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Topic Subject: The Day of Judgment - 2003 Mapmaking Competition
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posted 04-24-03 06:16 AM EDT (US)   
This is where you give us your opinion of the maps that you've tried in our 2003 Mapmaking Competition

Please can everybody use the format shown below, to make it easy for us to calculate overall scores. Any post not following the format shown below will be ignored, and may be deleted. Thanks for your co-operation.

The mapmakers concerned have put a lot of time and effort into making these maps, so please try to be considerate and constructive in your comments. We reserve the right to edit or delete any posts that we consider to be unfairly brutal.

This mapmaking competition is not about pretty maps, Age of Wonders is a game about strategy and battles, the true test of a map is PLAYABILITY. Please do not rate maps purely on the basis of opening them up in the editor to see how pretty they are. You need to playtest them thoroughly, in the way that they're designed to be played. So if you're platytesting a multi-player map, for example, and you're playing it in single-player, please try to imagine how good a multiplayer map it is, and remember that different things are important in a multi player map (balance is more important, pop up messages less desirable, for example). Better still, play it by email or online, although we appreciate that there may not always be enough time to do this.

You can cut and paste the example below for your submissions:


Name of Map :

Rating (marks out of 10) :

Things that I liked and
disliked about this map :


You are welcome to rate as many - or as few - of the submitted maps as you wish. However, if you have been involved in the making of a map, please do not rate it. You are also more than welcome to go to the relevant downloads section and post a full review of the map there (but only ratings posted in this thread will be taken into account in this competition). Even if your comments aren't always glowing praise of what a brilliant work of art it is, mapmakers do appreciate you taking the time and trouble to review their creations.

We hope you enjoy playing these maps - after all, Age of Wonders is all about

having fun!

[This message has been edited by Roger (edited 08-02-2003 @ 12:06 PM).]

Replies:
posted 05-12-03 06:47 AM EDT (US)     1 / 150  
Name of Map : Gigan's Throne - the Beginning, by Outlier

Rating (marks out of 10) : 8

Things that I liked and
disliked about this map :
I had fun playing this map, and initially I just about managed to keep my hero alive

I chose the hero with spellcasting, and she killed a lurker, a fairy, some rogues, a mole, a couple of frosties, some rift spawn, and a beetle. Sadly I was unable to beat a warlord, a bone horror or a rift lord

This was a great idea for a map, and very professionally presented

[This message has been edited by Roger the Rampant (edited 05-13-2003 @ 01:47 AM).]

posted 05-12-03 10:51 AM EDT (US)     2 / 150  

Quoted from Roger the Rampant:

Rating (marks out of 10) : 8

Hooray! I got a passing grade from RtR!!

But please don't give up! Actually, you only need to beat the beetle to get to the final round ... and with the Terra Charm you got, you can beat the defending champion "tactically" ... I'll email you separately for this. I have also started a thread at AoW2 Scenario Design for bugs, comments and hints for this map here.

Outlier out ...

posted 05-12-03 12:09 PM EDT (US)     3 / 150  
Name of Map : Giant's in the Earth, by Needles

Rating (marks out of 10) : 6

Things that I liked and
disliked about this map :
If this had been entered as a 1 vs 1 MP or email map, I would have given it a higher mark, but it was entered as a single-player map. Apart from the story, there was nothing seriously wrong with it

I liked:
Funny names for towns
Funny names for heroes
Custom items and heroes
Use of earth blockages in caverns
A goblin town underground, enabling you to tunnel (until the stupid AI migrated it!)

