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Heroes Community > MapHaven Guild > Thread: The Return of the King (XXXL map)
Thread: The Return of the King (XXXL map) This thread is 3 pages long: 1 2 3 · NEXT»
Vlaad
Vlaad


Admirable
Legendary Hero
ghost of the past
posted January 28, 2008 11:18 PM
Edited by Vlaad at 19:23, 01 Feb 2008.

The Return of the King (XXXL map)

VERSION: Tribes of the East 3.0

AUTHOR: Vlaad, January 2008

TYPE: singleplayer / multiplayer

SIZE: Impossible (320 x 320) with underground

DESCRIPTION: Aragorn and his companions rode to the halls of Theoden, where Gandalf healed the aged king and rescued him from the spells of Wormtongue. They won a desparate battle in Helm's Deep against the Orcs of Isengard. Saruman has fled, but the Lidless Eye is moving in the East, setting its gaze on Gondor. Aragorn knows that, before all is lost, he must walk the Paths of the Dead... Meanwhile, an uneasy alliance of Elves and Dwarves will try to banish the shadows from Mirkwood.

ADDITIONAL INFO: The map features 15 customized heroes and 20 unique locations, all based on Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. You'll notice some details are based on the book, not the movie. The biographies of the heroes and towns taken from Wikipedia. Thanks to Elvin, Baklava, Guarder and Magnomagus for help and suggestions. Additional feedback - good or bad - is welcome. I may update the scenario with any good ideas you may have. We're even thinking of creating a campaign or a mod based on Middle-earth, so stay tuned and feel free to join the team.

NOTES: I wanted to recreate Middle-earth, but decided to focus on the War of the Ring instead. Why? I realized that Heroes 5 is somewhat different from the other Heroes games; the adventure map is not a map anymore - it's a world. If you place a tree, it does not represent a forest like in H2 and H3 - it is a tree. This evolution started in H4, and now I can't get immersed in a scenario if the objects are treated as symbols (like before). But when I tried to depict Middle-earth as a world, I found that even an XXXL map wasn't big enough. So I've had to crop the original map.

There are five starting positions, most with level 1 heroes and towns:

1) Red is Gondor (Haven) - you start with Aragorn and Gandalf and may enlist Faramir and Imrahil later on.
2) Blue is his ally Rohan (Haven), whose riders are led by Theoden, Eowyn and Eomer.
3) Yellow represents what's left of the Orcs of Isengard, after Saruman had fled.
4) Brown, Yellow's ally, stands for the Orcs of Mordor and Mirkwood. Two Ring Wraiths, Witch King and Khamul, have the Blood Rage skill because their armies consist of Stronghold creatures. However, they will be able to learn Necromancy and Dark Magic as well.
5) Finally, if you feel like playing without allies, choose Green - the Elves of Lorien and the Dwarves of Erebor.

PREVIEWS:

Minas Tirith

Legolas

Moria

DOWNLOAD (UPDATED TO V. 1.1)
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magnomagus
magnomagus


Admirable
Legendary Hero
modding wizard
posted January 29, 2008 12:49 AM

Congrats with this amazing achievement!

A have already taken a quick look at it. The visual quality of the map is very good in my opinion.
Also the performance seems good (for an xxxl map!). Only the underground could use some visual optimization. I saw you have used an ambient light for the underground instead of making it dark and lighten it up with point lights. I realise you may have chosen this for performance reasons. I also found that the distances between  adventure objects were very wide sometimes. I personally like maps to be more dense.




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Elvin
Elvin


Admirable
Omnipresent Hero
Endless Revival
posted January 29, 2008 01:00 AM

Yes the original underground was a bit too dark but a few strategically placed lights might have been better. Also there are some good details like the fires Gondor lit to call for allies or the tombs in front of Edoras I also noticed that the locations are not too close with each other but it looks realistic for this type of map.
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Vlaad
Vlaad


Admirable
Legendary Hero
ghost of the past
posted January 29, 2008 07:35 PM

Quote:
Congrats with this amazing achievement!

