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Age of Kings Heaven » Forums » Scenario Design and Discussion » The Playthrough Thread
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Topic Subject:The Playthrough Thread
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Leif Ericson
Seraph Emeritus
posted 03-10-17 01:07 PM CT (US)         
I've been getting back into playing through scenarios, and I thought it'd be a cool idea to have a place where we share the scenarios that we play in our spare time. It should be a good way to show different designers some hidden gems out there that could inspire some new ideas. Feel free to just mention which games your playing, give a summary or recommendation, crosspost your reviews from the Blacksmith, or even any scenarios you want people to playtest for you. It should be fun.

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AuthorReplies:
Cataphract887
Squire
posted 04-18-18 09:59 AM CT (US)     736 / 846       
I had hand cart the whole time. Were there more carts to find? How quickly did you finish?

"Excellent could be any map that has the quality of a ES random map or ES scenario. AoK is an excellent, award winning game. That's where I'd start." -AnastasiaKafka

"Hard work is evil. Bitmaps are stupid. Working on a scenario for more than one afternoon is stupid. Triggers are stupid. Testing your own scenario is stupid. The world is stupid. You are the Greatest." -Ingo Van Thiel
Al_Kharn the Great
Squire
posted 04-18-18 09:54 PM CT (US)     737 / 846       
Conquistador on this island receives no upgrades
I cannot reproduce. Works fine on my end.
Plate mail armor only increases infantry pierce armor by +1
Ditto for barded plate mail and ringed archer armor
This is because there is not a separate effect for pierce armor vs melee armor. Those armors give different increases to the respective armors and that cannot be replicated via triggers.

Filthydelphia Creations
Tristan & Iseult ~ 1st Place (tied), 2014 Historical Scenario Design Contest
City of Peace ~ 2nd Place, 2014 Minigame Competition
Dragon's Head, Serpent's Tail ~ 2nd Place, 2016 Defend the Spot Competition
Ragnar's Raids ~ 2nd Place, 2016 Historical Scenario Design Contest
Complete Campaign Collection
Cataphract887
Squire
posted 04-18-18 11:01 PM CT (US)     738 / 846       
I cannot reproduce. Works fine on my end.
http://i65.tinypic.com/1zltyls.jpg
http://i64.tinypic.com/2vafibs.jpg
savegame:
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1raFkU06XhvtSwvHdoazABrOE27MGDflX

I dont expect you to actually run this down. Maybe its just from the order of researches:I had several upgrades before finding the conq, and many after. Just sayin after you said you assume bug reports are user error, I dont mind showing evidence.

"Excellent could be any map that has the quality of a ES random map or ES scenario. AoK is an excellent, award winning game. That's where I'd start." -AnastasiaKafka

"Hard work is evil. Bitmaps are stupid. Working on a scenario for more than one afternoon is stupid. Triggers are stupid. Testing your own scenario is stupid. The world is stupid. You are the Greatest." -Ingo Van Thiel
Al_Kharn the Great
Squire
posted 04-18-18 11:17 PM CT (US)     739 / 846       
Damn, you're right. I had P1 instead of P2 for a trigger effect. I won't be able to update it for a few days, though. Thanks for letting me know. I thought you were referring to armor. It's attack that is messed up.

Filthydelphia Creations
Tristan & Iseult ~ 1st Place (tied), 2014 Historical Scenario Design Contest
City of Peace ~ 2nd Place, 2014 Minigame Competition
Dragon's Head, Serpent's Tail ~ 2nd Place, 2016 Defend the Spot Competition
Ragnar's Raids ~ 2nd Place, 2016 Historical Scenario Design Contest
Complete Campaign Collection

[This message has been edited by Al_Kharn the Great (edited 04-18-2018 @ 11:21 PM).]

Bassi
Squire
posted 04-19-18 04:34 AM CT (US)     740 / 846       
How quickly did you finish?
I don't think I was faster than you, but I'm not as good as you at this game anyway!

My AoC Workshop
Make Build & Destroy great again!
Cataphract887
Squire
posted 04-19-18 12:12 PM CT (US)     741 / 846       
That is mostly relevant in B&D situations that most resemble arabia 1v1 or 4v4 I have quite the struggle in some FF scenarios others say are easy, ive noticed in comments on older files

I didnt quite understand the explanation on the armour bug above, but I think its of trifling importance anyhow.

