(2017) - Competitive Scenario Reviews


Join Date: 25 May 2011
Edited 5 January 2018 - 10:26 pm by [MM]Gallas
- A Holy Crusade by [MM]Phleg

Creativity (24/25) - Pick up your relic(s) and bring it to your monastery. Not sounds too special, but this map gives so much twist to this "simple" task, that is unbelievable. A bit like TTF race game, but you not have rounds, just one big task.
Playability (21/25) - Task is simple, shop is clear and easy to figure out what to do, but it's not that quick. You have to make a plan when better forwarding, or just making an allied army, otherwise, prepare to die and run a lot.
Replayability (16/20) - While the idea is fun, the lack of contact with other players makes it feel you just race with a timer, not an actual competing like TTF example. The small randomness and strategy-building with fun gameplay of-course is the major point here.
Balance (12/15) - Everyone can play in his own style, but in long-term it may worth look on others too what they do. Even if you fail at begin, you still can reach the monastery as first, but the good shop-managing is too important. It's maybe not a "step-by-step to win" FFA map, but it requires a bit too much experience from previous games to have a chance to win.
Design (15/15) - Complex triggering without lag, a nice eye-candy full terrain, and the good ideas makes this map so unique. Definitely a great work!
Overall: 88 from 100

- collin defense blood by 09collinsjc

Creativity (19/25) - Do you love/hate being defender/attacker in a TD-like map? Here you do both! This is a great map to mix the hunter/prey TD maps into a competitive game.
Playability (22/25) - You not have to learn too much how to play this map, simply build towers, control your armies and use the shop. Teamwork is essential, but taking roles can make easier, if managing both side of map is too frustrating.
Replayability (18/20) - This map can be fun again and again. Lot of strategy and tactical option is available, but the lag from the huge armies can reduce the joy factor really fast.
Balance (11/15) - Both team have same opportunity, but from a bad begin you hardly can stand up in mid game, which can decide the winner team too early. This map in FMT vs random can be a bit unfair, as the who-what-where-do is really important.
Design (7/15) - While the triggers are fine, the terrain not looks too that great and not a perfect mirrored sides. A bit less gaia objects and better edges could improve on it.
Overall: 77 from 100

- Fate of Middle Earth (Lord of the Rings) by [Beor]_Damrod_

Creativity (12/25) - There is no year without a new LotR map, but sadly, there is not much improvements. While the concept is still great and famous, new ideas are hardly found.
Playability (16/25) - If you are new to the map (or more-like the gene), prepare for the massive clueless. Between the massive amount of armies the key-characters, side-quests and important locations are really hard to find/follow without help or experience. The biggest minus for this kind of maps is the huge game-lag, which nearly makes it unplayable.
Replayability (17/20) - If you like LotR, RP elements, this map style and figured out what to do and what not, definitely can be played again and again. Playing with friends is recommended, while in real competitive way I hardly can imagine it.
Balance (10/15) - It would take lot of matches and analysis to decide how is this map is balanced. The 1k+ army for each players, the special heroes and key-characters and locations makes it hard to follow what is going on, but the table can easily flip by the way as the story goes.
Design (5/15) - There are really few eye-candies, the map is lack of trigger tricks and usage of UserPatch features. I not see uniqueness in this map, while it had potential to be different from the other LotR maps. Maybe in the future we can see a ToME and UP1.5 based one with new ideas.
Overall: 60 from 100

- Gold'n'Roads by [dv8]OrangWuTang

Creativity (20/25) - While the idea is not new, they way it was made is really nice. This map is mixing Risk-gameplay with CS style in a cool snowflake-shaped cliffmaze.
Playability (23/25) - The simple shop-research and unit creating by your respawning (but limited) king is a great idea. Controlling the mining camps are not easy while you have to push your army to deal with an enemy, but really fun.
Replayability (18/20) - Building up a strategic can be made in many different way and with included teamwork it's really addictive.
Balance (14/15) - The civilizations and starting locations are not affect as much as the way you play this map, so it's quite balanced.
Design (11/15) -While it had some bugs with shops, and triggers may a bit overnumbered, the overall look (specially the minimap) is well done. This map has a great potential and I hardly recommend polishing it!
Overall: 86 from 100

- Random Labyrinth by [MM]Zix

Creativity (25/25) - Labyrinth maps were already rare in aoe2, but this one not just do the impossible as being a random labyrinth, but even on some high-level triggering with a great idea what is your purpose on this map!
Playability (24/25) - Really simple what to do, since you can only build few buildings and exploring, capturing relics, avoiding wolves and sniping enemy villagers/towers. It not takes lot of effort to learn how to play, but wining is much harder, as you lose your captured relics if your villagers dies.
Replayability (18/20) - You will never have the same maze again and you may never play the same game with same result. While the randomness is really fun, it have some side-effect too.
Balance (12/15) - Being random not always makes it fair. You may spawn between enemies and you hardly can move/build anywhere and wolves also behind you, but the respawn also random and you can have a new beginning somewhere-else on the map. It need more luck than skill to win, but it not makes it unfair, as you can try rush or being less offensive and building up your safe-corner.
Design (13/15) - The map-design alone not looks that special (and not have to), but you can improve it by the data-mod version. The more than 10.000 triggers behind this map are simple incredible, and makes it one of the best I have ever seen.
Overall: 92 from 100

