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 have; remember it's experimental so Portuguese kinda lost a big bonus for now)
- 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)

(I will update this list if I add more changes)

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!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Patcher Update

As many of you have noticed in the past few weeks, the patcher got broken... This was actually pretty normal to happen at one point, the same happened with the version 5.2 patcher and the same would have happened in the future.

Now, I'm not good with this stuff so I can't explain it perfectly but basically the web host on which the mod was hosted for updates has an IP change from time to time and so it brakes the patcher.
We looked for alternative hosts but couldn't find anything good for free, because, well, a paid host was not a very appealing option for me for several reasons.

Anyhow, after a lot of searching, testing and work on the patcher itself, Shyke, the programmer which made the patcher and to which I am owe a lot for his help, said we should use GitHub and so we did.

The result? A new patcher which downloads and updates the mod faster but takes a bit longer to set up the first time you run it. After that first time everything should be fast and clean. Well, maybe not that clean, the patcher will make some additional folders and files inside AoE3 in order to function as it is, but it's nothing to worry about.

So, download the newest patcher version, put it where you have the game installed, run it (as administrator) and update!
How can you know if it worked? Simple, I've added some new gameplay soundtracks, so go start a skirmish match and listen if the first song you hear is new! Also tell me if you like it, I found it on YouTube and maybe you think it doesn't fit the game very well.

Thank you everyone for playing and many thanks to Shyke for his amazing work!

Because of obvious reasons I now have to put the UI warning/fix in every new post that I make so I'll have less people asking me all the time how to fix the resource icons being messed up...

If you have problems with the UI not displaying resources correctly go to "Options" and press the "Restore Defaults" button!