"Excellent could be any map that has the quality of a ES random map or ES scenario. AoK is an excellent, award winning game. That's where I'd start." -AnastasiaKafka

"Hard work is evil. Bitmaps are stupid. Working on a scenario for more than one afternoon is stupid. Triggers are stupid. Testing your own scenario is stupid. The world is stupid. You are the Greatest." -Ingo Van Thiel
noble lancer
Squire
posted 04-23-18 03:17 PM CT (US)     742 / 846       
Went to play Lord of the Steppe on Steam earlier. Very nice scenario of just raiding on the steppe and growing one's tribe. Almost reminiscent of Filthydelphia's The Magyar Conquest and the collection of horses, sheep, deer and yaks to expand the camp is a very good addition.
Cataphract887
Squire
posted 04-23-18 06:33 PM CT (US)     743 / 846       
Its an interesting scenario; the base concept is pretty promising as the player can get a strong sense of progression. I found it a little messy in execution but with refinement it could be a good one.

"Excellent could be any map that has the quality of a ES random map or ES scenario. AoK is an excellent, award winning game. That's where I'd start." -AnastasiaKafka

"Hard work is evil. Bitmaps are stupid. Working on a scenario for more than one afternoon is stupid. Triggers are stupid. Testing your own scenario is stupid. The world is stupid. You are the Greatest." -Ingo Van Thiel
Cataphract887
Squire
posted 04-24-18 01:37 PM CT (US)     744 / 846       
HD Edition is 80% off all DLC included guys! For 10$-12$ its a good buy.

I was planning on making a post detailing reasons to buy HD and bumping it when these sales routinely hit, but holding off on that for a little bit.

"Excellent could be any map that has the quality of a ES random map or ES scenario. AoK is an excellent, award winning game. That's where I'd start." -AnastasiaKafka

"Hard work is evil. Bitmaps are stupid. Working on a scenario for more than one afternoon is stupid. Triggers are stupid. Testing your own scenario is stupid. The world is stupid. You are the Greatest." -Ingo Van Thiel
Julius999
Imposter
posted 04-24-18 06:20 PM CT (US)     745 / 846       
Thanks for the tip. At £8.41 for HD and the expansions it would seem churlish not to get it.

1010011010
[ All_That_Glitters | Pretty_Town_Contest | Other_AoK_Designs | AoE_Designs ]
Member of Stormwind Studios
ArnulfFloyd
Squire
posted 04-27-18 04:12 AM CT (US)     746 / 846       
I've play only ES official campaigns on new PC but I've consider AOK custom campaigns to be hard until I begin playing Mount & Blade With Fire and Sword, a better game than AOK and AOKHD
kud13
Squire
posted 04-27-18 09:06 AM CT (US)     747 / 846       
For the last 2 evenings I've been playing "Ivan the Great", a 3 scenario campaign available both on the Workshop and in the Blacksmith.

It's a fairly typical collection of B&D with some interesting twists. Scenario 2 was arguably the best, as you are forced to periodically pay tribute to the Golden Horde, a la the Bukhara Battle of the Forgotten, while you try to achieve the competing objectives of 2 of the 4 potential allies you need to recruit. All the while the rampaging Outlaws try to make your life difficult by launching raids.

Unfortunately, the experience was spoiled by 2 things- a bug where the Tatars suddenly up their demands for gold dramatically (reported by other users as well), which puts unintended time pressure on the player, and (more significantly)- really bad lag.


Scen 3 tasks you with capturing one of 2 enemy cities, and gives you 2 allies- Mongols and Goths who periodically supply you with Mangudai and hand- and bombard cannons, respectively. These allies are supposed to be threatened by multiple enemies, forcing you to divert troops to defend them- in theory.

In practice, you are told that the Livonian order (teutons) will be attacking your allies in Pskov (goths), but their starting base is guarded by whopping 3 towers and a motley group of Feudal age units- making them a perfect target for early aggression.

Likewise, Mongol camp is hidden in a wooded portion of the map, and a single castle placed in a choke is enough to ensure your allies are safe, assuring you a constant spawn of periodic reinforcements. Scenario also offers an option to bribe the stronger fortress into a truce, providing line of sight, as well as trade opportunities. This makes the task of scouring the large map for hidden enemy camps before assaulting the last enemy city a fairly routine task-enemy unit spam offers some resistance but the map has plenty of resources and a methodical castle push proved sufficient.

Overall, fairly decent first effort, I'll check out the author's Northern Crusades as well soon, I believe.

