Techtree Contest #14 - Poll

Choose the best entry!


  • Total voters
    39
  • Poll closed .
Status
Not open for further replies.
hive-logo-m-png.335473

ct_techtree-png.311501
contest-png.311487
p_hash-png.311483
1-png.311474
4-png.311477
thread_poll-png.311518


warcraft_iii_reforged_logo-more-orange-png.347564


optionally_paired-png.347924


Contestants are to recreate one of the default Warcraft 3 races, be it Human / Orc / Undead / Night Elf / Naga. Your submission must fit your chosen theme and share similar concepts with the original race.


other_rules_and_conditions-png.311513

  • Trying to manipulate the poll in any form is not allowed.
    If you're aware of ip-sharing with any voter, for any reason, you should contact the staff.
  • Harassment towards others to influence the result will lead to punishment.
  • A neutral recommendation to take part at the poll isn't problematic, though.
  • Voting for yourself is not allowed, and will lead to a malus by 5%.
  • Entry resources updated during the polling period will face a 10% penalty as a final warning.
  • Participating in the poll does not prevent one from being disqualified.
  • Judges are not allowed to vote.
You are very welcome to make a short statement what you like the most, so contestants get a bit of public feedback!




other_prizes-png.311512

  • 1st place: 75 reputation points
  • 2nd place: 50 reputation points
  • 3rd place: 25 reputation points
  • Entry: 5 reputation points
  • Judge: 15 reputation points per entry
The three winning teams will receive an award icon, representing the winning entry.




other_entries-png.311509






other_judges-png.311510




other_contest_judging-png.311506



Theme
How well the various elements of the Faction (including aesthetics, gameplay & design) fit together in a thematic manner such that they feel like they are representative of the given Faction, as well as that of the chosen Contest Theme. Well-fitting & polished aesthetics which complement a cohesive theme will be graded well; poorly-considered or lacking thematic elements will result in a poor score./10

Gameplay
How well the various elements of the Faction work together to achieve the tactical synergy & gameplay style the Faction has, as well as how efficiently each element performs its particular function. Strategic systems that endow an identity to the Faction, comprehensive & well-though-out roles which complement a cohesive Faction will be graded well; ill-considered, insufficient or over-compensating roles will lose points./10

Balance
Indicates how comparable the Faction is in terms of 'playability'; i.e. the ideal Faction should win/lose 50% of the time against others of it's class. Overpowered or Underpowered units/heroes/abilities/etc will result in a poor score; properly balanced elements will result in a good score./5

Creativity
How original the design of the Faction is in terms of innovative ideas, clever implementations, or creative concepts. Innovation and creativity will be rewarded; extensive re-use of existing elements in vanilla factions & poor originality will result in a poor score./15

/40


  • Judgement: 70%
  • Poll: 30%
FinalScore = (30*Reached_Votes/POSSIBLE_VOTES) + (70*Average_Judge_Score/POSSIBLE_SCORE)





other_dates_and_deadline-png.311507


The poll shall begin on 08th of May 2020 and conclude on 24th of May 2020.



Assigned Staff: Mythic

Contest | Results
 

MyPad

Spell Reviewer
Level 21
Joined
May 9, 2014
Messages
1,649
I cast my vote on the Seraphic Union. Based on inspecting the triggers behind the systems, the models, and game mechanics introduced, it is very clear that a lot of effort was made in making them as functional as possible.

If the option to choose more than one entry is possible, I would also cast my vote on the Secret Grove for its' stunning visuals that aren't too flashy or mundane, hitting some sort of goldilocks zone. However, the file size hurts my rating for this entry, hence second to the Seraphic Union.

The Kul'Tiras race does show some potential on the choice of models, but lacks a sense of uniqueness in custom spells, as most of them appear to be copies of existing spells.

The Last Revolt is somewhat distinct from the rest in that the town hall structure stays the same, with the requirements associated with the town hall being diverted to the construction of other buildings. As for the mechanical units, you'll surely find a strange specimen in the Judas Artillery.

Anyway, as for the Death and Taxes (my submitted), the skill-set of the fourth hero is worth checking out in singleplayer, but not so much in multiplayer (if not managed properly). I was unable to upgrade the Debt system; the ability to buy a lottery ticket from a Lottery Booth was scrapped, and the ability to place a bounty on a target unit from the Underworld Bank and Fortress of Charon (town hall buildings) was scrapped due to lack of time management.

That's all for now. I'll check the other races later.
 
I mean, HD maps using custom assets are inherently going to have a larger file size.

Oh no, oh no, we're being discriminated against! :peasant-frightened:
Rise up Reforged bros, don't let the Classic boomers bully us!

Jokes aside, both of us made custom NE ancients... these bastards alone at about 15-25MB filesize, even with good texture compression.

Not just for this contest's sake, people should get used to these filesizes. It's 2020, and garbage (clutter) mods for Fallout 4 are at 1+ GB

P.S. Time to seriously play through all the entries, finally got some spare time.
 
Level 21
Joined
Nov 4, 2010
Messages
6,217
I like the Nightscale Tribe very much, since it has some interesting unique mechanics such as the Watery Gate, Night Power, Night Favors and ability enhancements during the night. Although that means I can't concurrently train units with limited Watery Gates especially early in the game, but with enough Watery Gates, I get to train units from one building simultaneously. I also like the idea of having them enjoy buffs and powers at night, makes me consider Day/Night cycle/timing more. Hmmmm, I also love spamming one night favor in night that burns enemy mana and regenerates the night power points. I think, my vote should go to Nightscale Tribe.

I have also tried the Seraphic Union, it's also very impressive on how it makes use of Mason Tent, Shanty and Lay Brother. I like how Shanty gives you gold every few seconds - that's nice, keep all the money flowing! I like the units as well, some of the ones leaving greater impression such as the Pegasus Knights and Warrior Angels. The defense tower where you put a unit in is also a great idea. However, I find the mason building style, although unique and fascinating, a bit protracted and long-winded. Maybe it's for protection, but still a tent isn't going to withstand much punishment from enemy assaults. Though I did find a nice trick in restoring the Mason and Tent to full health by simply unpacking and repacking. The Archbishop costs no food though, and some buildings give debug error messages when destroyed. But nonetheless, I can see the effort in its design and implementation, it's really nice and unique.

