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Thread: The Caravel Mod

  1. #91
    Member Member Stazi's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    Quote Originally Posted by gollum View Post
    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).
    If I understand correctly loyalty:180 command means that AI has to keep loyalty in every province at 180% minimum, right? So it means low taxes or a lot of troops or good governor/king/buildings, etc? Are there any rebellions/unrests with this setting (rebellions caused by loyalty <100%)?
    "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.

  2. #92

    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    That's correct. if you play without this setting (or at a lower setting, say 140, 160 etc), the AI gets a lot of rebellions and he melts down with the EXPANSIONIST personalities. I reccomend to play the Caravel Mod (and in fact every other mod and MTW version) at loyalty:180, that makes the AI cautious of not leaving his core lands exposed to rebellions or to jumping like a grasshopper when taking new lands from other factions, because otherwise the ensuing rebellions really hurt him.

    Basically, what it means is that the AI factions are far more stable and advance more slowly, more viably and more wholistically (with all their strength), rather than opportunstically. In terms of taxes it ensures that the AI keeps decent garissons and so squeezes viably every possible florin out of his provinces.

    Rebellions are caused by loyalty less than 120%
    Last edited by gollum; 01-21-2011 at 23:50.
    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. #93

    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    Ok, after a mammoth playtesting session yesterday, i have noticed the following:

    -Rosters/AI stacks composition/Tech tree/building dependencies:
    I think in this respect the mod has met its goal almost fully now. If you enjoy vanilla MTW v2.01, but wished it was better balanced, the Caravel Mod will certainly not dissapoint you.

    -Silly Naval Invasions/Ships/Trade:
    The Ai factions (assuming always you play in huge and with -loyalty:180, hard/expert, so we are talking about the same thing) do use their navies quite productively, guarding their costs, disrupting enemy lines, making invasions (sometimes silly, but sometimes not at all), and make lots of money by trading. The Italians in one games built 3 Citadels by the late early era in their starting provinces and were making 2500+ per turn in Venice alone for several turns. In other games they do less extraordinarily, but still consistently good enough, and rake in high trade profits, as do many other factions that make it past a decent cash flow, decent enough to take it to the seas. The campaign, once the AI factions set up (which is slow enough that choices made matter at that stage) is quite dynamic and pretty comptetitive in terms of both war and in terms of naval activity and i would say that, within the context of hardcoded limitations and vanilla gameplay, the Ai factions press their advantages from naval use to their full extent. That doesn't mean that the problems you all know with trade and naval invasions are non-existent; it means that the early campaign in Caravel is, i hope at least, as good as it can be with what is given by the vanilla game (which is the goal of the mod).

    The port costing 3 turns to build and 300 florins certainly hepls the AI amphibious invasions to re-establish communications within 5 to 8 turns on average (10 at most, 3 at best). It also helps their initial effort to set up, admittedly 750 flrns and 4 turns that are the vanilla settings for the port were a little too much. Thanks to Glenn and Belisario for their feedback on this. I also noticed that ports built in previously invaded provinces were not pillaged when the province changed hands among AI factions, even if that occured multiple times and there was no fort/keep there. That is also encouraging and good news, since it means that the next faction leader that will invade Sweden, Wales, Scotland, Lithuania etc will have direct sea access right away. I also noticed (not for the first time) that the AI factions that make the naval invasions, do redistribute their leaders and stacks after a few turns of "hard occupation" in order to build basic infrastructure in their new province and cower the populace with a big stack. So, yes, silly invasions are a problem, but one that is much less pronounced within the context of the mod. Its impossible to do away with the problem without doing away with navies altogether, and this mod following vanilla won't be doing that. Anyone who whishes to play thus are free to change things as they see fit.

    Since the AI naval behaviour seems satisfactory, for the moment at least, in terms of results, i am not intending to lower the port build time/cost more, for the simple reason that then the player will be able to set up trade even faster, and so the AI will have to be given faster farm income to compensate for the player jumpstart, and lower shipbuilder times to get faster to the sea etc etc etc... in other words the infrastructure/economic game will be trivialised to a rush that takes so little and so quickly to do that its like it doesn't exist (its all up in a second), and this is certainly not what i want or what the vanilla game is like. Anyone of course who wishes to play thus are free to change things themselves.

    The mod will have another update within the next 2 days or so. I have taken time to look more deeply in the Russian roster, and now it has a far more distinct, historical feel to it and also is more complete gameplay wise. I have also done more minor tweaks that improve unit availability and so stack composition without compromising balance. Most of these will go unnoticed by anyone who played v2.0, but they do make a difference for what they are intended. Version 2.1 (fittingly :) of the Caravel Mod will be fully saved game compatible.

    Last but not least, the mod has incorporated so many changes now, that i would fully reccomend to play in domination only. GA mode is still available of course, but some GA goals may have been made harder, while others easier by the changes made. Domination, has the advantage that influence is hard earned and in the same way for all, as your ruler cannot get influence from completing the homelands GAs, that are far too easy for some factions and far too difficult for others, and that skews the game as King influence is an important part that affects rebellions, civil wars etc.

    Also, due to the many changes and their degree of coordination, you may find it hard to change the game without it crashing, and playing the other two eras available by the vanilla game would be either impossible (the game won't load due to units cultural restrictions) or very awkward (some buildings that the vanilla game depends upon are not made available etc).

