First, background. Conceived for the ::JEDI:: clan by Szico VII, this map, set on planet Mon Calamari, is a soul-harvesting, child-eating, and corn worshiping power house of script, design, and sexy. Seriously, feel free to take a look at the screenshots before reading on if you don't believe me. This map has effectively stamped out all of Szico's predecessors in virtually every aspect. Enough pole-jocking, I say! Let us proceed to a small walkthrough, shall we?
To preface, I must note to you all that there are TWO versions of this map, but both contain the same essential items, save for a couple features. Now then, to start us off on our grand journey, we shall begin with the broad exterior. Starting from an empty landing pad, one can take in and grasp the true beauty of the architecture of the exterior and texture work of the water and skybox. Szico REALLY went all out on this one. It felt like I was really in the middle of Mon Calamari/The Antarctic. The water was crisp, clear, and looked damningly cold. It also blends incredibly smoothly with the skybox, making the map feel very realistic. The skybox suggests that we're sequestered in a valley of sorts, and quite exquisitely, at that. Moving on from the background, we find ourselves staring at a monstrous dome of sorts, with a tower atop it, along with several other jutting extremities coming from outside the dome. This empty pad contains an interesting little device, but I shall save it for later. LETS PROCEED INTO THE DOME.
The dome is massive, and made almost completely out of glass. It's quite an excellent observation area. The inside of the dome is what I like to call "rage city," as it has enough destructibles to almost completely wreck up the place. The overhanging lights can be pulled down on top of your opponents and kill them, you can kill the lights to the stairs, the main halo light,knock a monument down, and pretty much own every tree there is with your saber. It's beastly, without a doubt. Looking forth at the other extremities, we'll just glance over at the delicious shuttle that takes off and lands every few minutes, and proceed to the strange little spiral staircase. Inside? A room, with a familiar object of chaos...go ahead and pull the switch, I dares you =_>. I daren't say more, so let us return to the surface!
Returning back to our empty pad, we'll finally discuss one of the scripted specialty features: dynamic elevators. Ah, yes, this one's a doozy. What sets this one apart from others other than the earth-shaking scripting? Simple: It's a BEAM-LINE elevator. As the elevator is hailed, you can see the beam path the elevator pad glides along with great ease. It is, without a doubt, quite awesome to behold. Granted, in some angles it looks very 2D, but it can be overlooked for the greater good, here. From this pad, we can either choose to go to the shuttle's landing pad, or to the command tower. Let's go command things, shall we?
Once we hit the tower, one must circle around to the next elevator to get to the peak of the tower. Now to call down the next--WHAT?!? WARNING: LIFT RESTRICTION?! CURSE YOU DIRTY AND GLUTTONOUS STAFF. Force users at this point will have to manually climb up the tower(or just respawn there,) and push the crate off the elevator. Foulness, indeed. Afterwards, the elevator works. At the top of the tower is the admin room, a simple room that has more practical value in the RPG version, which will be explained later. Activate the console with the code provided in the readme, and all shall be revealed. See below at the end of the review, as the code here IS customizable.
Now, it's time to FINALLY go inside, having left a few unturned stones for you to discover out there later. Retreating to a particular extremity adjacent to the dome, we shall be entering by a contact-triggered elevator. Quite stylish, I know. Step on the arrow as you walk in, and our journey shall begin.
Landing in the awesome nexus, there are a huge plethora of doors. Eenie, meany, MINEY, MO! Well, wouldja look at that? A BAR. Hasn't anyone heard of an actual restaurant in this community? I mean you could include a bar IN IT, but RPG'ers needa eat @_@. Moving on, this bar is eloquently designed in the oval structure, allowing for more movement of the bartender. In the corner is a window to one of the most awesome skyboxes I've seen. It makes you feel like you're actually underwater >_> seriously. Anyway, evading subjective fits of rage, lets bail out for the next door into the detention center. Now THIS is what I call a detention center. Forcefields, steel doors, and controlled gun turrets make great security measures, and hurt many feelings. Now granted, it woulda been nice if he installed like, poopers, so people can poop, but hardly anybody lets forth a corn log in RP anymore(at least, in serious RP >_> it's too cool for them.) Anyway, let us take flight from this deliciously miserable place. Oh yes, by the way, please scorn and laugh at Szico for not being able to properly read and spell my name in that screenshot. Whilst that screenshot with my "name" in it was doctored(so I don't have a private cell), I just want to make him feel retarded anyway XD
Let's GO TO TEH PARK! WOOT. Moving swiftly on, we come across a deliciously designed underwater park, complete with streetlights, and, in the basic version, NPCS that wander about. Honestly, whatever I say here would be a waste of breath, as it's just miles better to just inhale the visuals for yourself. Trust me, you shall be awe struck, methinks.
