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! :)


  1. Good work!
    I'll download it as soon as possible :D

    1. Also Mandos, I would like to know: How did you stop replacetexture bug???

    2. I don't... If anything else I managed to make it happen less, but it still happens.

  2. Found 2 Bugs:

    1. USA has fame, but requires export to use the consulate.

    2. I can't stop playing this game any more, I will literally get a bug if I stop playing this. (Age of Empires 3 Improvement Mod withdrawal symptoms)

    1. 1. Unfixable.
      2. Also unfixable. XD

    2. I run the mod and all i get is a forever loading screen with the stupid coin just turning all day

  3. Not an improvement mod bug but there is this bug in AOE3 where you tab out of the game and back in again the volume increases. If you look at the sliders in the options menu it's still where you left it but the volume is really loud. To fix it you need to jiggle the volume sliders a bit. Annoying thing is you have to do this every time you tab out. So, any chance that you could possibly make a fix that comes with the mod?

    1. Yes.. I have this bug too.. It's just annoying because I also frequently tab out to change the music I am playing in the background. And when I resume the game the game sounds overwhelm the music I'm playin' especially I use artillery alot and I connect to a subwoofer system.... Thanks Mandos for this great Mod!!!! Hope you still continue your work 4 the nxt 10years!

  4. Okay, I just started the "Temples of the Aztec" mission, two bugs so far.

    1)You can pick the card to hire mercenary Elmeties, but they are only available at Age IV, and AFAIK you don't get to advance to that age in the Blood campaign.

    2)Sometimes, some trees instead of providing wood have the "collect Fame from Town Center" icon when you hover over them, it seems to be random.

    Will definitely post more if I encounter them!

    1. Is Frontier Defenses supposed to only raise the HP of Blockhouses, not Outposts?

      Also, confirmed that Elmeti bug: you can't advance to Industrial age in the first campaign, so that card is unusable, even though you can add it to your deck. There aren't any more Age 4 cards in the Blood campaign.

    2. Alright, although an insignificant bug I'll fix it.
      As for the trees, nothing I know about. I have to see it for my self.

  5. i have also seen the fame icon over trees sometimes. its pretty rare and doesn't seem to happen after any particular event.

    1. No idea why or how is that happening. Never saw it either but you're the second one to report this.

    2. I know this is a little old and don't know if you figure it out but that happens when accidentally a tree is "killed" by a area damage attack or a cannon, the tree gets 0 hp and wood cannot be gathered displaying the fame icon.

    3. Is it old? Because I never seen it happen. When a tree gets killed by a cannon it should just fall to the ground.
      Please understand that some of these weird bugs could be happening just because there's something wrong with your installation, if you've followed the instructions step by step it shouldn't happen, and by that I mean:
      install game, install expansions, update all 3 to the latest official versions, install mod. If you have it on steam it's even better, just jump to the last step.

  6. I don't do a full reinstall when installing your mods Mandos.. I just keep a backup of my prevoius AOE folders.(The whole folder in Program Files is around 4GB) . So when I installed this I just overwritten the ImprovementMod5.2 w/ the Orginal Files and Installed 5.4 over it..Think that's fine and won't cause any unseen bugs?

    1. Its not fine because 5.4 might have removed files 5.2 had and because you simply replace stuff those files might still be there causing problems.

      I know its not a pleasant thing but at least from installer update to installer update you should re-install the entire game.

    2. What do you mean by "Its not fine because 5.4 might have removed files 5.2 had" ? 5.4 requires some files 5.2 installed? So should I reinstall the whole game? ((AOE3+TWC+TAD)+5.2)+5.4) ?

    3. So far no glitches yet but if I do I'll reinstall all over again I guess.. -_- .. And France don't build Universities anymore?(aside the fact the techs were moved to other bldgs. I just miss the bldg :P)

    4. No Bryan, what Mandos meant is that 5.2 may have had some files, that are not present in 5.4, because they were removed for a reason (bugs, errors, removed features, whatever), and they may cause conflicts and crash your game.