    It appears that the best option is that this mod comes in the near future without GA, and with an exe self install that will take out the other eras' campaigns, as, (as i mentioned) they are very unlikely to properly work.

    Last edited by gollum; 01-23-2011 at 20:50.
    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

  4. #94

    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    Ok, v2.1 is 99.99% ready; i will be uploading either tonight or tomorrow and as soon as the administration aproves the file, it will become available.

    Concerning GA, the mod will be fully comptatible with them, as they are present in the vanilla game. There are two reasons for this: one is that i feel i need to stick with the initial vision for this mod, which is an improved vanilla game, and two is that lowering too much building times of unique buildings trivialises them for both the player and the AI. The management part of the game (again) becomes non-existent if unique government buildings and church buildings can be built in a flash, and so most of these have been returned to build times close to those they originally had. The AI builds them in "waves" - ie as he completes the tech line of all military buildings say castle level, then he might do the Chancellery etc. The AI also does not prioritise them, and he only makes them from the cheaper/quicker to build to the most expensive and only after he does the military line. So they are not a hindrence to his game, but on the other hand, if made too easily available and easy to build they will kill the gameplay for the player. Hence i returned to very close their original build times, as said.

    This means that GA is now fully available, and to be honest with you, i am very curious to try the game this way now as, with all the balancing, improvements, the AI factions playing way better etc etc taking up the French (say) for an early GA game must be a hell of a lot of fun (or just plain hell, depends how one sees it :)

    I have also started having an incredibly hard time to find something to tweak/change/alter/improve since last night. Knowing me, this probably means that the mod is nearing completion or is actually done. I am pretty certain that i hunted down all text editing mispellings, grammatical syntax mistakes etc etc and that what you read in the text in all units/buildings is what you get both in the battlefield and in the campaign map. I have also edited some of the existing texts by adding historical info for the buildings/units etc and i hope that adds some additional flavor to the experience of playing the game.

    If my enthusiam can be excused, i think that the mod now has met its goals, and if you enjoy the early campaign of the vanilla game, this mod can certainly give you many happy campaigns/hours in the strategic and the battlefield map. All the available potential of the vanilla game has been brought out to bear to the gameplay, as i hope people who are interested will discover and enjoy.

    Playtesting shows campaigns that are intensely contested and in which nearly all the AI factions can manage to become very strong at some point (not all of them in the same campaign of course), save for Aragon, the Danes and the Russians. However, in one campaign, even the Russians managed to expand to Muscovy and get out of debt (just before the Mongols came); this is something i consider akin to a miracle to be honest - but i am not sure whether the mod is entirely to be cretited for it :)

    The AI factions play to the best, of their (hardcoded) abilities within the vanilla context as far as i can tell; their rosters feel unique, historical and fully MTWish, and, assuming the factions have a decent cash flow, are used in their full extent. Speaking as a MTW fan that loves playing vanilla regularly, i am very pleased with this improved/optimised original game and really look forward to future campaigns in it.

    I hope the mod adds to your enjoyment of the game as much as it does to mine. Thank you, once again, for your interest and patience.



    PS Caravel i hope you eventually try it. When you get grumpy about ships and Sultans in Ireland, think thus: "I am playing vanilla", and nothing will come to harm you :)
    Last edited by gollum; 01-24-2011 at 20:36.
    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

  5. #95

    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    I've been playing v2.0 with the Russians during the reign of two Princes, and I've noticed some of the latest improvements. In the previous version AI factions rarely upgraded from keep to castle until the high or even late period, but now almost all AI factions have constructed at least a castle around 1140. I am thinking about switch to other faction as you suggest, and the precarious situation of the Byzantines is tempting me.

    And again thank you Gollum for all the effort that you've put into this mod, you can be sure it has been worth it.

  6. #96

    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    Thank you for your kind and encouraging words Belisario, and for your interest and feedback

    v2.1 will be up by tomorrow afternoon/evening, won't be long now. Therein the Russian roster is made complete and with a distinctly and historically plausible russian feel to it (always as vanilla allows). Many other small improvements in all areas are incorporated/build upon v2.0. Its certainly seems to be getting there :)

    Last edited by gollum; 01-24-2011 at 23:57.
    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

  7. #97
    Member Member Stazi's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    hmm..I'd like to know why all types of bows and crossbows have the same range?
    and a little suggestion - What you think about changing ballista parameters to PENETRATE on hitSoldier (and maybe hitTree)? It'll make ballista a little more useful and realistic. Reducing reload time may help too.
    "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.

  8. #98

    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    For the same reason most missile weapons have the same range in the vanilla game Stazi, gameplay balance. The only weapons that outranged others in vanilla were the arbalest and the longbow, and from these the arbalests was by ar the more lethal and common one. In Caravel, the arbalest does not have a higher range anymore but it has the same (and same higher) penetration etc it had, Basically all other bows/xbows have long range now. Stats of missile weapons weren't altered. Some units are given better weapons, but these weapons exist in vanilla. To be more precise, eastern foot units are given the composite bow ie the longbow and the mounted longbow is a nerfed version of the longbow. This may sound terrible and unbalancing etc etc however, not only it isn't, but it works well on the battlefield now. Catholics have their xbows that with long range that matches that of the longbow can fight it off.

