Staredit Network > Forums > SC1 Map Showcase > Topic: [Campaign] Vanguard of Aiur
[Campaign] Vanguard of Aiur
Aug 30 2021, 7:00 pm
By: Omen  

Aug 30 2021, 7:00 pm Omen Post #1



Hello there!

After "Unlikely Allies" (for which I thank you all for the feedback I received), I'm here to show you my second campaign creation:



THE STORY

This campaign takes place in the same timeline of the Brood War Protoss campaign, more precisely between Mission 2 ("Dunes of Shakuras") and Mission 7 ("The Insurgent"). With the inhabitants of Aiur almost fully evacuated on Shakuras, Jim Raynor, Fenix and a group of Protoss volunteers offer to stay there to hold off the Zerg while the Warp gate connecting the two worlds is being closed. But some Khalai survivors left behind and the reappearance of Raynor's Terran soldiers are going to make things more complicated...

FEATURES

- Brood War expansion set is required to play (all the campaign maps are in the *.scx format);
- The campaign is made of seven missions of variable difficulty and is mainly Protoss based (with little Terran technology, thanks to the presence of Jim Raynor and his Raiders);
- Special AI scripts (also from the original campaign missions) are used to give the Computer players a more specific behavior.

DESIGNER'S NOTES

In fact, this campaign is meant to tell a parallel story to the official Protoss campaign, following Raynor and Fenix's 'adventures' while the other Protoss on Shakuras fight the Renegade Zerg and make a temporary alliance with Kerrigan.
"Vanguard of Aiur" can be seen as a prequel to "Unlikely Allies" but, in truth, the two campaigns can also be played independently from each other.

Attached there are some preview screenshots from the campaign gameplay and the ZIP archive containing the maps and a 'readme' file with some more information.
I'm looking forward to receive some feedback after you have tried to play the missions.
Enjoy!



PS If you missed "Unlikely Allies", you can find it here.

Attachments:
Vanguard_of_Aiur_v0.6.zip
Hits: 4 Size: 4029.7kb

Post has been edited 20 time(s), last time on Oct 17 2021, 12:14 pm by Omen.



None.

Aug 31 2021, 12:30 am Rawflesh0615 Post #2



New Campaign, nice!



None.

Aug 31 2021, 8:17 am Nekron Post #3



Looks pretty good :)




Aug 31 2021, 10:30 am Excalibur Post #4

The sword and the faith

Played the first couple of missions and then skimmed the rest once I got the overall tone of things.

Dislikes:
-Pauses / timing of briefings and transmissions is too long. If we were talking about people with a 3rd grade reading level being the primary players for this the pauses/timing makes sense, but otherwise its just too long and you sit there going 'OK I read it, move on already.'

-Dialogue is primitive and lacks proper tone for characters at times. When you're writing for a Protoss character, especially an established one like Artanis, you should be phrasing things the way he would say them.

-Missions are pretty simplistic without much variation in objectives or interesting variables.

-Some design choices were I felt a bit silly. Being on islands on mission 2 and having to drop units into the valley. The terrain around the warp gate / its location changing was silly. They weren't picking it up and moving it around. You should embrace the idea of a shifting battlefield where the next map incorporates part of the previous one but also takes on new areas.

-Improperly placed HQ to resource distance. I will die on this hill. It is 10000% possible and 20000% superior to place minerals creatively but also optimally for resource gathering. Same goes for geysers. No one should be making campaigns in 2021 with improperly distanced resources. Fight me. Also if you were not aware geyser placement changes how fast workers are able to mine it.


Likes:
-Terrain was pretty good, decent doodading.

-Missions were decent overall, resource amounts were OK.

-Use of tilesets was done effectively and with formations that made sense.

-Does an OK job of existing in the niche of the overall story it sets out to exist in.

Bugs:
-Broken broodling spawner in mission 1. Even with the nydus gone they just keep going.





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Aug 31 2021, 12:21 pm Omen Post #5



Quote from Excalibur
Played the first couple of missions and then skimmed the rest once I got the overall tone of things.

Dislikes:
-Pauses / timing of briefings and transmissions is too long. If we were talking about people with a 3rd grade reading level being the primary players for this the pauses/timing makes sense, but otherwise its just too long and you sit there going 'OK I read it, move on already.'

