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Thread: The Caravel Mod

  1. #61

    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    Thank you very much Gollum for your time and effort into the Caravel Mod. I installed it last week and I have been playing a campaign with the Aragonese this weekend (sorry for the coincidence Cyprian2). I have had a lot of fun after a year without playing the game.

  2. #62

    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    Hey, Belisario! :) Nice to see you around again! Thank you for your ineterest in the mod. There will be a new version within the week, i'll make an announcement and also notify in my signature. Its saved game compatible and better in all ways. Minor tweaks, ironing glitches, nothing major.

    I hope it adds to your enjoyment of the game


    No worries Cyprian2; feel free to ask whatever and whenever you wish.

    With no small help from Glenn and yourself, I got the game working and can finally have the authentic experience.
    I am very happy to hear that.

    gollum, it seems you've taken a good game, applied some common sense and flare––though not too much––and made a great one.
    That is precisely the concept for this mod: an improved/optimised vanilla. I actually enjoy the vanilla game and its flavor more than any other mod in SP. Its just that its lacking terribly in optimisation and this gap, the Caravel Mod tries to fill.

    It's been a while since I last played vanilla on HUGE... :)
    Not many people play HUGE; for me its far better for the aforementioned reasons in SP.

    Of course, I recognize that modding is all about creating one's distinctive vision/version of the game––and that choosing to release a mod to the public is essentially an act of generosity, a kind of gift. You, gollum, have bestowed such a gift on this forum, and those of us who still love MTW. What's more, you did so in honour of the much esteemed, and from what I can tell, agreeable, Caravel––and a pretty nice gesture, it was! Quite simply, I respect you for such an undertaking as Caravel mod.
    Thank you for the vote of confidence and the kind words, but, in all honesty i am only giving back what i got in the first place. The mod is a big thank you to the TW and org community from which i learned and with which i shared, as well as to CA for making MTW. If the mod adds to the enjoyments of people playing MTW, then it has fulfilled its purpose.

    Also, please don't take my loading screen question as, in any way, an expectation of the mod. I was not hoping for some graphic-laden monstrosity to leap up before my eyes! Mostly, it was a stab in the dark. I realize that the vanilla loading screen is more than sufficient for your purposes. However, I simpy hoped that there might be a small (read: unobtrusive) indication of the version (i.e. "ver1.2") on the nominally vanilla screen, just to help us novices (ergh!) know that things are kosher (and a feature you might consider for future releases) ;)
    Yes, i know what you mean, its probably a good idea for many reasons. I like crude amateurish things though, and will probably keep it this way.

    I might do this, Master gollum, If I were ambitious enough and/or dissatisfied with your mod (or wanted it to be more like the other good mods out there), which I am not, and do not. Please note that I came to your mod with an open mind––as an erstwhile lover of vanilla and its various syncopated beauties. I don't think I misapprehended what Caravel was all about!
    No worries whatsoever.

    Finally, my main concern in making my recent troubles known––especially those addressed to our friend Glenn in my last post––revolved around my uncertainty as to whether or not I was playing Caravel, or––through my own mistake––some slightly fiddled with version of vanilla. (The lack of Russians, of course, tipped me off.) In no way did I intend my queries to be taken as statements of dissatisfaction or, indeed, XLism, or Medmodism, etc. Indeed, my imagination upon embarking on your mod, was firmly entrenched in your concept of offering a "tweaked" version of MTW. Now that I've had a chance to see some of your tweaks, I must say that I approve! I'm sure there are many I have yet to discover!
    Don't worry, i understood you. By the way, XL is simply not to my gameplay taste - that is all: i don't hate it, or devalue it, or try to bring it down with the Caravel mod or anything. I simply don't prefer it: i prefer moded vanilla in a vanilla context/concept, hence this mod. Also Tyberious' graphics are amazing; for me the best graphics ever in a MTW mod, and there are plenty others that have really good ones.

    I hope the mod adds to your enjoyment of the game

    Well...so...um...apparently, I was playing good 'ol unmodified MTW-VI 2.1 and thinking it was Caravel (which might in fact be taken as a compliment to your mod and its authentic aims :) ) Perhaps in my bumbling through copying and pasting files, I inadvertently created a new mod? Who knows? :)

    So, I will either retire from the forum in shame––or I may try to figure out what I did and release it as mod! :) :) :)
    Perhaps its worth letting it out :)

    Okay. I look forward to the game now.
    Thank you for your interest, i hope you enjoy



    Chess and Monopoly; indeed Caravel a good analogy :)
    Last edited by gollum; 01-17-2011 at 22:36.
    The Caravel Mod: a (very much) improvedvanilla MTW/VI v2.1 early campaign

    Please make sure you have the latest version (v3.3)
    Since v3.3 the Caravel Mod includes customised campaigns for huge and default unit settings

    Download v3.3
    Info & Discussion Thread

  3. #63

    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    It's a pleasure to return to the forum from time to time and find a surprise like this. I'm curious about your modding of the weather file.

