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Dark Tide Rising Review

Alright I'm gonna make a review of Dark Tide Rising - "an adventure map for characters level 55 and higher."

Nexus link:

There's only one playthru on youtube and it's in Russian:
Also the displayed texts are in Russian so you don't understand anything (except if you know Russian, obviously).

The dsmap comes with a little readme and NO dsres file. Red flag imho. Among other things, it means no own moods (fog, weather, music) and no own talk skrits (no conversations change after a quest is fulfilled).
(No own talk skrits also means that conversations are broken when you recruit companions, but this map doesn't have any.)

The map is set to be for level 55, the multiplayer start positions don't have additional level requirements, so all three are available from level 55.
Also, the map is available for singleplayer. This is obviously an oversight because you will die as soon as you meet your first enemy.

The map contains 6 regions with reasonable sizes:
- my_house: "The Notch", the starting area and the canyon where you meet the first enemies. Red lighting. In the canyon, the map splits into two halves, the byway & desert to the left, the swamp & forest to the right.
- the_ancient_byway: Broad path with Seck assaulting a Gypsy caravan. Red Lighting.
- enkiras_tomb: A dungeon.
- desert: Big desert with a Mucosa-infested oasis and a hostile Droog village. Yellow lighting.
- the_dismal_mire: Swamp region leading from the canyon to the forest. Green Lighting. Contains a big island to the side that you can raid.
- mystery_forest: Big forest with two fortresses to raid, a bandit fortress and town that you have to re-capture from marauding Seck. Blue lighting.

Another red flag is that the starting area looks like straight out of the Siege University 100 tutorial:

The map contains one teleport, which leads from the byway to the forest.
This is probably to speed things up a little when going from one side of the map to the other. A nice addition; however I think it could be improved. Maps should be either linear (with no backtracking required), or if they're open-world they should be well interconnected to avoid walking long distances. For example, there could have been a connection from the end of the desert into the forest.

I get the impression that the first version of the map contained the byway and the desert, and was then extended with the swamp and then the forest, and the teleporter was added as an afterthought.

More impressions from first look:
- The map contains no lore (without a dsres there are obviously also no own lorebook templates defined), but a considerable amount of quests.
- The map does not have multiple world levels (regular/veteran/elite), instead contains some regular and veteran enemies and mostly elite enemies. This is probably not much fun right at level 55, but a bit further up.

Disclaimer: I did the playthru in multiplayer with a +drdeath character. Therefore I can't say if the progression is fair or even sensible. The enemy types are certainly all over the place. Nevertheless in some places I lost HP.

You start at The Notch, which would probably look quite pretty was it not for the red lighting.
NPCs you talk to often say a standard voice sample, like "Hello there!" - the rest you'll still have to read for yourself of course.

From the beginning, quests lead you through the byway and all the way to the end of the desert. Swamp quests are limited to the swamp, and forest quests are limited to the forest. So this is arguably the second half of the map, where you need to bring a bit more of an intrinsic motivation to explore.

On the Byway, you meet Gypsies being raided by Seck. Also elsewhere on the map you meet goodies fighting against baddies, and have to join the fight. Quite well done imho. Always have to take situations into consideration where a quest character dies, it shouldn't break the storyline, so a lot of map makers shy away from it.

The map does not contain any player world locations ("PlayerX has entered The Notch").

The enemies are quite interesting, considering there's no dsres included:
- A lot of them are renamed, for example the Snappers in the swamp are called Womperfish.
- Their sizes vary a lot. Size does not indicate strength. For enemies that are upscaled or downscaled a lot, if they break apart when they die, the frags have default size, which looks weird.
- A lot of them are hiding in bushes etc.. Some of these generators spawn like 10 enemies, which feels a bit grindy at times.

There was a ring I couldn't pick up. Found out later in Siege Editor that it's a renamed "ring_utraean" of which I had the original already in the inventory.

At the end of the forest, to enter the raided town, you have to place amulets on the floor. Didn't understand it ingame, but found out in Siege Editor.

I like how each quest comes with a picture:

Doggie in hammock:

First enemies in the canyon: Trollings:

Possessed Statue at the beginning of the Byway:

The unfortunate Gypsy caravan:

Visible map end - this was the only place tho:

Fighting in Enkiras Tomb, the dungeon level:

Desert oasis infested by "Demons" (Mucosa):

Moods sometimes don't seem to fit well, or transitions feel very abrupt, because only existing mood definitions are used:

Mysterious shrine you can find in the desert:

The town at the end is based on the typical droog village. The roofs are missing - was it intentional or just lazy? Felt convincingly hostile ingame:

Entering the Dismal Swamp, which looks a lot less dismal than the red-lighted canyon:

A house. It doesn't look bad, but it does look like it's his first map and he just went through everything he could find in Siege Editor and kept everything that was at least remotely excusable:

The little kid playing with toys is a cute idea:

And especially the little goblin tank that's driving around on its own.

The swamp contains a Seck lodge, cursed fishermen zombies, and this pleasant family here:

Slugs with icy breath - this uses an originally unused "spitter" template:

Enemy constructed of a Mine Worm and four tentacles:

Mount Clavilux Monkeybars Island:

Here you meet some of the cute Gnomes which are a highlight of this map:

They give you a quest to find a lost pickaxe, but the quest is fulfilled when you find it, and the conversation text of the quest giver doesn't change.

Welcome to the Mysterious Forest:

Here you meet a whole camp of Gnomes which fight against (similarly minified) Goblins:

Aren't they cute!

In the Bandit fortress you find this world map of Dark Tide Rising, labeled by dummy items lying on the ground:

Here you free Princess Thumbelina. She's stuck in this cage together with a phrak because, again, no dsres included:

A coven of Serpent Druids, and they all drop their serpent equipment:

Even more chaos in this Krug camp that is surrounded by enemy generators - loads and loads of Krug:

A group of refugees from the town of Inverness, which give you the next quest:

In front of these gates erected by the Seck, you'll have to drop the amulets you found with the refugees earlier:

Imho the town of Inverness at the end could use a bit more polishing. Ravens that stay in position mid-air, and this "prison" is constructed with three walls made of objects that display wood on one side and are invisible from the other:

This is a map worth checking out! I like to nit-pick on every issue I find, but overall this is a map made with a lot of creative ideas and love for detail.

Also it is one of only few serious maps available "for characters level 55 and higher."
I should add veteran & elite world-levels to my own maps some day...

I play this game in 2005. I have two DSMAP:
DarkTideRising.dsmap (4,99 Mo - 2004) + DarkTideRising_mw.dsmap (4,80 Mo - 2015).

Here a link with 14 photos, 2 Word files + 2 dsmap:
See the picture include with this post:


Some text files in this .rar are in French, however the DarkTideRising_mw.dsmap seems to be a variant in a non-latin script, I'd guess Russian