-Dialogue is primitive and lacks proper tone for characters at times. When you're writing for a Protoss character, especially an established one like Artanis, you should be phrasing things the way he would say them.

-Missions are pretty simplistic without much variation in objectives or interesting variables.

-Some design choices were I felt a bit silly. Being on islands on mission 2 and having to drop units into the valley. The terrain around the warp gate / its location changing was silly. They weren't picking it up and moving it around. You should embrace the idea of a shifting battlefield where the next map incorporates part of the previous one but also takes on new areas.

-Improperly placed HQ to resource distance. I will die on this hill. It is 10000% possible and 20000% superior to place minerals creatively but also optimally for resource gathering. Same goes for geysers. No one should be making campaigns in 2021 with improperly distanced resources. Fight me. Also if you were not aware geyser placement changes how fast workers are able to mine it.


Likes:
-Terrain was pretty good, decent doodading.

-Missions were decent overall, resource amounts were OK.

-Use of tilesets was done effectively and with formations that made sense.

-Does an OK job of existing in the niche of the overall story it sets out to exist in.

Bugs:
-Broken broodling spawner in mission 1. Even with the nydus gone they just keep going.

Thanks for your feedback. I'm going to answer point by point to your 'dislikes':

- Maybe I calculated the transmission times wrong; I'm surely going to review them. I'll also have a look on the Protoss characters' 'tone' in the various dialogues. I also don't know if there are some grammar or spelling mistakes, as unfortunately I'm not a native English speaker.

- I tried to make every mission with different objectives and possibly different enemies (if you noticed, in the second part of the campaign you also have to fight some Terrans and Protoss). I don't get in what sense the missions are too 'simplistic'...

- The Warp gate in Mission 2 was originally on a higher ground in the low-right corner, but then I realized that the Zerg could not reach it if the player put all his forces in front of the ramp connecting the two terrain levels (due to the map size, there was room only for one ramp), so I decided to put the gate on a lower ground to make it more accessible to the enemy (and more difficult for the player to defend). Also, placing the player's forces on 'islands' and 'valleys' (with no ramps connecting them) was meant to make things more difficult. Maybe I'm going to change the map by placing both the Warp gate and the player's base on the same higher ground, with more ramps so that the enemy can still come from different directions.

- In my opinion, resources placing is not so important in this case, as computer players are in fact all set to have unlimited resources, so they gather ore and gas only for show and without making any significant difference in their amount. Human players can simply adapt.

Thank you also for noticing the bug with Nydus channels in Mission 1.

I'm going to review all maps in the next days and then I'll attach an updated ZIP archive, possibly with all these things fixed.



None.

Aug 31 2021, 1:50 pm Dem0n Post #6

ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ

I haven't played this, but from the screenshots, I have to agree with Excalibur about the dialogue tone. Protoss characters should speak in a much more archaic way (don't use contractions and such), and Raynor's dialogue should be much more informal. Also, just a nitpick for that last screenshot, in Brood War they started saying "En Taro Tassadar" instead of "En Taro Adun", so maybe change that to more closely match the actual campaign.




Aug 31 2021, 3:37 pm Omen Post #7



Quote from Dem0n
I haven't played this, but from the screenshots, I have to agree with Excalibur about the dialogue tone. Protoss characters should speak in a much more archaic way (don't use contractions and such), and Raynor's dialogue should be much more informal. Also, just a nitpick for that last screenshot, in Brood War they started saying "En Taro Tassadar" instead of "En Taro Adun", so maybe change that to more closely match the actual campaign.

OK, thank you for your tips, I'll take them into account for sure.



None.

Aug 31 2021, 5:27 pm Andrea Rosa Post #8

Just a glitch in the Matrix

Wow, another one already? And I still have to finish Unlikely Allies... well, I have to get a move on!

By the way, don't worry about Vespene geysers, long distance gas harvesting in perfectly fine in a campaign (as opposed to competitive multiplayer maps), as long as it's reasonably not too far away.




