Posted on 12/21/08 @ 06:24 PM
World of Paradise is an extra-large map that features 3 map levels, 7 playable races, 3 AI controlled races. Though originally created for PBEM games, the map works great in both PBEM and single player. It is focused on both player versus player combat and cooperative style gameplay.
||TS Standard Rules
The map is non-symetrical and each player has a different starting position, starting condition, resources and units available; each race provides a different gaming experience.
There is a certain historical 'feeling' to it; I have written a whole background for this one map that I hope you will like and that I hope will make your gaming even more enjoyable.
The playable races are Humans, Azracs, Lizards, Elves, Dwarves, Highmen and Dark Elves.
The map features the original items, plus the entire Arctic Library. It also features over 40 new custom made heroes.
I don't want to say too much about it because I do not want to spoil it for you. That, and the fact that it's 1:00 AM and I have a train to catch tomorrow. There are many secrets I have not yet mentioned and that await you once you start playing.
Custom winning condition: You must capture the undead city of Galava.
Leaders: Leaders MUST be set to OFF.
Leader Customization: Yes, if you want to change your magic spheres, please do so.
Allied Victory: ON. There are also no rules on picking alliances. They are to be made as the game progresses.
Exploration: ON. Play it blind, it's a lot more fun.
Thank you for taking your time to read this, enjoy and have fun!
(please excuse the flaws in my english. It's really late here and I am tired.)
"Here are the books you asked for, my lord. We have selected fragments from ancient writings and runes found throughout history for you to read, and hope they will aid you. There is no better reward for us historians than recognition for our work. We shall leave you to your studies sir.
Fragments from the Illuminae Consortium "Exodia", vol.2
"Extract dating July 12th year 112 ATF
Abreviations used: BTF - Before the Fall (of the Elven Court)
ATF - After the Fall (of the Elven Court)
So wild were the forests, as the desert sun shining bright on the pure white sands of time...
The year is 1004 BTF. Tradesmen set foot for the very first time in Honeyvale Falls. They fight the dangers bestowed on them by Mother Nature; feral goblins and beasts of the forest. The southern marshes of Barondir Bay are overflowing with lizard hatcheries and nurseries. Much of the lands lay undiscovered and uncharted.
In ten years time, in the year 994 BTF, the tradesmen are forced to migrate north, to the white sands of the Al Rankar desert. Malaria had taken the lives of half their communities and so they erect a new citadel, the legendary city of Al Mihjiall. Records indicate that this is the very first dwelling ever to be constructed in these lands. "
"Extract dating February 2nd 249 ATF
By the year 900 BTF, the tradesmen had finished exploring all of the northern hemisphere and had come in contact with the orcs and goblins of Toadstool Valley. The origins of these two enigmatic races is still uknown, though scholars speculate that they are descendents of ancient humanoid ancestors named the "Paldor". Though reluctant at first, the orcish warchiefs agreed to open trade routes with their northern neighbours. The tradesmen were importing iron, gold and salt minerals and exporting their meat, cloth and fine leathers to the orcs and goblins.
In the year 686, also known as the "year of deceitful intent", the orc leaders, fed up with the tradesmen's arrogance launch an ill-advised attack on the town of Al Mihjiall. The seven day siege of Al Mihjiall ended with the orcs failing to capture the city and retreating to their dens in Toadstool. Far to the western lands of the Heartwood Forest, the elves had heard of this conflict. The great sun emperor, Inioch the Just, had dispatched scouts to investigate these conflicts that had recently started at the borders of his vast empire.
Five years later, in the year 681 BTF, large masses of Allied forces move into orcish territories, pillaging and destroying everything in their path. Elves, dwarves and highmen slaughter anything in their sight. Orcs, goblins and any other creature that seemed capable of threatening in any way the emperor's supremacy was slain. Such was the blood bath, that the land itself became cursed; spilled with the innocent blood of orcs and goblins. By the time they had reached Al Mihjiall, the allies were convinced that the tradesmen were a threat to their empire. The bloodshed continued with the death of tens of thousands of innocent people. The horror...
The day of December the 21st 678 BTF, just 3 years before the allies had started their campaign, was to be remembered in history as the day in which the tortured souls of orcs, goblins and the northern tradesmen started haunting the lands, trapped between the two realms, they had sworn to return to claim their justice. Records mention that in their sorrow, they had mentioned that their return was to be made exactly one thousand years from now and that it was going to be dreadful.
By the year 118 BTF, most of the allied forces had moved out of Toadstool. The carnage they had left behind was to haunt them until their death. "
Extract dating September 2nd 252 ATF
"The fall of the Elven Court came and, with it, the end to Inioch's reign of terror. A brave new race, that of humans, had succeeded in putting an end to the tyrant's rule. The rupture in the elven society had caused the empire to collapse. Alliances were broken and friends were split into smaller groups. It was the humans' time to rule. The fall of the Elven Court had also given birth to a new born race of elves, the dark elves. Imbued with hatred and pledging allegiance to death, pagan, gods of old, they vowed to slay every single human on earth.
