A Battle for Evermore
||TS Standard Rules
Years have passed since the battle at the Valley of Wonders! Julie and Gabriel were slain and an era of darkness began as Inioch waged an Unholy war upon the remnants of the Eleven races. Even the Orcs and Goblins who fought with the Undead were not spared! Indeed Inioch slew even his own son Meandor, and sent Dark Elves as well as True Elves to their graves.
Slowly the Lands lost their lifeforce, and what was green turned black! As the land blackened, even the Undead began to whither and crumble to dust. It was at this time that what remained of the living races sent a plea across the seas to the Elves of Evermore to find a refuge in a new land. Antioch, the leader of the Elves, felt pity in his heart and agreed to provide refuge for the Halflings, Dwarves, and Highmen, but refused to allow the nuetral or dark races passage. The Highmen being friends of the Humans balked at the proposal, and vowed to remain behind and die rather than allow the Humans to be left behind. Antioch's heart was moved by the Highmen stand, and he relented allowing not just the humans, but all nuetral races passage to Evermore. But alas, the time had run out for the frostlings and the fair race perished but for one warrior who brought hatred in his heart and was imprisoned lest the hatred grow to become a blight upon the new land.
Amongst the Undead one hero saw the tops of the sails as the ships left for Evermore. Soriasis, the Unclean, watched and felt a troubled spirit come upon him. For though the Land was dust, and the seas had turned dead, Soriasis knew that all would again be reborn as long as the Elves had their refuge, Evermore!!
Thus, Soriasis led a small fleet of warriors across the Misty seas, in search of Evermore. For if the Undead could claim even the Elven Homeland then truly the living races would perish. Only after all that was living had perished would the Undead be freed to disapear into dust, and only after all that was living was destroyed would Inioch's vengence be complete!!
A Single Player Map.
Please do not customize your leader. Play as Undead!
This map shall return as the final endmap in my mega campaign 'Shadowmane Spirit Walker" Therefore if you have any problems with it send me comments! Arctic Wolf (Arcticw459@AOL.com)
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Note: I played this scenario in the June '04 monthly challenge. It had some minor changes to make it tougher, but I've tried to factor them in to my review.
Playability: I enjoyed the beginning of this map. It was a good warmup to have two tough, but manageable battles to start off. I do agree that getting rid of the wraith is a good plan. If you're playing this scenario try doing it without the wraith for the first city battle and the nearby dungeon battle. I do have an issue with this map, however: gold. I know that it adds a little extra difficulty to the map, but I was never at a point where I was making it, but barely. A few turns before I went into the positives on gold I was nearly at -100/turn, but the turn after I went into positive gold I was at +100. (My mana was coming in in mass quantities throughout the game so you could even them out?) Maybe it's just because the gold thing is one of my pet peeves... Other than that I found it highly playable. It just takes forever to get moving. It was the only thing that kept this from being a 5.
Balance: I have a bit of an issue here. My main beef is there are more than a few flying heroes throughout the map (actual flying not spelled up). This doesn't have a big impact on the game's difficulty, but it is not balanced since there is no possible way that you can get a flying hero of your own. Also, XL maps should have haste buyable near the start because otherwise there is just too much wasted time. Other than that, you're massively outnumbered and have to fight every inch of the way going straight for the leaders if you don't want to deal with the annoyances of the AI. Perfectly fine by me... ;) Just about right.
Creativity: The leader's name: "Soriasis the Unclean". Names of some of the towns: Montanna, Wisconsin, etc. I mean there ARE a lot of cities, but put the filler names in the NW and SW corners if you have to. This really broke the coolness of the mod for me.