I may try the other techtrees later.
 
Level 11
Joined
Dec 16, 2018
Messages
367
Good luck to all guys!
Currently voting for Seraphic Union, or Nightscale Tribe, not sure yet.
Sadly, I can't try anyone of the maps, for my wc3 version (I AM THE LORD OF CLASSIC BOOMERS.... I AM 1.26B), so I am choosing by Wips and creativity, and some of the ideas of XYours Trulyx look great, but it's just impossible to ignore some beatiful systems, like that beatiful portal.
I am sorry of don't be able to finish my entry before the deadline. Maybe, if I wouldnt give up with that Loa techtree...
 

Wazzz

Map Reviewer
Level 32
Joined
Feb 5, 2009
Messages
4,401
I had been waiting for the end of submissions to play through all the entries and write some brief reviews for each of them :)


When it comes to Naga factions, there are very few techtrees that explore anything new or interesting with them. A lot of them simply serve to further expand upon Blizzard's own masterpiece of a Campaign faction, without really offering anything new. When it comes to the Nightscale Tribe, however, there is an undeniable breath of fresh air, which may or may not be a good thing for Naga physiology.

This is a rather interesting take in that it incorporates the Night Time bonuses that benefit the Night Elves, but in all new and interesting ways. Is this a good thing? Perhaps, but it does provide incentive to be very careful about when you attack – timing is key to optimising your benefits.

The faction also has access to Night Powers, done in a style that I can only attribute to Riki Martin – this involves using a tertiary resource mechanic, that can then be used to cast a group of spells from your Town Hall structure. This can include abilities that turn day to night, and give you the edge you're looking for in a fight.

The training mechanic is interesting and actually not perversely intrusive, which is nice to be able to say. The resource mechanics are kept traditional and functional, allowing for you to get right into the game without having to worry about terrible designs that mostly serve as a detriment. The real downside I would say there is to the training mechanic as it is, is that you can't keep track of how long is left on the unit you're training. Aside from that it's serviceable enough.

Icon placements for the structures can get quite a bit confusing, especially when you want to get a food production structure and accidentally purchase the training facility instead. Combined with the high lumber costs of your starting structures, you don't have enough to get all three early game structures. Traditionally, the 150 lumber you start with should be able to go towards 1 Altar, 1 Barracks and 1 Food Production Structure (2 in the case of something cheaper and less effective like the Humans). Combined with unusual icon placement, this can make for a rocky start for the first time playing, but it's not that big of an issue that it sets you back by an immense amount.

The capacity for a Passive Sleep ability is an interesting choice on a tier 1.5 unit, which could be interpreted as overpowered, especially on such a unit. But then it can also be worth noting that when you do put units to sleep, they are only out of the battle until you shoot them again. All the same, there is quite a lot that can be done by disabling an entire enemy army so you can focus fire down their heroes with impunity.

Outside of what was mentioned above, it's a fairly solid entry – good variety of unit upgrades, unit roles seem to be covered well enough. Not a huge amount stands out about it, but rather it, for the most part, blends in moderately well with the other melee races. It's nice to see a unique take on a Naga faction, although it could have probably done a bit more differently outside of gameplay mechanics.



Watching this entry develop, it showed a lot of promise, which unfortunately amounted to a certain degree of disappointment for me. In many ways, this sort of falls into a lot of pitfalls of previous entries, where it doesn't really factor in the way the game plays, or how the faction would fit into that.

I find the core theme of the Human faction to be serviceable enough, although I wouldn't say it's Knightly Humans so much as it is Spanish Inquisition Humans. The models fit together well enough, which I find I have mixed feelings about where some of them aren't that aesthetically pleasing, yet there's an undeniable element of nostalgia to them, bringing me back to themes of games like Warlords Battlecry 3, which is always a soft spot for me.

The core issue, for me, is the layout of the faction's basic structural mechanics. You start off with 5 workers which can begin mining gold immediately, which is a positive step forwards – however, they cannot harvest lumber. To harvest lumber, you have to invest time and resources into constructing a Lumber Mill and your faction's Food Production structure just to be able to get Lumberjacks. This becomes a severe problem for a multitude of reasons, especially when coupled with the building mechanic. Converting the gold miners into Camps so they can use Masons to build your structures means that you have to dedicate 1 food for each structure you want to be able to build at any given time. There is effectively no reason to turn them back, since you will be populating your gold mine with 5 miners at any given time for efficiency, and you can't send them to get lumber. Then, when it comes to getting Lumberjacks when they are finally made available to you, if you happen to try to get more Lumberjacks than you can get through a lack of available Commoners, you do not get a refund, and you have to wait for the cooldown to complete before you can try again at the Lumbermill.

By the time you are able to build a steady economy and consider creeping, the enemy melee factions have pulled miles ahead of you and there's not really a feasible way to come back from that. Unfortunately, a lot of the mechanics revolve around unnecessary steps that need to be taken to perform the simplest of tasks, such as harvesting resources in the early game, or training. It's undeniably a flashy mechanic that looks good in a screenshot, but when put into practice for a melee game, it seems to pale when compared to something far more conventional.

The tower mechanics are serviceable enough, but also readily exploitable. Typically, Warcraft 3 gameplay requires you to limit the number of units you might want to get at any given time due to Upkeep. You can freely attempt to reach max population as quickly as you like, but it will always be at the cost of Gold income to exceed certain intervals. By using Towers to remove the population cost of existing units, you can theoretically bypass the mechanic altogether, and simply unload the units when you're ready to use them. Unfortunately, however, exploiting this mechanic isn't enough to pull ahead against existing melee factions to be able to fight them on any measure of even footing.

