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Warp

Mac/Windows

 

Author: Ephesos

Difficulty: 15-20

Version: 1.0.0

 

[composite=eyJ0aXRsZSI6IldhcnAiLCJ0aWQiOiIxMjQxMiIsInRhZ3MiOlsibXVsdGlwbGUgZW5kaW5ncyIsInNlcmlvdXMiLCJzaG9ydCJdLCJiZ2FzcCI6eyI1Ijo0LCI0IjoyLCIzIjoyLCIyIjoyLCIxIjoxfX0=]

Composite Score: 3.5/5.0

 

Best: 36.36% (4/11)

Good: 18.18% (2/11)

Average: 18.18% (2/11)

Substandard: 18.18% (2/11)

Poor: 9.09% (1/11)

[encouragenecro]

 

[/composite]

 

Keywords: Multiple Endings, Short, Plot-heavy, Light/no Combat, Serious

Edited by SylaeBot
Automated Sybot edit; worker IPB::csrThread/vanadium

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This is one of the few short scenarios I've played that feels complete. Almost everything about this scenario was top notch, to the point where I don't even know where to begin to elaborate... so I wont. All the player should know is that it's a substantial scenario, worth your time and effort.

 

Off the top of my head, I can think of two negatives. Firstly, the player needs a way to rest. Even though the combat was not difficult, you cannot account for every player. He might waste all his spell points on summoning creatures because he thinks they're pretty. The other negative was the fact that the final battle could completely wipe out your party before you could even act. If someone doesn't save, he might have to start all over, which I definately don't have the patience for. I was smart enough to save, but someone might forget.

 

Rating: [rating]Best[/rating] cool.gif

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It's a short but solid scenario, with a nice scientific element thrown into it. You're basically spoon-fed the whole way through, though there really isn't any other way to do it considering the plot. Also, this scenario would probably be fun as a singleton, even though I haven't tried that.

 

Rating: [rating]Best[/rating]

 

(Note that this might be a bit spoilerish, so keep in mind that you don't have to click...)

 

 

 

Combat - Good: There isn't much in the way of combat, and one of the fights is pretty brief. As ES pointed out, you might end up unprepared, but I didn't find that to be a problem. It's not difficult, but magic is pretty much ineffective against Ethalia (I didn't try using magic on the demon), so you have to resort to melee and archery.

 

Outdoor Design: It's pretty basic, except for the fact that there's custom trees. If there weren't any custom graphics, it'd look pretty bland, but there is, so it looks nice. Really though, the outdoors isn't integral to the scenario, so I'm not going to rate it.

 

Indoor Design - Best: One of the really cool aspects of this scenario is the portal. It looks exceptional thanks to the custom graphics. The upper floor of the tower is pretty typical (It still looks very nice, though), yet the basement is very cool-looking and isn't bland like you'd expect a basement to be.

 

Writing - Best: There's a long, lecture-like stretch of dialog in the beginning concerning theoretical magic (i.e. portals and time travel). I personally liked it, since I find real life theoretical science to be interesting, and its fun to see something like that implemented into a fantasy world.

 

Anyways, the rest of the writing is solid, and it's always nice to see some good figurative language in a scenario. Characters have unique responses based on the dialog options you pick, and I liked it so much that I reloaded my save to see the different responses.

 

Plot - Best: The story involves time travel and theoretical magic. It's a pretty convincing story, and there are two different endings. As mentioned earlier, you're basically spoon fed; however, it really doesn't bring down the quality of the scenario.

 

Technical - Good: It's not absolutely spectacular, but it definitely adds to the scenario (There's good cut-scenes), and it's completely functional as well.

 

Balance - Best: You get some potions at one point, and I still had some left over at the end, but I'd imagine a less experienced player would end up using all of them. There's also a whole bunch of herbs in one of the storerooms, so if you were really desperate, you could steal some and make potions for yourself. Of course, some people would steal them anyways, but a level 15 party probably won't have enough potion making skill to really make a difference.

 

Replay Value - Good: It's very enjoyable, and it's pretty small, so you wouldn't have to set aside much time for it. I tend to replay larger scenarios more often, though.

 

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I loved this scenario. It was a very short play, and definitely worth my time. The plot was great. Ephesos managed to involve time-travel, and yet I wasn't left at the end having to piece together what just happened. It could have been long and overly complicated, but it wasn't.

