|Number of episodes:
||5 parent, 1 colony
Finally. This adventure was started right after my previous one, and I practically finished it before going on a hiatus. I am very glad I picked it up again. I seriously hope this won't be my last one!
I tested it on Titan difficulty, but it should be doable in Olympian as well. I classify it as "somewhat challenging", although that can be subject to discussion, of course.
Everything seems in order, so I really hope I didn't leave any errors. There are only so many things you can test yourself. That is why I would appreciate it deeply that, if you download it, you take the effort to leave a comment and certainly when you encounter a bug of some sort. All sorts of praise are also welcome of course, and maybe even a full review... :)
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Introduction: Some of the ratings are influenced heavily by an excellent colony episode. It takes knowledge of what heroes need and finesse in giving rivals things that you can then produce in order to create a challenge that is altogether seamless, even if there is something that doesn't make sense in the trade depots.
First episode: no problems, just annoyed that the Orichalc trickles in so slowly. Who sends 1 of an item at a time? Completed the episode with perfect employment at a low wage level and - purposely - with 22 Orichalc to accomodate a large Pyramid later if the option becomes available (planning for this in advance because I learned on this page that Orichalc is not available again and the quest cannot be fixed). Trade with Sonamur shut down almost immediately in Ep. 2; I note that I placed the footprint for the Pyramid. Was that trade shutdown triggered? Perhaps I should have built Artemis' sanctuary first. Interestingly, I didn't think twice about Atalanta's quest...until I figured it triggered the 24 Orichalc gift.
Then comes the tricky colony, which looks at first impossible to get 5,000 Drachmas in. An early thought: GRAPES? You get the parent city to buy GRAPES and not Fleece, which we could actually SELL (and the parent city buys from the colony later, in a classic mismatch)? I then went to summon Theseus. He needs Wine. Only Wine in the world is needed by a rival. Only way to get Wine: build a sanctuary and get blessed. That did the job, Theseus arrived with the blessing of Wine, and Minotaur met his match...and I no longer had a rival for the time being. I get the storyline, Ultas likes me for clearing the rumbling. Whee. I had already bought some Olive Oil, so I stopped that transaction line and didn't give them to the housing immediately; I harvested Grapes, Toggled "Selling/Not Selling" to load 12 in the depot, and started making my own Olive Oil (but not Wine, only planned to take one big shot at the profit goal and got a Wine blessing right before that attempt). When the attempt came, I stopped buying Olives (I had 32 jars), got my blessing, and sold everything that could be bought. I broke 6K and away I went back home. A wonderful challenge! My only complaint: a Sonamur Pier could be built, but she wasn't trading.
Later on, I found another bug. The Minor Shrine to Atlas appears again in the sixth episode after being built in the first. I didn't see it in the final episode. Oh, and the 26 Orichalc I was hoarding since the second episode after the gift? Three became Atlantean Fire Launchers, 22 went to an optional Dionysus Pyramid (but I felt it belonged there), and I had one measly bar left over. There are workarounds for forgetfulness. Thought about a fourth Frigate, but didn't need it.
I tried to find a spot where there was poor balance in the adventure. I can't say I found any. The final episode involved military (in my case, the episode before that), we had to put up with raids every three years or so, we had rude demands from the siblings to deal with (I refused a couple to see what would happen XD), we got to build a racetrack and had to figure out how to get our hay (in my case, I chose a raid, noticed I only got 18 on three Frigates - one destroyed - and said screw this, I'm conquering), and had a tricky colony that requires delicate setup to balance and play the way it should. This was surprisingly quite enjoyable to play.
I have to drop a point here for one strange thing I found (not sure where else to drop this point). I mention it in Playability's discussion, but when a parent colony Pier is set up to only buy Grapes, there is absolutely no sense in that when Fleece is the reason for the colony in the first place. The Pier in the colony should match what is sold to and purchased from the parent city to/from the colony. I get why Grapes were used, and it contributes to the excellent colony play, but it doesn't match. Grapes should have been buyable from the colony in the parent city, and then perhaps later they can't sell more Grapes due to the land becoming less fertile or something. We should have been selling Fleece to the parent in the colony for the same reasons. 5,000 Drachmas still would have been doable (maybe easier, doesn't Fleece cost more?), and we still needed the sanctuary to get the Wine for Theseus.
Map Design: 4
My big problem is having entry and exit points on opposite ends of a river; it causes anything built early on to be immediately destroyed. Not good, and the reason I only give a 4 instead of a 5. Colony looked similar at first, but I found a water ending and land going around. The Minotaur appeared at a great spot; I almost built my housing there in a rush, but put them on the other side of a bridge instead by the exit before he appeared. Quite a few immigrants were destroyed before Theseus came along, but oddly, the monster didn't have a taste for concrete. As for Dionysus, I eventually put him between the two fields on the exit side back home (forget that one became home to Elites, I hope they enjoyed their gardens), and the large field in the north was a BEAUTIFUL grapevine location. Found enough big spaces for the smaller sanctuaries later (sorry Atlas, you take too long).
Your father (bless his pointy ears) has passed on and your siblings want you to go out and prove you're more than - well, a drunken sob by building a material gathering city. You secretly make plans to build a city for Dionysus. They turn rival on you while your enemy becomes your only friend after the rumbling ceases. Whup your sibling's rears and make them respect you. The storyline about wasted wine growing into a grapevine is rather interesting, too. You build a Fleece-gathering colony; good thing, because your only trading sibling by then got flooded and can't sell any more. Not a bad story. I gotta give this top marks. I'm a bit bothered that you didn't bother to tell us about Soyamur (am I spelling that right?) producing Wheat at the start of Episode 6 (Parent 5), but created a minor storyline issue when I found out; I decided I had to conquer "my sister" to ensure a continuous Wheat supply in the sixth episode, so I took care of that before working on my Wine and - er - Chaos. Kinda modifies the ruling storyline (I conquered the brother too in two attempts because I forgot to send my Frigates on the first attack). Still a great story
BTW, you CAN modify the story, which is the .txt files, even if you can't modify the adventure. Not that you have to for this one (other than the inconsistencies I brought up, though minor and I'm not marking down for), but just as an FYI, if you want to make changes to the story in a quest bot lost your other files, you still can fix that part. Makes it a good idea to do the story last once you have the adventure set and make sure changes throughout the adventure (selling less Fleece, etc.) are covered.
Additional Comments: Not a bad adventure, I was pleasantly surprised by this one. Definitely worth a play; just don't forget to build that first bridge or two (in the north they can be made tiny, but you have plenty of money to start) or you'll be unable to build a darn thing. And don't forget that sanctuaries LOVE cows; keep an eye on those fields or your city will shut down quickly. Might wanna rely on a fishing industry more than cattle.
[Edited on 07/06/11 @ 03:48 PM]