    I've been playing my Aragonese campaign until 1250 and I'm impressed by several things. During all the 12th century I needed to manage carefully my resources, choosing well what build or train and where. In general terms AI factions develop in a stable way and their stack army composition is very balanced (maybe the thing which I like most about Caravel TW). I've had tough fights against the English for the dominion of southern France, and against the Spanish and the Almohads for the Iberian regions. Now I dominate Aquitaine, Toulouse, Provence, and all Iberian provinces except Granada which is held by the Egyptians, the main superpower. After I suffered the entire campaign of limited funds, cash begins to arrive to my coffers from extensive trade (especially from Cordoba and Portugal) and Aragonese ships cross the seas from the North Sea to the Levant. Other factions - the English, the HRE, the Egyptians, the Italians, even the Hungarians - have built considerable fleets, and they are remarkably deploying well their ships. At this point I'm planning to begin a crusading war against the Egyptians.

  4. #64
    Beauty hunter Senior Member Raz's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    Congratulations on this release of yours gollum! I knew I should've dropped by here more often, ah well.
    If you need any technical help with your mod, I'd be happy to try and help out.
    Quote Originally Posted by drone
    I imagine an open-source project to recreate [Medieval: Total War] would be faced with an army of high-valour lawyers.

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  5. #65

    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    Thank you very much for this intersting account of your campaign Belisario

    As far as the weather is concerned i did some initial minor changes for winter (thought not to take it too far too quickly) and played some in campaign. I don't think that rain in lush that i played, became incredibly more frequent, but when it did, it was more than drizzling and this i liked. I played a few battles in temperate that has the harshest weather settings. Again, all i can tell is that rain when it came was much more than a drizzle, and that visibility was also suitably and atmospherically reduced with the intensity of the rain. I only altered the precipitation(rain) and the fog vanlues for winter, and most in the climates that one would expect it to: lush and temperate. Also increased it somewhat for arid in winter time - it was too little before. I did not alter the summer numbers at all, they seemed ok to me. I don't know how snowfall is increased. It could be tied to precipitation (for snowy days) or it could be tied to the temperature numbers. It seems that the armor-in-desert-and-in-snow effect has to do with the temperature.

    As a matter of fact, there are far more desert and temperate maps in the Caravel mod than in vanilla (where lush was the dominant terrain). In many mountain crosses and in Germany/Eastern Europe, temperate is the predominant terrain. Lush is present in the in-between arid and temperate provinces (Hungary, Venice, Bulgaria) and in France and England. In the near-east, in desert provinces, all province routes are made desert ones. In vanilla, the Crusaer states provinces (palestine, tripoli, antioch) have arid maps in the routes that connect them. All these are now desert maps and so they favor the native Muslim factions as they should. Similarly in Russia there is much more temperate terrain than in vanilla. In addition there are no river crossing maps. There were two reasons for this decision:
    a) The provinces are too big (the size of countries in most cases) for so many river battles to occurconsistently as in vanilla
    b) The AI does not "know" that the map he is invading will be a river crossing map, and so often he marches to his doom, as he does not bring the proper troops to attack the crossing and the player can keep him off and massacre his good stacks with a few crossbows/arbs and spears.
    In this way, the plans teh AI makes are alwys suited and the player does have to fight the best AI stacks in open battle more often than not

    Indeed, its the building tech trees, dependencies and calibrating the AI choices by correct prices/maintenance costs/dependency-availability at the various castle levels that in turn affect stack composition that is the main work i've done, aiming for a vanilla experience without crappy/rubbish stacks and without the AI waisting money in building options that get him nothing.

    To make an example, the Byzantines in vanilla could build all levels of the Town Watch line, while the only building that was actually getting them something was the 1st in line. All the other upgrades of the building with their many turns to build and cost in forins were getting the Byzs nothing. However, many times the BYz AI would go on and build it to the point it could (level3 of the line, and one after the other) in Constantinople, essentially wasting florins and investement time (that could be crucial at the early game). In the mod the Byzs have only the first level and so they do not waste money and investment time; rather they proceed to build things that contribute something to their game. That isn't to say that the tech tree is simplified to the point there are no direction choices anymore (the main choice for Catholics for example is, as in vanilla, should i go for the higher feudal troops or for the advanced militia troops?). Only redundant branches of the tech tree have been pruned and on an individual faction basis.

    Another such example is the trading buildings in landlocked provinces. A major waste since the landlocked provinces as we all know do not worth more than level1 trader. Hence i tied higher traders to ports that are themselves tied to coastal provinces which ensures that merchants, guilds and master merchants are build by the AI factions where they are needed.

    The ship use effect is made by the loyalty:180 effect mostly. I was astounded by how well the AI used ships and his navies in combination once in that setting and so decided to "strongly reccomend it" and work on the mod with that in mind.

