Back to the balance mod

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Spectre
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Back to the balance mod

Post by Spectre » Tue Mar 15, 2005 19:17

Looks like SPQR bombed badly, and quite frankly I'm not surprised about that. Redoing everything from the ground up with hugely inflated stats and doubled or even tripled morale... I thought no one would be crazy enough to attempt such madness. :P

I did my own little balancing just for fun, and so far I'm pretty satisfied with it. I loaned some of Louis's ideas, made up a balancing methodology, and applied the minimal changes to make the stats work according to that methodology.

I tried to follow these main tenets:

- No new units added to preserve faction diversity
- No dramatic changes to game speed (I used the terrain modifiers to set unit speeds to 90% of what they were; it works without looking too silly)
- Stat / price tweaking kept at a minimum
- Balanced up to 12.5k (best balance at 10k)
- Try to reach this RPS:

Heavy cav > Light cav, shock infantry
Light cav > Archers, skirmishers, light inf
Chariots > Cavalry, non-elite infantry
Dense formations > Chariots
Elephants (if you can afford 'em) > Chariots, cavalry, non-elite inf
Fire > Elephants
Armour-piercing attacks > heavy cav, elite inf
Phalanxes > cav, non-elite shock infantry (with some exceptions)
Spears > Cavalry
Elite Shock inf > Light cav, spear inf, phalanxes (though phalanxes can hold for a long time)
Archers & Slingers > lightly armoured units, other archers, chariots
Horse archers > lightly armoured units, foot archers, chariots
Camels > Cavalry

And skirmishers would primarily be used to weaken phalanxes & shock inf, not as counters to chariots & elephants like the game suggests.

Light shock inf would mostly be used for flanking only.


Understandably, there are a lot of hurdles. Some factions are far more versatile than others, and some have a few key units that dominate large areas of the RPS, but also have a significant weakness or two. At first I tried to balance the unit tiers with raw math, but it became obvious that some fudge factors are needed.

I don't think Rome will ever be a good dueling game without some house rules. There are simply too many RPS relations to keep track of. With this in mind, I focused on the team game aspect.

One very significant change is unit size. I set the basic scale to be the same as in Medieval, 60 men for basic inf units and 40 for cav. To preserve the original ratio of RTW, large units were set to 90. "Specialty" units like generals, berserks, gladiators and arcani got a 33% increase in size, but thus far testing indicates that they still aren't as effective as similar price normal units.

I think the base-60 size is a must-have compromise for 4vs4 games. Lowering the speed by 10% made the overall look tolerable IMO. I also added one point of defense to all melee units to compensate for the smaller size; I might consider adding another point if it doesn't screw anything up.

Some aspects of the RPS were broken, most noticeably the spear bonus vs. cav and camel bonus vs. cav. I strenghthened those by giving non-phalanx spears a +8 bonus vs. cav, phalanx units a +4 bonus vs. cav and modifying the camel bonuses to give camels a +4 net increase to combat power. Phalanx units were given a smaller bonus because (I think) it applies to secondary attacks as well. It's still not a big deal, because it's a bonus to attack, not defense. Cav still do a lot of damage when charging into the rear of a phalanx.

All javelin units were made armour-piercing, and their ammo counts were upped to 8 for foot units and 12 for cav units. To compensate for the armour-piercing ability, I increased the cost of weapon upgrades. It works pretty well IMO; you can't just ignore skirmishers any more, but they're not death-dealing crack suicide squads either. (Some more testing is needed, of course.) Greeks are now a better contender with their decent phalanxes, good archers and Heavy Peltasts.

Elite infantry and cavalry were balanced so that more expensive units offer just a little bit less bang for the buck than the less expensive units, and you still can't make cheap units better than elite units by upgrading them. In some cases, I had to apply minor fudge factors or the raw math would have skewed faction balance.