- RM 1v1 and RM 2v2 by aaRmaN

Creativity (1/25) - A TC, some villagers with sheep, houses and a gated wall. The map tries to mimic the Arena random map with extra water for separating, but with a lot of (but far away) resources. And that's all.
Playability (10/25) - Simple, rm gameplay with some defense from rushes. Resources too far for a good begin and quite boring compared to real random maps.
Replayability (5/20) - You may can try with different strategies and civilizations, but the map not provides any extra gameplay-experience in a new match.
Balance (13/15) - A fair mirrored start for players, but that's all. Only strategies and civ have effect on it.
Design (1/15) - No story, no triggers, no eye-candies, kinda nothing just a flat land.
Overall: 30 from 100

- Roulette Blood by +[MM]jason

Creativity (22/25) - A CB-RCB-CBA-RTD mix cannot be wrong, right?
Playability (25/25) - Gameplay is similar to any other CB maps, but the randomness for your units (and for your enemy, if you want) gives a lot of option to play it. Use wisely your shop.
Replayability (19/20) - If you are adaptive and good at improvising, then this map is a great chose to play it over and over again.
Balance (13/15) - You and your enemy can have the same or a counter unit. The randomness both fair and unfair at same time, but luckily you can panic-switch if need.
Design (14/15) - At the first sight, the map is a simple blood map with some random tricks, but the way as the Userpatch1.5 was used is revolutionizing. Example the new building anti-delete system, weathers or the civilization music-themes. This map is good example what is the next-gen CB map should be.
Overall: 93 from 100

- Tale of Years by Icey

Creativity (13/25) - An other LotR scenario, with minimal changes. Sidequests are explained well on the map's page with other useful informations, which is a good help for beginners.
Playability (17/25) - The extra kill rewarding and civ bonuses gives some extras compared to other LotR scenarios, but rest of the gameplay-experience is similar with all positive and negative effects.
Replayability (17/20) - If you are into the LotR, the RP maps and like the huge battles between thousands of units and can deal with the lag, then you will enjoy this map.
Balance (10/15) - As with the other LotR map, deceding how it's balanced is quite hard and take lot of effort to give fair score to it.
Design (6/15) - The map overall looks more clear compared to the other one ( bit like europe maps), and a bit better trigger usage, but still lack of uniqueness and possibilities.
Overall: 63 from 100

- The Pinnacle of Stupidity! by [MM]Gwayle

Creativity (21/25) - Compared to other hunter/prey games, this one not looks like others, and this small-map idea is a good and fun choose with this fast villager running/buildspeed. Sadly it's still yell how the making was rushed and unfinished.
Playability (18/25) - While it's quite simple who what do, both preys and hunters lack of options of choices, and not because of the size of the map, but simply too few ways to play.
Replayability (15/20) - After few tries, no mater how the map ends, you will feel: this is good, just something is missing. The idea is good and while hardly could imagine this in competitive way, with friends it's a recommended mini-map.
Balance (8/15) - The lack of options, hunter chooser, settings, difficults and other missing elements makes it really static how this map is going. While there is no general imbalance, overall it had more potential.
Design (8/15) - The base idea is good, but the map is undone. With some fixing on triggers and polishing on details, it could be far better.
Overall: 70 from 100

- Zotten Blood by ['RB']Dan

Creativity (5/25) - 99999 res scenarios are not new and maybe only the map layout shows something new.
Playability (19/25) - The lack of space, the pressure and the many viable strategies gives joy to this map, but kinda that's all.
Replayability (14/20) - If you like the pressure during the early gameplay and just want to mass your army/buildings on few tiles wide lands, this is a great map for you to try, even if you can many other similar.
Balance (13/15) - There isn't any major balance problem regardless of starting location from enemies and civilizations.
Design (4/15) - While the terrain looks nice, there is nothing special in the design.
Overall: 55 from 100
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Join Date: 8 August 2010
Edited 14 February 2018 - 5:42 pm by [MM]Gallas
Zotten Blood - by Dan
  • Creativity 15/25 - Deathmatch alike slaughter-fest with not too many options and with less depth than its predecessor Lustful Encounters, however, still offering quite interesting gameplay due to the interesting layout of the bases and fighting area. Knowning that the Ice area was meant to be blocking all ships it is unfortunate that the initial thought was not finalized by cramming them into the small coastal area. Eventhough, there are no triggers, I suppose the minigame and quick pace or short duration of the game should cover the need for them.
  • Playability 20/25 - As there is not too much space to build the confusion from varied options is not present, a general idea should be easy enough for anyone to understand what to do and how to play. However, I did witness with my very own eyes how the farm type terrain made a few players think that they have to make a Mill and farm food as quick and much as possible. Previous knowledge what buildings to place where and at what point is crucial in this scenario, therefore a massive disadvantage there can be for newcomers, if for some reason they expect something else.
  • Replayability 15/20 - I feel like there is a lot of potential in this type of scenarios, as it challenges the player to test varied start build orders and strategies. Since it can be played for a competitive purpose there is no lack of quality for the scenario other than a person's view on genres and what they like more. (Loss of points due to being able to hide ships in the corner of the map and therefore having the option to be a complete nuisance.)
  • Balance 15/15 - Since each player has identical starting position and due to the small nature of the fighting area it is very hard to gain an upper hand. It would require great macro, micro and wit to outmatch the opponents.
  • Design 15/15 - It is a very interesting design allowing many crazy plays and situations to end up with due to the small nature of bases.
  • Total points - 80/100