    Thank you very much for the offer Raz

    As a matter of fact, i have one question, in a bit of an aesthetic change i would like to make. It seems quite complex to me though, and so, as it is an extra aesthetic thing, i did not dare attempt it. I would like to replace the army and faction leader only campaign map pieces for the Orthodox factions with the ones from the Viking campaign - that suit the bill for Orthodox better in armour and attire. However, the game does not offer a special folder Orthodox category but rather lumps the Orthodox with the Catholics together as Christians. Muslims and Pagans get their own folders for map pieces, but Orthodox don't. If there is a way to make that change, i would be interested in making it part of the mod. I thought that its possible there isn't such a way, as the exe might not have it in it to reckognise an additional, extra category. On the other hand it may be possible that it does, as long as one places the folders/files correctly at the appropriate place. But i was too chickened to try it on my own :)
    Last edited by gollum; 01-22-2011 at 12:36.
    The Caravel Mod: a (very much) improvedvanilla MTW/VI v2.1 early campaign

    Please make sure you have the latest version (v3.3)
    Since v3.3 the Caravel Mod includes customised campaigns for huge and default unit settings

    Download v3.3
    Info & Discussion Thread

  6. #66
    Member Member Stazi's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    You can make your own folder and let the game know of it. Check the vikings.txt in the startpos folder. You'll find line like: <SetMapTexturesSubdir:: "vikings">
    Put line like this in EARLY.TXT and copy your desired files from vikings folder to your own folder. I don't remember how the game choose the right pics for certain culture but you have something to experiment with.
    ---- EDIT ----
    All you need is to create "Orthodox" folder inside the campmap\pieces\Units folder. I've just done it and copied all "ARMY_" files from the vikings folder. Works without problems. Byzantines looking like filthy vikings - I don't think so. But If you like it....

    BTW I'm curios if we can set 5th culture. Originally there are 4: CHRISTIAN_CULTURE, MUSLIM_CULTURE, ORTHODOX_CULTURE, PAGAN_CULTURE but I've found something called GENERIC_CULTURE. I don't know if it's fully usable (like CUSTOM0-9 entries for units) or just a set of base parameters but it's worth to check.
    Last edited by Stazi; 01-18-2011 at 16:21.
    "Do not fight for glory. Do not fight for love of your lord. Do not fight for hatred, honor or faith. Fight only for victory and you will succeed." - Uji sensei.

  7. #67

    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    Those weather changes sound like a more intense experience of the battlefield, maybe this will remind us the rainy maps of Shogun. It would be nice to see more snowy maps, I hope you find the parameter. I totally agree with the removal of river maps, and more desert maps is always good, I love desert battles :)

    I've played a few turns more this night and as I said above the Aragonese declared war on the Egyptians. I launched two victorious crusades against Granada and Morocco, and defeated them on the sea. The Egyptians had strong armies but an important factor played against them, the sultan was isolated in Ireland (they also had conquered Scotland and Wales). So after I attacked them, their provinces suffered a severe loyalty penalty with the consequent civil war and the reappearance of the Almohads in Tunisia, Algeria and Cyrenaica. Now I'm the main superpower of the game in terms of army and cash, so I reached the point when a campaign begins to lose interest for me, however it costs me a lot more effort. Maybe I'll use the -ian to play other faction in this same campaign.

    I would like to do a minor criticism after today's experience. As in vanilla, the possibility of silly invasions is present and AI factions can suffer penalty for having their leader isolated. This occurred not only to the Egyptians in my campaign but also to the Byzantines which had all their royal line isolated in Crete. How do you think that this could be solved?

  8. #68
    Needs more flowers Moderator drone's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    Quote Originally Posted by Belisario View Post
    I would like to do a minor criticism after today's experience. As in vanilla, the possibility of silly invasions is present and AI factions can suffer penalty for having their leader isolated. This occurred not only to the Egyptians in my campaign but also to the Byzantines which had all their royal line isolated in Crete. How do you think that this could be solved?
    If I remember Caravel's trials correctly, the more extreme solution is the removal of ships and the addition of land bridges to every island. Maybe just add the landbridges, but keep the boats?
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  9. #69

    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    The best solution to this is the removal of all shipping - otherwise this will always be a problem. The Sultan could have still been isolated in Ireland even with a landbridge to britain present.

  10. #70
    Beauty hunter Senior Member Raz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stazi View Post
    You can make your own folder and let the game know of it. Check the vikings.txt in the startpos folder. You'll find line like: <SetMapTexturesSubdir:: "vikings">
    Put line like this in EARLY.TXT and copy your desired files from vikings folder to your own folder. I don't remember how the game choose the right pics for certain culture but you have something to experiment with.
    ---- EDIT ----
    All you need is to create "Orthodox" folder inside the campmap\pieces\Units folder. I've just done it and copied all "ARMY_" files from the vikings folder. Works without problems. Byzantines looking like filthy vikings - I don't think so. But If you like it....
    HA! Beat me to it, I'd tested this just yesterday but didn't get a chance to reply. This is true, simply create a folder in the campmap\pieces\units directory and name it Orthodox, then just add the pieces you want. I also have reason to believe that you can create a whole new sub-directory with the pieces for your mod (if you want to) using the SetMapTexturesSubdir in the startpos.

