MGC20 - Rebirth of the Colosseum
Posted on 09/13/20 @ 05:57 AM (updated 07/12/21
||Age of Empires II: DE
||Role Playing Strategy
From the creator of Gensokyo - Season of Calamity and El Nath - an award winning showcase scenario
After over 800 years, the big amphitheater in the middle of Rome has been reopened to put war prisoners and slave into a fight to the death. You're one of them.
As the result of over 9 centuries of technological advancement, the arsenal has been provided with advanced weaponry and the arena is now deadlier than ever before. You must prove your prowess in battle, and fight for your life.
A little bit about colosseum history and scenario lore:
The Colosseum is an oval amphitheatre in the centre of the city of Rome, Italy, just east of the Roman Forum. It is the largest ancient amphitheatre ever built. Construction began under the emperor Vespasian in 72 AD and was completed in 80 AD under his successor, Titus. The emperors that were patrons of the work are known as the Flavian dynasty, thus the amphitheatre was named the Flavian Amphitheatre for quite some time.
It is built of travertine limestone, tuff (volcanic rock), and brick-faced concrete. The Colosseum could hold an estimated 50,000 to 80,000 spectators at various points in its history, having an average audience of 65,000. It was used for gladiatorial contests and public spectacles including animal hunts, executions, re-enactments of famous battles, and dramas based on Roman mythology, and briefly mock sea battles. The building ceased to be used for entertainment in the early medieval era.
The Colosseum saw some four centuries of active use, until the struggles of the Western Roman Empire and the gradual change in public tastes put an end to gladiatorial combats and other large public entertainments by the 6th century A.D. Even by that time, the arena had suffered damage due to natural phenomena such as lightning and earthquakes. In the centuries to come, the Colosseum was abandoned completely, and used as a quarry for numerous building projects.
But then, after more than 9 centuries, during the First Italian Renaissance, war suddenly erupt. After the downfall of the Byzantine Empire, coming out as the dominant player in the war of land and sea, the state earned 40 years of peace through treaty.
In previous wars, mercenaries known as Condottieri were a primary internal part of the Italian army. There were some ethical and moral issues, but all of them were unproven by their effectiveness at handling battlefield situations. The Italian Emperor at the time had an idea of reopening the Colosseum for military recruitment, despite the public oppositions, as preparations for the storms to come.
You, on the other hand, have nothing to lose. Are you ready to become the victor of the death arena?
A gameplay demonstration of V1.0.0
- 20 different classes with unique abilities, a level system to create your own gladiator, lots of replayability
- Learn different unit matchups and practice your micro skills!
- Unique systems that never have been done before, like a Stamina system for your gladiator
- Hand-crafted AI, taken inspiration from powerful and popular AIs like Barbarian
- Lots of different enemies and bosses with powerful skills
- Dynamic soundtracks and sound effects, with intro and outro slide sequences
- Including passive skills and active skills for you to utilize, no data-modding is required!
- Over 1200+ triggers, inspirationally designed and over 1 hour of playtime
There are 3 difficulty levels that differentiate your playstyles:
- Easy: Easier AI and leveling is faster. A relaxing difficulty level that may turn out boring.
- Normal: For most AoE 2 players with better micro level. Enemy behaviourals are enhanced and enemies have better armor.
- Lunatic: For players who are confident in their micro and want greater challenges. Enemies can lead target. Enemies melee attacks are enhanced, and their hitpoints regenerate during battles. Waves are included with extra enemies.
Any questions, feedback, or suggestion are welcomed. You can contact me via Discord through this id: duyhung2h#0206
Special thanks to BOT_Alan, Thanathor, diamondpython, Bruns V, EaterEater, LemmingAid, Invictus for playtesting my map!
And thank you Alkhalim for voice acting the intro/outro sequence.
This map is a pseudo-historical take and does not reflect true Italian history, or the history of the Colosseum.
v0.2.8: Content update and bug fixes
Content update and changes:
- Balance changes (Some bosses and enemies should feel easier, and some are harder...)
- New "Desperate Enrage" mechanic: If there are 3 or more enemies in the field, the last one surviving will go beserk by the loss of their comrades! Be extra careful trying to pick them off one by one, or you might end up getting surprised.
- More random, extra enemies in Lunatic mode.
- A death counter to track how many times you have died (sorry, but not sorry)
- Fixed an unintentional bug that always kill your character when you have a high hp stat.
- Diplomacy is now locked.
