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!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Improvement Mod version 5.4

After almost an year later the newest installer powered release has arrived! Its the biggest update ever and it couldn't have been possible without the mod's patcher. The patcher is also one of the main reason's for why I need to release this as fast as possible, because the 5.2 patcher cannot connect to the content server anymore creating problems for a lot of new players.

Is it the last big update? Probably not but I can't promise anything right now, lots of things going on and, well I just realised how damn fast time passes and I don't know how much I'll work on the mod in the future.

Remember that if you've used the patcher before then this update is nothing new to you, still for those interested here's what the update changes:

- tweaked the AI military
- added a new USA HomeCity
- added moving wakes for all naval units
- fixed ships space blocks, which results in better formations, better maneuvering for canoes and overall more realistic naval battles
- Aging Up changes
-- starting with Age3, Minutemen, Warriors, Irregulars and Peasants get damage and HP bonuses with every age
-- the Colonial Age (Age2) now costs 800 Food and 200 Wood; more changes are planed for Age1 and Age2
-- each Age increases villager limit by 10, made possible by the increased max pop (see below)
- fixed ranged cavalry melee attacks; enemy units must be very close for the ranged cavalry to switch to melee
- improved mercenaries distribution on Asian maps
- the Winked Knight can now only be obtained through the German Command Centers card
- improved/tweaked/updated the "Blood, Ice and Steel" campaign, scenarios and cutscenes
- added butterflies to berries and cherry orchards...
- melee cavalry now fight more dynamic and realistic
- European Houses can now train and manage livestock like Livestock Pens
- the Livestock Pen is now the East European food producing building, replacing the Bakery
- all newly created European Home Cities now get the Royal Decree card for free
- added the Miner as Mercenary on American and Asian maps
- fixed some units with area attack damaging buildings (if you happen to notice melee units damaging buildings with their melee attack, let me know...)
- added a new resource for all Europeans, Fame, which has the following characteristics...
-- there is a small continous trickle of Fame for all Europeans
-- it can be gathered from Town Centers by Envoys; Aging Up rewards Fame
-- it can be used on Church and Royal Decree techs
-- it can be used on special cards, and can be exchanged for Shipments at the Capitol
- fixed AI building more than one set of walls
- units are (a little) less likely to get run over by trade units
- Natives can now train Scouts from the Town Center from the beginning of the game
- the Fort can now train armies similar to the Consulate ones; the cost of the army will be cheaper than the overall cost of all units from the army
- changed livestock units for some European and Native civs
- Natives now have WarChief pets enabled form the beginning of the game
- important changes made to Revolution!; after revolting...
-- you can still train 10 Settlers
-- military units can be trained in blocks of 10, instead of 5 (also added this to the Native Confederacy Support tech)
-- you get a new infinite Factory card, although Factory build limit is 3
-- Outpost build limit is increased by 4
- added European Brigades to the Native Embassy for all Native civs
- artillery can't fire from point blank anymore, which makes them incredibly vulnerable to melee attacks, so protect your artillery!
- all European politicians are unlocked from level 10 (wasn't fair before)
- added the Lancer to the Dutch (the Spanish Lancer is still better)
- changed how European Minutemen and Asian Irregulars work, now they are infinite but you can call out a new group only after the previous group got to 1 HP
- added the Black Powder Boat to all Native civs
- added historical names to Town Centers for all civs
- further improved all Revolution civs; Revolution is now a very viable option
- added the Sowar to the Ottomans (the Indian Sowar is cheaper to upgrade)
- enabled another AoE2 lost feature, height bonus attack damage, which means that units which are on higher ground, like hills, do slightly more damage to units that are on lower ground
-- the bonus is very small but its there
-- the higher the ground the bigger the bonus
-- if you thought this was already enabled you are mistaken
- improved and tweaked all vanilla and TWC campaign scenarios and most cutscenes
- added Hotkeys for all  the new units and buildings added by the mod
- further improved civ bonuses, each European civ is now more unique (read each civ's description for more info)
- fixed the Japanese Monks' healing animation
- increased maximum population capacity to 300
-- House, Village, Longhouse, etc. build limit increased to sustain the increased population; Teepee's now sustain 5 pop
-- you start with 200 max pop and each Age adds another 20 pop to the limit; the Chinese and British get 40 free pop in the Imperial Age
-- you can achieve 300 pop only by researching the Reformed Government tech and by building all available Town Centers
-- the Reformed Government tech now also makes villagers to use no population space
- when advancing to the Imperial Age, Europeans can chose a main political party, each party researches for free a powerful Imperial Age upgrade
-- The Liberal Party researches for free Immigrants
-- The Conservative Party researches for free Aristocracy (Peerage and Spyglass)
- all map native units upgrades are now researched for free once you reach the required Age
- added map territorial Control Flags, capture them to generate more experience points
- Longbowman upgrades and all Mortar, Hand Mortar and Morutaru upgrades now increase maximum attack range (balanced the Mortar a bit more by decreasing its max range and having it re-increased with upgrades)
- added water treasures on American maps (similar to the ones on Asian maps)
- Asian War Tents can now heal nearby units (mini Field Hospitals)
- when destroyed, defensive buildings (Outposts, Castles, Warhuts, etc.) spawn a few Levy units (Minutemen, Warriors, Irregulars)

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

I thank everybody who played and helped me improve the mod, you are all great and remember, if you find bugs, report them! :)