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Downloads Home » Single Player Scenarios » Mussar: Gathering Dark

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Mussar: Gathering Dark

Author File Description
godpower97
File Details
Version: AoM: The Titans
This is my first scenario and the first in a trilogy that chronicles the adventures of Mussar, a warrior haunted by a tragic past. This scenario has taken me a while to develope, so comments are welcome. Update will soon be out!
Oh, and please read the spotlight, it contains some important gameplay tips.
AuthorComments & Reviews   ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )
Kwene
Rating
2.8
Breakdown
Playability3.0
Balance2.0
Creativity4.0
Map Design3.0
Story/Instructions2.0
Playability: I always enjoy a challenge while playing scenarios but i felt that this particular map was a bit to hard. I did often get a little lost but after i started rotating the camera i found out which way to go pretty quickly. so for that I give you a 3

Balance: I felt this aspect let u down a lot there are a few reasons for this. Not to be harsh I felt the very first objective was to hard. Not just the passing but killing them afterwards (I had to cheat to get past them). But if u wanted to fix this simply use a "is dead" trigger on the statue hidden in the hammer. Another reason was also the Nighog I felt that only using the towers in the city + the fire giant was ineffective at killing him. However it is possible after MANY tries I managed to do it. for this I give u a 2 :[

Creativity: For being your first scenario/s it was very good. i thought that using the statues as activating tools was a bit amateur. But what you could use is the "unit in area" or "unit in LOS" depending on the situation. However i felt this scenario was pretty original due to how different it was. so for this i give u a 4.

Map Design: This Part also let you down, but also had good aspects too. You did mix terrains and the map wasn't flat which is good. But the mountains were very hard to maynover around. and find the correct path to take. You could have also played with the lighting for example having a darkish reddish colour for hell would look great. But I was disappointed because there was no music. However you did use a lot of eye candy so for that I give you a 3

Storyline/Instructions: I felt that the instructions and storyline didn't really match. i didn't really understand what he was trying to accomplish by escaping hell. The instructions could have been more clear just saying "head north" isn't the easiest task to follow when the path itself is hidden. You could have also gone into more detail in the story names plots twists etc. This also counts for mini quests when a player wants something he often should have to do a quest or trade. so for this I give you a 2

And i did enjoy playing it and I will download the next part of the story if u choose to make one, Well done

[Edited on 08/05/11 @ 04:40 AM]

Glen654 wow, 12 dls and a review already?

you are a lucky man, I usually have to use the review request thread, and even then I don't get reviews often.
godpower97
File Author
I think it might have been the name. Kwene, I will definately take your suggestions into consideration. Thanks for the review!
Oh, and about the map design... I'm kind of limited in what I can do because Nottud's superpack doesn't work for some reason.

[Edited on 08/06/11 @ 06:40 PM]

godpower97
File Author
Update is now out! Some may wish to re-download.
godpower97
File Author
Whoa, 44 downloads in 3 days! Please, what does everyone think?
youbar I couldn't even pass the first part of the scenario, nevermind fighting the Titan or getting past the Shades.
Lewonas
Rating
2.8
Breakdown
Playability2.0
Balance4.0
Creativity3.0
Map Design3.0
Story/Instructions2.0
THIS REVIEW CONTAINS A LOT OF SPOILERS, DON'T READ IT IF YOU STILL WANT TO PLAY THE SCENARIO

Before I begin I would like to stress the importance of testing your scenario over and over again. Scenarios could have minor trigger bugs like: spelling errors, wrong diplomacy, broken random events, etc., which could ruin the gameplay experience. But, god forbid, that your scenario has game-breaking trigger bugs, e.g. a cinematic which doesn't have a "Cinematic mode OFF" effect at the end. This commonly seen trigger bug halts the entire gameplay and is something you want to avoid at all costs! Sloppy or heavily eyecandied map design can result in impassable terrain sections which can also halt the scenario gameplay. So keep an eye out for these bugs.


¸„.‹•*'˜˜'*•›PART 1: THE INTRO‹•*'˜˜'*•›.„¸

***************************
> Gameplay time: ~1 minute
***************************

- "Noooooo! Let go of me, get your hands off me..."

... echoes a desperate scream through the depths of Hell.


- "Oh... just a dream. I'm still hear."

After only 7 seconds, the first bug (--> spelling error) has already been detected. This is such a obvious spelling error which you should notice immediately when you playtest your scenario. And yet it hasn't been fixed which is just such a shame.

Meanwhile, the camera track shows you the Hell environment which does look pretty good. Elevation is there, fitting embellishments are there, the right terrain types are present; good job on that. The only thing I didn't like is the Lighthouse and the unnatural flat area around it. Anyway, the dialog continues and a shade offers Mussar his help to free him from Hell.

But why is Mussar in Hell in the first place? He first dreamt about something he was afraid off, probably about something that happened in his tragic past. But then he wakes up in a prison in Hell and is relieved that what he dreamt was just a dream? He is in a prison and is in the worst place you can imagine: Hell. And yet, Mussar is... relieved? The camera track doesn't really contribute anything of value to the conversation: it only shows you the nicely made Hell terrain, and my questions unfortunetaly remained unanswered, even when I finished the scenario.

