For the last leg of our T5 journey we go to the realm of the elves, the place where my journey began – the Blighted Isle and Chrace. These two maps differ significantly from the battle for one main reason – they are significantly larger. Where much of the Dwarf T1 maps are lost to mountains and the Empire T1 map lost to ocean and mountains, the Elf T1 zones have less terrain lost to undeveloped oceans/mountains. For this reason I have opted to increase the BO count in these zones from the typical 6 per map I used in the Empire and Dwarf maps to 8 per map. The change isn’t large, but opens up the arena into a larger battleground over more locations. Read more…
For the final installment of the ‘Doomflayer’ T5 we venture into the realm of the Elves. Oddly enough these are probably among the two most desolate zones in the game – the Shadowlands because everything is in ruins, and Ellyrion because its open rolling plains. That being said it was pretty difficult to find key locations of interest to fight over, the solution created very elongated maps – particularly in the Shadowlands. Going for 9 BOs per map and one chapter hub I had to opt for the 4/5 and 5/4 splits but that shouldn’t be to grave of an issue. Onto the locations! Read more…
For the final installment of the Sovereign T5 series we take the battle to Ulthuan, and I actually approached this task with great excitement because taking the battle to the Destro half of Saphery has always been my dream. I want a say in the fate of the Tower of Hoeth damn it. As an addendum to the thoughts I’ve thus far thrown out for the T5 model I wanted to add the option for players to take a quest to a BO of their possession – much like the quest in the Dragon’s Bane scenario that would teleport you to the BOs you controlled. Of course this system could be subject to tweaking, but it would certainly make the embattled sites that much more contested. Anyway onto the sites! Read more…
For my final expanded T4 experience I bring the battle to Ulthuan. This particular pairing poses some problems simply because T4 is so compact in the scale of the Warhammer world. It is hard to squeeze two more regions to fight in considering how close the existing locations are and how vastly Mythic diminishes their size. To be honest, geographically the HEvDE pairing is the most well composed, so well that this task presented a solution which slightly goes against my gut instinct.
Due to the fact of the compact nature of the T4 HEvDE campaign the choice I was left with was to create two new end zones. The main problem with this is that the forts would have to be relocated, and the secondary problem which bugs me is that the capitals are bypassed and returned to. But since that clearly isn’t an issue for the Chaos forces or the Greenskins, then the Dark Elves might as well do it too (silly Destruction bypassing capitals…)
- The first location I have which would be the new end zone for the Dark Elves is Tiranoc, once a wealthy kingdom of the Elves; ravaged by the Sundering, much of its lands fell into the sea. The battle could be waged both in the snow capped mountains of the Annulii and the broken shores by the sea. Since the Dark Elf capital is Malekith’s Black Ark, I see no reason why it cannot be moved farther up the coast for this to be a more linear assault.
- The second location I have chosen is the eastern half of Eataine, with the key landmark of the Shrine of Asuryan. This map would differ from western Eataine very little (and by this fact should be easy enough to reproduce) and additionally the fort could be simply flipped 180 degrees for easy zone connection. One thing which could be unique to this zone would be a complete lack of devastation (since western Eataine is under heavy assault) – the storyline could go ‘while the main forces of the House Akraneth and Uthorin assault Lothern from the west, the elite forces are sent to destroy the accursed Shrine of Asuryan and take the city from the east’… or something like that. The zone could be emphasized more with a dense urban cluster towards Lothern and more manorial estates and vineyards on the fringes.
Happy Tuesday! For today I present to you a poll regarding the removal of friendly player collisions on the Bioware Social Network (boo to them). Recently Mythic has tested removing friendly collisions and their impact on server performance and its implications in RvR. As a range dps I could care less for friendly collisions, as a tank/mdps they bug the hell outta me. Its like getting cut off on the road. Anyone who drives knows exactly how this feels. You’re in hot pursuit of the ice cream truck and then ‘wham!’ a slayer cuts you off and you are now that much further from the ice cream truck. What do you do? You try to circle around the stupid slayer and get the ice cream truck BUT by the time you reach it, the slayers eaten all your ice cream. Hrm, back to WAR, it seems that the majority of players would like to keep friendly collisions in. Read the thread, become enlightened!
