AotZ < DoE (apparently)

This is where all random discussion about AotZ goes. If it doesn't feel like it fits anywhere else but is still related to the map, this is the place to post it.
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Re: AotZ < DoE (apparently)

Post by Final_Pantheon » Fri Apr 25, 2008 7:10 am

I was going to pretend that I'm one of those spy dudes, but I couldn't pull it off. So bleh. :D

There's an "alpha" version on http://www.wc3campaigns.net I saw them mentioning it in another post, and thought I'd try it out. It was pretty good, but the comments people left on the site to help improve would have degraded the map (which I thought would be really difficult, seeing as it going for 1 level ... :lol: ) in my opinion.

Would have put a link on here to the page, but I couldn't find it. You'll have to find it on your own if you want to see what I mean. :(
Last edited by Final_Pantheon on Fri Apr 25, 2008 6:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: AotZ < DoE (apparently)

Post by Rising_Dusk » Fri Apr 25, 2008 2:21 pm

Yeah I uploaded the demo there. I know what would improve/destroy the map, but other people don't. No worries. :p
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Re: AotZ < DoE (apparently)

Post by Final_Pantheon » Fri Apr 25, 2008 6:16 pm

Rising_Dusk wrote:I know what would improve/destroy the map, but other people don't. No worries. :p



The people on there all seemed (well not all, but most) to be asses. And they really didn't like you ...

Poor Dusky. :D



Stat's and sub-stats? ON THE SAME BOARD? *shudders*
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Re: AotZ < DoE (apparently)

Post by Phox » Fri Apr 25, 2008 7:11 pm

Final_Pantheon wrote:
Rising_Dusk wrote:I know what would improve/destroy the map, but other people don't. No worries. :p



The people on there all seemed (well not all, but most) to be asses. And they really didn't like you ...

Poor Dusky. :D



Stat's and sub-stats? ON THE SAME BOARD? *shudders*


They just all like to think they know what they're doing. That, and most of them don't shout relentless praise about everything that's even remotely good. That was one of the things I really hated about wc3sear.ch, even more then the more administration and the lack of standards.

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Re: AotZ < DoE (apparently)

Post by Rising_Dusk » Fri Apr 25, 2008 9:18 pm

The people on there all seemed (well not all, but most) to be asses. And they really didn't like you ...
Poor Dusky.

No, not poor me. They are critical members that try their hardest to give the best feedback as possible and I appreciate that tremendously. Places like the hive shout praise without any actual thought. The value of an "Awesome work!" comment and a "WTFPWN SEX F*K WIT ME YO" comment to me are about the same, useless. I am very glad that the members of WC3C at the very least try; I don't like to sound like I've got an ego, but I know very well map design, plus a lot of those people have no idea what I've got planned -- That demo was really just that, a demo. WC3C is a wonderful place, the best WC3 modding site there is, indisputably so.
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Re: AotZ < DoE (apparently)

Post by pandamanar » Fri Apr 25, 2008 9:40 pm

Advent of the Zenith has an aura about it, it seems so unique, so epic. The experience of playing AotZ is like no other Warcraft 3 map. Ever. Desert of Exile lacks this feeling. It is a far superior map technically, but it is this "aura" that kept me coming back to AotZ for a long time. Desert of Exile still interests me, but I can't get away from the epicness that is AotZ. Add my name to the long list of players eagerly waiting for v3.00
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Re: AotZ < DoE (apparently)

Post by Rising_Dusk » Fri Apr 25, 2008 10:28 pm

Desert of Exile lacks this feeling.

Very few people realize that if DoE had come first in my order of maps made, you'd say AotZ lacks that 'feel' that DoE has.
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Re: AotZ < DoE (apparently)

Post by pandamanar » Fri Apr 25, 2008 10:35 pm

Personally, If DoE had come first in your mapping montage, I wouldn't be here.
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Re: AotZ < DoE (apparently)

Post by Rising_Dusk » Fri Apr 25, 2008 10:35 pm

Hindsight is always 20/20.
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Re: AotZ < DoE (apparently)

Post by Panda_of_Doom » Sat Apr 26, 2008 8:19 pm

That line hit me the most. Dude, the whole reason these forums exist is so that people can communicate easily, quickly, and efficiently their own ideas to me about my work. Don't be afraid to make new topics here with ideas or whatever, we'll discuss them and if I like them I will tell you -- And if I don't, of course I'll tell you that too. Don't be scared to talk to me, I'm not an unreasonable guy. :p


Hunh. It just seems like so much has already been decided ... I feel like I could write volumes about, for example, why Janise is fine as she is (which I strongly believe) or why the generator fulfills a valid and interesting role in the game (which I can support, but see alternatives to) to no effect. Maybe I'm reading too much into the info that's already been released and your own better-known attitudes? I'm certainly able and willing to write about what I think is good and what could use fixing and why, but I don't want to spend hours in a doomed labor.

