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Thread: Analysis of the New Patch v1.02

  1. #1
    Member Member Khan7's Avatar
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    Okay, I've been looking it over, and I have some comments and questions.

    Cav

    First of all, about Cav-- the general paradigm for modifying these guys seems to have been a concept of "Cav charges, but loses momentum and sucks", and putting all of the emphasis on the charge. I however am not sure if this is supported by historical evidence. We can look at any of hundreds of major battles in history that have involved Cavalry comparable to that which is simulated in this game, and the melees have a tendency to last at least fifteen minutes if not an hour. If the greater portion of cavalry's power was derived from its charge, then it is hard to see the advantage in its being used in this way, and hard to see how it would last that long against a variety of foes and still come out victorious.

    I believe the mental illusion of such the all-powerful cavalry charge could easily come from the fact that in many cases where it is used correctly, it is saved for the final, critical moment in battle, where there is a weak spot or an open flank in the enemy, and where the sudden application of force from the cavalry will end it all and bring victory.

    So needless to say I was quite happy with the charge-melee balance in the original stats. I didn't see, and still don't see, any need for these bonuses to be so much higher. I could be wrong, though. This is more of a question, such as "how did you come to this conclusion?". It could be that it's all fine and dandy anyway, but I am quite curious as to the impetus for the change.

    More Cav

    Another Cav question-- the speed of Cav has been upped.. but its manueverability has gone unaltered. It had seemed to me that a Max Turning Angle Whilst in Motion (from now on referred to as MTAWM) of 8 was much too low for the Japansese Heavy Cav, which when compared to Western Cataphracts is "Heavy" only in name, and really closer to (though probably better in general than) "Heavy Cav" of Alexandrian and Roman days. With the Real Deal I increased this to 32, so that they were still a bit clumsy but now had more manueverability and power. It would seem to me that any comprehensive cavalry reform would have to deal with this issue in *some* form, as it is an extremely critical factor for cavalry and has always been messed up IMO.

    Similarly the UBER-effectiveness of Mongol Heavy and Light Cav is directly attributable to their UBER-high MTAWMs. They both have MTAWMs of 128, which effectively makes them GOD. In the planned Mongol-Era expansion for the Real Deal Mod the MTAWM of the MHC would have been reduced to 64, as obviously these guys are good but I have a real problem with believing they're THAT good, I mean they've got a good deal of armor and weaponry strapped on to them they're not going to be doing backflips or anything like that.. this is and would be an even more excellent way of both balancing the MHC and bringing it more into line with reality.

    .

    Naginata Infantry

    Alright, now to the Naginata Infantry-- I in particular have big problems with the changes here. Basically the approach was to make them into a ridiculous caricature. They were already a caricature. Now they have a melee bonus *lower* than YS. Please people, I mean a guy with a Naginata, a nimble and deadly weapon, no matter how much armor he's got on, is going to have a higher killing rate than a guy with a long spear locked into a rigid formation.

    I really have big problems with this new "cement block" paradigm for Naginata Infantry, primarily on realism and game flavor levels. I mean if this were a fantasy game that would be done in big, cartoony colors for the kids, a unit like this would be fine, but in this context I find it to be markedly ahistorical and indeed rather distasteful.

    BTW in the Real Deal (not to plug it neces., just to provide contrast) Naginata Infantry was given an important place by increasing melee to 1, decreasing defense to 5, and making Yaris both more important and quite unwieldy, and putting WM in a more appropriate role, so that NI was (a) a wieldier, if slower, alternative to Yaris, and (b) the only cost-effective FRONTAL Yari-busters.

    YS

    Also-- Yari Samurai still down at armor level 2, same as YA, which still doesn't sound right to me, if only in terms of realism (you think a Samurai won't manage to scrounge up a *bit* more protection than some poor peasant conscript?). Again, just for contrast, in the Real Deal the YA/YS balance was dealt with in other ways.