[This message has been edited by kud13 (edited 04-27-2018 @ 09:08 AM).]

Cataphract887
Squire
posted 04-27-18 03:22 PM CT (US)     748 / 846       
Mount & Blade With Fire and Sword, a better game than AOK and AOKHD
Its not even remotely the same game, hard to say its worse or better This is apples to oranges. Both give radically different experiences. Total War and AoC are indeed head to head rivals, but also have different gameplay focuses. I dont think its too wise to directly compare them since they are all good.

I do find Mount and Blade a bit frustrating to play anymore, as mods are needed for a great experience and even with a decent PC with an SSD the load times are just nuts. Cannot wait for Bannerlord to release!! Say goodbye to AoC for me for 6+ months when it does

The Ivan campaign and the next one too were sufficiently entertaining and enjoyable, though in need of much development. I would give it a around 3.0s score I think to both.

"Excellent could be any map that has the quality of a ES random map or ES scenario. AoK is an excellent, award winning game. That's where I'd start." -AnastasiaKafka

"Hard work is evil. Bitmaps are stupid. Working on a scenario for more than one afternoon is stupid. Triggers are stupid. Testing your own scenario is stupid. The world is stupid. You are the Greatest." -Ingo Van Thiel
kud13
Squire
posted 04-27-18 03:34 PM CT (US)     749 / 846       
I was a bit more generous than that, I think (I submitted a review).

Next on my to play list are igorhp's new scen, Battle of Saraighat, Liu Bei and maybe "lord of the Steppe" . Then I'll probably try to catch up on what Bassi and Al_Kharn've been a releasing.

I took a bit of a break from AoK during the winter holidays, when I realized that I've played almost nothing else since the fall of 2015 and my Steam hours played were ridiculous (and also under-represented actual time spent, because at least a quarter of the time in the beginning Steam was in offline mode).

So I've been playing other stuff from my impressive backlog, with only occasional dips into new custom scens.

[This message has been edited by kud13 (edited 04-27-2018 @ 03:34 PM).]

ArnulfFloyd
Squire
posted 04-27-18 05:04 PM CT (US)     750 / 846       
I not compare games, I am just a beginner for M&B series and found playing not frustrating and better than other RPGs and shooters because amount of mods, loading times on my new PC are even short, also I believe as M&B BL not will be release soon - this not is place for discussing M&B
Cataphract887
Squire
posted 04-27-18 09:52 PM CT (US)     751 / 846       
I was a bit more generous than that, I think (I submitted a review).
Yes, although I think a 3.0 review score should already be a decently playable score. For example a 4\3\3\3\2 breakdown which is an entertaing enough game for a 4 in playabiltiy with a lightweight story. Then anything up to a 3.8 is increasingly good though many files in this area can also have lower playability scores and better technical performance, as sometimes an objectively good scenario is not particularly fun for some reason or another. After that I feel like 4.0 to 5.0 should be absolutely the cream of the crop, really solid scenarios that are a blast without too much to complain about. So the 3.8 score on my last review given was a pretty good game well worth playing.

Have you ever played Prince of Persia I and II? (the campaign here for aoe2 ) They were an old classic I always enjoyed, and I was thinking of reviewing them as they dont have particularly well written reviews currently. Probably around 3.5-4.0 though. Didnt get around to playing them yet though.

"Excellent could be any map that has the quality of a ES random map or ES scenario. AoK is an excellent, award winning game. That's where I'd start." -AnastasiaKafka

"Hard work is evil. Bitmaps are stupid. Working on a scenario for more than one afternoon is stupid. Triggers are stupid. Testing your own scenario is stupid. The world is stupid. You are the Greatest." -Ingo Van Thiel
kud13
Squire
posted 04-28-18 11:47 AM CT (US)     752 / 846       
Prince of Persia is somewhere on my list

Edit (30/04/2018) spent the weekend playing Liu Bei- Yellow turban rebellion off Steam. Interesting FF, definitive had its difficulty spikes as you try to endure massive assaults.

Not everything worked smoothly, and apparently one of the side objectives bugged out, but I was able to finish it, and it was pretty good. Very dense map, and almost every piece was used.

Moved on to "Battle of Saraighat". Just finished the early battles and got access to a base. I was actually able to wipe out half of the Mughal cavalry in the first battle, with like 20 units remaining. Now I'm wondering if there was a way to beat both (if I microed better)...
But yeah, had to leave to go to soccer just as I got control of the base, so didn't even get to survey the map yet.

