Posted on 11/13/05 @ 08:42 AM (updated 03/13/06
A random map script for AOE3
Island Continent is an all-new random map for Single-player or Multiplayer use. This map represents an 'unknown' island continent with a wide variety of randomly chosen terrain patterns possible(18 patterns total), each with fauna, treasures, and decorations to fit the theme. The Native Americans also roughly fit the terrain patterns as well. Player starting positions will randomly vary a good bit. The map is just slightly larger than the largest of the original, standard ES maps.
The map is of a single large island, with water on all sides, with a possibility of some cliffs, and a lake or mountain in the center. There are always 2 Trade Routes, one on each half of the map, though they are fairly close to the center and will need defended. There are always at least 2 NA villages, one toward each end of the map axis, with a random possibility of a third village in the center. On any given map, there can be 2 native types; each village can be randomly picked as either choice. For example, on a Great Plains themed map you can have 1 Comanche and 1 Lakota, two of either one, or two of one plus one of the other, or even three of one type. This gives a great variety in possible map play and strategies.
The food resources on each map can vary slightly. There are always 3 'herds' of some type per player - the numbers vary randomly and types will vary per map theme. Most of the maps have sheep, cows or llamas, and those that do not have an additional group of huntable animals. Most of the maps patterns have some berries at the start area. All of the maps have a good supply of fish and some whales in the surrounding sea. All maps have 2 silver mines per player near the start area (though the second is just out of the starting screen), with an additional few in the map's more central areas.
In my testing this map produces fair, balanced maps for 2 team play with a wide variety of possible strategies. Effective play involves scouting the various resources, Native types, and of course, the enemy.
This map supports FFA play perfectly for 3 or 4 players without problems. I believe that there is a chance that for over 4 players in FFA for an occasional TC or other player resources to be dropped, though testing my latest version did not show such problems.
To play this map, the two files (island continent.xs and island continent.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.
Unfortunately, even though custom random maps can be played on line at ESO, they do not allow generation of XP toward the growth of your TC. They will increase your HC's XP in SinglePlayer or LAN games.
Note that the .xml file is updated to give the map description at startup.
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I give this rating of 4 beacuse it is a map that can be some what dificult. Wile to and in a island map you still can get killed from all sides water or land there is not a corner to defend your self in. Wich makes this map more from for the players that like to defend from all 4 corners and not 2 or 3.
I also noticed that there is pleanty of wood wich is great but very low gold/silver. This could be a problem if you can not hold the your trade routes. But we all know you could build plantations but you will need to build a few and that will kill your population. If you are gona play this map vs many computer or human players i sugest useing the dutch. So you can use the banks and if you have the right cards you can get upto 6 banks insted of 4 this will give you any where form 20 to 40 extra men to fight with.
This was a good map to play on and i will be looking forward to more.
Any Questions you can reach me at xsl_League@yahoo.com
[Edited on 11/21/05 @ 04:26 PM]
(nice looking map, all areas seem to generate well, good placement of resources, nice circular trade route. I played a 5 player FFA, all worked well. Map presented well in its terrain and forrests.
I am looking forward to more maps from you gandalf as I have been playing all your maps on aoe2 for the past 5 years, as well as your more recent AOM maps this year. Many thanks!)
We need more maps from experts like gandalf!!!
Default maps are nice but get boring after awhile
WOW ... a great map!!Playability is excellent. I always play Medium difficulty, Nomad with 3 players (1 human vs 2 Computer players). I haven't had any difficulties with map-generation and this map keeps you on your toes. It provides a real challenge. Can be very fast-paced and hectic and requires constant revision of your strategies ... I loved it.
Balance was excellent, all players have at least 4 treasures, 3 gold piles, lots of trees and animals. I like the oval shaped trade route (made of two separate trade routes of 3 each). Can get a little dicey if you have a map generated with a small lake in the middle -- you have to gain control of that water at all costs because your trade route (if you're successful in acquiring one of them) will never survive the bombardment of warships on that inland lake...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. This is a particularly unique concept and like his "Allied Tribes" map, has become one of my favourites.
Map Design ... This one is great ... a unique concept, lots of resources and constant input and action. There's no sitting back and waiting for a few minutes here and there while your resources build for the next upgrade. This map requires constant vigilance against enemies. Because there is no completely defensible position what I have often done is: first gain control of the center lake (if there is one) and I wall of my section of the resulting "donut", so that I only have to really defend on the water and I put a caravel at both ends of my wall backed by a tower which gave me plenty of warning of an attack.
Instructions are clear, concise and easily understood ... I wish all were as understandable as these.
I really enjoyed this map. I've played with each nationality and haven't had any real drawbacks with this design concept. A great challenge ... thank-you RF_Gandalf.
Another of the benefits of RF_Gandalf's maps are that they are quick-loading, the terrain changes frequently. The starting positions are never the same and sometimes contain a surprise or two. I look forward to any and all scenarios and maps created by RF_Gandalf.