A have already taken a quick look at it. The visual quality of the map is very good in my opinion.
Also the performance seems good (for an xxxl map!).
Thanks!
Quote:
Only the underground could use some visual optimization. I saw you have used an ambient light for the underground instead of making it dark and lighten it up with point lights. I realise you may have chosen this for performance reasons.
You're right.

This is the kind of feedback a mapmaker needs.
Quote:
I also found that the distances between  adventure objects were very wide sometimes. I personally like maps to be more dense.
Me too, but my previous map (Truth and Justice, for H4) was critisized for being too dense. I admit I like it this way - it makes for some strategic decisions. In addition, it's hard not to repeat yourself when you have a limited number of objects to place on such a large map.
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Elvin
Elvin


Admirable
Omnipresent Hero
Endless Revival
posted January 30, 2008 01:18 AM

I have progressed some more and things are pretty positive so far. It is one of those epic maps with good garrisons, many treasures to gather and insane leveling

A few things however.

One is that the hill fort enables you to upgrade and combine a massive 300+ poltergeist stack which along with training priests through hall of heroes allows breaking rather early. Week 3 I reached Minas Tirith with Aragorn and started training. On week 5 with 30 cavaliers(didn't bother building angels), the poltergeists and 230 crossbowmen I defeated the orc garrison and took Barad Dur. Sauron was not in town and when I attacked him he fled so there goes one good battle. The witch kind was also nowhere to be seen, maybe he's in the northern town and I hope he has a good army when I meet him.
Maybe he should be stationed in the gate to make things harder..?

This brings up the second point. After you take over Mordor you have no clue where to look for so you'd better take a few scouts and start exploring. A sign or road would have been appreciated.


Otherwise the map is beautifully designed with high aesthetic value Both Minas Tirith and Barad Dur are customized so they do not look like ordinary towns. The respective regions have this LotR feel about them and there are signs around with even the most obscure location names, a nice touch.

Yes it's a fun single map but if you can find the time it would be great for hotseat The type where you build up and decide to battle after some months
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InfernoX880
InfernoX880


Promising
Famous Hero
posted January 30, 2008 02:29 AM

Interesting thought I must say. I personally am a huge LOTR fan, especially with the release of the BFME games. I've always wanted to try this, but the sad thing is that while you will have fun, it won't give you the same feeling you get from truly watching LOTR music. I find music sets the mood though, so I'll be sure to get something nice when I play this.

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Elvin
Elvin


Admirable
Omnipresent Hero
Endless Revival
posted January 30, 2008 02:50 AM

Hey Vlaad think you could incorporate some LotR tracks in there? The dark messiah map and LotA were pretty good on this respect, gives another feeling.
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Vlaad
Vlaad


Admirable
Legendary Hero
ghost of the past
posted January 30, 2008 03:05 AM
Edited by Vlaad at 17:38, 30 Jan 2008.

Quote:
Hey Vlaad think you could incorporate some LotR tracks in there? The dark messiah map and LotA were pretty good on this respect, gives another feeling.
Hey, you are a mod here - you should be the last one to encourage piracy! Seriously though, I'll leave such features for the mod based on Middle-earth. Thanks for all the feedback. I'll update the map to v. 1.1 soon.
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InfernoX880
InfernoX880


Promising
Famous Hero
posted January 30, 2008 03:08 AM

There are some remade versions of LOTR tracks. I'm not sure where they are but I vaguely recall one on Newgrounds. If you can find them , they are not copyrighted. If not, I can send you some of the music files from BFME2.

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magnomagus
magnomagus


Admirable
Legendary Hero
modding wizard
posted February 01, 2008 12:56 PM

I would like to give some ideas on performance and storyline.

