Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Chat and Play

That's right, the Improvement Mod's Lobby program has been released to all using the patcher! It is still in beta of course, which means its a bit buggy and has some missing features, but be sure to try it out with your friends and leave your opinion. Note that you need Java installed for it to work.

What is the Lobby? What it suggests, you can enter the chat room, find player to play with and set up games. Remember the the Lobby by it self will not make a playable connection between players, you will still need to use a program specifically designed for that like Hamachi or Tunngle.

The Lobby's main function is to find other players playing the Improvement Mod.
Look for "launcher.exe" in your main AoE3 folder.

You can read all about the Lobby right HERE!
I have added some new information in the "Help and Tools" tab here on the blog as well, check it out!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Realism Reloaded

The "accuracy update" has been released for everyone to test out. Please report any problems you might find. Remember that the chance to miss is very low but it does happen. This new feature affects all ground ranged units but it does not affect buildings and ships.

It's still a work in progress until I can add it to every single unit that needs it.


There is something I wanted to do for a while, and I thought I did it for cannons but it proves I was a bit wrong, something that will add lots of realism into the game but might piss off some players.

I can make ranged units meaning cannons, archers, spearmen, riflemen and so forth, to have a small chance to miss their shots, to fire but not hit their target every time. This new feature would balance out with the other lost feature I added a while ago, height damage bonus which gives a very small attack bonus to units which fire from higher ground than their targets. The chance will be very small, as is the height bonus, but they can both decide the outcome of a battle, even in the favor of the weaker army.

Now, this also means a new luck factor is introduced, something that might piss off hardcore fans, but since most people seem to want more realism, I thought this would be an awesome thing to add. This new feature can be added to any unit, even melee, but it makes more sense to add it to ranged units since those are the most used ones and it would make melee units more viable and important. Plus, muskets were really inaccurate...

I will make a survey as always, but it seems the survey/poll feature offered by Blogger is bugged, and it does not properly record votes. So, I beg you to leave your opinion in the comments section of this post.

Thank you, and please help me take a decision!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

AI problems

I know the AI can be shit at times... My AI is based on the Draugur AI, which people said it was good, so that's why I used it. I then tweak it to train my units and build my buildings, as well as using the extra population I added. I also tried to tweak how it played, since people complained it was too slow and none aggressive.

I tried over and over again, and while a friend of mine seems to have nailed it I want to achieve that by my own terms. So, I left this message to someone here on the blog:

"Well, let me explain then.
What people don't seem to understand is that the AI has different personalities and strategies. Napoleon for example, favors cavalry and native units and has a balanced attack strategy, which means he attacks but he also builds protection for his base.

Elizabeth, British, she is a boomer, which means she first builds a powerful economy and then attacks.
Isabella, Spanish, she is a rusher. She doesn't care about base protection and spends all her resources on units with which she attacks you as often as she can.

But even with these built in strategies they do change the way they play sometimes. In one game for example, Isabella could chose a turtling strategy, which means she will build base defenses and attack less.

People just want the AI to attack continuously at all times, and while I am not completely against it, its simply very hard to tweak the AoE3 AI since it works in a weird, "lazy" way and requires a lot of codding to make it do even simple, basic things.

I did however, released a prototype AI. What is different in it? Simple, I removed all strategies and made everyone a rusher, even if some of them need an economy to evolve, like the Dutch because their Settlers cost coin, even so I removed every bit of personality and strategy from the AI and made what everyone seems to want.

And if this still doesn't satisfy my warmongering fans, then I will increase their rushing status even more and see what happens.

Thank you and please vote in the survey."

These are the personality descriptions from the AI file:

Elizabeth: Infantry oriented boomer, favors natives
Napoleon: Cav oriented, balanced, favors natives
Isabella:  Rusher, disdains trading posts
Ivan: Infantry oriented turtler
Frederick: Cavalry oriented rusher
Maurice: Turtler, boomish, huge emphasis on trade
Henry: Artillery oriented boomer, favors trade
Suleiman: Artillery oriented, balanced
Gall: Extreme rush, ignores trade routes
Hiawatha: Balanced, trade and native bias.
Cuauhtemoc: Randomized, but usually light boom, defensive.
Kangxi: Infantry oriented turtler
Tokugawa: Extreme rush, ignores trade routes
Akbar: Cavalry oriented, balanced

Remember that they might change these strategies from time to time.