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Hired Sword: Windora Contract

215031-769ed3f8691d3d5e6d58ebfe52285078.png


Now Updated to 1.3, Read the changes below!

Hired Sword: Windora Contract

Adventure into the region of Windora to undertake a dangerous bounty, the undead commander Banehallow.
Complete contracts for factions around the region to earn troops for your party, gold and gear.

  • Reputation System: Completing contracts and killing enemies in a particular area will earn you favor with the local embassy, recruit stronger troops depending on your reputation level
  • Companion System: Every enemy killed in the game (yes, that includes bosses) have a 10% chance of becoming a loyal companion to your party.* One companion max at a time
  • Unlockable Hero Skins: Secret methods of unlocking skins for your hero for the session, collect them for fun or for their unique passive.
  • Farmable Camps: Every enemy respawns (including bosses) farm to your hearts content to thwart any competition.

Estimated Playtime: 30-60ish minutes depending on your playstyle
Player Count: One Player

Hello! My name is Sellsword,
I grew up creating maps for fun when I was much much younger, the editor has a fondness in my heart; yet despite all those years I never actually finished a single map, ever.
It was always ideas that hit a deadend, a sense of wanting to start new projects and never finish, and just the lack of knowledge of how to get what I wanted.
I thought it would be a fun challenge to go back with the mannerisms I have now and actually complete a project and boy did I learn A LOT
This was my first time using variables inside my maps, self-teaching, exploration and a few handy google searches and I can already see what I can fix and how I can improve for future maps.

I've done the best I can for a smooth experience with as much Quality of Life I can pack in before I go mad refining things that dont need refinement.
This was a week worth of fun and learning and I hope you can at least find some small enjoyment in either the execution, ideas or the terrain.

Thanks for reading and thanks for playing.
Let me know if you find any game-breaking bugs!
Content wise I'm finished with the map, I'm too eager to work on a new project!

Credit for Custom Content

Plate Armor Knight by Gluma
Rend Blackhand by HerrDave
Heal and Coup de Grace Effect from Vinz



Patch 1.3 Changes:
- Credit for imported assets has been added to the map description and inside the quest log
- All units from the embassy can be dismissed. (No more stabbing your own Sunny Hill farmers)
- Iron Scrap Icon has been changed from the passive variant
- Unit Selections tweaked across the board
- Faction healers will now restore unit mana, specifically the ogre magi
- Note hinting towards the travelling merchant
- Contracts can be purchased with a full inventory
- Undead forces now drop the Bone Trophy as intended
- Scourge of the Wastes and Banehallow now drop their respective epic loot again
- Shipyard inside Wrathborn Village no longer sells boats
- Stun range increased for Decimate
- Cleaving Claymore damage has been halved (20,40,60,80,100% > 10,20,30,40,50%)
- Bandit Lord attack animations fixed
- Filepath for imports cleaned
Patch 1.2 Changes:
- Formation on ogre magi set to ranged
- Armored units now have metal impact, same for units with shields having wooden impact
- Selection size correctly adjusted for larger units
- War Banner now correctly shows the right icon
- Iron Heart now correctly shows a passive icon
- Boss damage has been slightly increased
- Healers will no longer freeze after healing in towns
- Units may only heal when wounded
- Reputation drop loot system completely reworked (big thanks to @FlameofChange for that one)
Patch 1.1 Changes:
- Global XP turned off, Hero must be near combat to gain XP
- Ogre Magi fireball nerf
- All Gold bounties have been lowered for enemies
- Respawn time has been increased to 45 seconds for all enemies
- The difficulty of all enemies has been tweaked, all enemy levels lowered later in the game
- Most roads/areas have been widened for easier troop movement
- All faction structures are now invulnerable
- Centaur Khan base has been reworked for ease of access and aesthetic
- Clawhide Tribe Village entrance has been made more accessible
- Companion System visual effect rework (Thanks Vinz!)
- Enemy Respawning rework, enemies will now respawn how they were placed
- New Hero Ability: Impede
- Hero Ability Reworked: Overhead Swing > Decimate
- Passive to explain the mechanics of companions and reputation drops
- All Unit weapon impact sounds have been tweaked so it's not the same metal blunt smack
- Reputation items can now be stacked and only can be sold at their respective faction embassy
-
Most triggers have been tweaked to stop / lessen leaks, they're not perfect but most have been plugged (No more If/Then/Else hurrah!)
Previews
Contents