- Skill cooldown on boss waves now will always reset, if you fail and retry.
v0.3.1: New DE version support and bug fixes:
Bug fixes and update:
- Fixed various bugs came up with the new patch
- Added visual clue when you're poisoned
- Added intermission instructions during "League of Heroes" phase
- "Update" League of Heroes boss mechanics
v1.0.0: Official final release:
- Introducing a brand new look to the arena! More eye candies have been added.
- Added "Stamina" system:
"According to popular demands, Hit and Run tactics turned out to be the most efficient. This is why a new system has to be added. Introducing Stamina, your stamina will drain over time if you don't stop moving your unit after a certain period, which will slow your unit after your stamina fall below a critical point. If situation is dire, you can hide in shelters around the map (Ram)"
- Added a Fixed Ballista to the South-west corner of the map, a lethal ranged weapon that can be used once each wave. You will become [exhausted] for 4.5 seconds after using the ballista.
(Sneaky Note: Unlock all last promotion classes to get a pleasant surprise...)
- Reworked the final boss battle:
The Final Boss (second phase) has less HP, but with 3 different new skills:
+ Pursue: Limit the target line of sight for a short time. Movement speed is increased while the target is blinded.
+ Charge: Stand still for a moment, before charging the target head-on with greatly increased movement speed. If the charge hits the target, the target becomes stunned and increases own attack speed for a short while.
+ Judgement Blow: Slow down their own movement speed and attack speed for a short while before striking a heavy blow, deals heavy damage in a short-range.
- Added new diminishing returns formula for attack speed and movement speed calculating regarding "agility" stat.
- New and improved AI: Added more custom functions, goals, constants (taken inspirations from Barbarian AI) so the AI will:
+ Actively seeking out your military unit with no disruption;
+ Villagers and monks can take part in a fight, and other units will react to siege/monks being under attack;
+ The AI will taunt you in certain situations;
+ Improved P5 and P4 (Subtitute) AI, so your skills/enemies skills will work smoothly upon activation.
+ Siege weapons will have "Siege engineers" operating it, and will guard it at all cost. Kill them to make the siege weapon unmanned.
- Enemy skills rework:
+ Added every bosses skill infos in the "Scout" menu.
+ Voice lines are added to mid-wave bosses and final boss.
+ Reworked "One-Shotter Beaumont" skill: [Explosive gentleman] (passive):
CQC mode: Activates if enemies are closer than 3 meters away, shot becomes dispersed, with a total of 10 pellets per shot. Each pellet deals 10 damage.
Sniper mode: Activates if enemies are further than 4.5 meters away, with a maximum of 12 range. Damage is greatly enhanced with 1 pellet per shot, and pellet speed increases to 16. Each shot deals 25 damage.
+ Added new skills to "An Unknown Phenomena": [Hellfire]: Imbue themself with fire every 8 seconds, attack the target with fire spirits within close range.
+ Added new skills to "His Majesty's Royal Guard": [Focus Fire]: Stop shooting and stay still for 5-7 seconds to charge for the next attack. When charged, release a fast barrage of fire arrows to shoot the target from afar.
+ Reworked Betrys skill to [exhaust] her target for 2 seconds after a successful strike.
+ Improved "Hera the Executioner" [Boomerang Axe] skill. Corrected the Boomerang's pathfinding after a successful hit, thus the skill is deadlier.
+ Added new skills to "Uncrowned Khan": [Domesticated Traps]: Using underhand tactics, periodically laying down visible smoke traps which will stun enemies for 3 seconds and deals 1-5 melee damage (8 times) after being stepped on. Deploy 1 trap per 10 seconds, trap expires after 50 seconds. Only 2 traps can be available at the same time.
- New campaign selection background (an overview image of Rome)
- New intro cutscene
- A brand new trailer
- Added unique names to "League of Heroes" combatants, and other bosses (Can you spot the easter eggs?)
- Waves are now included with new DLC units (you don't have to own the DLC), ramp up the challenging factor with more unique matchup like monks, petards and siege units.
- Added preparation time when you retry a battle, you can start a retry battle whenever you like.
- Spear classes bonus damage against cavs and elephants have been nerfed, to encourage the use of different classes. Skirmisher classes deals more bonus damage against cav archers.
- Reworked “Vanguard” skill for Legionary: Now for every projectile blocked, grant a stackable pierce armor buff, up to 8. Stacked buffs will deplete over time.
- Fixed various pathfinding problems, and AI is improved. AI will taunt you based on different situations.
- Fixed various other stuffs, namely "Counter" skill, enemies pathfinding problems at the entrance, etc...
Known issue: Sometimes you'll get stuck after killing the boss at wave 60. Type "torpedo5" to solve this issue.
|Author||Comments & Reviews ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )|
Hi!.. Today I started to play and finished your entry with Normal difficulty setting. I wanted to give you my feedbacks about your scenario. If my action is illegal (Because I am also a contestant too) the Moderators can delete my message.
