To the Bitter End | Chapter II: The Dream of Blood

To the Bitter End Chapter II: The Dream of Blood (Beta release) We have the second release in the series here for you now, if you tho...

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To the Bitter End Chapter II: The Dream of Blood (Beta release)

We have the second release in the series here for you now, if you thought things got a little dicey in the first chapter, then you had better get comfortable and strap yourself in, because it isn't over yet!

Soul Reaver escapes Greyholm prison to emerge into something that may be even worse. An expanse of poisoned forest lies before him, and the smell of death is on the wind. Yet he can sense the spirit of one of his companions nearby. There can be no going back....

And so, the story continues...

Be sure to see the readme for more information and installation instructions.

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Readme
To the Bitter End
Chapter II: The Dream of Blood
(Beta release)

Single Player Action RPG/Campaign

Soul Reaver escapes Greyholm prison to emerge into something that may be even worse.  An expanse of poisoned forest lies before him, and the smell of death is on the wind.  Yet he can sense the spirit of one of his companions nearby.  There can be no going back....

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Map description:

Take control of Soul Reaver and traverse these blasted lands in search of your lost companion, as part of your greater quest take your revenge upon the evil sorcerer, Morganem.

Installation instructions:

Put the .w3x file into a folder named "To the Bitter End" (without quotation marks, obviously) in your Warcraft III "maps" folder.
You can play the game by starting The Frozen Throne, then selecting 'Single Player', 'Custom Game', and then navigating to the map and selecting it.
It helps to have your video settings for Warcraft III set to high quality, or some custom skins in some of the campaign might look a little... weird.

Other notes:

For further info and an extensive manual, check the 'official site' at www.familykrieg.com/tothebitterend

This is the second of a series beta releases, it is suggested you play this one after Chapter I: Dark Dawn and before Chapter III: Juggernaut.

The other releases in the series thus far are:
Chapter I: Dark Dawn
Chapter III: Juggernaut
Chapter IV: Heart of Ice


Although I am solely responsible for creating this map, the central characters featured in this campaign, as well as the Multiverse in which it is set, were envisaged by the writers at The Administorum (http://p202.ezboard.com/btheadministorum) - come and stop by (and join us, if you think you're up for it!).

This was my first serious attempt at a campaign map, and my first release.  I was going to wait until I had completed the campaign in its entirety before releasing anything, but at the request of one of my Administorum friends, I decided to release the completed Chapters here.  Since the campaign itself not complete, this classifies the maps as beta releases.  Unfortunately, with all my current commitments, it may be some time before I get the maps done.

Some known bugs or issues (with suggested workarounds):

- Does not automatically start Chapter III on completion (Workaround: start it manually - your character from Dark Dawn should transfer into it fine.)
- Some of the characters' textures look strange. (Solution: set the texture quality in the video settings to the highest available setting).
- The map does not appear in the map list in Warcraft III. (Solution: the cause of this is not certain, and I have not been able to reproduce the problem myself.  Try renaming the file, moving it to a different folder, or re-downloading it.)

A word on cinematics:

- It IS now possible to skip any of the cinematics.  However, although I have tested it and done my best to make it functional, it is still possible that there are some bugs in this.  If you find any, I would be very happy if you contacted me and told me about it.
- One problem that is certain is that, if you skip the cinematics, any items or abilities that might have 'cooled down' and become available over the course of the cinematic will now not do this.  This means that if you want to use those items/abilities often, you may have to wait around more... and if there's a timer counting down while you wait, that might not be advisable.  This isn't a major thing, but it does mean that the game might be more difficult if you skip the cinematics.
- On the other hand, certain summoned creatures whose duration may have been 'meant' to decay somewhat during the cinematic will also not do this if you skip the cinematic.
- You are advised to watch the cinematics at least once.  They will often give you instructions as to what to do next and offer clues as to what to expect.  Making sense of the game plot without them would be pretty difficult.
- If you want to be sure to experience the game how it was meant to be played, then don't skip the cinematics.  That's how I planned the level out and how I spent the most time testing it.

Hints/Notes:

- You can play this map even if you haven't completed Dark Dawn.  You'll start with a hero with an appropriate Experience level and unused skill points that you can spend as you see fit.  But only Morganem's lackeys would play Chapter II without completing Dark Dawn first, and surely you aren't one of them?
- Use your quest log if unsure of what to do next... that's what it's there for.
- Read the tooltips if you want to know what an ability or item does.  In fact, this is strongly recommended.
- Your items are re-usable.  However, they have long cooldown times.  Save them for when you need them, and then unleash hell.
- Your items are powerful, but don't underestimate your abilities.  Especially your ultimates.
- Sphere of Annihilation is appropriately named, because it will pretty much obliterate ANYTHING in the target area.  That includes things you might prefer to keep un-obliterated, such as yourself.
- Some foes may be smart enough to avoid the effects of some of your items.
- When you gain a level but your skill points don't seem to have increased... well, it's probably because your 'basic' skill has levelled up automatically.  Don't worry, it's a point well spent.
- You will not reach your maximum experience level in Chapter II.  Obviously.
- Your quest is likely to be quite tough.  SAVE OFTEN.
- Don't expect to find Raziel from the Legacy of Kain series in this game.  I've been using the name Soul Reaver for my RPG alter-ego since long before even the first Blood Omen came out.  The Soul Reaver in this map is an original character.

Storyline FAQ:

Q: What is an 'Ancient Vampire Lord' exactly?
A: This is more or less self-explanatory - it's an extremely ancient vampire, among the first of their kind.  Their powers have had a looong time to develop.  As a result, they are greatly respected - or feared - by their younger, weaker kin.
Q: What's the name of that cool song you used for this map?
A: "The Becoming", by "Nine Inch Nails".  Buy the album, it's worth it.

Special Thanks/Credits:

- Me, for being insane enough to make this all by myself.
- Clutchfiend, Kitharsis, Fei and all the other writers, past, present and future, at The Administorum.  That place wouldn't be what it is without you guys.
- Larc for helping me with some weapon models.  You were quick, efficient and extremely helpful in resolving a major map issue.  Thank you!
- Thanks to all the folks at The War Center map making forums (http://www.thewarcenter.com/forums/index.php?showforum=11) for helping me in my early days and inspiring me to keep trying.  Special thanks to 1)ragonspawn for helping teach me how to deal with memory leaks.
- Everyone who submits their custom abilities and spells freely for use at www.wc3campaigns.com.  You helped teach me how to do this stuff and provided a lot of inspiration.
- Warnicro from maps.worldofwar.net.  You put a lot of work into getting my map links working and then even put them up as featured maps, not to mention all the other help and comments you've been prepared to offer.  I really appreciate all your efforts.
- NIN for creating the music I used.  I don't claim to have written this myself.
- Everyone who play-tested the maps and gave me feedback.  Thank you for taking the time to play.
- All the fans.  It means very much to me to know that you enjoy my work.
- Everyone who gives me constructive feedback or takes an interest here.  Thank you in advance.

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Tell me what you think!  Contact me on AIM (SoulReaver166) or e-mail me (meet_soul_reaver AT hotmail DOT com) if you have comments or questions about 'The Dream of Blood', the 'To the Bitter End' campaign, the Multiverse, or Soul Reaver.

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Please do not redistribute or modify these files without my permission.  These map files are not to be sold for profit.

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Soul Reaver


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Registered 9th March 2006

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