are supplied with lots of road fungus to get started. The lakes are well stocked with fish which adds a bit of eye candy. There are animals in the map , but they are not spaced out well. Animals appear together in clumps and only on the edge of the map ,,never in the middle areas. This may not be so bad in one or two maps,, but their consistent in all ,and gives the map an element of predictability.
PLAYABILITY: The map plays pretty much like a basic ES AI script. There is an adrenalin rush at the beginning for relics , which adds a different element of competition to the game. When there are that many relics on a map you have to make sure you get your share or you will pay heavily latter on. I played the game quite a few times and some were not easy, depending on how many relics a civ can aquire.
Closing remarks: The computer civs will not build docks due to the water size ,so you might gain a slight edge. Playing the game on "Death Match" will allow you to concentrate on building monks and capturing relics , while still building a decent defence. This could add or subtract from the playability depending on the individual. I enjoyed playing this map , and saved it to my RM archives.