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DM-Anschar 
Map Info


 
File Namedm-anschar.zip
Authorscarface
GametypeUT2k4 Deathmatch
Date Added10-26-2005
File Version1.00
File Size15.21 mb
Player Count2 - 4
Map DescriptionDeathmatch map with the persian theme of Semiramis. Now it's with playable performance... enjoy ;)
Review Rating7.5
User Rating8.5
Overall Rating8.5



 
Review


ReviewerIronblaydeAwe Score: 3.0/3
Date03-24-2006Build Score: 2.5/3
Review SchemaCast Score: 2.0/3
User Point: +1
Overall Score: 8.5/10

AWE: 3.0

Scarface can always be counted on to deliver superb visuals, and he does so once again in DM-Anschar. Loaded with excellent custom textures and static meshes, this map is unique in appearance and totally convincing as a deathmatch arena atop a Babylonian tower. The BSP geometry and static meshes are merged seamlessly. And the architecture is excellent throughout the map, with lots of nice arches, intricate ornamentations, and plenty of plant life. The coolest bit of modeling here has got to be the stone-carved animal heads that form fountains on each side of the map, with water splashing down from their mouths.

The last Scarface map I reviewed was DOM-Highdale, was back in 2004, and I remember that one of the only things I didn't like about that map's visuals was the way the author handled the rivers and waterfalls. Happily, they look much better in this map, more natural and fluid, instead of seeming to be rigid objects. Scarface did an excellent job using emitters here, and emitters are used to good effect elsewhere in the map too, providing burning effects on the braziers and a handful of other atmospheric touches.

Being a largely outdoor map, most of DM-Anschar's lighting comes from the sky, though there are braziers hung here and there in the indoor or shadowed parts of the map, and the author has used a number of subtle highlights here and there. He's also made good use of shadow. The braziers, for example, all cast visible shadows not only of themselves, but of the chains that support them, and there are plenty of BSP surfaces around with their light map resolutions turned up to collect those shadows. Overall, the lighting scheme is on par with the rest of the visual elements of the map, very believable and just very well done.

The only thing in the whole map that struck me as a little odd (besides a couple very small nitpicky details that nobody cares about) is in the skybox. As you look out into the distance you can see the tops of several other towers rising into the sky, some of which are placed inside the main map area itself, and some of which appear in the skybox. What bothers me a bit is that the ones in the primary subtract are, of course, affected by the slight distance fog that the map uses, whereas the ones in the skybox, which are farther from the viewer, appear crystal-clear. It just seems a little strange. But it can hardly detract from this map's beauty. DM-Anschar delivers a level of graphical quality seldom equaled.

BUILD: 2.5

Unlike its sister map CTF-Semiramis, which was gorgeous but unplayable, DM-Anschar runs very well, thanks to plenty of optimization work. Lots of decorative meshes and emitters drop away on lower world detail settings, so changing that setting should provide a significant performance boost if you're having trouble running this with all the bells and whistles. Zoning can only go so far since most of the map is outdoors, but the author has also made good use of antiportals to cut down on overdraw, and lots of meshes have cull distances set as well. That's a feature that needs to be used with care since you wouldn't want meshes disappearing while players can still see them, but I never saw that happen. Well, actually I did, but it's not a cull distance bug; there are a few antiportals embedded in the map's central wall that actually rise higher than the wall does, so they sometimes occlude a bit of geometry which should still be visible. Thankfully the problematic area is pretty far off your typical line of sight, and it's not possible to get oneself inside the antiportal, so the problem's not nearly as bad as it could have been.

Botplay is pretty solid, too. The path network is efficient and fully connected with no gaps or any other silly mistakes. Bots use lift jumps to good effect, too. I did see a bot get stuck a handful of times during testing, once while trying to jump into a hole in the floor following a path that doesn't seem to be lined up quite right, and a few times on one of the lifts. There are two lifts in the map (which work just fine, by the way), and each lift shaft has arches in its walls and overhanging trim segments at the top. The author has placed BlockingVolumes to keep people from getting stuck on these, but on one of the lifts, one of the volumes is a little further back than it should be, and so sometimes a bot still gets stuck. The other thing that doesn't work as it should is the map's pair of dodge ramps, or whatever you want to call them - those high-angle ramps that you can climb by dodging into them. One doesn't have a path set, though the bots can climb it with a lift jump so at least it's accessible, if only by a less convenient means. The other ramp does have a path set, but the appropriate flag isn't set on the JumpSpot. So if a bot does decide to try climbing it, he uses a shield-jump instead, which costs health and occasionally sends him flying off the side of the map. Thus the bots tend to avoid this path altogether.

