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Age of Empires Heaven » Forums » Age of Empires / Rise of Rome / Definitive Edition » What makes a campaign good? Which are your favorites?
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Topic Subject:What makes a campaign good? Which are your favorites?
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SaSa408
Clubman
posted 05-29-01 12:08 PM ET (US)         
What makes a campaign a really good campaign? For me a good campaign is one I enjoy and that offers me a challenge instead of just frustration. But I'm not sure just what elements make it that way.

My favorites are Holy Man, Opening Moves (AoE trial), and the 2nd scn. in the First Punic War (RoR trial.) I have never won the last one, but I love it and keep going back to it.

I'm asking these questions because having recently been playing Crossing the Alps, I feel there is a difference between campaigns - and it has nothing to do with how hard they are. For me when a campaign leaves you feeling frustrated, infuriated, and with a neck ache - it is not a good campaign. And a good one, even though you don't win, leaves you feeling "OK. But I'll win next time."

Are "good and bad" in the eye of the beholder, or is there something else at work here? What is the criteria for rating a campaign A+?

Sara

AuthorReplies:
Danielthemaster
Clubman
posted 05-29-01 12:20 PM ET (US)     1 / 30       
Custom campaigns -
Anything by ingo or imhotep

fixed campaigns -
The great hunt in voices of babylon and I'll be back in glory of greece.

The Phoenix
Clubman
posted 05-30-01 10:20 AM ET (US)     2 / 30       
Why are you WASTING your time with those rotten ES Campaigns? ES Campaigns are somewhere between 3 and 4 on the reviewing scale, while stuff by Ingo and Imhotep goes up to 5.0. You haven't really experienced AoE/RoR until you've played Ingo and Imhotep's creations. Works of art, I should say.
Phill Phree
Clubman
posted 05-30-01 02:10 PM ET (US)     3 / 30       
That's a bit judgemental IMO. Just because they are not the prettiest doesn't mean they are bad games - many of them are very challenging and you really have to think (an underrated commodity it seems). Myself and Peter found out all about that when we had to come up with hints for them that would work for anyone at hardest, which, when taking into account the multiple styles of play and skill levels between people is very very difficult. If anyone has any additions to the hints or something that works for them, we would like to have them.

Plus she has played Imhotep so maybe you should check what she has done before telling her what she should do. Must be the heat out there, don't you remember giving her all those clues for getting rid of the trees in David ;-)

My favourite scenarios of the installed campaigns are ones like Pyrrhus Of Epirus, Year of the Four Emperors and Syracuse, especially Syracuse because you have to be sooo careful not to kill Archimedes.

The worst one is Zama for me cos you can just build a wonder and win that way. Still takes precise timing at hardest but once you know how to win doing it again is no fun, whereas with the others even when you know how to win they are still fun to play again.


My Karma ran over my Dogma

AoEH | EEH | RoNH | IndividualsCAN

[This message has been edited by Phill Phree (edited 05-30-2001 @ 02:12 PM).]

peter
HG Alumnus
posted 05-30-01 03:15 PM ET (US)     4 / 30       
Phoenix: first you ask me to write hints then you tell the cpns aren't worth playing anyway - plz explain yourself as I don't like that kind of ranting. 't is true some scns are petty, some are illogical, some have other defects but there are still a few that are worth playing in spite of everything.
Apart from that I already said what I think makes for a good or bad cpn.
Danielthemaster
Clubman
posted 05-30-01 03:43 PM ET (US)     5 / 30       
Phill, I agree Zama was horribly easy. Anyway, Look at the persian wars saga by gordon farrell, take away the storyline and the good map design (By the standard of the time) what do you have a ES Campaign that's what.

I loved syracuse, But I had to cheat, I meaning trying to avoid 3 mirror towers with 17 Range is hard enough, never mind the simple fact that you can't bring in heavy catapults (Unless you have the ROR B Patch) in fear of killing archmeidas, even using cheats can make you lose, I once send in a BIGDADDY into the syracuse and killed Armcheidas.

