Posted on 08/03/20 @ 08:01 AM (updated 08/20/20
About this mod
New Random Maps is a modification for RoR that replaces your existing Random Maps to new and different ones, each with a different setting, environment or play mode (see features section). You get 10 new Random Map types.
5 of them are based on AoE2 maps:
- Arabia, Arena, Black Forest, Golden Oasis, Scandinavia.
5 of them are AoE based:
- Alien Planet, Bubbles, Marshland, Nile Delta*, The Great Wall.
What this mod does NOT do: change any existing units, terrains, buildings, campaigns, scenario's etc. in any way. There are no balance changes (RoR 1.0a balance). Nor will it alter any actual graphics of the game. Everything remains exactly the same!
IMPORTANT: Before installing you need to make a backup of your existing "empires.dat" file, simply make a copy (CTRL+C) and paste (CTRL+V) the file in the same data2 directory which is usually located at:
C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Games\Age of Empires\data2\
Likewise if you choose to install the optional "language.dll" and "languagex.dll" files be sure to make a backup too. The backups ensure you can always switch back to the original unmodified state of the game.
Installing is very easy and only requires you to Copy/Paste the provided empires.dat in the "New Random Maps" folder to the data2 folder in your default AoE directory and overwrite the existing empires.dat file.
Copy/Paste "empires.dat" from the "New Random Maps" folder to:
C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Games\Age of Empires\data2\
Optionally you can also Copy/Paste the language.dll and languagex.dll files in your AoE directory. They only change the names of the old random maps to the new random map names making things much more convenient. It is not required.
Copy/Paste "language.dll" and "languagex.dll" from the "New Random Maps" folder to:
C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Games\Age of Empires\
For UPatch users:
Copy/Paste the entire "New Random Maps - Upatch" folder to:
C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Games\Age of Empires\Mods\
In the Upatch HD Launcher, select Mod manager, then select "New Random Maps - Upatch" from the dropdown menu and click on the "Apply" button.
This one should be straightforward, either select Random Map, Death Match or open the editor and select Random Map to play these new random maps!
I recommend setting the pathfinding to High at all times.
- Fixed missing build Space Ship language pointer for Upatch (scout ship).
- Added UPatch support
- Added Hills
- Gold mines now better spread over the map
Below are all the changes made, new map types and features of this modification.
10 new Random Map types
The most popular map for AoE2 is now available for RoR. A desert setting with patches of palm trees and forest. Adds a scout unit at the start of the game to explore the map quickly.
Surrounded by forest at the edge of the map and an open battleground in the middle. Your base is protected by a wall on all four sides with a few small gaps in between (there are no gates in AoERoR!).
3. Black Forest
A large forest maze through which you must navigate to find your foe. Easily walled chokepoints help defend you from attacks.
4. Golden Oasis
A desert map with an oasis in the middle, surrounded by palm trees, with a gold treasure inside. To access the fish and gold, chop away the palm forest.
The northern lands feature pine forests, patches of snow and are surrounded by water on two sides. Small rivers devide the players. Rich with fish and deer (gazelle).
Small round islands in a large sea. Before you can access the waters, you must chop away the forest that surrounds your base. Get out of your bubble and overcome your enemies!
A rough land covered with shallow patches and forests, this swamp will surely bog you down. Or will it?
8. Nile Delta*
The cradle of the great ancient civilizations. Narrow strips of land with rivers and shallows in between.
*Nile Delta is only available in .exe modifications (such as RockNRoR, UPatch) which allow more random maps than the standard 9.
9. The Great Wall
The Chinese Great Wall helped defending from Mongol raiders. Will it help defending your empire? You cannot attack and destroy this wall by conventional means, instead you must mine it with villagers or use a powerful Heavy Catapult to tear it down to access the land on the other side. It is also the only way to get more stone as stone mines are scarce!
10. Alien Planet
While exploring the galaxy you have come across and landed on a habitable new alien planet. You are destined to conquer it, that is, if you can defeat your rival, who has the same mindset as you! There is interference from the planet which sometimes jams electronics, so keep a close eye on your units so they keep obeying your commands.
This map is totally different to any other, as it uses a Space Ship as your mobile Town Center, Zug units to gather resources (only food from trees and gold can be gathered), Laser Troopers and Nuke Troopers to attack and defend. Advance to the Republic Age (1000 gold, 1000 food) and build new Space Ships to expand your empire. Space Ships have over 9000 hitpoints (9001), cost 1800 gold and 1000 food, can heal and repair units, as well as convert enemy units. Once a new Space Ship is researched, a Zug unit must build it in order for it to become active and space-worthy. A Space Ship provides 25 population. Space Ships cannot be repaired and cannot be used as a drop point for resources when right clicking after having selected a Zug unit which carries resources. Zug units drop their resources at the Space Ship automatically only.
Please keep in mind that the AI does not function on this map (you can of course still play however).
These terrains use unused graphics to give a new look.
1. Marsh (Marshland)
A terrain with new unique graphical tiles, brown patches upon grass. Adds a new small terrain bush.