      Mandos, another small "bug". In the "Blood" and "Ice" campaigns there are those 3 resource technologies in Churches (Deforestation, Excessive Taxation, and Large Scale Agriculture), even though they are available only in the 5th age, and you can't advance to the last age in neither of these campaigns. Also, in "Ice" there is a card, that gives additional technologies to the Capitol, even though AFAIK, you don't own a Capitol in the "Ice" campaign.

    5. Bryan, you understood the exact opposite of what I said...!
      Don't install 5.2, only 5.4!

      Mammoth, its a bit messy I know, I hated every minute of campaign editing... I'll look over what you reported and I'll try to fix it.

      An awesome update is coming soon, stay tuned and check the features tab for news.

    6. Also, Envoy still has it's "Dutch explorer" unit description.

      I wouldn't know you hated editing the campaigns if you wouldn't say so yourself - they are so rich in detail right now and otherwise enhanced, that I enjoy playing every second of them and discovering new things.

      Could you please reveal if the update is about multiplayer or campaign/single player? I dunno if I should wait for the update or continue playing :|

    7. Oh, no no, keep playing, I mean the update will bring a few small gameplay changes, two of which:

      1. tribe natives will grow in strength as they grow in numbers, since you know, they are have small limits
      2. you will not be able to build near enemy control flags anymore.

      I'm not so sure about number 2 though. It will also contain fixes from bugs reported by you guys.

    8. Hah, the first one would be useful in the third Ice mission, but that one's already behind me :) Okay, gonna play more, maybe find something else to report!

      Thanks for everything Mandos!

    9. Just playing the one mission in "Ice" when you join the French, it's the 4th mission I think. You can scratch that "bug" about the Capitol not being in this campaign while there is a card for it - it is, at least in this mission. Also, that card (named Technological Advancement) gives technology to the Church (not sure if to the Capitol also, as I shipped that card way before I built a Capitol).

      BUT there is a strange thing...

      The British have outposts built near the river. Now, in the standard campaign, you can build gates on your part of the river, but here, the towers have HUGE range and they are shooting at my walls constantly. They even OUTSHOOT A FORT! I built a fort on my side of the river, and the enemy kept pounding, and I didn't even get to research the "Revetment" tech at the fort. Are you sure they are not using the Anti-Ship Attack range?

      Here's a screenshot.

      You can see my Fortified Outpost shooting at a "Fort Tower". Behind it, as shown by the cursor, is a Mortar at it's maximum range, almost the same as the Outpost. Is this a bug?

    10. Thanks Mandos for the enlightenment! Been playin' ur mod 12/7 and haven't found any significant issues yet. What could 5.6> hold? hmmm...

    11. Hm, well most changes were made for Skirmish play, I already mentioned in the big description that changes I made for Skirmish might have negative results in campaigns, reason for why I also edited campaigns, to try and fix that.

      I think I can however try and lower the building attack range only on that scenario but now I fear more campaigns have this problem so I should do it for all scenarios which means I gotta edit them all again which is hell on earth for me...

      Its easy to do it for the civs you play as in campaigns but harder for the ones you play against, which require triggers.

      On the other hand, I could just edit the building attack range on all defensive buildings for all game modes and be done with it easy, I could/should lower it by half.

      What do you think, what should I do?

    12. A bug or not it bothers me: The Ottoman TC's kept on spawning settlers even though I didn't researched "Galata Tower District" yet.. same to Revolt. kept on spawning Patriot Militia's... I'll play the Ottoman's some more to verify this.

    13. Well, to be honest, I never noticed this huge range in any previous missions, because I didn't build any Outposts near enemy buildings. Normal attack, against units, has good range, the way it is supposed to be, even in this mission. The damage listing on the Outpost says, that both Anti-Unit and Anti-Building attack has the same range, but it can shoot buildings that are way further from it than units... Are you sure the Anti-Ship attack range is not used for attacking buildings, by a mistake?