Also, I disagree terribly and am particularly offended by your analysis of DoE, but I'm not here to argue so I'll just leave it at that.


Hey, you have your opinions, I have mine, and we both have a tendency to express 'em without caring what anyone else thinks. I'm the first to admit that I don't know as much as I could about the game. Maybe my view will change with further versions, balances, and experience. We'll see.

I'm not sure that AotZ doesn't have a special quality to it, but I'm thinking that what I'd label as significant and worthwhile, you'd see as largely trivial. I'd say that the fact that people play the game regardless of bugs and imbalances is evidence towards this. It might just be the character of the map and the heroes ... and for the record, I find that AoSes which are designed to last thirty minutes or less to be ... anticlimactic. The whole idea behind AoS in general is a titanic struggle between two armies. That sort of thing shouldn't end quickly, or easily. Not that I don't think AotZ's main bases couldn't use a bit of weakening, or that I wouldn't be open to the idea of a faster-paced game, but then again, the quicker they die, the less chance the losing team has to even the odds, even with exceptional play.

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Re: AotZ < DoE (apparently)

Post by Rising_Dusk » Sat Apr 26, 2008 9:17 pm

Hunh. It just seems like so much has already been decided ...

Something being decided has no bearing on someone suggesting something better that I can then decide upon on the spot. Unlike every other (worth mentioning) AoS maker you've ever met, community interaction is a huge aspect of the map.
I feel like I could write volumes about, for example, why Janise is fine as she is (which I strongly believe) or why the generator fulfills a valid and interesting role in the game (which I can support, but see alternatives to) to no effect.

The trick is that you've become accustomed to these things, and as such they seem perfect to you. Until I show you exactly the improvements, you will never quite understand that they are an improvement at all! In this regard you'll just have to trust my understanding of map design, but if you can make a cogent argument one way or the other please, feel free to do so. :p

I am a firm believer in tradition and nostalgia. I've posted before in this topic why I love AotZ, and one of the main reasons is that it came first. I can say from personal experience that the public would sing a different song had DoE been released before AotZ. That simple order of maps released would change a lot of your perspectives! Because of that, I know for a fact that all instances of someone saying they like AotZ 'feel' more than DoE's is because they experienced AotZ' first. Trust me, if I had released DoE first, I'd probably like AotZ more as a map too. People oftentimes use abstract concepts like 'feel' and 'atmosphere' to justify why they like one or the other more -- In all honesty that's just their method of excusing themselves from explaining something they simply cannot explain.

I find that AoSes which are designed to last thirty minutes or less to be ... anticlimactic.

Why? Because you spend the first 30 minutes of the game getting nowhere and are sick of wasting your time by then? There is no sentient reason why a longer game is better. Granted, too short is bad too, but a game lasting between 30-50 minutes is golden.
the quicker they die, the less chance the losing team has to even the odds, even with exceptional play.

Untrue. In DoE, a losing team could make an epic final push and win the game even if they have absolutely no side bases left. I would know, I've done it.
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Re: AotZ < DoE (apparently)

Post by Panda_of_Doom » Sun Apr 27, 2008 1:15 am

The trick is that you've become accustomed to these things, and as such they seem perfect to you. Until I show you exactly the improvements, you will never quite understand that they are an improvement at all! In this regard you'll just have to trust my understanding of map design, but if you can make a cogent argument one way or the other please, feel free to do so. :p


I get that, and I mentioned as much in my intial post. It's not that I don't want there to be change. It's that I see a lot of stuff being said that seems to reflect an understanding very different from mine. If your idea of balance and good gameplay is far removed from mine, then it follows that a map you design won't be something I'd enjoy as much. As I'm very much attached to the gameplay that AotZ currently offers, I'd like it to ... not stay identical, but certainly remain similar.