 

There wasn't too much combat, but there were still a few fun fights. The whole thing was balanced very well. I was never driven to madness by having to reload over and over again until I finally decided to screw it and cheat my way out. I could have been, but I wasn't. Instead I was challenged, maybe died once or twice, but I enjoyed myself nonetheless.

 

The design was done by Ephesos. 'nuff said.

 

Rank: [rating]Best[/rating]

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It was mundane, hasty, and predictable. The town design was mediocre, even for designers who are not Ephesos. The combat was piss-easy, especially with the wand that basically eliminates the final fight. Try bringing in a party 5 levels below the minimum. Yawn. [rating]Poor[/rating]

 

(EDIT: To be fair, I actually like the irony that Lazarus noted below.)

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I'm going to have to agree with TM here, I have no idea what the other reviewers see in "Warp." Town design was average, nothing like what we're used to seeing from Eph. Plot and gameplay were poor. I wanted to avoid pointing out plot holes in a time travel scenario (I understand that some suspension of disbelief is always going to be needed here) but I really feel that I have to mention that...

 

 

 

 

The entire plot is that you're trying to stop a wizard from meddling with the past, thus altering the timeline of the world. You do this, naturally, by meddling in the past. To make things worse, getting the "good" ending requires that you help the wizard do exactly what she was planning on doing if you hadn't gotten involved at all!

 

 

A potentially interesting concept, but a big disappointment.

 

[rating]Substandard[/rating]

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REVIEW FOR WARP 1.0

The Summary

You play a bunch of adventurers who happen to just be passing through when your attention is drawn to a mysterious tower. As it turns out, an illicit time-travel experiment has just taken place, and you get caught up in everyone's schemes.

 

The Good

The plot is interesting and well-executed, for the most part. I have a hard time saying more without spoilers, but I thought it was fun and somewhat cerebral. There's also a small amount of humor present to lighten the mood, and it isn't particularly overbearing.

 

Combat. Well, as others have mentioned, it wasn't particularly difficult. But then, that's not really the point of this scenario, is it? Still, it's nice to see that, with the high resistance enemies thrown at the party, that they included a timer to stop the fights should they go on too long (like, say, from having a party of all mages).

 

Also, there were a lot of small details. Papers scattered everywhere, dialogue changing depending on your actions, and so forth. No bugs, far as I can tell. The design, while not inspiring, was solid. And for all the holes that could appear in the plot, he did pretty well in keeping them under control.

 

The Neutral

The scenario wasn't particularly inspiring in the graphical department, but what was Ephesos supposed to put in a basement? Waterfalls and rainbows? He worked with what he had, and he did that pretty well. There was also the feel that my party was accomplishing nothing whilst playing. Which, while accurate, was somewhat frustrating.

 

Also, we don't see quite enough of the two main antagonists. The first is supposed to be desperate, but seems to come off more as insane from her brief appearances. And the second is both cliche and unpronounceable.

 

Finally, the barriers inside the heavily-locked doors were annoying. Dang it, I unlocked this freakishly-high-level door, now give me the treasure! tongueold.gif

 

The Bad

First off, there's a plothole. Considering the story, it's not surprising, but it's still there.

 

[spoileralt=ENDING SPOILERS]

 

When you fight Ach'deniz'toh the first time, he mentions killing Ethalia. However, it's pointed out that, if old Ethalia dies in the final battle, that the demon goes on a rampage and kills everyone, altering the timeline. So how can the party confront him after old Ethalia's death? Or, more importantly, how does the adventure take place at all?

 

(That said, a handwave do come to mind, The first is that the timelines don't resolve until after the adventurers have done their bit, and that the universe lets them handle the paradox that's present throughout the scenario. But as it is, it definitely bugs me.)

Also, you better pray that a fast party member gets the superwand during the final fight. Otherwise, you may lose half your party before you get to act. Two hostiles capable of casting powerful, multi-target spells? Ouch.[/spoileralt]

 

Also, exposition. For such a small scenario, this thing is LOADED with text. The monologue (calling it dialogue is a smidge too generous) at times reads more like a dissertation than a plot. Admittedly, the starting stuff can be skipped by telling Martha that you don't understand, but then you miss almost half the plot.

 

The Verdict - [rating]GOOD[/rating]

Play it. It's a fun scenario with a cerebral plot, even if it isn't the best thing in Blades.