Infantry was quite ok already, only the Roman elites needed tweaking. Upped Urbans to 1100, Praetorians to 950, Early first cohorts to 1100 and First cohorts to 1320. Fixed the small-size Pontus pike unit by matching stats to hellenic pike hoplites. Left Macedonian Royal "pikes" as they were, even though they have shorter spears they have better stats than Pontic Bronze Shields.

Cavalry was a tougher beast, but I think I reached a good compromise between unit type and faction balance. Praetorian cav 1050, Legionary cav 920, Sacred Band 880, Gothic Cav 950, Cappadocians 910, Cataphracts 1150. Macedonian & companion cav left as they were. Scythian nobles got boosted by 2 combat points "only" because of their excellent charge. Pontic Heavies left as they were, the improved javs should compensate for their poor combat stats. Maidens were increased to 680 and lost one point of attack. (But they're still very good vs. heavily armoured cav.)

I took the easiest route with the all-powerful Egypt. Bowmen were nerfed to equal standard archers, Pharaoh's Bowmen were upped to 820. Desert cav size changed to match other cav. I still think Egypt is one of the strongest factions even after these changes. A bit like Seleucids but with weaked cavalry and better chariots.

Gauls got a special treatment. I nerfed Forester abilities and morale a bit, and dropped their price to 520. They're merely "good archers" now, but can hide anywhere and have an OK charge for ambushing. Yes, they're cheaper than Cretans and have better abilities, but hellenic factions have also the cheaper archers as an option. I'm still a bit undecided on this, though.

I upped slinger range to almost match archer range (I believe that was Louis's idea originally... :) ) and so far it appears to be okay. Carthage and Spain got a nice boost in self-defense ability.

Okay, I think that was the most of it. If you bothered to read it this far, I'm sure you can point out something that I haven't noticed, or something that's just plain dumb in your opinion. :wink: So, go ahead and drop a line!

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Post by Louis Ste Colombe » Tue Mar 15, 2005 22:52

I gave a try to SPQR mod, and it is well... playable: looks like RTW is very forgiving for stat tweaking, which is a good thing for modders... I guess 8) :roll:

It's true that SPQR stats are akin to pinball, and it's only damaging when it comes to morale. AI units kept rallying and rallying and rallying; games are longer, but that does include an awful lot of router chasing.
The interesting part is that, despite very high morale, it was still somehow doable to rout ennemy unit. That makes me think that the range of morale penalty must be quite large; possibly open ended.

Let's put aside SPQR mod for now...

I pretty much share the same point of view as far as the main tenets

- no change in unit rosters to preserve faction diversity; I fill the most damaging holes (no low cost archer for Carthage, Spain, Gauls, German, Britons) by increasing slingers range a bit (to 110, bows got 120)
- no dramatic change to game speed; I have not modded speed at all! I only have slowed killing speed a bit by increasing the defense value by 2 points (2nd value of stat_pri_armour, no impact on shooting)
- stat/ price tweaking to a minimum: major changes are +10% to all cavalry, higher increase for ap cavalry, tweaking of a few units like cohorts and egypt bowmen. There are also a few other tweak for a few specific units that got specific problem (like HA not firing on the move); not everything is aimed at balance!

But;
- I am not targetting any specific denarii setting. It shall be ok anywhere between 5 and 15. Then, I'll have to look at upgrade cost...
- I am levelling the playing field, not restoring a complete RPS (althought I think it's a step toward RPS), and not targeting a full compicated RPS system
- I look to stop a few hidden bonus and make the game more intuitive: that's why I simplified greatly the whole stat_ground scheme. For me that's useless hidden diversity...

