300 - The Battle of Thermopylae
Posted on 08/09/13 @ 04:47 AM (updated 08/19/13
300: The Battle of Thermopylae
||AoM: The Titans
Intro: 5 minutes.
Gameplay: 45 minutes
First off i'd like to thank everyone that helped me in the scenario design question thread, you guys really helped alot.
Well here it is. My very first scenario, well the first one with triggers anyway.
If you are not familiar with the movie or history of Thermapylae (300), it follows a character named Leonidas, king of Sparta.
The Persians attempt to conquer Greece, and he tries to stop them using strategy, being out numbered 1,000:1 (rough estimates, texts/logs from back then are few in number).
In this single player scenario, you control Leonidas and the Spartans and march to the Hot Gates in an attempt to stop the Persian army from taking over Greece.
It's my first ever map with triggers, so please be gentle with the comments lol. Skill in this area is acquired over time, be sure that my next map will be twice as good.
* Gold gained per kill.
* Shop system to upgrade or replace units.
* Day/Night system.
* Choice of either Easy, Normal, Hard or Insane (aka Ephialtes) modes.
* Hidden secret upgrades.
* Kill counter (courtesy of Lewonas).
Things I haven't added, due to problems:
* Sound during intro.
* Animations (I made the whole thing before playing with these, and timing them was hard at this point).
If you notice any bugs, or something out of the ordinary please post a reply and I will fix it ASAP.
Few pics :)
First pic: I thought the battle was lost here..
Second pic: It seemed under control..
Third pic: Fighting an uphill battle again lol
|Author||Reviews ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )|
--- Playability: 4 (UPDATED :: ORIGINAL RATING: 2 ---> NEW RATING: 4 CHANGED ON 15-08-2013 (dd-mm-yyyy)) ---
This is perhaps one of the best scenarios I've seen from a novice scenario designer. Sure, you've had some help with setting up some triggers, but you've made the majority by yourself. Just by looking at the total number of triggers (which is 264!) which have all kind of different (custom) effects in them, is already pretty damn impressive.
Naturally, the number of triggers doesn't really say anything about the quality of the scenario itself at all - so don't get your hopes up. A scenario doesn't need many triggers to be fun to play. I've seen countless of scenarios that have a ton of triggers which are very poorly wired which just kills the gameplay experience. Before you add a new trigger to your scenario always ask yourself this: does this trigger really enhance the gameplay experience? Because that's what triggers are all about: enhancing the gameplay experience. But does this apply to your scenario?
You can breathe easy because everything was just fine. However, there were a couple of things that I didn't like.
First, there was no music in the intro until the last minute. You really don't want to have cinematics without music in your scenario. I was a little bit concerned that the whole gameplay would be a silent experience, but luckily the music kicked in towards the end of the intro.
-- EDIT (15-08-2013): This problem has been fixed in version 1.12! --
Secondly, some things concerning the shop kind of annoyed me. The old man moves way too slow and the teleport system didn't work properly (the statue on the far left didn't teleport my old man). Why didn't you just increase the old man's movement speed and get rid of the whole teleport system? It also takes too long for the units to spawn when I want to buy them. I think the time needed to spawn them was about ~6 seconds while it could have been 2 seconds.
-- EDIT (15-08-2013): This problem has been fixed in version 1.12! --
And thirdly, the heka gigantes. Oh god, those guys really infuriated me. Their special shockwave attack had sent more than half of my army flying (including both of my heroes!) towards a valley where they're stuck for the rest of the entire game. You can better stop playing or load your saved game (if you were smart enough to save) at that point because it's almost impossible to stop the myth unit invasion (the colossi in particular) without your heroes. You should really remove their special attack for it can break the entire gameplay (!) and other players may not want to restart the whole scenario like I did!
-- EDIT (15-08-2013): This problem has been fixed in version 1.12! However, I do like to note that the teleport trick works great, but it may have been better if you just change the terrain near the boulders to an impassable terrain type like Black Rock, Greek Cliff, or something similar. --
It almost sounds like I didn't really enjoy your scenario, but nothing is more untrue. I really liked the whole concept of defending the Hot Gates against waves and waves of enemies. I always feel that a shop is kind of overrated, but I appreciate the inclusion of it in this particular kind of scenario. Unfortunately, the cons which I mentioned above weight heavy on the playability rating, which brings it down from a deserved 4 to a 2.
-- EDIT (15-08-2013): All of my above mentioned problems have been fixed so the rating has been raised to a well deserved 4! --
--- Balance: 4 (UPDATED :: ORIGINAL RATING: 2 ---> NEW RATING: 4 CHANGED ON 19-08-2013 (dd-mm-yyyy)) ---
This is a tough one. I personally like very challenging scenarios and I always want to play them on the highest difficulty setting possible. I was pleasantly surprised when a choice dialog popped up at a somewhat random moment asking me if I would like to play the scenario on a more difficult setting. Of course I accepted the challenge and I unfortunately found out quickly that it's absolutely impossible to beat the game on this difficulty setting. It didn't matter what tactic I used, I just couldn't do it. It was doable at the start, but the waves progressivly get harder and at some point the enemy just walzed over my army and there was nothing I could do about it.