    One of the problems of MTW is that its units had a lot of armor (3 to 5 on average for melee infantry, 4 to 7 for medium/heavy cavaly + shields!), but its normal bows that were the most widely used, basically a transfer from STW, weren't up to the task. How many times you tried to shoot an armoured spear unit with any foot bow units and found out... little to no result. From my multiplayer experience, i remember well that TW with weak missiles = rush game. Basically you can rush all your army accross open terrain with impunity to the enemy and so there is little to no reason to bother with missiles anyway, and this is the case with most normal foot shortbow units, especially in high and late.

    In Caravel, eastern factions have ap bows, gameplay is more cutting edge while equating the ranges (at slightly higher than in vanilla) allows for balance and for improved AI missile troop use.

    The range of xbows/shortbows was altered (slightly increased to match that of longbows and arbs), as the AI moves his missile troops around too much to make good use of them with close range. Play the battles now and see how they work for you if you will. If not, feel free to alter the stats as you see fit. However, they were the result of significant playtesting and tweaking, and so try, at least once, if you will to see how gameplay is intended in the mod.

    There is a recent post i did on the main hall about flat trajectory/long reload missiles. Basically, the problem the AI has is that he is using badly these (flat trajectory/long reload missiles). Such units have to be in front of an army to make a shot, but the player can engage quickly his melee line or harrass them with cavalry to the point they don't fire a single shot. I know because i do this all the time against missile heavy AI armies. The longer range does help the AI to make enough shots as for his missiles to have an effect. The player now may be drawn to a missile duel as charging head on may cost him too many casualties. In that context terrain (hills, forests) becomes more important as its more difficult to rush head on.

    One could make a historical argument about range etc etc whether the longbow is better than the composite bow etc etc however, the line has to be drawn somewhere and historical plausibility and gameplay have to work with one another, not one against the other. The last thing i want to play is battles like those of RTW that certain archers outrange/outgun others by far. You can obliterate the AI and win battles withuot even engaging your infantry - that is really bad gameplay. In MTW there were such battles too: those when i had arbalesters. Try to fight the Horde now and see what you get. The usual arbalests/spear combo will still work, but you may find yourself in trouble as the mongols have ap bows and the same range. Something similar may happen when you are fighting the islamic factions in the desert or the Byzantines.

    For proper gameplay, imo, you want most if not all missiles in the same range and in vanilla nearly all missiles (xbows, shortbows, mounted longbows) have 5000 range; only the longbow and the arbalest have more 6000 (in the original), but the longbow is English only and for that arbalesters dominated the MTW game in both SP and MP. If you read AARs, you'll see that most armies are "arbalesters and halberdiers" or "arbalesters and chivalric knights" etc that is arbalesters make up the core and are by far the favorite, and for good reason. This is of course due to the power and penetration, but mostly due to the (out)ranging. Now xbows are more viable overall as are bows (composite-longbows/normal), since they can inflict casualties on the arbalasters due to their matching range (all@6000). Gunpoweder missiles still have less range than bows/xbows, but longer than before as d javelins as do naptha grenadiers. I have received grenades much more than once now by Turkish, Almohad and Egyptian troops in my infantry line. Again these are slight increases and are proportinal to each other and keep the original game's in-between-them proportions.

    The bottom line of gameplay i aim for is that use of the units should be the deciding factor and not the "better" units with the better weapons etc. This is how things were best in multiplayer when i was playing online and this mod will follow that principle. You are all free of course to alter things as you see fit.

    As far as ballistas are concerned, there were indeed as you say historically massive xbows/ballistas used by the Islamic factions and the Byzantines. I thought to try to balance the unit out for battle use more or less as you suggest, and what you say is indeed a good idea, worth trying. However, there were so many other priorities to take care of in the mod that this will have to come at a later date, if it does. Feel free to mod and test the ballistas and share the results here if you will and like and we can talk about it again. Thank you for the interest and the suggestion/offer.

    Last edited by gollum; 01-27-2011 at 13:37.
    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

  9. #99
    VictorGB Member Trapped in Samsara's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    Hi Gollum

    Just to say I'm about 120 years into a 'hard', total domination campaign as the English. Am using one of your pre-2.0 Caravel versions with all your recommended switches.

    The game has been rock solid on my Radeon 9800XT using 4.11 Cats.

    It's been hard work. I managed to pick up three provinces, including the treasure chest that is Flanders, in the first couple of decades. I then had to pause and build, infrastructure and troops, before nibbling away, province by province, at the French, first and the HRE to get to the point, after a 100 years or so, where I could really get rolling.

    I am by nature a builder, not a rusher. So no complaints about the pace of the campaign. And it hasn't helped that I've had some total eedjit kings which inspired very low loyalty forcing me to keep substantial (read expensive) garrisons. Province loyalty is a permanent consideration.

    AI stack composition does seem much more balanced. Hurrah!

    I anticipate that now that I have some half-decent trade income (albeit laughable by comparison with other mods at a comparable point in the campaign), and having secured modern France, England and Wales as my core empire, my billmen and longbows are going to start blitzing the Iberian peninsula and the Baltic basin.

    Thank you and your collaborators so much. Am really looking forward to playing the most recent version soon. Shaggy, rough looking, Byzantines. That should be interesting.

    Best regards
    Victor

    Sapere aude
    Horace

  10. #100

    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    Hello victor! :) and thank you for this interesting account of your campaign, your kind words and your interest in the mod.

    Latest version uploads after i write this, and it would appear its the final one (deja-vu anyone? :).