    Guns

    And a question about guns-- in the Projectiles.txt that I got, Arquebus was given a power of 8.0, twice the 4.0 of the musket. I like the new figures, indeed it's quite a coincidence that the gun power in the Real Deal is 6.0 (the arith. mean).. but what, are you trying to add more relevance to Arquebusiers now? I don't have enough specific historical knowledge to say yea or nea on this, but I'd like to know your reasoning.

    Crazy Sohei

    And Warrior Monks are still out of whack!! Come ON people! Nuf said about that one.

    Ok ok, I will contrast it with the Real Deal, in which WM melee power was reduced to 3, making them still the deadliest footsoldiers out there, but best if not used against the full force of the enemy's spears, and more vulnerable to the new HC. This was parallel to a reduction in the effectiveness of No-Dachi (largely for historical but also for gamebalance reasons), so Warrior Monks have a real niche and are feeearsome, still.

    All walk at same speed?

    One more question.. why make all inf and all cav walk the same speed?? If you want them to keep together you just group them before you give move orders. I liked this system. Now it appears as if it will be necessary to run and thus tire your men in order to take advantage of superior manuevering speed for WM etc. Comments on this please.

    Praise of v1.02

    Okay now, a quick overview of what I LIKE about it (sorry I've been saying mostly negative things so far ):

    -Gun balance may have been nailed straight on. Excellent. Still uncertain about the higher Arquebus penetration relative to Musk though.

    -An attempt has been made at Cav reform. IMO not necessarily a full success, but at least the problem was acknowledged and addressed.

    -No-Dachi were toned down a bit (melee down from 6 to 5). Good to acknowledge the imbalance, but from my own experience and based on actual history and realism, it would make more sense to leave melee as it is and cut defense drastically. This is my opinion anyway. It is hard to deny that they should be more marginalized on historical/realism grounds at least.

    -Large number of plain and simple *bugs* fixed. Score!

    -Unit size editing capability. Thanks for pushing for that one, Erado & Co.!

    -Javelins brought into line-- finally. This is a very necessary change and appears to be well-implemented.

    -Run/Charge speeds fixed-- nice.

    -the BN changes appear to be pretty good. I never really messed with the unit myself anyway, but perhaps they will be more appropriate now. I like the armor reduction, though it seems as if their melee could use some weakening too (but then I've never messed with these guys much so I can't comment much).

    -Upgrade costs increased-- Yay! I never felt good about the original upgrade paradigm. Hopefully now it has been balanced.

    Suggestions for futher improvement

    And now some suggestions for further improvement--

    Well, for gosh sakes do something about spears! We all know they were the dominant troop type of the Sengoku era, it's time for them to take their rightful seat! We also all know that they are by their nature quite unwieldy, and UNUSUALLY dependent on good order and um not getting flanked.

    Currently all of the infantry units are equal in their maneuverability. WM = SA = YS = ND = NI = YS. How BORING! Add some texture! Up the defense of YS (and YA), and curtail their MTAWM to 24 or below.

    In the Real Deal YS defense went up to 4 and their MTAWM went down to 12. YA defense went up to 2, melee down to -2, and MTAWM down to 8. This also brought YA into their proper historical role, though they would still be less cost-effective due to their lack of armor and lack of morale and slight maneuverability disadvantage.

    With all the changes made to other units in the Real Deal, spears become a critical asset, only replaceable by NI (which has HCav vulnerability). Spears also are more difficult to use, and the importance of *thoughful* maneuvering and watching your flanks increased exponentially. No more sudden turning to meet a flank charge, at least not with your Yaris . Disorder and such become very significant factors. Anyway, this is just providing an example of how it *could* be done, if you wanted to do it..

    .

    Cav could use further improvement. It is still unmaneuverable. And MHC is still uber-maneuverable. Never underestimate the *exponential* effect of MTAWM on Cav.