Aug 31 2021, 6:36 pm DarkenedFantasies Post #9

Roy's Secret Service

I agree that town center placement should be as optimal as possible; stupid town center placement is disrespectful to the player. If you really want long distance mining, you should at least use unbuildable terrain and/or the resource fields layout itself to justify it. Otherwise you're just spitting in the player's face with a needlessly shitty base layout that no one with a brain would adopt. With a command center, I always lift off and land to the most optimal location, but with hatcheries and nexuses I can only hope there's enough room to build a second town center. :rolleyes:




Aug 31 2021, 6:56 pm Zincoshine Post #10



I see this campaign has the same problem as the previous campaign with regards to the characters. Andrea Rosa's first language isn't English but he nonetheless gets the personalities of the character almost perfect. I think the real problem is that you need to get a feel for how these characters talk and behave in the normal starcraft campaign and try to replicate that personality in your campaigns. I'll give you an example with one character: Mengsk is polite and formal and is clever at making others he talks to feel like he cares about them but of course, he is expected to sell everyone out if it serves his goals. If he is featured in a custom campaign, it makes sense to have him behave this way.

It is also important to note the differences between how the terrans, zerg, and protoss talk. The zerg and protoss talk pretty much the same intelligent and formal way but they have vastly different personalities. The terrans on the other hand talk slang and... stupidly. Except for some of the smarter ones like mengsk.

Anyway, it will unfortunately be a very long time before I can get around to playing this. Still, I look forward to doing so :)



None.

Sep 1 2021, 11:04 am Omen Post #11



Quote from Zincoshine
I see this campaign has the same problem as the previous campaign with regards to the characters. Andrea Rosa's first language isn't English but he nonetheless gets the personalities of the character almost perfect. I think the real problem is that you need to get a feel for how these characters talk and behave in the normal starcraft campaign and try to replicate that personality in your campaigns. I'll give you an example with one character: Mengsk is polite and formal and is clever at making others he talks to feel like he cares about them but of course, he is expected to sell everyone out if it serves his goals. If he is featured in a custom campaign, it makes sense to have him behave this way.

It is also important to note the differences between how the terrans, zerg, and protoss talk. The zerg and protoss talk pretty much the same intelligent and formal way but they have vastly different personalities. The terrans on the other hand talk slang and... stupidly. Except for some of the smarter ones like mengsk.

Anyway, it will unfortunately be a very long time before I can get around to playing this. Still, I look forward to doing so :)

Thanks for your tips Zincoshine. I have already started a massive review of every dialogue of the campaign; I'm surely going to re-watch the original briefings to take some inspiration to improve mine.



None.

Sep 9 2021, 1:05 pm Omen Post #12



UPDATE:

A new version of the first four missions (v0.1) has been released, with the following changes:
- Review of all briefings and transmissions (both in time and characters' tone);
- The SCV has been removed from both maps: Raynor's Vulture will not be repairable (to increase difficulty);
- Mission 2: the Warp gate and the player's forces are now placed in a single zone of higher ground in the bottom-right corner; reinforcements during the countdown have been reduced to Dark Templars and Corsairs (no more Arbiters, as they are not necessary anymore). The enemy bases are now three (one main and two area towns), to ensure the computer uses all three passages to reach the Warp gate; also the AI behavior has been revised. The final attack by the white Zerg has been removed.
- Missions 3 and 4 have been fully revised to make the story more credible and captivating.

The last three missions will be available soon. Stay tuned!

Post has been edited 1 time(s), last time on Sep 13 2021, 5:49 pm by Omen.



None.

Sep 16 2021, 3:58 pm Omen Post #13



The full campaign is now available!
See first post for download.

Changes with respect to the previous version:
- Mission 4: Fenix has been removed (and his dialogues replaced by a Terran Ghost's ones). I realized that having some missions without both heroes could be more interesting from the player's point of view...



None.

Oct 7 2021, 12:52 am Andrea Rosa Post #14

Just a glitch in the Matrix

Mission 1

Similarly to Unlikely Allies, another quick introductory mission. Good selection of available technologies, given the difficulty level you could probably disable level 3 upgrades. The layout is very linear (which isn't necessarily a bad thing) with good terrain all around. Nice triggers at work with the Nydus Canals and the refugees travelling to the Warp Gate through the fully revealed canyon. You should probably remove the High Templar in the last group, mainly because of his slow speed: he makes the final sequence a bit tedious, and he also constantly comes in the way of your units who are trying to escort the group of refugees. Just out of curiosity, I tried to kill him before he could reach the Warp Gate, and something very strange happened: I won and I was defeated at the same time! Unfortunately I didn't take a screenshot, however this is what happened: the message "A Khalai has been killed" appeared, along with the victory message (with the units still moving in the background). The victory screen followed, but then the same map was reloaded as if I was defeated. When these things happen, it's usually a conflict between two or more triggers, and probably it's just a matter of timing. This problem does not occur when other Purple Protoss are killed, only with the last Dark Templar (one more reason to get rid of him, I guess).