People oftentimes use abstract concepts like 'feel' and 'atmosphere' to justify why they like one or the other more -- In all honesty that's just their method of excusing themselves from explaining something they simply cannot explain.


Nah, it's quite possible to explain what it is about AotZ that makes it appealing. Because 'feel' and 'atmosphere' have components. I gave some examples in my initial post. The uniqueness of a hero lends a theme to it, an individuality and a character. This synergizes very effectively with the deep story behind the game, and the scenery also works in favor. Little things like the units saying stuff and the paragraphs-long skill tooltips with background material—it makes it come together in a way that no other AoS does. And the gameplay tends to revolve around an aim-and-dodge, cover-and-control sort of mindset. I just don't feel much reward when I run someone down with Sozen or Skittel with Mutilate or have the team wtfpwn whoever overextended himself and got bone caged. But landing a hit with Precision against a smart enemy is always a thrill, as is that perfect Fugit that catches them on the edge, or the well-timed Overcharge that knocks KD offa your buddy, or Eviscerating someone into Tree. It's not that DoE entirely lacks these sorts of mechanics or moments, but they just don't seem to be as widespread.

Game length? It would be nice if the first twenty-thirty minutes of AotZ meant more. But there are lots of ways that this could be accomplished. Easy ways involve upping the rewards for hero-killing and first blood. If towers didn't grant XP for kills, pushing lanes in early (and keeping them pushed) would matter a lot more; right now all you get is a few hp shaved off the nearest tower. I'm sure the ToB crowd would whine, though, so perhaps something more creative? Lowering creep bounty as the game progresses, increasing the costs of new creeps/spawners, offering a greater number of creeps/spawners at different costs, or having towers upgrade (armor & damage) alongside the creeps could help. Or something completely new. But I know you don't care for increased complexity.

Still, a long game doesn't have to mean that parts of it are boring ...

It seems like simply dropping structure hp and damage, a la DoE or DotA -em, would force a lot of the really cool epic ults—Ascension, Holocaust, Dominum, perhaps even Celerity—to either be entirely reworked or discarded or toned down to the point where they're not epic anymore. And as much as I think several of the above could use balance changes, I like epic. Of course there are ways to keep things epic without making them unbalanced ... for example, just make them not effect or deal severely reduced damage to buildings ... and there are similarly epic ideas that could replace imba ults ...

Untrue. In DoE, a losing team could make an epic final push and win the game even if they have absolutely no side bases left. I would know, I've done it.


I could be wrong—perhaps I've just never played with people skilled enough or against opponents who leave themselves open to this sort of thing—but it seems a lot easier to come back in AotZ. I guess because bases are harder to kill and creeps can't push in on the flanks by themselves after top or bot falls (also backdooring is much more easily accomplished ... but that is not a selling point of the game). Generator also plays a role here ... main is more or less impregnable with gen up and with several spawner heroes, so the team ahead has to take it out. But that can take awhile, and during this time, the team behind has an opportunity to push out and even the odds while their opponents are otherwise occupied. Easy? No, especially not if the other team can all tele back to base, but doable with good organization and execution.

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Re: AotZ < DoE (apparently)

Post by Rising_Dusk » Sun Apr 27, 2008 2:14 am

I'd like it to ... not stay identical, but certainly remain similar.

The same way everyone wants SC2 to be like SC enough, but still be different. I understand, and I agree; people don't seem to have faith that I know what my own map is like to play. :p
The uniqueness of a hero lends a theme to it, an individuality and a character. This synergizes very effectively with the deep story behind the game, and the scenery also works in favor.

All of which also apply to DoE.
And the gameplay tends to revolve around an aim-and-dodge, cover-and-control sort of mindset. I just don't feel much reward when I run someone down with Sozen or Skittel with Mutilate or have the team wtfpwn whoever overextended himself and got bone caged.

I love how people use that as an example. What about KD, who can kill whole teams with ease? What about Kharn, who can solo bases without so much as thinking about the 6 heroes bashing on him? What about Violet, who has more single target abilities than any WC3 hero even has? What about Jhita or Janise who have skills that render them virtually invulnerable for entire periods of time? What about Janise, who's just as bad as KD? Seriously, you can claim "aim" as much as you want, but in that same regard DoE has just as much as anywhere else. The only difference is that none of the 'mainly played' heroes in AotZ have weaknesses, they just kill. Everything. It's like if I give everyone spells and attacks that deal 20 damage each, but make every hero have 9000 life.

