The Defence Part One (Demo)
(Updated on 08/26/05
Hi, I'm Peej. This is my first scenario. I made it, because basically, there are no good and easy deffence scenario's.
||Role Playing Strategy
This is the story of Raven, a comander in the Imperial army at the invasion of the northern barbarians. Your task, save the empire and defeat the barbarians.
I want lots of reviews so i will no wether or not I should publish the other two scenarios, into a campaign. This has about 100 triggers, and several tricks that I haven't seen before. Enjoy!
-I just edited it to fix a few things. Also, you MUST MUST play this on Standard recources or some bad stuff happens.
- OK, I just fixed some problems that happened with the last edit! Everyone, please redownload :)
The second part of the series, The Defence 2 - Black Opening
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This scenario is a multi-hero fixed force scenario. Defending and attacking both play a part in the gameplay. You begin with some dialogues, then must flee from the barbarian army.
Unfortunately in this scenario there are a lot of bugs, mainly due to a lack of testing. Playtesters are necessary to find these problems. I found myself playing several times to try and see what I was doing wrong, marco-poloing, and finally looking in the editor through the triggers. I'd have to say the average player is going to mess up somewhere and not be able to play properly, or not know what to do.
The "You suck" cavalry has not been tested - you lose instantly if you select the pavilion. The rock blocking him that gets removed doesn't actually block him in either - there is a gap on each side of the rock. Another unnatural thing is the Player named "Trigger Stuff" - you should be trying to minimize the mechanics behind the scenario, so don't give player names like this. It's better to leave them off.
You're placing too much dependence on the player playing this scenario how you want them to - they simply aren't going to do this. I was trying to play it properly, but messed things up very early on the first time I played, and this time I went to the town in the east before I was supposed to - you should have the gate locked before this so you can't make that mistake.
In general there should be more triggers etc to stop you from doing things in the wrong order - the player doesn't know what to do beforehand and will probably go the wrong way when confused - this shouldn't stuff the level up. Things like tasking triggers, locking gates, and keeping triggers in the "off" state until they are needed will help.
The part with the villagers - the ram thing is a creative workaround - the sort of thing we use in AoE - this could be done easier with timed triggers though. Main problem here is that the population has to reach 55 - how is the player to know this? I tasked some of the villagers away (keep in mind the boats were gone now because I had played the next part ahead of schedule), but I didn't understand the goal of getting a certain number of them, so this lead to confusion here. The way in which the boats were removed would have been better if they sailed away.
While writing the review I thought it best to restart and play the city defense part properly. I quite liked this part - you've made a fix to get the allied units created to move away from their original position so more troops can be bought, but you should make it a little better. Each unit should be created outside the building the come from, and they do get a bit crowded by the gate - perhaps task each one to a separate spot near the gate. This way you won't get overcrowding when you have purchased a lot.
Overall there were quite a few bugs and some lack of clarity that has a big impact on playability, but this is only your first scenario and you made a very big effort in the trigger area. I think it's simply a matter of getting people to playtest (and give you feedback) that will make all the difference.
Going over the main parts - first the city defence - for me this was the most enjoyable part. I liked the way you could buy units, but they were allied - a bit like a part in Ulio. I lost this part the first time and won it easily the second by locking the gate, and finishing what was left when the walls came down.
The next part was the town defense - again a nice FF part, good use of an onager. The last part was a little repetitive, and not that realistic. Human beings don't normally stand around and let you attack them and then retreat like that.
Alright, now to get on with the review
This scenario was not well balanced for me. You say that it's an "easy defence scenario" - fine, but I and many other players will find this too easy. Balance affects playability too - some of your battles simply don't have the same gameplay as they would if there was batter balance. For example the gate has far too many HP, and you can win easily by locking it.
The main cause of this imbalance is that you are giving the player too many units, or heroes too many HP. Basically you are being too generous and spoiling the strategic elements that would otherwise come into play. I know it may be tempting to give that hero an extra 500 HP, but in the end it's no fun. Imagine if Ingo had given Ulio 500 attack and 1000 HP when the Yeri besieged the castle - sure, I thought it was impossible at first, but with many reloads and using all the tactical elements I could, I was able to beat it. Now you don't have to make it this hard, just make it challenging, otherwise you can't have strategic or tactical aspects to your scenarios, and your gameplay is crippled.
This is your strongest area. I originally gave it a 3, but AoK's reviewing system isn't very flexible, so I'll top it to a four to try to balance it out with other areas where I've been stricter.
The challenges you face in this mission vary - the first involves a gate and a purchase system. This was very creative. There was also the villager evacuation. The way they appeared to come out of the houses was neat, and this was another good addition to the level. Neither of these ideas were executed perfectly, but they were both creative parts of the level.
The battle in the town was a little interesting - basically just a normal battle, but the onager added a little variation, and its protected position gave you good opportunity to defend it.
The last battle has more use of an onager, and I liked the impartial priest.
The map was fairly basic - a little done around the cities, but the map didn't provide much in terms of strategic elements for the gameplay, or unique eye candies.
The story is very basic, and though the objectives are covered in detail, the story itself doesn't really develop. You have a lot of characters, but there is little focus and I'll quickly forget them all, because none played much of a part in the level, and we don't learn anything about them. I'd suggest using more characters and working more on the story behind the scenario.
MAP DESIGN: 2
You need to work a lot on this area. Your terrains are flat. Use elevation. Your terrains are the same over large ares - blend them. Your forests are of one type - mix them and give them character. Have a look at the 'Scenario Design Library' topic for some links to good articles on map design.
The story itself is very simple, but the instructions are covered well. I found it quite hard to follow what I was doing, but this is covered under playability. There are quite a few spelling mistakes - although the trigger dialogues are forgivable, you shouldn't have them in the scenario instructions at the start. One noticeable one was 'Distroy' (Destroy). Paste the text into text editor and fix the spelling/grammar before you put it in the messages section. The plot was dynamic, and there were plenty of dialogues and objective updates.
-Rely on triggers to block unwanted events, not the player
-Spend time learning map design
-Focus more on the story e.g. characters, background