 

Thoughts

I am never doing a time travel scenario. Ever. And to any that do make future scenarios dealing with time travel, keep in mind just how omnipresent these paradoxes can get. Anything that happens in the past would instantly adjust the future, unless said time travel also shunts the adventurers to an alternate universe.

 

Also, just because dialogue and dialog boxes grant you eight paragraphs of text doesn't mean you have to use them all. Less can be more (...why are you all looking at me like that? tongueold.gif ).

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a moderately designed scenario. it's pretty innovative for boa/e in that it's the first scenario to my knowledge that tries to flesh out time travel, one of the most overused sci-fi topics out there. unfortunately, this isn't hugely original, and the plot ending(s) are too predictable. but the town design was pretty good and the dialogue was all right. just not something to be immensely proud of or memorable. the characters weren't badly explored, if a little rushed.

 

rating: [rating]Average[/rating]

 

ephesos, please try to make something bigger. you're a very talented designer but you don't set your sights high enough. honestly, i think you're the only one capable of making an epic scenario other than kelendon.

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I just posted five reviews and realized I complained about the length of everyone of the scenarios. Yes, Warp is short, but it is competent. Anyway, the scenario begins with the player just wandering into a magic research facility where all hell has broken loose. It will soon become clear, in a rather longish expository dialog, that Warp is a time travel scenario. A mage has gone rogue and leaped into the past, so the player must hurry back in time to stop her from disrupting the past.

 

Wait! Hurry back in time? Wouldn't the mage have changed the past immediately after she jumped through this magic portal of hers? I mean, as soon as she steps into the past the present will change, right? Unless she was always supposed to time travel. But then again... Argh!

 

So yeah, if you are bothered by time travel paradoxes or if you think about the timeline of the scenario too much, you are not going to enjoy Warp. But if you manage to ignore them then Warp is a fun scenario to play through. Unfortunately, apart from the story, it does not have much going for it. Combat is minimal. There is not much to explore or to loot. It does get bonus points for alternative endings, though.

 

But now for the positives... Um, the ending I got had a pretty neat cutscene with stars and all. Yeah, well, Warp may not have many mind-blowingly great parts, but it has no outright bad parts, unless you are the kind of person who vomits at the mere mention of time travel that is. Nevertheless, everything that is here is good or at least competent.

 

Therefore, Warp, I rate thee: [rating]GOOD[/rating]

 

Oh! And Ethalia has "perfected spells that speed up her own actions [...] slow the actions of others"? Um, that's "Haste" and "Slow", right?

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Eh, didn't love this one, didn't hate it. Interesting concept, but it was repetitive, the fights weren't that good, and the whole scenario seemed pointless given that the outcome was the same as if the party didn't do anything.

 

[rating]Substandard[/rating]

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Content: This is a short scenario, basically a string of several simple combat encounters linked with dialogue, but it's presented in a really novel manner.

 

Story: The story's pretty fun. This is a time travel scenario, one you might have problems with if you're a stickler for self-consistency. But if you're okay with the way Back to the Future or Doctor Who plays fast and loose with the timeline, you should be fine with this scenario. You only interact with one character of note, and she's written well, especially her hilarious opening dialogue. There's a branch at the very end of the scenario. I recommend taking the stupid choice, because the ending is more interesting. Also, I'm a horrible person.

 

Pacing: The scenario is too short to get too involved with it, but you're always getting fed the next thing to do.

 

Combat: The fights themselves are short and simple. You will get sent into them one after the other, so be forewarned. I found the last fight to be disappointing: I want to be able to win it myself, rather than be given the means to win easily.

 

Scripting: There are some hoops you have to jump through to get the time travel effect to work, and this scenario does as well as is possible within the BoA engine.

 

Aesthetics: The town design is simple, but functional and decent.

 

Overall: It's just a jump to the left... [rating]AVERAGE[/rating]

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Yes this is a rather short scenario, and yes it's true that time travel will always be a cliche theme. But I think Ephesos did a pretty good job with this one.

 

Time travel is always sketchy, because (of course) it isn't possible in real life. But neither are goblins and wizards, so let's give him a break shall we?

 

It had a very nice flow, the atmosphere was nice, and the dialog was fitting and it was rather witty!

As always, Ephesos knew what he was doing and this is what I would call a great scenario.

(I don't see anyone else trying to make a time travel scenario. who would dare?)

 

Overall: [rating]BEST[/rating]

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