Oh, also tried igorhp's " Battle of Navas De Tolosa"... really basic B&D, 3 Spanish v one Berber. River map, only 1 bridge. Take bridge, create choke, push, demolish Berber city. Nothing exciting, though the Pyrenees in the north of the map did look pretty.

[This message has been edited by kud13 (edited 07-09-2019 @ 12:05 PM).]

Cataphract887
Squire
posted 05-04-18 08:08 PM CT (US)     753 / 846       
Revisited the battle of edington, though all I could remember of it was the opening forage mission.



Decent scenario though nothing to get excited about either.

"Excellent could be any map that has the quality of a ES random map or ES scenario. AoK is an excellent, award winning game. That's where I'd start." -AnastasiaKafka

"Hard work is evil. Bitmaps are stupid. Working on a scenario for more than one afternoon is stupid. Triggers are stupid. Testing your own scenario is stupid. The world is stupid. You are the Greatest." -Ingo Van Thiel
Mash
Huskarl
(id: Mashek)
posted 05-05-18 07:44 PM CT (US)     754 / 846       
I remember playing that scenario many years ago. I agree with your review in that its worth playing but its overall simplicity and some odd game play choices make it not a particularly compelling play. I did like that the author Stephen Richards designed this then later Athelstan, Emperor of the World of Britain. It works as a series of sorts in what is an exciting period of history.
kud13
Squire
posted 05-06-18 11:53 PM CT (US)     755 / 846       
Replayed "Battle of Saraighat" again, and reviewed it.

Also, played through Shuvro's "Siege of Lahore". Fun scen, not too difficult, but I must admit to pulling a viper-esque fail in reading instructions. I got confused by the extra yellow and purple flags, so I put my first TC outside the assigned spot, and so I didn't trigger enemy attacks right away. This gave me a chance to collect all the elephants and horses, and also to set up a rudimentary eco (get some basic upgrades, and enough gold to buy an extra 100 stone) before I started the game "properly".

Also, early on, I side-stepped a scripted fight, and then had to go back to complete it, so I messed up the trigger a bit and ended up with a token force in the North of the map as well, because it didn't get removed...

Anyhow, those blunders aside, it was a neat siege scen. The tech limitations (especially no siege!) forced me to think outside my comfort level. I amassed a huge army of converted Ele archers (faith research didn't help Lahore much), and then in the end I ended up teching up to champs to demolish enemy castles, while the elite eles were used as demolition specialists for those pesky fire towers.

Overall, fun scen, I'll probably do the review sometime this week.

For this week/weekend I'll be trying Battle of Panipat, then Battle of Swally, and then possibly some of Thanator's other historical stuff- Cretan War, Segikahara, and/or Belisarius.

[This message has been edited by kud13 (edited 07-09-2019 @ 12:06 PM).]

Cataphract887
Squire
posted 05-08-18 01:54 PM CT (US)     756 / 846       
So I played The Prince, the Sword, and the Gems or atleast as much as I could before the scenario seemingly broke 3 hours in. No lag unlike some other reports which was good. Quite a massive RPG like map, though it turned into a sort of B&D and then some awkward siege of attrition against many archers with more range than you. The map design was OK, I was thinking tier-3 at first from the uninspiring main castle but it was a bit better elsewhere on the map. I wasnt finding it that engaging due to its slow pacing with mediocre dialogue\scripting and it seems to be another one of those examples that demonstrate fun doesnt scale upwards with large trigger counts and expansive feature lists. The scope of the scenario seems pretty massive and its an impressive monument the author has created regardless.

Been replaying 2001's Prince of Persia which is one of my favorites to revisit over the years. Despite that I often found the scenarios rather obtuse to play, and always thought the finale was quite unpleasant. Its an epic story based journey over 4 scenarios, with what I considered memorable characters though I couldnt help but chuckle at the clicheness of some of their interactions. Saying the campaign does not hold your hand is an understatement and you will take plenty of losses just figuring out what to do;being fairly absentminded myself I had forgotten one or two tricks by now and even ended up scratching my head at how to proceed. There are often multiple choices presented though its inevitably linear in the long run.