    I also have some issues with making JHC into more of a brick (defense up to 7). I think it is rather crazy to have them be so surviveable, as I said before they are not cataphracts. Contrast to the Real Deal, in which it was made into a 6/3/3 unit (with the MTAWM of 32). More fluid and hard-hitting, die considerably faster. Cav never has been or will be defensive, this fact is fundamental to their nature (and I'm talking about all eras all regions, including the modern one).

    .

    It might be fun and kind of wacky to mod Early Japanese units to simulate the actual weapons-types and doctrines and disorder of the era. I had a shot at this, but never got beyond the prototype stage.. yet.

    .

    .

    And anyway.. that's it for now! Congrats to you if you actually read it all! Overall good job, Erado, Tera, Tosa, Krae, et al. And thanks be to CA that some new options have been added.

    Matt
    .

  2. #2

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    Khan7,

    All of your points are well taken. While we tried to have historical arguments for any change, we also wanted distinct roles for the different units, and those roles couldn't differ much from the original game. Some units like NI and JHC were defensive and had to stay that way even though they are unhistorical.

    The turning behavior of the units was looked into, but we didn't get to it in time, and couldn't throw it in without adequate testing. Since it does have an impact on melee results, it should have been done in the beginning. A solution to the unwieldy cav is probably in those turning stats as you suggest.

    The YS is the cornerstone unit of the game, and changing that would mean redoing the whole game which was not our mandate.

    The arq is considered to have a higher calibre bullet, and better at penetrating heavy armor.

    It looks to us that the price increase to 550 koku along with the improvements to JHC and NI solved the monk rush problem.

    The argument for making walk speeds the same was that armies tend to stay together when they walk. The fatigue problem has been fixed. So, if you want to run, you can do that now without severe disadvantage.

    Cav is certainly the most controvertial change. An argument can be made for less charge and more melee, and that would have been fine with me, but we went with this and it does make for interesting play.

    We found that it's quite easy to make a unit too strong, and thereby unbalance the game. Achieving a good balance so that no one type of army dominates gameplay was the objective. At the same time, single player was checked to make sure that didn't deteriorate. Single player appears to be stronger now.

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    [This message has been edited by Puzz3D (edited 11-28-2001).]

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  3. #3

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    I forgot to mention that the armor on YA has been dropped to 0.

    MizuYuuki

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  4. #4
    Member Member Khan7's Avatar
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    Yes, I very much understand the limits of your mandate etc. etc. etc., which basically constrains you to somewhat timid changes. This makes sense and I have no objection.

    But then, with the "official" version operating under such constraints, does that not leave room for an alternative, historically-based version?

    How does this sound? Possible now, that the patch is out and all, no? If we're going for a historical/realism based version, the Real Deal Mod is a good place to start.

    Of course history and realism doesn't mean sacrificing balance. It is my personal theory that the best way of achieving a more satisfactory balance is to conform more to the actual, as that's as pretty durn balanced, simply by the nature of nature.

    Anyway, thoughts on this please. I've been ready to go on this project for months. If it can now be brought up to requisite manpower and resources, it can move forward, of course without presenting a "threat" to the established standard.

    Matt
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  5. #5
    the goldfish Senior Member tootee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Khan7:

    Naginata Infantry

    Alright, now to the Naginata Infantry-- I in particular have big problems with the changes here. Basically the approach was to make them into a ridiculous caricature. They were already a caricature. Now they have a melee bonus *lower* than YS. Please people, I mean a guy with a Naginata, a nimble and deadly weapon, no matter how much armor he's got on, is going to have a higher killing rate than a guy with a long spear locked into a rigid formation.

    I really have big problems with this new "cement block" paradigm for Naginata Infantry, primarily on realism and game flavor levels. I mean if this were a fantasy game that would be done in big, cartoony colors for the kids, a unit like this would be fine, but in this context I find it to be markedly ahistorical and indeed rather distasteful.

    Matt
    [/QUOTE]

    I think the troopstat number shouldn't be taken individually, e.g. NG has a lower melee compared to YS. If you have NG vs YS of same honor, NG will win out due to better net (melee - defend) value compared to that of YS. It just probably means NG kills slowly. So it is still historically correct, I think.

