Random map generators can be a bit of a double-edged sword. It’s a bit like going to a restaurant you’ve never been before and telling the chef that they can choose what you eat. Sure, you might end up with a delicious, bloody slab of venison. But you could also end up with some soggy salad.
It looks like Age of Wonders III’s random map generator gives you enough control and sliders to fiddle around with so you’ll never encounter a salad unless you really want one. Take a gander at the video below for 18 minutes of fighting in a random world as a scaley Arch Druid. He’s a rather tough looking fellow, a bit buff and burly for a druid. Perhaps he had a previous career as one of those wrestler chaps, fighting under the handle of “Natural Disaster”.
Beyond being able to dictate the difficulty, map type - like islands, land-locked or underground - and map size, there are a plethora of sliders and drop downs you can mess around with to spawn whatever map you want. Want a verdant rainforest punctuated by volcanos and rivers? An arctic wasteland surrounded by vast mountains? Go for it.
It will be interesting to see how the game deals with a barren map with lots of dense, tropical vegetation, as moving one slider up doesn’t seem to move others down. Presumably the map will just be split between barren areas and jungles. Triumph studios wants to make the maps look natural, so rivers will flow into oceans and the locations you uncover will make sense given the area you find them in.
There’s also a game flow drop down, letting you choose the pace of the map. So if you want a quick, violent map, not only can you fill it with enemies and make the space very small, increasing the chances of you encountering foes early on, you can also change the flow to “battle” giving you an army straight away so you can just get into the thick of it.
Age of Wonders III is due to launch next month.