Faith mechanic is alright, although a little strange in how it's implemented within certain hero abilities considering the availability of Tavern heroes that don't use such mechanics. The growth rate is considerably slow, which is difficult to determine whether or not that's a good thing. In most practical senses, there's not really a feasible reason to try and get too much Faith, since it requires you to keep your army stationary around an Altar while you get very little for the concentrated efforts.

Overall, it's certainly had a degree of effort put into it, but I still find it a shame that there are a lot of issues as mentioned above as I looked forward to seeing the final result of what appeared to be a very promising entry. It is also difficult to quantify how much effort was put in when this hasn't been updated since the 18th of April, despite there being plenty of opportunity to do so.



The Last Revolt is a futuristic alliance faction that uses technology, magic, magical technology and technological magic. With everything from Arcane Arrows to Nanomachines, Son, this entry delivers a rather interesting aesthetic blend to Warcraft 3.

Right off the bat, the faction has an interesting start, in that you cannot produce food structures early on. This requires you to reach a certain point in your techtree first, but never actually becomes an issue as your starting Town Hall provides 25 food right off the bat. I've actually never seen anything like that done before, and at the same time it never produced an issue gameplay wise, which is nice to be able to say.

Although it is difficult to tell whether or not that's from getting a good formula, or because the units are absolute powerhouses. I wouldn't know much about the starting melee unit, never bothered with it – my interest went directly to the Thunder Trooper. Dealing upwards of 70+ piercing damage without upgrades at 800 range, this unit is an absolute beast. The Arcane Archer is a decent enough addition that seems to be less valuable in terms of damage output with more fragility to its name, but dealing Magic damage makes it maybe worth considering to get? If you can be bothered, anyway – the realistic option is to just get Thunder Troopers.

Your Blacksmith structure comes in the form of a pseudo-expansion structure, so it's really only worth getting when you're ready to expand – that being said, once you have one of these bad boys, you'll be making 15 gold and 5 lumber for every kill you make, so find your nearest Undead enemy and demand they spawn more Skeletons for you. Expanding early is simply a matter of having enough Thunder Troopers, anyway, and while you're at it you might as well get the Cherry Bomber hero.

There are only two heroes for this faction, and both of them are a lot of fun. The Cherry Bomber, however, is my personal pick. All you really need it for is for spawning suicide frogs and improving its 1150 range attack to deal /more/ AoE while improving the Suicide Toad ability. A level 2 Cherry Bomber can solo most creep camps, while at level 3 you can feasibly solo any expansion point. Level 5 you can solo bases. Don't bother with Meteor Shower, meteors are useless and I am convinced the ability doesn't do any damage. Just get more Suicide Toads, and more Thunder Troopers.

The later game units are a bit of a mixed bag. The Skyship seems to do nothing except occasionally stun ground units in an area for 1 second to make it feel like it's contributing. The Judas launcher is alright, the Aura Tank is probably the best purchase outside of the Thunder Trooper. Most of the casters have direct damage spells anyway, but the Thunder Trooper simply out-damages all of them.

There's a lot of variety to the faction, some of it overpowered, some of it seemingly underpowered, but it also provides a unique sense of fun to it. Having a hero that serves as an artillery unit is something I've never seen before, and it plays smoothly. It doesn't try anything overambitious with the resource or training mechanics, but still manages to provide something new enough in those areas that I found to be rather refreshing. The icon placement for structures can be a bit confusing, but at the same time the way the faction functions is rather atypical to the more traditional factions. Overall, this was an enjoyable entry.



Having seen many of the WIPs and ideas behind this faction, I went into playing this with the expectation it would be an entry ripe with whacky gameplay mechanics, pop culture references and questionable balance. On all counts I am happy to say I was not disappointed.

Death And Taxes, by many accounts, is a faction geared towards using a more economic gameplay perspective, potentially inspired by the more downplayed economic gameplay mechanics of the Bandits faction I worked on in the previous contest. Whether or not the inspiration is true, the notion is still an enjoyable one to me, as it explores avenues of gameplay as well as ingame mechanics that get to be utilised in all new and interesting ways to produce a truly unique experience.

Your units at the start of the game are all expensive as hell. And yet, due to the phenomenal rate at which you acquire resources through your harvesters, this almost never becomes an issue. This is a race that mines everything out fast, and you will need to press on to expand as much as possible while getting the most returns for your investment as possible when using your army.

The basic melee unit can be used to procure extra resources for you, which is a nice touch for an early game unit – just don't use it for any actual fighting, its stats are absolute garbage. Your fighting army should consist almost entirely of Thanatacolytes, until you can get your Vkshrr flying units. The Thanatacolytes, despite what their tooltips say, have no need of upgrades to get their abilities, and can decimate entire armies with their Azurite Blades. Should a unit drop below 7% health, they are instantly killed – and this applies to structures, too. Their Web-based Ensnare ability also means armies can't actually run away from them, including heroes. Playing against three ai's that tried to take my expansion point, I found them to be utterly effective in decimating the heroes, making them well worth the immense cost for a tier 1.5 unit.

I mentioned the Vkshrr, a name I am no doubt butchering as I attempt to type it from memory alone. This unit, despite costing 8 food, is probably the most cost effective unit in the faction. Costing little more than a Thanatacolyte, its life regeneration rate is so perverse it's been asked to appear on Dateline NBC. Add to that its passive ability to bend over and fist any opposing unit's health regeneration to the point of lodging a complaint 27 years later, and you have an absolute beast of a unit that will probably end up being the only unit you'll ever need. Yet I still choose to have Thanatacolytes because I already bought them and they were worth it at the time.

There are, of course, many issues with the faction. As previously alluded to, a lot of the tooltips just don't quite match up with what the truth of the matter is. Quite a lot of units don't have any unit upgrade requirements, and they start out pretty powerful as a result. The resource management, while decent enough, requires a separate builder unit that can more often than not sit around at the base doing nothing (this is, however, alleviated by the fact it can use some pretty nice abilities in its downtime). A lot of the faction is definitely overpowered, and the Contractor unit will mostly sit around doing nothing until you actually need units again, just occupying Food space for an unnecessary go between.

