Sunday, May 17, 2015

AoE2 HD Giveaway

The giveaway has ended and Steam user "Shin Tha Wan *SVK*" is the winner!
(he was the first to respond, you'd be amazed how hard is to find people online and give them free games...)

In other news, the Improvement Mod now has 18 custom maps, carefully selected from the map making community.
(proper credit has been given for each one of them in-game)
Also, the Italians will soon be added to the game!
(as Consulate allies :)

Thanks for playing my mod! Stay awesome.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

No Limits

As many of you know, AoE3 is not the most loved title of the franchise. Veteran players of AoE2 often say bad things about AoE3 and in a way it's understandable why. AoE3, like any good sequel, brought many new elements and features into play, features which turn away many AoE2 players for different reasons.
Features that make sense for AoE3's gameplay but still leave a bad taste in the mouths of veterans.

One of the most controversial feature is, of course, the Home City but that's just the start. Many also have problems with how limited some things are in the game, train and build limits to be more specific. And in some ways I agree, and since this is a mod where we like to experiment with stuff I thought to make some changes, which hopefully will freshen the gameplay up a bit.

Thus I have released an experimental update which touches upon some of the train and build limits:
- builder limits have been removed from all buildings except wonders and farm like buildings (you can now build a house with 20 villagers if you so desire)
- you get +1 to the Town Center limit every age, ending up with 5 max Town Centers for every civ in the Imperial Age (kinda like what the Portuguese had; they now also get a villager bonus)
- ship build limits have been removed, instead now ships cost population like artillery units (biggest change yet, please comment if you think they should cost more pop, or less)
- the Russian Blockhouse can now also train cavalry in blocks; to counter this, Russian villagers no longer train in blocks and Grenadiers have been added back to the Russian Foundry
- population max limit has been reverted back to 200, but wait...
- all villagers now take up 0 population (Fishing Boats too; Settler Wagon takes 1 pop) (this will allow players to focus all their population on military units, like the new infinite ships that now take up pop)
- the Poleaxeman was made into an Hungarian mercenary (kinda like a weaker and cheaper Ronin; comes with a full voice set, courtesy of AoE2 The Forgotten)
- added 11 new custom maps, select the Custom Maps option to play them (this is a bit older but just let everyone know; the maps were made by RF_Gandalf, Rookman64 and Neuron)
- ships have been revisited, movement speeds and turn rates (for Europeans) have been increased and obstructions (hitboxes) have been improved
- added 2 new Royal Decree techs: Slavery Abolition for Dutch (changes Settler cost to food) and Imperial Armory for Ottomans (artillery units take up less pop)

(I will update this list if I add more changes; if you don't like something please let me know)

Naval combat is not the best in AoE3 (most avoid it completely) and this is not the first time I try to make it more enjoyable. I don't really know what the exact results of this change will be, maybe worse, maybe better, but hopefully it was a good choice.
This is just the start of more changes I plan to make with the goal of, well, giving more power to the players, more choices and more strategies.

I've also made a poll so everyone can let me know if they like the new changes or not. Also, regarding the ship changes especially, please comment and let me know how it goes. I know some water maps are not that big and don't actually have that much water on them and ship models are very big in AoE3 so... yeah. I'm thinking, to make this work even better we need a pop limit lower than 300. More on this later.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Less is more

I have some explaining to do... Recently I made some changes which go against one of the core ideas behind my mod, but before you burn be on a stake and throw the mod into the lions pit, let me explain why.

"This mod started out as a 'Buildings Mod', with the objective to add more nice and useful buildings to the game"
That was the plan, yes, but as I added more and more stuff I started to run thin on things building have and do, their purpose became somewhat blurred. The problem is that with so many buildings, many of them were kinda empty, although they looked nice and all. And so because of this, I have removed some of them even though it kills me since I worked so hard on their textures.

The buildings that got removed are the University/Academy, Capitol, Council's Hut and High Temple (Lookouts and Asian Towers might also go). Their techs were moved to the Town Center, Church and Market, each accordingly to what they do. You might think it was a bad decision but just play and you'll see, everything is more accessible, more streamlined. I believe this decision was for the best and I wanted to do it for a long time.
Everything started back when I combined the House with the Livestock Pen for Europeans, I just want buildings to have multiple purposes if possible. Because in an intense, competitive game you sometimes don't have time to build everything and use everything the game has to offer, but if they are more accessible then things change.

And I am not the only one who believes this, the developers also did. When AoE3 came out it had all kind of buildings, each with a fixed purpose, but then the expansions reduced them. Warchiefs had combined Mills with Livestock Pens, and Barracks with Outposts. Asian Dynasties went even further and combined Artillery Foundries with Outposts, Mills with Plantations, Houses with Livestock Pens, Saloons with Churches, and even Barracks with Stables.
So you see, this is better for everyone and I hope that you agree. If not, please make sure to tell me what you think in the comments.

Now about update 5.5... Yes, it's coming and it will finally bring the new patcher into an installer so people won't have problems updating the mod anymore.
That's all folks, thank you and have fun!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Steam Group

Alright, new plan! I just made a Steam Group to hopefully make it easier for people who play the mod to get together and have fun playing on ESO without "out of sync"!
(or you can also join to find people to play with on Hamachi and stuff)

I only got 2 ESO IDs on the last post so I don't know what else to do for you guys, a group seemed like the only thing left. It is your choice if you want to join or not, but as a friend of mine said "I need a challenge!" and indeed many of you do want to face another player, so here is your chance.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Large Maps

What can I say, the poll's results surprised me a bit, basically no one was against it. Well, there were 4 "No", but I'm sure they all come from fellow modders who just wanted to be assholes and ruin perfection. No biggie, we'll just say everyone that matters (the actual players) voted "Yes". :)

Now, I would gladly increase the size of all maps, normal and "Large" maps as well, just as the poll said, but its not that easy and there are some problems. Changing the map size itself is easy, just a few codes, but then you also have to convert the entire map, resources and everything, to the new much bigger size and here is what I can't really do, at least not for every single map. Map scripting along with AI scripting are my 2 weaknesses, I only know the basic stuff in these 2 categories and its obviously not enough. Also, please remember that I work alone, other mods have teams with members each specializing in one or more types of scripting and coding.

So basically it comes down to this, I can't increase the size of every single map, but I will try to make more large versions of standard maps. What maps you ask? This is where YOU come in, I don't really know which maps are popular between players so you will just have to vote for a few maps which will receive "Large" versions from a list of standard/normal maps.

Note that some standard maps actually have large sizes, Caribbean and Honshu for example are normal maps with large sizes, and if you vote a map which is like this it will not get the upgrade to "Large". I will still leave them in the list though because except for these 2 I don't exactly know which other ones are hidden "Large" maps, I'll have to check them once the voting is done.

Again, I will post a list with all maps which DON'T have "Large" versions and you will be able to tell me and vote which ones get a "Large" upgrade. Yes, you need to leave a comment to vote, there are 20+ maps, I can't make a poll that big.

Amazon, Andes, Araucania, Bayou, Borneo, California, Caribbean, Ceylon, Great Lakes, Himalayas, Hispaniola, Honshu, Indochina, Mongolia, New England, Northwest Territory, Orinoco, Ozarks, Painted Desert, Pampas, Patagonia, Rockies, Yucatan, Yukon.

Start naming your favorite map for which you want a large version and if enough people agree it will (probably) happen!
Thanks for your help!