I did a lot of testing with the performance of AI-turns on the xl-map I created for the Heroes of Axeoth (8 players - 216x216 with full underground) and I came to the conclusion the slow AI turns are for the biggest part caused by computer players having too much heroes and castles. The amount of players on the map is less important. Your map has currently a very low player count, but still the AI-turns can take very long because players are starting with 2 castles, 2 heroes and have the ability to acquire more. The solution for this brings me to the second subject: storyline

I think if you have the motivation to do some significant improvements on the map you should consider to create two versions: a multiplayer and a singleplayer. For the singleplayer version you can use scripts to create a one-sided experience very close to the movie. You can make several big battles mission objectives, and make some enemy heroes not to move. This can make more challenging end-game battles and better performance. For the multiplayer version you can make a free for all (3-6 players?) that doesn't care for storyline and gives all players regular starting conditions (1 hero, 1 castle). This will greatly improve the performance of the AI-turns
and the choices players have to enjoy the map.
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Drunk_Lord
Drunk_Lord


Known Hero
very happy hero :)
posted February 01, 2008 05:17 PM

Brilliant work Vlaad
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Vidoja
Vidoja


Bad-mannered
Known Hero
Checker for Heroes Competiton
posted February 01, 2008 06:43 PM

h, I don't like it. It's not one bit like LOTR. It's just another HOMMV map to me. Sorry, but I feel that way.

PS: Vlaad, do you know what 'OD NAS ZAVISNIKA!' means?
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Vlaad
Vlaad


Admirable
Legendary Hero
ghost of the past
posted February 01, 2008 07:19 PM
Edited by Vlaad at 19:20, 01 Feb 2008.

@ magnomagus
Quote:
I would like to give some ideas on performance and storyline.

I did a lot of testing with the performance of AI-turns on the xl-map I created for the Heroes of Axeoth (8 players - 216x216 with full underground) and I came to the conclusion the slow AI turns are for the biggest part caused by computer players having too much heroes and castles. The amount of players on the map is less important. Your map has currently a very low player count, but still the AI-turns can take very long because players are starting with 2 castles, 2 heroes and have the ability to acquire more.
Yeah, I was aware of this problem. However, the initial tests showed that the AI performance wasn't an issue, at least for some players (e.g. I've got 2 GHz and 900 MB of RAM and the map runs smoothly). On the other hand, I thought that players who experienced long AI turns would use the mod that limits the number of AI heroes (was it updated for Tribes though? ).

Quote:
The solution for this brings me to the second subject: storyline

I think if you have the motivation to do some significant improvements on the map you should consider to create two versions: a multiplayer and a singleplayer. For the singleplayer version you can use scripts to create a one-sided experience very close to the movie. You can make several big battles mission objectives, and make some enemy heroes not to move. This can make more challenging end-game battles and better performance. For the multiplayer version you can make a free for all (3-6 players?) that doesn't care for storyline and gives all players regular starting conditions (1 hero, 1 castle). This will greatly improve the performance of the AI-turns
and the choices players have to enjoy the map.
All good ideas (as always ). I hate to say it, but I'm still a noob when it comes to H5 scripting (it doesn't look harder than ERM, but frankly I haven't studied it much yet). So, it might take time until I introduce the features you suggested and update the scenario to v. 2.0... Unless someone is eager to help.

Thanks anyway!

@ Drunk_Lord:
Quote:
Brilliant work Vlaad
Thanx!

@ Vidoja:
Quote:
h, I don't like it. It's not one bit like LOTR. It's just another HOMMV map to me. Sorry, but I feel that way.

It's OK, all feedback - good or bad - is welcome. After all, it is just a Heroes map with a "Rings" theme.

The thing is, everybody has their own vision of Tolkien's world, and it's hard to live up to those expectations (especially in 2008, after all those great movies and games).
Quote:
PS: Vlaad, do you know what 'OD NAS ZAVISNIKA!' means?
Despite the fact that I like Liberal Democrat Party, I am NOT a drug addict - and I doubt Mr. Jovanovic is one either.

