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Thread: Dread Mountain

  
  1. #11

    Default Re: Dread Mountain

    Quote Originally Posted by Hades View Post
    Probably the best fanmade map out there, aside from the Ancient/Undead Keeper campaigns. 10/10
    Glad you enjoyed it.
    How far were you with the map when the party from the central mountains attacked you with a few barbarians about 30 minutes in? Where you still in the first area or did you already have access to the bottom area? Do you feel it should come later/earlier and/or be stronger/weaker?

  2. #12
    Awakening Game Master Metal Gear Rex's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dread Mountain

    I found Dread Mountain to be an overall extremely grindy and non-challenging experience. I won't pretend to have tried a lot of YourMaster's maps, in fact I've only played Death Clock, but it was certainly a more enjoyable experience than Dread Mountain. I did Death Clock in one sitting I believe, while Dread Mountain on the other hand I had to do in three separate instances due to boredom.

    The start up is probably the most interesting, actually, as there isn't much to work with and there's some strategy to the first fight with the Bile Demon against the two Dwarves, as, at least for me, he was going to be killed unless I retreated to heal before re-engaging. There's also the initial spark of interest in the custom built structure that spawns Imps.

    After that... the map actually starts to take a drop and never really recovers from that. The pacing just starts to slow down, I think more so as the map goes on. Due to the lack of Sight of Evil, there isn't a whole lot of exploring that can be done (unless I'm expected to save state abuse or explore the map beforehand, neither of which are very legit). I have just a few small Bile Demons, so exploring blindly doesn't seem to be a very smart move.

    The next thing I'm directed to do is invade a Hatchery full of Barbarians. However, they're way too strong for the amount of Bile Demons I have at this point, so I have to train them. This wouldn't be so much of an issue if it weren't for the fact that I also have to do a lot of research, most notably to obtain the Prison and Torture Chamber as converting is a big part of the map to expand the player's army. Soooo... I have to wait for my Bile Demons to get up to some decent level while also researching said rooms so that I can convert the Barbarians and any other enemies I encounter. And there actually isn't much for me to do while I wait, outside of Imp management by speeding up the mining process of gold, which gets repetitive really fast.

    And that trend pretty much continues for the rest of the map. Due to the lack of information, it seems to be a smarter decision to expand like a turtle, by grinding out my creatures in the Training Room and then grinding out any enemies on the map... slowly. Meanwhile I had to do a lot of Imp management so that my creatures could keep training and I had to mine relatively fast to keep up with active costs, and that was just extremely repetitive and unfun.

    Yes, I can get more Imps, but there's no indication ingame as to how or if that's even possible. Really, it's only ever mentioned in one of the bullet points in the description of the map. It's right in the middle, where it can be missed and/or forgotten, especially if the map is looked at and downloaded in two separate instances like with me. I never failed to convert an enemy and I always executed unwanted Heroes by slapping them as Ghosts really suck and take up living space, so I never found out about it by accident either. It really should be mentioned ingame regardless, as that would have somewhat helped with the grindy experience of the map. By that, I mean it would have removed the one task I had to do while waiting for my creatures to level so I'd be doing nothing instead of doing a repetitive task over and over again with my measly four Imps.

    Another thing that's kind of annoying is that the majority of the army becomes pretty much Bile Demons and Heroes (and an Orc I guess), so I end up not really needing any other creatures. Yet, the Portal keeps making them and I don't want them due to living expenses, as I don't have a gem for a good while. I kept tossing them away for a while until I got tired of doing that and just let them do whatever.

    I will say that, as an example map for the new terrain type, it's decent. I didn't realize what I was supposed to do until I noticed that it was absolutely impossible to engage with Blue, so I began to look for alternatives and stumbled upon the caves. I'm not sure if they're tricky to notice, or if I wasn't paying attention due to being somewhat zoned out and bored by that point. I was pretty much just mining out random areas to find the last Heroes as I had a strong enough army by that point to fight Blue.

    There's not that much more to mention as that kinda sums up the map as a whole. A slow and grindy experience. That's also not all that challenging either. At least, from what I played, because I have yet to finish it and atm have no plans to finish it. I'm not fighting Blue. I know what I have to do, but I'm not going to spend the time to grind him out with as questionable a mechanic as the Barracks while trying to fight Lv10 Dark Mistresses (and archers I guess) who are much more OP than I remember. Nope. I'm out.

