The Ourea II-By Warlord Designs
Greetings to all of the SH community,
Arthus has once again busied himself with another free-build, and it is with great pleasure that I can announce its arrival. Drawing on what we loved in the first Ourea Map, the second in the series combines much of what we enjoyed in the first map with some new improvements. Plenty of space and the option to build in the more challenging heights, offers the player a greater variety of options when playing the map.
The map features an invisible signpost, which is located in the west corner of the mountains. A trial invasion may be wise before deciding to settle.
Well let’s not delay it any longer.
We hope your enjoy The Ourea II.
Here’s a snippet of the story…
The Ourea II
Deep in the Germanic wilderness a road winds to a great extent along a river that passes through and runs with the Danube. The path is still and the air cold. Mist hugs the ground in the mornings and hides by the afternoon. The nights are unbearable…
Three soldiers march towards camp…
It is morning.
Deep bellows ring out amongst the trees stirring birds from their roosts.
“Victor surely there is no soldier in the kings army as ugly as you.”
“ Well now I’m not so sure of that, you my dear friend can’t be too far behind,” Victor replied, fighting back tears.
“Please don’t be so modest Victor, the pleasure, I assure you, is all yours.”
“Will you both shut up! You are like two little girls…this place is dangerous.”
“Lord protect me, said Victor crossing himself. Would you fancy that Bruce? Mathew says it’s dangerous.”
“Oh yes”, replied Bruce…”like the couple of savage women in the last raid, they could dish a fair slap”…
Mathew stops and is still. Bruce and Victor joke on. Before long Bruce turns and sees Mathew.
“What the bloody hell are you doing?” calls Bruce.
“Quiet, I heard something.”
The sound of dead branches breaking underfoot sends Mathew’s gaze over the river. Above crows spill from their high roosts, their harrowing calls echo outward into the abyss. Mathew’s breathing begins to grow heavier and his heartbeat more intense. He looks to his friends but finds no one. Fear grips him and around him the trees seem to grow taller blocking out more and more of the suns white rays. The forest around Mathew begins to spin, faster and faster until it brings him to his knees, his hands grasping his head in agony. He begins to scream…
Best wishes from the both of us,
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Indeed, a very good map. I stopped when I had more than 300 peasants.
As you said in the presqentation, there's some different ways of development. Personnally, I put my keep in the NE of the map, and start a basic development, putting woodcutters and apples orchards. We don't have a lot of resources at the very beginning,but I can quickly develop the castle. The wood was very close to my keep, so, after the first deliveries of wood, I can intensify the production, and, quickly, obtaining a huge population, with a lot of money. Somestimes, my woodcutters were attacked by some bears which weren't really dangerous. The resources of wood are quite generous, but, about the stone, it wasn't the same thing. I can only put a quarry in the SE of the map, after killing wolves with spearmen. But, well, I really liked to develop a castle on this map. Generally, I dislike the freebuild maps : there's nothing to do, except creating a castle, so, in my mind, the freebuild maps is more something to spend ourtime than other things. Anyway, here, it was really pleasant to create a town (surely because of the design...).
Hum, I don't think this category is really useful in a freebuild map. Normally, in this catgeroy, we have to evaluate the difficulty of a map, but, in a freebuild map, the difficulty is... quite delicate to evaluate (like in skirmishes). But, from the little experience I have about the freebuild maps, I know some maps ar emore easy to develop than others. On some freebuilds, we start with nothing (5 Woods ^^). Here, it's not the case. Well, we don't start with abondant resources, but with some resources which permit a tranquil development, without a lot of problems.
In this category, it's especially the few eye-candies which catch my eyes : the wheat farms, but also the eternal fire at the beginning, the firefighter who don't need a well... Very impressive. Moreover, I like also the fact that we ca choose differents way of development. I think I've chosen the more easiest. We can also put the keep in thye hills, close to the iron, but without a lot of farms near to the castle.
Map Design: 5
A very great work here. I like the mountains with the snow, which seems to be like gigantics claws which create a king of frontier between the plains and the wild world, the human world (with my town ^^) and a sauvage world, stony and dry. A very good work, with a big forest in the South of the map. Mreover, a large part of the plains seems to be burned. So, I've really the feeling to be in a very sauvage world, inhospitable, quite dangerous and devastated.