2. Road (Alien Planet)
Terrain with new Blue/purple-ish cobblestone unique graphical tiles.
New Terrain Features
Terrains with special features for more variety.
1. Dirt Alien (Alien Planet)
Brown rocks, a new terrain bush, terrain cracks, gold mines.
2. Forest Alien (Alien Planet)
New bright teal forageable tree units on marsh-like terrain.
3. Gold Oasis (Golden Oasis)
Gold mines. This terrain was needed to get the golden treasure in the middle of Oasis. I wanted to have some sort of gold rush map too so I incorporated this in the Golden Oasis map.
4. Snow (Scandinavia)
Patches of snow made from both discovery graphics, with editor-only pine trees.
5. Forest Autumn (Black Forest, The Great Wall)
Autumn forest trees to give more variety.
6. Pine Forest A (Scandinavia)
Editor-only pine trees to give more variety.
New Minimap Features
I always found that all resources should be featured on the minimap. I made some subtle changes to the following resources to add clarity:
1. Forage Bushes now show up as a dark brown-red colored dot on the minimap.
2. Animals now show up as a light green colored dot on the minimap.
3. Fish now show up as a darkish blue colored dot on the minimap.
Other New Features
1. Added a small pottery graphic besides the Town Center.
2. Added a hidden single Gaia Horse unit to each map except on Bubbles, Nile Delta and Alien Planet maps. Can you find it? If you do, it will bring you luck! I fixed the missing moving animation. Horses cannot be hunted for food.
3. Added editor-only palm tree to Arabia, Golden Oasis and Nile Delta maps.
4. Added editor-only ash tree to The Great Wall map.
5. Starting resources on every new map have been moved closer to the starting position.
6. Added Desert Patches to Marshland and Nile Delta shallows.
7. Thousands upon thousands of new maps to play on!
As long as each player has the same empires.dat file you can play the new random maps in each multiplayer setting. Of course, ensure that each player has the same version of the game as well.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How do I get past the wall in The Great Wall? Why can't I simply attack it?
A: You need to mine it (the wall units are in fact stone mines!) OR you can destroy the wall units with a Heavy Catapult. Gaia units with the Building class (like an unaltered Fortification) cannot be used in random maps, they make the game crash upon discovering them. I still wanted a Gaia wall and found a way to make it work. It adds a unique gameplay element!
Q: Why is there a Scout on Arabia maps?
A: To provide more variety and to give AoE2 players an incentive to try these maps. Also, because it's fun!
Q: But the AI does not use the Scout to explore the Arabia map?
A: Unfortunately it doesn't.
Q: When I play with more than 4 Players on Arena, sometimes the walls in my own or enemies base shows large gaps?
A: This is something I cannot fix. There HAS to be a decent gap to provide room for the forest in the back of the base and STILL have open small gaps in the front of the base. This is so the AI can actually attack other players, since it does not delete walls itself. The place of these gaps is generated randomly by the game. Remember there are no gates in RoR, so a compromise is needed for this particular map. On maps with more than 4 players, the base generation is more closer to the center of the map, rather than the forest edge, and it is something I cannot change.
Q: What are these bright green trees on Alien Planet?
A: They can be gathered with your Zug units to provide food.
Q: Why are there only two resources on Alien Planet?
A: Because that's how I wanted this map to be. That time period of space exploration involves two resources; food and metals. Wood and Stone is not used.
Q: When hovering my mouse over Zugs or resources on Alien Planet, it says: Click to select this Boat, and Click to Fish?
A: That's because the Zugs are secretly fishing boats. And the gatherable resources smell like fish. I'm not kidding!
Q: My Space Ship and Zug units sometimes pace back and forth?
A: This is because of the interference caused by the planet. It affects electronics. You can fix this by moving or commanding them again.
Q: Why is advancing to the Republic Age tech instantly applied?
A: Because of a bug that cancels the advancement when a Space Ship is moved or commanded.
Q: Can I use this mod in my own projects?
A: Yes you can! Just be sure to give the appropriate credit to me.
Some screenshots of the new random map types:
The Great Wall
Bugs, Comments or Questions
If you find any bugs or just want to comment on something, leave a review or need help please contact me at AoE Heaven.
Created by PhatFish - email@example.com
Download the latest version at http://www.aoe.heavengames.com
Shoutouts, credits and thanks to:
Tapsa, Trisolo (Scenario_T_C), Chab, Fisk, Suppiluliuma, The_Patriarck and everyone else at AoEH!
|Author||Comments & Reviews ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )|
4.9/5 has jagged beach edges.
Since when can we only rate mods in fixed half integer ranges? This mod is not perfect because most maps have those jagged beach edges which look crude and remind you that you're playing a hacky mod. It doesn't affect gameplay negatively but it's enough of an eyesoar that I'd subtract 0.1 if the site would just let me. Maybe I can hack the site into letting me submit a 4.9 score? Yeah, there we go. It's really the only major flaw of this otherwise super impressive mod but it really annoys me.
