Age of Wonders Heaven Julia with Gameplay background
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Downloads Home » Multi Player Maps » Return to the Valley of Wonders

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Return to the Valley of Wonders

Author File Description
IniochReborn
File Details
Ruleset: TS Standard Rules
Map Size: X-Large
Playable Races: All
Surface Levels: 3
Difficulty: Hard
This is an extra large, 12 player map largely based on the campaign scenario geography/locations, scaled relative to the campaign overland map.

The scenario is loosely set at the beginning of the campaign following Queen Elwyn's assassination, with certain events having already happened for balance reasons (ie: King Inioch is resurrected, Orcs have conquered Telstar, etc).

This map is intended to be used with my "Inioch's Competitive LAN Ruleset", but should still work with 1.36 (only missing resources I can think of are Lizards Turtle Ram/ Undead Necromancer at start).

All AI recommended to be set to CPU Emperor, Allied Victory on.

Consider this map to be a work-in-progress for a couple weeks following initial submission as I find bugs/oversight. I will post an update when finalized.

Comments and opinions are appreciated.
AuthorComments & Reviews   ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )
Ziggurat Mason
Rating
4.8
Breakdown
Playability5.0
Balance4.0
Creativity5.0
Map Design5.0
Story/Instructions5.0
This map is a fantastic concept, well-executed. There are all sorts of details which people who've played the campaigns will recognise.

Playability: 5
I haven't played the map yet, but looking through it in the editor, I don't see any serious problems arising. Altars, income structures, Nodes, independents, and every other feature all occur in reasonable frequency. There is a higher frequency of larger towns compared to most maps but this is not a problem. It really has everything you might want.

Balance: 4
Nine of the twelves races look to have fairly equal starts and opportunities.
From what I can judge of the map looking at it in the editor, the Elves, Halflings and Goblins look to have seriously cramped started areas and avenues of expansion compared to the other races. The Undead position also strikes me as a little cramped.
I was tempted to give the map a 3 for balance, because I think those three races are at a big disadvantage. But balance is not the central concern of this map, and you will probably edit it soon anyway and ameliorate the position of those three races. And besides, the other 9 races look to be reasonably even.

Creativity: 5
The author clearly put a lot of effort into reflecting the campaigns and lore accurately, and there are many pleasant details to that effect, and in general.

Map Design: 5
A very convincing and good-looking portrayal of Athla.

Story/Instructions: 5
Well, it's Athla at the time of the conflict that occurs in the campaign, so this is an automatic 5.
IniochReborn
File Author
Hey Ziggurat Mason, thanks for the review - I really appreciate the feedback. I'm hoping to get as much feedback as I can over the next couple of weeks, and trying to get a couple LAN tournaments played in that same timeframe with my group, where we can keep a closer eye out for issues brought up by other players that we might otherwise overlook. For now though I can at least provide some insight into the creation of the map and address points as they are brought up, without yet knowing what I'll be changing:

- With each race starting with a no upgrade/ no wall level 4 city, plus a razed level 4 city in the Valley of Wonders, there are definitely more level 4 cities than After the Fall for example, the most timeless vanilla map. The idea was that after the 'Decade of Silence' during which the races are essentially gearing up for war for 10 years, it would be reflected in their level 4 cities. The Verdant Court, of course, should have the potential to be equal to any city, but can only be brought to fruition by the player(s) as an end goal. Subsequent cities were then, generally speaking, scaled by relative strength/importance (with the limitation of no more level 4's).

- Though many aspects of the map were made with balance in mind, you are right in saying that balance was not the central concern. The main focus for most of the map's creation was probably just trying to maintain proper scaling in terms of geography/landmasses etc. Lots to think about in regards to Elves/Halflings/Goblins. Elves and Halflings are near each other as per lore (Ham Binger donates Aldor to Julia etc), and I want the Goblins to be a threat to the Halflings on their way to the United Cities, but only underground. These parameters are essentially set in stone, but the way they're achieved will be something to think about. As for Undead they're definitely in the thick of things to say the least, I've done well in my initial tests with them but will need to play some multiplayer LAN to get a true feel for them.

All that being said, my responses are only intended as glimpses into the creation process and not intended to be dismissive or indicative of any changes to come - will be a couple weeks before I do anything drastic.
IniochReborn
File Author
*** UPDATE ***

Contrary to what I just said about weeks for changes, I am posting one small update:

Southern brought up a good point about the inaccuracy of Arcalot's geography, and this has been revised. This one was an exception based on its combined easiness and irrefutability as per the campaign.

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HGDL v0.8.0

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Rating
4.8
Breakdown
Playability5.0
Balance4.0
Creativity5.0
Map Design5.0
Story/Instructions5.0
Statistics
Downloads:35
Favorites: [Who?]0
Size:104.28 KB
Added:08/05/19
Updated:08/07/19