The Pinnacle of Stupidity - by Gwayle
  • Creativity 20/25 - A very interesting outcome for an Hunter vs Prey scenario, resembling to PTO, however not really given a chance to build a base as the game is supposed to be short and treated as a minigame. Fast building and fast movement contribute to the gimmicky scene, also the limit on military units forces the game to be slightly different, as there is not an endless wave of monsters heading your way.
  • Playability 20/25 - It is not too hard to figure out what each role is meant to do, but it would have been more helpful to disable all buildings except the ones required for the fairies, also highlighting the area where enemies come from could have been more helpful. For the necromancers, some people had slight problem understanding where are their units and why are they stuck, eventhough the Old Stone Heads were not actually obstructing anything.
  • Replayablity 15/20 - Since it should be treated as a minigame, there is no reason to play it all the time, but every once in awhile with friends to have a good laugh. In the end, the scenario will start lacking its magic after many many games, if not played with friends, as playing with unknowns potentially just creates a stiff competitive environment in this type of scenario, which really is the opposite of what the scenario aims to do. Too much good is never good!
  • Balance 10/15 - The scenario seems relatively balanced altogether, but definitely an effort needs to be made by the players themselves to pick the suitable hunters and defenders each time, otherwise it may feel too one sided.
  • Design 10/15 - Since it is a minigame and did not take much effort to make at all, there should have been a time to consider adding some easter eggs just to enhance the fun and gimmicky experience, in other words, there could have been a little bit more of something.
  • Total points - 75/100

Fate of Middle Earth - by Damrod
  • Creativity 23/25 - Playing the events in the Lord of the Rings with a slightly different manner than in older scenarios, as it cuts out a lot of the northern areas that did not have a part in the wars to come. A lot of kill oriented bonuses that force the player to look after his units with much more care than before and in the same time offering a lot of good bonuses for claiming map control. However, some bonuses seem rather impossible to achieve or can be considered useless.
  • Playability 19/25 - For a newcomer generally frightening experience to control hordes of units with different stats and not knowing what do to with them only to then realize you have to find specific important units at some random location on the map, also having to learn about all the quests and bonuses can be overwhelming. However, if to strip the unnecessary complexities and focus only the core part of the genre, which is to have an epic battle it should be quite understandable how to achieve it.
  • Replayability 19/20 - If you tolerate lag, I see no reason why you should not play again. Offering a lot of interesting situations and strategies. Very satisfying in terms of achievements when getting a full surround on two or more archer packs. Split bases force teams to try out different things almost every game.
  • Balance 12/15 - Eventhough each faction is different and the starting conditions are not equal, with a little bit of teamwork it swings back to balance. Although, all bonuses seem nice and good, then gaining a lot of them early one can be devastating for the opponents, as suddenly a lot of very good units appear from nowhere. Generally the strategies used define how balanced the game has potential to be. That being said, the game relies on uniting the teams, as both teams start kind of split off from one another, the evil more from eachother than the good, that can become a crucial factor determining win or loss.
  • Design 13/15 - A lot of the scenario is not true to geographics of the Middle Earth, moreover, a lot of the areas are oversized or plain wrong, though this all contributes to the gameplay and tries to enhance it. A lot of effort has been put into equalizing knowledge differences by making a huge section of information that is pretty easy to overview and has different areas for different things. Also, quests and bonuses are also mostly easy to understand on the map itself. Huge block bases ruin aesthetics, but also make overviewing easier and handling all that mess of an army.
  • Total points - 86/100