* [SPOILER STARTS]
+ There is a very good effort with many triggers. You gave very serious effort for this scenario. Also your trigger tricks and trigger information are very great. Enemy units also can use skills against us. (Reducing our line of sight, changing our screen view, sprinting against us and stunning us etc...)
+ Complex gameplay... 20 different unit types for us to control. 3 different stat types to improve. Experience system for all unit types... Active and passive skills that require intense trigger trick skills for the author. Also each unit type has strong and weak sides. (Like stone, paper and scissor)
+ Dynamic gameplay... You can change your unit during the whole game. Even during the battles...
+ Good soundtrack in important moments...
+ 3 difficulty settings...
+ No bugs... (I didn't catch any bugs.)
+ Good action with fun gameplay...
+ Good slide sequences...
+ The map design is also creative. It is better than my expectations.
+ The game is not difficult in Normal difficulty. You don't lose the game if you die. Author has a good trigger skill to reload the same event with triggers. (After your death)
+ Creative boss battles...
+ Creative 90 second survive events...
+ Good information screen during the whole game...
- The game is unnecessary long. I think that 100 wave is very unnecessary. 50 wave could be more ideal. Also the game started to become boring and repetitive with mental exhaustion after 30-40 waves.
- The sound effects (before boss fights) and some lines are also repetitive.
- There is no extra story after starting the game. The story is only available to provide gameplay material.
- The game has lack of challenge for the Normal difficulty. I didn't try the hardest difficulty. But I think that Normal difficulty needs to be a bit more harder. I can beat most of enemy units with my archer unit. Also player needs to hit and run many many times while fighting against the last 5 boss battles. Repeating hit and run process more than 500-1000 times is not a good thing. The author has some trigger tactics to defeat our units. But all enemy boss skills are avoidable with contra tactics. Especially with my 8 agility stat...
- After I make my all unit updates along with stat updates my all units became like a semi god. They crushed all enemy units easily. Especially after the 50th wave. Only last 5 boss fights gave me some little challenge.
- There is a trick to make our weak units more experienced. Wound the enemy with your 20 experience unit after that change your unit during the battle and kill the enemy with your low experience unit.
- Maybe I should try the hardest difficulty. Because I am an experienced person for micromanagement. I am not very sure.
- I made my archer 20 experience at the wave 21. After that I have started to develop my other units.
* [SPOILER ENDS]
[Edited on 09/23/20 @ 01:30 PM]
Rebirth of the Colosseum is duyhung2h's winning entry to the 2020 Minigame Competition. The scenario is set in an alternate history where the colosseum has been reopened during the early years of the Italian Renaissance and follows a young man who is sold as a gladiator to fight in the arena.
I must say I was pleasantly surprised by this entry and it's unique gameplay mechanics. What couple have been a really boring hack and slash scenario with one repetitive duel after another was actually alot more thought out and included many creative tricks and upgrades in order to make the gameplay much more varied and exciting. There are various boos levels to fight your way through and you have to use your upgrades wisely and chose the correct unit class to defeat each unit you duel against. Overall I found this scenario to be hugely entertaining and much better than I expected a scenario of this style to be. I did come across the odd bug or two, a prime example being after the second Boss when the game refused to continue. I was waiting around for ages waiting for the next opponent before realising nothing was coming and having to restart.
For the moist part the Balance was pretty good in this scenario. There are a number of different difficulty modes to chose from depending on your gaming ability. The scenario includes a number of different unit classes that the player can openly switch between at any point in the game. You can chose from an archer, swordsman, spearman or skirmisher. Each of these allows for you to tackle different opponents and hit them differently depending on their weaknesses. You can earn regular upgrades as you progress as well, which are needed as the game gradually gets harder and harder. I found quite alot of the scenario to be pretty easy as the scenario gave you a decent break between each level to compose yourself, chose your unit class and find some de ent elevation to attack from. On the other hand, suddenly the scenario changes once the opponents gather some special powers such as the ability to freeze me. Add in some stupid health boosts and you've got a real challenge that's going to take a number of respawns or tedious hit and run tactics.
The best thing about minigames is that it forces the design to think creatively. Due to the limited space available, you can't design big battles, so you need to come up with creative gameplay and mechanics to engage the player in the small space they have to play in. This sort of scenario is nothing new, I've played a number of minigames like it, yet there is something very different about this one. The upgrade system is cleverly thought out and far superior to any of seen like it before. It provides some unique abilities for both the player and their opponents, and the duels themselves are more than just a simple hack-and-slash affair. The best thing about this scenario is the unit class system, which allows the player to constantly change between unit classes at will, and must have taken a huge amount of work to implement.
