My new map of Pre-Searing Ascalon from Guild Wars: Prophecies is now public. Unfortunately, I can't figure out how to link to the preview.
The map was tested several times against the AI in order to try and find a good balance. One of the ways I ended up balancing the map was by greatly expanding the catacombs from the original game. Each of the Catacombs is connected to the rest, going underneath several other territories, opening up new fronts in regions like Ascalon Academy and the Northlands, which would've been impregnable on a canonical map. Connecting territories halfway across the map from one another via the Catacombs makes for an interesting twist on gameplay. Securing certain bonuses becomes harder, and securing the Catacombs themselves is an exercise in futility. I left the Catacombs bonus at 7, but really I could've made it 700 for all the difference it makes in gameplay. If you hold the Catacombs, you've already won.
This is less true in the Searing scenario, probably, but the computer is absolutely terrible with 1-on-1 matches, so the balancing of that scenario may be a bit out of whack. I may release slightly tweaked versions based on feedback (particularly on distributions, and I'm still not certain whether Regent Valley deserves 5 bonus troops). Also, I've been thinking of redesigning the map's vision a bit, is that still doable post-public? The wall between Oakheart Territory and Ascalon City is really thin, and should be more visible to make it clear the territories aren't connected. I completely forgot to edit that before making the map public.
My next project is going to be alot bigger. Maybe even *two* alots bigger. I'll be doing the entire gameworld of Guild Wars: Prophecies (except for Pre-Searing, which is unreachable once you leave it since it's in the past). The Pre-Searing was 40 territories, so Prophecies will probably be about 600. I'm considering adding it one region at a time. For example, Post-Searing Ascalon is the first region of the game proper, so I could make that region, balance it, and release it to the public, and then make an updated map that adds the Northern Shiverpeaks, which is the next region of the game.
An aesthetic update is now pending public. The impassable territory between Ascalon City/Oakheart Territory and Wizard's Tower/Fishing Village are now much more obvious, and some grey blobs have been added to the south of Wizard's Folly to give it a more mountain-y feel.
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