I disliked:
No serious opposition from the AI
No events
No quests, puzzles, or hidden treasures
No story
No indies

Presumably the mapmaker knows from playtesting the map that:
a) the city of Pebblebeach starts with no occupants
b) it's possible to come round the side of the mountains (north of Sandhurst)

I will add this to my list of 1 vs 1 maps, and I'll use it for MP and PBEM games, but I certainly WON'T be using it for single-player

posted 05-12-03 01:51 PM EDT (US)     4 / 150  
Name of Map : Road to Hell, by Eriksson

Rating (marks out of 10) : 9

Things that I liked and
disliked about this map :
I had fun playing this map, although it was too hard for me I seem to be saying that a lot recently
EDIT: the new version is easier, and I've now increased my rating from 8 to 9

I liked:
Inverted terrain
Unusual custom heroes
Cool items
Strong AI opposition
Lots of pop-ups added to the storyline

Dislikes:
AI was fixed at CPU Emperor, limiting it's usefulness to *less experienced* players

[This message has been edited by Roger (edited 06-06-2003 @ 08:20 AM).]

posted 05-12-03 02:25 PM EDT (US)     5 / 150  
Name of Map : Lands of Sorrow, by Philipp Wille

Rating (marks out of 10) : 5

Things that I liked and
disliked about this map :
I would describe this as a 1 vs 1 map, suitable for MP or PBEM, but not really suitable for single player

I liked:
Use of flames
Nicely decorated cavern

I disliked:
No serious opposition from the AI
No pop-up messages
No quests, puzzles, or hidden treasures
No story

posted 05-12-03 05:03 PM EDT (US)     6 / 150  

Quote:

Road to Hell, by Eriksson

I didn't seem to be able to find this map in the DL section?

Experience the ultimate single player map for Shadow Magic here

Battles of Creation : The Blackened Mire

Get the legendary Battle Of Creation that began it all here...

posted 05-12-03 06:08 PM EDT (US)     7 / 150  
It's an AoW1 single-player map, and can be found here.

There are links to all the competition maps in this thread:

Mapmaking Competition - List of Entered Maps

posted 05-12-03 07:18 PM EDT (US)     8 / 150  
It's allowed to update the map until 31st of May right?

I already realized my mistake to lock the ai players on CPU Emperor and have changed that and some other small things on a version that will be uploaded later in the month. (btw. Thanx for your kind words Roger )


/Eriksson
Life is nothing but a game
poe@telia.com

[This message has been edited by Eriksson (edited 05-12-2003 @ 07:20 PM).]

posted 05-13-03 01:51 AM EDT (US)     9 / 150  
Yes - 31st May is the deadline

TalonThorn has already explored that possibility, and actually released some of his maps as betas, enabling him to playtest his maps, then submit the finished item just in time for the deadline of May 31st

posted 05-13-03 03:58 AM EDT (US)     10 / 150  
Name of Map : Trial of Worth, by Calthodian

Rating (marks out of 10) : 8

Things that I liked and
disliked about this map :
This map was ideal for practising my city siege TC skills - I just kept sending hordes of units to attack the central indie undead city

I liked:
This is a pretty map
Some unusual and exotic creatures waiting to attack you - that Ice Dragon stack looks great!
Central city kept being restocked with indies, by using spawn units events
Mixture of guard, guard area and the occasional storm to keep me on my toes!

Dislikes:
Limited story

Minor niggles:
AI has difficulty coping with narrow passages, especially when they're blocked by watchtowers
Too many trees near capital cities - I would have preferred fewer tress, and no haste berry trees
Could have been less mountain, and the mountain could have been made a little more varied

posted 05-15-03 04:48 PM EDT (US)     11 / 150  
Name of Map: Star Ranger Academy, by Vince Bly

Rating (marks out of 10): 9

Things that I liked and
disliked about this map: I really liked this map. It has good terrain, some pretty clever puzzles, and inverted terrain. One of the little tricks that I especially liked is how the creator put lava terrain under dirt rocks to create a bit more variety in the usually boring underground. It's difficult, but not impossible. Towards the end it gets kind of easy, though, because you can bypass the last super-stack of enemies by rushing into the exit.

posted 05-16-03 04:09 PM EDT (US)     12 / 150  
Thanx for the kind words, Roger. I'm going to have a go at revising that map with maybe a few more events and change the mountanous regions a bit.
posted 05-17-03 04:47 PM EDT (US)     13 / 150  
Black Hound: Thanks for reviewing my scenario "Star Ranger Academy". Although I am certainly grateful for your kind words, I am especially happy to see that you found a flaw--and posted your review soon enough that I can fix it. I've got to remember to play test more in classic, turn based mode.