Here is the readme for my own mod version:

;has been modded:
;
;stat_ground is 2,0,0,0 for infantry, 0,0,-6,0 for cavalry, elephant, etc, and
0,4,-6,0 for camels (0,2,-6,0 for cata ;camels)
;defence increase by 2 pts for all units but missile (ie; class= missile)
;praetorian cohort cost = 950, cost of upgrade changed accordingly
;urban cohort cost = 1100, cost of upgrade changed accordingly
;All horse archer have stat_pri_attr thrown
;Desert axemen armor down to 3
;Illyrian mercenaries now have mount_effect elephant +6, chariot +6
;Spear mounted effect is now mount_effect horse +6, chariot +6, camel +6
;Armenian heavy spearmen lost mount_effect
;increase slinger range to 110, chosen slingers to 140
;increase pelstat/ javelin range to 60
;change stat_pri_attr for pelstat/ javelin to thrown ap
;cavalry cost +10%, cavalry cost with AP get special treatment
;pharaoh bowmen cost upped to 820
;Pontus phalanx pikemen = to other phalanx pikemen
;

I have not changed the unit size. It's an interesting idea but also a frigthening one. Games mechanics change with number and mass: phalanx are good on 6 rows, maybe 5. 90 men for a phalanx is 15*6, but for hoplites we're talking real small facing (10*6).
On the other hand, we might be able to squeeze in an additional army that way...

The mounted bonus apply to all weapons, including the second one for phalanx. I wonder if you'll see players going phalanx off and running around to catch cav with a large bonus attack...
I had little issue with spears vs cav balance. Phalanx do the job well, no bonus needed for them, and +2 defense is going to make it even easier for phalanx. I increased mounted bonus for non phalanx spear thinking it would be nice to see some of those units in some army for diversity purpose. Now a roman might want to pick auxilia, all the more so now that the best cohorts are more expensive. But that's really a marginal adjustment.

I also made javelin ap; that might make them appealing, although still tough to play. I also increased their range to 60. I see as a "bet" unit; either you can get a chance to get them to work and they'll make a significant difference, or you'll lose them very fast for nothing. I have not changed ammo or cost. Maybe I see them a bit like suicide ssquad :P
They're still anti elephant / antichariot.

Otherwise very few things changed.

The main difference are probably speed, unit size and cavalry cost upgrade.

I am not convinced speed got to be changed per se. Killing speed toned down a bit. What I am wondering is making all units agile so that they react faster. That might help dealing with higher RTW speed.

Unit size; got me frightened

Cavalry; I'd like to avoid light cavalry spamming too, so I increased light cavalry cost.

That's my thought... Not very far from Cranda but with different technical solution. Feel free to drop me a line and I'll send you a modded export_descr_unit (nothing else is changed...)

Louis,

edit; I had to mod the "[/b]" in :oops:

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Post by Spectre » Wed Mar 16, 2005 3:05

despite very high morale, it was still somehow doable to rout ennemy unit. That makes me think that the range of morale penalty must be quite large; possibly open ended.
I don't think there have been any dramatic changes in the morale system. If you check the MTW list of modifiers, it's quite possible to stack the modifiers to a huge overall effect. There's one text file in RTW that shows all the morale states of a unit, but not the modifiers. It's probably an unused file meant to offer Medieval-style info when mousing over a unit. Can't remember the file name right now, though...

I did the thrown fix for HA & chariots too, as well as a couple of documented bug fixes listed at the .org. Didn't touch terrain modifiers, they're quite small in any case and the forest penalties are quite logical. Minimal approach. :P

Didn't feel a need to change desert axemen, I think you can pretty much take your pick whether you want to believe the model or the unit description. So I opted for minimal changes.
I wonder if you'll see players going phalanx off and running around to catch cav with a large bonus attack...
I don't think there's need to fear that. At first I had the phalanx bonus vs. cav at +2, but later felt comfortable to up it to +4. I think it's a fitting addition at the lower unit size, because phalanxes are a bit weaker overall at base-60 (and cav a bit stronger.) But, you're most likely right and it's not needed when using base-80.

