The Crossroads v22604-3-FIXED
Posted on 02/07/04 @ 12:00 AM (updated 02/27/04
Sir Arbec has assigned you the task of picking a location and building a castle at that location. You have chosen the area around the Dam that Sir Ross of Eisley and his men recently constructed. Days after though, the dam was attacked by bandits at night, presumably the Black Wailers from Farlan, and Sir Ross and his men have perished. Sir Arbec has also informed you of an ancient, ruined,elven temple in the area; he said it would greatly aid your defense if it was repaired and manned with archers and other men, but it has become overrun by the vicious wolves and prairie shrubs. Can you take back the lands from the wilds? Can you avenge Sir Ross of Eisley and his men?
>>MUCH LARGER/BETTER STORY IN THE DESCRIPTION OF THE MAP
AUTHORS NOTE: This is my first map attempt ever, I tried to make it as natural-looking as possible. Please send ALL feedback (POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE)and also any map making tips to Instago@mail2computer.com. And if you are into World Music and Reggae, visit my fathers website @ www.midnightdread.com which should also have links to my mothers art.
Information: The numbers in my map updates (such as 22604-2 or February 2, 2004) is the date of which I have updated them, and the -3 being the number of times I have revised the edition. Please keep this in mind if I have any other maps released, and give me a week or two to get the super-duper polished version (I plan on keeping the map in for awhile instead of releasing the untested beta version hehe). Well now that I have had my first experience, expect most of my maps to be well tested and polished- although I will add and removes things as I see fit.
UPDATE 2-26-04: <<FIXED>> (if you want original version
YOU CAN NOW ACTUALLY PLACE THE KEEP IN THIS VERSION!
(the -2 version had troops in it so I killed em off so you could place your castle although -1 and the original were fine, sorry for you guys that downloaded -2(bugged)
Added various eye-candy, more iron (couldn't place many mines before) and a ***few troops [TROOPS REMOVED IN REVISION 3] at various eye candy placements to aid with the early protection against wolves and bears***.Fixed various spelling mistakes (I hope thats the rest of em.)Updated description.. err.. cleaned up update. Added wolves/bears to replace the ones that died during creation. Added more marshlands. A little more eye candy added (YUMM!). Bandits placed at the old dam. Sorry for so many updates over the last couple minutes/hours :P.
1. There is a nice cropping into a cave wall to the western edge. A stronghold would fit perfectly there.
2. Use F1 to get bandits (green happy face) to aid you in taking back the dam.
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This is a freebuild map with a bit of a difference. There are already one or two structures on the map which do fit in with the story. There are also units on the map, which means that you need to address not just the setting up of your economy but the military side as well.
The map makes for a sensible freebuild, with all building options available and the scope to set about building a large castle and economy.
For a freebuild, I tend to rate balance on how easy or hard it is to set up an economy (food, generate gold, ale, etc), how easy it is to manufacture weapons and how the growth of the castle is affected as the poplation increases. There is little problem here in developing a large settlement and the landscape should allow you to build away with no fuss or bother. From a personal point of view, I prefer to see freebuilds that are a bit more challenging. I want to work at setting up the economy, extracting stone and iron, growing foodstuffs, etc. I'd recommend, in future maps, that you look at how much stone you need to place a stone quarry, or how much iron is needed to hold one iron mine. Try to give the player the option of placing a couple of stone quarries and mines, but don't flood the map with masses of stone or iron. It can, to some people, take the challenge out of building a castle.
Generally speaking, the map is about average in terms of creativity. The landscape is okay, functional and able to maintain a large castle. It does need some work though. Some nice eye candy pieces are included here (see comments on map design) and the scenario that unfolds is a pleasing one. I have to give a 3.0 score here though, and nothing higher. The map is fine as it is, but it does lack that little spark that sets it apart from others. Still, a decent enough attempt.
Map Design: 3/5
As above, there are a few eye candy pieces here already. They look fine, they fit in with the story and will form an integral part of a castle layout if required. The terrain is okay, but it does need more work. I can see that the author has used a large brush size here and laid down pretty big expanses of various terrain levels. It does, in parts, look a bit clumsy and unnatural to me, but i'd recommend that the author persevere with landscape techniques and have a go at creating something more ornate, more realistic looking and more visually appealing, using the smallest brush size possible without the task becoming laborious.
There is a genuine attempt by the author to promote the map and a fairly good story accompanies the download. Maybe a 4.0 score is leaning towards generous, but I was pleased with the effort made and the story does read quite well. Some instructions are also included within the text.
This is a fair attempt at a freebuild, with one or two small differences. A nice try, and is fine to play as it is.
A few points:
-Try to work on your landscaping a bit more. With a freebuild you need to compensate for the lack of events and win conditions by presenting a very well modelled map to grab people's interest.
-Don't go mad with trees, iron, stone or pitch. Just enough to hold a few buildings is usually more that enough. Make the player work a bit harder to get these raw materials.
-You can add your own challenge by limiting the amount of 'buildable' terrain, especially flat terrain that holds wheat, hops and apple farms.
-By making the freebuild a bit harder, you can increase playability and balance issues.