LotR Upon The Walls Of Minas Tirith
This is the Battle of Minas Tirith. Only the first scenario is added along with audio files and AI files.
Please leave comments and tell me if i should continue the campaign.
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Okay, so basically this is one of the better LOTR campaigns, but it is only the first scenario and quite short. It shows good creativity and trigger skills, and a lot of potential.
The campaign starts out with you playing as Gandalf and a group of infantry and archers. After the Witch King signals the assault, the Orcs start pouring through the city. The dark forces are too powerful to defeat, but by positioning your troops well and keeping them together you can do a lot of damage.
However I found the mission design was not that great in the way the objectives worked. It was unclear exactly what you have to do. I thought that I had to wait for a certain time, or kill a certain number of orcs. Indeed I retreated at first because my soldiers were decimated from the front lines, but when I pulled back to the second stage I found I could hold my ground indefinitely. I got bored with this after a few minutes and sent my archers out to their deaths, then brought Gandalf to the locked gate and I was set. This moved it on to the last part, where Gandalf disappeared and reappeared, I'm not sure if this was magic or just to show time passing, or showing a nearby area but in a different part of the map.
Anyway, I now just had to get back to the gate, which was pretty easy.
Basically your objective is to die. This isn't very fulfilling, because the better you fight, the longer it takes. There's no reward for fighting well, and if you position yourself where I did, you can stay alive for ever.
I don't actually mind this idea, but the dark forces were never strong enough for me to feel I had to retreat. I positioned my archers behind Gandalf in the narrow gap leading up to the gate. Here he could take out all the units that were spawned.
If the enemy was able to over power you, you would be forced to play as you are supposed to. If they had skirmishers created then you could no longer defend against them, because the skirmishers would easily damage your archers. This would force you to pull back. Basically, increase the flow of enemies in the city as time goes on until no player can't stand against them.
Also, there is no punishment for dying quickly. I could delete all my units and win the scenario faster. You should be required to defend for a certain amount of time until you can carry on, or attain a certain number of kills. Basically, the reward should be for achievement, not losses, know what I mean?
The mission was a little repetitive in gameplay, once you were in position you just stood your ground and fired arrows, sometimes moving on to the next point. There should be more details, more mission-within-missions. For example, Gandalf could have to rescue some men in another area.
The music was great, you must have done some good work finding it, and it adds a great atmosphere. Chuck in a few sound effects too and you'll be set.
I played this on moderate, which is the most important level to test because most people play on it. I can't provide feedback on the other levels, but moderate was a little too easy. Having said that, it was more the playability factors that were the issue.
The enemy entered the walls not by breaking them, but by using massive siege towers. This was really creative, and looked cool. The way the units spawned in other parts of the city wasn't so good though, because they didn't appear to come from anywhere. They should appear from somewhere logical at all times, like from a siege tower, a gate etc. I liked the way the siege towers were attacked and destroyed by the trebuchets, then rebuilt. It gives a good impression of the enemies endless numbers.
Since it's only an intro mission it would be okay just to leave it mainly as it is, but provide a clear goal for each area, that takes some skill to achieve.
Creativity is strong mainly for the little things in the mission, like siege towers, and the way they reappeared. Good music made the campaign stand out, something few have. This was combined with some cinematic type scenes as well, and good use of triggers. Map Design is the area that needs a little more creativity, using a bit more eye candy and map copy will make that possible.
Map Design: 4
The map was above average, but still needs a bit more work. The terrain I first saw outside the city was good, with a mix of grasses and dirts, giving an impression of encroaching darkness. The city of Minas Tirith in the heart of Gondor needs more work though. The terriain was almost all road.
Minas Tirith is a beautiful city, as should be made so in the map. This means plenty of trees and eye candy, well structured sections of houses etc. The city is divided into 7 circles, rising higher in each layer.
The city is ruled by Denethor, a steward who has lost hope having looked into the palantyr and been deceived by Sauron. There should be some great stone and brickwork, and some nice eye candy, but there is also a feeling of hopelessness to portray.
To make the city like this, first, use a lot more broken roads. The people have more important things to worry about then keeping the city looking beautiful in times of war. Add the orange coloured broken road, as well as a little fungus.
Now the roads don't go everywhere either - use grasses and a little dirt, as well as trees to make up the details. If everything is road, the roads themselves aren't roads anymore. Use them only as paths to give some order to the city.
The first layer of the city will probably be defences - towers, maybe a few houses, that sort of thing. The first layer should be filled with some special effects like falling catapult balls (some exploding birds where they hit), the invisible farm fire, and more damaged buildings.
