It's been years... did anyone miss me? Here is the review:
-Much more manageable than last iteration and certainly much polished and fleshed out. One masterpiece of mission. The dialogues and storylines of characters are now more well-written. So, that was the general rating which I will of course give 5/5 if certain mistakes are fixed and the current rating is 4.5/5.
-The absence of Grella and Oneeye kinda bothered me. They should be at least among the Allies Forces leading vanguard against tides of crimson, silver, amethyst, dog-rose and obsidian... oh, wait... getting poetic here. If Allies Forces have heroes to lead them, their aegis won't be broken that easily and would synergize well with armies. Maybe Destroyer departed with Gorthog to enlist Pigmen or with Rangul to recruit Ogres?
-Cliffhunter's base don't rebuild lost buildings and don't train most of their units if damaged beyond certain threshold. The same kinda happened to enemy bases though. And, yeah, Pechan totally useless. He should seriously stop loitering around and agreed even Sas is more useful than him. He was handy at nuking air and ground units alike.
-The roster was: oddly, I forgot about Goblin lab and production of goblin ships 🤡 but I picked Skullblade and trained like 6 or 7 wyverns for anti-air units... quite a clown pick, I know, but still worked. And 4 elders, 6/7 demolishers, 8/9 crystal golems, some new guards for extra dmg (picked Amari's bonus btw) and that was pretty much everything. Witch doctors and shieldbearers were wonderful glues of this mission... too bad to revamp the roster. With Borean's ult, Grofzag's ult and aura, Amari's ult and aura, Sas's nuke, and Zairmak's spammable nuke and silence, they can make wonders.
-The tip: Take out Wolf base asap and with 5 heroes and reinforcements coming behind along with initial forces emboldened with new units, it shouldn't be problem. Beware, the nasty Phoenix and Redfist will come to reinforce the line if taken too long. Never forget to have 6 or 7 demolishers to quickly get the business done. All heroes synergize well and Zairmak is especially handy at nuking heroes and darned destructors. I'm certain Zoia, Darkfang, Orie, Kenos, Thorn, and Cassius had huge ptsd session after facing Zairmak. Then it would be easy to take Salrian base with Flammedus's forces (but also make it quick as taking too long can make Redfist and Phoenix giving nasty pressure in base). Centaur certainly had the best offense and defense thanks to huge dps in form lava elementals and other phoenix. They can survive both Salrian and Daric's forces waxed together no matter the odds. Aveen's departure was clearly the funny yet sensible aspect of mission as her departure would mean no anti-air and hawks dps. But Bloodstone ravens (pun-intended) will be nasty and Cliffhunter had quite lackluster anti-air defense and Goblins didn't even produce enough tinkers to fend off entire swarms; they had like one or two goblin ships only.
-Orie participating is not something I expected and her having lightning magic is... interesting. I wonder how it will correlate with memory tampering of Aedale. So, she would use emp to disturb neurons and instill projected illusions that is ultimately product of brain's electronic capabilities... oh, wait... getting too scientific here (Mbe being invested in Tesla vs Beelzebub round of Record of Ragnarok had this side-effect). It would be gross error to underestimate her as she had freaking Monsoon to swath thro' my armies like butter if not stunned quick. And, who thought there would be pleasant surprise of enjoying the company of Slithereen... Naga... no, I mean "fishies". As my main army got obliterated by Redfist and Orie, they managed to sneak behind and, thankfully, survived Orie's onslaught thanks to well-timed stun of Grofzag. With mostly intact reptilian reinforcements and reinforcing my 21 to 70ish (can't quite recall) foods army with new forces (yeah, from 120 to 21 just taking out Redfist base), I assaulted Phoenix base but paid the huge price for being reckless. Thanks to narrow ways and insane dps of Phoenix, all my murlocs were obliterated (even naga royal guards... no, murloc behemoths) though I won the clash and took the base. Then went straight to Thorn and managed to kill him with 40ish army with goblins and allied forces reinforcing just in time... but had to retreat after killing him and focused on remaining Salrian base, Cassius's forces and then finally ended the mission with last base.
-Zairmak seeing the reflection of his... former caricature in Thorn kind of shewed what kind of orc he was. Mbe Ravaging Fire clan was quite similar to Redfist after Zairmak assumed the mantle of leadership. So, him seeing this and shedding the rotten scale is a good development for him. As for backstory and belief system of Centaurs, It's very possible Centaurs worship some sort of god of flame, sun, prophecy or even combination of all... Mbe even God of Sun before gods warred in primordial time of Arkain's world (equivalent to rl Apollo the Greek god of sun but also one who is patron of Oracle of Delphi who was prophetess... and Flameddus is said to prophesized to lead Centaurs as shown in the ritual of flames... unexpected parallels I guess. There are others such as Utu (Mesopotamian), Ra (Egyptian), Xihe (Chinese), Amaterasu (Shinto), Surya (Hindu) etc...)
-Hopefully, next mission is undead (true story exclusive will take a month for sure, and Arkain map is always quite a good copium to spice out my otherwise confusing last semester of college and muddling thro' what to write in thesis I picked... but hakuna matata.) GL again, Arkain team! 🥰