    Just like with the Viking campaign, the subdirectory is "Vikings", you can add your own. But with this you'll need to add a host of new stuff, such as adding in portraits as well as campaign map textures and what not.
    Quote Originally Posted by drone
    I imagine an open-source project to recreate [Medieval: Total War] would be faced with an army of high-valour lawyers.

    Live your life out on Earth; I'm going to join the Sun.

  11. #71

    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    Quote Originally Posted by Caravel View Post
    The best solution to this is the removal of all shipping - otherwise this will always be a problem. The Sultan could have still been isolated in Ireland even with a landbridge to britain present.
    You are right, but IIRC Gollum don't sympathise with the removal of ships. Shipping and sea trade certainly add a nice flavour to the game. I know this matter has been extensively discussed in the past.

  12. #72

    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    Quote Originally Posted by Belisario View Post
    You are right, but IIRC Gollum don't sympathise with the removal of ships. Shipping and sea trade certainly add a nice flavour to the game. I know this matter has been extensively discussed in the past.
    Yes I believe gollum is against the idea, I mentioned it as it's the only real solution to the problem of finding someone like the Almohad Khalifa stranded in Ireland. The land bridges don't really help with this, it's the sea travel itself that is the root cause. It occurs because the AI does not consider the implications of heading to a province by sea that will most likely result in the army being cut off (due to the inevitable destruction of the port). When it comes to the AI there is no distinction between two provinces linked up from port to port by a number of ships and a neighbouring province.

    There are other workarounds, such as breaking the sea area into two or three zones, but from experience, this results in a lot more ships and can have other undesirable results. Artificial constraints like that also just feel wrong and don't make much sense. Trade is also severely limited to the extent that it makes it almost pointless.

    It depends on the individual, some people just enjoy the shipping side of things, whereas I prefer the more solid territorial integrity that comes from removing it. The bloated and unbalanced trade income problem is then removed as is the potential for silly AI invasions and abuse of crusades by the player. It's far more interesting and challenging as crusades have to take the land route, which also prevents the AI from sending them to ridiculous places en route.

  13. #73
    Member Member Stazi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caravel View Post
    Yes I believe gollum is against the idea, I mentioned it as it's the only real solution to the problem of finding someone like the Almohad Khalifa stranded in Ireland. The land bridges don't really help with this, it's the sea travel itself that is the root cause. It occurs because the AI does not consider the implications of heading to a province by sea that will most likely result in the army being cut off (due to the inevitable destruction of the port). When it comes to the AI there is no distinction between two provinces linked up from port to port by a number of ships and a neighbouring province.
    .
    What about making ports indestructible? It should help keeping provinces linked after province is conquered. Removing of all shipping is not an option. What about all islands? Only land bridges?
    Last edited by Stazi; 01-20-2011 at 14:52.
    "Do not fight for glory. Do not fight for love of your lord. Do not fight for hatred, honor or faith. Fight only for victory and you will succeed." - Uji sensei.

  14. #74

    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    Quote Originally Posted by Stazi View Post
    What about making ports indestructible?
    Impossible I'm afraid. There is only one hard coded indestructible building and that's the forest clearing from VI (some people say there is another, also from VI, but I only know of this one).

    Quote Originally Posted by Stazi View Post
    Removing of all shipping is not an option.
    That's up to you, I can only make suggestions based on my own experience.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stazi View Post
    What about all islands? Only land bridges?
    Land bridges are fine for all islands, even with shipping working as it does in vanilla, I would still suggest land bridges. Islands are death traps for the AI, as entire factions can often get stuck on them (it happens quite often with the Byzantine faction, but I've often seen the French or English trapped in Ireland).
    Last edited by caravel; 01-20-2011 at 15:13.

  15. #75

    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    Ok, version 2.0 of the mod is ready and uploading after i write this reply.

    Stazi and Raz, thank you very much for your help

    Stazi, i would argue that Byzantine troops with mail coats, beards and boots are far more fitting to the Byzantines than gothic plate armor, but "you can't argue about taste". Thank you however for reminding me my core concept, that is the vanilla game. I will stick with what makes the game immediately recognisable for anyone that has played vanilla, as this is meant to be an optimised version of vanilla.

    Regarding ships:

    Like Caravel said, i thought once that there might some obtainable solution to the silly invasions that isolate faction leaders. There is however none: cutting up the seas in regions, as Carevel says simply makes the AI go mad with ship spamming. Other such workarounds also are equally dissapointing and i tried most, if not all of them over the years.