Map Design: I'll give an average score for this because all XL mods are like this, but I do not like it. There is a lot of superfluous area in this map. It is a big waste of time to go anywhere other than the islands and corners where the leaders are located. There are wizard towers, dungeons, and crypts/ziggarauts throughout these areas, but you have to commit a significant force to getting them (more than two demons). Since there is no reason to go there due to the leaders being far away then it is just a place where the AI groups a lot of troops that could potentially save it from certain destruction. I'd strongly recommend putting the Halflings in the NW corner, the Humans in the SW corner and having the island facing that corner be under their control as well. leave the other islands and central areas for these other "neutral" races that were also allowed entry (Azracs and Lizardmen) Have the Azracs be in that starting island and be the first to fall to the undead with their "hero" and place the lizards on the opposite side. This change will make the map much more interesting because you'll actually have to visit the entire area instead of making a bee line east and then branching NE and SE to finish the job.
Story/Instructions: I really like this concept and story. I don't like exploring that much and play with exploration off (I captured some of the fleeing "breathers" and gave them to the doom priests until they told me about the map of the area.). For explorers, I would maybe make it more clear that the razed area in the center of the undermap was a prime real estate oppurtunity, but other than that I liked all the story stuff a lot and little instruction was needed.
Sorry I scored you low in some areas, but overall things were really good!
I too have played the MC and not the original but the changes are minor enough I too want to rate this map.
Overall I really liked this map. I love a very difficult start to a map that puts you against the world. Cash was difficult at the start but a fun challenge to try and overcome. Difficult guards in the dungeons seemed to cause me to sweat out many tough battles. Great start to the map.
Let me explain my scores
Playability 4 - It's tough and not everyone will be successful playing this one (otherwise a 5). I like a tough challenge but my son can't play this map, it's too hard for him (but great for me).
Balance 5 - single player maps IMO must be "unbalanced" in the sense of the AI players have lots more than you. Any human player playing the AI position would have a field day and crush you but the stupid AI doesn't think like that. The 5 balance score indicates that the AI has lots and you've got squat and must fight for everything you get. The special things the AI have that you don't just makes it that much more interesting.
Creativity 4 - I have to give good scores here because I couldn't come up with something half this good.
Map design 3 - Lots of symmetry in this map, for single player maps I prefer to not have that symmetry (I know it's being picky but hey). However, the map plays well and there is lots to do, never a dull moment, lots of diversions, plenty of resources (once you get over the tough start). Lots of water with plenty of ways to get around on the waters and still travel far on land too. Strategic Wizard Towers really make it. One thing about the symmetry is it suits itself well to modify it slightly and play multiplayer (which AW has already done).
Story 5 - As always a great story that's fun.
Once again, I played this as the MC version. I don't normally rate maps as I feel guilty marking down when I neither have the time, inclination or skills ro do any sort of map mayself, and as a player I am keen to encourage mapmakers, not fault them. But this map is easy to rate as it is good.
I give playabilty 5 because it posed a number of excellent challenges, such as overcoming the gold problem, seeking out the leaders, and dealing with the structure defenders, never mind the overall problem of making progress v the AI. I particularly liked the structure battles, which needed a range of "solutions" applied, for great reward! I noted the flying heros and felt a twinge of regret at having to kill them. But there are plenty of others to release or co-opt.
I agree with Enginerd's comments about balance and sp maps, but I give it 4 as I found opportunities for AI abuse - not sure whether anything can be done about that as it's down to AI stupidity not the mapmaker. E.g. on the first time I found a mass of dwarves and the leader without any means of attacking a wraith, so one took the lot out. Although that was not quite repeated second time round. But I can't give all 5's!
Creativity is fine. It is a well thought out map and bears no similarity to anything else I have played and includes a number of interesting features that I would encourage players to find for themselves!
Map Design is also fine. I actually quite like symmetry and it doesn't make things any easier ("now which flippin' hole to I go down next!").
Story/Instructions can't really be faulted and imo is Arctic Wolf's strongest area. Sometimes I find stories don't relate to the map in playing but it does here, starting with your small fleet making landfall in the west. I also liked the frostling aspect and found a surprise as well!
The only real drawback is that the map is revealed as the final map in Arctic Wolf's campaign, which kind of spoils it. Excellent work though - keep it up!
Great scenario! My first download from this site. Enjoyed the scenario very much. Thanks!