    While I don't really like the map that much, I still would rate it better than most user made maps. Although, that's more so to say that most user made maps aren't that good. Dread Mountain looks pretty, I guess, but it certainly does not play well and led to an overall unenjoyable experience for me.

    * * *

    Final Score: 10/10
    This map is absolutely perfect and deserves the most perfect score of 100% success. Do not change a thing because that would imply that there was an imperfection and that something should have been changed, which would indicate that this map is anything less than a perfect score of 10/10, 100%. Would not finish again.



    PS: I noticed that the Demon Spawn would randomly get annoyed, yet for a while I had absolutely no idea why as there's absolutely no indication as to what's bothering him. Eventually I figured out that he was getting upset due to not training. Was the Demon Spawn always like that or was that something that changed in FX? Either way, it's very silly due to the lack of player feedback.

    While I did piece everything together as it happened when I locked the Training Room door, I was only able to do it because I remembered talk about the Demon Spawn getting annoyed due to lack of training (as a possible change I think)
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  3. #13

    Default Re: Dread Mountain

    Thanks for the extensive feedback. I can totally see where you're coming from, like I said I too found the middle bit a bit too boring, I liked this map the least of the ones I shared.

    I totally did not expect people to not get any ghosts though,... converting is made difficult by lack of heal/chickens and I also planted some ghosts to convert so even people that can convert flawlessly would notice it. Indeed the only way to avoid them would be to do what you did, and actively try to avoid ghosts. Having plenty of imps does speed the map up a lot.

    I had hoped it would have worked out better than it did for you, the prison should have been really quick to research as I reduced the research points to almost nothing and two level 3 bile demons that could also have trained before you finished building the dungeon could have gotten you the barracks (and defeat the 5 lvl 1 barbs) and given you some more creatures. After that the plan was for hero parties to spawn that came from the places you needed to go next so you would automatically and quickly proceed, without needing any grinding. Also training all your creatures you'd need a lot of gold, forcing you to quickly proceed by mining gold/gems with the 15-25 imps you'd have, so the intend was the opposite of having you turtle up. Looks like it failed.
    You don't need the barracks for blue though and you won't need to train further. You should have received CTA and blue has just the 8 mistresses and 6 weak creatures. If you rally before the dungeon before attacking your army should be able to crush his even at low level.

    And yes, untrained annoyance from demon spawn has always been a thing. What makes this all the more silly is that you can't make him happy by throwing him in the training room.

  4. #14
    Awakening Game Master Metal Gear Rex's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dread Mountain

    Quote Originally Posted by YourMaster View Post
    I totally did not expect people to not get any ghosts though,... converting is made difficult by lack of heal/chickens and I also planted some ghosts to convert so even people that can convert flawlessly would notice it. Indeed the only way to avoid them would be to do what you did, and actively try to avoid ghosts. Having plenty of imps does speed the map up a lot.
    I found the Ghosts but I think I either killed them before I got a prison, or I just didn't care. I mean they're Ghosts, and very early on in the map, it introduces Mistresses as the primary threat the player is building up to beat. Ghosts are pretty terrible against that, what with their lack of both HP and Armor. If Wizards were introduced as the primary threat, then Ghosts would be better as you don't get a whole lot of Rebound on the Creature side, but then that would be silly as you aren't meant to actually use Ghosts.

    I wouldn't phrase it as actively trying to avoid Ghosts, so much as having absolutely no reason to obtain Ghosts. Enemy Heroes drop gold, and Skeletons are bad as they are killed every so often as I found out, so it's just much easier to slap enemies to death to grab the gold and then done, rather than wait for them to be tortured and return as Ghosts, only to sack them anyways because... Ghosts.

    As far as converting goes... well, I guess I'm actually too good for your map.

    Whenever I got a new batch of prisoners, I always picked who lives and who dies. I convert one by one and make sure there's enough food for a good starting point, then I actively feed them to the point that I get messages about expanding the Hatchery. There's nothing else going on in the map, so it actually is really easy to hand feed. I believe I also multi-tasked with the Imp managing as well, although sometimes my hand got cluttered so that wasn't feasible.