Hired Sword: Windora Contract (Map)

Reviews
deepstrasz
A credits list in the map description with the names of the authors whose resources you've used is mandatory. That includes models, skins, icons, custom spells, systems. Also, sounds, music and everything outside this site. This helps you with the...
TL;DR : this map will not please hardcore RPG players, but it's a good one shot to pass time.

Ahoy ! My game designer eyes saw a lot of little flaws here and here, but on paper it have a simple yet coherent system with no overlapping.
It have this vanilla feel without being cheap. However I will list for you what crossed my mind. I know the map would benefit from an expended universe and quests. I'll judge as it is.

Level design
Simple yet it don't suffer from serious problems. The player is led where it is supposed to be overall. Here's the nitpicks :
☼ When having a lot of troops, the road becomes very quickly cramped.
☼ Some buildings (neutral and ally) can be destroyed with no consequences. Either make them pure decoration or also invulnerable.
☼ The centaur boss base have a too narrow entrance, which makes the battle easier and messier. The base have a lot of obstacles which costed the life of many henchmen.
☼ The entrance for the second village is not very explicit. Yeah there's a guard but standing next to many other routes. I figured out a bit too late where it was.

Level scaling
For the two first villages it's fine. But with the third ones being very high level the hero generates levels like crazy.
Unique items will give less and less interesting bonuses compared to the high level hero. Furthermore, when you learned all the skills before mid-game you don't have to plan what skill you want to take later. This is the different compatible ways I would recommend :
☼ Reduce XP gain from late-game enemies
☼ Reduce power of late-game enemies
☼ Increase a bit the hero level xp requirement for higher levels
☼ Grant one skill point every two to four levels.
☼ Reduce or delete XP gain from enemies too bellow your current level

Enemy respawn and farm
I found a good trick : recruit 2 footmen and patrol them between a gnoll camp and the healer. You generate XP and gold while you're busy advancing elsewhere. I finished the game with 4000+ gold. Loot takes a good amount of space, especially in end game where your inventory is full. With newer patches we can stack items as you want. I don't recommend going full 99 stacks but 4-6 is a good average, depending on your view in the balance.
Also why not selling special items requiring a certain amount of loot.

Graphics / sounds
Due to Warcraft 3 being Warcraft 3, the cleaving attack uses the slam animation for the hero. It makes an incoherent detail. To fix this it's not very complicated : change the required animation to none in the ability. Through trigger you can add a special slashing effect (for example a slash from our great and beloved @Vinz ). Recycle this animation for the stun spell, which elegantly re-attaches the wagons.
Most of units have the same attack/impact sounds, which is a bit bizarre in my opinion. But it's not a big deal and works as it is.

Provisional and personal Tier-notation
M&S] When Mythical and Spellbound makes something together on Warcraft 3
S] Great, elegant, extra thicc, easily hooks the mind
A] Good. Nothing much to say except nitpick
B] Genuinely OK, but can be better in many ways
C] Average. Not bad, not good. C- would be "meh"
D] Flawed, or insignificant
E] Unstable, badly made, or just broken
F] Fatal error, ruins the rest
Aesthetics B (How well the graphics blends with Warcraft 3 while being elegant)

Nothing much to say, since there's nothing much to see. The terrain is OK and is a good base to polish.
Fluff C (The epicness, spice, philosophy and background of the map)