Tale of Years - by Icey
  • Creativity 24/25 - The fall of Numenor told in a different manner than before in Rings of Power by splitting it up to corrupted and the faithful side. Supported by the standard quests of older LotR scenarios, but improved by being able to pick between three different win conditions, a king store from kills and a very unique civilization based starting bonus for each possible civilization.
  • Playability 20/25 - The start of the match defines heavily what is do be done in it and makes it easier to understand what are the most important goals for the game. The store is fairly easy to understand to use, enough information is given for each player about their options and is not as terrifying as some other stores in other scenarios. The differing civilization bonuses can be a confusing factor in each game, since they can affect all units and buildings every start of the game is different, thus understanding what unit is strong and which is weak gets a bit more complex than in regular LotR scenarios.
  • Replayability 20/20 - If you tolerate lag, I see no reason why you should not play again. Offering a lot of interesting situations and strategies. Very satisfying in terms of achievements when getting a full surround on two or more archer packs. Different options for win conditions allow more interesting combinations.
  • Balance 12/15 - The scenario is a 3v4 and instantly gives an advantage to the team of good with 8 eyes versus the team of evil with 6 eyes. In an attempt to balance it out very clever and nice additions have been made, not just giving evil team more stuff, but dividing up the bases in a way that more fronts are created for the good team, meaning those extra pair of eyes need to pay more attention on different pathways the enemy can come from.
  • Design 8/15 - Hugely oversized rivers ruin the general image and certain areas of the map where something should be is just replaced with an ocean. Eventhough, I understand that this allows for more impact for navy and transports, but the main battle happens on land, there is no reason to be so excessive. (Loss of points due to butchered terrain.)
  • Total points - 84/100

RM 1v1/RM 2v2 - by aaRmaN
  • Creativity 10/25 - A streamlined pathway warfare with the standard economy booming situations, though with the excess of resources. No utilization of water at all. Since key areas were made there should have been more variety. Plain and simple!
  • Playability 20/25 - Seems pretty easy to comperhend what is going on and what will happen. Playing on Normal visibility as per RM game hinders starting for the first time, especially with the usage of AI as they are not likely to find their resources, because no vision is given.
  • Replayability 10/20 - Once you have played it a few times, there is not much to offer, perhaps during a longer editing phase, if more stuff were to be added, it would invite you back to try the new things and changes. Seems only replayable among friends.
  • Balance 15/15 - Symmetrical bases at a glance, only balance changing factor seems to be what civilization a player picks, put that is not related to the scenario balance itself I feel like.
  • Design 5/15 - Not really many interesting aspects for the design or terrain, simple and functional. Each area could have been defined better and resources distances placed further apart for TCs to fit in.
  • Total points - 60/100

Random Labyrinth - by _Zix
  • Creativity 20/25 - The idea for the scenario with its execution is pretty unique, as it generates a new maze each time scenario when replayed will feel different. However, since random generation was used in the first place it is awkward to see that after witnessing randomized maze and a randomized spawn pattern, but no maze changing effect during the game itself. It would result in more interesting situations in the game.
  • Playability 22/25 - When first playing this the goal for the scenario seems understandable enough to get into it and capture those ten Relic Carts. What may be confusing is the fact players have one Villager and get attacked by wolves at the very start, making them panic and wanting to escape or somehow survive, because the do not know they are allowed to lose the Villager.
  • Replayability 15/20 - You could play this as challenge between people and competitively, but eventhough the maze changes and offers a new situation to be in there is nothing much else in the scenario to draw you back to it other than the small 4X-style feeling.
  • Balance 10/15 - The general feeling between balance seems okay, but there are a few hurtful aspects, such as the Stone Wall, which can completely ****-block you literally for the rest of the game, and corner seems to be king in this, having to be in the middle will force you on a sphere perimeter that has the option to capture the least land, being squashed against a side will give half of sphere perimeter with the medium amount of land and happening to build your base from a corner gives you a quarter of sphere in perimeter making it the easiest point to hold or where to attack from.
  • Design 20/15 - Nice. Bonus points for the usage of a modification. Nice, especially with the modification.
  • Total points - 87/100

Roulette Blood - by Jizzy
  • Creativity 23/25 - Enhancing the Blood style scenarios with a randomized unit spawns it follows on the steps of Random Castle Blood and Roll The Dice. Neatly keeping the Blood-esque feel with a slightly different spell store than usual and a modified middle power. Eventhough kills do not straight up give you a better unit, they do however, unlock new units for the randomizer to pick from and thus indirectly still maintaining its purpose.
  • Playability 20/25 - A lot of it is straightforward, but there are a few hurt points. For example, many will not understand the importance of the starting king, that it should be saved and before 30 seconds you should use your trade cart to buy yourself a starting unit, as the king is a lot more valuable than spending 2000 food. Also, not being able to delete your foundations may hurt a player's descisions and game plan.
  • Replayablity 18/20 - As the scenario is unique and the random chance causes temptation in the player there is a strong desire for anyone to replay and get lucky, unless of course, the Blood genre is a no go.
  • Balance 14/15 - Keeping in mind the upcoming update, I will not deduct points for being able to get strong units since the start. The general flow is well enough balanced and the increased armour of buildings helps to not instantly get murdered due to a rush. Also, the resource efficiency and work rate increases do not harm at all. Only problematic situation in my mind is retaking the middle after one team has occupied it with multiple towers, perhaps there should be an option to blow middle as per other Bloods?
  • Design 14/15 - The aesthetics are suitable for a Blood scenario and no faults can be spotted really. Though, it is questionable whether the front of the wonder should be attackable, as the player who owns it cannot defend there at melee range, due to his units being tasked off the spawn point, meanwhile the enemy seems to be able to easily block it and stay there. Regarding the weather environment, it could be considered as an aesthetic effect or just a noisy filler on the screen, I am not adding or deducting points for it, as it can feel both ways.
  • Total points - 89/100. ;king