    By turtling you definitely get more fun battles out of the mod and MTW in any case, as the AI has time to prepare armies or even consider attacking you. Rushing early with small forces in Caravel v2.0/2.1 is slightly more difficult than vanilla and earlier verions as provinces change religion slower and also the happiness bonuses are a little more gradually given instead of all at once in the tech tree as in the vanilla game. So, although rushing is most certainly possible, invading quite quickly requires a little more care, foresight and adequate numbers, or else will be a little more adventurous than before for the attacker.

    Version 2.1 is save game compatible, although a new campaign will make your game have the full benefit of all changes made (there was no province income changes, but many others affect among other things the early crucial part). So perhaps you might want to finish your current one before changing the files if in an interesting phase.

    Having said that, version v2.1 is really really better in all ways including polish. I in any case, as a player, i'm very happy with it, and can't wait to finally enjoy the labour modding the game has been :)

    So this is it, v2.1 coming up, i hope you enjoy :)

    Last edited by gollum; 01-25-2011 at 20:07.
    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

  11. #101

    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    Forgot to mention that latest version maintains all vanilla pieces on the campaign map and all artwork.

    Thank you for the confidence vote victor, but Stazi's reply made me realise that this was the wrong move to do. I aimed for an improved vanilla and so i better keep it looking like vanilla.

    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

  12. #102

    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    Have uploaded already and waiting for the administration to aprove the file, and as soon as i get the admins reply that its available i will let you know, and update the signature and post#1 to reflect v2.1 availability...
    Last edited by gollum; 01-25-2011 at 20:18.
    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

  13. #103

    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    Ok, v2.1 is now available. Thank you all for your patience and to org and TosaInu for hosting.

    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

  14. #104

    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    Baargh! Envy!

    Between the calls of life which are like in power to the angry waves, and my Byzantine campaign - I have not been able to sit down and play a campaign in 2.0.

    I really want to! I say to myself; 'Yes, this evening we are relaxed and have time, but let's first make headway on the new update for the AA- ZzzZZzzzZzzzzzZZZzzzz...'

    Thank you Gollum for this, I do in fact believe it to be more suited to my tastes than MedMod, since your mod provides more of what I am looking for when I turn to Wes' work. That is, better, challenging AI and gameplay.

    I will write more when I have some experience of it - and I await the final version of your final version!

  15. #105
    Member Member Stazi's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    I don't have time to play now but I've checked unit prod file and found some interesting changes e.g:

    1. All crossbow units got armor piercing weapons. Why? And why no other ranged units got it? Answer is probably balance but I can't see the balance in this.
    2. Now the only difference between all types of bows is armor modifier and most of the foot archers use longbows, hmm...
    3. All provisional bonuses are gone. I'll miss them. It was a really nice strategic element.
    4. No artillery for revolting armies - very good idea.
    5. Cost of artillery - more historically accurate but if it will be worth to use? We will see..
    6. Kataphraktoi has only 20 soldiers! This is unforgivable

    This mod is so different from the others that I'll have to try it as soon as possible. I'm a little short of time now so maybe next week..
    "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.

  16. #106

    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    Thank you Glenn and Stazi for your kind words and interest.

    Glenn, play if an when you like and in your own time. There is no rush.

    Stazi:

    1. Crossbows/arbs are armoured, have poor morale (0), a tiny attack (-1), are slower than archers and fatigue faster (due to having more armor) and their missile weapons which are flat trajectory/long reload that require them to be in front of an army to shoot. Archers when threatened can skirmish/retreat behind their melee line and shoot from there, but crossbows often cannot (although as discussed previously the long range will help them do better); this is all the more for AI pavise units that are slower because of their shields. Since the Ai is poor at protecting them and moves them too much around, he ends up frequently using them to attack spear units and also resorting to hand-to-hand with them, when they are charged by the player's cavalry or caught by the player's infantry. Its for these reasons that they get an ap attack that will improve their survivability and usefulness at the hands of teh AI by a tiny bit - the attack rating (-1) is low enough to ensure that. The alternative was to increase their attack stat, but they die relatively slowly in melee already due to their armor and increasing the attack may have started to make them more powerful than missiles should be - i dont want units that can fulfil two roles at once, because obviously they make other units redundant/useless - in other words giving them the ap bonus was a compromise. The idea is to make them slightly better at the hands of the AI, while at the same time, this better not being an exploitable advantage at the hands of the player.

    I've done some tests in custom and i got encouraging results, i mean that the tweak seems to work as intended. If, however, in the long run it turns out that it gives in fact more of an advantage to the player that it improves the AI performance of them, be certain that i will take the melee ap bonus out. Or it may turn out that regular xbows and arbs do not need the ap bonus. In that case it can be left to the pavise versions, and taken out of the normal xbows.

    2. Yes, that's right. Shortbows used by catholics have a very slight ap effect (-10% of enemy armour), then mounted longbows have a slightly higher ap efect (-40% of enemy armour), and finally foot composite bows/longbows have the -50% of enemy armour of the "longbow" designation of weapon. There is a second difference and that is the speed of the arrow. Shortbow is lowest, then its mounted longbow, the the foot compositebow/longbow. This parameter determines teh arc of the missile, less speed more arc. Hence, an arrow from foot comp/longbow will reach the target first, from a mounted longbow next and from the shortbow last due to low speed/high arc.