Please leave your spam out of this thread.
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Guarder
Guarder


Supreme Hero
posted February 01, 2008 07:33 PM
Edited by Guarder at 19:34, 01 Feb 2008.

Some things: Sauron has not any animset, so his sword are leviating and Sauron is gliding on the ground. The other thing is great map. And Magomagnus had a great idea, but you can always ask someone about it, Kronos or something. I can always add the pictures to the guys(aragorn, sauron. etc.), but someone must send them to me
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DarkShadow
DarkShadow


Legendary Hero
Cerise Princess
posted February 01, 2008 07:36 PM

is this dream?ohwait...i dont sleep.hmm,nice map,nothing else can be said,its too great for that.

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Vlaad
Vlaad


Admirable
Legendary Hero
ghost of the past
posted February 01, 2008 07:40 PM

Quote:
Some things: Sauron has not any animset, so his sword are leviating and Sauron is gliding on the ground.
Yeah... As far as I remember, Gandalf and Legolas look funny too (they glide with arms spread, but at least they have combat animations). Seriously though, I will have to do something about it...
Quote:
The other thing is great map. And Magomagnus had a great idea, but you can always ask someone about it, Kronos or something. I can always add the pictures to the guys(aragorn, sauron. etc.), but someone must send them to me
Anyone with such suggestions AND the scripting know-how should feel free to send me a HCM.
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Vlaad
Vlaad


Admirable
Legendary Hero
ghost of the past
posted February 01, 2008 07:44 PM

Quote:
is this dream?ohwait...i dont sleep.hmm,nice map,nothing else can be said,its too great for that.
LOL Thanks, DarkShadow, although I must agree with others who think the map could be significantly improved...

By the way, I've updated the scenario to version 1.1 (fixed some minor passability issues and strenghtened the Mordor garrisons).
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magnomagus
magnomagus


Admirable
Legendary Hero
modding wizard
posted February 01, 2008 11:39 PM

Quote:
Yeah, I was aware of this problem. However, the initial tests showed that the AI performance wasn't an issue, at least for some players (e.g. I've got 2 GHz and 900 MB of RAM and the map runs smoothly).


Is that 2Ghz core duo/AMD or pentium 4?, If it is pentium 4 I think you can be considered a 'patient' player.

Quote:
On the other hand, I thought that players who experienced long AI turns would use the mod that limits the number of AI heroes (was it updated for Tribes though?)


If you mean the mod that was created by me: it was designed and tested for tribes. But I doubt if it helps when you give all players two heroes and castles from the start, I haven't tested tho.
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magnomagus
magnomagus


Admirable
Legendary Hero
modding wizard
posted February 12, 2008 11:11 PM

I saw you released it on CH.
Have you done significant changes in the final release?
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Vlaad
Vlaad


Admirable
Legendary Hero
ghost of the past
posted February 12, 2008 11:50 PM
Edited by Vlaad at 23:51, 12 Feb 2008.

Quote:
I saw you released it on CH.
Yeah, finally - it took them two weeks, but Angelspit has been busy with his little Orc. I still think CH is the best map archive out there, hosting read-me files, map reviews, even screenshots. Maps4Heroes has LOTS of visitors though - The Return of the King (both versions combined) has had nearly 1,500 downloads in two weeks!

But generally, it's a good idea to upload your map everywhere you can (well, except Heroes Portal, which sucks ). It's on this French site as well, while I'm hoping it might be translated to Spanish for La Torre de Marfil. Finally, I'd like to submit it to Drachenwald too, but - for the life of me - I cannot find the contact address. So, if there are Germans reading this and willing to help...

But enough with the shameless self-promotion already!
Quote:
Have you done significant changes in the final release?
Not really. It's version 1.1, which fixed some passability issues mostly. All... ambitious improvements will have to wait for 2.0 (or the mod). Feel free to HCM your suggestions or post them here.
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