Now that that's out of the way let me move on to the good stuff. This mod in 2020 accomplishes something brand new which I can just assume has been on some people's wish list since the game released in '97. While we have a bunch of excellent (or well, a few excellent and a lot of extremely mediocre) multiplayer maps in our Granary, I think most people would agree that there's a certain replayability to random maps which even the best designed maps can't compete with. And while I may not fully grasp the technical aspects behind this mod, I understand that is was no simple feat and I would like to compliment our Seraph on his innovativeness (innovativity?) and diligence in discovering new possibilities in this classic game.
In addition to the completely new map pool, a bunch of lesser changes are always present, such as the nice addition of the little pottery object by the starting TC or the change in resource allocation to be more accessible. The latter is actually a very important change and I think it has some important effects on gameplay, making exploring less important but also lessening the problem of bad positions and making pit starts more viable (you should really consider luring elephants with your starting vills).
Here's the short rundown of the maps from best to worst, with some comments:
1. Marshlands: This is just the coolest looking map of all time. It utilizes an unused terrain from the development present in the graphics.drs file, as well as a custom made swamp terrain using the classical design trick of desert patches on shallows to create a unique look. The map has no elevation but it makes sense from a geological viewpoint and makes it easy to figure out where to build. The puddles become a no man's land which makes it hard to construct effective defenses, leading to fast and intense games.
2. Arabia: It's a bit much like the original Hill Country, but that's a beloved map and the starting Scout and other minor changes make it an interesting experience. However since the AoE1 Scout is stronger in Stone Age and there's no need to search for your starting sheep it really might just end up more of a tool for harassment than an actual Scout.
3. Golden Oasis: Phatty said he wanted a Gold center map, but what I really like about this is the Oasis part. It's such a good map for 2v2's where each player can take their side and allows for easy walling between the central woodline and the edge of the map. Getting to the center gold is a bit of a process but I suppose it's a good stalemate breaker for long running games.
4. Black Forest: Unlike its AoK counterpart I find this generates a lot of smaller forest clumps and more choke points which need to be closed off, making the boom into siege a bit harder to accomplish than expected. Still when you consider the power of Heavy Cats in the late game I think that might even be for the better. Probably looks more like the AoK version for larger map sizes. Another great one for team games.
5. Scandinavia: The narrow rivers create some really cool natural choke points. Unfortunately the elevated terrain being cut by them sometimes results in some messy hillberries or gold for one player. The snow patches are cool but don't quite have the look of the handmade stuff. In all just a good balanced coastal map with interesting terrain features.
6. Arena: The fact that you have to make a housewall to close this off in the early game really makes this feel a bit more stressful, more like hideout than an actual arena game. To me that's a good thing because I don't really care for Arena in the first place, but I also get that it's a map a lot of people would want to see in AoE1.
7. Alien Planet: This thing is a whole mod of it's own, and it's actually not terribly balanced and probably good for a few games despite the absurdity of it all. If anything I wish it had a bit more elevation to recreate the dynamics of classical photon man wars maps, but in all it's a really fun concept.
8. Nile Delta: I think the right call was made about which map to exclude. While there isn't anything wrong with Nile Delta (except occasional confusion about whether shallows can be crossed or just lead into the river), it just lacks the clear identity of the other maps in the pack. The narrow islands make building and defending from naval attacks a bit messy, but the width and number of shallow crossings make it harder to dock in the early game than classical Narrows.
9. Great Wall: The terrain effects on this one are some of the coolest (in addition to autumn forest it has an undocumented cracked dirt terrain), and the wall is a really cool effect, but gameplay-wise tearing down the wall to get to my opponent doesn't speak that much to me. For larger number of players it will occasionally spawn with a hole in the wall between two of them, but in all I'm impressed by how successful the wall is in dividing the players for almost all settings.
10. Bubbles: This one I straight up don't get. It's a water map but wood is scarce, it feels like whoever docks first should be able to retain naval dominance unless they screw up their grouping really bad, and given that we really only have a single combat ship and drops are basically impossible there isn't really that much to do. Feel free to disagree but to me this just feels like a worse Islands.
The thing is though that this list is totally subjective (probably should've lead with that), and you may feel entirely differently about the maps. I like intense competetive play but if you're the type of person to play No Rush games you might find that Great Wall and Arena are your favorites. While I like picking things apart I actually really think the map pool chosen is great in the way that it has something for everybody, and no map is the same. Additionally, as is the case with Random Maps, you can combine it with all imaginable options in the game settings. Maybe Bubbles is actually kind of fun if you do an Iron start for instance? What's so great about this mod is that it opens up for hours of experimentation and new experiences, but unlike some others doesn't demand of you to learn a whole new game.
[Edited on 08/21/20 @ 06:22 PM]
"This mod in 2020 accomplishes something brand new", I wouldn't say "brand" new. 5thLegacy has included at least 3 new map types for at least a year now. This mod in its self is brand new and is the first of its kind.
Well it's brand new in the way that it... doesn't do all the other things 5th Legacy does? Idk Patriarck I'm just tryign to write good sounding reviews here I can't think through every detail. :P