    Quote Originally Posted by YourMaster View Post
    I had hoped it would have worked out better than it did for you, the prison should have been really quick to research as I reduced the research points to almost nothing and two level 3 bile demons that could also have trained before you finished building the dungeon could have gotten you the barracks (and defeat the 5 lvl 1 barbs) and given you some more creatures. After that the plan was for hero parties to spawn that came from the places you needed to go next so you would automatically and quickly proceed, without needing any grinding. Also training all your creatures you'd need a lot of gold, forcing you to quickly proceed by mining gold/gems with the 15-25 imps you'd have, so the intend was the opposite of having you turtle up. Looks like it failed.
    Crap, yeah I actually forgot to mention this, but I saw Hero Parties trying to get to me, but they all got stuck somehow about 2-4 times. I didn't know what to expect, didn't want to venture out and die randomly, so I kept taking it slow. I worked with the resources I had, so I wasn't really punished by taking it slow, but I also didn't want to just charge out everywhere and then load a save if it goes poorly as that cheapens the experience in other ways.

    Quote Originally Posted by YourMaster View Post
    You don't need the barracks for blue though and you won't need to train further. You should have received CTA and blue has just the 8 mistresses and 6 weak creatures. If you rally before the dungeon before attacking your army should be able to crush his even at low level.
    I do believe there's a text message suggesting usage of the Barracks when you capture it, so there's that. I checked for a CtA before I began attacking, but this may have been before I found the hidden path, back when I was luring some Mistresses out the front with their Teleport to try and whittle them down. I noticed what seemed to be a Mistress respawn, as she just popped in Lv10 and made a Lair. So I kinda gave up on that strategy.

    After I found the path, I did try and use the Barracks after having some Imp difficulties, as my Imps were running into the caves and Blue's running into my Barracks and around one of my pillars endlessly. It ended up attracting Mistresses teleporting in somehow and I had a bit of a scuffle before setting out. I remember possessing a Barbarian with Protect on and... my health just vanished.

    Amazingly, I only had one death the entire run, not counting Imps. Just a Warlock who I didn't care about, was only Level 4 when I stopped training him.

    Anyways, isn't there a command to make icons flash? Can't you make CtA flash to draw attention to it if the player is supposed to suddenly have it? It's kinda strange as Players don't have access to it for the entire map until that point and then bam. It's not like it would have made the map any easier, maybe even faster.

    Quote Originally Posted by YourMaster View Post
    And yes, untrained annoyance from demon spawn has always been a thing. What makes this all the more silly is that you can't make him happy by throwing him in the training room.
    Yeah, he just leaves and sulks. Silly game designers.

    Edit:
    I loaded up my save again and sure enough, there's the CtA and Lightning spell, waiting to be researched. It hadn't been researched as my Library was too small. I didn't build any Library, merely used the two Libraries existing on the map already. It researched every other spell perfectly, but was just too small to research the last couple of spells. That's arguably a flaw in and of itself, especially combined with the other points I mentioned.
    Last edited by Metal Gear Rex; October 28th, 2015 at 23:21.
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  5. #15

    Default Re: Dread Mountain

    With the ghosts, I get why you did what you did, I just never considered it. For me it's always the more creatures the better, and the only reason why'd I'd slap a creature to death is either for vampires or because of the portal limit. I would want the ghosts.

    I actually did flash your CTA icon when you could research it, and if you had any ghosts or kept your warlock alive they would also have complained your library was too small.

    And yes, I guess you could take it slow and careful, I should have accounted for that, especially because people have been trained to be punished for not turtling up. I don't like turtling, so I designed everything around being able to rush through the map, you could finish it quite quickly actually. Things you'd accidentally dig into are all beatable (e.g. when you reach the barracks too soon, you can possess the lvl3 bile you got for free and take them all out. I think when you don't have Sight of Evil you shouldn't have to worry about digging around,... but as many maps do just that I can't fault you for being afraid of it.
    What I found boring was just about after opening up the first bit, you get quite some heroes to convert which takes time and digging around taking hatch4-7 while you're already strong enough to take them also isn't much of a challenge. At no point however did I have to wait around for my imps to mine or creatures to train, but I finished the map with my bile demons being around lvl3-6.

    I wanted to push out a map showing of the new tiles, and quickly converted a partial map I still had lying around, and I guess it shows.

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