The lore is as straightforward as it gameplay, which is coherent in a good sense. I won't say naive but it don't have out-of-the-box elements which flaws the rest. I prefer having this kind of map instead of a more complex and badly made teenager wet dream.
Feel & juice A- (How fun is it to play the map, how well it gives you positive feedback)

The simplicity of the map makes it easier to get points here. You grasped the concept and you can go from good to great with some work on the gameplay feedback.
Strategy and tactic D+ (How the mechanics blends together, giving the map its unique approach)

Due to being easy and direct, it doesn't have much complexity to work on. In your case it's not a bad thing since it's meant for casual players.
Balance D- (How strengths leave space to the rest, does it blends gameplay-wise together with the content)

I won't say the map is too casual, however the steamroll is noticeable. Extensive tests and updates will rapidly fix that, no sweat. You finish the map with too much gold and you don't bother to sell trophies except for reputation to unlock the better units. Also the spawns might are a bit too frequent, or they happen even when the player is around, which makes retreat messy (is this intentional ?). Ogre magi can perma-stun with the hero most of enemies, but they get shredded by late game mobs (600 hp when most of enemies have 100 DPS). You had however the good reflex to make them ranged.
Content A (Does the map feels complete compared to its intent)

As a quick one-shot, is almost in the sweet spot. But the potential could inflate the expected content. If you want to keep the same rough duration with instead a bit more quests you would reach S. Beware, expanding too much would make some parts too empty.
Handling & ergonomics B- (Does this map have the proper data shown, how easy is it to understand)

Quests are clear, given information are enough to hint the player without holding his hand. Some semi-hidden mechanics could benefit from some context, for example if a player goes on your map without knowing the existence of the hive page. Low content means low chances of confusing a player, which is refreshing.
Triggers, code, overall polishing E+ (Is the map correctly coded, no leaks, have efficient algorithm, are details taken care of)

Lots of leaks here and here. But since it's single player it won't hurt before 5 hours of gameplay. The use of waits could mess up some triggers, since new events can appear before the previous wait finishes. The one line If-then-else is to be BANNED, like any other one lined blocs. Using the multiple actions makes the trigger longer indeed, but waaaaaaaay easier to read and manipulate. Fun fact : when compiled into JASS it's almost the same (bad) performance. Don't worry in your case it's not a looming disaster, but remember in large scale multiplayer strategy/action maps Murphy's law will hit very very hard.

I would suggest you to learn about memory leaks and how to handle them. This map isn't complex and it won't break your nerves and the gameplay mechanics. Finally it will be useful for later.
Overall tier B

A fancy lil' cute map. Even with the numerous flawed details I cannot find any ill intent. It does the job and many would have a good time. However the big guys might genuinely want more on the plate. You're on the good tracks.
Personal taste C+ (No impact on the rest of the notation, just by curiosity)

Not really my cup of tea, but it was a good refreshing tea. Continue to crave your way, apprentice. You may are a beginner in triggers but you know how to organize yourself, which is very encouraging. We need more creators like you to spawn these days. Luckly the experts are here to help you to learn something in one year which took us years to figuring out.
 
Level 4
Joined
Feb 28, 2022
Messages
6
Thankyou so much for the detailed review!!
I'm already buzzing with ideas on improvement and very keen to get my triggers clean and plugged of leaks

Absolutely adored reading your breakdowns, it means a lot and offered a lot of different perspectives that I just couldn't think of testing on my own, one particulalry I was worried about was new user experience.
(Adding Companion / Reputation tips or tutorials inside the actual new levels will be a big one)

I think I'll be a bit stricter around balance too, I wanted to infuse that feeling of having your standard difficulty but having the option to grind for power but found that it snowballed rapidly, I didn't even think of the footman trick!

Can I ask if you used the Companion system or found it underwhelming?
and did you use any secret unlockable hero skins?

Many thanks again!
 