I dropped the speed a tad to compensate for the smaller units compared to large, sort of to "preserve the large feel" and give a placebo "it's slower!" to the vets :wink: :lol:. I didn't dare increase Defense Skill more than 1 point, but if you think it doesn't do anything weird, it might be worth a shot.

The denarii value I arrived at is basically just an educated guess based on how many of the very best elite units you can pick. I went for 10 or less = most probably balanced. 15k won't probably be that bad either. :wink:
What I am wondering is making all units agile so that they react faster.
That's an excellent idea, but does it work? IIRC, JeromeG said that turning speeds can't be altered... and the "command delay" is prolly hardcoded too.

Cavalry... well, I don't think that light cav are a problem. Low stats, not much charge, vulnerable to missiles and the spears are now a bit stronger.

I think that in the end we did pretty much the same thing with the RPS system... except you didn't mention camels? Did they get anything?

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Post by Louis Ste Colombe » Wed Mar 16, 2005 12:52

Spectre wrote:
despite very high morale, it was still somehow doable to rout ennemy unit. That makes me think that the range of morale penalty must be quite large; possibly open ended.
I don't think there have been any dramatic changes in the morale system. If you check the MTW list of modifiers, it's quite possible to stack the modifiers to a huge overall effect. There's one text file in RTW that shows all the morale states of a unit, but not the modifiers. It's probably an unused file meant to offer Medieval-style info when mousing over a unit. Can't remember the file name right now, though...
I think there are a few very drastic change in the list, such as outnumbering penalty being much smaller than it used to be. Otherwise... It's all speculation from our part really. As we don't know, and as I got no or little issue with morale as it is, I leave it the same!
I did the thrown fix for HA & chariots too, as well as a couple of documented bug fixes listed at the .org. Didn't touch terrain modifiers, they're quite small in any case and the forest penalties are quite logical. Minimal approach. :P

Didn't feel a need to change desert axemen, I think you can pretty much take your pick whether you want to believe the model or the unit description. So I opted for minimal changes.
Same source :) I used the org topic as an inspiration for a few changes, like Armenian Spearmen, Illyrian merc, etc, etc...
Of all the org recommanded fix, there is one I disagreed with, and that's the pontic pike phalanx: I just made it the same as other pike phalanx.
Not a big deal, all that is only typo correction.
phalanx... cavalry...all that jazz... and a bit of speed too
Celtibero Mordred is also working on a mod... He pretty much share the same kind of objective.
He focused a lot more on speed issues and tried to solve it using delay between attacks. The problem was that it was getting way too slow, and cavalry could not defeat some skirmishers (I tried auxiliaries archer and heavy pelstat versus long shield cavalry; the cavalry lost). Units had a tendency to "get stuck".
He also made the mounted effect much larger...
It was an interesting talk, and interesting to see the direction he was going.

The funniest thing was that we almost modded slingers and javelin in the same way!
What I am wondering is making all units agile so that they react faster.
That's an excellent idea, but does it work? IIRC, JeromeG said that turning speeds can't be altered... and the "command delay" is prolly hardcoded too.
In theory yes. Command delay is supposed to be a function of at least fatigue and agility. Maybe formation, discipline also got a role, but I don't know that.

All units being agile won't reduce command delay to 0, but it's a step in the right direction.
Cavalry... well, I don't think that light cav are a problem. Low stats, not much charge, vulnerable to missiles and the spears are now a bit stronger.
Hum... Well, maybe not all light cavalry needs a cost increase, but some of them do; I mainly think of Macedonian Light Lancers or even Equites, or some medium cavalry, like Scythian Nobles.
In my version of the mod, I have not changed either the mounted bonus for phalanx or the size of units; I consider this works ok, so I limited the change to cost, but did not touch the ingame mechanics as I rather liked the behaviour of phalanx, non phalanx spear and cavalry.
I think that in the end we did pretty much the same thing with the RPS system... except you didn't mention camels? Did they get anything?
I gave them a bonus in desert. I don't think, given camels are severly limited faction wise, that they are an important part of RPS; if camels were completly out of the game, would that change anything?