Although I have fixed it now--no more bypassing key battles--I need to play test it more to make sure that the fixes didn't create other problems. I hope to post a revised version by Sunday. Other that fixing turn based play, the revisions are very minor.

posted 05-17-03 06:33 PM EDT (US)     14 / 150  
Name of Map : Lands of Sorrow, by Philipp Wille

Played twice, once each race

Overall Rating: 5

Likes: Very easy so a nice quick map to play; the story was a good explanation of the map, though it could have been a little longer.

Dislikes: Large number of dead-ends in the caverns meaning wasted movement; very few mana sources so hardly any spells could be used; found it a little too easy.


'Inside every old person is a young person wondering what happened' Moving Pictures
posted 05-22-03 07:16 PM EDT (US)     15 / 150  
Name of Map: Star Ranger Academy, by Vince Bly

Rating (marks out of 10): 7

Things that I liked and disliked about this map: Lets start by saying to Vince a big well done. I love the story and the map is great, but I do have to say the creatures do get extremely difficult as you progress. Which is annoting after all I am taking into account your instruction on playing the map.

How do you get all that nice scenary into the underground levels????

Lucky Fool

posted 05-23-03 01:12 PM EDT (US)     16 / 150  
Name of Map : Road to Hell, by Eriksson

Overall Rating: 8

Likes: Wonderful map - so much fitted in on a small map but never feels cramped. I frequently got the feeling that it was bigger than it really was. Interesting artefacts etc

Dislikes: Too hard for me. Having been playing it for a week, I've had to give up. The AI races multiply & increase levels too quickly while my AI ally (dwarves) seemed to run away from every possible battle and were worse than useless. I never had enough gold - running at minus for days and days.

Overall: If the enemy's level could be lowered a little, this would be a wonderful map to play.


'Inside every old person is a young person wondering what happened' Moving Pictures
posted 05-23-03 06:45 PM EDT (US)     17 / 150  
Name of Map: Star Ranger Academy, by Vince Bly
Rating (marks out of 10): 8
Likes: Great idea. Story & all the associated messages tie in together nicely. Played very well.
Dislikes: Pretty much a predestined path with no choices - would have been nice to have some 'red herring' paths.

Mystification: I thought I liberated all the treasure & picked up all the spells on the way but one of my heroes was unable to travel the last part (don't want to give too much away) so I had her warping around hoping she'd get to the end with the others. She didn't before the time limit

/edit After advice from Vince, I've discovered it was my incompetence that meant I didn't have all 3 heroes finish - I had all the right things but didn't have them shared out right.


'Inside every old person is a young person wondering what happened' Moving Pictures

[This message has been edited by GillB (edited 05-24-2003 @ 12:51 PM).]

posted 05-23-03 07:14 PM EDT (US)     18 / 150  
I was able to find the right items so I could get all three heroes past the last part, so I guess you missed one, GillB.
posted 05-24-03 04:45 AM EDT (US)     19 / 150  
Bah ... I suppose I could always play it again. Btw, I didn't mark it down for that. I assumed that there was something I'd missed.

'Inside every old person is a young person wondering what happened' Moving Pictures
posted 05-30-03 11:54 AM EDT (US)     20 / 150  
Star Ranger Academy by Vince Bly

8 out of 10

Things I liked, Great story, nice message pops, although one can be missed easily(see my map rating for details), and extremely well balanced.

Things I disliked: Predetermined path, and limited replayability.

Note: I was able to avoid most of the last part of the map by using the freeze water spell found at the wizard tower, and bring myself right to the end. I sent a summoned frog to bring out the last stack, rushed by it to the end. I'm sure this was not your intended victory route, but I couldn't look at the map in the editor to see.

All in all a very nice map!!