I gave up after two attempts and I decided to try the normal difficulty setting which was surprisingly more easy. However, at the, what was it, 50 minute mark I hit a wall. The Immortal wall to be precise. At that time, my army consisted of about 40 upgraded hoplites and 40 upgraded toxotes (20 hoplites, 8 toxotes and both of my heroes were having a picknick in the Valley Of Death From Where There Is No Escape Possible) and an enemy army consisting of collosi, hippikons and immortals attacked me which absolutely annihilated me. There was just no way I could beat that army. But perhaps that was your intention because otherwise the game would last forever.
Luckily I had saved the game at a point where I had somewhere between 600-700 kills and I decided to march my army towards the enemy's encampment, otherwise I would have to fight the immortal army again and I know how that ends. On my way there I suffered heavy casualities and by the time I reached the immortals and their army which I was supposed to kill there was just no way I could beat them. The result may have been different if I still had my heroes and the units which were stuck in the valley at my disposal though.
At this point I had almost thrown in the towel but I decided to give it one last try. Before I loaded the game, I looked at the victory triggers in the editor to find out what I had to do to win and I found out that I only had to kill two units (call it cheating if you want). So I marched my army towards those two units and I BARELY managed to kill the second unit with my LAST toxotes (no kidding).
Is the game supposed to be this hard? Or could it be that I was doing something wrong? Do you manage to beat the game easily? And if so, how? From my point of view I feel like this game is too hard (I repeat, I don't know if it would have been a lot easier if I still had my heroes at my disposal, but I don't think it would have mattered that much). And this is not something I say a lot, so this statement should say a lot. :p I would like to know how other people experienced the difficulty of this game before I come to a definite conclusion. But as of now I feel like the game is not balanced properly. Tell me if I'm wrong.
-- EDIT (15-08-2013): The difficulty has been lowered in version 1.12 which has made the gameplay a lot better. However, I found the difficulty on HARD isn't that much of a challenge currently. That may be because I have more units at my disposal because my army can't get stuck in the valley anymore, which means I could encounter the enemy army more effectively this time around. Yes, the balance is perhaps the most tiresome aspect of a scenario to get right, but if you can I would like to see a more difficult setting (perhaps a third INSANE difficulty setting?). Or better yet, add two more difficulties. The first one would be EASY, which is the current NORMAL difficulty setting. The second one would be NORMAL, which is the current HARD difficulty setting. The thrid one would be HARD, which makes the enemy units significantly tougher to kill. The last one would be INSANE, more units spawn per wave and the immortals are extremely strong. If you would add these difficulty options I will gladly hand you out a perfect 5 for balance! --
-- EDIT (19-08-2013): The added difficulty settings are almost perfect, but the hardest mode seems to become a tad too hard at the ~800 kills mark. I could deal with their main force just fine, but that second flanking army is just a bit too much at this point that it becomes impossible to beat. I had about 40 archers and 20 hoplites and I had hoplite streaming in from all the gold I had, but I just couldn't hold the line. I had done every wave almost perfectly (the cyclops/argus wave didn't insta-kill any of my units, the axemen weren't able to kill any of my hoplites, in short: I countered their army pretty damn effectively) but yet I couldn't survive these two waves combined because they're just too powerful to handle. A slight nerf to the enemy army size (the secondary army in particular) may be enough to lower the difficulty just that little bit it needs. --
--- Creativity: 2 ---
Creativity isn't exactly the strong point of this game. I've seen a lot of scenarios about the movie 300 and this scenario is not really different from any of them. However, I do think that this scenario as a whole is far better than any of those other scenarios. I give you credit for that.
--- Map Design: 4 ---
I must say the map design looks pretty good. I liked the design and the surrounding eyecandy of the Hot Gates the most, and that area also happens to be the area where the majority of the game is played. That's very clever.
The design of the cities is pretty simple. You may want to try to overlap buildings to create impressive looking buildings. Look at this screenshot to see what I mean:
Naturally, map design isn't all about the eyecandy. You must also make sure that there's no way your units can get stuck. The valley on the west side of the Hot Gates as well as the terrain on which the boulder walls are placed were areas on which my units got stuck because of the heka gigantes' shockwave attack. If you know that there's a chance your units can be sent flying towards those kinds of areas then make sure there's a way out so that your units can get back into the fight. Alternatively, you could get rid of that shockwave attack. I won't penalize you for this, but you should really fix it!
--- Story/Instructions: 4 ---
Well, I think it's safe to say that the majority of us is already familiar with the story behind the movie 300 and this scenario's story isn't exactly something new and refreshing. But that doesn't make the story bad, it's just a little bit less interesting. It would have been great if you made your own twist on the existing storyline which you could put your own signature on. There's not much I can say about the instructions apart from that they're done very well.
--- Additional Comments: ---
I will say it again: This is a very well made scenario by a novice scenario designer. With no past trigger experience you really show us what amazing potential you have as a scenario designer. It's not unrealistic to say that we could really be expecting great things from you in the future and I sincerely hope we will!
As you may have noticed, some of the scores are subject to change. If you fix all of the problems which I mentioned in the relevant category I will raise the score of that category! :)
[Edited on 08/19/13 @ 01:04 PM]