The Defence 2 - Black Opening
Hello agian, I've finnally finished part two. Between sports, vacation, and just not working on it, its done. This as you must already know is the second part of the sieries. This one is fairly good, has a better story, but I couldn't think of anything that would be new and or creative for this. Anyways, this is going for reviews, so please do, and last but not least, its a great download.
||Role Playing Strategy
- I would also like to thank whoever did those sound effects... They were labled as something like qrxert+17 or something, but they sound like someone else made them... go figure.
The first part of the series, The Defence Part One (Demo)
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We begin this scenario with a nice 'click to advance conversation' scene, which lets the player start things off at their own pace. The scenario involves a large group of strong heroes of various units, along with a small squad of elite cavalry for support. In the first part of the scenario in the east I was raiding small bandit camps and getting gold from various sources like war wagons, which I found quite enjoyable. I soon found an enemy camp with a huge number of TKs and onagers, and it was decided we needed to find some help to defeat them.
I found some mercenaries in the north while scouting with the cavalry, while simultaneously attacking units south of the mosque in the south. I needed 1000 gold to get their help, and after finding a bag of gold, I had enough, however they didn't join me.
I had actually ran to meet them once I got the gold, and units in the south went right by their camp, picking up a tail of red units as they went by. The mercenaries attacked them as I got to their camp, so I figured I need not pay them if I can just lure them there.
I'm not sure what was supposed to happen with the mercenaries, or if it was even a bug, but after around 22 minutes they charged the enemy camp and killed the commander for me. So we headed across the valley in the north, where I snuck past the red player easily enough, and traveled to the blade masters camp.
The first time I reached the mountain the boulder was placed too early, as only my forward scout got there in time. After a few reloads I got it right and won.
Balance wasn't something I thought about much. I had to reload a few times, and I had no complaints with the difficulty, but I was playing on hard, and it wasn't as much of a challenge as I thought it would be.
The strongest area. The creativity is high all round, with interesting characters, setting, and a variety of unique quests and challenges, as well as some creative map design (the mosque on water was nice) and tricks (e.g. the volcano).
Map Design: 2
At the beginning I thought I had to go north first, as I saw the line of cliffs and assumed they continued down to the bottom. I struggled to get through the allied soldiers, then eventually realized my error. Maybe it was just me, but it wouldn't hurt to block that access off completely and make it a little clearer which way to set off from.
Let's look at the map design around the first areas you see - it's all one terrain around the start, and flat, with a deleted cliff section as well. Where there are elevations in the east they all look the same and symettical. The cliffs going north in the valley is a very repeated pattern.
So how do you fix this? Blend in two of three terrains together, randomly splashing the brush around. Splash the elevation brush around at different levels. And have a bit of a spasm with your wrist when you make cliffs, don't just repeat the same pattern.
The beginning battle had very poor exposition. You used flags instead of map revealers, which were put in the AoC editor to fix the contrived look of flags from AoK. There is also a lot of fog of war around them and it’s hard to see what is really happening. Another exposition thing is the messages - they go buzzing by very quickly at times. The ending was also very abrupt. It was just dawning on me that the volcano was a volcano, rather than just a random eye candy thing, when the victory message appeared and I was swept off to view the achievements.
The story itself - too many characters. There are 9 heroes, all with their own home town and story to tell, but we learn very, very little of each of them. I liked the long victory message, yet I couldn't even remember which unit Kharl was. You need to focus more on a smaller number of these guys and develop them better during and before the scenario.
Couple of other things - your spelling needs a bit of work (One thing that kept reoccurring was the spelling of destroy as distory). I always tell people to use a spell check on all the pre-game and post-game sections. Another thing I always say is that history is an area for expanding the story, I hate it when people say "This isn't history" or so such in there. Obviously a fiction scenario isn't history - what you should do is expand on the story in there, which is very underdeveloped, or leave it blank. I hate seeing that message :-)
Comments: A good improvement on your first scenario. Great creativity, work on map design and story as I've explained. Also, could you zip the scenario so that sounds etc drop into the right folder (I think AoKH has a tutorial on it).
By the way, I reviewed this scenario because it was the first one in AoKH I found where the designer had actually done at least as many reviews as they had submitted scenarios. I like the way you started reviewing because I simply suggested to, I'll have to do the same with other designers in the future!