I also suggest you to remove or reposition this rock pillar, since it causes some pathfinding issues in proximity of the ramp:




Mission 2

I love defense missions and I'm always excited when I stumble upon one of them. This being said, there are some issues with this map. The main problem is the way the mission was conceived: the map is just too big, and there is an additional resource node that goes almost unnoticed and that nobody will probably claim, since the gameplay is aimed at turtling, not at exploring. The resources available in the starting base are scarce, but luckily the mission can still be won without expanding. As a consequence of the double personality of this map, the tech tree feels too generous, with several advanced structures that are just too expensive and will serve no real purpose if built (like the Observatory, and even the Stargate, since the player will receive Corsairs at some point). The layout and terrain are good, but then again, most of the map will remain shrouded in the fog of war for most players, which is a shame. ‚ÄčOf course I don't expect you to remake the map on a smaller scale, but there are some things you can do to better adapt it to the intended gameplay: maybe you could increase a bit the starting resources, or create a more accessible expansion, or restrict the tech tree, or increase the duration of the mission so to actually encourage the player to expand - there are many possibilities.

Another problem is related to the stated objectives vs the actual defeat conditions: I was a bit surprised when I lost because a Mutalisk reached the Warp Gate, since the objective simply stated "hold off the Zerg". While the actual defeat condition does perfectly make sense, you should probably highlight it in the objectives, something like "Let no Zerg slip through the Warp Gate" or similar.

As for the attack waves, they are well balanced in the current game state, however you will likely need to tweak them a bit if you are going to do some of the gameplay changes I suggested above. I really liked the reinforcements coming from Shakuras, they came as a nice surprise during a tense moment, and proved to be useful throughout the whole mission.



Mission 3

I ran into several problems when playing this mission, I will briefly summarize them below:

- The Infested Terran trap is extremely unfair. The player gets almost no time to defend against it, despite being hinted of the danger by the Infested Command Center. It took me three attempts to properly place Spider Mines without losing Raynor in the process. I don't know if there are other ways to survive this attack (maybe by using the Zealots as cannon fodders?)
- I think that the player should lose if all of his Probes are destroyed before he can establish a Nexus: during one of my failed attempts at killing the Infested Terrans I accidentally lost all of my Probes, and there was no more way to win the mission.
- Waiting for the creep to recede was an ordeal, further accentuated by the low starting resources. You definitely need to do something about this, as it may draw major criticism to your map. I strongly suggest you to remove the Creep Colonies, I know that creep looks nice there, but your map will greatly benefit from a faster start. If you really want a bit of creep in your base, use a single Creep Colony or an Hatchery, so the creep will recede faster, and put it as far as possible from the minerals, so the ground will become buildable in a reasonable amount of time. Your new infested base may look something like this:

- The resources were really too scarce, both in the starting amount and in the available mineral fields: a Defiler managed to cast Plague over my units before I could set up an expansion and I was basically bankrupt.
- Out of frustration for having not enough resources, I managed to sneak three Shuttles (one with Raynor, the other two as decoys) past a relatively unguarded spot, however the triggers failed to work: when I brought my Shuttle containing Raynor to the Beacon, I took control of the Terran units, the new mission objectives appeared, but suddenly Raynor said "we arrived too late" and I was defeated.
- I don't know if this was intentional, but the Beacon you have used is actually a Flag Beacon, which automatically spawns a fancy Flag.
- The objective "The Raiders' base must survive" doesn't sound right to me, "The Raiders' base must not be destroyed" is more correct, in my opinion.




