|Innisbrook, a southern province of Virailon human kingdom, is suffering from dark mages, cults, and demons that recently became active and threaten everyone living in the region. The biggest danger is a newly founded yet massive pyromaniac cult named "Phoenix Claw", whose followers have been burning entire villages and their residents for unclear purposes. You are Esther, one of the best soldiers under the command of Virailon Magistrate Council, a high-ranking authority tasked with maintaining the kingdom’s law and bringing those who oppose it to swift justice. You were sent to Innisbrook in order to investigate the matter and assist local troops in defending the province from enemies of the crown. With your soulbound partner, an ancient dark spirit named Kara’zhuk, you arrive at Innisbrook and start your path. Around you are corpses of civilians, villages burnt to ashes, power-hungry demons roaming empty fields, and numerous wildlife, driven crazy by strange curses of local dark mages. You are unsure where this road will take you, but you know it won’t be an easy one.|
|The map uses many core principles of RPGs/micro maps typical for WC3. Playing as Esther, you'll have to fight enemies, do quests, and explore the map in order to get more powerful and move the story forward. The focus on quests, however, is much smaller than on exploration and player choices. They serve as major tasks you'll have to perform to get to the ending, but the way you'll approach them is mostly up to you. Interact with surrounding people using Esther's special ability: not everyone will talk to you, but those who will have a word might tell something useful or assist in your journey. Sometimes, you'll be presented with player choices with two or more possible outcomes. There is rarely a 100% right answer, so I suggest simply picking the choice you like the most. During fights, especially on the first half of your playthrough, you'll usually be heavily outnumbered, so approach your enemies carefully. Item management and wise spending of your gold might help you immensely in some encounters.|
|Besides Esther and his spiritual friend, there'll be a possibility to recruit up to 14 additional non-hero characters into your team. Progressing the main story will only give you 2 characters, 12 more are entirely optional and have different conditions under which they'll decide to join you. Some will require you to bring something to them first, others will be in need of your rescue and gladly join after you'll help them, in some cases, you'll have to figure out what the possible companion wants before you can add them to your crew. Possible team members are scattered throughout the whole map in the most unexpected places, so the more you explore, the more chances you have of assembling a powerful army. Try to get them all! Be careful not to lose them, however, as their deaths are permanent.|
|To interact with surrounding folks, use "Interact" or simply press [Z]. All player choices are done via you typing the answer into the chat. Be careful to type phrases that'll exactly match the presented answers. Please do not spam the same answer into the chat several times, as some triggers may react poorly to this kind of behavior. The cutscenes in the map are not skippable, however, the game will autosave after most major cutscenes and some important story events. You may find the autosave in your "Custom Saves" folder. It's still advised for you to save on your own as well to not lose significant amounts of progress unrelated to the main story.|
Played it a bit, but… I liked it! What can I rewind from my small walkthrough:
Because I tried to rush story line and still didn't completed map at full, I noticed some issues:
- Two heroes, seems that they empower each other. Good idea with big-armored demons that could be quickly killed by your demon first spell;
- Additional stories makes world feel alive, IMHO;
- Dialogs helps to understand the world and some characters are notable, what I can say
Anyway, even with those balance-related issues, map in playable and enjoyable state.
- Those trees… I played on WC3 Reforged with classic graphics and seems that they are too leaf-big. I barely can see something under them and in most cases those trees are helping my enemies by preventing my vision!
- Some cinematics can't be skipped;
- Why my main hero doesn't have any AOE? There alot of enemy squads upon road and I can't kill them with my 2 heroes + some additional units. Second main hero spell seems useless, IMHO.
About AOE: no, Kara'zhuk spell are quite enough, I've talking about Eshter second spell which is passive one. I don't find usefull, and in my opinion a tauren pulverize would fit better if you want to have a second passive spell, sure.Thanks!
Regarding AOE, I guess that's a fair criticism. The way I played this is: the majority of these squads can be killed one-by-one (or two-by-two) if you kite them out a bit, as they have a pretty small aggro range and it's not hard to deal with them when they are on their own. The wildlife can also be kited into allied Virailon units which do the work for you... But I can see how in some cases the enemy numbers might be a problem. The second spell... I'm assuming you're talking about Kara'zhuk and his hateful outburst, because this is the closest thing to AOE in Esther's team. I'll have to rethink this ability. Of course, there's a design limitation regarding that Zhuk shouldn't deal direct damage to non-demon opponents, but maybe the spell can be changed to be more useful in large encounters.
