Tolkien's Middle-Earth map for H3: Testers Wanted

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Yurian Stonebow
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Tolkien's Middle-Earth map for H3: Testers Wanted

Postby Yurian Stonebow » Jan 25 2008, 4:13

Hello All




I'm currently making a Multiplayer/Co-operation map for Heroes III: Armageddon's Blade. The map is called "Tolkien's Middle-Earth" and as its title says, the map is about the LOTR focusing on the War of the Ring.
The version is not numbered but a kind of a Beta version. (perhaps 0.80)

At the moment of writing, the map has four players (Gondor/Elves, Isengard, Northern Orcs and Mordor) but this will likely change in the future. With the map size being XL, this will be one megalomaniac project for me. And I promised I wouldn't make anymore XL maps for any reason... Yeah, it is amusing. :)

Important! Please note that I will make a limited offer here and have prepared some requirements for people willing to test the map. This is not because I'm arrogant and think I'm so fab but simply because I wish to produce a high quality map so that even the more serious minded Tolkien fans out there might find the map at least okay. Some adjustments will have to be made anyway because the world of Heroes III differs from that of Tolkien's Middle-Earth.

This humble list of things is what I ask of the map tester:

1. Dedication: enough free time to enable messages going back and forth
2. Knowledge of Heroes III map making for consulting reasons
3. Interest in LOTR but not in too fanatical way
4. Constructive critisism
5. Non CH email to enable keeping in contact outside the Round Table
6. Open-minded, jovial personality (this is not a demand but a big plus)
7. As stated in no 1. lots of free time (you never know what might happen)

This limited offer is valid only untill Jan. 31st 2008 after which the map testing sessions begin and the testers will receive the map from me personally.

I can include at maximum 10 people (in chronological order) for the testing group so act now and secure your place among them.



Thank you reading this information.





With solidarity,





Yurian







EDIT: You can contact me in any way you want (CH email, my own email, by replying this thread...), just remember that there's a timeline
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Postby Muszka » Jan 25 2008, 12:07

I offer my help, being a LotR fan.
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Postby Metathron » Jan 25 2008, 14:11

I'd be happy to, if it were anything but HoMM III... ;|
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Postby Yurian Stonebow » Jan 25 2008, 16:55

Muszka has made the team of testers and thus there is room left for 9 more people.


@Muszka

Welcome aboard, friend. Always nice to have you with us.

@Metathron

Have you played Heroes II? If you are familiar enough with that game, playing Heroes III won't be such an impossible task. A friend of mine once jokingly called Heroes III: RoE "Heroes 2.5". :) With that in mind, reply here if you think you are up to the challenge.




Sincerally,



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Postby Metathron » Jan 25 2008, 18:02

What I meant was: I have the least desire to play a HoMM III map out of all the HoMM games. So for me, it's either HoMM II, IV or TotE (not HoMM V vanilla or HoF!) these days.
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Postby Muszka » Jan 25 2008, 21:01

It's good to hear, that I'm in. Feel free to send me the map whenever you want.
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Postby ByteBandit » Jan 25 2008, 22:03

Also to help your search for testers, posting on several of the Archives may land you a few more testers. Both regular map archives and the campaign archives as well. It can't hurt your chances, Yurian.

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Postby Yurian Stonebow » Jan 26 2008, 13:09

Update Jan. 26th. 2008


I forgot to tell you that in my current version of the upcoming map "Tolkien's Middle-Earth" Northern Orcs are allied to Saruman the Wizard which makes the map 2 Human teams (Elves of Mirkwood and Rivendell allied to Humans of Gondor) vs 2 CPU non-allied players (Saruman's Isengard&Northern Orcs and Mordor alone). Mordor and Isengard are indeed bitter enemies due to the corruptive nature of the One Ring.

I am now making plans of adding Humans of Esgaroth and Rohan as their own playable faction (two teams ). I'm also considering of adding Humans of Near Harad as Mordor allies. Perhaps all Dwarven towns and locations could be rendered into one playable faction??