    Altough I've not the time to try out the patch yet, multiplayer gameplay should be much more interesting now... hopefully.

    .. and say, so how long can a musk ammo last now? 10 mins of constant firing?

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    Member Member Khan7's Avatar
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    That's my entire point tootee, Nags should kill faster. It is historically and realistically undeniable.

    I wasn't even brushing on net melee ability. Sorry for the confusion.

    Matt
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    Nagis have a defense value of 8, which is the highest in the game, which is important. They are not much of a versatile unit, as other units are.

    To get the best out of them, used them only defensively. This means on hold and standing, while other units attack them.

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    Member Member DoCToR's Avatar
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    Ok,

    I urge people not to read too much into the troopstats file, but rather to actually play with the adjusted units. After all it's how they play, not how they look that counts

    Take the cavalry for instance, their relative balnce with the other units in the game has essentially remained the same. Increases in charge have made up for the decrease to attack and defence values. As long as the cavalry are attacking, them essentially the same results will happen.

    HC, on the otherhand have received an all-round boost. A HC created in the SP campaign has +1 def and +1 arm resulting from the armoury. This has been incorporated along with the increase in charge which increases their offensive ability too. They are now relatively better than before and pack a big punch to all units other than YAri troops. Beware excessive users of WM and NC, the new HC can now easily take these units down a peg or 2. HC taisho's work very well.

    The Nags as Tera suggested are holding troops allowing the user to buy some time. They provide a barrier to offensive shock troops allowing other friendly troops to flank. They will beat ND, YS, YC and many others plus last a long time against tougher units. Don't use their troopstats as an idea that they can't kill, try them instead. Believe you me, these guys will humble many units.

    Remember that these stats are primarily intended to balance and enrich the MP game. You can still use your own preferred stats in the SP campaign and play the game how you feel it should be played. For instance, i quite often enjoy playing the SP game with big, but weak YA units to simulate the amount of YA that were used in the SJ period.

    But for the MP game, at least for the competitive battles, there has to be some kind of standard and we feel we've come up with one that's good. You can apparently play yer modified troopstats in MP friendly games as long as all parties are using the same stats?!


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    Member Member BakaGaijin's Avatar
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    Khan: Whenever I read your posts, I can't help but recall my Homeworld days. I remember problems with "The Swarm" and the ridiculous capabilities of Support Frigates, and the subsequent attempts to solve the problems through modding (which naturally worked far better than anything Relic, for all their game design talen, could come up with). I released a bunch of fine-tuning mods for that, and I was much like yourself. One of a few, where the rest were content to play the standard game.

    I understand your Holy Cause, but I must also admit that I've never felt a great desire to modify Shogun. It really is a pretty good balance, and it seems to be even moreso with WE 1.02.

    Not to knock The Real Deal, of course. It sounds like you're doing some seriously interesting stuff with it. Keep it up.

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    Khan7,

    There certainly is room for an historically based mod to become an alternate standard of play. I'd like to see it, but I don't know to what extent people can work together to come up with a single end product. It's pretty easy to plug numbers into these stat files, but testing how they play is very time consuming. Now I have time to take the Real Deal for a spin. I'll let you know what I think from a gameplay perspective because I'm not an historian. For online play it might be good not to use upgrades, and play with all H2 or H4 honor, and possibly some unit limits or ratios as Yamaga does in his ruled battles. For now I'll just give it a try in the campaign.