Oh, understood. I guess its quality pretty heavily depends on how you level up other skills, as Esther's mirror image copy also receives all benefits from his passive, and these 2 work better in conjunction.About AOE: no, Kara'zhuk spell are quite enough, I've talking about Eshter second spell which is passive one. I don't find usefull, and in my opinion a tauren pulverize would fit better if you want to have a second passive spell, sure.
I really like the concept of both heroes. I still haven't finished playing it but here are some earlier thoughts:
edit: ofc this is just my opinion!
- Since they are both linked by magic I think both heroes should share XP and beeing the same level.
- Terrain could use some improvements.
- I agree with Nightmare Book, maybe add some AoE spell? Although It's not that neccesarry once you start getting companions.
- Summon Khara'Zuk spell ability cast Roar on nearby friendly units, gives them the buff but I think it does nothing else aside from that.
- When you interact with Malak after the first altar beeing destroyed, he again summons the attack group but they just stay in place. This occurs everytime you interact with him.
- I love the dialogues and interactions between most characters. Most of them have unique personalities and are different from each other.
- Also the buff when healed by Khara, its a common heal that does not match the current ability icon of Khar spell.
I'm really liking it so far. Great feature the tunels so you don't have to be walking around the whole map.
If I find anything else whenever I have the chance to finish playing I'll post it here.
Oh thanks, I'll try to fix those bugs with Malak and leftover buffs right now. About terrain: is that any particular portion of the map that could be terrained better or just the map overall?
The EXP thing is odd, I guess one of the 2 will soak more experience based on his position on the map (despite the fact that EXP should be shared equally as that option is ticked on in the game constants). I tried to do it differently before and make Kara'zhuk level up the same moment Esther leveled up, with a trigger. But it didn't work, so I'll have to find another way to fix this.
Thanks for the feedback! I actually found a way to make their levels sync now (I. E. found a way to make Zhuk level up when Esther does) so the differences between exp will not be an issue anymore. Other things I'll fix as well.About terrain: Overall. It's not bad, in my opinion it just need some detail touches. EDIT: Beeing more pricese: maybe adding some more props and scenary. Like rocks, flowers and stuff.
About the XP: As now the xp gap between them it's not that grotesque. I think it happens because sometimes I kind of forget about Khara at all and I have to summon him lol.
- You can get attacked by the Witches that are near the mine entrance (and you can actually kill them).
- When entering the mine with any unit but Esther the fade filter isn't aplied.
- I don't know if it's intended but i think that neutral units that have inventory (the troll berserk and the hellhound for example) should return the item that you gave them if those are not the one they need.
- Also, hum... I killed the last boss and nothing happened :') He still keeps summoning his minnions and using flamestrike.
- When I reached lvl 12 on Esther I did also got lvl 12 on Khara (but it wasnt the case for the previous levels).
Thanks for the feedback! I actually found a way to make their levels sync now (I. E. found a way to make Zhuk level up when Esther does) so the differences between exp will not be an issue anymore. Other things I'll fix as well.
Also, very sorry about that Firelord situation, it was a very odd error but now I've updated it so the ending will surely play out 100% of the time as it should.
It won't be an issue now. Zhuk doesn't soak experience anymore, it just levels up along with Esther.I'm not sure how you did it, but I'd recommend you should make it to both heroes.
In my case Khara was ahead of XP since I killed demons with him, while leaving my units behind enough to give him vision so he could kill them. That's how I noted that was happening. I repeat: it's not that really necesary* but it will add flavour to it
- Esther is turning with his back to Malak in the scene when first meeting him.
- "Troll encampment south" sign message is spammed if you move constantly in that region. I guess all the player units trigger it.
- Astral Curse can be cast on the player's units.
- You can reach the place where Gabriella comes to the green circle but even if you haven't met her yet.
- Jaa'fana has level 4 mentioned while the other companions don't show their level.
- Messages to accept companions and things are forever lost if the log gets cluttered with other messages. Interact does not bring those messages back.
- Some companions have hero glow and others don't.
- Reaching the River Monster, message spam ensues.
- Many transmissions run too fast and have to be read in the message log.
- The lady necromancer's meeting text triggers again when interacting with her after she joins you.
- Interacting with Malak after defeating the dark mages up northwest, will move the camera somewhere south of him in the dark instead of it remaining on him.
- Tad annoying that only hero spells are QWERTY.
- Instead of region based transportation, Way Gate type would work better as moving units somewhere on the minimap would trigger them to automatically detect the entry route to get there faster.
- Haven't found the bandit's head.
- Not sure if intended but the demons in the north guarding the demon gate died when coming into the water.
- Amulet of the Guardian requires mana to be used but it does not say how much.