Gold'n'Roads - by KoolSavas
  • Creativity 22/25 - Seemingly being a Risk scenario, but not quite, as everyone start in the same conditions and to capture new points you actually have to use a resource, therefore each purchase is also an investment that is supposed to lead your strategy to a win. Mainly focusing on time, gold and map control the map offers a different kind of gameplay. A really interesting addition is that when losing your base you actually do not instantly die, but also have to lose your kings that are used to capture new areas. Loss of points due to not having that many unit options to spawn, as game progresses you upgrade them to a better one, but it still feels like a bit lacking.
  • Playability 22/25 - Generally understandable in terms of what to do and how to achieve it, though some hints appear to be misleading. Progressing through ages with careful gold investments the scenario allows for lengthy and balanced matches.
  • Replayabilty 15/20 - Due to the huge distances between points it can be difficult to overwhelm your opponent and therefore the game is prolonged or even halted into a grind where no player has a distinguished upper hand.
  • Balance 13/15 - Somewhat questionable starting units for each civilization, eventhough kills do not matter as no reward is given. Certain civilizations will have their bonus units excel in the early game and also be formidable in the late game, others nowhere near with the level of competitiveness. With the limit of 100 population, it is not easy to get a strong advantage over others.
  • Design 12/15 - With the creation of snaky long chokepoints it is hard to attack, therefore agression is not as beneficial. Also, the spawn kings are targeted as they are too close to the fighting area, therefore causing annoying distractions to ranged units.
  • Total points - 84/100

A Holy Crusade - by Phleg
  • Creativity 25/25 - Aye, 'tis a racing game, but not the likes anyone has really seen before.
  • Playability 25/25 - The game follows a simple trend of converting and killing units, each area is built from a template and is almost similar, albeit more challenging than the previous. Enough information is given how to use the store and unlock new areas, as there are not too many aspects to the scenario it cannot be too complicated in the first place.
  • Replayability 10/20 - As there is no way to interfere with other player you are mainly racing against time, and once the ultimate record has been set, there is no real reason to play it ever again, unless someone happens to beat your record. Also, the fact that the scenario has a relatively slow pace and start, accordingly, every game will be lengthy and not many people are drawn back due to it. I feel like a few more upgrades should be given at the start for the Monk to be able to handle complete one game in a shorter time span that would be more appropriate for a competitive scenario.
  • Balance 15/15 - Every person is thrown into an identical situation, therefore only player-made descisions can put themselves in an advantage or a disadvantage. There is small amount of randomization, but that should not determine anything in my opinion.
  • Design 15/15 - A very attractive design and rich in aesthetics for a scenario in the racing genre, interesting usage of off-grid placement to get cool looking scenary. Neat usage of UP triggers and generally everything seems fine, clever work with palisade walls.
  • Total points - 90/100. ;king

Collins Defence Blood - by 09collinsjc
  • Creativity 15/25 - A plain defence scenario with an additional store to defend and attack. No real interesting attack paths or defending positions, terrain should have been used to make waves more interesting.
  • Playability 20/25 - With a simple goal of defending the middle at all costs and destroying the middle for the enemy team. The store and its upgrades need a little time to get knowledgable of, but building towers for defence should not be too overwhelming task.
  • Replayabilty 15/20 - A grinding challenge between teams that can take a very long time to end, depending on the length to lose or win shapes the desire to play again or not.
    Balance 15/15 - Some of the store upgrades seem questionable in terms of balancing, either undervalued or overprices, but it should not be too much of an impact on the game. Small imbalances with Random civilization.
  • Design 8/15 - The aesthetics are empty, seemingly identical bases, but not entirely sure, if that is true due to the strange peninsulas and branches. I am not sure, if the Task Object should be replaced with Patrol, because currently the units will brainlessly run into the middle without putting up too much of a fight outside. This allows to make corridors of towers that never potentially face their demise. (Patrol may increase lag though)
  • Total points - 73/100.
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Join Date: 24 June 2007
Edited 14 February 2018 - 2:35 pm by Icey

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Join Date: 5 September 2007
Posted 8 January 2018 - 11:51 pm
Icey wrote:
I feel like Collins Defense is a rip off of Starship Troopers map and should really not be rated higher than my map..

