Posted on 12/14/06 @ 04:55 AM (updated 12/18/06
You and your ally, Lord Oblong, are pioneering nobles in a strange, new world. You find two well endowed sites to place your keeps, albeit on opposite sides of the river -- there is still a ford to connect your keeps. The serenity of your two keeps is suddenly threatened when Lords from rival empires discover the Wells of Chaos and decide to site their keeps in The Wells, as well. Each Lord envies the other Lords' land as better than theirs. Jealousy festers, Tempers rise, Chaos follows, and a name is born: the Wells of Chaos.
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This map plays best when the two Lords in the top right corner are allied and the two Lords in the bottom left corner are allied (by allied I mean 2 and 2, not all 4 allied together).
Making this map for myself and for a friend, I made it to be played as a normal game with extreme computer advantage, hence the impossible difficulty assigned to the map. I played the map with myself and an ally in the center, two Wolves on the sheer sides of the cliffs (or top-left and bottom-right keeps), two Saladins allied in the top-right keeps, and another two Saladins allied in the bottom-right keeps.
Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
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A great map full of challenges when played as suggested. Beating all Ai's at full computer advantage is near impossible. Gave the ai's 20,000 head start. Even at this level i had to restart the game as i couldn't beat the computer at high game speed. So on the second try however,reduced the game speed to 20 and established a steady economy quickly. Ai's work rather quickly as they are programmed to perform that way. I placed myself in the middle. Two wolfes in the top right, 4 saladins on either of my side allied respectively. Much gold was spent on training archers and buying food and wood.
Playability 10/10: Ai's had no problem. The saladins were much of a threat and with the mangonels constanting workin on damaging my farms had to be dealt with. I had to kill the lords closest to my keep.Since iron was the closest, made lots of weaponry. Bought bows and crossbows. Raised the tax to -16 and fear level to -4. Produced ale (+8). But no religion as it would take a larger space. Dug moat around the way points.
Defending the castle and economy required micro managing of the economy and proper placement of towers and archers. I didn't go for heavy fortifications around the keep but barred any invasions from digging moat(which is the easiest). If the author had disabled dig-moat then clearly it would be impossible even at a minimum computer advantage. The first 4-8 years the saladins were a real pain. With constant threats of mangonels and siege equipments alot of gold was spent on stone itself. After a while the ai's started to fight among themselves. The wolf on the top right corner had been the strongest, castle and gold wise. An invasion of 200 arabian horsearchers took care of him.
Design 8/10: i love rivers. Gives the map a good natural feal to it. A wierd makeup of the raised land. The keeps near to the middle were in a disadvantage of stone but acces to more farmlands. Iron had to be disputed for. A map having more than 6 players limits the use of elevation tools more. Overall a 4. Coming up with new ideas for maps is tougher now. Similar types of maps have been done. A 5 for story. Many would go for details but for me it's quality not quantity.
An exciting map. Highly recommended.
[Edited on 12/23/06 @ 01:32 PM]
|Lord Michael I
Ok, where we start?
The map has a good playability, fun, yes, and gives space for each and every AI to build freely...
Balance is equal, yet, some "islands" have more resources than other. Not exactly equal...
Not the best map around... the creativity in the story is great, yet, the map is kinda plain...
Map Design: 3
Hm... You tried to incorporate shrubbery and everything, but you made it too "rutinary", you placed all the cactus and desert shrubs close to where the rocks are, and the shrubs near the hills you made, try to spread them out randomly to give more natural sense.
The story is great. Instructions there. Good job.
Nice map, you just need some work on shrubbery and decoration of the map...
I played as you suggested, but instead of a human player, I had to choose a computer ally (the Emir). All in all, I thought playability was very good. I wouldn't necessarily say it's impossible, but hard. To win one has to put that ridge into use and stiffle the Wolf with a tower from the get-go. I found it difficult and challenging. Great job
Balance was good for an "unbalanced" labeled map, but I thought it could have been just a little better by lessening the stone a little and providing at least one quarrie's worth of stone for the player's keep. There's a lot of iron to capitalize on, but the average player wants (needs?) at least a little stone to keep them going. The map was geometrically balanced nearly perfectly, with th exception of the ridges. Only the ridge at top right can fit a round tower. It's just a little detail, but makes a big difference since it's so important to hinder the Wolf early on in the game.
This map's creative, alright. In my opinion the trategic placing of terrain and resources figures into a map's creativity, and this map's got it. Great job.
Map Design: 4
This is a great map design, a lot of thought was put into the strategic and economic aspects - one must capitalize on trading iron and the ridge must be taken advantage of to survive. I usually wouldn't like the fact there's so little connecting shoals across the rivers, but in this case it's a blessing! Theres only a few minor things keeping this from a 5. As mentioned earlier, its possible to fit a round tower on the top ridge but not the bottom ridge. Geometric maps in general don't have a natural layout, so I'm big on advocating at least a natural look for the terrain, and this one is moderately polished, but I feel a little more time could have been put into making the rivers more realistic and the terrain more polished. Still, I like this map design!
You provided a premise and a little story here, which is all you need for Skirmish maps. I great story will get a player's head in the scenario more and a 5 though!
Your first three maps are far above par for first submissions. Keep up the good work, I look forward to future maps!