Always use music/sounds in your cinematic! Music and sounds give your cinematics life which makes them less boring to watch to.

Alright, that was the intro. Moving on.


RATING: 2
-----------------
smooth camera track (++)
spelling (+/-)
map design (+)
story (-)
no music/sounds (--)


¸„.‹•*'˜˜'*•›PART 2: ESCAPING HELL‹•*'˜˜'*•›.„¸

***************************
> Gameplay time: ~2 minutes
> Difficulty: Moderate
> Main Objectives: 2
> Sidequests: None
***************************

~ Map Design ~

The same area was used for the intro.


~ Objectives ~

The cinematic ends and I find myself in a prison cell next to a few enemy units and the shade's human body: the hypaspist. Before the cinematic ended, a dialog said I should prepare to fight. I don't know why it said that because the actual objective is to survive for 50 seconds, and NOT to defeat your opponents! It's a good thing I read the objectives banner, because fighting the enemy is pretty much suicide. My advice is to use the "Message" effect to explain what the current goal is, like in the original AoM Campaigns.

The second objective was to defeat the Titan guarding the Hell Entrance by using the power of the magic hammer. The hammer actually grants you the SPC Meteor which I didn't notice until my health dropped below 30%. My advice is to use a send chat command or something else to notify the player that he has been granted a meteor god power!


~ Difficulty ~

To be honest, it was harder to figure out HOW to complete the objectives than to actually complete them. And that's complety fine as they are only the first objectives.


RATING: 3
-----------------
difficulty (++)
objectives (+)
map design (+)
creativity (+)
objective instructions (-)
no music (-)


¸„.‹•*'˜˜'*•›PART 3: JOURNEY TO THE NORTHERN VILLAGE‹•*'˜˜'*•›.„¸

***************************
> Gameplay time: ~4 minutes
> Difficulty: Easy
> Main Objectives: 1
> Sidequests: 2
***************************

~ Map Design ~

After escaping Hell, I found myself in a snowy area full of mountains. I could definitely tell you used the mountain tool in the editor to create the mountains. In my opinion, the mountains look very unrealistic when you use that tool. Use the Raise/Lower tool instead to make very realistic mountains.

Example: http://aom.heavengames.com/gallery/Screenshot_Tournament_1/aaz

I did like the terrain mixing and snowy rocks on the mountain path. You could have added more rocks and limestone sprites near the path which would have made it look nicer. There also shouldn't be trees in the middle of very narrow mountain paths because that's pretty unrealistic and it doesn't look good.


~ Objectives ~

Let me ask this first: why didn't you use the "Distance to Point" or "Distance to Unit" condition in combination with the "Unit Selected" condition to talk to a unit? Your method with the statues works, but... it's unprofessional. I would create a trigger like this to talk to a unit:

----
Trigger_1
Active [X] Loop [ ]
NOT [ ] OR [ ]

Condition: Distance to Unit
Condition: Unit Selected

Effect: Send Chat
Effect: Fire Event (Trigger_2)


Trigger_2
Active [ ] Loop [ ]
NOT [X] OR [ ]

Condition: Unit Selected

Effect: Fire Event (Trigger_1)

----

This method is way better. :)

The main objective was straightforward: find the village to the north. The mountain path which leads to the village was a bit hidden, but I found it pretty fast. There were also some sidequests you could do on your way to the village. These quests were very cliché which was a big letdown. Try to think off some original quests the next time, please.


~ Difficulty ~

There were some enemy units crossing your path you could deal with fairly easy. The main objective as well as the sidequests were very easy to complete. The sidequests (in general) could have been made harder to complete as they reward the player with extra stuff you don't really need, but which you can use to make your life more easy.


RATING: 2
-----------------
difficulty (+/-)
objectives (+/-)
map design (+/-)
creativity (-)
objective instructions (+)
no music (-)


¸„.‹•*'˜˜'*•›PART 4: THE NORTHERN VILLAGE‹•*'˜˜'*•›.„¸

***************************
> Gameplay time: ~4 minutes
> Difficulty: Moderate
> Main Objectives: 1
> Sidequests: None
***************************

~ Map Design ~

I must say I really, really liked how the village looked. But I did not like the size of the melagius and odin statue; they are way out of proportion compared to the buildings and other statues in the village. And the Hydra statues didn't really fit in the norse town at all. But the rest looks fantastic.


~ Objectives ~

Kill the nidhogg. Hmmmm, the huskarl versus the nidhogg? Nope, that doesn't work. Use ranged attacks? Nope, they aren't available. The whole norse town versus the nidhogg? Yup, that does only work. And that is strange. Why? Well...