    MizuYuuki ~~~
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    Senior Member Senior Member Kraellin's Avatar
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    khan7,

    boy, yer almost as long winded as me :)

    as a general reply to your questions and differences, the bottom line is in gameplay. and it is improved. it may not be historically perfect and it may not even be the best possibe for game play either, but it is workable and does play much better now. a great number of things were looked at and we took some pretty wild tangents at times. at one point i had guns opening fire at 5 tiles away. later i knocked this down to opening fire at 3 tiles and a much longer reload. a little research shows that guns of that period would have, at best, been serpentine type and reloads would have been 2 minutes or more. they would have hit hard, had a longer distance than any bow and have a huge shock value (morale hit) on troops. at one point i also tried to make heavy cav into elite taisho cav of 18 or 24 men somewhat like the daimyo's elite guard in the campaign game. we looked at making 'peasant' units that had many more men in them than other units, just for the sake of realism. had we done this we would have had to drop the 120 men unit option from the game. we also had very little info given to us from CA, thus, we had to tear all this stuff down ourselves and figure out how it worked. the gun model is somewhat weird all by itself and presented some nasty little problems. and we frankly still dont know what 'frequency' does, though my best guess on this is that it is the frequency of misfires, but, it's just a guess. we also had a number of deadlines that had to be reached. it wasnt just one deadline, so certain things had to be done by certain times. there was also more than one patch due to CA fixing things on the fly as we modded on the fly. guns alone took almost two weeks all by themselves. and as others have mentioned, we had certain mandates and not just from CA. we also had to be able to 'sell' anything we did to CA and to the players and not greatly change the nature of a unit as originally designed by CA.

    is everything historically accurate? no. does everything conform completely to the game manuals? no. does the game play better and were the goals and mandates achieved? absolutely. i think we actually somewhat shocked CA in that we didnt just tweak the guns to make them weaker and tweak the mongol heavy cav and make them weaker. we tore this thing apart and rebuilt it in the time we had to do this in.

    things like infantry speed and cav speed are now actually based on real world standards with consideration to armor weight and what it would do to speed and mobility and whether or not a unit would actually be more physically fit than another. we also calculated actual distances on the maps and used two different models there since we didnt quite agree on this. we also worked in metric and standard units, which could get quit confusing at times :) if you look at the troopstats file and the various stats you wont see any mention of whether those footspeeds are in miles per hour or kilometers per hour. and no other stat has a designation on it like this either. so we had to figure this stuff out and in some cases just guess or supply our own values. i also made a model for figuring out turning/mobility speeds but it was just too late to add in by the time i got it done.

    we also didnt know at first if things like the anti-units stats could be re-done and if so, then what did they actually do. when we finally found out from CA what that file does we dumped that entire project. we had to figure out what 'length' does. we had to figure out how the power and accuracy curves worked for guns and other missiles. were guns modeled the same way as bows or did it use a different routine. things like changing the proximity threshhold couldnt even be looked at till very near the end because we frankly spent so much time on other stuff that i barely had time to figure out what the bloody thing was used for. this wasnt just a matter of tweaking a few stats; we had to figure out how things worked so that we could set them to work and interact correctly. you cant just tweak a few stats with guns and have them work right. the gun model is VERY fussy. you have to KNOW how it works to be able to control the various facets like overshoot, friendly fire kills, trajectory and arc (which affects the fire behind hills thing), range vs speed, accuracy and what it REALLY does, power and what it REALLY does, what affects the open fire range and is that different from the directed targeting range, how come i'm getting more kills at longer range than shorter ranges, etc, etc, etc.

    given another 6 weeks, i'm sure we could fine tune this thing even further. we didnt have another 6 weeks. things like mobility tweaking had to be sacrificed. complete historical accuracy had to be sacrificed. extended gun ranges had to be sacrificed. larger peasant units had to be sacrificed. an elite guard was sacrificed. hehehe, and even the thunder bomber mortars were sacrificed :)

    all of the above was done with one thing in mind, make the game play better. and, we didnt, contrary to what a few have said, make it just play better in multiplayer. we also did have folks testing campaign games. one of the mandates was 'dont wreck the single player game'. the single player community is far larger than the multiplayer.