So I played some of Fury of Rustolf, though my savegames seemed to be getting corrupted so I cannot finish it. An objectively good scenario with a great story;I quite enjoyed the poetry and it was nice to see a good effort put in there. The gameplay segments seem like an active detriment to the overall effect, however, and are quite finicky and not particularly entertaining to play through. Overall I could see myself giving it a 4.0+ score. Might be an all time great if only a dynamic difficulty system had been included, and the way the scenario currently is would be the Hard difficulty.
..."The Fury of Rästulf" is one of the most impressive and inspiring games I have played lately!
To those whom it may interest... Some old comment from Andi W I noticed.
Note: Please do not use any of the music in this campaign for your own scenarios; it ruins the originality of this campaign, but more importantly violates copyright laws.
Sound files were taken from Stronghold, Total War, Marco Crnigoj, and other sources.
LOL! This author has no clue about how copyright works. Oh well, its quite normal and expected.

"Excellent could be any map that has the quality of a ES random map or ES scenario. AoK is an excellent, award winning game. That's where I'd start." -AnastasiaKafka

"Hard work is evil. Bitmaps are stupid. Working on a scenario for more than one afternoon is stupid. Triggers are stupid. Testing your own scenario is stupid. The world is stupid. You are the Greatest." -Ingo Van Thiel

[This message has been edited by Cataphract887 (edited 05-11-2018 @ 02:08 PM).]

Cataphract887
Squire
posted 05-10-18 08:41 AM CT (US)     757 / 846       
Alright guys, Andi W's scenario from 2008 "Yesterday the Sun Shone" has been translated and posted on the blacksmith at last

This bitmap is too good not to show off, and a tiny taste of the story too;



The file is completely unaltered from the original, with the major lack being any difficulty system. Standard\moderate\hard all equate to "AoKH Veteran" mode in my book. Expect a tough struggle to win through, but its highly worth it;I recommend it warmly to anyone.

"Excellent could be any map that has the quality of a ES random map or ES scenario. AoK is an excellent, award winning game. That's where I'd start." -AnastasiaKafka

"Hard work is evil. Bitmaps are stupid. Working on a scenario for more than one afternoon is stupid. Triggers are stupid. Testing your own scenario is stupid. The world is stupid. You are the Greatest." -Ingo Van Thiel
Cataphract887
Squire
posted 05-12-18 01:00 AM CT (US)     758 / 846       
Today played another nice agearena scenario, "A Single People Of Brothers" (Ein einzig Volk von Brüdern) which is a historical RPG scenario depicting the formation of the swiss confederacy in 1291AD. You step into the shoes of three characters throughout the scenario and unite them together. The game has a number of alternate routes and each character has his own attributes and challenges;one is a villager another a tuetonic knight and another a woadie. The mapping was pretty good, though for using the UP1.4 I dont get why off grid placement was not used. The difficulty was reasonable though a bit on the lite-weight side on moderate, anyhow. The story was really great and enjoyable, and had that educational aspect to add extra interest. Its one thing to read about events and another to feel like you actually played through them. 4s or 5s in all categories from me. However I did run into a fair number of bugs such as duplicated units at the end, some invisible tiles were left uncleaned up, and even a diplomacy bug so that I could run up the hill freely at the end, after reloading several times. Oh, and I couldnt translate the anagram puzzle so that was hell to figure out.

"Excellent could be any map that has the quality of a ES random map or ES scenario. AoK is an excellent, award winning game. That's where I'd start." -AnastasiaKafka

"Hard work is evil. Bitmaps are stupid. Working on a scenario for more than one afternoon is stupid. Triggers are stupid. Testing your own scenario is stupid. The world is stupid. You are the Greatest." -Ingo Van Thiel
Bassi
Squire
posted 05-14-18 02:38 PM CT (US)     759 / 846       
I designed a little new minigame, based on the early life of Francis Drake.

It's available on steam now:
https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1386067690

As always, feedback would be great!

My AoC Workshop
Make Build & Destroy great again!
Cataphract887
Squire
posted 05-14-18 03:50 PM CT (US)     760 / 846       
I am 10-15 minutes in and quite like it! Love the aoe1 sounds;"to the lay!" or whatever that is. Reminds me of "Sid Meiers Pirates"...AI slightly glitchy but maybe thats unavoidable. Good idea using boarding galley.

