The vbros pack 5 includes 4 factions, Aztec, Dino, African, and Barbarian factions. give me your feedback!
A much-needed upgrade for pack 5. In fact, it is a complete revamp: Goths are gone, Aztec and Barbarians have been improved (this latter has morphed to Saxons), and we find two completely new factions, Dinos and Africans. We also meet a couple of curious heroes: guys called Muziwenkosi (in Africans), and Eadwacer (in Saxons). Why these names? A quick research shows the first to be a South African boxer, while the second is a male name from an ancient saxon poem, lately brought to notoriety by a song of the Blood Axis band. These touches of reality are always welcome.
Aztec was the interesting faction of the former pack 5. In fact, it was arguably the strongest faction in the whole of MG, although aesthetically it fell a little short of some others. Now, with the update, they have perhaps lost a bit of that pluck, but it is more pleasant to play them. The golem and that awful jaguar have gone, replaced by much better-looking humanoid beasts. True to legend, the air unit is now a quetzalcoatl. Another curious unit is the King-—only one allowed-- who can turn himself into stone and become invulnerable, or kill an enemy instantly by turning “him” into stone. Cunning boy!
Saxons is the spin-off faction of the Barbarians of the old pack. Better finished all round. Killer bulls are gone, as well as the farm: now these saxons buy their meat instead of producing it. Many of the warriors have changed in some way. I find the mounted archer specially useful, and the Eadwacer guy has a terrific power attack. And mention must be made of the great fire-launcher: a fixed catapult with a range of 15 and no less than 6 levels of HP multiplier. If you want to adopt an iron defense strategy, this is your baby.
On Dinos I must extend myself a little, because it surfaces here the problem of working with animals. I know next to nothing of Open GL, modeling or animating, but, for what I see, the Glest family is proficient in picturing humanoid units, and there must exist a sizable base of models to prey upon in order to create new mods. Not so with animals. Horses are all right, but all other animal designs and animations are pitiful.
This has happened here with these cute dinosaurs. A lot of work has gone into modeling and animating such an assortment of beasts, with a result... it is neither a disaster nor a complete success. Shall we say “so-so”? Make no mistake, the authors have all my sympathy, because it is easy to imagine how tall is the order of creating a new faction entirely from scratch. But we have to accept that drawing 3-D beasts and animating them correctly must be an ability within the reach of very few persons.
Apart from this, this Dino faction is fun to play. It introduces a new dimension of the game: big, big, everything is bigger than life. In a reasonable time you can build an invincible army of enormous beasts, that will crush any enemy who dares be in front.
However, playing “against” a CPU Dinos is not an option. Let me explain: we start with a small nest--only one allowed-- capable of producing dinos and of morphing. And only after morphing may another nest be built. With a correct sequence of commands we can end up with multiple morphed big nests and run an impressing dino production chain. The problem is that with this duplicity of functions the AI gets lost, and just uses the initial small nest to endlessly produce dinosaurs, never thinking of morphing. I have seen an order queue of 200 units for the poor nest. A change of tech tree is needed here, one that fits better the usual MG sequence and does not foul the AI.
One last thing: if you want to play Dinos, disable the HUD, it is a big nuisance. (This can be disabled in the ini)
Africans is another faction full of animals, not surprisingly this time. One would expect finding an assortment of livestock in the heart of black Africa. So we have warriors riding elephants, lions and crocs (but no horses), and there is a tamer of monkeys, and an over-sized toucan acting as air force. Of course, the same problems outlined in the case of dinos apply here. Animals are difficult, and, while we thank the effort, ask yourselves if it was worth it.
Curious buildings in this faction are the so called “walls”, small and big. They are nothing but wooden poles and have no function whatever, except perhaps to attract the enemy fire. As for the warrior named “Muziwenkosi”, he is not only the most powerful unit, but is also capable of paralyzing any nearby enemy (dirty trick).
In general, this faction fights efficiently, although surely no match for the powerful Aztec.
For the whole pack, my advice to megaglesters: recommended, by all means download it and give it a good try.