    The ideal would be to be able to trade while not able to embark for both the player and the AI factions. As far as i know, this is impossible, because trading is linked to the port, and as long as the port is present, the AI factions will invade by sea.

    It would be possible to delineate the Shipbuilder line of buildings from the port; this would result in having ships, but then the ships would have only maintanence costs and bring no additional financial/strategic benefit to counteract that cost for the factions that build them.

    Hence, i am afraid, the only true possible solution is to actually take out the ships and trade altogether for those that dislike them. That should be easy enough for those who wish to play so: go in the building production file and make the port (or the shipbuilding line of buildings) buildable by FN_NOVGOROD, that is the faction that is not present in the game, and so no faction will be able to have ships and you can play thus.

    The approach of the mod is somewhat different: it tries to use what is given by the vanila game, only make it more easily available for the AI and so to have a sort of a dynamic competitive balance between competing factions. This works, for a while, that is as long as the AI factions put up a fight, but the player will always eventually crush them, because he is more consistent and more competent and avoids said mistakes (invade islands with faction leaders or invade lands that have little to no benefit).

    As far as trade income is concerned, the same applies. I left in fact trade goods at their original values and tried to make building dependencies, province income distribution etc such that the AI factions take it to the sea and make considerable income from it. The results i have are quite encouraging: playtesting with autorun, that makes the campaign run essentially on its own, the AI factions do take it to the sea and do make quite a lot of money from trade. However, this comes with all the added risks that are present in vanilla: questionable invasions often with faction leaders, at lands of high rebelliousness and small income etc. When the AI factions play against themselves, this is not always lethal for them, and i saw them more than once, building ports and taking their leaders out of there, and even the troops (they redictribute them after their hold on the province has made it "theirs" to other areas they needs them). However, its still not bulletproof: a player will always be able to exploit these weaknesses.

    The problem Belisario faces, as well as the trade problem (they are two sides of the same coin), that is the campaign becoming easier as you become the dominant power, can not be solved, at least to my knowledge, i am afraid. I can (and anyone else in fact can) make starting conditions for a certain faction(s) very difficult to begin with, but then that will mean that some other factions will be easier, and those factions are playable. Hence we are back where we started.

    My personal solution is to play my initial faction for the duration of a King's reign. Then, play another for say, the duration of two kings reigns. Then pick a third one and play for three or more. This is because, with the initial faction the player can easily set it up so strong that its set to become the dominant one. The second will take a bit longer, hence the two reigns duration play. The third one, might be worth it playing for more, as yu might find that longer is needed before you can set that faction to be a major power.

    I also try to roleplay: look at the Kings stats and his v'n'vs and try to set up a plan of action that such a character would favor, rather than the most "utilitarian" plan i could in order to win. If you roleplay the factions, and switch between them often, you will find yourself in situations that are great "what ifs?" and very challenging too. It makes the game really shine, as it gives great battles and striving turns - which are what this game is all about, and not become boring, as you are try to do your best for as long as the reign of you king/kings lasts - you won;t be there after it. And this is a lasting gameplay mode, at least for me :)

    Or, you can play a GA game, and try to stricktly adhere to the GA goals. Try the French in early or the HRE, if you are set to play only one faction per campaign.

    A few words about the latest version:

    The weather modification seems to have worked; now, everytime its winter in temperate and lush (and less, but still more than before in arid), there is considerable chance for rainy weather, or fast fluctuations between sun and rain (especially in lush). For snow, i don't know if there will be more, but as stated earlier, the map has now far more temperate maps in it, and so you can expect more snowy terrain in winter time. You can tell when its winter or summer by the music piece played in the campaign map. Desert weather, i left as it is, as i find that sandstorms frequent enough, and this with much more edsert maps (all desert terrain provinces have desert crossings now) should give far more desert battles, that we all love, as it seems.

    Version 2.0 is saved game compatible (for me at least), however, i did additional tweaking and finetuning of province/geagraphical area agricultural income, after Glenn's and Belisarios feedback. The result is a far more dynamic campaign, at least, so it would seem from the playtesting i've done. The weaks, are minor, but do have quite an effect, and i hope that those who try the campaign will be able to notice that.

    Since the game seems to load the province/map details only once in a particular campaign saved game, you will only get the benefit of the tweaked incomes if you start a new campaign. However, you get all tech tree, unit stat, text editing, missile weapon stats and weather modifications in your saved games.

    I also took the rosters and building dependencies to (what i think/hope is) quite a high degree for good gameplay. If you switch factions on a single campaign and play up to high and late, you will see the top level ships - booms, cogs, wargalleys, gungalleys - roaming the seas. You will see Ai armies that have one or two artillery pieces per good stack, including demi-culverins, culverins, bombards, serpentines. You will face Ottomans with a full Janissary corps: archers, infantry, heavy infantry. Catholics with pikes and decent halberdiers, Feudal Knights (quite often) and Gendarm cavalry in late.

