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Downloads Home » Random Map Scripts » Gandalf's Random Land Map - TAD - fast XP version

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Gandalf's Random Land Map - TAD - fast XP version

Author File Description
RF_Gandalf
File Details
Game Version: TAD
Gandalf's Random Land Map - TAD - fast XP version
A random map script for AOE3: The Asian Dynasties
by RF_Gandalf

NOTE - REVISED ADDITION TO GIVE MORE XP AS GAME GOES ON.

Gandalf's Random Land Map is a custom random map for Single-player or Multiplayer use, originally created for the base AOE3, now updated for The Asian Dynasties. This version has a new feature - each player gets a lot more XP during the game and can send many more HC shipments than normal. The map has a series of triggers that sends each player a starting 225XP, which allows an initial HC shipment almost immediately, then each minute afterwards every player gets additional 200 XP. There is an additional XP delivery that starts at 5 minutes of 300 XP every minute, and then at 10 minutes and additional 500XP goes to each player every minute (at that point, after 10 minutes, each player gets a total of 1000XP per minute!). I have found that initially you can send almost continuous shipments, then as the game progresses and more XP is required per shipment there is a little time between shipments. This allows for a much faster buildup, faster and a little more exciting gameplay, and allows use of an extra card or so in your deck for the first age than most people normally use. I am really looking for feedback on this feature. I have really enjoyed testing this and think that others might also enjoy the change of pace. A description of the rest of the map features follows. Note that Japan is a little OP in that they can use so many more shipments per age.

If you have played the version for the original AOE3 or TWC, you are familiar with this 'unknown' type map. This map represents an 'unknown' land area with a wide variety of randomly chosen terrain patterns possible (37 patterns total), each with fauna, treasures, and decorations to fit the theme. Some of the 37 patterns have 'sub-patterns' with the base terrain pattern varying slightly or significantly. The Natives also roughly fit the terrain patterns as well. Player starting positions will randomly vary a good bit, especially on 2-player games. The map is just slightly larger than the diameter of Carolinas basically to allow the addition of the various terrain features, trade routes and natives.

The map is of a contiguous land area, with a possibility of some cliffs, a lake, mountains, canyon, hills or river (always with crossings - this is a land map) across the center. On this map there can be much more variation in elevation than on the standard ES maps, and the above listed terrain features are not just included for appearance - their presence can influence gameplay by acting as natural barriers or creating choke points. Trade Routes randomly vary between 12 different types of routes, each with at least 2 possible patterns of Trade Post placement. For example, there can be a single diagonal route or parellel routes accross the center, or single long route around the periphery of the map with 6 to 12 Trade Posts(depending on player number), or there can be 2 semi-circular routes following the same course (plus a variety of other patterns).

There are 22 possible patterns for the number and location of the Native Villages. There can be as few as 2 villages, or as many as 10 on a map, and this is sometimes partly dependent on player number. These will be of one or two types of natives per map. The Native villages can be placed one or two per player or at certain places along a map axis or per side of the map. This gives a great variety in possible map play and strategies.

The food resources on each map can vary slightly. There are always 3-5 'herds' of some type per player - the numbers vary randomly and types will vary per map theme. Most of the maps have sheep, cows, yaks, water buffaloes, goats or llamas, and those that do not have an additional group of huntable animals. Most of the map patterns have some berries at the start area, and a chance of some other berries on the map. All maps have 2 mines per player near the start area (though the second is generally just out of the starting screen), with an additional several per player further off. There are usually more total mines than on the standard maps. In this version, mines can vary in type, with silver, copper, tin and gold mines possible. Silver, tin and copper mines have the same value, but gold mines are worth 2.5x the amount of coin, and occur randomly in some map patterns (but are almost always more distant, not the start area mines). Forests are placed fairly and the amount of forest can vary somewhat, and all players have 2 additional small clumps of trees near the start area to be sure initial wood access is equal. Occasionally the center of the map is relatively clear of forest. For the maps with a lake, river or ponds there may be a few fish at most, but never enough for a good dock boom since the focus of this map is on land. Note that the shallow crossings in the rivers prevent ships from travelling the entire river length, so docks and ships are of limited use. One new feature for this version is a random (1/8) chance of the starting mine having a nearby tower, as in the Mongolia map. Another new feature is the random possibility of a few bonus crates - food, wood, and/or gold - this occurs 1/5 of the time.

Treasures or nuggets are placed in increased numbers and are keyed to the map type or pattern - a total of 5-6 per player per map - 2 of the easy ones nearby, and 3-4 of increased difficulty further off (always there are per player one level 2, one level 3, one level 4 and randomly one either level 2 or 3 treasure). As in the new TAD maps, sometimes 'team' treasures in team games are found on some Asian-themed maps.