The story given in the .zip file is quite strange (being a French, I don't unterstand everything, sorry), but, according to what I unterstand, the story is a good illustration of the map, especially when Mathew is separataed from his two friends at the beginning of the story. At this point,I've the feeling of a dangerous and wild place. I don't really unterstand the end of the story, but it's because I'm French, not especially good in English language.
I don't played on the first version, but the second version is a very good work. I give you my congratulations !
Hokay, I'm too nerdy with these kinds of perfectly designed maps, so I'd give you a reward.
Well the playability depended on my castle building skills... Nothing difficult, there were few bears, which my woodcutters slayed.Enough space to build, nice and easy elevation of the mountains.
Eh, I got enough resources in the begining. The freebuilders are always too easy, we need some random events for this job... I suggest also adding some single enemy hunters in the mountains, like you did in the first part.
Some people will say it's just the next boring freebuild, but it is far from boring... In fact I found out a new trick, the fireworker was picking water from the lake and distinguishing the always burning wheat :D The custom farms is a great idea too.
Map Design: 6
Oh, geez that's the top of the icecream, dudes! Making such scandinavian mountains demands a lot of skills and patience... The look just amazing, I'm just too nerdy with the maps with supreme design and I could say this is not only a freebuild. It's also an eyecandy! I have to say I haven't seen such superb design in a SH1 map!
Eh, I hate this paragraph...Alright, you have a fat, interesting story, what more do we need :D The stories of the both Ourea maps are incredible and I cannot rate their content ;)
Additional Comments: Sorry if eventually my review is short, writing long time isn't my style :p Short and accurate, I hope!
P.S. Will you make more Ourea maps?
Le Hitman :D
For any Stronghold 1 players that can find solace in, and enjoy the atmosphere of an (often) peaceful freebuild scenario, then Ourea II by Warlord_Designs will be an instant hit. It has great re-playability as players can choose to site their keep in a variety of settings; they can construct intricate castles and settlements, possibly using the variety of eye-candy that can be made in gameplay; maybe even the 3x3 magic eraser that Warlord_Designs presented to us; or the player can choose to push their castle defending to the limits with outrageously large invasions, or whatever their imagination conjures up.
If you love all things beauty in Stronghold, and love the idea of creating a bustling economy, then I can tell you that with Ourea II you will not be disappointed; the enjoyment is intense!
"The greatest freebuild if not out of any scenario I have ever played, second to none; most beautiful map; a fantastic approach to bring more realism to Stronghold; setting the limits sky-high for future map-makers."
As a freebuild has few elements of balance available, due to there commonly being no advanced scripting in place this score means little; however, it'd be wrong to lower the score for something that can't be taken full into account.
Saying that, in the beginning, you are hit with a few bears and wolves, which liven things up as you strive to avoid or tackle these minor nuisances.
"A fantastic scenario for young and old, veterans or beginners; with this scenario, you shall find joy."
High reaching mountains using the time consuming "Himalaya" terrain technique, as well as the fiddly process of the "1000 stone printing press" to get the snow effect is scarce seen in any scenario created. It was a rarely, if ever, attempted venture, and the team pulled it off magnificently. The Design team has managed to incorporate the effect of a deserted valley very well, working with the story to create an interesting atmosphere not unlike that experienced in the prequel, The Ourea.
"Warlord_Designs has managed to bedazzle the stronghold Community with sky-reaching dreams to place the highest terrain possible in the most creative, realistic way possible, and have pulled it off without an error, a blemish on the record."
Map Design: 5
As can be expected by any scenario produced by Warlord_Designs, this map has incorporated time-intensive methods of terraining to create the most elaborate atmosphere, to really draw the player into the dark and grim mood that the Ourea presents.
Use of Himalaya Terrain, the 1000 stone printing press and the 3x3 magic eraser have been used masterfully to create heaven-gazing mountain ranges, rain on the mountain ranges, raised moat lakes, elaborate farms and invisible buildings.
"The Ourea II is an elaborate map that must have been incredibly time-consuming and stressful for the Design team.
"One can learn from Warlord_Designs; the masters of the Stronghold editor."
The well written section of prose written by Warlord_Designs helps set the mood for the scenario; the grim, ominous mountain ranges, towering over the fertile valley, scarred first by human construction, then by human destruction.
"A fantastic piece of writing."
The best by the best.