CAST: 2.0

Oddly for a deathmatch, DM-Anschar has a generally symmetrical layout, more like something you'd expect to see in a small CTF map. The symmetry is thankfully limited to the geometry of the map and does not extend to item placement, and even then there are definitely differences between the two sides. Still, if the gameplay feels about the same in many different parts of the map, now you know why. I would have preferred a layout that offers a bit more variety as is typical for this gametype, but the map as it is works well enough, and is fun to play.

Though the layout is very simple and not at all difficult to learn, it might take a little time to learn how to move through the map effectively. There are some tight spots, and a few places where I found myself running into arches or columns. Also, you have to be careful if you're fighting on the topmost levels, because although the perimeter of the map is enclosed by low walls, there are many places where a bit of terrain raises you up just enough that you can walk right over the wall as though it were a step, and then you might find yourself plummeting over the edge. None of these things are major issues, since they're fairly easy to avoid once you learn where they are and adjust your route through the map a bit.

I do like the way the items are laid out. All of the weapons - there's no extra Assault Rifle and thankfully no Redeemer, but the full standard arsenal is here - are in appropriate places and spaced relatively evenly, and something's always close by when you spawn. Health pickups are plentiful, but not overly so. And the other pickups are well-placed, too. The Shield Pack is in the center of the map, in the middle of a hallway with two staircases leading down to it - it's a vulnerable position to be in, but not typically a crowded area of the map, which I like. The Super Shield Pack is at one end of the map in a dead-end corridor. If someone's waiting for you at the mouth of the corridor, you can get out another way, but it requires a shield jump. Finally, the Double Damage is held aloft by the statue of a woman, so you have to jump to it from one of the surrounding walkways. A player going for that is a very tempting target for an easy shock combo.

FINAL SCORE: 7.5

This map is quite an impressive piece of work. Scarface has managed to meet the high aesthetic standard we've come to expect from his work while keeping the map playable even for those of us with modest equipment. And although the layout leaves something to be desired, DM-Anschar should still provide some fun games of deathmatch, both online and off. Definitely a recommended download.






 
Map Comments


Hourences
10-26-2005 07:44 PM EDT
Rating: 8 
Great map and great visuals, just like its bigger brother map. Feels solid and strong and unique, new feel. Good stuff, only gameplay is a little less cool. Symmetrical floorplans dont work

Muckbean
10-26-2005 09:49 PM EDT
Rating: 8.5 
I absolutely love the custom content, especially the elephants head. Not bad frame rates either which surprised me, nice work.

goldfenix
11-01-2005 07:25 PM EST
Rating: 9 
OH YEAH!!!

Music sucked for this theme. Could of made your own, searched for the best song you have that is .ogg, or get a friend to do it.

I must agree with Hourences when he says that its not as cool as the CTF one. Nevertheless, still a good good good good map. The hanging gardens of Babylon theme kicks ass in all areas of reviewing. The AWE and Build and all that.

To be honest, I actually like the map to be cramped in some areas. It generates a feel that someone could pop out around the narrow corner and blow you away with a flak cannon. Although, someone still can pop out in a large room too, but regardless, I like it.
I didn't rate the maps all on looks, although AWE played a big part in my rating. I really liked your custom theme, especially your skills with meshes and texturing. The map really could of been better off as a 1on1, but it is still a good map. I agree with whoever said that you should be able to go down to the lower level and not die. There should of been more areas to go to as well, to make the map larger. The fps was still bad, even without bots (bots tug alot on the video card sometimes.) Could of done better as far as fps if you optimized it, or if you did, then optimize it more. If you would have done all those things than I would be happy to give it a whopping 10

Kantham
10-27-2005 12:38 AM EDT
 
I will try it probably tomorow and be back with a comment.

Manticore
10-27-2005 04:59 PM EDT
Rating: 8.5 
Plays well with an individual visual style (again). At first I had a few doubts about the layout for DM gameplay but a few rounds set me straight on that point. In my opinion this is as good as CTF-Semiramis in it's own way.

Class act.......

Wesley "Boreas" van Dijk
10-27-2005 08:27 AM EDT
Rating: 8.5 
Bizarre :|

nELs0n
10-27-2005 08:40 AM EDT
Rating: 8 
great looks and nice atmosphere. runs way better than your last work. the only thing i didn't like too much was that there are places that are just too narrow for ut2k4's movement.

INIQUITOUS
10-30-2005 09:06 AM EST
Rating: 9 
really really nice. would of given a 10 but the Env map on the fluid surface is wrong :( it was obviously created way way before the map was complete.

Edit: after playing it as TAM and on INV it is still good. but i got to see the skybox and the floor of the skybox is amazing and i dont know why on earth you made it so you cant see it if you dont jump off and die. and its hidden by soo much smoke and dust :(

Daramus Research
10-27-2005 11:22 AM EDT
Rating: 8.5 
cool cool cool cool :respect::big:

Fuzzy Logic
10-27-2005 02:51 PM EDT
Rating: 9 
Great design and excellent gameplay.