    This makes a difference on the battlefield in MTW. Archers in the medieval battlefield were not marksmen - they were sort of mobile artillery. They all fired a shot at the same time at the general direction of the enemy at a pre-determined angle, and the game models that very well with its drag-free physics engine. In MTW units that move are less likely to be hit by missiles - the engine calculates that, unlike in RTW/M2TW that moving does not have an effect while being hit by arrows. Anyway, If archers are made too accurate, gameplay will suffer - and many people mod the accuracy of the weapons. This mod does not do that. All acher units have the same accuracy, and this also helps in balancing them out against one another.

    There is no reason why unit A of that faction be more accurate than unit B of the other faction. Again, it should be unit use, and not the better weapon/units that decide the outcome of battles, and this is the intention. Most missile weapon parameters are weapon related parameters; accuracy and lethality which are the most readily modifiable have very little reason to be different from bow to bow - they rather express the class of weapon, that is the bow, more than different bow types and you can see that in the original file, that significant differences in those are from weapon to weapon (ie from gunpowder firearm to bow to xbow/arb to grenade to javelin and then to the siege weapons).

    Regarding inter faction balance between missiles, the catholics have (long range) xbows from early + short bow archer units and later arbalesters, while the eastern factions have composite bows (the vanilla "longbow" and a nerfe mounted "longbow" for mounted missile units). The intention is to give to the easterners ap composite bows with which historically they fought, while at the same time keep the balance of the vanilla game and i have played enough battles now to say that it works as intended. Only the Almohads have the best of both worlds, ie xbows an arbs and composite bows as a compensation for the lack of decent heavy cavalry in their roster and that they historically adopted tactics and weapons of the Iberian Christian Kingdoms they fought against and of course the English.

    3. Yes provincial bonuses are taken out. I in fact miss them myself, however in MTW/VI 2.01, the AI is pre-determined to build up the infrastructure that would get him the unit that gets the bonus in that province and then he stops there. Do an autorun campaign in vanilla and notice that Provence (south of France), rarely gets more than fort level castle. This is because Province gives +1 valor to peasants, and peasants are trained by the fort. So the AI builts the fort and stops there. This is of course not very good for him, because Provenece is quite rich, as is say Constantinople that the AI builds to up he can make kataphrakts and then abandons. Without the bonuses, the Ai sticks to develop his more rich and more teched up provinces much better and to completion, than with the skewing effect from the provincial valor bonuses. So, they are out :)

    4. Very good idea indeed. Since then i haven't seen a single siege weapon rebellion.

    5. Maintenance cost of artillery has a much more practical reason than historical accuracy. Its now for all siege weapons (gunpowder or not) about 60 to 100 florins - depending on the weapon. The reasons is that the AI trains units on the basis of the (training cost)/(maintenance cost) ratio it appears to me. So units that have a high such ratio, like the naptha throwers, the siege weapons etc he spams because of it. By bringing the ratio down to closer to those for other units the Ai builds one siege weapon per good full stack at the most ie siege weapons in AI stacks are really balanced now. This works as described, tried and tested.

    6. I know, i know, but, the huge meintenance costs of the Kata units was not allowing the Byz to develop their roster. The AI was thinking that there was little point to train other units, as he was calculating (correctly) he could win the autocalc with the jedi kataphraks. However, this was stagnating their cash flow and was unbalancing their stacks that were having mostly the katas and little else. Since i put the kata BGs to 20 men like other factions the Byzzantines work perfectly as a faction and i am looking forward to play against them as the Turks, teh Egyptians, the Hungarians and the Sicilians. Their stacks include their full roster, including Varangians and Byzzie cavalry which they now train regularly.

    This mod is different, yes. The idea is to bring the gameplay potential of the vanilla game to fruition, have fun and challenging campaigns and fun and challenging battles above all with plausible historical feeling/setting. Balance is a key ingredient of the mod, while trying to retain all the flavor and the MTWish feeling.

    This mod is not about more factions/units/provinces, not about new graphics, not about more historical accuracy than the game has, not about impossible challenge. There are plenty other mods that do these things and they are pretty good at that.

    Thank you for your interest, and i hope it adds to your enjoyment of the game



    PS Stazi, the Polish Retainers now are really worth it ;)
    Last edited by gollum; 01-27-2011 at 13:22.
    The Caravel Mod: a (very much) improvedvanilla MTW/VI v2.1 early campaign

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  17. #107

    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    I must say this mod is quite wonderful. I have not had time to try the newest version (2.1), but the first version was a nice change of pace from most other mods.

    I have one suggestion, and that would be to lower the overall number of cavalry per unit. 80 man knight units on huge is just a little unwieldy, and I feel as though reducing them back to forty man units would be more accurate since knights were more historically rare, and easy to use on the battlefield.

    I could do this myself for my copy of the mod, but I thought I would bring it up, and see what everyone else's general thoughts were.

    Good work on the mod though!

  18. #108

    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    Thank you for your interest and kind words Tristrem, i hope you enjoy.

    Thank you for your suggestion, which has a definite historical point, but i must decline, as i would like to keep the ratios of unit strength between cavalry and infantry to those of the vanilla game. They affect both balance and reckognisability of the game, and i am keen on it being readily recognisable for anyone who has played vanilla.

    If you haven't played on huge before, its possible that this is temporary and soon you'll get accustomed to it.

    So, yes, feel free to make the change yourself. The BGs Knights are small units, but the reason (of the vanilla designer) was most likely that since the AI factions get them without their will (everytime a heir is borne), its better they cost less to maintain so they don't unbalance the cash flow of the Ai factions.