    All this comes without compromising (too much) the tech tree choices - you still have a choice between what you build and cannot build everything everywhere. However, its all far more accessible for both the player and the AI factions. The idea is to get the right units for the right era on the battlefield instead of making them a teching up bait for the player as they sem to have been intended in the vanilla game.

    Additional tweaking has gone to missile weapons and now you will see that the AI can use better his xbows/arbs, arquebuses, handguns, javelins and even (once in a while) grenadiers/naptha throwers against you. I know, because he used them against me :)

    The rosters and building dependencies had their final tweak, as did all text descriptions that match the stats of the units correctly: what you read in the text is what you get. The AI factions come up with really decent stacks and they do press their roster and land advantages against their enemies.

    Nearly all factions have been set to expansionist that coupled with the -loyalty:180 setting in -ian makes them more dangerous while still stable.

    Again, all this cannot counteract the fact that the player can set up his faction very easily the first 30 turns. I like long campaigns, but admittedly, you can win within a single era, especially in early if inclined to fast expansion, and when i play thus (expert) i do win. However, try the 1 reign of king per faction game mode suggested, if you will. I have recently had one of the best SP campaigns of probably my entire MTW gaming life with this mod, when, after starting as the Aragonese, i took over a Byzantine Empire at the point of collapse against the Turks. I had about 4-5 battles in a period of 15 turns my Emperor's life lasted that were among the greatest i ever had in an SP game. The AI Turks were rich, strong, aggressive and bloodyminded and i had to play to all the strengths i had - of both my units and teh terrain to win some very bloody, Pyrric almost, victories that ensured the Empire continued to exist - that was a great gaming time :)

    Last but not least; if you would like to do personal custom modifications on the files accessed by the gnome editor (build_prod and unit_prod), by all means do so, but edit the files directly in the txt. The editor shifts the data columns everytime one modifies something (a thing of the editor, not a fault of my own as far as i know) and i have used that so many times, that now whenever i use it again, the game crashes because of it, if i edit by using the editor. Sorry about that, but that's the way it is, nothing i can do about it, unless i go back and make all the changes i did by now, by editing the file directly, which is way too much work only to have the files "modifiable" by the editor henceforth. Again apologies. You can use the editor, however, to find what goes where and what does what, if you are not familiar with the txt file you wish to alter, before proceeding to do the change directly in the file itself.

    One last note: the infamous Clansmen rebellion from factions and in places it should't happen persists occasionally (not always! once every full moon) despite the fact that i made the Clansmen explicitly catholic and Scotland only. It especially comes about in provinces with high rebellion (Portugal etc). However, there are no siege engine rebellions at all to my knwoledge; i simply took siege engines from rebel groups and that (seems) to have worked - never saw a single one of them since then.

    So, there you go, and just before the weekend :)

    I hope you enjoy this as much as i do :)



    PS By the way, this mod IS the intellectual heir to the pocket mod undoubtedly, and as stated, it was meant to be a joint venture originally between me and Caravel, and be actually much more "from scratch", and from "the ground up" than it is. I am also indebted to the org MTW community, including all of you in this thread and more. Thank you - i only give back what you gave me.

    Last edited by gollum; 01-21-2011 at 10:56.
    The Caravel Mod: a (very much) improvedvanilla MTW/VI v2.1 early campaign

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  16. #76

    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    Regarding the parameters affecting snowfall in the WEATHER txt:

    My guess is that snow is affected either by the precipitation values with conjuction with the temperature values, that are given individually per terrain basis, or by the temperature values alone. This, however, is clear speculation and i have no clue how it would work. I'd try first decreasing the temperatures a bit more in temperate and some less in lush and play some campaign battles in such terrains.

    Another, quicker playtesting way, is to do the same modification values that affect the custom battles, and try playing battles in different seasons. I haven't checked this, it is however possible that the two txt WEATHER files (custom and campaign) are different, as the former is related to mp and the latter to sp, the former has 4 seasons and the latter 2.

    To those who dare: good hunting :)

    The Caravel Mod: a (very much) improvedvanilla MTW/VI v2.1 early campaign

    Please make sure you have the latest version (v3.3)
    Since v3.3 the Caravel Mod includes customised campaigns for huge and default unit settings

    Download v3.3
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  17. #77

    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    Ok, coming soon, got to check with TosaInu, who is kindly providing the space for the mod.