CursedSoul1
10-29-2005 05:25 AM EDT
Rating: 8.5 
Weel no real comments about the look,
its tight, and looks nice.
Im sure the mapper doesnt mind me nitpicking :p
Try to make sure leafs dont go trough walls,
and the flames hanging under the ceiling would burn down the entire building.
furthermore, nice textures, meshes, decoration and foliage.

The layout is nice, but imho kind of the same on both sides, the ammoplacement is kind of boring (2 ammopacks with a weapon that uses that ammo) try to mix it up a bit.
bots afaik seem to do their job.
And no very long views :):)
ow and the fps was charming.

Havent had the time to really foccuses on the sounds,
but im sure you couldve used a more soothing/fitting soundtrack.

all in all, a must-get for people that like the awefactor, but i dont know if it will please people that go for superb gameplay.

ps:
get it anyways, and dont delete it from your drive.

EVER!

@ willem: you have a good setup and shouldnt have any fps problems, make sure you have your vid setup right.

RichyB
10-28-2005 01:42 PM EDT
 
Horrible frame rates and the layout was ok.

I am not a fan of OD on eye candy maps; I prefer game play and speed over it any day of the week.

G.Lecter
10-28-2005 02:21 PM EDT
Rating: 8 
Wow, that looks awesome! As cool as Semiramis, and this one gives a little better performance (still low FPS on my machine, though...).
The layout however is not so cool IMO with so many pillars, narrow areas, dead corners, and lack of connectivity (always felt running through the same stairways...), but it's anyway worth downloading this beauty...
Keep up the good work.

willem
10-29-2005 03:45 AM EDT
 
Very beautiful map !
Only my cpu (3200/1064/6600GT-256mb) has a bit difficulty with this map.
Also on lower video settings it stays a bit laggy.
Maybe you can improve the FPS.
But i must say: Masterpiece !
I give you an 8.
If you can improve the fps it would be 9,5.
Greetings, willem.

redfist
10-30-2005 01:59 AM EDT
Rating: 7.5 
Hmm, If this map runs slow all those 7, 8 ,9 scores are for LOOKS none other.
All maps have there good points, but just because it looks good ?

OK Tried it, Not bad
First off the biggest thing and for the score is why the heck did you make it so one dies jumping off the top edges to the walkways or paths below? aaaaaaghghhh.

Next The FPS of your ued ventures, I say you did rather well, because I run Ti4600 at agp1x with amd 1.1 gig, 512 ram,100 mgz to ram, 100mhz buss.
and TRUST me when I say things run slow,but I have played way worse levels than this,sheeeeeet gimmie your computers yall.

On another thing, this map has the same eye irritatingness as that bot40CTF level he made.
I don't know what it is but DM-Achilies has the same lighting enviroment but looks right.

I see the textures you picked for the sandy tile, well being that things bothered my eyes I did a rebuild.

I set the build options to RGBA just so I could see for myself.
Well it came out less bothersome ,and ,but all looked more gray, but better too, I dunno.
Just try it once , click off paths and try RGBA .
I checked the files sizes after
Size on disk
yours39,277,448Mb
RGBA render
37,127,259 Mb
I didn't get into analysing the FPS after I did that but after playing it a while it seemed to run even better.
Bots also worked ok
My score on your last one is 1 for playinng.
this round a 6.5 But a 7.5 cause it is nice work,now do an inside map , please? heh..........

mozart
10-30-2005 01:33 AM EDT
Rating: 8 
pretty good. I didn't have any real framerate issues. played well. looked great. everything else has been said. nice work. put this on the hotlist.

Hazel.H
10-31-2005 09:25 AM EST
Rating: 9 
Nice map, looks great :) some areas are a little cramped for my liking, but that's all.

scarface
11-05-2005 12:42 PM EST
 
Thanks for the comments and the criticism. At next time I want to do it better. ;)

Ironblayde
03-23-2006 02:36 AM EST
 
Just finished the review for this one; it will be up as soon as a few other staff members approve it. Very nice job, scarface. :)

sandorski
03-24-2006 04:29 PM EST
Rating: 9 
Wow!

Little_MOM
04-07-2006 04:22 PM EDT
Rating: 9 
WOOOOOW!!!Great and unique Map=>such a pleasure for my eyes!

razielyo
04-22-2006 12:46 PM EDT
Rating: 9 
I love this one, gj :)

SmokeScreen
04-26-2008 02:11 PM EDT
Rating: 8 
Very nice map. Great visuals and original theme. A bit to
small and to limited gameplaywise.



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