Ok on to the post… in my final segment of the T5 map locales I bring to you the High Elves and the Dark Elves. For this particular episode I have two maps because I do not feel that Ulthuan can contain many more locations simply because Mythic has already dumbed down its size and made it a rather compact pairing. As you can see of the eleven elven provinces, eight are used in the storyline. You can argue that the Shadowlands is huge on this map but consider that the Dark Elf PvE lake stretches from Anlec (its entrance to the zone) to the Griffon Gate (its exit). My solution: The High Elves go on the offensive! This rarely happens in lore and when it does no survivors return but what the heck, Mythic doesn’t care much about lore anyway so lets do it! Read more…
After two episodes of mind boggling cartographic messes today we step into the realm of perfection. If the designer of the Empire v Chaos pairing cut up the map and chose places with pretty names, and the designer of the Dwarf v Greenskin pairing was a sadistic bastard who had no concept of distance and wanted to make the most oppressive RvR lakes, then the designer of the High Elf v Dark Elf pairing was either someone from Games Workshop or someone very lazy who wanted to keep it simple. Irregardless, the Elf pairing is the only map that makes sense! I suspect the main reason for this is that the two campaigns run side by side in the same direction unlike the other two campaigns which run in opposite directions and criss-cross. I suppose in the EvC and DvG pairings War is truly more visible as you cross paths and compete in conflict PQs, but the result is a campaign map which is… well… what you saw. In the HEvDE pairing your storyline never goes into the opposing faction – in fact the maps are so divided that it is often a task to find an access point to the opposing factions PvE lake. Here is the map –
Now this ones straight from the High Elf army book so we know its legit. For some reason paint wouldn’t let me do colored dots so you’ll have to forgive me and accept black=evil=destruction and dark gray = conniving = order.
- Tier 1 – The entire campaign is essentially a progression south towards Lothern, the High Elf capital, and naturally it starts in the north, as every Dark Elf invasion does. So for this storyline the invasion begins in the Blighted Isle – sight of the Shrine of Khaine (our beloved scenario) and continues south to Chrace. If you take the time to read the entire High Elf storyline (I don’t have any destro toons so I can’t comment on their storyline, although I’d love to see it) the entire campaign is a defensive retreat until you hit more or less Caledor. You secure the Blighted Isle but have to move south to Chrace because something isn’t right with the ley-lines. My only beef with the entire High Elf story is that all the cool locations in High Elf lore are on the Destruction side, and we never get to defend them. The first victim of this Mythic plan is Tor Achare, capital of Chrace and home of the White Lion Charioteers, but alas Order has no hand in the fight for Tor Achare.
- Tier 2 – Moving south continuing with the retreat/tactical offense we enter the Shadowlands with the dreaded city of Anlec, which is again on the Destruction part of the storyline. My biggest beef with this map is the gates you fight over, which if you look on the map you will see their locations. Five gates to hold in the evils of the Shadowlands, and somehow Mythic managed to shift them making the Dragon Gate Order’s entrance into Ellyrion. You know what, fine its a little bit off, I’ll forgive them… Moving south we head into Ellyrion with its capital of Tor Elyr, once again in the Destruction storyline.
- Tier 3 – The retreat turns into guerrilla warfare as we enter Avelorn, home of the Everqueen. Destruction is trying to find her, lo and behold so is Order! You never do find her in the storyline until you hit the big 40 and enter Lost Vale and save her from N’Kari, which is actually located in Avelorn! No great leaps and bounds across maps to access the dungeon. Order moves south to Saphery to seek the council of wise mages and Destruction moves south to find and assault the Tower of Hoeth – which in lore you can’t find if you are not pure of heart. How the Dark Elves find it when it is shrouded in powerful magic only Mythic knows.
- Tier 4 – Order heads to Eataine, right by Lothern to rally the troops in the final battle and Destruction heads to Caledor to start the invasion to smash Lothern. Dragonwake consists of the mountains between these two provinces where the armies meet, both with the goal of hitting the Isle of the Dead and unleashing the Vortex within, which would destroy Ulthuan. All in all this campaign is straight forward, no backtracking to capitals or crossing other tiered zones. However, it isn’t until Saruthil sacrifices his life to seal the Vortex and Order enters Caledor that the storyline slightly picks up, but in truth it never really does. Even the last pq is left in limbo with some type of rhetoric that essentially says ‘I hope we can win outnumbered 10 to 1’.
Geographically, I am happiest with the progression of the High Elf v Dark Elf storyline. It is a clear progression and the paths never cross (take that Empire!), my only beef is that all the cool places are on the Destruction half of the storyline and I wanna smash their faces and defend the Tower of Hoeth.