Valdemar - The Bloodfeast of Roskilde

Discuss Valdemar - The Bloodfeast of Roskilde

This scenario is the first thing I’ve published in AoE2. It took me a long time to adjust, polish, and test - especially since almost every new game update this year has brought strange new bugs or changes that I’ve had to work around.

I’ve been doing the testing myself, so I’d love to get other peoples’ perspective on what works and what you’d like done differently.

A few things I’d especially like to get feedback on:

  • Difficulty (What sword rating would you give it, and is the difficulty appropriate)?
  • The Battle Cry/morale boost mechanic
  • The Tax mechanic
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Hey, the scenario cannot be played as is due to the way you zipped the content, you need to remove the “Valdemar - The Bloodfeast of Roskilde” folder and have all the files on the 1st level of the zip file.

image

I did it manually and it worked, I’ll post a review tomorrow

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Thanks for the heads up!
I just made a new zip folder, please let me know if it works properly.
And I look forward to your review! :slight_smile:

Yes its working now, I unsubscribed and re-subscribed and it works

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Great to hear! And thanks again for letting me know. It could have remained in an unplayable state for a long while if it wasn’t for your post!

Alright, here is my review:

Playability: 4.5 stars :star: :star: :star: :star:
This scenario is easy to play and has a lot of useful tooltips. The mechanics are explained very well, so I never found myself not knowing what to do. Only 2 things of note:

  1. Sometimes the map is too crowded and its hard to move units around as they seem to get stuck. This is not enterily the designers fault, as AoE2:DE’s pathfinding has its issues. But some tracks/roads are too choked and units try to move around them by going all over the place.

  2. There are many villages and I often found myself confused as to where somewhere is located. An accompaning map of all the locations would be useful, as when you get messages regarding a possible revolt for a tax office not being guarded for example, you have to scroll around to find it.

Balance: 5 stars :star: :star: :star: :star: :star:
I found no issues with the balance. This scenario is hard, but it is very balanced between the factions and it does not feel like the enemy has any unfair advantage. I found the difficulty appropriate, and I would give it 3 swords.

Creativity: 5 stars :star: :star: :star: :star: :star:
All good in this category. It is an original scenario that I have not found before and seems well researched. Lots of innovative mechanics and other interesting ideas present, like the tax system, the monk aspect, and so on. Very impressive.

Map Design: 5 stars :star: :star: :star: :star: :star:
The map is very well designed and looks alive. There are no long, empty grass plains around that might make it feel rushed. Its obvious the designed spent a lot of time filling the map. Plenty of eye candy.

Story/Instructions: 5 stars :star: :star: :star: :star: :star:
The storytelling is very good as well. Lots of pre-scenario information and I felt like I got to know the story of the 3 kings. Instructions are clear.

Final Rating: 5 stars :star: :star: :star: :star: :star:
Well done!

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Wow, that’s an amazing review! :blush:

Would you like to also rate it on the website? :grin:

Regarding the map being too crowded, in what parts of the map was that a problem? I imagine the path west towards the transport ship on Zealand (the starting landmass) is one of them?
The game’s general pathfinding is definitely an issue, but I might be able to remove some trees to make a bit more space.

Regarding the tax buildings being hard to find, I tried to create flares on the minimap to help find the location - but I know it can still be easy to miss especially when a lot of other stuff is going on.
I’m not 100% sure what you mean by an accompanying map, do you mean as an image file with the names on to include in the game files?

It was there and also on the south parts of the second island, around the villages.

Oh sorry, I meant its hard to know which is which. I can find them all easily due to the flares, its just when you get a message saying something is happening at X, I need to check them all until I find the specific one.

Yes something like that

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Good. I’ll see what I can do about those issues when I get time.

I thought I added a flashing/temporary flare to the specific tax building when there’s a notification of it being unguarded/idle/facing a tax revolt, but I’ll check if I’ve forgotten to do it in some cases, and if I can do more to make them easier to find.

And thanks for reviewing it on the website as well! :grin:

I only got feedback from two users so far (ariev, and Kaenan7204 on ageofempires.com) but it was very useful feedback and came with great reviews (thanks, it means a lot to me!).
:blush:

I’m working on an update where I address most of the issues they both raised in their reviews.

If I get more feedback the next few days, I’ll try if I can address that too, and hopefully upload version 1.3 later this week. :slight_smile:

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Version 1.3 is out now :smiley:
Feel free to re-subscribe and try it out :slight_smile:
I made a pretty detailed change list, but it’s mostly about broadening some paths, slowing down the pace after getting a town, and clarifying the tax messages and hints.
Hopefully this will mean fewer confusing and frustrating moments than before. It should generally be somewhat easier now, but probably still in the 3 swords category.