My map is completely original and I have created hundreds of triggers from scratch with the help of trigger studio. No part of my map was copied from another scenario. While the design and concept was inspired from td / defense / king resource based/ bloods/ unit spawning maps, it is entirely my creation from each part of the terrain to each trigger and created from nothing.
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Join Date: 4 July 2007
Edited 13 February 2018 - 11:07 am by [MM]_krmyth9
2017 Scenario Design Contest COMPETITIVE REVIEWS
Thank you to all who participated in the 2nd Scenario Design Contest!! My reviews are as follows. If you have any questions about the way I scored your project, please reach out to me. I am also pretty active in the Custom Scenario lobby too. I have also provided a guide on what I am looking for as I rate each aspect of each scenario, which you can find right below:

Creativity (25)
Is the map an original idea or merely a carbon copy of a previously well-known map? Are there randomizers and/or multiple strategies that can be executed? IF it does bear a resemblance to other maps, are there plenty of elements that make it stand out anyways?
Playability (25)
Is it as bug free as possible? Does the map crash upon certain conditions? Does the scenario flow smoothly or is there often a lot of lag? Is it easy enough to understand what to do for new players?
Replayability (20)
Are enough players going to be wanting to play the map over and over to where it has potential to be established as a classic? Are there elements to the maps to where players will want to come back for and attempt to master?
Balance (15)
Do all players have as equal of a chance of winning as possible? If it’s a team game, do each teams get the fair and relatively same opportunities? Are there certain player slots to where you can easily take an unfair advantage compared to others?
Design (15)
Is the map design symmetrical and even enough while simultaneously providing elements that beautify it? Does it actually look like some time and thought were put into it, or was terrain lazily slopped on? Are there additions to the map design that are uncommon or original ideas that compliment the scenario?
Additional Comments:

Total Score: (100)


Creativity (23/25)
The idea of this scenario is innovative, fresh, and fun! Though it still bears a resemblance to Risk (as the creator states), it brings new methods to the table.

Playability (9/25)
Unfortunately the map takes a hard fall here, as many many bugs were unearthed. I had to reach out to the creator for more clarity on how to win, how to make it playable, and how to capture other bases. If this scenario does not have a full load of 8 players, it is nearly unprogress-able. To further hurt the playability is the fact that the instructions/hints/scouts feature very little on what to do, which aids the lack of clarity. After I tried it on single player with 8 computers, things flowed more smoothly even though a smaller handful of bugs were found: The more bases you captured, the more military units got detected in the stores which meant that you could have less out in the field. I was lucky to have had the middle castle captured so I spammed my unique unit instead.

Replayability (11/20)
Without the bugs, this map has a great potential to become fun and addictive and could even enter a routine league with the right crowd. Unfortunately it has bugs, which damages the Replayability in addition to the Playability.

Balance (13/15)
All starting bases hold the same features. The only imbalance would be in civs, but the maker implemented specialties for each of the 18 civs.

Design (13/15)
Though not featuring much eye candy, the symmetrical and even layout compliments the scenario nicely.

Additional Comments:
I would have liked to have scored this creative project higher, as I love the idea of this competitive map. With the proper fixes applied, it could really make a solid launch in the community. I hope you will be able to fix the issues with it.

Total Score: (****/100)


Creativity (18/25)
LOTR maps themselves are somewhat creative versus maps compared to the others played in AoE, but as for this one being any more creative than its predecessors… not so much. The side quests, incentive to block your opponents from fulfilling their side quests, strategizing which lands you own to prioritize and which others to give up are all fine and good.

Playability (11/25)
One ugly word: lag. With literally thousands of units crammed onto the map, it slows the flow of the game. Though LOTR maps have their certain perks, it would be extremely confusing for the new players to try to get into it, as it’s overstuffed with side missions for each player, and while you’re constantly hunting around the map to figure out where to send your heroes to for bonuses, or figure out which enemy forts would be more convenient for you to take, the more knowledgeable enemy has already slammed down your front door and stormed the key components of your base. Even explaining to the newbies how to win will be difficult, as my testers repeatedly expressed how they had no idea what to do.

Replayability (16/20)
As long as players don’t storm out for having no clue of what to do and actually develop or hold a preexisting fondness for the LOTR world (like me), or don’t mind attempting to master a large pop map, it can be addicting on a few more tries, as LOTR maps sometimes are for me. Lots of dedication would be required, as you would have to study this map like a college course.

Balance (8/15)
At least this one is 4v4, but doesn’t deduct the issue that not only do players not have the symmetrical or fair starting positions (lot of bases crammed right next to their enemies), but completely different combat heroes and armies, and LOTR games always revolve around ranged units. I would have liked to have seen a LOTR map where it’s not revolving around the ranged units, as you can add lots of armor to certain groups nowadays and influence the strategy more effectively.

Design (12/15)
If you are able to look past the color spams on the map and mini-map, you can see that the creator put in some care and detail. It somewhat resembles the LOTR universe and to the movies, though there isn’t much eye candy to be found. The chart in the top corner was a smart idea on organizing victory and side quests.

Additional Comments:
It is fun stepping into a LOTR map into the AoE world, but a lot needs to be carefully manufactured in order to really make it work. Comparing it to other LOTR maps, there isn’t much that makes it stand out and memorable.

Total Score: (65/100)


Creativity (21/25)
This map gives fresh ideas to it, though it takes after Fast Vills TD a bit, but on a mini level. As far as Hunter/Prey maps go, this one is a bit of a standout.