This map has an amazing number of randomly chosen variations possible - each of the 37 terrain patterns or 'skins' can have 2 lighting sets for a variety of appearances, at least 2 different patterns of fauna choices, and each has at least a few variants in the possible terrain features. Each map has the above-mentioned multiple variations in Native and Trade Route patterns, and the player starting positions varies unlike the standard ES maps. In standard 2 team games, teams are opposite, but can start in any of the 4 quadrants, at a variety of distances from the map edge. The distance between players on a team can vary significantly, causing the need to consider different strategies for teamwork and mutual protection. Sometimes teammates will be relatively close together. For 2 player games, there is even more variation in the player start positions and the enemy may not be directly opposite you! Other features that have been randomly varied include the size and shape and height of cliffs, the size, density and underbrush of forests, the size and number of lakes, forested hills or elevation, and many other features.

In my testing this map produces extremely fair, balanced maps for 2 team play with a wide variety of possible strategies. I have tried to eliminate any 'map screws' as much as possible; ‘fair maps’ are one of my main goals, achieved through use various types of map symmetry and testing to eliminate dropped resources and features. Effective play involves scouting the various resources, Native types, Trade Routes, map terrain, and of course, the enemy. Scouting is an essential factor (since you will not 'know' the map in advance) to find the nearby and distant resources, features and the enemy. Occasionally a native village or trade post does not place though I have tried my best to reduce the chance of this occurrence.

This map supports FFA play, and extensive testing on the current version was without problems.

To play this map, the two files (Gandalf's RLM TAD XP.xs and Gandalf's RLM TAD XP.xml) must be placed in the folder: My Documents\My Games\Age of Empires 3\RM3. 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. The files will transfer in Multiplayer if your allies or opponents have not downloaded the files. Please do not edit the files or you will have compatibility problems in Multiplayer. Do not try to play this in the original AOE3 or TWC, as the new terrains and natives will not work.

A point about the startup: the map script is 4-5 times larger than the standard ES map scripts so it takes longer to load - be patient!

Thanks to ES for making map scripting possible.

Feedback appreciated!
AuthorComments   ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )
Catabre I like the fast XP feature, it really makes the game a faster pace, like your colonial maps. If you are the Spanish however it can get pretty crazy shipment wise though.
RF_Gandalf
File Author
yes, I tested it with both Spanish(faster) and German(slower) - noticable difference but both with more shipments.

Japaneses really have a crazy advantage - they can really stay powerful in colonial a long time with their double shipments and some resource cards.
Jugit I don't think that the XP works the way you intended. In my experience, lines like your:

loopNum = loopNum + 1;
XPaddition = loopNum*XPaddition;

as part of your XPShipment trigger are only used when the game is being loaded and is not transferred to trigtemp.xs that is used during the game. So I don't think XPamt gets incremented each time. It just stays at the original value of 150+25. I could be wrong.
RF_Gandalf
File Author
Thanks Jugit - I am sure you are correct - I just checked the trigtemp file in MyGames/.../Trigger3 folder and the amount listed is indeed 175 xp.

I cannot se another way to gradually increase XP or to increase it in some step wise fashion with one trigger. I may have to break it up into several triggers - perhaps have each one work 5 times only then stop - or have the original one continue and have a second one start after 5 minutes giving additional XP - I think that would be easier. Will see what I can do. Anyother suggestions?
Jugit When the option for faster map is used in Dogleg Islands, I add extra XP. That is why I looked at how you did it. The only way I could think of was to have several triggers. The first is just a loop giving a small amount of XP that starts right away. Then I use sets of two triggers. One is just a timer that fires the other that again is a loop but gives more XP. This of course adds more XP but later. Several of these sets could be used to add more and more XP as the game progresses. There is probably a slick way to use quest variables but I still think it would require several triggers and wouldn't be as straight forward.
RF_Gandalf
File Author
OK - edited version posted

This one gives 225 XP at the start (so German and Indian players get shipment closer to start).

Then a loop starts that delivers 200XP every minute the rest of the game.

Then at 5 minutes a second loop starts that delivers 300XP every minute the rest of the game. (total of 500XP per minute from 5 min to 10 min)

Then at 10 minutes a second loop starts that delivers an additional 500XP every minute the rest of the game. (total of 1000XP rest of game every minute)

Feedback appreciated. I wish someone could check this in MP to confirm that each player gets his XP, I have only had time to check in SP, where the enemy (AI) seems to advance quickly with good number of shipments, hard to be sure though.

[Edited on 05/01/08 @ 08:04 PM]


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Added:04/27/08
Updated:05/01/08