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Crystal Cavern

Submitted by Shadow Fury
This bundle is marked as approved. It works and satisfies the submission rules.
Crystal Cavern
Made by Shadow Fury

I never thought that I'd ever post a template since I am not that good at terraining but things never go as planned, do they? This template, which I made 2 years ago, originally had to be used as a submap for my orc campaign "Curse of the Fel Orcs", however I stopped this project due to problems with game cache stuff and the terraining of the main map. Just today, while digging through my old maps and blowing away the dust, I found this terrain and I was actually impressed by what I'd done! I usually dislike what I produce so I have a positive feeling about it.

This map is a small template of an underground crystal cave rich in treasures to snatch! Be cautious you who dare to venture deeper inside the cavern, for a lot of creepy monsters reluctant to relinquish their treasures to the greedy await to ambush the unwary. In this map, I included two places of hidden treasures that can only be found with a sharp eyesight and some will to explore the surroundings attentively. I've also given the opportunity to work with some mechanisms. To open the rolling door, you should activate a lonely lever... probably not so *lonely*. Some guardians, skeletons to be precise, are supposed to be raised from the ground when the lever is struck. After getting through the shallows waters and opening the gate, you are supposed to fight a boss, the Icelord, but that's up to you of course.


Screenshots

Screenshot 1
[OUTDATED] This is an overview of the map with pieces of information on the various regions

[​IMG]


Screenshot 2
The first hidden treasure should be put here. You need to destroy the rock chunks to access to this place

[​IMG]


Screenshot 3
A random screenshot of the template

[​IMG]


Screenshot 4
Shallow waters with lots of crystals. I suggest putting watery creatures here with the top right corner having the strongest one

[​IMG]


Screenshot 5
Here is the rolling door. The lever is just above the icy volcano

[​IMG]


Change Log

Change Log
Version 1
Map uploaded

Version 2
Added coloured crystals
All crystals now glow. White ones glow faintly but coloured ones clearly express their iridescence
Added some thorny vines on the cave so that broken edges are no more visible


Credits

Credits
Thanks to s4nji for the IcyVolcanoes and to the UTM for its "Glow" model
Credits to me, Shadow Fury, the creator of this template


Author Notes

I uploaded this template so that I could share it with you. I'm not using it anymore so it would be a shame throwing it away. I hope someone will find it useful!
Give credits to me, Shadow Fury, if you use this template. You may use it as a submap for your campaign just as I wanted or for whatever mini-map with an exciting boss fight.


Keywords:
Crystal, Cavern, Cave, Ice, Frost, Underground, Template, Terrain, Frozen, Submap, Snow, Chill, Treasure
Contents

Crystal Cavern (Map)

Reviews
Moderator
Next Review: [2016-06-11] [IMG][c]Rufus Moderation Note [IMG][c]What you need to do: The cave where you start has ugly edges. This appears on most of the blizzard cliff caves, and it is not very visible, but if you look at the area where the cave...
Remixer
The terrain itself is enough good looking but it has some big flaws: In many places doodads are just floating in the air, or their edges are. There are also some mushroom trees inside the giant rock spikes: [IMG] [IMG] One single flaw is also the...
Paillan
5 - 4 - 2017 Moderation No changes were made in more than 3 months which means that no changes are inteded to be made. Acording to rules, this implies that your map will now be classified as substandard. If you wish to revert this decision you can PM...
  1. Next Review: [2016-06-11]
    [​IMG]
    Rufus Moderation Note

    [​IMG] What you need to do:
    The cave where you start has ugly edges. This appears on most of the blizzard cliff caves, and it is not very visible, but if you look at the area where the cave cliff end and the real cliff start, you can see a small triangular hole. This appears on each side of the cave, and can easily be solved by placing a few doodads over them.

    In general, the map is a bit simple. it is mostly standard warcraft doodads, placed in a decent fashion around the map, creating clear pathways.