"Excellent could be any map that has the quality of a ES random map or ES scenario. AoK is an excellent, award winning game. That's where I'd start." -AnastasiaKafka

"Hard work is evil. Bitmaps are stupid. Working on a scenario for more than one afternoon is stupid. Triggers are stupid. Testing your own scenario is stupid. The world is stupid. You are the Greatest." -Ingo Van Thiel
Bassi
Squire
posted 05-14-18 04:37 PM CT (US)     761 / 846       
AI slightly glitchy but maybe thats unavoidable.
I guess you mean the sometimes weird behaviour of the trade cogs? If so, yh, sadly nothing I could do about it. It's a core problem ...

My AoC Workshop
Make Build & Destroy great again!
Cataphract887
Squire
posted 05-14-18 05:06 PM CT (US)     762 / 846       
I finished in 1:32:xx taking my time Very nice game I would say! I actually started off by converting up warships in the main area to save wood. After I had a nice armada I sailed about exploring and grabbing cogs and junks;I found the junks had a tendency to get stuck and not sail home and as the scenario progressed this behavior also spread to the cogs, besides which I guess HD Edition was struggling to handle thing smoothly as ships got inside a dock at one spot. Still, no lag which was great. I sniped down the chieftans with landed M@A\Xbow\conq and build a barracks\archery range on their land to assuage the annoyance of transporting units-after this wiping them out. Now I began chopping wood like mad and capturing cogs more reliable and built up a huge fleet;had enough of the Portuguese so I wiped them out entirely then camped on the spanish docks killing off anything that spawned, including that wave of annoying cannon galleons in the corner...After this I soon piled up the 2000 gold and won.

There is definitely room for polish and improvement but its a pretty good scenario. Very fun and fast paced.

"Excellent could be any map that has the quality of a ES random map or ES scenario. AoK is an excellent, award winning game. That's where I'd start." -AnastasiaKafka

"Hard work is evil. Bitmaps are stupid. Working on a scenario for more than one afternoon is stupid. Triggers are stupid. Testing your own scenario is stupid. The world is stupid. You are the Greatest." -Ingo Van Thiel
Bassi
Squire
posted 05-15-18 05:08 AM CT (US)     763 / 846       
Thanks for the feedback, Cata!

My AoC Workshop
Make Build & Destroy great again!
HockeySam18
Dúnadan
posted 05-30-18 07:46 AM CT (US)     764 / 846       
I played through the version of Andreas Wagner's 'Yesterday the Sun Shone' that Cataphract887 translated and uploaded here. I plan on writing a review at some point, but first I wanted to share my thoughts in a briefer form that is more conducive to discussion. If you don't like spoilers, then stop reading.

The storytelling and atmosphere is off the charts. I enjoyed the choice of an in medias res beginning and the déja vu quality that it brought to the final stage of fixed force gameplay. The plotline itself was expertly crafted and enhanced by the deft implementation of music, sound effects, and voiced dialogues.

The map design was likewise spectacular. The map was vibrant, diverse, and overall gorgeous with its winding waterways, cleverly arrayed mountain and cliff passes, and a series of settlements, fortresses, and towns that were worked seamlessly into the surrounding landscape. Some of the visual effects were particularly remarkable considering that the scenario predates the UserPatch and the off-grid placement tool that it provides. My only knock on the map design was that it often felt cramped and narrow, a point that I will return to later.

Perhaps the greatest strength of the scenario in terms of gameplay was its take on fixed force portions, which were challenging, varied, and interesting to play while always feeling fair. Each required a different set of skills to complete:

- The battle at the mountain village hinged on a decisive strike at one of the attacking parties in order to clear up space before luring the enemy troops in circles with your cavalry archers while your knights hacked at them. (Side note: after this battle was complete, it was possible to travel north of the village to areas--including one of the besieged fortresses--that I am not sure that the designer intended the player to access at that point in time.)

- The defense of the fortresses was vintage DtS gameplay done well. Success depended on the player's choice of army composition and upgrades (I went mostly Teutonic knights, pikemen, and crossbowmen, along with a few knights in the northwest fortress to sally out and snipe down trebuchets) as well as the positioning of troops so as to take advantage of bottlenecking and castle fire. For how small-scale this was, I thought it was executed remarkably well. This praise actually goes for all of the FF portions of the scenario, which shone (pardon the lousy pun) in their deft execution of simple concepts and small numbers.

- Blowing up the bridge was somewhat less challenging than the previous two stages. I can see potential for players fouling up here, but on the other hand I don't see how one could possibly lose if they just stick their melee units at the other end of the bridge to plug the gap while micromanaging their crossbowmen to prioritize shooting enemy spearmen and archers as they arrived. The fact that there was no variance in the order or composition of the enemy waves made them rather predictable and easy to cope with. This is one criticism I would have of the middle two FF segments - that the repetitive and cyclical nature of the enemy attacks meant that the strategic depth of those stages was greatly reduced after the initial orientation process.