Yet none of this actually takes away from the fun factor, and it really does capitalize on the notion of capitalist gameplay. This entry delivers exactly what it promises, and I think I speak on behalf of the Hive community when I say we absolutely need a collaboration between yourself and Retera for a contest.



The Kul Tiras faction is effectively your stock standard Human faction, if they were run entirely by admirals and had a Ghost Ship element to it. Outside of that thematic difference, you are in for something that works functionally well on an aesthetic level while delivering a somewhat sea fetish aesthetic.

First thing to note is that a lot of these tooltips are aesthetically displeasing and, in most cases, uninformative. I'm not entirely sure what Hunter's Mark does for the Gunners, but the tooltip seems to indicate it spies on a unit and it doesn't do that, so I'm not sure what else it actually does. There seems to be a trigger to remove the ability from any unit that casts it, too, which means if you have a group of Gunners selected and one of them has lost the ability, you can't use the ability at all. Bit of a shame but that's the way it is thus far.

When you expand into the units themselves, they are very powerful. For some reason the Gunner's attack has a delay, so you'll often have a firing line deliver the last rites to an opposing unit, only for them to be peppered down to death after a hilarious delay. I only used the Tide Mage hero and found its abilities to be amazing – for duping the AI. For some reason the Creeps really can't handle its Q ability, and more often than not after being stunned by it, will run around passively before deciding to actually fight back, allowing you to clear camps freely.

Gunners are really the only unit worth getting. The Peasants don't actually turn into Militia despite devious tooltips saying otherwise, and the damage output of the Gunners is better than a Dwarf Rifleman, and yet the Gunners seem to move quite a bit faster with a base speed of 300 (instead of 270). These will be the main units you'll be getting, but you'll be in such a position to win by then that you might as well explore the other units.

The Knights don't spawn any Ghost Knights on death despite apparently being intended to, the siege units specifically cannot attack buildings, and ultimately it's not really worth getting the armor upgrade for them anyway since it would only apply to two units. Not that the tooltip tells you this, mind you.

Thematically the faction is nice enough, but it feels like it could have been done better. It plays well enough, but rather than adding an extra race, it overwrites your capacity to play as humans – making the traditional Human faction AI exclusive. That would be fine enough, but there also isn't any victory conditions in the map (not particularly relevant to the techtree itself, but worth mentioning for future reference – if you want to find out more about how to do this, there are helpful links provided at the start of each contest you can use). The music playing for the faction at the start was a nice touch, until it decided it was done and didn't play any more.

Ultimately, this is definitely a theme that I love – Ghost Pirates with a naval theme for Humans has a lot of potential, and the units themselves, while all human (except maybe the dubious ship units made available to you in the form of the Landship and the “Skie Ark”), are nice enough for me. They are, however, lacking in a variety of unit abilities, upgrades and a certain element of personality to be added to the faction.

Overall, this is a very good starting point as far as designing a techtree goes – you've got a lot of the fundamentals, it plays well enough, but is far from perfect. There's definitely a lot of room to improve, and I believe the best way to do this would be to look at various gameplay elements that exist within the game, and perhaps think of how you could apply it to your own faction to some capacity.



From updates tampering with aesthetics to World Editor's Reforged “surprise mechanics”, the Emerald Nightmare is well and truly an entry that has faced many complications. Yet despite this, we still get to see an entry in its entirety, and overall it was, in my mind, absolutely worth the struggle.

The gameplay is nice – there's the typical issue with a custom Entangled Gold Mine trying to house custom Wisps, which, quite frankly, would have been something that might have actually been nice to have fixed in an update from Blizzard, but all that really means is you won't be having AI play this faction any time soon. The overarching aesthetic combined with the idea is just phenomenal. Custom textures aside, the idea of playing a faction similar to Corrupted Nelves that uses a mixture of Nightmare Dryads, Satyrs and angry bears is such an inspired notion that forms a nice cohesive whole.

In many respects, this is a more traditional techtree, where the gameplay mechanics are similar to what you might expect in melee, but with enough differences to make it interesting. It's simple done right, a style I personally love.

The addition of Aspect forms for the Ancients is a considerably interesting one, but it is also one I have mixed feelings about. On the one hand, having single use ultimate units (one of which doesn't cost any Food, which I believe may have been intentional?) is an interesting mechanic, and while I do tend to go against such notions for Warcraft 3 techtrees, it seems to be done well enough here. On the other hand, however, it's confusing – you can already uproot the structures, and yet when you acquire the Aspects, there's no visual distinction between them or a regular uprooted structure. It is a bit of a shame, and yet I still enjoy it well enough.

Some minor points would be that the Nightmare Dryad is basically a Huntress with a Troll Headhunter's attack that costs the same as a regular Dryad, which also for some reason has 200 mana that it can never use. Personally I find it to be an enjoyable unit but the real minor point is the mana didn't need to be there in the end. As far as errors go, though, this is the sort of thing that's pretty much to be expected with an entry that had to be made all over again from the ground up. Icon placement for structures and hero abilities could also be improved, but these are more things to consider for optimisation and looking forward.

When it comes to the balance and flow of the faction, it's done very nicely and in a simple yet effective way. A lot of the features you will see in this particular entry are, in some respects, reskinned ingame elements, but done in such a way that it really fits. The shapeshifting casters are still in, as well as with their own versions of the Frozen Throne Upgrades afforded to them. The Dragon available to the faction is also phenomenally powerful, and uses a variation of Locust Swarm that can decimate buildings with termites (this might be overpowered).

Overall, the Emerald Nightmare can best be described as an enjoyable hybrid of pre-existing ingame elements with enough of its own originality to present something new. I would recommend going out of your way to purchase Reforged to play this.
 