    If you will and can, try when you have time the latest version (v2.1). Its much, much, better than v1.0 and far more polished. If you liked v1.0 you most certainly won't be dissapointed.

    Last edited by gollum; 01-27-2011 at 13:40.
    The Caravel Mod: a (very much) improvedvanilla MTW/VI v2.1 early campaign

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  19. #109

    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    Reagrding xbows/arbs having an ap attack:

    I have made much more melee tests with these units against medium melee units (FMAA) and light melee units (UMs) and the tests show that the ap attack makes hardly any difference at all.

    There is a possibility that the ap attack will be more pronounced when the AI controls the xbows/arbs due to the dfficulty bonuses (do they get extra attack points from expert and hard? i remember about morale but can't remember about attack). But that can't be bad - it only will force the player to attack them more properly (charge them properly, use the outnumbering morale bonuses etc) in order to dislodge them.

    The other possibility is that the ap bonus will make some impact on the performance of those units when they are upgraded with the weapon upgrade, and from the +1 attack they get for every valor point - but then again, so will their enemies.

    In any case, it seems that at th moment, i can't see anything too bad with it. If anybody finds out that xbows/arbs perform annoyingly well in melee, then i can certainly change that - as soon as you report it :)

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

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  20. #110

    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    Regarding unit size of feudal knights as suggested by Tristrem interfering with campaign balance:

    The problem with making the Knights half size, is that immediately this will drop their maintenance to half. This may lead the AI to "spam them" which will inrefrere with AI stack composition. It could besidestepped by halfing the size but doubling the maintenance cost which will give the same (training)/(maintenance) ratio, as so will lead (hopefully :) the AI to make the FKnights as often as he would normally do.

    Huge setting cavs will feel a bit unwieldy if you are coming from playing normal all the time, and they require some adaptation to their size in terms of control. However, eventually (after 1/3 of a campaign i'd say) the "problem" is solved and you can deal with using the larger sizes. larger sizes have many benefits for the strategy part of the game, but they also make the battles more spectacular and more decisive - you usually have less number of units to use and if you make a mistake there are fewer and less space (as space armies take is larger and so distances from flankto flank say longer) to cover it up. They also require skilful micro to maneuver which is another plus. Flanking occurs in flanks, and it is in flanks of battle lines that a lot of micro is required. Melee lasts longer due to the larger sizes, and chain routes and morale outnumbering bonuses are more cutting edge due to the large numbers involved.

    Last edited by gollum; 01-27-2011 at 13:10.
    The Caravel Mod: a (very much) improvedvanilla MTW/VI v2.1 early campaign

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  21. #111
    Member Member Stazi's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    Quote Originally Posted by gollum View Post
    Reagrding xbows/arbs having an ap attack:

    I have made much more melee tests with these units against medium melee units (FMAA) and light melee units (UMs) and the tests show that the ap attack makes hardly any difference at all.
    You won't see any difference when fighting with low armor units.
    AP forumula is (armor - 1)/2 for foot, and (armor - 2)/2 for horse. And, shields don't count when making this calculation.
    It's rounded down so the bonus +1 for attack starts with 3 armor foot and 4 armor cavalry. You have to start a fight with at least 5 armor infantry to see any difference. IMO now xbows will be useful for flanking heavy armored units like kata, gothic or chivalric knights. Say +5 for flanking (or +7 rear) , +3 for AP, + 3 if in wedge ... nice. I'll probably change my favorite pavise arbalesters for the faster shieldless version.
    btw I didn't say that this bonus is a bad idea. I only wanted to know the purpose of giving such a bonus to units like xbows. Thanks for the very detailed info. I really appreciate it.

    About unit size. I personally don't like the bigger unit size. Most of the maps are small and with huge units there is not much space left for tactic, only frontal charges.
    Last edited by Stazi; 01-26-2011 at 21:41.
    "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.

  22. #112

    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    Hello Stazi,
    The formula is well known and when presented like this it shows that the attack rating of the unit isn't involved in the ap effect, but it clearly is. Its a different thing to flank with UMs, and a different to flank with Varangians or Ghazis. Try as you might to flank high armor units like katas, but with attack -1 of the xbows or arbs is not going to be very effective used as you describe.

    I will think about this, and test some more, and see what to do.

    You can play in any size of units you want although the campaign is balanced and playtested for huge, so i reccomend that.

    MTW maps are actually very big for the fatigue rating of the units and in terms of space; some of the maps are used for 2v2 and higher in multiplayer. There is lots and lots of room for flanking in huge - you are probably just not used to it, like the vast majority of people play normal, and once you change the maps feel small.

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

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    Since v3.3 the Caravel Mod includes customised campaigns for huge and default unit settings

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  23. #113
    Forever MTW Member Durango's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    OK, some ideas and feedback.

    1. Region bonuses - Yes, +1 valour bonus provinces are clearly detrimental to the AI. However, like Stazi says, they are a very
    nice way of having certain regions be of extra strategic value. I sure enjoy "something to shoot for". The solution to the AI not teching
    up the provinces beyond the requirements for the bonus unit is a tricky one to find, and I have been contemplating how to do so for
    some time now.