Since there are plenty of players left, you can use quite a few different players to mix different architechtures - probably the britons and the teutons styles work best. You can use one or two colours for the mixing.
As the city gets further towards the centre add some monuments, temples, that sort of thing. Basically in all your maps of the city you must try to show that it is a beautiful and grand city, but a little run down and gloomy. This is pretty hard for a beginner to do, but try your best.
Looking at the map again the layout is quite confusing. There are 3 separate parts, all supposed to be the same city. I think it would be best in future to stick to the one city so people can understand where they are.
-More eye candy (Gaia list)
-Keep the city as a whole, not spread over the map in places
It's hard to tell from the length of the scenario. The cutscenes were good.
At the start there is a character called Gothmog. Who is that? I can't remember anyone by that name.
I'd like to see the scenario follow the book more accurately, most LOTR scenarios just go off on their own little way and I can't relate the plot back to the book.
In this part the dark forces of Sauron, made of orcs, men and other beasts, have taken the river and set their sights on the city. Faramir sets out with a party to hold them off at the river, and does great damage to them, but also loses some men which they can't afford to.
The party runs back to the gate, and Prince Imrahil and his men of Dol Amroth ride out. The sortie turns the retreat into an onslaught, but they must go back inside the city before the enemy can regroup. Faramir however is wounded, perhaps dead.
The morale of the city falls as their hero is believed dead, and the Riders of Rohan still don't come. The enemy masses in the Pelennor Fields, using boats as well to cross the river.
They begin to fire with siege engines and by some wizardry the rocks burst into flame as they hit the city, and all the outer most section is on fire.
Finally, the gate is broken by Grond, a huge battering engine, endowed with spells of ruin. The Black Captain cried words of terror, and on the third strike the gate broke. There inside the wall all men fled, save one, upon the back of Shadowfax.
"You cannot enter here" said Gandalf.
At this point the Riders of Rohan's horns are heard and the Battle of the Pelennor Fields begins.
So that's what I try to relate the story to. This scenario is a little different from the book in that it has the dark forces entering the city, which didn't actually happen. I don't mind a little deviation from the story, but the important details can easily be left out, and the made up story may easily lose its way.
The hold off unit was a king at the bottom, which was fairly noticable and looked weird. Stick to the traditional method of putting him inside a ram or transport and changing it to Gaia.
Perhaps the Nazgul could be represented by eagles? When they fly above the morale of units below would drop (or rise) accordingly. Similarly Gandalf's presence in an area would also boost morale amoung the men of Gondor. When it comes to the presence of the Black Captain, few men will dare face him, so your/allied men could be triggered away from him perhaps.
This campaign looks promising, but this particular scenario doesn't offer the downloader great playability. It has good cutscene value though, including some great music so is worth a download for fans of LOTR scenarios.
The campaign can be improved a lot still, but it's well above average for a new designer. Just take what you want from my review and use the feedback to improve the next scenarios if you decide to make a full campaign.
(Insert Playability analysis here)
I Downloaded this today and I was wondering how I could win... Gandalf was GREAT! But abit downplayed for a maia, even though he cant be in Maia form, which would make him WAY more powerful then sauron. But he should be able to hold his ground against all Nazgul except the WK. Also the lack of resources was bad because it is hard to prep a city with little resources.
(Insert Balance analysis here)
The Mordor Amry should have some penalties....unless Minas Tirith gets a larger army or else you can get wasted fairly quickly. And once the Rohrrim arrived, they were fairly small and didnt have Eowyn or Merry. Also Rohan had horse archers which I failed to see. Also I would have liked to the Gray Company and the Knights of Dol Amroth like in the books.
(Insert Creativity analysis here)
It was very creative, I liked how Denethor actually ran to the bridge and the fact Pippin seeks out Gandalf...Also the talking was fun to listen to. The best thing was the cities lay out. It was big and well made. The bridges were good and also it had a white tree!
Map Design: 5
(Insert Map Design analysis here)
The design was great. It looked good...Again Minas Tirith was the best but it had the crossroads and outposts which were outside Minas Tirith, in the book.
(Insert Story/Instructions analysis here)
The instructions were good because you could understand what was gonna happen and you could examine the map before the battle and also it told you what was what.
As a HUGE Tolkien fan I loved this after several sad attempts by my friend and I to make this kind of map, it was fun and original. With touch ups it could rank for a top-notch LOTR map. I hope you do other ones besides Minas Tirith when you finish this Campaign (I'd love to see Helms Deep, Black Gate, and Osgiliath). Over all best scenario ive played.