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Topic Subject: Blacksmith Feature: Ragnar's Saga (01.19.22)
posted 01-19-22 11:12 AM CT (US)   

Welcome to a brand-new Blacksmith Feature. Today I will be kicking AOKH into the 21st century by taking a look at a brand-new scenario released for the Definitive Edition. Yep, we’re finally going to feature a scenario made for DE, only took us two years.

The scenario in question is a by one of the game’s leading scenario designers, who has also worked on the game in an official capacity as the designer of the official Portuguese, Burmese, Bulgarian, Italian, Indian, and Sicilian campaigns - Filthydelphia (also known as Al_Kharn the Great or PhillySouljah).

The scenario we will be looking at today is called Ragnar’s Saga. It is a massive sandbox style scenario which began life as an update of the author previous work known as Ragnar’s Raids. Just like in that scenario, in Ragnar’s Saga you will take control of Ragnar’s Lothbrok and you must sail the Northern Seas to pillage plunder and conquer Britain, Scandinavia and Northern Europe.

Ragnar’s Saga improves on Filthydelphia’s signature raiding game mechanic that he has used in a number of epic scenario’s and also dials everything up to 11 with the addition of multiple bonus objectives and the expansion onto a ludicrous sized map! The gameplay works similarly to Ragnar’s Raids but allows for much more exploration, raiding and tougher micromanagement of your Mead Halls. The scenario is virtually a sandbox game, with no set objectives but to raid and pillage to your hearts content. As Filthydelphia put it:
“I wanted to make the massive map feel even bigger and give you a sandbox to play in - after all, you are a Viking king, why would you want someone telling you what to do?! So, to achieve this, I completely upended the normal approach to objectives in AoE2 scenarios: initially, I had no objectives at all. But realizing total freedom probably doesn't make for the best gameplay -- wouldn't even know when you've done everything there is to do! -- I decided to take a moderate but still pretty new and never-before-done approach that I hope you will like and will help make it feel like you are truly writing your own adventure!”

While there’s no defined structure to the scenario there is a list of 50 saga objectives to complete in whichever order you chose. As you explore the large map new objectives are discovered to complete and new heroes from the Viking era can be collected to join your warband. This is not a scenario where you follow a story, this is a scenario where you write your own story. A Filthydelphia put it himself whilst responding to a review of this scenario - "Sometimes people wonder why I don't do explicit story-telling in most of my scenarios but your post shows why I believe that's the best narrative design approach for Age of Empires and many games. You wrote your own story that is uniquely yours and a better, more immersive tale than any I could have written!"

Now it’s time for you to follow the call of a Viking and start your own adventure, raid and pillage to your hearts content as you download and play Ragnar’s Saga - RIGHT NOW!
posted 01-19-22 07:09 PM CT (US)     1 / 6  
Thanks for the showcase, Possidon! Glad you liked the scenario!

posted 01-20-22 08:59 AM CT (US)     2 / 6  
I've yet to play this one, but it's great to see another article on here!

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The Relics of Athalën (5.0) | AoK Opus - 100,000+ downloads | StormWind Studios | "I consider the conversion of Basse to be one of the great triumphs of my modding crusade" - Matt LiVecchi
posted 01-25-22 11:15 AM CT (US)     3 / 6  
Great to see the feature back! This scenario sounds really fun, I need to try it.
posted 01-28-22 04:04 AM CT (US)     4 / 6  
You guys definitely need to check this one out. If you've had a go at Ragnar's Raids and enjoyed that then you'll love this - its on a whole new level.

More features should be coming too. I don't know how many people still read them but I enjoy writing them when I get a chance.
posted 01-28-22 03:16 PM CT (US)     5 / 6  
Keep them coming!
As long as this website sees some new articles from time to time, people will read them.
posted 03-14-22 03:57 AM CT (US)     6 / 6  
for some reason, it's been a long time since blacksmith is updated for me. I keep seeing the old maps and not a single new campaign. is there something that I have to do to see the new maps? I don't have this game purchased so I can download it from inside the game.
Age of Kings Heaven » Forums » News Discussion » Blacksmith Feature: Ragnar's Saga (01.19.22)
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