The tax messages now mention the building’s general location - a few examples:

–Reminder: Queue up Wagonloads of Taxes at ###### Estate (flare NORTH OF YOUR BASE).–
–Risk of tax rebellion at Gramæ Estate (flare in the FAR SOUTH) if not guarded by 3 military units.–
–A TAX REBELLION has broken out at Viborg Guildhall (flare near VIBORG LANDSTING)!–
EDIT: Apparently the place name H o r n u m was censored, despite not being a word in English? :man_shrugging:

There’s also a map of all the tax buildings in the main folder now, as ariev suggested. I’m not sure how practical it is to use while playing, or if it’s necessary after I changed the messages. But maybe some people will find it useful.

If anyone has feedback about these changes or anything else, feel free to post it here :slight_smile:

I’ll probably make more changes later based on feedback and bug reports. But I’m generally happy with how the scenario works now, so I’ll start focusing on the other two scenarios that I have in mind about the civil war between Sven, Knut, and Valdemar.

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Version 1.4 published :slight_smile:

Now the opening cutscene can be skipped by typing “14” in the chat box (“Start the game already!” :grinning:).
This should be helpful if you die while trying to escape, so you don’t have to watch it again when starting over.

I used the same trick to make the dialogue before the Landsting debate/monk battle skippable. I considered making other dialogues skippable, but for now I don’t really think it’s necessary. Let me know if you really want one or more specific dialogues/cutscenes to be skippable, then I’ll consider it again.

There’s a lot going on in the scenario, and sometimes that leads to chaotic moments where dialogues fire at the same time or quickly after another. I try to reduce such moments to a minimum, and I use a Variable Value condition for most quest dialogues so they won’t trigger if there’s already another ongoing dialogue. But some events can still happen during an ongoing quest dialogue, e.g. pirate attacks and tax rebellions.
The pirate attacks in particular are there to put some pressure on the player before Sven (the main enemy) becomes a threat, and I haven’t found a good way to avoid that they sometimes happen while you’re busy with something else. I could just drop the recurring pirate attacks or tax rebellions entirely, but I feel like they’re part of the challenge and it would be too easy without them (especially on harder difficulties).

In future scenarios I will try to avoid too many things happening in a short amount of time.

My next two scenarios are intended to be easier, and are about events earlier in the civil war between the three kings.

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Version 1.5 is now published :slight_smile:
Mostly minor changes:

  • Made a workaround for a bug where units get stuck in tax buildings that change ownership. Stuck units are now teleported out with a looping trigger.
  • Removed the loss screen.
  • Absalon and Valdemar no longer heal instantly when mounting/dismounting (not necessary now the Replace Object bug has been fixed).
  • Reduced the cost of changing Absalon’s form by clicking his icon at the Stable (since it no longer heals him instantly).
  • Minor changes and corrections.
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Version 1.6 is now published.
Changes listed below.

I’m happy to see that my scenario now has more than 1000 subscribers!
And I’m flattered that cly0806 has made the effort to translate my very text-heavy scenario into Chinese!

I’m working on two other scenarios which are to precede this one in a 3-part campaign about the war between the three kings. But I’ve had to prioritize other things in my life, so progress is slow, and it will take several more months before it’s ready.

CHANGES:

  • Bug workaround: Removed two Granaries (scenario objects) from the map because they can currently cause the game to crash if Extended Unit Stats is enabled.
  • Completing the Hospitaller church quest now also grants Devotion in addition to Faith.
  • The green player now gets Devotion (along with other techs) on hard difficulty.
  • Visual/backstory detail: Added a Chapel and other details on the road to Fjenneslev Estate. Valdemar mentions his father’s murder when nearby.
  • Minor changes and fixes.

Cheers!

Version 1.7 posted yesterday - now with voiceover, music, and sound in the intro and outro slides!

The voiceover is AI generated using the free website Elevenlabs. I think it’s a bit scary how natural it sounds…
The sound and music files in the slides are all from AoE2, AoE3, and AoM.

I used Clipchamp (Windows video editor) to put it all together.

Other changes:

  • Automatic taxes! Your Tax buildings will now automatically queue up Cartloads/Wagonloads every 20 seconds (using the “train unit” effect which I somehow overlooked earlier). Hints and instructions changed to reflect this.
  • Decreased volume for some very noisy sound files (battle cries and wolf howls).
  • Minor changes and fixes.

There’s currently a bug that makes it harder to place buildings whenever the “Train unit” effect is triggered (the displayed building foundation gets replaced by a model of the unit being trained).
But it shouldn’t be a big issue in this scenario since the only buildings allowed here are farms and fish traps.
I plan to reuse my automatic tax mechanic in other scenarios (which are still far from ready), so hopefully the bug will be fixed before I publish those.