These are design mistakes, not features. If I could only show you right now how much better AotZ will be with everything redone, you would agree with me. Man, the only frustrating thing for me right now is that I like AotZ in principle far more than you ever will, but it's because I like AotZ in principle that I want to make it better. Can you not see that?

All of your ideas are pretty ethereal, though. You shouldn't aim to limit the early game so as to make it more interesting, nor should you make the early game yield greater benefits for the same reasons. There are so many better ways you can achieve things by just changing things in the slightest of ways. Just... In map design, trust me, I know how to make AotZ better without destroying everything. If you have a direct suggestion rather than "Don't screw up the map," I'll hear it out, but if you can't trust in my ability to maintain AotZ, I don't know why you'd care enough to try. :(
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Re: AotZ < DoE (apparently)

Post by Wufei » Tue Apr 29, 2008 10:13 am

Just saw this thread, been gone for a bit... and I kinda sympathize with the original poster and those that say that AotZ had the epic feel to it. When I was playing you would always feel your character is somewhat rigged when you're playing it right, and although I don't like unfair advantages over people, this game made it feel like a fair advantage. I die my share of times, but when I die, it's often in some comical way or my own fault. All the skills in AotZ on the heroes are flashy in their own respect and when you pick a Hero, it truly is a hero. This may be due to excessively good skill synergy, where you can specialize in a direction and suddenly be renown for it.

DoE is fun, don't get me wrong, I really enjoy games of DoE I play. But as mentioned a million times by others, it seems that DoE lacks the "hero" aspect... it might also be the terrain (which could be easily changed by destructible trees, a good feature in DotA which has been discussed on the forums). I notice how everyone talks about how awesome Genobee is, maybe Glyphe... because they seem to me like "Hero" heroes. When you play Geno, the floor runs red with blood... with Glyphe, lightning falls on all enemies, striking them down. My favorite hero on the map is Caliga, but he doesn't feel like a hero when you play him... sort of like a bandit sneaking around. Tornne is a borderline non-Hero type, possessing the most awesome Death Knight skin known to man, but specializing in what? Conditions.

Again, don't get me wrong, I like using Tornne as a hero and conditions are fun as hell to use, especially because they can be transferred/extended/reduced/weakened by any number of things, adding an entirely new aspect. I really think that conditions need more of a lightning type effect, as in fast-paced applying and such. I saw a hero idea on the forums with a permanently Blind Hero, and it was really intriguing to me, so intriguing in fact, that I'm making a D&D character based on him (At DM's discretion). The Hero aspect is created by picturing it in real life. Dins leaves a trail of flames behind him, then he explodes into a massacre of slashes and blood! Kharn(don't remember his new name) charges into combat, heedless of any enemy, every strike on himself HEALING his wounds (I want to see that in real life). The dwarf turns pain into power, every hit on him is a risk you won't want to take... and there's even skills that supercharge him, like Quench Life and Glaive Legions. These hero examples are just amplified by the quotes they say. The makers of TOB should shut their faces when they say the quotes are stupid! The quotes give the characters a more real aspect, even a comical one at times. As a matter of fact, I ALWAYS read a quote when it comes up, because it adds character to the character, and makes me as a Hero feel even more Heroic.

AotZ has what other maps lack... a cool factor. As much as others might try to say it, the cool factor can only be created by the map itself. To me, DotA doesn't have a 'cool' factor, since heroes are stale and ineffective by themselves, horribly dependent on items. DoE is a few steps shy of it ... it's a mainly Hero-based AoS... why don't the heroes play like Heroes?

