Once upon a time
posted March 21, 2019 01:54 PM
|Edited by markkur at 13:57, 21 Mar 2019.
Dark Dawn (H5 TotE)
Dark Dawn (2 maps, Solo and Allied both for SP and Hot-seat)
Greetings from the heartland
A few here may know my past chief purpose in my work in H5 mapping, so this text is for those that do not.
More than eight years ago I dove into the TotE-editor and found at that time, most every previous map-maker had already moved-on to other things. So what I did with my time could best be summed by my heavy-focus on 3D-landscaping.
Because of my having the time to spend and because it was fun, I spent many hours learning to detail a map and the ins & outs of the Editor; lighting, texture and mastering Elevation.
My hope was that with a quality effort as I learned the Editor, that a strategist (layout) a scripter (objectives) and a tester (experience) would join me and allow me to continue to focus on what I by-far enjoyed the most and hopefully because of the time needed; but with my personal goal...it was too late. However, I did have some help from some talented people, NaadirSlo, "Frosty" and "Primus" to name the willing.
2. Other efforts
Over the years, I also spent a great deal of time assisting with two major-projects but as I played no major role, I'll not mention them; they stand on their own without my effort.
I took a long vacation from HoMM (3 & 5) and pursued HoI3 (TFH) AARs for a couple of years.
My Princess and I started playing H5 TotE again early this year and found the game had more of the old-magic. I re-examined a couple of my old maps and tweaked them for our own use - we had a very good time with some good fights as allies.
4. Trials and Release
This new Map is called Dark Dawn (renamed for the Nival-tech's name for his/her sky-dome) but the first iteration was made in 2011 and called Lake Peril. Years back, we had fun with the original map but with my current "J-A.I." experience and map-preferences today I wanted to "test to get the best" I made this effort knowing I could not get exactly what I sought.
5. Wrap-up for the use of others
a. I wanted a map that had water but had to try several tweaks to get the current A.I. to better work the map. i.e. I built shipyards in 2nd-towns but it appears Random-Towns do not always spawn correctly and the shipyard of some towns will not be functional, even when the mapmaker triple-checks the access-tile is green on the random-town placement waterside. Also for some reason, sometimes the A.I.-factions could do well while other times lagged behind. Presently I am content with how they function.
Btw, of course I could pick the factions to make it work but I wanted my final public map to have more replay value, so shipyards had to be used everywhere.
b. I initially did not want the Vessel of Shalassa (summon boat) spell but that hindered the A.I. much too much. Plenty of Wood is around for a summon-fest; avoiding only having 10 wood buying a boat and having an unseen enemy steal-it from you as soon as you land.
c. There is another factor that I do not have a handle and that's whether or not (internal settings in the map-editor affect creating the map/game settings. i.e. We always play on Hard/Hard and yet when I paid no attention to default PB-Random-settings I observed at times an A.I. faction that could be described as the internal PB-Victim setting? Like H3, iirc there are five-settings from Warrior to helpless.<L> On this map the factions are set to PB-Warrior. But does there remain a possible conflict between internal and external settings? IDK.
d. There are no scripts...this map should work with any version of the game.
e. The various monsters inside Abandoned-mines have been slightly upgraded, so depending on how early the player attacks one, they "could" find more losses than normal. Note: This change will impact other maps in the game-folder, so remove this map from the folder when finished to go back to default on other maps.
f. I added one Campaign-Hero to each faction. What I discovered however, is that a couple of the Heroes I wanted would not appear in the game-set-up. Alaron for Preserve & Duncan for Haven - that is why I chose Findan & Godric. Players can get around this by using the "Unlock All Heroes Mod" but I personally do not like playing with or against all of them. Some are clearly OP or their movement speed is time-consuming - making the player speed the game up and imo, making the normal movement just as silly. For me, Alaric or Hangvul speeds are examples of what should never have been accepted.
g. Findan is OP too but without the UAH-mod he is the only Elf to appear at Create. However, I do have a purposely picked OP and that's Markal. Nowadays, if and when I play any game, I am wanting some fun and have little of the battlemaster left. I hurt too much.
Finally, if a Player would like to revert the Hero setting to default, then open the map in the editor and hit "Reset".
On the other hand, if you play with the UAH-mod, then you "may" want to open the map and "check-all" in the Heroes tab? Not sure if that is needed...probably not, I think the Mod overrides at creation. What makes this iffy for me, is I have not tested this and I wanted to make certain I could rehire a campaign hero I'd retreated in battle. Note: there are some Heroes you can allow in the Editor that you cannot get back without the UAH-mod. Sorry, I do not remember which ones.
Our play-testing has found the map to be challenging with major-battles and the map is one interesting to zoom-in & navigate "without the Trees" to spoil the explorations ahead of time; hopefully you'll find my work one you enjoy.
Recommended setting with the J-A.I. Hard-diff/Hard-lookahead for starters.
The FFA version
ps pagemage is also me but normally look for markkur at the site. I'm not changing it - the snafu was on me and this bit took enough effort
Be good, Love and Peace...your way.
[* Spoiler = For those that need a leg-up...play Necro and choose Markal. Send him around looking for joiners, and use your second as your Main because Markal cannot raise-dead to start the game. This bit here, though VERY gamey is fun to do for these old bones and you still have to fight...tough fights.]
"Do your own research"