This map is like an Islands map with an island in the center, all lands are connected by shallows. In the central island appears in some maps (depending the size and number of players) a gaia Cathedral which could be taken by the first player who reaches that island. The central island has lots of relics and wolves and it has a high elevation. Ideal for taking it with castles towers and some military buildings.
||Build and Destroy
The Islands are plenty of resources and there is no wood problem. The sea is plenty of fish too.
You can choose a land attack strategy or a mixed land-water strategy.
The islands are not a so far away from the others so that you can handle some attacks from island to island.
Very interesting map that will guarantee good battles and lots of fun.
|Author||Comments & Reviews ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )|
This review uses a new outline form I am trying out - will likely use in future to help organize my review better.
THEME: (3) Author does an OK job with the Theme, but as described later there were some small scripting issues that were not the best. This map script looked as though more testing would have caught some of the problems. The cathedral does not appear sometimes due to the extreme elevation and trees scripted for the central island.
---UNIQUENESS: Not the first random map script with islands connected by shallows, nor first with a central island. Still a good try to make a different map.
---RANDOMIZATION OF MAP (if applicable): The geography of the map certainly varies from game to game, which is good.
---RANDOMIZATION of TERRAIN PATTERNS (if applicable): The author scripts for four different patterns to vary the terrains of the script, and gets points for trying to do so. However because of a scripting error (base_terrain written instead of terrain_type) the desert pattern never appears, so there are 3 different terrain patterns.
---WRITE UP: The author's description fails to mention that there are no deer or boar on this map, but is otherwise pretty good. It is OK to be different from the usual maps, but these elements that vary from the norm should be explained. The author states that building a castle on the central island is a good strategy but it is almost impossible to do so because of the lack of level space.
VISUAL APPEAL: (3) Not anything special, not an improvement over the average ES standard map.
---REALISM: Not bad, but not great either. TREE_E looks slightly out of place as the start area trees on a snow or tropical theme map.
---BLENDING OF TERRAINS: Water terrains OK. Land terrains rather plain, with little variation.
---EYE CANDY: Only the Cathedral added as extra eye-candy, not that there needs to be any eye-candy in every map.
PLAYABILITY: (2) This map script seems to be less playable than the ES norm. There is terrible crowding in each player island, with little room to build up or boom. You would be hard pressed to get an adequate number of farms and military buildings placed here for the usual game. There is entirely too much forest for the size of the starting islands (16% of total area is forest compared to 13% on Arabia). Some resources are poorly accessable, crowded into small gaps in forest, or jamming small gaps in forest and preventing good player access to the rest of the island. Frequently some of the starting area gold and stone deposits were outside an almost complete ring of trees around a players base, without adequate room to place a TC by many of them. Some players had very poor access to much of their island. A score of 3 would really be a little generous here.
---RESOURCES: There were some problems with resource placement. See above. There are also no deer or boar and very few shorefish for the amount of shoreline, resources that most players consider standard, without explanation.
---MAP SIZE SCREWS: On the next-to-largest size map, there were a couple tests that I did where 8 players did not adequately fit, and the islands of 2 enemies intersected. Also, the cathedral does not always place on the center island because of variability in the size of the island (and lack of level space caused by elevation and by placement of tiny forest clumps). The author should have stated clearly that the map must be played at a size appropriate to the number of players, as crowding really messes up resource placement and player's islands on this map.
---AI: The AI can play this map but does not adequately take advantage of the fish resources all of the time, as on many maps. Also, a computer player cannot convert the gaia cathedral, if it places.
SCRIPTING FLAWS: The author seems to have made another error in that in one of the terrain patterns (25% chance of 'NORDICO') the scripted wolves do not show up on the center island. The way that the relics are scripted is very unfair - there are extra relics on the central island accessible to all(that's OK), but there are also relics supposed to be placed "per player" which frequently clump together due to inadequate commands. I have seen 3 of these 'per player' relics on one player's island several times, while other players had none - these should be spaced more evenly. There are several other command errors (which fortunately did not affect this script anyway), such as writing both temp_min_distance_group_placement and min_distance_group_placement in the same set of commands, and miswriting "place_on_specific_land_id" a few times. There are a few others, also minor.
OTHER NOTES: I generally don't like playing with a gaia object like a cathedral on the map (and this one does not always appear), but one trick I saw with this map is to claim the cathedral first, then once other players are used to seeing it as your color on the map and are ignoring it, send forward vills and delete the cathedral and build a castle, on what is almost always the only level place on the central isle.
In summary, this map will likely not be very popular in multiplayer because of the lack of building space and the relative poor accessability of some of the resources.