Posted on 12/24/04 @ 06:39 AM (updated 12/25/04
*** THE LOST LEGION ***//
||AoM: The Titans
"One moment, they stood under the skies of Gaul, facing each other in a strange duel of survival. In the hand of the Roman tribune Marcus Scarus was the spell-scribed sword of a Druid priest. The Celtic chieftain Viridovix held a similar sword, bespelled by a rival Druid sorcerer. Then, as the two swords touched, a dome of golden light flared out and surrounded Marcus, Viridovix, and three cohorts of Caesar's legions. The next moment, they found themselves under a strange night sky where no stars were familiar and where Gaul and Rome were unknown. They were in an outpost of the embattled Empire of Videssos - in a world where magic and dark sorcery would test their skill and courage as no Roman legion had ever been tested before."
Singleplayer scenario for The Titans expansion freely ispired by the Videssos Cicle by Harry Turtledove.
-about fifty minutes of cinematics.
-1000x1000 metres map
1)Extract all file from the zip archive (directory "lost_legion_sounds"+ THE_LOST_LEGION.scx).
2)Place the file .scx in the directory "Scenario".
3)Place the directory "lost_legion_sounds" in the directory "sound" present in the folder where the game is installed.
-in this map there are thousands of objects and sometimes many active triggers at the same time. As a comsequence your pc could take a long time to load the savedgames, to save the map or to open it with the editor.
-your pc could make a mistake while it's saving the game forcing you to restart the map from the beginning. I advise to save often (at least after every cinematic) but not always on the same file, this is important.
-you can freely choose your favourite difficulty level in any case it will be automatically set on "Hard" by some triggers at the beginning of the game.
-don't use cheats, above all the destructive ones (like meteors and tornados), that could destroy an object necessary to continue the game, or the cheats that create new units, that could compromise the running of some following triggers.
-during the game use and move all your units in group and don't forget anybody back.
-read carefully the objectives and the hints in the objectives section.
-this scenario has been made and tested with no patch installed.
-to not compromise the correct working of the game when you have a trasport ship or a Roc don't forget any units inside them.
-this scenario could really try sorely the performances of your pc so don't play this map at one go but in more "sessions".
-near the end of the scenario during the cinematics some momentary blocks could happen. Please wait a little before coming back to windows or resetting.
For who has red the entire Cicle of the Legion: this is just a bad and unfaithful copy of Turtledove's books, many events and charcters are invented and others aren't equal to the real ones. I made the scenario in this way to adapt the features of AoM to the story told in the cicle and to make my life easier.
If you find errors or if you have some suggestions post a comment or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Scenario created by Oscar Baldessari.
A special thanks to Ganesh (for playtesting and for trigger help), Teo3 (for platesting and for story/plot help), CheeZy (for help in file size reduction), OttyGiummy (for English traslation) and to the other people of AOM heaven and Age of Empire Italia that have contributed to the realization of this project.
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|Author||Comments & Reviews ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )|
Wow. This is the best thing I'v ever seen made in the editor. Great map design. I love it. (I'm about halfway through I'd say). Good work.
Nothing more than ....
Clap! Clap! Clap! Clap! Clap! Clap! Clap! Clap! Clap! Clap! Clap! Clap! Clap! Clap! Clap! Clap! Clap! Clap! Clap! Clap! Clap! Clap! Clap! Clap! Clap! Clap! Clap! Clap!
U´ve estabilished a new benchmark.
I have only been able to load it in the editor (loading a scenario through the single player menu, or playtesting it crashed my computer several times, I guess I should buy a new one some time), so I can only judge the map design.
There are different eyecandy styles, very briefly and generally taken, those would be:
- The "smaller" eyecandy: small, seperated houses surrounded by tiny gardens with fences, a tree or two, a cow and a goat, rocks, grass, bushes, torches, rugs, pots, crates: simply lots of details.
- The "moderate" eyecandy: overlapping houses, markets, barracks, armories and buildings of those sizes to form complex buildings of about the size of a wonder or smaller.
- The "big" eyecandy: overlapping buildings - but especially thor hammers, columns, things like that - to form huge structures, palaces, tunnels, bridges: things which the editor is "not meant to be used for".