Playability (20/25)
So long as players understand the way hunter/prey maps go, it’s easy to pick up. Pretty much lag free, which is always nice. The constant and often unpredictable speed up and slow down of your villager gets a bit frustrating. No bugs detected.

Replayability (16/20)
Pinnacle easily has potential for players to want to replay and try new strategies. However, being such a mini game and map, they would likely get bored after a while and want to find a new hunter/prey map to enjoy.

Balance (6/15)
It’s hard to find any hunter/prey map that you can really call balanced. For the prey, effective and nearly flawless teamwork is a must, which is usually rare to find. Further, finding a hunter who won’t be weak and get frustrated to the point of quitting early, or too skilled and end the map in fifteen minutes flat… everything has to work out perfectly for this map to really flow as the creator had meant for it to.

Design (6/15)
Super small and basic. One that players can get way too familiarized with allowing for little creativity in forming their bases, or where hunters strategize attacking first.

Additional Comments:
I like the execution of the mini hunter/prey idea. It may be considered a little too mini but it’s a shorter map that even has a storyline! Most players seem to enjoy less time consuming maps, so this could be a fit for some.

Total Score: (****/100)


Creativity (20/25)
Though it has been done before, tower/unit defense versus maps are always fun to explore and learn. It’s a mix of hunter/prey for both sides as well as TD. A versus, rather than just a coop, makes things a bit more fun and interesting.
Playability (14/25)
It starts off fine and gentle, as both teams are given a decent amount of time to prepare their defenses and strategize. However, as the game progresses it begins to lag more and more as attacking units flood out uncontrollably and with delay as they are tasked to the wonder. And speaking of uncontrollable, the units are all tasked to the center of the enemy base when flooded out; not only are they extremely difficult to control and task into the enemy buildings you want to hit, but a patrol effect (or something of the sort that makes it more clean) would be much more helpful.
Replayability (16/20)
It has some potential to draw the tower/unit defense crowd into going round after round on it if they are able to tolerate the lag and difficulty in unit tasking.
Balance (13/15)
Both teams are given the same attacking units, defense, and store options. Each teams’ bases hold the same features and starting units and tools.
Design (13/15)
For a competitive map, it was designed suitably. Needs more to beautify it though.

Additional Comments:
It’s fun to try out. I don’t think I’d make a habit of playing it but it would be enjoyable enough to dip into once in a while.

Total Score: (76/100)


Creativity (17/25)
Another LOTR map that rings a scoop of creativity when compared to other versus maps. Like the other LOTR entrant, as for it being any more creative than its predecessors… not much to note. It also has the side quests (not as much but a fair enough amount to keep players entertained), and that same incentive to strategize on your opponents.

Playability (10/25)
Like most LOTR maps, the lag from the overhaul of units really dents the ability to enjoy it. I start off with roughly 1600 units in a seven player game. It’s another LOTR map where only the seasoned veterans understand what is going on and the new players are very confused. Though the instructions give players an idea of where to do, their experienced opponents are likely to slaughter half of their forts before they decide on what to do, or get frustrated and quit, like how some of my testers did.

Replayability (16/20)
For the noobs who aren’t too discouraged or fed up with the lag, this can draw in recruits. Give them a lot of timing and patience, and veterans who are willing to teach and a map like this can enlarge the LOTR AoE crowd.

Balance (7/15)
It’s four on three, with a different array of units and bases, and uneven positioning. It has the typical “ranged units are the key” LOTR orientation. LOTR mapmakers should really be putting in priority to changing that and providing counter armor to a lot of units, like Uruk-Hai.

Design (13/15)
As far as LOTR maps go, it’s not terribly bunched up and overstuffed. Each player has a little more breathing room than the predecessor maps.

Additional Comments:
Another LOTR map that needs features or a format to make it stand out from the rest, though they are still enjoyable to try and attempt to master.

Total Score: (63/100)


Creativity (1/25)
Nothing is standing out on this map. It’s dull and looks like it was done in less than five minutes.

Playability (9/25)
At least it has no lag or confusion on what to do, as it has zero triggers and players would quickly figure out that it’s like a normal RM game. However, the trees are very far away and the creator didn’t even bother to put in shallow water on the shorelines for docks to be made. And there are absolutely NO fish.

Replayability (1/20)
These maps hold no features that will draw back RM’ers to try it over and over. They would gladly prefer Green Arabia of Black Forest instead.

Balance (10/15)
It’s symmetrical enough and players have the same starting tools. Nothing more to really be said.

Design (2/15)
No triggers, nothing to beautify the design, and it looks like it took maybe three minutes to do the map design.

Additional Comments:
These two projects clearly have little thought or effort put into them. Also, making a Custom Scenario Random Map and expecting it to become popular is an uphill battle and needs a tremendously larger amount of effort, design, and creativity.