"Riki Martin's Nightscale Tribe"
= Outside of what was mentioned above, it's a fairly solid entry.

"Daffa & Directive255's The Last Revolt"
= Overall, this was an enjoyable entry.

"MyPad's Death & Taxes"
= This entry delivers exactly what it promises.

"Xelos & Asssvi's Kul Tiras"
= Overall, this is a very good starting point as far as designing a techtree goes.

"Moonman's Emerald Nightmare"
= Overall, the Emerald Nightmare can best be described as an enjoyable hybrid of pre-existing ingame elements with enough of its own originality to present something new.

And then there's this...

"xYours Trulyx's Seraphic Union"
= A certain degree of disappointment for me.

Well, you've certainly succeeded in demotivating me. This lowered my spirit down a lot :(
 

MyPad

Spell Reviewer
Level 21
Joined
May 9, 2014
Messages
1,649
Quite a lot of units don't have any unit upgrade requirements, and they start out pretty powerful as a result.

I forgot to reset the research levels when initially uploading the entry, so they are that powerful by accident.
Updated my contest entry to reset the research levels (no crucial in-game data was touched).


It would be Vrry'kyne.

------------------------------------------------------------------
My initial impression of the Emerald Nightmare was just a reskinned version of the
regular Night Elves. However, the more I played the faction, the more I noticed
some differences from the original.

With Night Elves, the Keeper of the Grove holds a nasty CC with Entangling Roots,
and can even the playing field with Thorns Aura. The Nightmare equivalent to KotG
is a far more supportive Hero, useful for healing your units or harming your enemies.

The Tier 1 melee unit (a satyr) has an appreciable ability that helps him avoid nukes
just like the Faerie Dragon. The Nightmare Dryad is just a Huntress with a mana pool,
so there isn't much to say about her (aside from the voice modulation, which is prominent
in this faction). The monstrosity resembling a sludge monstrosity truly sells the idea
of their nightmarish origin.

There is possibly more to say, but I have not played this faction well enough to
divulge any of them. For now, if your computer can take it, play the faction to
your heart's desire.
 
I forgot to reset the research levels when initially uploading the entry, so they are that powerful by accident.
Updated my contest entry to reset the research levels (no crucial in-game data was touched).

Wait, we can fix small fuckups like that? I'd have to remove the mana-pool from my dryad too then (forgot since I had to restart the the project), not sure if it's allowed tho?
Or perhaps fix it and state in the entry which bugs were removed, so it can be judged by that measure?
 
Also working on the review.
Want to play the faction at least a few times each, to give a fair and full rating...
But this whole ordeal felt like work, so I'm allowing myself off-time, going to hike some nearby mountains probably.

Anyways, I enjoyed Wazzz's somewhat harsh words :D We all spent a shite-ton of time on this, and it's definitely good to hear what's to be improved and what was good.

Well, you've certainly succeeded in demotivating me. This lowered my spirit down a lot :(
I think he just hyped you up to an AAA level, and got disappointed that you were just a modder like him, who had a bit more than a month! Your map's good!
 

Wazzz

Map Reviewer
Level 32
Joined
Feb 5, 2009
Messages
4,401
I more so had higher expectations of someone who's done quite a few of these contests, and in the spirit of looking for feedback, it was provided. However, there is also the element of similar feedback being provided previously, and rather than taking a step forward from learning what was wrong in previous attempts, it was taken several steps back. The design seemed to be more flash than substance, if that makes sense - a lot of systems and mechanics designed to look good, without factoring in how it would impact the gameplay or overall strategy.

The most crucial element is to, of course, play what you are making, and see how it plays ingame. Some ideas are better on paper than they are in practice, and there were numerous issues that could have been resolved during both the rest of the contest period, and the entirety of the extension.

Now, if people want to talk about effort put into an entry, the Emerald Nightmare had naught but complication after complication, and still came out as a great entry. Was this your first techtree contest, @Moonman? If so, it amazes me that you effectively did such an outstanding job for your first attempt. If not, I'm still very happy that we did get to see the outcome after all.
 
Now, if people want to talk about effort put into an entry, the Emerald Nightmare had naught but complication after complication, and still came out as a great entry. Was this your first techtree contest, @Moonman?

Thanks for the upcummies, let's just say I put almost too much time into this :D
But yes, this is the first time I do any of this modding thing, started right when I rejoined Hive this.. January I believe?
So learning Photoshop and textures was the easiest part, but for inexperience reasons it took me days for each texture up until the very last ancient.
Modelling was a nightmare so I could only edit popcorn effects and birth / death links.

Triggers you all have seen for yourselves.. I got only 2 variables ffs, compared to some of you lads amazing systems I am greatly humbled.
 

Wazzz

Map Reviewer
Level 32
Joined
Feb 5, 2009
Messages
4,401
The coding side of things is sort of like the texturing or the modelling side of things, it's just extra tools to help convey the core idea. If the core idea doesn't fit, or doesn't play well, it doesn't matter how effective the design in those tools is - it all needs to tie in together.

You only rejoined recently? Nice, damn
 
Contests can only start if they have at least two judges signed on. If at some point, this is reduced to one or less, and more judges cannot be found, a discussion with contestants must be started on how best to proceed. The solution has to be approved by a Staff Member. The options include:
  • Reducing the judge's voting weight, in exchange for more polling weight
  • The contestants manage to convince someone whom the staff couldn't to help judge
  • The contest proceeds in the same framework with a single judge
New rules, folks. We only have one judge. In case we can't find another soon - are you for reducing the judging weight, or letting it stay the same? Your input is appreciated.
 


"Contestants are to recreate one of the default Warcraft 3 races, be it
Human / Orc / Undead / Night Elf / Naga. Your submission must fit
your chosen theme and share similar concepts with the original race."