These changes will be given some thoughts during this weekend and the days before the end of the month. Should these plans come reality, you'll see them in the version available for testers if not you'll be playing the "regular" version without them. As this is not decided yet, I'm open for ideas and suggestions (before the deadline Jan. 31st that is.)

More on this to come! :)






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Postby Muszka » Jan 27 2008, 5:22

It sounds that this will be an XXXL map, since there are so many things included, or you use underground as a continuity to the map?

If the map is played in the time of the book(orcs of Saruman), than the Dwarves position is a bit 'scarse', I mean I can't really remember them to be active, nor during the book, nor in the movie, except of course at the Council led by Elrond.

P.S. (quiet thought) I think I should read the book once again... I beginned to forgot names... :(
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Postby Yurian Stonebow » Jan 27 2008, 20:23

I'm now back from a trip to Tallinn, Estonia. Not feeling that much relaxed but still able to carry on the H 3 map projects. (Man, those cruises are going to be the death of me. I'm so tired... and not to mention the hang-over.)

I did some testing on "Tolkien's Middle-Earth" before leaving yesterday. It seems that some of the things mentioned in my previous post were indeed what needed to take the map into a new direction. Including new factions and reworking the balance, that's the right medicine. I'm doing my best to hand out the testers as balanced version as possible so that they can enjoy a much more "workable" map.

@Muszka and others

The map is size XL with underground section including the mines of Moria, the Glittering caves, Orc tunnels under Misty mountains, Gollum's cave, the Passageways of the Dead and the cavern and tunnels of Shelob as well as the Lonely Mountain with a huge treasure cache.

The timeline is based on events from "the Hobbit" to the LOTR and more specifically the War of the Ring. It's a bit "blurry" thing really, for it gets complicated to get all that in a single map so compromises will have to be made.

"Tolkien's Middle-Earth" covers all the main places from the Himling island in the far northwest corner of the map to the sands of Near Harad in the far southeast. No Umbar, no Far Harad. The Sea of Rhun marks the eastern boundary of the map. In the north we have the ice wastes of Forodwaith.

As to the Dwarven kingdoms as a playable faction, I'm still working on it. Expect news from this in the next few days.

@Bytebandit

Sorry for replying this late but I've been busy. I'm not a member at MapArchives so I haven't uploaded the map there for testing. In addition that 10 people limit will be pretty soon met and I may have to make some decisions who to let in. I also kind of "had to" promise to include couple of my own map testing team folks in that group of ten. But I will listen to your advice, my friend and perhaps join the group some time in the near future.




Please note that despite the list requirements to the map testing sessions imposed by me, I will gladly accept Tolkien people's comment and constructive critisism.





WBR,




Yurian
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Postby Humakt » Jan 27 2008, 20:32

@ Yurian: Just noticed you live in the same city. Anyway, good luck with your project.
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Postby ByteBandit » Jan 30 2008, 22:39

Yurian Stonebow wrote:
@Bytebandit

Sorry for replying this late but I've been busy. I'm not a member at MapArchives so I haven't uploaded the map there for testing. In addition that 10 people limit will be pretty soon met and I may have to make some decisions who to let in. I also kind of "had to" promise to include couple of my own map testing team folks in that group of ten. But I will listen to your advice, my friend and perhaps join the group some time in the near future.


Well, I'm glad you have gathered the testers you need. I wish you the best success. Hope to see you on the Archives soon.

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Postby Yurian Stonebow » Feb 2 2008, 10:46

Hello All


As the team of testers already knows, map testing sessions for "Tolkien's Middle-Earth" (Heroes III: Armageddon's Blade, size XL, Co-Op) have begun and the work is progressing quite nicely with emails coming and going.

And now, the real news. :)
I have been thinking of expanding the limited offer a bit to include a couple of more people into the map testing team. All you have to do is to reply to this thread, (and if you give me your non CH email address) I'll then send you the map in a zipfile together with a ReadMe and a screenshot.

