Posted 15 September 2009 - 12:00 AM
Roses of Reckoning (BoA)
Alright, it's only been a few years since this was released, and I think it's about time I gave Roses of Reckoning a legit review.
First off, RoR deserves some credit for being the first third-party BoA scenario released. However, it is incredibly self-indulgent, with TM himself making a rather blatant and ego-serving cameo, directly belittling past designers, and incredibly frequent hints to buy Blades of Exile. Oh, and it attempts to shoe-horn a philosophy class or two into the story (which isn't bad in itself, it just could've and should've been handled more elegantly, even though that is clearly missing the point of the scenario).
Things that RoR does well include dungeon design and proper rewards for fights, as I never ran out of spell energy with the energy potions that kept dropping. The final town was decent, particularly considering that BoA was in its infancy here.
However, RoR also does a really good job of hating on the player. TM has frequently admitted that he hates his players, and it shows. In most fights, even on Normal difficulty, you will either breeze on through or get destroyed before you can blink. Lots of enemies have the ability to take you down in the blink of an eye if you let them start casting spells on one another, and you'll be taking a lot of direct damage.
Also, there's the matter of hiding plot-critical items behind hidden passages. That's just mean. I'm pretty sure that when I first played through this scenario, I had to cheat myself up a piercing crystal. I don't like doing that.
In the end, it's solid, but it's bogged down by the fact that TM hates his players, as well as BoA's relative newness.