    Once TosaInu checks it and teh upload is complete, i will update the signature and post#1 in this thread to notify all...won't be long
    The Caravel Mod: a (very much) improvedvanilla MTW/VI v2.1 early campaign

    Please make sure you have the latest version (v3.3)
    Since v3.3 the Caravel Mod includes customised campaigns for huge and default unit settings

    Download v3.3
    Info & Discussion Thread

  18. #78

    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    Quote Originally Posted by gollum View Post
    One last note: the infamous Clansmen rebellion from factions and in places it should't happen persists occasionally (not always! once every full moon) despite the fact that i made the Clansmen explicitly catholic and Scotland only. It especially comes about in provinces with high rebellion (Portugal etc). However, there are no siege engine rebellions at all to my knwoledge; i simply took siege engines from rebel groups and that (seems) to have worked - never saw a single one of them since then.
    I think this has something to do with the rebelling troop mixes. It happens a lot in mods that try to impose strict homelands. The clansmen appear because their unit is No. 1 in the unit prod file. IIRC you also get clansmen bodyguards for new factions if you fail to define a bodyguard type. They are in essence, the default unit.

    This problem might be solveable by changing their order in the file. As clansmen are not historically accurate for the period anyway, they could be removed altogether and replaced with a more generic, i.e. peasant unit and set as trainable only by rebels..

  19. #79

    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    In fact, i did take out all the rebelling values from the clansmen and they still keep appearing (again: occasionally). The only solution is, as you say, but, i'm afraid, its not something that will be in the current version of the mod.

    The Caravel Mod: a (very much) improvedvanilla MTW/VI v2.1 early campaign

    Please make sure you have the latest version (v3.3)
    Since v3.3 the Caravel Mod includes customised campaigns for huge and default unit settings

    Download v3.3
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  20. #80

    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    I remember doing the same with the same results. This still points to them being a default rebelling unit. I would check which provinces they are appearing in and ensure that there are sufficient rebelling troops in the roster for those provinces.

  21. #81

    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    Its something i will have to look into for version 2.1
    The Caravel Mod: a (very much) improvedvanilla MTW/VI v2.1 early campaign

    Please make sure you have the latest version (v3.3)
    Since v3.3 the Caravel Mod includes customised campaigns for huge and default unit settings

    Download v3.3
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  22. #82

    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    If I could get the game running I could spend some time looking into it, but alas...

  23. #83

    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    The Caravel Mod: a (very much) improvedvanilla MTW/VI v2.1 early campaign

    Please make sure you have the latest version (v3.3)
    Since v3.3 the Caravel Mod includes customised campaigns for huge and default unit settings

    Download v3.3
    Info & Discussion Thread

  24. #84

    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    Hey excellent work Gollum, I will try it tonight!

    I read all of what was relevant to the update (Will read the rest later) and I must say that it sounds wonderful - the closest anyone has come to my knowledge of creating a superior AI and I think you should be highly commended for it.

    I'll say more soon and play it also, time is fleeting just for now.

    Thank you!

  25. #85
    Member Member Stazi's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    Quote Originally Posted by gollum View Post
    However, this comes with all the added risks that are present in vanilla: questionable invasions often with faction leaders, at lands of high rebelliousness and small income etc. When the AI factions play against themselves, this is not always lethal for them, and i saw them more than once, building ports and taking their leaders out of there, and even the troops (they redictribute them after their hold on the province has made it "theirs" to other areas they needs them).
    What about making port one-turn, highest priority building for all factions? It should reduce problem the kings being cut off from their empires (in case of port destruction after conquer of the province). I know - 1 turn may be still 1 turn too late but it should help in some cases.

    Quote Originally Posted by gollum View Post
    My personal solution is to play my initial faction for the duration of a King's reign. Then, play another for say, the duration of two kings reigns. Then pick a third one and play for three or more. This is because, with the initial faction the player can easily set it up so strong that its set to become the dominant one. The second will take a bit longer, hence the two reigns duration play. The third one, might be worth it playing for more, as yu might find that longer is needed before you can set that faction to be a major power.
    I understand it may be challenging but it's not my play style. I'm a kind of perfectionist. Watching how AI is ruining my previous prosperous country - it could kill me.

    Quote Originally Posted by gollum View Post
    Nearly all factions have been set to expansionist
    I've been thinking about this for some time. I have to try other mods with "full expansionist" option.
    Damn, from the very long time this is the first time I really want play vanilla again. Thanks for sharing your ideas and for the mod.

    P.S. I can't find download link for the 2.0 version.
    "Do not fight for glory. Do not fight for love of your lord. Do not fight for hatred, honor or faith. Fight only for victory and you will succeed." - Uji sensei.

  26. #86

    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    Thank you Stazi and Glenn, for your kind words and enthusiasm. Let me in turn, share with all of you my enthusiasm: latest playtesting shows a campaign that is intense, dynamic and brings the potential of the vanilla game out more, just as i hope it would.

    Following fedback from Glenn and Belisario, ports now cost 300flrns and take 3 turns to build. I would like to keep the port for more than 1 turn to build, although i understand that this may cause additional trouble for the faction leader Ireland invasions. However, playtesting shows that the AI that does such invasions has money and fleets and trade income, and so it should work better now.