Now we can finally attack the meat and potatoes of this compound. Moving down a corridor, we can stop by and see there's two...pits? Yes, Szico found it more entertaining to have the players leap down and be carried up in this particular area, instead of actual elevators. Not exactly the most PRACTICAL of ideas, but he at least designed the shaft to be quite entertaining to behold. Dropping down to a soft landing, we come upon a lobby with a malevolent TV screaming and hawking ::JEDI:: and the map. In my initial beta testing of this map, I attacked it in a childish rage, scorning its existance. Suffice to say, It breaks, and >_> can be fixed, although I will explain that later as well. Man, I have a lot of explaining to do ;
So then, there's a nice lil protocol desk droid waiting for you, his function also being covered later. Heading left, we'll prod and poke the "west wing" of the compound. Walking along the scenic hallway, we arrive at the stairway nexus which leads to the deliciously scripted infirmary, VR stealth training room, and laser dodging training area. Definitely worth a personal investigation, as my words alone cannot recreate the experiences extracted from them.
A long stairway across the infirmary leads down to meditation and prep rooms, one of the combat prep rooms housing Szico's pride and joy: Hexagonal Honeycomb windows. I must admit, these are thoroughly awesome, and as such, warrant a soul harvest. The annex here is definitely also worth a look at, as it was beautifully crafted, and features a nice fountain here, along with the vaulted glass ceiling, which is quite priceless.
Alright, finally, we'll hit the East wing, which contains the archives, dormitories, and the council rooms. Archives contains something that will be explained later >_> NOW, the council is built like your average council room, save for the laser security and the RPG function that will ALSO be mentioned later. The dormitories are quite awesome, although the beds are ENORMOUS, even the bunk beds. Downsize much? Whew...seriously.
-=Averus goes to go eat=-
Ahh, most delicious. Now that I can focus on the map rather than eating, it's time to hit some of the more technical aspects. First off, if it isn't obvious enough, this file/map is HUGE, and as such, may annihilate lower end PCs, so beware. Map loading time was like...well, longer than most maps, so I'd suggest finding something to amuse yourself within that time frame >_>
Bugs: There's some. I'll just note them in list format. Granted, whilst we had MaceCrusherMadunsus in the server at the time pointing out bugs, truth be told I wasn't listening so XD here's what *I* found/recorded(whichever came first):
- Elevator/Annex area: You can jump through the unclipped rock and step into the void.
- Some doors may get stuck, depending on how you handle them.
- You can see brushes and map objects in certain windows/ceiling windows depending on what area of the map you're in.
- (one time deal, but still possible) The beam elevator's console brush disconnected from the pad.
- A few hardly noticeable clipping issues with curves.
- Certain sounds can be heard globally when they were meant to be local, an issue Szico cannot fix.
- There is no mess hall, despite Szico's texture >_>
- Doors can kill you >_> rather easily if you're not careful.
- Doorway leading to lobby has a few clipping/textural issues(not too noticeable, really.)
That's just a few. (I was told there was some z-fighting somewhere although I never personally spotted it.)
So now I can finally attack the stuff I've been meaning to save for the final parts of this review, which has taken way too long because of distractions and general fun XD. There are two versions, as I'm sure I've mentioned before, or thought I did...who cares, DEATH TO ALL.
Atlantica - Basic: This is where RP can commence more smoothly, in my opinion. This area is void of most of the following features that will be covered in the RPG Version of the map, and features an expanded bound so you can fly ships within distance of the dome station. Now, to actually hit the cream.
Atlantica - RPG: This is the map where most of the fun is stored, for the most part. You must VENTURE FORTH and gain credits(respawning objects easily attainable in certain areas,) or complete certain missions to gain credits to buy your way up the clearance ladder! Missions include simple tasks like clearing out a hall way to completing VR training missions successfully. Also, whilst you're out and about, you can get the toolbox and boredly repair the broken TV and lamp posts in the park. Here, in a nut shell, is where clearance can be reached:
Lvl 1: Freebie granted in the drop shafts.
Lvl 2: 50 Credits, purchase at the desk droid
Lvl 3: 300 Credits, Purchase in archives
Lvl 4: 400 Credits, plus a 10 switch console hunt is in order to activate the console itself.
Lvl 5: Admin Control Tower
Also, a couple other functions require paying of credits, I.E. the infirmary bacta tank. The last other difference I recall between the RPG version and basic is that now the RPG version has an x-wing in the once empty pad, and the bridge to it can be destroyed.
Okay, I've typed far enough I think it's time to let you kids go hurt yourselves on this delicious visual/interactive playground.
*cuts the tape* Go play ._.
- Averus Retruthan