    The tile variation is good. It looks natural, and the road doesn't lead to the "hidden" areas, ehich makes finding them even harder.

    It is good with the general icy crystal terrain filling, but I think it can be made better. I would add additional crystals inside the ones that are already there, for a cool glowy effect. That also makes the crystal appear to be more thick, as I think that currently, they don't really feel very solid. I would also suggest adding more of an edge to the crystals outline towards the path. Perhaps a couply of tiny crystals, rocks and vines, with no collision. This could help you fill the areas that are already ground-pathing disabled, without having the crystal doodad covering tthat area.

    I like the idea of the volcanos, and they do look a lot better than the original warcraft ones. However, the volcanos are very ugly doodads, and even with their new look I don't think they quie fit in. Perhaps they would if they were smaller and with more decoration around them. I think that you should at least try to cover up their edges towards the ground. This can be solved by making the crystal thicker, as I proposed earlier.

    The rockchunks shouldn't be redish. You should use the loraderon version instead, as their colour will blend much better. Alternately, you could also change their colour in the object editor.

    The volcanos also kinda ruin the inside-a-cave feeling, which is not too good at the moment either. You could add more blizzard cliffs, or perhaps high stalgmite models to work around this. Make the roof feel present somehow. The first secret area and the rolling stone gate area managed to do this. The last area before the boss fight feels the least like a cave, as the arch is almost freestanding.

    I really like the water area, as it looks radiant and cold. You should however turn off the waves whipping against the rolling shore. Why would their be wind or a lot of movement in a closed cave?

    The area with the lever for the rolling door, looks pretty vacant and boring. The vines feels randomly placed, and it doesn't look good in general. This area could use some more love. The same goes for the boss area.

    In general, the template has a lot of things that could be improved, but it also looks ok in its current state, as it is off blizzardish style, and uses close to no imported material.
    I think this maps needs more work before it can be approved, since it is not very advanced, but when it does gets approved, it might be pretty useful as there are not many underground templates available.

    Since the general quality of templates here on the Hive have highered the bar over the years, I think this needs to be put to be awaiting update before it can be approved, since this is not a very high quality map compared to the other ones out there.

    Status set to awaiting update until at least of those things have been improved.
     
  2. Chaosy

    Chaosy

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    Useful the quality seems about average.
    It's also very limited in terms of what kind of map you can use it for.
     
  3. Rufus

    Rufus

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    Next Review: [2016-06-11]
    [​IMG]
    Rufus Moderation Note

    [​IMG] What you need to do:
    The cave where you start has ugly edges. This appears on most of the blizzard cliff caves, and it is not very visible, but if you look at the area where the cave cliff end and the real cliff start, you can see a small triangular hole. This appears on each side of the cave, and can easily be solved by placing a few doodads over them.

    In general, the map is a bit simple. it is mostly standard warcraft doodads, placed in a decent fashion around the map, creating clear pathways.

    The tile variation is good. It looks natural, and the road doesn't lead to the "hidden" areas, ehich makes finding them even harder.

    It is good with the general icy crystal terrain filling, but I think it can be made better. I would add additional crystals inside the ones that are already there, for a cool glowy effect. That also makes the crystal appear to be more thick, as I think that currently, they don't really feel very solid. I would also suggest adding more of an edge to the crystals outline towards the path. Perhaps a couply of tiny crystals, rocks and vines, with no collision. This could help you fill the areas that are already ground-pathing disabled, without having the crystal doodad covering tthat area.

    I like the idea of the volcanos, and they do look a lot better than the original warcraft ones. However, the volcanos are very ugly doodads, and even with their new look I don't think they quie fit in. Perhaps they would if they were smaller and with more decoration around them. I think that you should at least try to cover up their edges towards the ground. This can be solved by making the crystal thicker, as I proposed earlier.

    The rockchunks shouldn't be redish. You should use the loraderon version instead, as their colour will blend much better. Alternately, you could also change their colour in the object editor.