I will review this grade if the update arrives in time.


posted 05-30-03 02:09 PM EDT (US)     21 / 150  
If I have understood your final sentence correctly, Arctic Wolf, then I feel that a point needs to be made

Vince Bly has submitted an update for his map to Angel Draco, and Angel draco has confirmed receiving that update

So there is no question of the update *not arriving in time* to be included in the competition. Similarly, if somebody submits a map to the downloads section at 23:59 EST on 31st May, it will still be included in the competition, regardless of when it actually becomes available to download in the download section

I hope that helpsto clarify the situation, and that I haven't further muddied the waters

posted 05-31-03 00:03 AM EDT (US)     22 / 150  
Of course then I supposed that anyone is welcome to change/update their rating, up till the end of the 'judging period'.

Outlier out ...

posted 05-31-03 01:07 AM EDT (US)     23 / 150  
Understood RtR, I guess I worded that incorrectly, (submits oneself for noodle whumping). I was just making it clear I would review the grade when the update arrived.

BTW The competition is a great idea. Lets have a midsized map challenge next!(All smiles from ear to ear)


posted 05-31-03 09:15 AM EDT (US)     24 / 150  
Lands of Sorrow, by Philipp Wille

Rating (marks out of 10): 6
Things that I liked and
disliked about this map: I found this scenario Ok.

Things I liked: The map had good detail. There were few barren places and relatively few areas with repetitive tiles. Interaction between the races was barred for the first few days by timed fires at the cave entrances.

Things I disliked: There was no continuation of the story in the map; no signs or text bubbles. There were very few magic nodes, so gaining spells was very slow. There were no towns larger than level 2, so no high level units. No songs were entered in the play list, so music defaulted to Heartwood Forest over and over.

------------------------------------------------------------

Divine Chess, by Dan Petersson

Rating (marks out of 10): 8
Things that I liked and
disliked about this map: I found this an excellent conquer-the-map type scenario.

Things I liked: There was good detail everywhere and many of the names of places and people were memorable, such as Will Trickster and Poxy Blackblade. Although all 12 races were carefully balanced for multiplayer (4 per level), the symmetry was well disguised. There were plentiful resources for each race and many custom artifacts.

Things I disliked: With so much attention to detail in most areas, I was surprised to find no songs entered in the play list, so music defaulted to Heartwood Forest over and over. Also, there were no surprises. I would liked to have seen maybe a humorous sign, an unusual artifact, or an unexpected event.

------------------------------------------------------------ -------------------

Island Wars, by Kai Slemmer

Rating (marks out of 10): 6
Things that I liked and
disliked about this map: I found this a somewhat better than average map.

Things I liked: There was good detail and there were signs identifying each island. Careful attention was paid to balance between the races. The play list was not empty.

Things I disliked: There was nothing memorable or surprising. If there were any custom artifacts, I didn't find them--only lots of magic wands.

posted 05-31-03 02:19 PM EDT (US)     25 / 150  

Quote:

Of course then I supposed that anyone is welcome to change/update their rating, up till the end of the 'judging period'.

Yes
posted 05-31-03 06:17 PM EDT (US)     26 / 150  
Any way of confirming if Draco received an update, I sent mine but did not receive the customary, thanks, got it reply. Oh well on to other things.

As I suspected, I took an unusual route to the end of Vince's great scenario, Star Ranger Academy, and my complaint regarding the lack of foreshadowing for the last enemy stack was unwarrented. Apologies to Vince, But perhaps the update could be nonpasword protected, so that one can check out these things and make sure the comment we make are completely fair. (I know we're beating you over the head with a stick over this Vince, and your position is appreciated as well) Otherwise we just have to make our comments based upon what we encounter in the map.

-----------------------------------------------------------


Anyways I now will offer my comments upon another map

Magic Rules by Talon Thorn

8.5 out of 10 (Thanx Roger)

What I liked! Great Balance, as near as I can tell everyone has equal oppertunity to win. Nice Terrain! Much like Vinces map in that the Terrain is not mindblowing but does what it is supposed to do to make the map interesting.
Lot's of Magic. This was neat for me as I usually play as a fighter not a spellcaster. My way to victory was to warp a five party stack of heroes around the map each with Town Quake ready to cast. Whenever a likely town was encountered I devastated the occupants with five town quakes and took over. Very Fun!!