I liked The Great Hunt since 1/ it was the scenario that imho inspired soooo many since it was really the only puzzle scenario ES included and 2/ It was a enjoyable first puzzle scenario, hard aswell. (My Review 4.4)

Another one I hated was Pergamum, Scenario 2 of Enemies of Rome Because it sooooooooo freakishly difficult, I mean destroying a huge city surronded by ballista towers, centurions and helepolis as you start in the tool age with a few villes and troops

peter
HG Alumnus
posted 05-30-01 05:04 PM ET (US)     6 / 30       
IMHO most of the ROR scns sux and resux - they're overdone (as Phil remarked once: the fact that you have huge maps doesn't mean you have to use them), take toooo much time to complete and the historical accuracy has so obviously been tampered with (how would a slave army in italy get hold of elles?) that a series of fictional scns would have been better. It's true that some are nice but I found most simply boring.
Nuf ranted.
Phill Phree
Clubman
posted 05-30-01 06:11 PM ET (US)     7 / 30       
True, some of them are a waste of a map. Some of the RoR ones are good though, they are a nice challenge and with a few tricks added could have been up there with the best. Many of them take precise timing - in Pyrrhus, on hardest, you have just over ten minutes to get off the island and relocate, then fight back - learning to abandon the initial base was a big part of that for me, and you'd better have some Priests ready for those Mace Eles and Centurions. But at the same time it wasn't too difficult or ludicrous, it didn't expect you to fight off 50 HHAs with one villager or anything dumb like that, so it was a nice balance of playability and timing without being stupidly hard.

My Karma ran over my Dogma

AoEH | EEH | RoNH | IndividualsCAN

SaSa408
Clubman
posted 05-31-01 03:04 PM ET (US)     8 / 30       
That's OK, Phoenix. I have played the first David campaign and thought it was full of happy surprises. I enjoyed it. (Not so easy though to figure out some of the puzzles there - like the trees near the beginning.)

I like campaigns as a kind of challenge to see if I have progressed! Mostly I play RM, but it is a good change of gear to go back and play a campaign to see if I do better than I did a while back.

AoE/RoR has so many features that have surely contributed to making it so long lasting and continually fun:

1.campaigns
2.RMs
3.multiplayer
4.Being able to make your own scenarios and campaigns (which I hope to do someday)
5.And the ability to inspire players to come together in a forum like this and share ideas.

RoR campaigns are harder than AoE ones I have found. But thanks to Peter and Phill (who have played them all and have written those hint sheets at AoE Manor) there is light at the end of the tunnel for me!

Now back to Hannibal...

Sara

Dark_Avenger
Clubman
posted 05-31-01 03:58 PM ET (US)     9 / 30       
I like the kind of scn/cpn with challenge of course!. Also, the ones with an army and no villis .
Phil Shaw
Clubman
posted 05-31-01 03:59 PM ET (US)     10 / 30       
Hannibal isn't all that difficult. You just have to keep moving, while at the same time try to keep those villagers that are kept prisoner free (They can do it themselves, actually.) These make good targets for the towers when you walk thru that passage.

If you're getting lost, I'm sure someone would be kind enough to send you a map.


Sugar is bad for you, but it's good for me.
The Phoenix
Clubman
posted 06-03-01 02:16 AM ET (US)     11 / 30       
Well, Peter, I didn't TELL you to write the hints, did I?

Maybe I was a bit harsh, but well, I still think they're pretty rotten. Their main problem is that they are completely lacking in Creativity. And the Map Design is pretty bad, too.

And you tell me- why would you want to play those, when you can play things like The Two Brothers, The David Saga or The Trojan War?

peter
HG Alumnus
posted 06-03-01 06:06 AM ET (US)     12 / 30       
Phoenix:
A good reason for playing them is that you may not know those custom campaigns exist. I didn't for a long time. And I would never have tried The Two Brothers - the title seemed a bit tame to me. Only when Phill remarked that Ingo's a genius did I give it a try.
Considering the campaings weren't made by amateurs they aren't so bad
SaSa408
Clubman
posted 06-03-01 03:41 PM ET (US)     13 / 30       
Phoenix, what do you mean the AoE/RoR campaigns lack in creativity? My limited experience of them so far is that they are each different and require different skills. All that I have played have either been fun, a challenge, or in some cases a neck ache.

There are many that I have not won. But they have personalities of their own - and I keep thinking about them. (Like Hannibal or the infamous 2nd scn. in the First Punic War.)(And I always love the beginning of "Opening Moves" in the Hittites 3rd.)