Last edited:
Can I ask if you used the Companion system or found it underwhelming?
I was confused how it worked. I hoped to have multiple companions but it's only later I noticed its only one.
So in my perspective I found it underwhelming on the execution. Since you fight 75% of the time it's very easy to replace your outdated companion.
I would suggest these things, again it's not in order and it's compatible with each others
< Give them an inventory (so you can carry more stuff)
< Increase the current limit, which increases with quests
< Make the companion limit improved through hero level (because of a Wc3 limit you can work around with techs)
< Makes companion heroes with limited level range, or pseudo-heroes. They would still have one life.
< Add special abilities (for example Gnoll purge, bandit hide/Slow poison, I don't know they are the first things popping up in my head)
< When reaching the limit, new companions is added to a pool and available to recruit again later, if your previous one dies. Firing a companion would just put it in the pool again. To avoid a huge pool you can reduce the companion chance for each success, until they dies. The implementation and the math are yours here.
< Only the direct kills of the hero converts into companions
However don't make it too impactful, since your main character must flex most of the attention.

and did you use any secret unlockable hero skins?
Since it's only skin well I didn't bother to use. If the map had a much longer game length people would get more interested because the collection is slower and you consequently see your changes for more time.

Also while I'm at it, concerning the polishing. Make sure to sync unit selection size, collision and attack animations. Sometimes big bosses have a ridiculous default 1.00 radius. Remember it also increase the health bar size. Also put some animation on the healer, or make the heal from a human priest who holds position. If you have time to spare you can add random text for PNJ interactions, plus putting a kind of noise (a unit sound of your choice, for example).
 
Level 4
Joined
Feb 28, 2022
Messages
6
Hired Sword: Windora has been updated to 1.1!
Bringing a healthy amount of fixes and content updates for a better user experience.
Patch 1.1 Changes:

  • Global XP turned off, Hero must be near combat to gain XP
  • Ogre Magi fireball nerf
  • All Gold bounties have been lowered for enemies
  • Respawn time has been increased to 45 seconds for all enemies
  • The difficulty of all enemies has been tweaked, all enemy levels lowered later in the game
  • Most roads/areas have been widened for easier troop movement
  • All faction structures are now invulnerable
  • Centaur Khan base has been reworked for ease of access and aesthetic
  • Clawhide Tribe Village entrance has been made more accessible
  • Companion System visual effect rework (Thanks Vinz!)
  • Enemy Respawning rework, enemies will now respawn how they were placed
  • New Hero Ability: Impede
  • Hero Ability Reworked: Overhead Swing > Decimate
  • Passive to explain the mechanics of companions and reputation drops
  • All Unit weapon impact sounds have been tweaked so it's not the same metal blunt smack
  • Reputation items can now be stacked and only can be sold at their respective faction embassy
    [*]

Most triggers have been tweaked to stop / lessen leaks, they're not perfect but most have been plugged (No more If/Then/Else hurrah!)
 
Last edited:
Level 4
Joined
Feb 28, 2022
Messages
6
Hired Sword: Windora has been updated to 1.2!
For every two things I fixed in 1.1 another one broke,
big thanks to FlameofChange for his continued support on triggerwork.


Patch 1.2 Changes:
  • Formation on ogre magi set to ranged
  • Armored units now have metal impact, same for units with shields having wooden impact
  • Selection size correctly adjusted for larger units
  • War Banner now correctly shows the right icon
  • Iron Heart now correctly shows a passive icon
  • Boss damage has been slightly increased
  • Healers will no longer freeze after healing in towns
  • Units may only heal when wounded
  • Reputation drop loot system completely reworked (big thanks to @FlameofChange for that one)
 

