''They walked through a desert about five weeks, but now they have a problem. They have no water. Bandits attacked them and stole them everything. Now they all need water. After four terribble hours without water, someone shouted: 'River!'.And they saw it. Big oasis near the river. Everyone ran there. Now they have water.''. 'Was it a nice story?' he asked you. 'Of course, great.' But you feel anything else. If you find that river, you can build a town there, and slowly build an empire. But maybe somebody has got the same idea...
I have done this map over LAN many times and there are no ai issues or problems with the design and the fords are used cleverly by any computer with no glitches although it would have been nice to have the stone and iron further up from the back of the base since it makes it a tad difficult to get resouces very quickly in places like the lower right spot.I had no trouble making a giant economy and smashing 3 emirs and 1 wazir and a Lionheart allied up against me and I always found the resources we adequate for everyone,good job at this.
The balance here was exceptional and there were no obviously unbalanced areas aside from the placement of the keeps but then again,a perfectly symmetrical map can be very boring if you play a long game on it so balance gets a 4.(everybody got around the same amount of resources)
Not that a long river branching off at regular fords and landmasses is a new idea totally but this map was done in a way that I eventually forgot this was a map I downloaded and believed it was a Firefly studios map since it looked so....replayable and worthy of and hour and a half. :)
Map Design: 4.5
I saw no map layout difficulties aside from in a couple places there are a few too many trees in a small area but aside from that it was great with the fords in the right places and the oasis around the river looked very nice and I saw quite a bit of promise in this for one of your earlier maps so I hope this encourages you.
There wasn't very much of a story but just a suggestion,if you can't or don't want to think up a story you can always replace them with instructions and a short introduction with a few hints for the map possibly.(every map I see with good tips and hints for it has an interesting appeal to some people including me )
Although this file is in the area of the 07' submitted maps I hope you look back and see this sometime since I greatly enjoyed your map and I wanted to show you what I liked about it,keep honing your skills :).