Maybe if I were at the point where I was creating my own campaigns I would view it in a different light. But for now, I am not doing that, and I have to admit to all that I really do enjoy playing the campaigns, even when I scream and lose.

It seems to me that many people are thinking about Empire Earth, and are here in a half hearted way. That is fine. Life goes on. But we have a beautiful classic game with AoE/RoR - and I hope to be playing it, campaigns and
all, for a long, long time.

I'd like to hear somebody talk a bit about the campaigns they like best in these games.

Sara

Phill Phree
Clubman
posted 06-03-01 06:22 PM ET (US)     14 / 30       
Well, good call to Daniel for mentioning The Great Hunt - never thought of it like that before, but I agree that it is the closest of them all to a puzzle game, and bloody hard to boot ;-) My only criticism of that one is that at times it is a little too frustrating, with having to position units pixel perfect for best results etc, but a good challenge all the same.

There are obviously disappointments, one major one being why do the in game maps often look half done yet the scenario instruction maps are always excellent? But for playability they are good, unique enough to present their own challenges as Sarah says, working out the best way to beat Metaurus comes to mind, though personally I feel a couple are a bit much, e.g. the coming of the huns, and they do have their own personalities.


My Karma ran over my Dogma

AoEH | EEH | RoNH | IndividualsCAN

peter
HG Alumnus
posted 06-04-01 12:46 PM ET (US)     15 / 30       
And don't forget you need something to learn the game with - I wasn't a habitual internetter and if I was much smarter I wouldn't have needed to look hints and then I would never have known about AOEH and all the stuff in the granary - imagine, I'd never have known about The Two Brothers and the David saga.
Phill Phree
Clubman
posted 06-04-01 03:59 PM ET (US)     16 / 30       
Also you can use them as a springboard into design. If you like the playability and ideas but think the in game map could use some work, do a variation on the idea (everything is anyway) with a better map, better instructions, more variety etc etc.

My Karma ran over my Dogma

AoEH | EEH | RoNH | IndividualsCAN

The Phoenix
Clubman
posted 06-05-01 03:40 AM ET (US)     17 / 30       
Quote:

It seems to me that many people are thinking about Empire Earth, and are here in a half hearted way. That is fine. Life goes on.

That a hint?

I think, Sara and Phill, that what you are are talking about is variety. Creativity! Look at the campaigns! The Maps are awful - Random Maps. Practically each one is B&D, or Fixed Force. No eye-candym either. Look at the Instructions. They're completely lifeless. Now compare them to Ingo and Imhotep's works (for example). Creativity! Swamps! Burning Cities! Dodging eagles, and chasing horses! That villager trick in The David Saga #1 which confused you so much, Sara!

And I don't agree, Peter, that they encourage people to play 'amateur' work. If the included campaigns only serve to divert people towards 'amatuer' work, then why include them at all?

The Phoenix

[This message has been edited by The Phoenix (edited 06-05-2001 @ 03:44 AM).]

peter
HG Alumnus
posted 06-05-01 05:43 AM ET (US)     18 / 30       
Lol Phoenix - 'is this a hint?' - you bet it is and if I'm not much mistaken the person Sara is hinting at is much closer to you than you imagine. And she's right. Whenever you're here you're complaining - face it, isn't it true? You aren't designing campaigns anymore because you think that the AOK engine has more to offer - well, Imphotep wasn't hampered by the AOE engine, was he? Remember that a true artist can make wonders out of anything.
It's true that the standard campaigns aren't very interesting when compared with Ingo's and Imhotep's (not to mention the other giants) - but you forget that Ingo and Imhotep had more time to find all those beauties. Remember that AOE and ROR were rushed - think of all the bugs and what not. I don't care much for the campaigns shipped with ROR - most scns are overdone in some way. Well, as long as marketing departments are as powerful as they are, most campaigns shipped with games will be equally poor compared with what real artists can do - and at least they show what's possible.
Also remember that we can enjoy those wonders because we had other stuff to train with. I could never have got past the first scn of The Two Brothers if that had been my first.
Phill Phree
Clubman
posted 06-05-01 09:29 AM ET (US)     19 / 30       
Phoenix - what have you actually made and released? I haven't found anything here or on AOKH, unless you used another name - there is a firebird on AOKH but I don't know if that is you or not. Either way it's not exactly a massive contribution, considering how much more has been done for AoK than AoE. I get really annoyed with people who just criticise everybody else's work and can't be bothered themselves. Armchair critics should be executed with extreme prejudice IMO and even that is too good for them ;-)