Year 23 ATF, large dark elven communities arrive in Toadstool Valley, close to the borders of Heartwood. They are monitoring human activities in the region. To their north, a new kingdom had been born; that of the Azracs. With their capital built on the old ruins of Al Mihjiall, these people of the sands were allies of the humans and had helped them in their conquest over the Elven Court. To the south, the human kingdom of Transom was born. The dark elves were caught between two mortal enemies.
In the year 48 ATF, dark elven forces capture and destroy the town of Al Mihjiall for the second time in history. They are forced to withdraw however due to the fact that the Transom humans were threatening their outposts in Toadstool.
With the help of their human allies, in the spring of the year 49 ATF, the azracs launch a counter-attack on the dark elves; but end up losing to the much more cunning and well-prepared forces of the dark elves.
With their use of black, forbidden magic, the dark elves had managed to attract the antipathy of their elven bretheren and so, when the humans had launched their second attack, the dark elves stood alone against the legions of fast-moving cavalry of the human clans. Even so, the dark elves had prevailed. Their long bows and sharp arrows made little work of the humans' flimsy leather armors. The year was 59 ATF.
One year later, the dark elves launched an attack against the humans."
Extracts taken from the Commander's Notebook, year 60 ATF
Our armies march south towards the human capital of Transom seeking to preach the dark elven doctrine among the humans and convert them to our cause. All oposition is to be eliminated. We have had little casualities so far, thus we feel confident that the capture of Transom City is but a matter of time. [..]
Our march continues and with each day we come closer to our goal of crushing these mortal barbarians.[...] I, Taaran, pledge my soul to the dark mother Shillen and ask of her to give us her infernal blessing so that we may hasten our victory.
We have done it! The crowds cheer in content! In the past night, our assassins have managed to infiltrate the human king's quarters and put an end to his rule! [...]
Our brothers betray us. We have been ambushed by our wood elven bretheren and have suffered dire losses. Battallions five and eight are lost and we had to abandon our supplies in order to escape.
Close to our outposts in Toadstool we were met by dwarven raiding parties. We were attacked, with no warning being given. Our losses are great, our faith lies in the hands of our dark mother Shilen.
Diplomatic negociations with the humans are being made to establish the conditions of our surrender. We are to pay the yearly sum of 50.000 (fifty thousand) gold pieces and be confined to the southern, rocky parts of Toadstool Valley. Dire times await us, brothers. They may take our gold, but they shall never break our spirit! "
Fragments from the Illuminae Consortium, "Rabetha" vol. 6
"In the year 61 ATF, the dark elven forces were slaughtered by the allied forces of humans, dwarves and elves. They had been force to retreat to the woods of Toadstool and pay great spoils of war. It was in this year that large masses of dwarves migrate to the eastern parts of the region, in search of wealth and fortune. They quicky start large mining operations, but gold is scarce in these lands.
The queen of Transom dies of illness in 101 ATF. King Rogard finds a new spouce in the following weeks and is accused by his son Thomas of poisoning and killing his mother. The young prince is therefore banished by his father to live in poverty, the simple life of a farmer.
King Rogard is a weak, yet wealthy man. He neglects his foreign diplomatic obligations and as a consequence, in the year 108 ATF the city of Eastfall claims independace from the rule of Transom. Small military operations are taken to claim Eastfall back, but nothing conclusive is being done and so, a the new found kingdom of Eastfall was born. In time, more and more human cities become independent and hang the silver flag of Eastfall above the towers of their cities.
In 114 ATF, king Rogard dies of heart disease and the kingdom falls prey to bandits and rogues who pillage the farmlands. Eastfall grows more and more powerful, extending its domination on Barondir Bay and constructing major strongholds in key position across the world, mainly on trade routes. Transom's diplomatic relations with its allies of old, the azracs had also decayed in time. In Transom, the people await the return of their beloved prince, Thomas.
In the year 332 ATF, exactly one thousand years after the genocide that had taken place in Toadstool, shadowy beings start roaming about. They are passive, yet repulsive to most and they are slain on sight. The sightings intensify however and, in time, the undead problem becomes global. In the year 334 ATF, an allied force of elves and dwarves arrives at the "Four Sepulcher", a cursed place where many of the sightings had been made. They were never to be seen again.
In the deep dark caves of the underground realm, the dark elves investigate the cause of the undead plague and discover secrets of old that would shake the foundations on the very world they lived."
Letter sent by Taaran Shadowcaster, spiritual leader of the Dark Elves.
Letter sent to all the races of the world.
"Aran'asharome. This message is of urgent matter and it must reach the hands of leaders worldwide. Our researchers have discovered that the undead menace plaguing the lands is far more serious that we had thought. Papyruses have been found, dating back to a millenium before our time that show records of large masses of orcs being locked deep down below the surface of the earth. Elven runes present on the scrolls warn that there is evil to be found in these caverns. The documents also tell the story of an ancient orcish citadel by the name of Galava being founded by the outcast orcs. It is said that this city is the core of their existance and that if it was to be destroyed, the undead corruption was to end.