    The volcanos also kinda ruin the inside-a-cave feeling, which is not too good at the moment either. You could add more blizzard cliffs, or perhaps high stalgmite models to work around this. Make the roof feel present somehow. The first secret area and the rolling stone gate area managed to do this. The last area before the boss fight feels the least like a cave, as the arch is almost freestanding.

    I really like the water area, as it looks radiant and cold. You should however turn off the waves whipping against the rolling shore. Why would their be wind or a lot of movement in a closed cave?

    The area with the lever for the rolling door, looks pretty vacant and boring. The vines feels randomly placed, and it doesn't look good in general. This area could use some more love. The same goes for the boss area.

    In general, the template has a lot of things that could be improved, but it also looks ok in its current state, as it is off blizzardish style, and uses close to no imported material.
    I think this maps needs more work before it can be approved, since it is not very advanced, but when it does gets approved, it might be pretty useful as there are not many underground templates available.

    Since the general quality of templates here on the Hive have highered the bar over the years, I think this needs to be put to be awaiting update before it can be approved, since this is not a very high quality map compared to the other ones out there.

    Status set to awaiting update until at least of those things have been improved.
     
  4. Shadow Fury

    Shadow Fury

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    Map updated with some new stuff. I also worked on some of the points you raised.
     
  5. Alxen345

    Alxen345

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    The template is kinda simple but in the same way very useful in order to create a cool game. The bright beautiful crystals and environments fit well and give a good feeling that you are in an ice era. The only thing that's kinda annoying looking is the way those cliffs look, you should try changing them or hiding them with some cool icy doodads or trees or some art effects to make them look better. Anyway it is good looking, I give it a 4/5.
     
  6. Remixer

    Remixer

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    The terrain itself is enough good looking but it has some big flaws:
    In many places doodads are just floating in the air, or their edges are. There are also some mushroom trees inside the giant rock spikes:
    Images
    [​IMG] [​IMG]


    One single flaw is also the rolling-rock gate placement. It is not touching the cliff on the otherside, even though it should. Currently it looks very awkward.
    Image
    [​IMG]


    The pathing of the map also needs to be fixed. You can't leave tiny gaps for units to walk in, especially when they are walking inside a doodad. Fix those tiny gaps and take Blink into account, you don't want some Warden to blink out of the actual map.
    Image
    [​IMG]


    In order to get higher rating than 2/5 I'd also recommend you to roll/pitch some of the doodads to add more variety, also as Rufus earlier said, change the redish rock chunks to grey/blueish.

    Since it's an underground template which are quite rare I rate it as acceptable on its' appearance after you change the things I mentioned.

    Awaiting Update
     
  7. Shadow Fury

    Shadow Fury

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    I don't think these are "big" flaws because they are pretty small problems. I already know these issues but I did not give them much weight because this map is intended to be played with normal camera view so the angle of view you showed me in the screenies would never be possible.
    I never expected someone to play with blink in this template but good point; I will add some pathing blockers to prevent unwanted blinks.
    But this:

    Nooo! I love the reddish rocks better :p I tried putting the other ones and they sucked for me.

    So connecting the rolling door to the cliff, moving down floating doodads and adding pathing blockers where necessary? Ok, easy fix. I will do it shortly.

    EDIT: I'm done already :D
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2016
  8. Remixer

    Remixer

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    There's still a lot of pathing errors that decrease the map's quality drastically. Also, you did not fix the floating doodad edges, they are extremely ugly and should be fixed. Either make the ground have less dramatic height changes or sink the doodads edges into the ground
     
  9. Shadow Fury

    Shadow Fury

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    There's no need of such high precision. As I said above, the map should be played with normal camera view and all the floating doodads will not be seen as floating. Sinking these doodads would make the look uglier as I already witnessed myself so I won't be changing anything.
    Concerning pathings, I do not feel there's anything critical. One can also enable black mask and problem of blink solved! I mean, it's so hard to find every single spot with improper pathing.
     