Two more cents to add on now... the terrain. DoE's terrain could be massively improved if it actually felt like a desert wasteland. Right now if you change all the desert sand to beach sand (Sunken Ruins), it suddenly becomes a beach map, and the entire terrain is ruined. AotZ was set in winter, and the map is full of blue and white hues... it not only is cold... it FEELS cold, even having its own nooks and crannies with igloos and ice floe-filled water... Personally as a roleplayer if I pictured myself there, I'd shiver, seriously (and it's very easy to picture). DoE is set in a desert, and it doesn't feel very hot. In the day the sun doesn't beat down on the heroes and they trudge around in full armor like they were in Dalaran or something (which could be changed, not that heroes should sweat or anything, but it should look and feel hot... like the sun-shining-down-from-the-canopy effect and maybe a slight yellow tint to the screen) and night doesn't seem dark enough to feel like it's cold (Can you change that? Make it bluer? Make night sounds maybe?). Also you could make small pyramids or obelisks to make the map feel more desert-y. The terrain has to feel how it's presented, and few maps (such as TKOK(GODLIKE terrain) and Parasite(It must be difficult to bring in the tech aspect)) bring that across... as far as I know, AotZ is the only AoS map to do that for me, DoE being second. No one seems to pay much attention to the environment in AoSs outside of "It's a forest(DotA)" or "It's a mountain (EotA(Stormwail Peak))," and you Dusk are the first to do so. Make it happen in DoE, I'm looking forward on terrain improvements in AotZ 3.00 (Mainly because I don't see how it can get much better).

I'm sorry for repeatedly changing the subject, just got a lot of things to get out on this matter... it might seem inconcise, which is because I just hurled everything I was thinking at the surface onto this post. Wow... lotsa text O.O' ... Y'know, I'm gonna start looking at the hero suggestions with these "How does it work, how does it fit" criteria, rather than just "Is it a well-built hero". I think I'm starting to see the heroes like you now, Dusk.

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Re: AotZ < DoE (apparently)

Post by Rising_Dusk » Tue Apr 29, 2008 3:24 pm

My favorite hero on the map is Caliga, but he doesn't feel like a hero when you play him

What are you talking about?! Man, DoE heroes are the best heroes, because every hero is given infinitely many tools to obliterate everything. Too many heroes in AotZ have these self-invulnerability skills and have too many defensive skills, very, very few heroes have heavily defensive skills and no one can get invulnerable. That's what makes DoE heroes so true to the hero concept. Just think about it, your very logic is impossible and contradicts the facts presented in AotZ itself! DoE heroes are true heroes because just as you can kill everything, everything can kill you. The battles become larger than life, with everything going all out all over the place. Hero battles result in so much shit flying that my epic sensors go off the charts; it is a game designed to be played as a hero and you feel like one too. I get into character so often in DoE it's ridiculous, I scream people down as Anick, I talk in the third person like Genobee, I yell psalms of wrath as Victor, man, I even scream SOOOOOOOOOOOOOZEEEEEENN when I fight as/against him! Nothing is like that in AotZ, in AotZ the heroes talk for you and you lose this level of immersion, they are the hero for you, they don't make you the hero. That's why DoE is so amazingly epic, you are the hero, and you are only as good as the best you can play.

Man, also, I love how graceful playing DoE is. If you do really well, you find yourself literally dancing around the battlefield, dodging everything, killing everyone, and getting out by the skin of your teeth. Simple errors can cost you your life, unlike AotZ. In AotZ, you always have that self-invul skill or something that makes your mistakes meaningless. I cannot emphasize enough how much I disagree with you, you guys just don't see DoE like I do, you don't get into it like I do, playing DoE for me is a dance of death that thrills me every, single time. This has nothing to do with me as a mapmaker, and everything to do with me as a player. Some of you have to agree with me, someone has to agree with me.. DoE for me is perfect in every way, every feel, every interaction, it's so amazing to me that I find myself at a loss how anyone can disagree!

Tornne is a borderline non-Hero type, possessing the most awesome Death Knight skin known to man, but specializing in what? Conditions.

He's so epic though, he's the guy that killed all of the Dwarves, he is one of the best examples of the dance I spoke of above. You just throw Taint after taint and you lie in waiting and then suddenly one hits or an ally surprises the enemy and WHAM now the CHASE is on and you're on the hunt, your ultimate illuminates the area around you and epidemic spreads the conditions everywhere. People cry and entire armies lay ruined at your feet, man, that feeling is priceless, that feeling is of a hero. You are a character, you are epic, you are Tornne, the Black Lantern.

DoE is a few steps shy of it ... it's a mainly Hero-based AoS... why don't the heroes play like Heroes?

They do God damnit, they do. I wish I could change history and release DoE first, my God then you all would understand!

Two more cents to add on now... the terrain. DoE's terrain could be massively improved if it actually felt like a desert wasteland.

....I have to stop reading your post. I'm sorry, I'm not only offended, I'm utterly hurt. If this is how people feel about DoE, there's no point for me to make 3.00, it will be worse than 2.00 for you all.
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