Oct 7 2021, 12:44 pm Omen Post #15



Quote from Andrea Rosa
Mission 1

Similarly to Unlikely Allies, another quick introductory mission. Good selection of available technologies, given the difficulty level you could probably disable level 3 upgrades. The layout is very linear (which isn't necessarily a bad thing) with good terrain all around. Nice triggers at work with the Nydus Canals and the refugees travelling to the Warp Gate through the fully revealed canyon. You should probably remove the High Templar in the last group, mainly because of his slow speed: he makes the final sequence a bit tedious, and he also constantly comes in the way of your units who are trying to escort the group of refugees. Just out of curiosity, I tried to kill him before he could reach the Warp Gate, and something very strange happened: I won and I was defeated at the same time! Unfortunately I didn't take a screenshot, however this is what happened: the message "A Khalai has been killed" appeared, along with the victory message (with the units still moving in the background). The victory screen followed, but then the same map was reloaded as if I was defeated. When these things happen, it's usually a conflict between two or more triggers, and probably it's just a matter of timing. This problem does not occur when other Purple Protoss are killed, only with the last Dark Templar (one more reason to get rid of him, I guess).

I also suggest you to remove or reposition this rock pillar, since it causes some pathfinding issues in proximity of the ramp:




Mission 2

I love defense missions and I'm always excited when I stumble upon one of them. This being said, there are some issues with this map. The main problem is the way the mission was conceived: the map is just too big, and there is an additional resource node that goes almost unnoticed and that nobody will probably claim, since the gameplay is aimed at turtling, not at exploring. The resources available in the starting base are scarce, but luckily the mission can still be won without expanding. As a consequence of the double personality of this map, the tech tree feels too generous, with several advanced structures that are just too expensive and will serve no real purpose if built (like the Observatory, and even the Stargate, since the player will receive Corsairs at some point). The layout and terrain are good, but then again, most of the map will remain shrouded in the fog of war for most players, which is a shame. ‚ÄčOf course I don't expect you to remake the map on a smaller scale, but there are some things you can do to better adapt it to the intended gameplay: maybe you could increase a bit the starting resources, or create a more accessible expansion, or restrict the tech tree, or increase the duration of the mission so to actually encourage the player to expand - there are many possibilities.

Another problem is related to the stated objectives vs the actual defeat conditions: I was a bit surprised when I lost because a Mutalisk reached the Warp Gate, since the objective simply stated "hold off the Zerg". While the actual defeat condition does perfectly make sense, you should probably highlight it in the objectives, something like "Let no Zerg slip through the Warp Gate" or similar.

As for the attack waves, they are well balanced in the current game state, however you will likely need to tweak them a bit if you are going to do some of the gameplay changes I suggested above. I really liked the reinforcements coming from Shakuras, they came as a nice surprise during a tense moment, and proved to be useful throughout the whole mission.



Mission 3

I ran into several problems when playing this mission, I will briefly summarize them below:

- The Infested Terran trap is extremely unfair. The player gets almost no time to defend against it, despite being hinted of the danger by the Infested Command Center. It took me three attempts to properly place Spider Mines without losing Raynor in the process. I don't know if there are other ways to survive this attack (maybe by using the Zealots as cannon fodders?)
- I think that the player should lose if all of his Probes are destroyed before he can establish a Nexus: during one of my failed attempts at killing the Infested Terrans I accidentally lost all of my Probes, and there was no more way to win the mission.
- Waiting for the creep to recede was an ordeal, further accentuated by the low starting resources. You definitely need to do something about this, as it may draw major criticism to your map. I strongly suggest you to remove the Creep Colonies, I know that creep looks nice there, but your map will greatly benefit from a faster start. If you really want a bit of creep in your base, use a single Creep Colony or an Hatchery, so the creep will recede faster, and put it as far as possible from the minerals, so the ground will become buildable in a reasonable amount of time. Your new infested base may look something like this:

- The resources were really too scarce, both in the starting amount and in the available mineral fields: a Defiler managed to cast Plague over my units before I could set up an expansion and I was basically bankrupt.
- Out of frustration for having not enough resources, I managed to sneak three Shuttles (one with Raynor, the other two as decoys) past a relatively unguarded spot, however the triggers failed to work: when I brought my Shuttle containing Raynor to the Beacon, I took control of the Terran units, the new mission objectives appeared, but suddenly Raynor said "we arrived too late" and I was defeated.
- I don't know if this was intentional, but the Beacon you have used is actually a Flag Beacon, which automatically spawns a fancy Flag.
- The objective "The Raiders' base must survive" doesn't sound right to me, "The Raiders' base must not be destroyed" is more correct, in my opinion.