- Companion can't open the gate with the Blood Key, only Esther.
- Didn't see any of Gabriella's forces during the last stand after choosing her.
Regarding this, when global EXP distribution is enabled it only takes effect if there are no heroes within the normal EXP distribution range. You can address it by setting the EXP distribution range to 0.The EXP thing is odd, I guess one of the 2 will soak more experience based on his position on the map (despite the fact that EXP should be shared equally as that option is ticked on in the game constants). I tried to do it differently before and make Kara'zhuk level up the same moment Esther leveled up, with a trigger. But it didn't work, so I'll have to find another way to fix this.
Thanks a lot, I truly tried my best with the dialogue. That isolated area was supposed to be a place for a necromancer sideboss (and one more possible team member as well), but I decided against adding them due to some complications in realization. I might add them in some later updates (soon tm), or just populate that part with some regular mobs, since I don't wanna remove the land that I already made.I really enjoyed this. Loved slowly building up my team and able to equip them with the rings to toughen the weak ones up etc. (That monster hunter really did keep trying to die on me.) Did a cheat code to look at the rest of the map after. Was there ever a point for the section south east which is sort of cut off from everything else but looks like you could get in via a tunnel? The section with a few undead buildings in it.
Also genuinely loved the fact that it was all well written with great dialogue. I know a lot of custom campaigns are written by people for whom English is not their native tongue which is impressive in itself but was just nice that there was varied dialogue and I didn't ever notice a spelling mistake.
Hi Alan, this map was fantastic, thanks for making it, was a ton of fun. Also thanks to Deepstrasz for recommending it.
Some random notes from when I played it:
Great dialogue going back and forth between characters, like when Esther says thats not true (in reference to the demon talking nonsense in the first cinematic), he changes direction of the conversation, it makes the story very realistic.
Regret not picking mana drain as first skill on demon at start, might recommend mana drain being already chosen as first skill cause getting to level 2 takes a long time, especially when theres no way to heal with a low mana demon (who needs mana for heal).
Esther not facing the commander during the cutscene when he arrives at the outpost (he has his back to him).
Someone called "martella" makes a comment about the colour of the water when we enter the water region next to the mercendary camp, even though i dont have this person in my group.
Not fond of how the storm lizard can kill the archer companion at full hp in 1 shot with the finger of death type spell, but more importantly, the spell it makes units explode, so i cant resurrect with the resurrection item i found since there is no corpse left over.
What does the fish naga creature do? Cant make it join me.
Cant find any water item to dispel the fire protecting the bounty hunter's target.
Ok, solved both issues above once the nature spirit part of the main quest was completed.
Is using the corrupted ancient tower to kill the huge mobs surrounding it by running our hero around and letting them get splashed to death the way you wanted us to beat that section?
I guess the troll warchief boss is meant to be soloed by Esther? Cause all other teammates get decapitated if they go near the fight
When i brought the drums back to the shaman, he turned bad, so I am guessing if i interact with him after getting the drums but before handing them back, there is a way for him to join my party? I still had 1 space left in my 12 person control group, thought it might be the shaman, or that merchant (Danny the Merchant) south east of the main human tower who only spoke to me once and then didn't respond again.
Is a black screen after firelord killed while the demon friend unsummons him intentional? Black screen goes away once the scene turns to Esther and the human commander
In one of the last dialogues between Ester + human commander "as long as" is spelt incorrectly.
Hey, thanks! The map came a long way since Maporino (both in terms of development and bug-fixing), I'm glad to see that you've decided to play it again! I did my best to fix the bugs you talked about... Regarding the troll, I may have accidentally made it so that instead of him killing your character when they're at 1/3 of their hp or lower, he'd kill the character if their hp was below 300% of their max hp, which of course meant always, oops. Now it's fixed. Regarding Reynad, I might add him to the attack wave later, I agree that it can add some flavor. Some tents can still be attacked and drop loot, but not each one, I thought that Esther destroying all buildings was a bit too chaotic for him.I originally played this map when it released for Maporino and I thought I would give it another try.
I found a few bugs :
Also, is that normal that Reynad doesn't do anything after you complete the cryomancers' quest ? He doesn't even join in on the attack on the Claw.
- Barny's taunt's shortcut is on T (and it changes positions if you save and load the game.)
- Tents can no longer be attacked. No more interesting way to gather your equipment (maybe replace some by destructibles like the troll tents)
- Kristina's dialogue triggers before she is even visible.
- The corrupted catapult dialogue triggers at the end of the first troll camp full of treants.
- The Dark lady's helmet's icon is like a passive ability (without borders)
- Todzarra's finishing blow murders every single wounded character. It forces a 1v1 using Esther.