I'm also testing the map together with my wife Tiare, the author of "The Atoll Island". These map testing sessions could be called "super-exclusive map testing" with ideas flowing all the time. She also acts as the project's artistic advisor. A good wife is indeed more worth than all the treasures the world can boast of.







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Postby Muszka » Feb 7 2008, 13:00

I finished already the testing of Tokien's Middle Earth with tan and blue, and sent my observations via emails, but since I didn't got answer to my first mail sent a couple days ago, I thought I post here, to learn if you received the mails or not?
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Postby Yurian Stonebow » Feb 10 2008, 11:05

Update Feb 10th 2008


As all testers probably already know, "Tolkien's Middle-Earth" has gone through some innovative small updates which now are available in version 0.92. I have tested this version myself a couple of times and have a "gut feeling" that this will be very close to the final release version.

The purpose of this note is to let you fellow heroes fans know that work is being done and we're aiming to release the map some day before March 15th(?). You may still volunteer to test the most up to date version, just send me email or reply to this thread.



@Muszka

As you know my free time is once again between less and none at all. But I will do my best to ensure that all testers have latest map version at their disposal as well as have other information coming in.



Sincerally, Yurian
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Map soon to be released for testing at CH

Postby Yurian Stonebow » Mar 9 2008, 21:09

Update 9th of March, 2008


The closed Beta is now over and all feedback has been gathered together and addressed. I have made some adjustments and improvements* to version 0.92 and with that said, the map "Tolkien's Middle-Earth" is finally ready for general testing at CH's own map testing service. I will give the map final try myself later today and then send the map (by March 10th, midday) to the CH staff and ask them to upload it at "maps for testing" page.

Here's hoping the map will be up for testing here at CH from 11th March onwards.



Cheers,



Yurian







*boosted Northern Orcs, rebalanced Iron Hills and improved scenery around Mirkwood, removed/changed some Events elsewhere on the map
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Postby Yurian Stonebow » Apr 8 2008, 20:18

Update April 8th, 2008


Are you a member of MapArchives?

If yes, then I've got something good to tell you about the progress of the Middle-earth map I've been working on since last December. "Tolkien's Middle-earth" version 0.97 is now available for download at ByteBandit's and Pol's site MapArchives. (Bytebanditmaps6, once there search for a folder called maps by Yurian Stonebow)

Special thanks for Steve and Pol for hosting my maps.




Sincerally,

Yurian
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Postby Yurian Stonebow » Apr 22 2008, 8:37

Update April 22th 2008


Greetings, Heroes fans. Today I announce that (under a solid oath) I plan to send the release version (1.0) to the CH staff by April 30th. The final version will, of course, include the map and its ReadMe but also some additional goods such as pics from the map (screenshots) and possibly a map of Middle-earth concentrating on the parts of the western Middle-earth where my vision of Tolkien's great saga takes place.

Contact the map maker for more information. You may also ask to test the improved version 0.97 that forms the base for release version.

My thank yous go to Pol, ByteBandit, Muszka and other folks here at CH who have given me their support in form of feedback, map testing and other comments. Always a pleasure working with you, friends.


Sincerally,



Yurian






P.S

Muszka, are you still available for a last minute map testing for the aforementioned improved version of 0.97? :)
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Postby Muszka » Apr 22 2008, 16:08

Of course Yurian. I thought you forgot me. I never received an e-mail from you with v0.97, and since you told that you are busy with working, I thought it's best to wait. So you know my address, I wait the mail.
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Postby Yurian Stonebow » Apr 22 2008, 19:37

@Muszka

I'm sorry for letting you down, my friend. Working on three major H3 maps at the same time as well as managing a RL job takes its toll on a person. And if that wasn't enough, I had to quarrel with a local internet service provider for days and wait for them to fix my internet access problems. It seems that the student housing company and the internet service provider are to blame for the fiasco. (I was three days without a web connection excluding that of my workplace)

Anyways, the good news is that just minutes ago I managed to send you the latest map version and a bonus too. :)


Merry testing.





Yurian
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