Hi Andrea.
I am pretty sure that the problem in Mission 1 is related to the victory and defeat conditions, as you win if Player 4 remains with zero units and you lose if at least one of Player 4's units is killed; probably, by killing the last Templar before he reached the Warp gate, you enabled both triggers simultaneously. I think this can be solved by changing the victory condition to "Player 4 commands max 0 men" AND "Player 4 has max 0 deaths of men", even if it has no units left in the map. I am going to delete the High templar and to replace his transmission by a Dragoon's.

About Mission 2, maybe the resources problem can be fixed by simply increasing the minerals amount in the existing fields, so that there's no need for the player to expand. I think that the tech tree is already quite good as it is; maybe I could disable some units like the Shuttle or the Observer that are useless in such a mission.

For what concerns Mission 3, the blue Flag Beacon is clearly a mistake. The infested Terrans can be defeated by using Zealots against them (as you said); maybe two are too many, but one can be handled for sure in this way. The problem occurring when you rescue the blue Terrans is that I set "Player 2 commands max 0 factories" as a defeat condition, without taking into account the fact that once all units pass under the player's control, Player 2 obviously has no factories left in the map; however, I think this can be fixed by using a switch. I'm also going to give some more starting resources (e.g. 1000 ore and gas) and to add some more mineral field to ease everything.

EDIT: I uploaded an updated version of the ZIP with all these issues (supposedly) fixed. Try and see if everything works well. Thank you and enjoy!

Post has been edited 2 time(s), last time on Oct 7 2021, 3:04 pm by Omen.



None.

Oct 9 2021, 12:32 am Andrea Rosa Post #16

Just a glitch in the Matrix

I have played two more maps. So far the story is coming along quite nicely, but the text speed in the briefings seems to become faster with each new mission, you need to slow it down because it's very difficult to read (especially in mission 5).


Mission 4

The idea behind this map is cool. I mean, very cool. I appreciated the the attention to the tech-tree, which perfectly fits the Nerazim, and the non-linear layout, even though the player's base is very claustrophobic. There is one big problem which prevents this map from being as good as it could have been, and that's the scarcity of resources for the tasks at hand. That comfy expansion doesn't help that much, seeing as it is constantly under attack from the air by the Green Zerg - the ideal thing would be to claim those minerals as soon as possible, but it's impossible to afford a town center while struggling to set up a decent defense. Add 2000-2500 minerals, divided in a couple of additional patches, and this problem should be solved. Maybe add a Vespene Geyser somewhere. I also suggest to delay a bit the first attack by the Infested Terrans, since it's very easy to lose Raynor while trying to set up an economy.

This mission also somewhat fails to adhere to its own rules: according to the story, the player is recommended to use Nukes, but the design does not encourage this practice: Nukes are highly costly by themselves, and in this map we are forced to research Cloaking and Ocular Implants before we can use them, plus an Academy if our lone Ghost is killed (which will likely happen). And when the first Nuke finally drops, we can only cry out in vain as the Infested Command Center is (obviously) still standing. 8 Command Centers x 2 Nukes x (200+200) = 3200 ore + 3200 gas. I don't even think there are enough resources to build that many Nukes. There are two things you can do to make this map play as it was intended: cut in half the price of Nukes and pre-research Ghost technologies. You could also reduce the hitpoints of the ICCs, so that a single Nuke would be enough to destroy them (you could then counterbalance this by replacing the burrowed Zerglings and Hydralisks with burrowed Infested Terrans, which would also make more sense story-wise).