And I agree with peter - the AoK scenario designer may be superior, but you're full of comments about scenario design in AoE, yet you haven't released anything for it - Peter's right, it never stopped Imhotep, Rich, Ingo, Eggman, Kyle Leach or Gordon Farrell - they made the best of what they had - I dream of the day when I can make instruction maps like Frank Steidel or Ty Freeborn - so as far as I am concerned you just wimped out.


My Karma ran over my Dogma

AoEH | EEH | RoNH | IndividualsCAN

[This message has been edited by Phill Phree (edited 06-05-2001 @ 09:48 AM).]

peter
HG Alumnus
posted 06-05-01 09:50 AM ET (US)     20 / 30       
Phoenix: here's a challenge: make a campaign based on the Mahabharata (hoping I got the spelling right this time); material enough I'd say.
The Phoenix
Clubman
posted 06-06-01 01:12 PM ET (US)     21 / 30       
I don't think I made myself clear.

I wasn't saying that I can make better scns/cpns than ES. I'm talking about all those people you mentioned: Imhotep, Rich, Ingo, Eggman, Kyle Leach or Gordon Farrell, Frank Steidel, Ty Freeborn.

You yourselves say that they did great jobs. That's the point I'm trying to make. They did better jobs than ES.

Where did the question of my desgning skills enter the picture?

And guys, you say that I'm always talking about AoK. I didn't mention AoK in this thread at all. And think about it: If I liked AoK so much, why would I come here all the time? Aren't I allowed to like both games? I say good things about AoE as much as about AoK.

Btw, Phill, have you stopped using ICQ, or am I just not on your invisible list?

peter
HG Alumnus
posted 06-06-01 01:59 PM ET (US)     22 / 30       
Phoenix:
You may not have their skill - but you are a designer, aren't you?
Phil Shaw
Clubman
posted 06-06-01 03:19 PM ET (US)     23 / 30       
Yeah, c'mon Phoenix, make a campaign.

I'm basically little more than a rookie and I'm giving it a go.


Sugar is bad for you, but it's good for me.
SaSa408
Clubman
posted 06-06-01 03:48 PM ET (US)     24 / 30       
Well, here is another angle of designing campaigns. In my view, they don't always have to be "brilliant" in design, or tantalizing. Sometimes there are other purposes to the campaigns one designs, and I think we need to acknowledge the validity of those.

To be specific, a few weeks ago, I was still having a bad time with the 2nd Scn. First Punic War. And Peter designed a campaign for me that would give me practice fighting Cats on an island with my Scout ships and Triremes. He sent it to me and it was so much fun - and gave me lots of practice.

So sometimes campaigns can be geared toward instruction and practice. And they are helpful.

So Phoenix, take heart. Design something. It can take many paths. Different purposes. All are creative. AND should be well received by this group here. Give it a whirl.

And Peter, you showed me that campaigns can really have an individual purpose. And I thank you for the ones you sent to me.

As far as the David campaigns that you all think are so great. My honest opinion is that the designer did not play by the "rules." Like that mess with the man guarding the tree. OK. We finally solved it, but in my way of thinking, it was outside the rules of the ballgame. (Nice puzzle, yes, if that is what these campaigns are supposed to be. Mystery. Puzzle to be solved. Or good straight forward play. I go for the latter. )

Sara

Phill Phree
Clubman
posted 06-06-01 06:18 PM ET (US)     25 / 30       
Phoenix - yes I am still on ICQ but have not had much time lately to do much other than the odd update to AOEM and read the forums - I am posting this from my machine for a change rather than borrowing a client's to browse after helping them out ;-)

Also as you are in India you are often on during what is the daytime for me, and I pay to go online in the daytime which is why I do it after 6 PM, which I believe is around 10.30 for you. I'll catch you sooner or later.


My Karma ran over my Dogma

AoEH | EEH | RoNH | IndividualsCAN

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