    One way to do would be to clone units into certain region specific versions of themselves, if there are extra unit slots to spare. With
    this system, you would edit the new units to have better stats equal to 1 valour, and rename them according to their origin. Urban
    militia trained in Tuscany would become Tuscan Urban Militia, i.e. a "Region-Name" format. They could also be set to have a higher
    AI preference in the unitprod. All, in all, it would be a matter of using about two dozen extra unit slots to achieve the effect.

    Perhaps the campaign map could show the changes as well, similar to the way that bonuses and trade goods are marked on the STW
    campaign map.

    2. AI costs and preferences - Are you sure, Gollum, that the computer makes decisions on what to build based on cost and
    upkeep? Personally, I have been a bit reluctant to changes the vanilla ratio/balance too much for fear that the AI would bankrupt itself
    training units it wants despite them being prohibitively expensive.

    3. Royal BG costs - What I have done in my home mod is to make BGs non-trainable and have them cost zero in upkeep. Not only
    is this greatly helping the small factions manage their economy, but also level the playing field between the player and AI, since the
    computer does not retrain his BGs anyway. Is this also the approach taken in the Caravel mod?

    4. Unit sizes - I believe that MTW is balanced for Default unit sizes in the battle mode. For one, you can only raise the camera so
    much above the ground, and having larger units gives you less overview due to seeing less of your forces at the same time. Furthermore,
    the maximum frontage of men is limited to about 60 men IIRC, and I remember being annoyed that my missile troops and swordsmen
    could not spread out sufficiently thin playing on Huge. Thirdly, only some of the battle maps are large and spacious, while quite a few are
    fairly small. The terrain, I think, is also optimized for Default.

    However, I do concur with the advantages gained on the campaign map by playing on Huge, as I have raised the cost, upkeep and
    training time to 2x, while keeping the number of men the same.

  24. #114
    Forever MTW Member Durango's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    Quote Originally Posted by Gollum
    There is no reason why unit A of that faction be more accurate than unit B of the other faction. Again, it should be unit use, and not the better weapon/units that decide the outcome of battles, and this is the intention.
    The most likely reason for differences in accuracy would be different quality of training, I guess.

  25. #115

    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    Thank you Durango for your interest.

    About valor bonuses:
    There are various work arounds but they take long to implement and they never achieve teh full effect of letting the AI free to build what he wants were he wants it. Thank you for the suggestions and ideas, but i have playtested and tweaked the campaign around this assumption, and changing it now would maen to change everything all over again, and playtesting it. I might do one or two minor stat tweaks depending what i decide about the ap attack of xbows/arbs, and two other things i noticed, but these are three very very small changes, that will go unnoticed anyway - the mod is practically finished.

    About costs and preferences:
    Yes, i am absolutely certain, it works as described. Just try teh campaign and see for yourself. You can try it in autorun if you are not interested in actually playing and you can see that.

    About BGs costs:
    Yeah, that approach sounds strangely familiar to me :) I decided to follow the vanilla game and retain small BG units (20men), with a uniform cost of 65 florins, as are the Royal Knights/Ghulams for all factions. So are the kataphrakts and the Russian BGs - the mongol heavy cav is too cheap for its class and teh Horde in any case is a different case altogether, and i am happy with how it is in Caravel. The benefits of the approach you mention are indeed many, but this mod is meant to be an improved vanilla and i decided to do it while keeping it as recognisable as possible with the vanilla game, when there was a choice. The approach you mention certainly excludes AI factions to get into debt from BGs maintenance costs, and that is its strength. It also helps the AI factions that are 1 province only to gain forces as they get heirs and then use them to expand eventually and set up. However, it deviates from the way factions behave and are played in the vanilla game because of it, and so i decided to follow the core game.

    About unit sizes and battle performance:
    Battles are most certainly not balanced for default - there is enough space that (many of) these maps were used in mp to host 2v2 and 3v3 battles online and CA would never make maps that would be useless if more factions or more men were on the battlefield anyway - it woud make the maps bigger than default needed them to be, so they can accomodate the more men online and from higher unit settings.
    The terrain not only is not optimised for default, but its not optimised at all - the maps on average are just huge for the fatigue rates/walking speed/scale of units. Only STW maps were optimised for the fatigue rate of units. The only reason it seems that it is, is because most people play normal - and i used to be one of you guys and thought the same. You are all free to play the game/mod as you enjoy - i reccomend how its intended to play because that's how i playtested it, but it can also play diffrently. All are free to customise their game, and most people in the forums play their own mods or mods of mods for that reason.

    Regarding differences in accuracy:
    If you read the post you quoted, i state my case that accuracy and lethality are weapon attributes and not unit attributes. Training/experience are reflected in valor (valor afects missile accuracy and high valor missiles are more accurate) that is given through general's command stars and through battle kills. It can also be purchased on the campaign map; in Caravel you have to build th Military accademy to get valor bonuses however :)

    Bonuses in general are better kept to a minimum, otherwise the game becomes a little upgrading race for the player (to win) on the campaign map that then wins him battles by way of better valor, better weapons etc. I understand that many people play thus and enjoy, and in part i do too, but the AI doesn't know how to get the best out of the bonuses and navigate them. So i'd rather play more equal footing battles than have differences here and differences there that i can exploit to beat the game. The aim of the mod is to have better battles and the best way to get better battles is to get on a more equal footing with the AI in terms of bonuses/advantages etc etc.

    This is one of the main ingredients of the mod, but of course you are all free to alter things/choose mods as you see fit.