- Carnung's Q and W abilities' placements are switched
It would also be nice to have a dialogue from Jakir (the troll in the human village) after Todzarra, the troll chieftain, is killed.
I really liked the mission. Assembling a team of unique characters and equiping them with items is really fun ! Also the easter eggs are really fun to seek.
I especially like the world and the characters. Esther and Zhuk's duo is very entertaining.
Are you planning on creating a sequel in the same universe ?
Just played through the whole thing twice! The first time, I was playing on an older version that I had downloaded a month ago (v5-21-22), and I was looking all over for the fourteenth companion, assuming Danny's temporary induction into my party did not count. Eventually, I broke and looked at the map in the World Editor to figure out who the fourteenth companion was and how I could get him/her/it. When I realized I frustratingly couldn't get Olivier, I downloaded the latest version, restarted the map, and played it again. The second playthrough was a lot faster and just as fun. Knowing how to get all the different companions and building up a party quickly was pretty fun, and the additions and changes you made between the versions made the map fresh. I also tried to build different party members the second time around.
Overall, loved it!
- The invulnerable companion Kara'Zhuk is a cool concept! I like how he indirectly helps on the battlefield. Him being the only one (for a while) who can effectively deal with demons is interesting, but it does make battles with demons boring. Since there's little point in actually fighting them and eating their attacks and abilities, it's better to just send a unit far enough forward to get vision, then let Kara'Zhuk curse, mana drain, and curse the demon until it dies. I'm not sure how you could give the demons the ability to interact back with Kara'Zhuk, though.
- Kara'Zhuk's Astral Curse seems overpowered. It's the clear thing to max first, and it scales so well with levels in the spell too. Damage to demons is enough reason to max it; the ridiculous cripple is just excessive. Kara'Zhuk's ability to drain mana from enemies without aggroing them is pretty overpowered too.
- While it's definitely difficult to manage all the companions effectively, it is a ton of fun to collect them all and customize them. I like the way you've differentiated all the companions, though I would call some less fun than others. Bruni's very slow attack speed doesn't make him very fun to build. I know you've done this to balance Lucky Shot, but I feel like he could be changed to make him more "buildable". With how many companions there are, Anti-Magic Shell on Califax is a chore to use; maybe you could replace this with Entangling Roots to make him a little more offensive while keeping with the theme? BloodySpear is awesome, but Ensnare sees no use because basically no enemies run away unless you're aggroing them and drawing them out of their leash range. What if Ensnare had a DOT component? Finally, Jaa'fana is cool, but her Consume Mana seems fairly pointless when you have far better mana drain with Kara'Zhuk. She's not nearly as mana hungry as Lady Death or Kristina, either.
- Only Jaa'fana has a unit description; the rest of the companions' descriptions are the same as melee.
- The world is interesting; there's a lot on the map, including many hidden things, and the terrain is good. I love how you made additional content for the River Monster's aquatic capabilities. The River Monster is just a neat companion, too.
- The constant attacks on the town until the base is destroyed are concerning. Even if it's ultimately no threat, seeing the allied base get attacked every few minutes makes me want to prioritize crushing the enemy base over everything else.
- The different bosses were fairly interesting; they weren't just stat sticks. Gunther was a pretty cool boss.
- The items are neat, and getting the red, yellow, and purple items was definitely exciting because of their rarity and what it took to get them. As far as I can tell, even though yellow items are supposed to be of a lower tier than red items, they are less common. I only found three yellow items, six red, and three purple in what I believe was a complete playthrough.
- Pyromancer Staff's description while on the ground is wrong: "A helm that reeks of dark energies."
- During the purification defense, some monsters spawn outside the playable area.
- Important dialogs (containing quest instructions/hints or commands) can be lost in the log because the player has interacted with too many things. You should be able to get the instructions/hints back if you forget by interacting with the people again, or maybe the instructions should go to Quests so they're not lost.
- I tried to read all the dialog, but I was often faced with issues when I interacted with connected NPCs in short succession; i.e. I'd start a conversation with one NPC, read their line (didn't realize it was just the first line), then start a conversation with the adjacent NPC to see what they had to say, then the whole conversation plays out twice. Interacting with the same NPC during their conversation can also start a second conversation this way. Maybe you could disable the trigger while the conversation is going on then reenable it afterwards?
- Companions exploding due to red lightning isn't very fun, because it's the number one way to lose a companion and yet you can't revive them if they die this way.