¨In this contest, creativity will be rewarded higher than in previous contests.
There are no real inherent limitations on what you can do - you could
reimagine Orcs as a society of Wizards, the Undead as something thematically
similar with drastically different gameplay, or the Humans as Bandits - you are
only limited by your imagination, so get creative! ¨

I think that an honest critique is much more useful than just praising the good aspects. For example: I
know more about my fuckups thanks to Wazzz's review, and will be able to fix them later. So please do
view my critique as a constructive one. Anyhow, I will be rating the entries this way:


General:

General impression on the faction regarding the contest. So, does the custom faction fulfil the contest
premises (i.e. being an alternative version of it's original race)? And of course how creative is the entry?

___________________________________________________________________________________

Aesthetics:

Nothing is perfect, but you can strive for it. Immersion might be a modding meme, but it is also a true
one. If you use nice unit models/skins, fitting icons, even sound/music or UI will make the playthough
more enjoyable, than just using stuff that just kinda works.

+ So having a consistent theme, well tied together, while having fitting aesthetics for it, will score well.

- While throwing in mismatching themes, having bad tooltips etc. will score low.

___________________________________________________________________________________

Gameplay:

Things looking good isn't worth much without the game being fun, so is it that way? Is there a balance
compared to vanilla factions? Do unit's specialities have a synergy to them (CC, burst damage, summon,
harassment oriented strategies). Is it even interesting to explore multiple strategies / is there a replayability?



General:

I don't think I've seen any truly alternative looks for the Naga. The basic Naga are of course a campaign
race, and don't have a real tech-tree, but you managed to make them playable and enjoyable, while
giving them a very different feel.

__________________________________________________________________________________

Aesthetics:

Since you took the contest premise seriously, you also went for an alternative look to the Naga units.
While the basic models already look good, you picked fitting skins/models for your specific faction and
made them look fresh (not fresh out of the water, although they are... sorry I'm bad at this).

There is some great music (but I believe it has some issues together with the night sound). On the
same note I'm saddened that many modders don't use custom music, this is one of the easiest things to
do add and one that improves originality as well as immersion my a ton!

The night abilities are both a part of gameplay and aesthetic, and they definitely add some flavour to
both aspects. I found some abilities like Toxic Cloud to be covering the screen too much. And the
passive Resilience should imo, have a less visible effect, perhaps even none.

But in grand total it looks and feels really nice and adds to their uniqueness.

__________________________________________________________________________________

Gameplay:

The actual units, casters and heroes are quite fun to play and exploring their synergies give a good
replayability value to the whole faction.

Your training system is also interesting and very powerful considering you can mass-train ultimate units.

The night abilities are a great idea, and is something I wanted for my own faction, but didn't have the
triggering knowledge to do so. However they aren't usable during HQ upgrade, and perhaps an invisible
dummy unit that has an extra icon on the screen should be doing them instead.

So it is an good altered-melee gameplay, with an interesting, unique recruitment system.


General:

There was some serious work and though put into every aspect. You went for a medieval and religeous
human faction, which is exactly what the default on is, but it doesn't feel like it in any way (and that's
good in this case)!

__________________________________________________________________________________

Aesthetics:

Technically speaking the aesthetic of your faction follows the same theme as Blizzard's humans, yet
your's is completely different since all your assets are completely custom.

You also managed to give some great immersion by having your commoners visibly train (in different
manner) when being recruited by standard, caster, advanced, and ultimate barracks. I do want to say
that it's funny how a simple-ass commoner can ascend to Angelhood by lifting some weight, lol. Let's
just say it gave me some extra motivation to lift more at home while all the gyms are closed!

A small downside is sometimes a wrong ¨we need more lumber¨ messages appears, or the units don't
train right away when ordered to.

For an absolutely perfect aesthetic, you might want to add or at least edit some voice-lines, but other
that that, Seraphic Union is really damn good in it's theme.

__________________________________________________________________________________

Gameplay:

Now we all know that some of the most fun parts of a game is the wonder and mystery at the
beginning. It's when we don't quite yet know how anything works, what the units/spells etc. of it are
(that's why there is so much nostalgia to classics, like WoW).
This is my personal reason to like custom
races in WC3 so much, it's always something new, yet a bit familiar.


That's why your entry in particular was so interesting, since it's basically a new game in a way. Building
and training use a new mechanic, even harvesting and defence feel a bit different. Units and heroes
themselves are also interesting enough (fallen angel, that's just a great idea).

For me lumber harvesting or training was very hard and dangerous outside of your main base. Getting
gold expansion is easy enough, but if you ran out of lumber, or want a second set of barracks hear the
expansion, it's more difficult than with vanilla-style races.

Already mentioned was the potential exploit with towers, they still cost resources so it's not game-
breaking perhaps.

So to summarise, there is a ton of replayability and fun to be had from this faction!


General:

This is a truly alternative Human faction, that thematically goes into a very different direction than all
other entries. Instead of keeping WC3's fantasy theme, you went for a futuristic one, yet still managed
to retain the original human faction, very original indeed.

__________________________________________________________________________________

Aesthetics:

A mage-tech or even an archeofuturistic aesthetic is definitely an interesting one, but requires a lot of
well fitting custom assets to actually be good in WC3. An example would be the Blizzard's HotS skins:

Many units are good when it comes to the theme. The worker drones and other high-tech Blood Elf
assets in particular. So does the Artificer hero. Space marine has a magical gun, but could use an
additional skin to make him feel at home (some footman/captain style textures).

However the buildings are custom Dalaran style assets, sandstone has nothing to do with technology
(and no, the crystals don't save them). Artificer's summoned wards/towers are what the buildings
should be like. Now I know that modelling is a lot of work, but a skin would solve the issue.

Additionally a custom UI (even a Blood Elf one) and some music would truly make it stand out. There is
a lot of Blizzard soundtracks that fit both fantasy, and futurism (TBC or even the Void Elves).

So in general it would need some more work to be there, but it's definitely not bad.

__________________________________________________________________________________

Gameplay:

Powerful units at a high resource and supply cost. Such a simple change makes the game feel quite
different. Despite my comments on the theme, I did enjoy playing as the Last Revolt.