    Last edited by gollum; 01-27-2011 at 13:43.
    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

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  26. #116

    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    Also, Durango the huge unit size can be certainly played with the allowable camera, however the caravel mod is also reccommended for play using -ian (to add the -loyalty:180 and -green_generals) that allows you to zoom out (or in), as well as get any angle of view, as much as you want in the battle map.

    Regardless however, battles are not about seeing where your units are at all times, but knowing at any time where your units are (and what they are doing). In mp you also don't have time to see everything all at once and its more in how you filter the flow of information from the interface and the perception of the units' position in space and time at the dynamics of the battle that guides you - vision is your RAM, while percpetion of battlefield your cpu, so to speak, and you don't need to see all units in the battlefield at all times to lead your armies. Of course its more difficult in huge because spaces between units are greater and armies take more space and require a wider sweep of vision to be seen, and so understandably people are finding it hard, especially at first. But that doesn't mean that the battlefield experience is optimised for default unit settings.

    One useful setting that helps sweeping faster the field of campera vision in to increase, to teh point you are comfortable, the camera rotation and translation speed. This is available from the standrad Options menu in the game menu. I think its from "Game Controls".
    Last edited by gollum; 01-27-2011 at 13:05.
    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. #117

    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    Regarding the weather:
    Snowfall seems most likely linked to precipitation values in the file, and so there is considerable chance for snowfalling on snowy terrain now, as precipitation is increased. The terrain with higher chance for snow is Temperate and the presence of it abounds in the map of the Caravel mod, so players of teh Caravel mod will get more snow and snowfalls in their battles.

    If you like the weather modification, you can also use the modified WEATHER file in your own modifications or in other modifications for MTW/VI v2.01. It should work, and you get the benefit of that in the mod of your choice or in vanilla.

    Last edited by gollum; 01-27-2011 at 12:43.
    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

  28. #118

    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    Quote Originally Posted by Durango View Post
    What I have done in my home mod is to make BGs non-trainable and have them cost zero in upkeep.
    This was actually one of my original ideas from the Pocket Mod. Nice to see that you've adopted it.

    The approach also has it's downsides. It provides the player with lots of free heavy cavalry units that cost nothing to support. If you go one further and give them the full vanilla cavalry unit size (40) this makes those free units even more viable, especially if you leave dismounts in, and makes units such as feudal knights and chivalric knights almost obsolete. If you leave the units at 20, the AI still suffers as they make very easy targets. It's somewhat of a a dilemma and I doubt the perfect system exists.

    Personally I think the Byzantine and Russian/Novgord BG units works better. It keeps the support and training costs, but gives a larger more worthwhile unit to the AI.
    Last edited by caravel; 01-27-2011 at 13:59.

  29. #119
    Beauty hunter Senior Member Raz's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    In most of my (theoretical, experimental, and likely-never-to-be-released) mods, I've always made bodyguards like this:

    - bump up the attack
    - drop defence skill significantly
    - bump up the shield value to 2 or 3 to compensate (marginally, should still be weaker in defence than the vanilla equivalent)
    - regular cavalry size
    - no upkeep + untrainable.
    - tagged as the most defensive and reserved troop possible (Unit Class - column 18 in unit_prod)

    the overall weaker melee defence reduces the Jedi general effect.
    the bumped up shield and extra soldiers improves survivability vs cheap missile attacks.
    the shield also doesn't add to the effect of heavy armour fatigue in desert, can be used for desert oriented factions (it's assumed that the general's BG has the best ventilated armour money could buy at the time :D).
    the extra attack and reserved status makes for a unit used more as a last-ditch attempt for a decisive blow in battle by the AI (which is utterly heroic coming from the general).
    the already mentioned perks of non-trainable + no upkeep.

    Some of these effects are mostly assumed from rudimentary testing. I needn't remind you that a lot of my past modding was experimenting with the boundaries of the game and radically changing the units and their vanilla roles.
    It would seem to work in theory, I've never tested how reserved and defensive the AI would use it and just how powerful its offensive capabilities should be, but that's the general way I've always wanted to make the bodyguards.

    Just my 2 cents. :)
    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.

  30. #120

    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    Thank you very much Raz for your interesting suggestions

    In fact i generally follow everything you do in my home mods as well, except the higher atack/nerf defence which makes sense if you give more men to the unit to compensate. The higher men indeed improve survivability against cheap missile attacks, like sniping/targeting the enemy general/king with xbows and arbs/bows en masse and having an easier battle and an easier campaign at the same time by killing him.

    However, i wanted this mod to be recognisably vanilla in terms of gameplay hence i followed the vanilla 20 men, non-scalable, which though, as in your suggestion are non-retrainable (you can't train BG units in Caravel and all are unique and apart from the other cavalry of factions). This takes away from the player the luxury of retraining his BGs and forces him to pay attention to them, as the player suffers as the AI suffers from non-replenishable princes' BGs.

    I like very much the idea to change the AI unit setting of the BGs to the most conservative defensive unit possible, and i am interested in testing it and perhaps even incorporating it in the Caravel mod if it really works, in which case i will give you full credit for it.

    The potential drawback, is that the AI then may underuse the unit and miss perhaps his chance to win a battle if he had used it more assertively. But all this is speculation and it needs testing to find out what would happen. Which Ai unit setting would you suggest as the most conservative?
    Have to play quite a bit of custom to find how it will work, and it will be some time from now, as i kind of had enough of modding by now for the moment :)

    Again, thank you
    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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