I urge you to take this letter into consideration and invite you all to a debate on actions that are to be taken against this common threat. Tahar'shamare."
Second letter sent by Taaran Shadowcaster, spiritual leader of the Dark Elves
"I have not received any news from any of you and I fear that you are not giving this matter the importance it deserves. If you do not wish to take any measures, then we shall. Goodbye, gentlemen."
Excuse me, my lord, I have brought several parchments written in our own time by world leaders everywhere. Even though they are quite recently written, we think they might help you in finding what you need.
Quote taken from the human Thomas' Ledger, 336 ATF
"Peace, quiet, tranquility... illusions. For too long I have hidden in this place. These green hills and wide pastures do nothing but cover the bones and ashes of those fallen. Birds, animals, trees, all so wonderful and graceful, all until someone comes and slaughters them. The time has come for me to march and claim the throne which is rightfully mine."
Fragments from the Golden Papyrus, written by High Priest Mouhan El Azzar of the Azracs
"The outcast tribe of El Larhel has proclaimed itself independant and does no longer wish to obey the rules of the great Azzar empire. Their act of insubordonance has pushed most of the kingdom in dissaray and has caused spontaneous rebellions throughout the Empire. All activities must be stopped, the tribes must be reunited and those responsible for this act of treachery punished. We need allies in our struggle, as more and more walking dead plague our lands and soon we shall be overrun.[..] "
Extracs taken from "The Arconamar Graver", dark elven covert ops book
"[...] Studies here at Arconamar suggest that the spider queens here in the caves may provide us with corrosive poisons to coat our daggers with. Altharas shall be delighted. He and shadow master Silrie have been sent to the surface of Toadstool to counter-attack any threat coming from our elven bretheren to the north-west. Our domination of Toadstool Valley is imperative! [...] Our focused objective remains that of eliminating the undead threat, but progress is slow. We may need aid in our cause; may need potential allies that we could use. Extended research has been done in reconstructing the ancient papyruses. A new parchment tells the story of ancient ruins erected in the underworld, used by dark pilgrims to reach the hidden shrine of Galava. Further study is required. [...]"
Fragments taken from the "Black Grimoire", militaristic book of the Dwarves
"[...] Resources in and below the Stonetalon Mountains grow scarce and we may have to direct our digging elsewhere. Scouts report undead and orcish rogues roaming the suface world. If this threat is serious or not, we do not know. [...] The one tunnel in the underground that we have not yet mined puzzles us. There are sounds coming from the other side, growls and screams, and we do not know what will become of us if we decide to break the earth walls and explore. A decision has to be made in this matter.[...] Expanding our borders is the primary objective. [...]"
Order of the great ranger Thirasel sent to Daralae Keep
"Heartwood has sent you to this region to scout the lands and eliminate any and all threats that might harm our enchanted forests. You are to alert out elven brothers in these woods and enrole them to your army. There is also a group of dwarves far, to the east, which has asked for our help in putting down a goblin rebellion. That is of low priority to you, but investigate it when you find time. Finding allies in the region is also an objective. May Eva guide you to victory!"
"So, my lord, I trust you have found what it is you were looking for."
"Yes, Indeed. What we do about history matters. The often repeated saying that those who forget the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them has a lot of truth in it. But what are 'the lessons of history'? The very attempt at definition furnishes ground for new conflicts. History is not a recipe book; past events are never replicated in the present in quite the same way. Historical events are infinitely variable and their interpretations are a constantly shifting process. There are no certainties to be found in the past.I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience. I know no way of judging of the future but by the past."
|Author||Reviews ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )|
Posted on 01/11/16 @ 06:40 PM
I have only played this map as Azracs. The map was very playable and forming alliances is absolutely essential in my opinion. It is very difficult to expand or even just survive in the early stages, and forces the player to really consider all options and scenarios as the game progresses. It is pretty much mandatory to fight all battles manually, as you cannot afford to lose any units to sloppy AI tactics.
I only gave this map a 3 for balance because it is VERY unbalanced in the early stages of game play. I have played hundreds of these maps, and even though many maps are rated as "Hard", this map sets the standard I think. It is perhaps the most difficult map I have played.
Excellent creativity! Finding the source of all your torment is quite difficult, and intriguing at the same time.
Map Design: 5
Thoughtful use of terrain features all 3 levels are fully utilized.
I have never paid too much attention to the stories in these maps. I mostly look for challenging gameplay and hidden surprises but I can see the author of this map put quite a bit of effort into the story line of this map - kudos!
Additional Comments:What can I say? I LOVED playing this map! I played as the Azracs and almost from the first turn I was under siege. It was tormenting for the first many dozen turns, and I stretched it out to over 250 turns before prevailing over the hidden evil. It is very, very difficult, and I suspect many would give up on this map in the early rounds as it seems almost impossible to survive. But if you are crafty and manage your resources well, you can prevail in the end. A big thank you! to the author for making such a fantastic map - awesome!
[Edited on 01/11/16 @ 06:47 PM]