General Melagius, the chief of the village, desperately needed YOU to kill the mighty nidhogg. But as a non-ranged unit with no ranged abilities, YOU needed THEIR towers and fire giants to kill the nidhogg. So in fact the town didn't need a hero to kill the nidhogg, but they only needed someone to lure it to the fortress. But this isn't what the objective said!


~ Difficulty ~

Just keep running around the fortress, don't get hit by the fire breath and the nidhogg will eventually die. Easy if you don't get stuck. This was one of the last objectives which could have been made more difficult if you had to fight the nidhogg all by yourself (as it should have been).


RATING: 4
-----------------
difficulty (+/-)
objectives (+)
map design (++)
creativity (+)
objective instructions (+/-)
no music (-)


¸„.‹•*'˜˜'*•›PART 5: THE LABYRINTH‹•*'˜˜'*•›.„¸

***************************
> Gameplay time: THIS PART CAN'T BE FINISHED
> Difficulty: Very Hard
> Main Objectives: 2
> Sidequests: None
***************************

~ Map Design ~

Once the nidhogg has been killed, you have to go all the way back to the Hell Entrance where you can take a ship to sail Mussar to an island. The island looks decent. I did not like the placement of the Wonder on the elevated terrain. The atlantean columns weren't directly under the Wonder's columns which made it look very ugly. You should also camouflage the elevated terrain with either embellishment units like rocks or with the "Black" terrain type. Then it looks a lot better.

The labyrinth is very basic. You only used normal wall buildings to build the labyrinth. That's a shame. I remember Oscar's labyrinth which looked pretty good in his SCIPIO scenario which you can download here:

http://aom.heavengames.com/downloads/showfile.php?fileid=3035

Oscar has many more scenarios which all have amazing eyecandy in them. I advice you to check them out and perhaps his work will inspire you.


~ Objectives ~

Do you remember what I said about playtesting? Playtest your scenario over and over again until the slightest error has been fixed. When I killed the Avenger on the island, a cinematic started which never ended because you forgot to deactivate the cinematic mode. This kind of bugs halt the entire gameplay and can easily be fixed if you playtest your scenario! I did fix this bug for you and I did play the scenario all over again ONLY because I promised you a review on the forums. But unfortunetaly, this wasn't the only bug that I needed to fix...

The Well of Urd doesn't teleport you to the other Well of Urd if you don't invoke the Wells with the godpower called "Well of Urd"! So there was no way for me to enter the labyrinth with the useless Well of Urd which halted the gameplay again.

So... I went to the editor (again) and moved the huskarl to the labyrinth so I could at least finish the scenario. I finally killed the Polyphemus giant and I... could... not... believe... that absolutely nothing happened: there wasn't an end, no end cinematic, nothing. *sigh*


~ Difficulty ~

The final boss was very hard to defeat. One wrong move and the cyclops would throw me into the acid flames of Argus. One second of hestitation and the enemy Argus in the boss arena would instantly kill me with its special attack. To defeat the boss, I had to position my character very carefully, use all the available godpowers and make sure the Argus was far enough away so it couldn't use its special attack on me. It was an intense fight, and I enjoyed it. Perhaps it was a bit too hard, but it certainly was a worthy final boss unlike the many other final bosses I have seen and slain very easily. Well done!


RATING: 1 (because of the major bugs)
-----------------
difficulty (+)
objectives (not working) (-)
map design (+/-)
creativity (+)
objective instructions (+)
no music (-)


FINAL BOSS RATING: 4
-----------------
difficulty (++)
creativity (+)
no music (-)
instructions (+)
special features (+/-)


OVERALL RATING: 2.8


¸„.‹•*'˜˜'*•› Additional Comments: ‹•*'˜˜'*•›.„¸

I know I can be harsh at some points, but don't let that scare you away from designing more scenarios. I can see a potential designer in you and if I didn't, I wouldn't have written such a lengthy review (the longest one I have ever written. It took me ages to write all of this in understandable english X_X). This is your FIRST scenario and I have seen so many worse scenarios, even from those who have been designing scenarios for a year or longer.

I have three big advices for you:

1. I can't stress this enough times. Playtest your scenario over and over and over and over and over again. Always.
2. Always use music/sounds in your scenarios (especially in cinematics and boss battles).
3. Try to think off original quests instead of boring commonly seen quests.


Please use this review to improve your scenario or use it for your future projects. Keep designing scenarios, improve your work and learn new things and I'm sure you will be one heck of a designer in the future. :)

~Lewonas out. (phew, I'm done at last!)

[Edited on 12/18/11 @ 01:39 PM]

godpower97
File Author
yayy, highly organized and useful info! Thanks lewonas!

And yeah, think I did forget to fix some of the bugs that I noticed when I released it. And this is really helpful and will help me in designing future scenarios. Thanks!

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HGDL v0.8.0

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Rating
2.8
Breakdown
Playability2.5
Balance3.0
Creativity3.5
Map Design3.0
Story/Instructions2.0
Statistics
Downloads:481
Favorites: [Who?]0
Size:268.47 KB
Added:08/02/11
Updated:08/06/11
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