    14. No, impossible. Ok, so to fix this I must make building attack to have the same range as the unit attack. Seems easy enough, I'll get to it.

      Thanks for your help man.

    15. No problem, I'm really glad I can help you!

      Also, another minor one: upgraded Falconets (Field Guns) have a yellow/bronze/gold cannon when using "travel mode", but it turns to a grey/metal color when in "firing mode".

    16. That's the infamous "texture bug". I t is an unfixable engine bug that affects custom textures. I have mentioned it many times before, maybe you've heard of it before.

      The reason why I still keep the custom textures is that the bug doesn't always appear, its more of a random thing which is in direct connection with computer performance.

    17. Okay! As I said, it's minor. I never encountered it before, even though my PC is better than it was when I was playing a previous version of your mod, so it may be that it's not even tied to performance - it may be TOTALLY random.

      Still, I found a larger bug.

      The cutscene before the "Respect" mission (it's named "Headed West") freezes. It first shows John and Kanyenke running through a valley, then it shows them kneeling by a campfire in the night. The camera moves slowly to the left... and just stops. The fire is burning, the smoke is moving but nothing more happens. It's stuck at that scene.

    18. Goddamn it... Now I really gotta fix that.
      Have you retried it, does it happen every time?

    19. Yup, every time. Tried about 5-6 times. Had to skip that cutscene.

  7. you can do rotating building and be able to select more than 50 units

    Sorry for my bad english !!!

    1. To rotate the building use the mouse wheel. It doesn't work for Town Centers. 50 unit limit is hardcoded IIRC.

  8. Okay, this time, sadly, a bigger bug.

    The Command Center card sends out a Command Center Wagon, and all is good...

    But you cannot unpack the wagon. There's no button.

    I liked the Boneguard in that fort defense mission, because you have a pre-built Command Post (which upgrades to Command Center with that card), but there was no button to unpack that wagon in that mission also - I thought it was because you have a Command Center already, but I was, sadly, wrong.

    1. Meh, that's an easy bug to fix.
      The bigger update will be delayed a bit until I finish everything but until then I will release the "Headed West" campaign fix, try it out and report back if you want.

    2. Small bugfix soon, fellow stalker? When? Or is it out already and I have to use the patcher?

    3. As I said, I released the campaign fixes last night, run the patcher to update.

      A bigger update will be coming soon.

    4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. Okay, I updated. Now there is no "Command Center" card :|

    Also, I was pretty sure that in that Bolivar's Revolt mission you start with an un-upgraded Command Center (I started the mission before patching, about half an hour ago), but there is no Command Center there.

    1. No, sorry, I was wrong, there is no pre-built Command Center, you can build one with villagers. But still, there is no upgrade card, so still no Boneguards.

    2. Okay, still in the Bolivar mission.

      Remember that bug in the British-French war mission in the "Ice" campaign? The one with the huge tower range against buildings?

      It's also noticeable here. When you free the third village, the towers start pounding at it and it gets reduced to dust pretty fast.

    3. Another one in this mission.

      I have freed all 4 towns but the game thinks I have not fulfilled that objective. It may be because the towers destroy the buildings too fast.

    4. Dude, calm down. First of all, I want the USA to have the Saloon, thus everything Command Post related was removed.

      Second, I'm pretty sure the Bolivar mission works, try again.

    5. Well, that's kinda sad then. But yeah, maybe the Boneguard units were too strong. I'm at the last "Steel" mission, so I managed without them :)

      Yeah, the mission works - you can finish it, but you can't finish the secondary objective, and the towers destroy the two last villages when you free them. I tried that mission 3 times - I finished it two times, and the third time I resigned after freeing the last village, because it still didn't register as a completed objective.

      And sorry that I'm constantly bombarding you with observations - I'm just reporting things that seem odd to me.

    6. Then the only thing left to do is to remove those two Outposts firing on the last village.

      I'll upload a fix right away.