Mission 5

A clever reinterpretation of "Eye for an Eye" on a perfect map size, I like this! Well, when I started the map and I saw five mineral fields I was about to rage quit, but then I felt relieved when I found the expansion near my northern outpost... except for the fact that I had no immediate way to claim it with just two Dragoons (I think that this part of the mission would work better if Disruption Web was enabled by default, since we have two Corsairs there). So I sent my two Dark Templar to help the Dragoons, barely managing to destroy the Bunker. After this stunt, the mission played quite smoothly (until I ran out of resources), but only because I was lucky and I was able to build adequate countermeasures: I can foresee many players being forced to restart this mission quite a few times. You can mitigate this by giving clearer directions in the briefing, and also by adding some kind of visual aid: in "Eye for an Eye" the player knows right from the start which locations must be guarded, but this does not happen in your map, there is no hint of where the Dropships will transit - maybe you could use Map Revealers, or Beacons, or empty Bunkers, or minimap pings. Another cool touch would be to play a WAV file whenever a Dropship takes off, as it would draw the player's attention (visual cues, aural cues... see what I mean?).

And don't forget to add more resources, and at least one more expansion. I like maps that force the player to expand in order to survive, but you are being too stingy in this campaign: with such a low amount of resources, there is no margin of error. As far as I am concerned, I have become accustomed to the "30% Rule": when I think I've found the perfect amount of resources for a given map, I increase it by 30%, because I know my map, I know what to build and how to defend, I even know when the attack waves will come. In other words, I must take into account that many players will play that map in a less efficient way, thus they will likely need more resources.

It would also be better to reposition this Starport, so that the Control Tower can be added without having to lift it:





Oct 9 2021, 9:09 am Omen Post #17



Quote from Andrea Rosa
I have played two more maps. So far the story is coming along quite nicely, but the text speed in the briefings seems to become faster with each new mission, you need to slow it down because it's very difficult to read (especially in mission 5).


Mission 4

The idea behind this map is cool. I mean, very cool. I appreciated the the attention to the tech-tree, which perfectly fits the Nerazim, and the non-linear layout, even though the player's base is very claustrophobic. There is one big problem which prevents this map from being as good as it could have been, and that's the scarcity of resources for the tasks at hand. That comfy expansion doesn't help that much, seeing as it is constantly under attack from the air by the Green Zerg - the ideal thing would be to claim those minerals as soon as possible, but it's impossible to afford a town center while struggling to set up a decent defense. Add 2000-2500 minerals, divided in a couple of additional patches, and this problem should be solved. Maybe add a Vespene Geyser somewhere. I also suggest to delay a bit the first attack by the Infested Terrans, since it's very easy to lose Raynor while trying to set up an economy.

This mission also somewhat fails to adhere to its own rules: according to the story, the player is recommended to use Nukes, but the design does not encourage this practice: Nukes are highly costly by themselves, and in this map we are forced to research Cloaking and Ocular Implants before we can use them, plus an Academy if our lone Ghost is killed (which will likely happen). And when the first Nuke finally drops, we can only cry out in vain as the Infested Command Center is (obviously) still standing. 8 Command Centers x 2 Nukes x (200+200) = 3200 ore + 3200 gas. I don't even think there are enough resources to build that many Nukes. There are two things you can do to make this map play as it was intended: cut in half the price of Nukes and pre-research Ghost technologies. You could also reduce the hitpoints of the ICCs, so that a single Nuke would be enough to destroy them (you could then counterbalance this by replacing the burrowed Zerglings and Hydralisks with burrowed Infested Terrans, which would also make more sense story-wise).



Mission 5

A clever reinterpretation of "Eye for an Eye" on a perfect map size, I like this! Well, when I started the map and I saw five mineral fields I was about to rage quit, but then I felt relieved when I found the expansion near my northern outpost... except for the fact that I had no immediate way to claim it with just two Dragoons (I think that this part of the mission would work better if Disruption Web was enabled by default, since we have two Corsairs there). So I sent my two Dark Templar to help the Dragoons, barely managing to destroy the Bunker. After this stunt, the mission played quite smoothly (until I ran out of resources), but only because I was lucky and I was able to build adequate countermeasures: I can foresee many players being forced to restart this mission quite a few times. You can mitigate this by giving clearer directions in the briefing, and also by adding some kind of visual aid: in "Eye for an Eye" the player knows right from the start which locations must be guarded, but this does not happen in your map, there is no hint of where the Dropships will transit - maybe you could use Map Revealers, or Beacons, or empty Bunkers, or minimap pings. Another cool touch would be to play a WAV file whenever a Dropship takes off, as it would draw the player's attention (visual cues, aural cues... see what I mean?).