deepstrasz

Map Reviewer
Level 67
Joined
Jun 4, 2009
Messages
18,344
A credits list in the map description with the names of the authors whose resources you've used is mandatory. That includes models, skins, icons, custom spells, systems. Also, sounds, music and everything outside this site.
This helps you with the models, skins and icons from Hiveworkshop: Resources in use by Hired Sword: Windora Contract
There are still things that should be on the list you started.
  1. No cinematic scenes/intro? Some story, something?
  2. Abilities are regular Warcraft III ones.
  3. Icons like the one for Iron Scraps look like passive abilities. They can be made look proper with:
  4. Button Manager v1.8.2
  5. Can't dismiss trained units.
  6. Clawhide Bear selection circle is too small.
  7. For some reason the Clawhide Tribe Healer doesn't restore the mana of Clawhide Magi.
  8. Intended for ships to be available to be bought in the Wrathborn camp?
  9. The tuskar merchant suddenly disappears even though it's still nighttime.
  10. Contracts could be tomes to avoid not being able to buy them when your inventory is full.
  11. The Scavenged Hide dropped from undead says it has to be sold to Wrathborn Embassy for reputation. Kind of useless since you're maxed out until then. However, you can get the money on it from the Royal Aegis Embassy.
  12. Maybe make the Undead Soul a rune item too to avoid inventory space filling. Or, a backpack system could be implemented. Haven't found any other soul by the way.
  13. No reward to kill the Scourge of the Wastes. Well, it's not that hard to take it down since it doesn't regenerate when you go to restore health or buy troops.
It's a neat old-school RPG map with innovative twists. Bosses could have been more diverse and not just stronger units. Some custom and creative gameplay mechanics for them would have made the experience much more impactful. There's some grind but it's softcore which is good as that means little to no repetitiveness.
I feel there are some missed opportunities. The map ends pretty fast while there would still be space on the map to add content or the same places could have changed their contracts and enemies to continue the adventure and keep levelling up fighting stronger and different creatures. Another thing is that there's not really any replayability since enemies are the same, hero spells are the same and the mercenaries get overused fast since usually you want to get the highest level ones anyway. Items are a bit more interesting if you get to buy them from hidden vendors, otherwise they are the same.

Approved.


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Level 4
Joined
Feb 28, 2022
Messages
6
Thankyou so much for the review, constructive feedback and of course the approval!
Much appreciated, I'm glad you enjoyed what you could and look forward to making an even better map next!

Patch 1.3 Changes:
- Credit for imported assets have been added to the map description and inside the quest log
  • All units from the embassy can be dismissed. (No more stabbing your own Sunny Hill farmers)
  • Iron Scrap Icon has been changed from the passive variant
  • Unit Selections tweaked across the board
  • Faction healers will now restore unit mana, specifically the ogre magi
  • Note hinting towards the travelling merchant
  • Contracts can be purchased with a full inventory
  • Undead forces now drop the Bone Trophy as intended
  • Scourge of the Wastes and Banehallow now drop their respective epic loot again
  • Shipyard inside Wrathborn Village no longer sells boats
  • Stun range increased for Decimate
  • Cleaving Claymore damage has been halved (20,40,60,80,100% > 10,20,30,40,50%)
  • Bandit Lord attack animations fixed
  • Filepath for imports cleaned
 
Level 20
Joined
Jun 11, 2017
Messages
517
Just completed it right now and what I want to say:
  • First of all - it's nice map which gaved me Overlord wibes - strong hero unit, who can command minions with different strenght and for different tasks. It's not hard and map doesn't evoke angry emotions from start and up to killing Banehollow, I like that!
  • But encountered some small issues, like dropping fur hides from skeletons/abominations in last location and my hero level just reset when I changed my hero skin in tavern (I used standard hero, then changed him into Banehollow skin and back - he dropped from lvl 22 to lvl 1). If fur drop isn't big trouble, level drop is it - it's make me feel like I farmed level through all map for nothing.
By the way, I want to share screenshots with listed problems and my walkthrough reply, that I think would be helpful for you!
In results - map is nice and pretty. Story isn't hard to understand, but gameplay bit too easy.
 

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Level 3
Joined
Oct 26, 2010
Messages
33
Loved it! I was wondering, would it be possible to make something similar for 2-3 players? maybe as a future project, it would be cool to play it with friends
 
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