- Fleeing the city with Gudrun and Albert was a solid segment. The initial fight hinged on proper troop management and prioritizing the most dangerous enemy troops, but there was an additional dimension of depth owing to the narrow terrain, which gives the player pause as they confront the challenge of how best to use it. The end of this portion tied in beautifully with the narrative as a whole.


At this point, the scenario transformed into a full-on B&D, and to be frank I thought that the quality of the gameplay dropped off considerably here due to three principal factors: the suffocating pathways, the general lack of space, and the behavior of the enemy AI. The map, while beautifully laid out, does not lend itself well to B&D gameplay precisely because it was too cramped and narrow. I began by booming up while simultaneously prioritizing the massing of upgraded soldiers to man my castle nearest Rudolf's city, but was surprised by the fact that Rudolf was seemingly content to wait for me to make the first move.

With several thousand resources in the bank and a maxed-out population limit, I opened my attack by raiding the enemy farmers and lumberjacks to force an enemy sally. Suddenly, the hordes of hell were unleashed as the enemy AI, clearly operating on infinite resources, began to pump out endless swarms of troops from a slew of military buildings inside the city (reminding the player of some of his early B&D scenario design attempts whose execution left a little to be desired).

The defender's advantage was magnified by the fact that I had to wait for troops to arrive from production facilities all over the map (the scouts mention that constructing a forward camp is a good idea, but the map design is so dense that I do not know for the life of me where this could possibly be done). Adding to the frustration was the fact that the slew of narrow pathways throughout the map meant that my troops often got clogged up on each other or with villagers. This is on the superior UserPatch pathfinding, mind you - I don't even want to contemplate what it would be like on non-UserPatched 1.0c, let alone HD...

This combination of factors tanked the playability and balance. To fight an AI with infinite resources and multiple production facilities, you need the capability to match its production, and that was not possible. Furthermore, basic troop management was made difficult due to being bottled up in a narrow tunnel by the forward fortress. Despite taking almost exclusively favorable engagements, after an hour I had scarcely gained any ground. I assumed that the only way forward was to slowly push forward with a chain of castles between the forward fortress and Rudolf's city while feeding troops into the meatgrinder over the next several hours, but I was unwilling to do so and resorted to cheat codes to complete that final stage. This is one problem with a lack of difficulty dynamism; I would happily have lowered the difficulty setting so as to be able to complete the mission without cheats, but the translator's above post in this thread indicates that there is no variance between settings.

For what it's worth, the final cutscene was quite nice and capped off a strong effort quite well.

Overall, I would certainly recommend this scenario to anyone. For the most part it was masterfully done, even if the B&D portion felt unpolished and unfinished. My review scores would probably be as follows:

Playability: 4-/3+
Balance: 4-/3+
Creativity: 5
Map design: 5/5-
Story/instructions: 5

Total: ~4.4-6/5

The current state of the B&D portion makes it impossible for more than one of playability and balance to crack the 4 threshold, and the map design could suffer somewhat for its negative impact on the B&D segment, but I like to avoid double-dipping when possible. If the issues in the B&D segment were addressed, the scenario could certainly score a 5.0, but at the present it is impossible to complete within any reasonable portion of time. Quite enjoyable nevertheless, though.

Storm on the Steppe | Galderton Hill RP | Proud member of Stormwind Studios

"Cattle die, kindred die, every man is mortal:
But the good name never dies of one who has done well." - Hávamál

"Hockey is the only sport left for true men." - ax_man1
Bassi
Squire
posted 05-30-18 08:01 AM CT (US)     765 / 846       
(reminding the player of some of his early B&D scenario design attempts whose execution left a little to be desired).
Yh, I used those infinite-resource mechanics also a lot in the past -- a not so brilliant gaming experience is the logical result. Glad, those days are over!

Besides that, I'd say this is a very fair feedback!