Total Score: (23/100)


Creativity (23/25)
A short versus map, with elements that will hook the players. Randomizers towards the players and the map itself are always a huge factor when introducing a new versus map that a creator will hope the players will enjoy!

Playability (21/25)
No lag, no bugs. Players may occasionally find themselves respawning in a spot where they get stuck, in which they can delete their villager and start over in a new spot, and also risk respawning in enemy fire. Other than that, it is very simple to pick up (as long as you read the instructions or the starting chat) and to strategize.

Replayability (18/20)
It’s short and simple and would more than likely take a long time to wear out players, as my testers went on to have rematches after I initially recruited them to help me. I myself found it fun to rehost over and over.

Balance (11/15)
Randomization is great, but can place a slight dent in the balance as starting positions will never be 100% “fair”, but the fact the everyone has an equal chance of being in a good or bad spot is a way of balance itself. The relic carts you need to capture are also constantly randomized, and the same argument applies to that aspect as the starting and respawning positions.

Design (15/15)
The only entrant with a randomized map design! With the mod (which makes the map look prettier), it’s a nice feature that stands out and has you never know what to expect, or where you will start.

Additional Comments:
Overall a very innovative, addicting, and enjoyable versus scenario. It holds a strong potential to be featured in leagues and for recreational play. First seeing and playing this actually reminded me a bit of the Rambit and Impeached days where a new map and idea was brought to the table.

Total Score: (88/100)


Creativity (24/25)
A very unique and unreal monk racing map with a level up system and variety of strategies you can take to attempt to cross the finish line first; very fine innovation.

Playability (23/25)
Easy to pick up and learn, as a brief and mandatory starting tutorial is at the start of the game. It might be confusing for the noobs, as it was for two of my newbie testers, but with a pinch of dedication and willingness to learn, it’s easy to master. It mainly takes patience and a somewhat well drawn balance between accumulating gold from holding the relic, timing on converting units, and spending the wiser upgrades.

Replayability (14/20)
This is a scenario that is easily capable of corralling a group of CS players to routinely enjoy. As enjoyable of a race that it is, it is also a very long one that many may not be in the mood for making a habit of playing.

Balance (15/15)
No unfair advantages or disadvantages were detected, as each player has the same exact starting positions, same exact areas they must bypass, and same upgrade options and starting stats (provided that everyone picks the Aztecs). The line race column methods are even more notable for balance than the average versus map.

Design (14/15)
Loaded up with eye candy in each area, as each level was carefully thought out and given attention to detail. The map design is the exact same for all players in the column race.

Additional Comments:
An enjoyable race with loads of time, effort, and detail clearly installed into it. It may not be prime for the noobs who prefer the thinkless maps, but for anyone else it is definitely worth a visit.

Total Score: (90/100)


Creativity (1/25)
A more appropriate title for this map would be “Lustful Encounters Remake”. It’s the same exact thing with a little more initial starting room. There are zero triggers to this map and it doesn’t seem at all like there was much thought put into it.

Playability (22/25)
Not laggy, easy to pick up, short, and lacking bugs (as there are no triggers).

Replayability (16/20)
If players manage to prefer this over Lustful, it’ll be addicting enough to enjoy and play over and over. Like Lustful, a handful of players who stuck with this map will want to rematch again and again.

Balance (11/15)
Same starting units and a fair and decent starting area for all eight players, though the corner spots are more likely to exercise an advantage.

Design (7/15)
Though the design doesn’t have anything pretty or unique about it and looks like it took a mere five minutes to do, but it is at least symmetrical and clean.

Additional Comments:
It is capable of picking up and being enjoyable even though there is a clear lack of effort and content.

Total Score: (57/100)


Creativity (23/25)
A sincere deal of randomized competitive scenario play always keeps the game fresh and exciting. While most competitive maps give a set path of units and level ups, or set units dependent upon civs, this one is entirely reflective upon chance, similar to Roll the Dice but with much to contrast.

Playability (24/25)
Free of lag, errors, and bugs for as far as I have tested. Pretty noob friendly, though not to the heightened extent of CBA. With a look at the instructions and starting texts, players should easily be able to figure out what to do. This scenario holds a strong chance of gaining popularity as bits of it resemble a CBA layout and format, but still holds its own touch.

Replayability (18/20)
This map calls out the gamblers in CS players and gets addicting after learning the ropes. The only users it would scare out are the ones that don’t like randomized play.

Balance (13/15)
No unfair advantage is given to any spot, as each player has the same exact starting tools, minus the randomized stuff. The randomization argument applies here, as each player hold an equal chance of receiving an upper or lower hand.

Design (12/15)
Organized and clean cut. I would prefer a pinch of eye candy, but it is sufficient for a versus map.

Additional Comments:
A fresh and original idea with a good potential of gaining popularity. With the large load of possibilities, it’ll hold the crowd’s interest and excitement for some time if it takes off.

Total Score: (90/100)
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Join Date: 24 June 2007
Posted 14 February 2018 - 2:34 pm
I don't even know why I bother with this when the judges know nothing of lotr

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