There are several ways of achieving the same kind of results, keeping the basic tenet in mind. Some got bad consequences (such as increase delay between attacks and cavalry get stuck in pelstat like in the good old pavese day!).

I have not played your modded file Cranda... My main concern reading the description is the unit size. Then maybe the spear bonus increase; not so much because it will have ill effect but because it's not needed. Then, maybe speed toned down by 10%.

Any chance Vacation getway go back up and we put mod file there?

Louis,

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Post by Spectre » Wed Mar 16, 2005 16:38

The funniest thing was that we almost modded slingers and javelin in the same way!

I dunno about Mord and you, but we certainly did mod 'em in the same way. I gave the same ranges to the slingers, and you convinced me to up javelin range to 60 - skirmishing works better now.

Modding unit agility goes a bit beyond minimalist, I think. I've almost adjusted to the command delay anyways, so it's not a big deal IMO.

Shaving 10% off of the movement speed doesn't make much difference in practice - it looks the same and plays the same. But, the placebo effect could help some vets get over their hatred for "vanilla" RTW. :wink:
maybe not all light cavalry needs a cost increase, but some of them do
Aren't the Light Lancers a bit of a "selling point" for Macedon? Their macedonian cav and companions are a bit below average heavy cav anyways.
In my version of the mod, I have not changed either the mounted bonus for phalanx or the size of units
I'd definitely prefer to play with the 80-man large units, but I find it rather annoying that you have to switch to normal to play in a 4vs4. One size should fit all, and we're missing that size. Maybe I could increase the larger units to 100 men and remove the phalanx bonus vs cav - that would be almost exactly like MTW. There aren't that many large units to balance anyway.
if camels were completly out of the game, would that change anything?
No, it wouldn't change much. But better camels make Armenia and especially Numidia more viable; they don't have middle-range heavy cav on their own. Armenia has Cataphracts, but at 1150 denarii they're too expensive to pick more than a few.
Any chance Vacation getway go back up and we put mod file there?
That'd be nice. In the meantime, I could put our files to my ftp directory and slap a link here, for example.

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Post by Temptation » Wed Mar 16, 2005 17:16

Having read Louis' SPQR comments on .org and Spectre's comments on .net, I had a long discussion about this with Annie (who raed them too) yesterday about this... and came to the conclusion to find out how possible it was for us to come up with a mod of our own, including discussion with you two and gusty about possible interests and participation of you in it... as well as figuring out what we want to achieve with the mod and how, before starting to work on a common clan mod.

Now, it turned out that both of you are a few steps ahead of me and annie and started to work on it already. Which is fine on itself, but it does make us very reluctant to comment both on the mod you two are working on now as well as coming up with our own mod. We do not wish to be seen as crashers of your modding party.

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Post by Louis Ste Colombe » Wed Mar 16, 2005 17:23

I think we got to do things in the right orders.

The first step would be the unit size of phalanx/ hoplites/ legions/ other infantry/ cavalry/ other units to get them to a size that is playable by all in 4v4: I'd target 1000/ army or 8000 for 4v4, 6000 for 3v3.

Once unit size is set, I'd run test to see how it affects mechanics.
Mordred modded cavalry to 20 and left other unchanged... If we make cavalry 20, infantry 50, hoplite 60, phalanx 80, for sure I would not change the cost of cavalry!
So, I'd say, first get a unit size, then run test... Then see how we affect gamespeed for both movement and kill speed, and how it also change the mechanics; there are several way to change gamespeed, all of them having side effect.
Mordred changed attack delay and it was tough for cavalry to run over any unit; slowing down having side effect.