Map Design: 4
The map design showcases the inside of the Colosseum, an area populated with dirt, dead bodies, and all manner of barricades or obstacles to make the fighting as dramatic as possible. The design is really nice with some nice mixing of terrains and plenty of eye-candy to see. Some parts of the beauty have had to be sacrificed to make room for the upgrade area, but overall the whole map is wonderful to look at. There are plenty of map design tricks to be seen, such as the use of signs and fire to create a pyre and I liked the spectators who sit around the edge to watch the sport. For some though the design may be a bit too cluttered with eye-candy and this also can cause a problem with pathfinding for some units unfortunately.
The scenario doesn't have too much of a story but it bookended by a nice introduction and conclusion which explains the origins of the main character and sets the scene for the game. It's a bit silly - an emperor who puts on a death match just so he can fight the last man standing (SPOILERS: Leading to his death). While its silly and not much expanded upon in the actually scenario it does work well for the scenario and sets up the gameplay well enough. The instructions are clear and many helpful hints are given to explain clearly how the game mechanics and upgrades work. There were some spelling and grammar mistakes as well.
Overall this is fantastic and unique minigame scenario and a well deserved winner of the 2020 Minigame Competition.
First of all, thanks for the review Possidon. The review is well thought out. However, there's only one odd presumption that you assumed The Emperor was killed, while the outro showing him granting the main character the rank of a general (You could have guessed that he was fainted :P)
I'd like to also thanks Hellknight earlier for his review as well, as I felt like I shouldn't write any message when the competition was on.
I've been researching different ways to spice up the gameplay with different elements and freshen up the AI, so this map is also in the process of upgrading to version 1.0.0 if you haven't noticed. There are a lot of contents/fixes to be awaited! Until then, it might surprises you.
I judged this scenario as an entry to the Mini Game Contest last year, and gave it a fairly high score. However, since then it has been updated and noticeably improved. The criticisms I made of the previous version have largely been addressed.
The style of gameplay is that the player controls a single unit at a time in a series of small duels and chooses upgrades as progress is made. I can’t think of any which I thought did it better than this one. What really makes this scenario stand out is the highly impressive range of special abilities that the creator has made available both for the player and for certain enemy units. There is a lot of fun to be had trying out the different options and deciding which is the best for each upcoming fight. Although there is a very large number of rounds to fight through and I found some of the fights very tricky, two things keep the experience fun rather than excessively frustrating. First, there is mind-boggling variety in the enemies (mostly small groups) so you can't get away with sticking only to a single tactic and upgrade path. Second, and very importantly, when you lose a fight the creator has provided an in-built respawning mechanic so it is unnecessary to be saving constantly and there is no need to reload (which would otherwise be very tedious, as you are likely to die a lot). Making this scenario must have involved a prodigious amount of work, and it has to be said that the triggering is both elaborate and works nearly seamlessly. The stamina system seemed to work not very smoothly, but it still worked roughly as explained. I encountered a few very minor glitches, but nothing problematic.
I played on moderate, and I found the scenario rather challenging throughout but I was able to complete it. The vast majority of the fights I completed first time or with a single retry, while a few especially tough ones required half a dozen attempts or so. I suspect hard difficulty is appropriate only for die-hard connoisseurs of micromanagement. Bearing in mind the sheer variety of upgrade options, making this scenario challenging but not excessively difficult or impossible must have required careful thought and an enormous amount of testing. One of the interesting features of the scenario is that to some extent which of the fights you find hardest is likely to depend on how you have chosen to upgrade your unit(s).
The upgrades system by far exceeds any other system of this kind that I have seen in AoK, and it is clear that much thought and skill were needed to devise all the special abilities and make them work well. The scenario is worth a look just to marvel at what the creator has managed to pull off here.
Map Design: 5
The map is an arena, and it looks good although rather cluttered with stone pillars and flags and other miscellaneous detritus. The spectators arrayed around the edge are a very nice addition and give the arena a lot more character. I found that with the earlier version of the scenario there were real pathfinding problems, but those seem to have been largely resolved. The map also has some functional features such as a couple of places to shelter in, which I found essential for some of the fights as well as playing a part more generally with the stamina system.