What I didn't like! Too Small! Only top level is used, which makes the experience last only a short while. A truly great map should have more depth to it to lengthen the experience. If This map would have had two levels, (assuming the lower level was as good) it would have rated a 9. If it had three levels I might have given it a 10. The map in my opinion is that good. (Although for a 10 we would need a tad more story, and message events)

Well done Talon Thorn, I really liked your map!


[This message has been edited by Arctic Wolf (edited 05-31-2003 @ 09:31 PM).]

posted 05-31-03 09:03 PM EDT (US)     27 / 150  

Quote:

8 out of 10 (Are we allowed to give an 8.5)

Yes


Name of Map : Divine Chess, by Dan Petersson

Rating (marks out of 10) : 7

Things that I liked and disliked about this map :

Liked: 12 races crammed into a small map - quite an achievement. Orcs and Humans probably have an advantage due to their powerful flying lvl 4 units, so putting them next to each other was a good idea. Loads of custom items available. Defenders of the central 4 hex cities (and the nearby dungeons) were strong, but not ridiculously powerful. Using stone and water to divide the races gave various possible routes for attack, so defence was an important consideration - you couldn't just block the cave entrances, for example. Stories aren't so important for multiplayer maps, but this one had a decent story, and a message popped up early in the game to reinforce the storyline.

Not so keen: Races with flyers probably have an advantage. Goblins and undead don't have a spring of life, and the Frostling one is unusable as it's frozen! One item I picked up gave invisibility, and I can't stress how strongly some players dislike items that give invisibility and/or flying. All cities seem to be fully upgraded at the start, which I know is unpopular with a lot of PBEM players. No inverted terrain

posted 05-31-03 09:47 PM EDT (US)     28 / 150  
Changed my grade on Talon's Map to 8.5. Why? Because Roger said I could! Thanks Roger!!

-----------------------------------------------
Now On to another map

Name of Map: Road to Hell by Erikkson


Grade: 9.5 out of 10


What I liked: Almost everything!! This is an absolutely wonderful map. The best terrain I have seen thus far in the competition, but more importantly, the terrain makes the map play better. For example, the cavernous area on the surface near the dwarves just makes it look like they've been mining for gold. The Terrain near the evil races gives the player a hint that evil is just around the corner. The work in the underground is stunning. Hell actually looks a little Hellish when you are playing the map. Enough about the terrain. The map has good message events but not so many that they get in the way. The Balance is fine. Hard right through to the end. I like that alternate paths are available such that victory can be found by more than one route.

What I disliked: I have only one slight niggle to complain about. How do you make those Heroes with the wands?? I have seen them before but thought that you had to edit the release file to get them. Obviously I am wrong.


Fantastic map Erikkson!! (You would have scored 10 but I haven't played all the maps yet so I'm saving the 0.5 in case I need it!!)


posted 05-31-03 10:37 PM EDT (US)     29 / 150  
May I introduce the Age of Wonders Map Maker Addition, by Tekk Zero

It enables you to give heroes and items lots of extra useful abilities, gives you a few more hero portraits, and it's all playable under TS136!

posted 06-01-03 12:42 PM EDT (US)     30 / 150  
Thanks Roger!! But a small niggle. Whenever I try to use the links you post on this page a get a contact spineman message. Not a huge problem as I can get Tekk Zero's mapmaking thingy from the downloads section. And although I emailed Draco, I may as well mention it here too, I rated Erikksons great map in the downloads section but due to a server problem three rating were submitted, sorry, but I'm sure someone will correct that.

I also hope that I am correct in believing that we are using PLAYABILITY as the primary criteria for our judging here. This explains the different grades Erikkson received for the same map in the two different areas.


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