Once both speed and unit size are done, we look what we got and eventually change either mounted ability (if 60 hoplites can't handle cavalry, we give them mounted bonus), or tweak cost a bit. To be honest, to make the size change easier, I'd mod all units by the same factor, or change their cost accordingly to change in size at the first step, so that size is neutral initially; otherwise it would be a mess to balance later.

Then we add a layer of fun stuff, like javelin and slinger modding + the other miscellanous mod (armenian, illyrian, etc...).

There is no need to throw defence increase or 10% increase in cavalry cost as long as we have not seen the impact of unit size and speed alteration on unit behaviour.

So I go back to the drawing board and set up a first draft for unit size and way of modding speed!

Louis,

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Post by Spectre » Wed Mar 16, 2005 17:44

We do not wish to be seen as crashers of your modding party.
Oh don't worry about it, fire away! I'm not bleeding my heart blood over this. :wink: And you're the officer here anyway; I wouldn't put anything out without your permission.

Louis, the base-60 size that I aimed for (basic inf 60, large inf 90, cav 40) yields about 8k soldiers in a full 4vs4 and preserves the existing unit ratios, so it should be the easiest way to approach the problem.

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Post by Louis Ste Colombe » Wed Mar 16, 2005 17:46

Uhho... Temp posted while I was writing yet another obring post :P

Temp, since I trash my first draft and restart from scratch, I am no step ahead!

Many players got the same feeling about what needs to be changed, at various degree (I don't mind speed much... but I won't mind either if it is slowed down). The question is more about what is the best way to do it. Mordred is trying something, Spectre is trying something else, and I got a third way. And other people may have other ideas.

When I see how Mordred mod plays, I think we need some kind of gradual approach (yes Annie, I guess I saw the light :P ), and mod the physics first, then the tweaking and cost.

As a minimum some playtesting would be good; but so far exchanging ideas with Spectre and Mordred has also been very valuable, even if, eventually, I end up doing no mod at all, I will have had an interesting and worthy discussion!

Louis,

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Post by Spectre » Wed Mar 16, 2005 18:08

Playtesting is definitely necessary, and proper battles to boot. I've been doing the testing with my friend who's on the same LAN with me; he's a true nerd who's always at his computer and likes to test things, so I can set up a test battle at a moment's notice! :D

I think he'd make a very good addition to our clan, but he doesn't play online games at all (he's a little on the shy side... :P)

And now that testing comes to mind, I think it'd be good to err on the safe side with those phalanx bonuses... there's always a Yuuki who repeatedly charges phalanxes head-on with elite cav in custom battles. Sure, the best cav do beat phalanxes in such lab tests, but it won't work in practice - still, that doesn't stop people from complaining and crying unbalance.

Maybe give phalanxes a _very small_ bonus, like +1 or something, vs cav to make them look good on the unit selection screen?

Btw, I arrived at the +8 bonus vs. horses by comparing the relevant bonus in MTW. Med had a lot less total combat point variance, but anticav bonus was a net of +4 for spears IIRC - the same as Rome vanilla. So, because the total variance of combat points is much more in RTW, I decided to double the bonus. (And it's still less meaningful, relatively speaking, than in MTW.)

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Post by ladyAn » Wed Mar 16, 2005 19:33

I don't think I would mind if either of you come up with a good mod and release it to the Community. I think I may be misunderstood in my earlier thread that I don't want modding, or the game is good as it is.

I think what Tempi said was that we did think about involving both of our resident modders (Spectre/Louis) and other FFers into coming up with a better mod than SPQR, so if we come out right now saying that, she doens't want to be misunderstood as trashing your work and start anew, just because we want to get involved. Also, during discussions, there will be disagrements. I think we want to make sure that these are not perceived as attack on the modding efforts.

So, back to what Tempi mentioned earlier, what are our objectives in the modding? I read in Spectre and Louis' posts. Just want to make sure we are on same page. What do we seek to correct in current game?

I believe that to make the community accept the mod (if ever that could be done), it should stay as close to the game as possible. The ultimate mod would change only a couple of parameters, because people can relate to what it is now and see the effect of the changes.