- I wish you could have dialogs from interacting with your companions. There's only a dialog for interacting with Kara'Zhuk, and a bugged dialog when you interact with Olivier after he joins your party. There's so much potential for bonding here! You could even have multiple dialogs for each companion and cycle through them with each interaction. You could also put in some funny text for trying to interact with enemies.
- Kara'Zhuk seems to be able to level up normally at first, then his experience gets locked (once Esther gains a level)? In my second playthrough, Kara'Zhuk leveled up first, then leveled up a second time when Esther leveled up, making him one level higher than Esther for the rest of the playthrough until Esther hit level 12.
This "leash" feature was actually in the first ever beta version of the map, but I figured I'd better go without it sinceThat sounds pretty cool and thematic. For the replacement third ability, maybe an aura that negatively effects enemies could work.
Alternatively, you could also think about adding a "leash range" to Kara'Zhuk so he can never get very far from Esther. Possibly coupled with a decrease in the range of Kara'Zhuk's spells, this would essentially force Esther into combat whenever you want to use Kara'Zhuk's abilities, and prevent Kara'Zhuk from abusing the demons and other enemies who have mana with his abilities at long range. I don't know if this makes thematic sense based on your vision of the two, though.
Hi, this is most likely due to the reforged graphics, because the orbs are targetable like normal units in classic WC graphics. The map itself isn't tested on reforged and wasn't designed for HD graphics, I recommend using classic ones instead.Hi I am playing your map. Overall I think it is a good RPG map, however now I am stuck at the boss with the fire orb which makes him invulnerable. I am not sure because I played this map with reforged graphics or not, but I cannot target the fire orb to purge it with the astral spell, or exactly I cannot target it with any action. Is there anything wrong or can you give me the solution to fix that?
Thanks for the reply, that means I will have to start again as when I switch to normal graphics, the save game is not there. Maybe I will wait for a while to forget all details of the previous turn before starting againHi, this is most likely due to the reforged graphics, because the orbs are targetable like normal units in classic WC graphics. The map itself isn't tested on reforged and wasn't designed for HD graphics, I recommend using classic ones instead.
Sure, I think the dummy tome decision will do, I'll get to it when I have a chance. Interesting how the Dungeon Action did it, though, I tried the "order unit to stop" feature via triggers, but the crash always happened the very moment the unit was given an order so stopping it didn't do anything.I have a few suggestions regarding your issue with non-Hero units crashing the game when they pick up Tomes related to Hero stats.
Suggestion 1: Replace all Tomes that can crash the game with custom Tomes the companions can pick up. For example, a Manual of Damage, Manual of Attack Speed, Manual of Mana, Manual of Armor, etc. This would give the player freedom to focus on powering up specific companions.
Suggestion 2: Prevent companions from picking up Hero-related tomes via triggers. My favorite hero arena, Dungeon Action, has this feature. It has many non-Hero units that can use items, but when they are ordered to pick up a Tome with hero stats, they refuse and don't move.
Suggestion 3: Turn all Tomes that can crash the game into dummy Tomes. Via triggers, check whether a Hero or a unit is picking up the Tome, and do different things based on who is obtaining the Tome; e.g. Hero gets Agility, Unit gets armor and attack speed.
Yes, the old tome pick up crash. The solution is very simple, unlike anything i found in the terrible forums where i looked for it myself all those years ago. Tell your friend that the pseudo code is: if tome right click and not a hero: order unit move to position tome
Thanks for the feedback! These issues seem easy to fix, I'll get rid of them in the next update, whenever I get the time to make it.I just played through the new version and enjoyed the new improvements.
- Kara'Zhuk's new abilities are neat and definitely work thematically
- Kept track of the Stone Tokens this time, found them all
- The buffed Elder Hydra was a puzzle to beat, but eventually I found the right combination of items for the River Monster to kill it
- I like the new items and the new Crimson Moon. I do wish there were more attractive items to buy in the shops. It seems like the best use of money is just to buy Claws of Attack +12 and Gloves of Haste on characters if you want to increase their damage output.
- The dummy Tome of Knowledge doesn't respawn when picked up by a non-Hero
- I wish Heart of the Hydra and Oak Wine Keg said in their descriptions how much they increased regeneration by, like other regen items on the map do
- Nicola still doesn't have a description, but half of me thinks you purposefully left out her description as a joke
- Carthurg doesn't have a Q and instead has two W abilities
- I paid a little more attention to tooltips: it seems like almost every ability says the hotkey twice in the title. Hateful Outburst is also titled inconsistently, and the Smoke Bomb title for Bruni has a typo.
- I set Dolores free, but the world doesn't have to worry, because I quickly killed her after she exited the cage before she became invulnerable