The units are simply fun, even if the are balanced... well maybe except that Artillery. There are different
units with their roles, so it's not a game that will get boring after one sitting for sure!

For me the Cherrybomber hero was more fun to play as the Artificer, he just seems a bit too specialised
with his wards.

The resource per kill mechanic seemed OP at first, but since the units cost a bit more, it seems to be a
well though through idea.

Different isn't always fun or better, more often than not it isn't, but for the Last Revolt, the gameplay
changes were worth it, I had fun!


General:

You entry is definitely memetic in many regards. Going for a Greed based theme you could have just
picked the Goblins, which is what Blizzard goes for themselves, but you decided to create your own idea
with an undead / void faction. Perhaps to show the rot that modern economics and MMT creates in our
world, no?

__________________________________________________________________________________

Aesthetics:

I do appreciate the custom assets such as models, icons and effects. Some are a bit over the top, like
the Abyssal Enchantment (effect is too big, and therefore annoying for a mass buff), while things like
spawn effect for workers and many other spells are quite nice.

Most buildings are undead style custom models, some of them fit the theme, others not so much. Small
things like the food sources model is much larger than it's buildable area, that doesn't look too good.

There's also the tower upgrade/ability tooltip that is all messed up and requires Berserking upgrade,
a small oversight surely.

Generally speaking I don't think that most of the assets you picked for the theme really fit it that well,
yet I'm not saying it's just bad. It has nothing to do with undead not being fit for some Greed theme,
but dedicated Gabidalist models would make it good, while random ones not so much.

__________________________________________________________________________________

Gameplay:

(Want to note that some units feel extremely OP, but it's due to a mistakenly uploaded test map instead
of the intended one, so some required research is not there, I will ignore the oversight in your favour)


Now the gameplay was actually interesting and entertaining even. Everything feels faster, due to high
resource extraction, but the units also cost a bit more. The casters are able to constantly regenerate the
gold in the mine, quite a powerful ability (you will keep hearing ¨Our Goldmine is running out¨ if you
use it at about 1500 gold).

The basic units are actually interesting, not something you see often, since they're supposed to be just
that, basic. Melee T1 unit is good for getting extra resources from creeps at the start.
While the T1 Ranged unit is an absolute monster. It's attack isn't, but the ability could destroy entire
armies and heroes, while keeping them trapped. Even with research it's still OP vs heroes.

Most other units feel great and are balanced, even though you have an economic advantage over classic
races. And the heroes I really liked to play with.

In general the gameplay is good, and you want to try out a few things with different playthroughs.
However some things appear to be quite strong compared to default races, where I for example made
mine weaker than I should have. So I understand too that balancing is not that easy.


General:

You fulfilled the contest premise, Kul Tiras is an alternative to Blizzard's Human Alliance. They don't play
exactly the same, but quite similar. The Sea theme does make them unique enough however.

__________________________________________________________________________________

Aesthetics:

My first impression was very good. Many models are self-made and do make Kul Tiras feel like a true
custom faction. Your theme is sea and ghosts, which are perfect for Kul Tirans, see Jaina's Cinematic.
And you even managed to get some ships in a ground based map, without them it would be almost
strange, wouldn't it?

The ability effect are decent, but Aqua Support buff for example simply covers the whole unit, makes it
annoying to use.

The music piece was nice at first, but it cut off sharp and didn't repeat, it was also only one song. You
should have just replaced the default human songs via Sound Editor (there are plenty of Kul Tiras songs
from WoW).

Then comes the issue with tooltips and the lowercase naming. English is not my first language, but
these definitely cheapen the experience by a lot (imo, modding should strive for Blizzard quality, well...
not the Reforged quality that is).

In grand total you were very close to achieving a really good aesthetic, but it's not there because of the
small issues, however it's easily fixable after the contest.

__________________________________________________________________________________

Gameplay:

I did have fun in the few playtroughs, the gameplay is easy to learn since it's based on Blizzard's style.
Don't think myself that doing so is somehow unimaginative, altered melee is one of my favourites. It
just has to be done right and be interesting.

I did however feel that you have too many melee units: a standard footman type unit, a footman with
an ability, a knight and an ultimate footman. They do have their roles, but something else should have
been done. Casters are good enough, their abilities are useful for the faction and fit the theme.

The two Heroes were cool, very powerful AoE on the caster one. I didn't like that the ghost ship stopped
at trees all the time... this whole map is covered in them, hard to hit anything.

Sadly none of your siege units could be used for... well siege, since they don't attack buildings, an
unintended oversight for sure. Personally I think the flying ship could have been a really powerful
ultimate unit, a missed opportunity there.

Kul Tirans also seem a bit lumber hungry, so a harvesting upgrade should not have been removed.

Generally it's fun to play a few times, but I think the units should have more diverse roles for a
better potential and fun aspect.

General:

It is amusing that both our entries are Reforged ones (which was encouraged by the way!) and a Night
Elf faction, yet at the same time the themes could not have been more opposite in the nature.

This contest's assignment has definitely been fulfilled, your Night Elves do retain their basic theme and
go in a different direction.

__________________________________________________________________________________

Aesthetics:

Some praise for the self-made custom assets, and Reforged ones at that must be given. I dare to say
that no one but me understands how extremely tedious making Ancient skins for Reforged is... that's
full days of work just for that. Same goes for the models.

Obviously the theme and it's aesthetic are fitting great with each other, you somehow made Night Elves
feel even more close to both nature and mysticism.

Most things that need to be are custom made, from above mentioned textures/models to icons. Since
you did go for that magical blue leaf theme, you could have also edited the Night Elf UI. I think the NE
default music does fit well with the Secret Grove so can't criticise that too much. A few icons like the
Build and Wisp Worker could have been edited for more immersion.

It is a very good aesthetic, but would need a few changes for near-perfection.

__________________________________________________________________________________

Gameplay:

Playing the faction feels quite different from default NE and any WC3 race in general.