And don't forget to add more resources, and at least one more expansion. I like maps that force the player to expand in order to survive, but you are being too stingy in this campaign: with such a low amount of resources, there is no margin of error. As far as I am concerned, I have become accustomed to the "30% Rule": when I think I've found the perfect amount of resources for a given map, I increase it by 30%, because I know my map, I know what to build and how to defend, I even know when the attack waves will come. In other words, I must take into account that many players will play that map in a less efficient way, thus they will likely need more resources.

It would also be better to reposition this Starport, so that the Control Tower can be added without having to lift it:




In Mission 4 I didn't consider that a nuke 'only' does 500 damage... I didn't place some more infested terrans around the infested command centers because triggers are set so that the Brown player sends all his infested terrans to attack the 'Raynor' location, so they would be too many in the first wave! Maybe I could place these inf. terrans as units belonging to the Green player, let's see...

About mission 5, I'm surely going to add a map revealer in each corner of the map (I think it's the simplest way), and some more mineral fields somewhere. Corsairs' Disruption web will be available from the start of the mission. I'm also going to add a WAV from the dropship when it's spawned.

EDIT: updated ZIP (v0.5) available.

Post has been edited 1 time(s), last time on Oct 9 2021, 9:17 am by Omen.



None.

Oct 9 2021, 11:02 am Andrea Rosa Post #18

Just a glitch in the Matrix

One more thing I noticed about Mission 5: our SCVs could theoretically build Armories even though Factories are disabled, and also Barracks and Engineering Bay, both of which require a Command Center (also disabled). Is there any circumstance in which these buildings become available to the player?




Oct 9 2021, 4:13 pm Omen Post #19



Quote from Andrea Rosa
One more thing I noticed about Mission 5: our SCVs could theoretically build Armories even though Factories are disabled, and also Barracks and Engineering Bay, both of which require a Command Center (also disabled). Is there any circumstance in which these buildings become available to the player?

Probably I forgot to disable some buildings; I want the player to be able to build supply depots, bunkers and missile turrets, so I think the simplest thing is adding an engineering bay and maybe also an armory (with upgrades limited to level 1, to make the research center unnecessary). Also, I'm going to unlock all Ghost special abilities from the beginning, as Stimpack and U-238 bullets for Marines.



None.

Oct 9 2021, 9:12 pm Andrea Rosa Post #20

Just a glitch in the Matrix

Mission 6

I have no major complaints about this mission. Map size, layout, resources and gameplay, it all felt ok. I was able to win well before the intended time limit of 45 minutes, but this doesn't mean that you need to reduce it. I used a group of 12 Dragoons and two groups of 12 Zealots with Leg Enhancements (my Forge upgrades were 2-1-2), plus an handful of Dark Archons for mind-controlling the enemy Reavers. Perhaps you should set the diplomatic stance toward Red as enemy, so that the three High Templar can be automatically attacked (the current alliance status is neutral, hence the player needs to individually attack them with the 'A' command, not the best solution in my opinion). You also need to revise the starting sequence, because the Yellow Zealots don't seem to be able to completely destroy Fenix's outpost if they are left undisturbed (for some reason they stop after a while and don't attack the Gateway), and even in the case the outpost is destroyed, nothing happens (it is supposed to be a defeat condition according to the mission objectives). Anyway, good job on this one.



Mission 7

In terms of resources vs difficulty, this map is very well-balanced, and the same goes for the four AIs: the two Zerg Broods carry out small but frequent attacks, while the two Protoss Tribes are a more serious threat. I don't understand the reasoning behind the Terran tech tree: we can't build any structure, yet there are a lot of units and technologies available that rely on the disabled buildings; then we have an Engineering Bay but not an Armory, even though we can build some vehicles; finally, the limit of 26 supply for the Terrans is a joke, it's simply impossible to do anything meaningful with them, except from building a bunch of Siege Tanks which can't even be upgraded. I guess you were trying to replicate the gameplay of the last mission of Dark Vengeance, but in that map the supply limit is higher, the player has all the buildings needed to upgrade his units, and the technologies are enabled or disabled in a proper way. This aspect of your map needs to be re-examined.



Another nice campaign, my friend. There are some things which need to be fixed, but all in all good job!




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