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  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. So, I understand it worked? :)
      You could have simply added me on Skype or Steam to help you with your "critical problems".
      My contact details are here on the blog, under the "Help" tab.

  12. Awesome Mod! But for some reason, whenever I play my resource icons are all messed up (Fame icon over Population, Food icon over Fame, Wood icon over Food,etc.) But otherwise I have no complaints! This is basically a brand new game now and I love every minute playing it :)

    1. by the way, I'm using Steam. maybe that's where the problem is happening..?

    2. On the top, right side of the blog, what does it say?

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

      Is it my fault that people don't read and search for info when they have problems? I think not.
      Thanks for playing.

  13. Playing the "Fire" campaign now. I'm at the second mission.

    In the second mission you can't advance to the third age, even though there are technologies to be researched in the 3rd age, not mentioning that you can build a siege workshop, but no siege units, because they are available only in the third age.

    The Outpost Wagons have dutch voices and no use (I guess they will be unpackable when you meet Washington and start playing as 'murrica, but they could at least unpack into War Huts when you are Iroquois, or into native guard towers (seen otherwise as fort towers in the campaign).

    Fort wagons cannot unpack into forts (well, that one is understandable, because there are no native forts AFAIK.

    Also, I have a question. Is it possible for you (as the modder) to lower the starting level of the homecity in TWC? Can you modify the starting cards?

    1. Crap... You're gonna find tons and tons of bugs in TWC campaign and I don't know if I should even consider fixing them. I mean, if they were easy to fix I would have done it before but they were so bugged and fucked up from the original game its a torture to work on them.

      Still, this is my job and I'll have to listen to all bug reports and take action as soon as I can.

    2. Actually, not counting the bugs I mentioned in my previous post, the only ones I encountered were in the last mission.

      1.There are two spots, where trading posts are unbuildable on the trade route. They don't show as "red" (as in, "You cannot place a trading post here, because..."), they just cannot be placed on the spot they should be, and even the AI cannot build there.

      2.Even though I destroyed all the coastal outposts with petards, the objective didn't complete itself (same as in the Bolivar mission)

      3.A small bug, in the missions where you have a Warchief - most of the time the Warchief's name will be "Black Family Estate.

      And I renew my question: is it possible for you, as the modder, to change starting cards and starting Home City level, when starting a new campaign? If yes, I have an idea.

    3. Yes, I can edit both starting cards and level, but there's a problem. I don't really know if its from the mod or the original game, but leveling the home cities in campaigns is bugged, reason for why I kinda want them to have a higher level from the start.

      Did you ran across this problem? Remember that the two TWC acts use the vanilla home cities, thus changing one home city in a campaign should affect the same home city in the other campaign.

    4. Can you maybe elaborate? How is it bugged? I think my HC leveled up okay...

      My only problem is that there are too many picked cards for the second age. I chose about 6 cards that I really wanted to use, but because you start with a lot of age 2 cards AND there are prerequisites for some cards, I got to use 2 cards out of those 6 because the others didn't fit in the screen.

    5. Another bug: while playing as the Sioux in the Shadow campaign, if you research Advanced Arsenal, the Pillage upgrade can be found in Teepees.

    6. Uhm, its not really a bug. The Sioux have a card in their home city which adds arsenal upgrades to the Teepee but because TWC campaign is made up of 3 civs (Iroquois, USA and Sioux) bugs and inconsistencies like these appear everywhere.

      This is why I said TWC campaign is full of bugs, the way Ensemble made this campaign is plain stupid, I tried to fix it but I'm not a miracle maker...

    7. And a black screen after the final TWC cinematic.

    8. Asian Dynasties time now!

      Dutch Expeditionary Company gives one unit, fast and silent.

      Church from the Consulate has two LoS upgrades: Town Watch and... the other one (forgot name), even though they have been joined into one upgrade.

    9. TOO MANY BUGS...

      Please continue.