Other notes:
- Vacation getwaway will be down for a forseeable future; been using it for free for 2-3 years, I would expect it to die much earlier;
- [edit] We have a sub-forum that was devoted to modding in our earlier division activities. Tempi, could you check to see if it is possiblle to use it for this modding activities?

Annie
Last edited by ladyAn on Wed Mar 16, 2005 20:34, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Spectre » Wed Mar 16, 2005 20:22

Well, I've finished a version 0.95b (or something like that) of my own work. It's in a relatively good shape, based on our LAN testing, and I feel it's time to take a little break from all the tweaking. (I'm going into the foyer to play some vanilla. :P)

But, here's the exact changelist and some more attempts to justify the changes.

; Changelist:
;
; - Unit sizes changed to 40 for cav, 60 for inf and 90 for large inf units to allow 4vs4 games with about 8,000 soldiers total
; - Movement speed reduced by 10% for all units on normal terrain to help preserve the feel of Large units
; - All melee units got +1 to Defense Skill to make battle resolution match the speed change and to preserve the feel of Large units
; - Horse archer parthian shot fixed by adding "thrown" to stat_pri_attr
; - All non-phalanx spear units: mount_effect horse +8, chariot +8, camel +8 (was +4)
; (Non-phalanx spear units can now defend adequately against all but the best elite cavalry)
; - All phalanx units: mount_effect horse +1, chariot +1, camel +1 (was 0) (bonus applies to secondary attack too, that's why it's so low)
; (Phalanxes can defend adequately against more expensive cavalry. To defend against the best elite cav you'll need elite phalanxes,
; or a numerical advantage with non-elite phalanxes.)
; - Horse penalty vs. camels increased by -2, camel bonus vs. cav increased by +2 except for Cataphract Camels
; (Camels are now useful against all light and medium cavalry)
; - Sling ranges increased to 110 for normal slingers (was 80) and to 150 for elite slingers (was 120)
; - All javelins made armour-piercing; javelin ammo increased to 8 for foot units and to 12 for cavalry units
; - Weapon upgrade cost increased by +10 for all cheap javelin units to compensate for the armour-piercing ability
; - Specialty units, such as non-chariot generals, gladiators, berserkers and arcani, got their size increased by 33%
; (They still cannot defeat equivalent normal units, but put up a better fight now)
; - Urban Cohort cost 1100 (was 860)
; - Praetorian Cohort cost 950 (was 810)
; - Early First Cohort cost 1100 (was 1010)
; - Legionary First cohort cost 1320 (was 1220)
; - Praetorian Cavalry cost 1050 (was 840)
; - Legionary Cavalry cost 920 (was 790)
; - Cataphract and Camel Cataphract cost 1150 (was 940)
; - Sacred Band Cavalry cost 880 (was 780)
; - Gothic Cavalry cost 950 (was 790)
; - Cappadocian Cavalry cost 910 (was 820)
; - Head-Hunting Maidens: cost 680 (was 600), attack and defense skill reduced by 1 point
; - Scythian Nobles: +1 to attack and defense
; - Egyptian Desert Cavalry: size set to match other cavalry
; - Egyptian Bowmen: size and cost set to match other cheap archers
; - Pharaoh's Bowmen: cost 820 (was 680)
; - Pontic Phalanx Pikemen changed to match Hellenic Phalanx Pikemen
; - Forester warband: Missile attack 13 (was 15), melee attack 8 (was 11), morale 8 (was 12), price 520 (was 960)
; Foresters are now good archers with some flanking melee ability. Cost is comparatively low because the Gauls needed a slight boost.
; - All upgrade costs changed to match the new unit prices.

The things that I intended to "correct" are:

- A playable 4vs4 with an unit size that could be used uniformly in all games (the speed tweak is mostly to compensate for unit size loss that results in better maneuverability, but don't tell that to the vets...)

