Posted on 11/21/05 @ 06:32 PM (updated 03/13/06
A random map script for AOE3
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Over the river and through the woods, to the enemy village we go!
Thanksgiving is an all-new random map for Single-player or Multiplayer use. This map represents a 'New England' fall or winter (randomly chosen) with lots of turkeys for the harvest, with a few deer, plenty of forest and silver, and fish in the river separating the teams. The map is larger than most of the original, standard ES maps. As in the Amazon map, there is no land connection between the two sides.
The design of this map is to make a more fair, improved 'river' map than the 'Amazonia' map from ES. The starting positions are better randomized, but each side has a trade route and equal number of Native villages (which will be either all Iroquois or all Cherokee). There will be one native village per player. Although for maps with 2 players per team there are 2 Trade Posts per side, if there are more than 4 players total there will be 3 Trade Posts per side.
The food resources on each map vary slightly. There are always 3 'flocks' of turkeys per player - the numbers vary randomly. There are a fair amount of deer but they are scattered in smaller groups than you normally see on other maps. The fall pattern has some berries at the start area, but not the winter pattern. There are fish but no whales in the river.
In my testing this map produces fair, balanced maps for 2 team play for even teams - it will not always place players or starting resources fairly if the teams have unequal numbers. Effective play involves scouting the various resources, Native types, and of course, the enemy, as well as taking control of the water.
NOTE - This map does not support FFA play.
To play this map, the two files (Thanksgiving.xs and Thanksgiving.xml) must be placed in the folder: My Documents\My Games\Age of Empires 3\RM. Please do not place them in the game's install folder - that will not work. When you start up a skirmish game in Single-player or Multiplayer, use the small blue 'Custom Map' button, which allows you to then select one the random maps in that My Games folder from the drop-down window.
Note that the .xml file is updated to give the map description at startup.
Thinking about the upcoming holiday put me in the mood to represent the countryside for the first Thanksgiving, and I have wanted to make a better river type map for some time - this gave me a chance to combine my plans. Hope you enjoy the map.
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The map was abover adverage because it had little of everything. The spaceing for the alies was good also. There were a perfect amout of trade routes. I liked how you had the native villiges. You made them all the same and you never over done it.
I play all my maps on expert level and the number one thing that I hate about maps like this is the computers will never attack because they wont build a dock. But that is the only thing keeping this from a rating 5 if you fix this problem let me know i'll edit my review.
If there is any questions or if you edit this map contact me at xsl_League@yahoo.com
Playability is only good 90% of the time with 2 players and so far (in my experience) only 45% of the time with 3 players. I always play Medium difficulty, Nomad with 3 players (1 human vs 2 Computer players). With this map I've had just an explorer -- no TC wagon, just a flag in the water -- no explorer and no wagon, a TC wagon on just a small spit of land in the middle of the water -- no land and no explorer or just an explorer on a coastline with no access to adjacent land and no TC wagon. About 25% of the playable maps generated have all 3 players on a Y-shaped island and 20% have each player on their own piece of land separated by a river. Occasionally you have the above problems generated on the Y-shaped map as well. I realize it was a rushed map in order to have it out for Thanksgiving ... and I like the map but definitely only for 2-players.
Balance was excellent when a good map was generated ... all players have at least 4 treasures, 3 gold piles, lots of trees and at least 3 flocks of turkeys and sometimes a herd of deer. The only balance issue I would change is that 2 players (out of the 3) have their water flag inches from each other so when your Caravel arrives they blow each other out of the water rather quickly. When there are 3 land areas separated by a Y-shaped river then the docking flag should be one on each arm of the Y -- well away from each other ... lol.
Creativity ... well, I have always preferred RF_Gandalf's maps and scenarios (I have quite a few for AoM as well). I find his maps imaginative and well-defined with attention to details quite evident. They look good and are interesting to use.
Map Design ... well, goes hand in hand with Creativity. Not usually with cliffs in the middle of the water etc. Unfortunatley with this map there are quite a few quirks that need to be worked out for 3 or even 4-player map generation ... but no problems for 2-players.
Instructions are clear, concise and easily understood ... I wish all were as understandable as these.
Additional Comments: I will continue to use this map even for 3 players and if others want to use this map successfully with more than two players I would suggest pressing the pause key while the map is generating. Then when its generated, save the map then resign to see if it is a playable map. If it is then reload the saved game and play ... if not regenerate and follow the same procedure.
Another of the benefits of RF_Gandalf's maps are that they are quick-loading, the terrain changes frequently ... I've had this particular map generated as a Great-Lakes-type terrain, New-England-type or even a Rockies-type terrain. The starting positions are never the same and sometimes continue a surprise or two. I look forward to any and all scenarios and maps created by RF_Gandalf.