You guessed it, you belong to the third category - in fact, you are the master of this style, the best "big" eyecandier I've ever seen, and even after your previous scenarios (which were very hard to equal), this scenario did NOT disappoint me at all. The palaces were magnificent, the gates and harbours overwhelming.
However, there's always a however. And in this case, this however consists of comments on your lack of the other two eyecandy styles. It seems to me as if you've put all your effort in the big structures, and then just used some different terrains to fill in the empty space (this is of course largely exaggerated).
There is no "life" in your cities. There are just those huge and beautiful, but unfortunately completely lifeless structures which took all your time, and around those palaces and fortresses, there is a dead city with either empty spaces or cluttered houses.
Of course I haven't been able (and this kills me) to check wether you have triggered any city life but even then I think the streets will be empty, just because it lacks that little piece of pottery.
Don't over-use those tiny objects, like I did in my greek town center guide, but certainly don't over-use those big structures of yours! You are the master, there is no need to convince the community of that over and over again. Although those tiny objects might cause even more lag, a billion columns and thor hammers also negatively affect gameplay. And sometimes... I just found the buildings too big.
I hope you will have discovered the ideal mix between big eyecandy and small eyecandy when you release your next scenario.
In case I sounded too negative above, don't take it that way. Use my tips to make your next project even better, much better than this already nearly perfect scenario.
[Edited on 12/28/04 @ 06:37 PM]
right on archer:)
the structures are amaizing oscar, although you somehow overloaded the scenario with it; unessesary objects could had been deleted to prevent so terrible lag.
i agree with everything archer said. the building overlapping is very good. However, the nature eyecandy such as grass terrain mixing disapointed me so. I think you took too much importantce to building overlapping and didnt thought much on the rest of the map design
I agree with Arch. I really can't play through the lag:(. But the overlapping buildings were just awe-inspiring. Wow.
"However, there's always a however. And in this case, this however consists of comments on your lack of the other two eyecandy styles. It seems to me as if you've put all your effort in the big structures, and then just used some different terrains to fill in the empty space (this is of course largely exaggerated).
There is no "life" in your cities. There are just those huge and beautiful, but unfortunately completely lifeless structures which took all your time, and around those palaces and fortresses, there is a dead city with either empty spaces or cluttered houses."
PLAY the scn and then see if you still think of that ;). The missions are awesome, the eyecandy is walkable etc etc. You'll see, don't get a wrong impression by loading it in the editor.
"PLAY the scn and then see if you still think of that ;). The missions are awesome, the eyecandy is walkable etc etc. You'll see, don't get a wrong impression by loading it in the editor."
Awesome missions and walkable eyecandy don't make the city one bit more "alive", do they? Show me a screenshot of such a full-of-life city and see if I'm convinced :)
Oh my God!!! This has to be the greatest piece of scenario design work that I have ever layed eyes on - in fact I think its the greatest thing many AoM fans will have ever seen. It just goes to show what can be done on the Map Editor for AoM.
I would review this, but I don't think I have got what it takes. In the end though I think I would give it all 5's!
I have not completed it though, one of the main charcaters was killed to the South of Amorion and although I saved it, it won't load up. Nevertheless I am determined to finish this masterpiece.
These are my favourite bits though - (just to let you know) I hope I don't give away anything to people who havn't downloaded it yet...
- My favourite thing is the in-game map (truly amazing idea)
- The missions that you have to go through are fantastic.
- The eyecandy is unbelieveable. I don't think you, Oscar, could have done a better job designing the building architecture with the various other pre-made buildings.
I have downloaded just about all your scenarios since you joined AoM Heaven and everytime they get better and better. I wish I was as good as you at scenario design, lol!
thanks for your comment, Isengrim (and also the others ;) )
there are cinematic blocks that are turned into units during the game and army deploy that "animate" the streets of the cities.
Every famous Italian (but also European) city has always a symbol building that is characteristic of it (the tower of Pisa, the colosseum in Rome, the chatedral of Milan, the Certosa in Pavia,...) and I've tried to recreate the same situation in my scenario (the tower of Prista, the ziqurat of Dilbat,...).
Maybe my cities are too regular and have a simple structure BUT they can be managed easily. I've already seen your excellent guide but a town made in that way need really too much time. Are the areas outside the cities "ugly"? Yes but please consider:
1)my lack of time
2)the largeness of the map (1000x1000)
3)the filesize. Your pc crashes when you try to play this version of the map. Imagine what you pc will do if I fill my scenario like Guardian's maps...