Both gold and lumber have the same undead style harvesting. This does fit NE since their lumber
gathering doesn't destroy the environment. I did feel that the lumber harvesting doesn't produce that
much of it, regardless of how many sages I use, but I can't look at the triggers to see why.

Units are very nice and fitting for the theme, and also are not too strong or weak. The idea of a flying
hero actually works out, since there are requirements for her and she's nerfed against ranged damage.

I felt that the healing is a bit lacking in the faction, you have no moonwells to replenish at the base, and
the healing unit requires corpses, so the only way to heal off combat after escaping it are items.

Now regarding the empowered Ancients, or Amaranths in this case. It is a bit uncanny that I also went
for a similar idea... but I swear I didn't rip it off or something, ^^ it just felt expanding on their uproot.
Anyways, their roles are quite decent and makes them feel like an alternative ultimate unit.

Summarising: When it comes to abilities, units and the gameplay in general, I can say it is interesting
and unique, while still feeling like WC3, which is something I like.




full


My Vote:

I's like to say that I enjoyed playing all of these entries in one way or the other.
- Nightscale Tribe for the genuinely good and unique naga theme and gameplay.
- Seraphic Union for the completely transformative gameplay and very fitting assets.
- The Last Revolt for a very interesting futuristic yet still ¨Warcrafty¨ feel to the faction.
- Death and Taxes for an amusing theme idea, yet a fun to play units / economy gameplay.
- Kul Tiras for a good pure, altered melee faction and the fitting assets / theme.
- Secret Grove for the amazing work on the theme and a good unique gameplay.

I got my 3 favourites that are very closely tied, and I would almost pick my winner at random. But my
vote goes to the Secret Grove:
For the obviously great work on the theme, assets and their aesthetic. For the generally unique yet still recognisable gameplay, that is interesting to explore in multiple playthroughs. And for the great work on
triggers and abilities. All these aspects combined, make the faction feel the best for me personally.
 
Last edited:
New rules, folks. We only have one judge. In case we can't find another soon - are you for reducing the judging weight, or letting it stay the same? Your input is appreciated.
Oh no, oh no, you deleted my reply just as I was editing it xD whoops I did double-post, sry.

Edit:

Reducing vote-weight would seem to have an unintended consequence of giving non-contest participants who vote more say. Many might not even play the Reforged entries, since they're still on Reforged strike (judging simply by screenshots vs actually playing though all the entries is not the same).

And an absolute galaxy brain idea (meaning it's probably dumb af):
What if a second judge's position could be a ¨council¨ of all contest participants, but obviously without voting for themselves?


Edit 2: I would also rather continue as is, and trust the review of a judge who has followed the contest more. Rather than giving the votes of people who might not even play through all the entries more weight.
 
Last edited:
Oh no, oh no, you deleted my reply just as I was editing it xD
Sorry. Don't double-post. :p
Many might not even play the Reforged entries, since they're still on Reforged strike (judging simply by screenshots vs actually playing though all the entries is not the same).
Spot-on.
What if a second judge's position could be a ¨council¨ of all contest participants, but obviously without voting for themselves?
Hmm. Let's see what the others think.
 

Wazzz

Map Reviewer
Level 32
Joined
Feb 5, 2009
Messages
4,401
Personally I don't find changing contest rules at this stage would be helpful. Certainly we should work to have at least two judges in the future.

Exactly. If the contest wasn't already at such a stage where the polls were being decided and we're approaching final results, it would be different. This is more of a thing that can be done for future contests, but this one was already established on different rules.
 
Level 21
Joined
Nov 4, 2010
Messages
6,217
I vote to stick with the original rule for judging and scoring as well.

@Moonman thanks for the review! I'm glad you had fun with it. Although yeah, the immersion and theme do need some work, but sadly we could not find good enough models/skins for the buildings back then (and we are not that great at modeling, and it takes time too). I had an idea to put custom music too, but in the end, we did not. The Blood Elf UI we were not sure, since it doesn't look that futuristic and also there is still a playable default Human race.

Do you find anything to be overpowered?
 
Last edited:

MyPad

Spell Reviewer
Level 21
Joined
May 9, 2014
Messages
1,649
I do appreciate the custom assets such as models, icons and effects. Some are a bit over the top, like
the Abyssal Enchantment (effect is too big, and therefore annoying for a mass buff), while things like
spawn effect for workers and many other spells are quite nice.

Most buildings are undead style custom models, some of them fit the theme, others not so much. Small
things like the food sources model is much larger than it's buildable area, that doesn't look too good.

There's also the tower upgrade/ability tooltip that is all messed up and requires Berserking upgrade,
a small oversight surely.

Generally speaking I don't think that most of the assets you picked for the theme really fit it that well,
yet I'm not saying it's just bad. It has nothing to do with undead not being fit for some Greed theme,
but dedicated Gabidalist models would make it good, while random ones not so much.

Thanks for that remark on the aesthetics of the faction. The tower upgrade/ability tooltip is definitely something that was not intended, since the map was primarily worked on in patch 1.31 (and finalized in 1.32 as the contest entry).

the T1 Ranged unit is an absolute monster. It's attack isn't, but the ability could destroy entire
armies and heroes, while keeping them trapped. Even with research it's still OP vs heroes.

The Thanatacolyte's Azurite Daggers is a basic slam-a-cactus-in-your-rectum point-click ability that also acts as an escape mechanism (It also has something to do with it dealing Pure damage). It's basically a Hero ultimate given to a Tier 1 unit. In hindsight, I wonder why I gave the Thanatacolyte such an overpowered ability in the first place (damage wise).

you have an economic advantage over classic
races.

That was actually part of the overarching theme of this faction. It was originally supposed to be a supportive race, being underpowered in exchange for economic advantage. That's why most units in the faction have active abilities or passives which revolve around either acquiring resources, being annoying to the enemy player, buying neutral buildings or buffing allies and other nonsense.

Overall, I'm glad you enjoyed playing the Death and Taxes.

 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top