Sometimes it is possible to have too many gods....
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Just a bit of sanctuary fun.
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-at least 1 of the water landing points is inaccessible to invaders so their ships suicide on arrival some of the time.
-Something about this adventure just screamed "bribe every single invading army" (low armor supply? too many warships to fight? No towers or walls in the earlier stages? Tons of money?), so mostly I did, except for a few water invasions that I allowed through to test the landing points.
-Tributes of irrelevant things like 29 drachma are just annoying. If you set the tribute to 0, which is effectively the same, it doesn't announce the tribute (which could be turned off if one is willing to lose the announcements of actual important tributes) and it doesn't put the tribute in the message list(which can't be turned off and can't be mass deleted if the announcement is turned off). Heck, for variety you can make tributes of 0 of something other than drachmae.
Of course, realistically, if someone has been harassing me with large armies for the whole game, then I conquer them and all they cough up is 29 drachma, they're gonna get their human rights violated (Hmm, lessee which UN treaty shall I defy? Torture? Slavery? Ethnic Cleansing? Genocide?)
-For some reason, in one of the later episodes, all the already built shrines appeared again and duplicates could be built. Duplicates didn't count towards the 6 pyramid goal and the 7th pyramid started causing weird stuff with the trade display which encouraged me to not experiment further. My guess is that the pyramids for the later episode were listed in a different order, though how this got by the editor is an interesting question.
- Tiny armor supply made the adventure drag on. Base of not much more than 30 a year. With all those level 6 rivals and only spearmen, I'd expect many players to go through a 3 year supply for each city they take. Although mention of "a rival or 2" having armor available is made, only 1 city actually has armor and the "low" level of armor it produces is likely to make raiding for armor not very cost effective. As a level 6 city till the end of the game, it also can't be conquered to allow imports. Having Achilles consume another year's worth of armor and the likelihood of needing to raid for some fleece/olive oil will drain even more armor.
- Wait for Events like necessary quests and military declines became tediously long without much to do except cope with the the unreliable fleece supply. Lack of fleece(lots of tract housing), not to mention lack of an engaging, non-generic plot caused me to not feel enough attachment to the city to want to decorate it. I could have let some invasions through, but that might have gotten some spearmen killed and made it take even longer. Build pyramid/shrines? Yes, but with unlimited supply of most buildinging materials and plenty of time waiting for earlier episode requirements, most of them were built long before the last episode.
-Irregular terrain was just tight enough to encourage me to choose Pyramid and Sanctuary locations based on where they will be most out of the way, rather than where they would look nice. It was not so tight as to require me to structure the city around the terrain, rather than just dropping down housing blocks in a convenient flat area.
- That earthquake was perfectly aimed to hit the most likely food/fleece storage area on that side of the river and make it hard to have a single central food/warehouse/university area without a major rebuild. Ouch ;).
Some of these comments probably apply to some of your other adventures too.
Sorry David, my first true failure with you.
One thing and one thing alone is the cause of this. First, see some comments in the above post. Second, something he does not mention: the quests that come up, but are themselves not goals, are tied to military declines for different rivals. This causes a playability issue when it occurs in any episode EXCEPT the final one. In the third mission, I never went about calling Atalanta because her mission was not covered in the goals, then in the final mission spent more than FORTY game years conquering every rival and dealing with invasions (rivals and gods, I fought some wars just for kicks) and wondered why Meagra just wasn't falling under my thumb. Because there was no goal forcing us to rule these declined rivals, and because there was no way to force us to do these missions before moving on, it meant that Meagra stayed in its militarily strong state throughout the final episode; it got to the point I dropped them to one shield after failed attempts and went right back out, but none of my soldiers died and they just went hostile on me. I COULD NOT FINISH BY POOR QUEST DESIGN. (I did go back after all this effort and test putting Atalanta in during Episode 3; she is, of course, tied to the Meagra decline.) So, if quest design is the issue, it fails completely and utterly. Perhaps rerelease it to have fewer quests and have military declines based on pyramid construction in the final episode; THAT would be playable and I may change my review after seeing it in action (I could do it better in any case, let's be honest). I also had to stockpile the statues (er, Sculptures) and start selling in sync to ensure I got my profit goal in; it wasn't constant 25K for me annually. Waste of a couple of years, and I turn off imports to manage it; since imports are so small, I had to rebuild housing the next year. What a waste of time (literally).
Imbalanced. Too much focus on sanctuaries. Even in the colony, we had to build one. I had to destroy three and rebuild one of those three. Add six Pyramids. Too much building, not enough of other fun stuff. Hades invasions just annoyed me during the Pyramid building.
Build a bunch of sanctuaries. Tear down two to build others to draw another needed hero. Find out you have to call another hero a couple of years after this, and you need a sanctuary YOU ALREADY TORE DOWN. Rebuild said sanctuary. Finally get both heroes. Complete missions. Start conquest of rivals. Find out one couldn't be conquered - ever. Joy. Where's the creativity? The only thing I liked was building the pyramids once I had a good economy going in the final mission (since I had to now use all that Marble), but even that wears thin.
Map Design: 4
The only good thing about this. Nightwolf's maps are rather well designed. I accept some invasions to test them out, and I didn't like that ship invasions constantly went to the island where the Bronze and Marble are both located (where I for some odd reason put Athena's sanctuary, with Dionysus on the other side of the map, don't ask me). As soon as they landed they just tore stuff apart, and my commander didn't know what the blazes he was doing being half a mile from the shoreline where they landed on the wrong side of the river; they couldn't even shoot at the ships.
I wasn't very drawn into this story. All the quests randomly popping up ruined it and there was no other discernable reason for rivals all losing their ability to fight. Sorry.
Additional Comments: I'm probably not going to go back and redo the fourth mission (and the other missing Elite houses I don't already have in my final mission save in the third). However, if an update version is released, I may retry and review that version.
Wow - harsh critics! Nightwolf, I truly appreciate that you take the time to create these adventures, and I hope you keep posting new ones. I play every one, and have enjoyed them enough to save them and replay them when there isn't anything new to download. Your weird sense of humor and obscure references in the text are hilarious! Even after several years I still like this game, and I've tried to create my own adventures but they turn out pretty lame, so kudos to you for doing so remarkably well at it!
I agree with Caligal, Harsh criticism. Did you guys even read the description? the adventure does exactly what he said it did, so why did you expect something else?
Nightwolf, I have been a fan for 8 years now, and I remember e-mailing you for info when you didn't know people still played ( I was Luffchylde then).
I can't say I've played EVERY adventure you've put out there, but I've played most. They're always great.