[Edited on 12/30/04 @ 11:54 AM]
Well Oscar, you've finally achieved the ultimate scenario, by stretching the editor to its limits and with a great story and near-perfect balance. I was in constant amazement all the way through the scenario as I saw one beautiful building after another. Like I said, this is definately the best of Oscar's works. There are a few points that detract from the rating, but that doen't stop "The Lost Legion" from being the best scenario on AoMH.
With regard to playability, this scenario was definately the funnest I have ever played through. This is the very definition of a good fixed-force scenario. Most missions were varied enough to provide entertainment throughout. I particularly enjoyed the stealth missions, the best I have ever seen in a scenario. All of the twists and catches in the missions were enjoyable--i.e. your units must be in a certain place to stop the allies from being slaughtered, or distract the main part of an army so your legion can enter and attack their vanguard. The triggerwork needed for these unique missions is pure genius.
Another great feature about this was the style of the missions. Generally you start off in the main city, then sail to whatever point you are going to, complete the mission, and the story progresses accordingly. This presented an added realism, in my opinion, and stopped it from being a simple "arcade style" scenario. The battles are superbly done as well.
However, I have to take a point off of Playability because of the huge map size, and the resultant lag. 1000x1000 makes for a very involved story and long playing time, but it also lags like hell. I am sure this problem would have been fixed, had this been a campaign. For one, you simply cannot play this on High Graphics. On Low Graphics, though, it still lags in many places, especially the battles and crowded cities. Also, much has been compromised because of the huge map, and therefore, file size. You will not see many small, ordinary objects because Oscar had to get rid of them to reduce lag. Again, a smaller map size would have stopped this. Another problem I had with this scenario was the final battle. In a word, there was none. I mean, there was a cinematic final battle, but the last playable mission consisted of defending a camp for perhaps 15 seconds, it wasn't even that hard, either. I know that playabiliy was sacrificed to make an amazing cinematic battle (I'll get to that) but there could have at least been some playable elements.
The cinematics. They were brilliant. Oscar, you should be a film director, the cinematics in this game show real talent, unlike most of the cutscenes in other scenarios, even the good ones. These are better than the ES cinematics. Actually, the whole scenario was better than any one ES scen.
Fixed Force scenarios are fairly hard to balance out, but this one does a great job of creating a perfect balance between sides. It is not altogether too dificult, but you cannot win if you just charge your men into battle. Oscar modified the different units enough that some heavy micro and strategy is required, especially in the battle outside of the Norse city. If you are looking for a challenging, but beatable, scenario, download this one. Novice AoM players, beware. Also, some great triggerwork with changing the units' stats enough to create this perfect balance, something that most designers ignore.
As I have already said, "The Lost Legion" simply takes the cake when it comes to creative mission design. All of the minute triggers and features make almost every mission unique. Another creative feature that I really liked was the cinematic map. If you don't know what this is, download. Not much more to say here.
Map Design: 5
As always, Oscar's map design skills are flawless. And as always, he has more of those glorious buildings. These are the most amazing things I have ever seen done with the editor. Look in the Eyecandy thread to see some examples, all of these are in the scenario. Apart from building combining and architecture, there really wasn't that much due to the file size restrictions. In some areas, such as the desert, this made it look more natural, but in other areas, it detracted. I've already taken a point off for this, so I won't take off another. Some of the elevations didn't seem natural to me, but I guess that was also lag contraints. Regardless, this has the best map design I've ever seen, ever.
I won't take off points because Oscar didn't create this story, I'll just say that he did a great job of translating it into scenario form. The story is told by cutscenes and is clear, easy to understand. I won't give away any of the story here, but I'm sure other reviewers will, so I'll just say that it is as good as the "Fall of the Trident" story. The map and missions also fit in with the story.
Instructions are very good, as are the hints. I understood each objective. You may wish to have an additional English translator to fix minor translation errors, though this isn't any fault of yours.
Additional Comments I'd like to say that this is the pinnacle of Oscar's designing career, but it isn't, because Oscar will continue to create scenarios, each better than the last. Right? Whatever, this is easily the best scenario I have ever played Oscar, thank you. Just work on the map size and lag next time.
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