  10. Chaosy

    Chaosy

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    Rotate them instead then.
     
  11. Remixer

    Remixer

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    As a template map it must fit for several usages. In the current state it only fits to the needs you originally intended it to be used for and sadly, that is not enough.

    Even with the normal game camera the floating doodads do stick out - you should fix them. Also, even if blink is countered with vision it is not written in stone that summoning or some other game mechanic wouldn't be used. Also, some one might want to disable that black mask.

    I'm afraid that I cannot approve the map unless you do the changes I mentioned, and it seems you are not willing to do so.
     
  12. Shadow Fury

    Shadow Fury

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    As a moderator, I tell you it is enough.

    Gonna check with normal camera view and spot those bastards!

    Well, I'm disappointed with your decision. The issues you mentioned are pretty tiny and not really making a large difference. I mean, what would really change if I made the changes you mentioned? Just little improvements to the aesthetics. I guess people won't keep looking at some floating doodads and focus more on gameplay.

    That could turn out to be a brilliant idea. I will try that.
     
  13. Remixer

    Remixer

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    As a reviewer I don't think it's enough and as long as I think so I personally don't approve it.

    They are tiny, but still important. In maps as simple as templates it's extremely important to have top-notch quality. As Rufus earlier stated this template does not really have anything superior or amazing compared to the other templates out there on Hive, and sadly the terrain itself does not have great enough value to be accepted solely for that, and for this matter it needs to be flawless in other ways, meaning no floating doodads everywhere and pathing errors.

    "Just little improvements to the aesthetics"? The map category is "Template/Terrain" meaning that the terrain shows a huge role in the map - and as the map is template, having no functions until some one creates them, you referring to 'gameplay is more important than terrain' is extremely odd and out of the situation - would work in other maps, but not on templates.
     
  14. Shadow Fury

    Shadow Fury

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    I still don't agree at all, but as mentioned above, I will work on the points you stated anyway as hard as I can.
     
  15. Paillan

    Paillan

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    5 - 4 - 2017 Moderation

    No changes were made in more than 3 months which means that no changes are inteded to be made. Acording to rules, this implies that your map will now be classified as substandard. If you wish to revert this decision you can PM a map reviewer once you have updated the map.

    Set to Substandard.

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  16. Shadow Fury

    Shadow Fury

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    There wasn't much to be done actually because I'd already followed all Remixer's suggestions. There are no more floating doodads and it's impossible to blink in between crystals so I'm just waiting for a remoderation.
     
  17. deepstrasz

    deepstrasz

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    Set to Pending on creator's request.
     
  18. Paillan

    Paillan

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    19 - 4 - 2017 Moderation

    Map is very small for a template and has a lot of space already in use. I would seem that it has a low amount of use, also there's not really much aside from a large amount of crystals in the map (too much crystals for my taste actually). I am really curious how useful it can be compared too other templates which are usually very big.

    Vote for Substandard.

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  19. Shadow Fury

    Shadow Fury

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    This map was made small on purpose since it has to be a "submap", not a main map. In addition, there isn't a rule regarding the size of a template so even if it's small, I still comply with the rules perfectly.
    The template contains many crystals because it's a crystal cavern; clearly they are the main focus of the map. If you scan the map more attentively, you'll see that there are lots of interesting things included in this small map (smart mechanisms to be applied, secret areas, a large ward for a boss fight etc...).
    As you said, there are many big templates out there so what about if we give a go to a small one? I find it a good idea. What if someone is looking for a tiny template to use for a submap? They would have a hard time finding it.

    Right now, I really have no idea what you want me to do for an approval. If you want me to remove some crystals and make the template bigger, then I refuse because this would destroy the aim of the template. The terrain is attractive, original (never seen this before) and useful in some way. Besides, I conform to all the map submission rules so please give me a valid reason as to why you're setting my template to substandard so that I can actually have something to work on.
    Thank you.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2017