My AoC Workshop
Make Build & Destroy great again!
Cataphract887
Squire
posted 05-30-18 05:38 PM CT (US)     766 / 846       
Good mini review! I agree about that B&D section and mostly everything you said. The way to beat it, unfortunately, is to realize the AI behavior and use it to your advantage. This is quite bad because if the player gets the AIs attention he will get pounded into the ground with no chance to change up his tactics. In my case my first experience with attacking the city, I noticed this passive behavior and follow-up relentless aggression and managed to passify the AI by keeping its men near the walls. You can do this by sacrificing your army if you dont like reloading;draw it near the wall and avoid further engagements at all cost. Harvest all the resources while twiddling thumbs for an hour or so. Then get ready for the attack;sneak towards the north and setup a grinder where that AI will perpetually attack, then rush the walls from the other side with waves of rams and escort units. Dont fight a pitched battle with reinforcements;let all your men die before recharging for a new wave. Take out production buildings with each wave.

In the end its quite unfortunate the gameplay didnt measure up to the storytelling, but I knew as soon as I played it that I really wanted more people to see this scenario. Plans to put it on steam are temporarily on hold as the AI cannot receive its trebuchets to attack in the DtS and I need to replace some mechanics there myself which is annoying.

"Excellent could be any map that has the quality of a ES random map or ES scenario. AoK is an excellent, award winning game. That's where I'd start." -AnastasiaKafka

"Hard work is evil. Bitmaps are stupid. Working on a scenario for more than one afternoon is stupid. Triggers are stupid. Testing your own scenario is stupid. The world is stupid. You are the Greatest." -Ingo Van Thiel
HockeySam18
Dúnadan
posted 05-30-18 06:07 PM CT (US)     767 / 846       
When I observed the behavior I figured it could be solved by reducing the AI defense and unit response distances, at least on lower difficulties. Regrettably, being forced to resort to AI abuse is a pretty gamey way to have to complete a scenario. It's a shame, too, because even with the issues stemming from the cramped map design the scenario would still play quite well with normal AI behavior alternating between aggression and passivity. It's really the combination of the cramped design and AI flaws that mangles the playability and balance of the B&D portion more than either of those individual factors.

Storm on the Steppe | Galderton Hill RP | Proud member of Stormwind Studios

"Cattle die, kindred die, every man is mortal:
But the good name never dies of one who has done well." - Hávamál

"Hockey is the only sport left for true men." - ax_man1
Cataphract887
Squire
posted 05-30-18 06:26 PM CT (US)     768 / 846       
It sure didnt help that all the trees on the map were real trees, not the straggler type that can be removed by chopping and placing a foundation. That makes adding new buildings absurdly tough.

"Excellent could be any map that has the quality of a ES random map or ES scenario. AoK is an excellent, award winning game. That's where I'd start." -AnastasiaKafka

"Hard work is evil. Bitmaps are stupid. Working on a scenario for more than one afternoon is stupid. Triggers are stupid. Testing your own scenario is stupid. The world is stupid. You are the Greatest." -Ingo Van Thiel
ArnulfFloyd
Squire
posted 06-06-18 02:51 AM CT (US)     769 / 846       
I remember as my AOE2 latest playthrough was in 4 but with Agincourt scenario, a reason is as I playing M&B Warband and mods. Agincourt is easy than other official scenarios because I completing in 27 minutes, without so much micromanagement I lost only 4-5 men
Cataphract887
Squire
posted 06-26-18 08:11 AM CT (US)     770 / 846       
Heya fellas I finally got around to releasing my next scenario, River Raids, sometimes called Rurik as I vacillated between names



10\10 laziness meter for the bitmap...

Anyhow its a raiding scenario where you collect resources to train troops. Its made for WololoKingdoms which makes it very possible it will get all of 10 downloads, but I have to admit I find going backwards into HD or normal AoC too painful to contemplate There are something like 9 different endings which you can achieve by fulfilling different victory conditions, of which there are five to fulfill in order to win. The difficulty setting you pick increases the number of objectives you need. I tried doing some custom tech tree so the player can research various UT and blacksmith upgrades to level up his men, but its rather limited due to problems force enabling technology at the moment. Hopefully no one has too much difficulty installing the files in the right spot, seemed to be quite an issue for my AoEZone playtesters...

Would appreciate a review or comments of course

"Excellent could be any map that has the quality of a ES random map or ES scenario. AoK is an excellent, award winning game. That's where I'd start." -AnastasiaKafka

"Hard work is evil. Bitmaps are stupid. Working on a scenario for more than one afternoon is stupid. Triggers are stupid. Testing your own scenario is stupid. The world is stupid. You are the Greatest." -Ingo Van Thiel
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