- RPS: Non-phalanx spear bonus vs. cav raised to match the effects of the bonus in MTW

- RPS: Camel bonus vs. cav raised to match the effects of the bonus in MTW

- RPS: Skirmishers and javelin cav made more useful with AP ability.

- Parthian shot fix

- Faction balance: Egypt "cut down to size" (it should still be a powerful faction)

- Faction balance: Gaul Foresters nerfed & made a lot cheaper to give Gauls a boost. IMO that's the most controversial change I've made. :wink:

- Faction balance: Sling-using factions a bit better on their own.

- Unit balance: Elite inf and cav costs raised so that cost-effectiveness per combat point is reduced slightly the higher you go. It used to be the other way: elite units were actually the best bang for the buck. You still can't make non-elite units better than elite units by upgrading, so that should make it a no-brainer to buy the best units that one can reasonably afford.

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Spectre
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Post by Spectre » Thu Mar 17, 2005 15:20

I think what Tempi said was that we did think about involving both of our resident modders (Spectre/Louis) and other FFers into coming up with a better mod than SPQR, so if we come out right now saying that, she doens't want to be misunderstood as trashing your work and start anew, just because we want to get involved. Also, during discussions, there will be disagrements. I think we want to make sure that these are not perceived as attack on the modding efforts.
Like Louis, I'm not continuing with my own project any further - it's mothballed. The changes, principles etc. were listed to provide ideas for others and to expose them to criticism - which would help the main project.

Also, the folks at TWN have turned to the creator of the SPQR mod, so I don't think it leaves much room for other community mods...

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ladyAn
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Post by ladyAn » Thu Mar 17, 2005 16:12

Don't give up on modding yet. Turning into SPQR mod doesn't mean it is good or SPQR mod becomes the defacto standard. It is not yet adopted by players at large, unless reputed tournments are played with it. There is a great inertia for the whole player base to adopt a mod anyways. If you put out a better mod in a bit later, you would still have equal chance.

Now, saying that doesn't mean we shouldn't take the eventual adoption of SPQR mod into account of our agenda. Again, the needs for an agenda is now even more obvious than before.

If our agenda includes "fact-finding" mission, then whatever mod adopted by community, we could understand the effect of it. It actually helps our game play.

Annie
ps.: bleh, don't know what to say.... feels like arriving to a party and the guests are leaving, wondering....
- Possess weapons of mass distraction

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Spectre
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Post by Spectre » Thu Mar 17, 2005 17:02

bleh, don't know what to say.... feels like arriving to a party and the guests are leaving, wondering....
You can take my word for it, it was a pretty lousy party! :D

I wasted a few perfectly good gaming evenings in the arguments, testing and tweaking... :P

And besides - there's a new party in the works, unless I've again misunderstood things horribly? I fully expect SPQR to fail because of several reasons, and a mod will be needed to take its place. We _are_ considering building a new mod as a clan effort, right?

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Louis Ste Colombe
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Post by Louis Ste Colombe » Thu Mar 17, 2005 17:22

*Gives Annie a Bloody Mary*

There you go, jump in and get in the mood!

Right now, I am in stand by; I know what I'd like a mod to achieve and am curious to hear what everyone has in mind. I think we all share the same goals; let's open a place where we can make sure of this, then see how we can achieve those goals, playtest them hard, and get that done.

IMO, some non clanies would be interested, such as CeltiMordred, maybe Swoosh, maybe Yuuki... and a few others...

I got some reasons to think that SPQR is structurally flawed... We'll see how it goes, and they may have some interesting ideas.

Louis,

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ladyAn
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Post by ladyAn » Thu Mar 17, 2005 17:30

Ah yes, a forum is being built specifically for this (at least it is proposed) so that we could have non-FFers access to it if we need to (instead of Kitchen, our private place).

Annie
- Possess weapons of mass distraction

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