The most important thing with a scenario of this kind is that the instructions be clear, and fortunately they do explain the complicated mechanics of the scenario rather well. Some things do have to be worked out by trial and error instead of having them explained in advance, such as how much extra health and attack you get from upgrading those attributes - but I think that is acceptable. There is a storyline but it is really just a framing device. There is something quite silly about the "Italian Emperor" (there was never any such thing) reopening the colosseum during the renaissance era to stage a huge fight to the death. It makes even less that this would be done for the purpose revealed at the end. It's a mystery to me why the creator didn't just say the scenario takes place during the Roman Empire or invent a fictional setting. However, I do appreciate the effort of the creator in adding the map screen before the scenario, and in producing short slideshows which are even narrated! The voice-acting for that narration is of amateur quality and lacks feeling, but making the effort still deserves credit in my opinion.
I have given this scenario a very high score because, especially in its updated form, I think it is by far the best scenario of its kind and it succeeds impressively on its own terms. However, the style of gameplay and the level of difficulty are probably not for everyone. Having said that, I would strongly recommend giving this a try even if you don't complete it.
Rebirth of the Colosseum by Duhyung2h, originally an entry to Age of Kings Heaven's Minigame 2020 contest. Since the scenario has been overhauled with impressive new systems made possible by DEs trigger systems. Rebirth of the Colosseum throws you into the emperor’s recently reopened arena. You will fight, upgrade and switch classes to become the ultimate champion of the arena.
This scenario has gameplay that invests the player, especially the first time round they play it. Your first playthrough is immensely entertaining and figuring out how to defeat certain rounds can be very satisfying. There is some level of replayability to the scenario, however once you start to optimise your strategy based on your first game with class switching, hopping in and out of cover you might find some of the less challenging fights to become a bit of a grind. Each boss has a unique set of abilities that provides a unique experience for an AoE 2 scenario involving boss fights. Occasionally some bosses end up being health tanks and are not very enjoyable experiences as opposed to some of the regular mixed unit fights. Whilst most fights may be quick, the many levels provide a large variety of different scenario match ups for you to solve. Thankfully if you die, you will only respawn at the start of the round again, saving you lots of time from having to save anything. While the stamina system is a remarkable inclusion, it can sometimes feel like a massive drawback to the game as enemy units aren’t affected by stamina, and some of the fights against health tanks will result in your ability to move faster become useless.
Playing through this scenario, it is well balanced. Replaying through you may find it a lot easier to complete a lot of the earlier fights, however some of these fights would be considered as a kind of tutorial. The four classes available, archer, skirmisher, swordsman, and spearman allow you to counter enemy units whenever possible, and some of the fights are quite challenging when there are mixed units to fight.
Duhyung2h scores highly regarding creativity. Not only have they managed to condense a complex scenario within a 25x25 map, but they have also done it with an interesting upgrade and stats system along with stamina. Passive abilities and abilities of bosses are also a testament to the creative design, leading to unique playthroughs depending on what upgrades a player takes.
Map Design: 5
The designer carefully utilised the 25x25 size map to incorporate atmospheric design with strategic elements. The only issue caused using off-grid placement of eye candy results in the occasional drop in performance of pathfinding which can negatively affect your fights. Clever use of bridge, walls and various limited pieces of eye candy provide a very believable arena that works quite well within a RTS environment. Certain elements within the area are optionally destructible allowing for further strategy, along with places to garrison to take cover and recover stamina, as well as chokepoints and subtle elevation changes that can be used to your advantage in your fights.
The story is simple, taking place in the first Italian renaissance period, following a young man taken as a boy to fight in the emperor’s recently reopened arena. It would be disingenuous to tear apart the simplicity of the story for the sake of rating the scenario. The story serves its purpose as background to the scenario well enough. Instead, this scenario falls slightly short in terms of instructions. There are plenty of useful instructions outlining weaknesses of bosses and text UI for various stats and upgrades you acquire along the way. It is sometimes unclear on how something works such as how to use the ballista, when a class upgrade triggers and the fact that you gain xp for the class selected when you finish a fight.
This scenario impressed me highly, and I would recommend it as a scenario to try out. I usually do not like AoE 2 scenarios that control single units as the game mechanics usually do not support it to be interesting enough as opposed to something like Starcraft.
Glad to see 2 different reviews at once, and see you both enjoyed the map. By the looks of it, the map was also cleared of bugs (Although DE tends to update itself and screw some maps over — they tend to disable old mods after each update). It seems like the only problem left is the instructions/story.
Even though the whole ordeal may not make any sense to some players, I did state it was an alternative historical map at first (in response to Julius's comment). The instructions, as I said, can be improved, even though I decided not to include extensive information because it may be a bit overloaded (there are too many to factor in your gladiator stats that it can be a bit confusing!) regardless, those are fair criticism.