    10. Alright, I think I fixed all TWC campaign bugs, I made the Outpost Wagon useful for Natives and I also added the Fort for them.

      Now I'm gonna start fixing some TAD campaign bugs you guys reported, please keep them coming!
      I think I'll release an update today.

  14. Bug; Japanese, while allied with the US , militia card from the consulate does not raise any soldier
    Bug?: US, cannot find a way to get Patriot militia except from the militia army card...I was expecting recruitable soldiers

    1. Gonna fix it.

      As for the Militia, I think I made american War Tents to train them but I might be mistaken, gonna look over them. Although SUPPORT FOR THE USA HAS STOPPED A LONG TIME AGO BECAUSE THEY HAVE MANY BUGS AND I HATE THEM.

      Nonetheless, I will look over it.

    2. Right, american tents provide them. I forgot to call the card and build them.

  15. Thanks buddy!!!! I just want to know that does this patch contain the fortification update to walls....???
    And I think I'm doing stupidity by asking that how to download or where to download this mod, but I really can't see the link.....

    1. Seriously...? You can't see the big "DOWNLOADS" button at the top of the blog, or the "Fresh Start" window in the top right side which has links for the patcher which can fully download and install the mod?

      I'm gonna make a prediction, even if you get it you won't be able to properly make it work...

    2. I got it and it is working, good work man!!!
      I've a request I want to rotate the buildings before constructing them I mean I want to change the orientation of buildings is it possible???
      Second request is it possible that I can move camera from 90° to 0°
      Like we rotatae the camera with Ctrl+arrow keys.
      And hats off to you. You did grt work

    3. 1. Yes, my mod has fortified/fort walls.
      2. Yes, you can rotate buildings before placing them with the mouse wheel, obviously!
      3. No, you can't change the camera angle, only the distance by zooming in or out.

      Have fun.

    4. 3. But can you that in any mod or something?? Like we see in campaigns...

      4. Is it possible for you to make different type buildings for all civs...??? I don't like that cardboard buildings of British, Spanish and napoleon ....just asking

      And ur graphics patch is just awesome more, colorful buildings!!

  16. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Yes I know, the patcher is not working and I cannot contact the guy who is managing it, I don't know what to tell you, I'll keep trying to look for him.

    2. ok then... thx for the answer anyway :)
      I really appreciate your work, keep it up! ;)

  17. Hi Mandos!!
    Your patch is working fine in my PC but there is a problem I can't play agree of empires iii campaign blood ice and steel... Whenever I click on it nothing happened help me please!!!.

    1. That shouldn't happen, I don't know what else to tell you besides re-installing the mod or something obvious.

  18. Hi Mandos!!!
    Can you make two player use same civ

  19. Hai Mandos! Could you add new civilizations? E.g "The Circle of Ossus", "The British East India Company" etc. Pleaseeee, it would be such a great improvement to the improvment mod! :)

  20. Hey, I'm new at modding Aoe 3. I just finished all the campaign and DLC. This morning, I downloaded the installer but it told me I/O error 32 so I can't play the mod. It would be great if you could answer me. Thanks .
    PS: Sorry for my poor English, it isn't my first language.

    1. I have no idea what that means but it should of course work.
      If the installer doesn't work then download the mod's patcher, put it inside the game's main folder (where age3y.exe is) and RUN IT AS ADMIN.

  21. after install i cant play error

    1. Download this:
      ... put it in your game's main folder (if installed right it should replace an old file) and then run as administrator, it should work.

  22. Everything works fine , and I really enjoyed playing this mod , But WAR CHEFS would'nt
    open , I'd really like to try this mod on WAR CHEFS , Please help

    1. You can't try this mod for WarChiefs because it's not designed for WarChiefs, it's only for Asian Dynasties.
      And yes, for some unknown reason my mod breaks WarChiefs but since Asian Dynasties has everything the original game and WarChiefs have, plus more, I just don't understand the logic of going back.

      If you want to play the WarChiefs then uninstall (delete) the mod.