    Thank you for the suggestion Stazi, i'll go with the 3 turns and 300 flrns for the time being and see; if its not enough it may come lower, in the next version, or you can simply change that yourself :)

    As for you being a perfectionist, so be it, but you have to pay the price, the price being that you are losing a hell of a lot of fun :)

    Version 2.0 has just uploaded - there was a problem with the uploader from my pc, now its fixed, and so i await the administration to aprove the file. Won't be long now.
    The Caravel Mod: a (very much) improvedvanilla MTW/VI v2.1 early campaign

    Please make sure you have the latest version (v3.3)
    Since v3.3 the Caravel Mod includes customised campaigns for huge and default unit settings

    Download v3.3
    Info & Discussion Thread

  27. #87

    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    I'm afraid I will haven't time enough to prove the new version until next week. The adjustment of rosters and building dependencies sounds very good, I really want to see high-end units more frequently. Did you some changes to maintenance costs? I think that Byzantines suffer from the high maintenance of Pronoai Allagion, 250 florins in huge size.

  28. #88

    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    In fact, the pron cavalry is 250 from vanilla - that's one of the few i didn't touch in the maintencance costs :)

    The maintenance costs were a primary instrument in conditioning balanced stacks, and although you are all welcome to tweak them as you see fit, they are all co-ordinated for inter-faction stack and numbers balance as well.

    One such example are the maintenance costs of the siege engines (gunpowder and non-gunpowder): they were so cheap in maintenance that the AI was spamming them, as you all know. Now, its siege engine costs as much as a normal infantry unit to maintain (HUGE settings) about 70 to 100 florins, and teh AI has one per good stack at the most. The same thing happens with the naptha throwers; they are not spammed because they cost about 60something florins to maintain. The rest, i calibrated according to unit availability and unit stats.

    The approach of vanilla is to have very high building requirements, and very cheap maintenance advanced units. This helps tremendously the player who can tech up very quickly and desicevely in vanilla and it burries the AI, that is hopeless at navigating the tech tree for his faction (in fact he has no clue how to do that) and he ends up recruiting low tech units. Now, high end units are far more accessible to the AI, and so included in his armies. They cost though more to maintain, and so both AI and the player, cannot have stacks of elites only. Anyway, i think the stack composition and building dependencies are really working as intended.

    The Byzantines suffer from the great cost of their BGs first and foremost, that's what makes their armies meager; the AI thinks there is little need to make other units to win the autocalc with those full strength kataphracts. In the version that will be available within the next few hours, the Kat BGs are 20men non-scalable units, and that makes the Byzantines use all the range of their roster: tried and tested. They work much better now as a faction. Its true that their units cost more to maintain, but this is a follow up from vanilla, and also i think it should be this way: the Byzs should be disciplined, of so-so morale and outnumbered - at least they were thus historically.

    Just try the new version whenever you will and can Belisario, and the Byzantine armies is one problem you will hopefully find solved (and its my hope many others too :)

    Last edited by gollum; 01-21-2011 at 23:33.
    The Caravel Mod: a (very much) improvedvanilla MTW/VI v2.1 early campaign

    Please make sure you have the latest version (v3.3)
    Since v3.3 the Caravel Mod includes customised campaigns for huge and default unit settings

    Download v3.3
    Info & Discussion Thread

  29. #89

    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    Regarding AI faction personalities:

    Stazi, EXPANSIONIST its not the best setting for all factions by default. Its really good for factions that need to expand (including Aragon, Denmark and Russians, although it matters little in their case), like say the Almohads, the Turks, the Egyptians ie factions that have clearly defined borders and lots of cash, or for factions like the Sicillians that otherwise would stagnate. However, factions like the HRE and France disintegrate on expansionist and they make their neighbours disintegrate as well. They function better at defensive.

    This is all the more so if you play with loyalty less than 180 for the AI factions; then EXPANSIONIST is a disaster; the AI factions melt like butter on hot bread. The defensive personalities are way better for low loyalty settings for the AI factions (through -ian).
    Last edited by gollum; 01-21-2011 at 23:08.
    The Caravel Mod: a (very much) improvedvanilla MTW/VI v2.1 early campaign

    Please make sure you have the latest version (v3.3)
    Since v3.3 the Caravel Mod includes customised campaigns for huge and default unit settings

    Download v3.3
    Info & Discussion Thread

  30. #90

    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    Ok, version 2.0 is now available through the same links (in the first post in the thread and in my signature).

    I am updating the signature and the first post on the thread.

    Enjoy
    The Caravel Mod: a (very much) improvedvanilla MTW/VI v2.1 early campaign

    Please make sure you have the latest version (v3.3)
    Since v3.3 the Caravel Mod includes customised campaigns for huge and default unit settings

    Download v3.3
    Info & Discussion Thread

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