    as for things like the naginatas and cav charge vs cav melee, you may be absolutely correct. frankly, i think cav did suffer in melee, but that's more an opinion than a proven fact. i dont know. nags are a weird unit when just looking at the stats. i wanted them with a touch more melee also, but was made to sit in a corner till i thought better of the idea ;) if you read the game manuals, nags shld have better melee, no question about it. guns shld have a longer range than bows, no question about it. but the 2 saving graces are, the plays a TON better than it did, and, you can now mod the thing the way you want and even more so than before!

    i never go into these things thinking i'm going to make the 'perfect mod'. i dont even try. what i aim for is 'make it better than before'. i believe we've done that :)

    last night i played in a 3v3 online with friends. this was the first game i'd played with the new stats with players outside of the mod team. this was absolutely the best game play i've seen since playing stw, we/mi. the battle raged for a long while. cav could go out and do their thing without getting instantly routed. infantry held positions nicely. shock troops shocked. guns killed. bows killed guns. units would rout, but had a chance of rallying. the staying power of units vs their routability was quite sane. morale hits made sense. isolated units, cut off from the main body were easily routed if not supported quickly. the game finally made sense to me. things worked right....it 'had a good feel to it'.

    could it be better? yup. but, that's your job now :) i look forward to seeing some of the mods that come out now. we've a good base model to work with now and even more things we can change than before. so, i look forward to you defending your changes rather than us defending ours ;) we'll try and be kind ;)

    K.


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    Member Member Gothmog's Avatar
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    I have test-played some last night as Takeda on expert, oh God I LOVE the change for the cavalry!

    The huge charging bonus made them so effective in breaking enemy formation, but they will suffer high casualty if the ground troop managed to survive the charge. Both are historically accurate, IMHO.

    The role of 4 kind of Japanese cavalry seem to have shifted quite a bit.

    HC is now indeed the most fearsome cavalry of all JC. I was able to use them to cut through Yari infantries like cutting through butter. With a bit flanking of course, but they now perform much much better than before.

    CA's running speed has been boosted (just a little bit slower than YC), made them ideal for hit-n-run tactic.

    NC is now toned down quite a bit. The problem is, HC/NC/CA/YC combo seem really weird. CA, YC always have their distinct roles, but HC/NC should be just one. In the previous versions of WE, they basically replaced HC with NC, but now with boosted HC stats, and reduced NC stats, we have a grey area again.

    YC is still important. They are good in chasing routed troops, quick flanking and cavalry killing.

    ------------

    Now a side question: Should I put YC in "hold formation" when charging at other cavalry for Yari bonus?

    [This message has been edited by Gothmog (edited 11-28-2001).]
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    Member Member DoCToR's Avatar
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    heheh yes Gothmog, i love the new cavalry too

    The main difference between HC and NC is that NC will kill much quicker than HC, but also die quicker themselves. They also have a higher morale and so can work away from the main group similar to the infantry shock troops. HC will murder them though and since HC are harder to kill they are more useful than NC in a number of situations. It's always worthwhile to have 1 or 2 HC in yer army now

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    Member Member Khan7's Avatar
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    Okay, evidently you all have been misinformed about a few things, and I don't blame you, but I feel I must set you all straight

    A typical day of me working on the Real Deal:

    *tweaks a unit*

    *sets it up in 1v1 combat*

    *watches it*

    *doesn't like it, tries it again*

    *watches it*

    *tries it again*

    *watches it*

    *ALT-TABs out, tweaks a stat, goes back in and tries again*

    *watches it*

    *takes fifteen minute break to meditate and agonize on the situation*

    *goes back and tries it again*

    *decides he likes it*

    *sets up another match-up*

    *watches it*

    ...
    ...
    ...
    ...
    ..
    ....
    ......
    *sets up a matchup with several units on each side*

    *watches it*

    *realizes one of his underlying premises was crap*

    *starts over*

    ....
    ...
    [repeat 100 times]
    ...
    .....

    *stumbles off to bed at 3am*

    .

    Okay, perhaps that's a bit of an overdetailed portrayal, but very accurate believe me. When you people say things like "anyone can tweak a few stats" and "the hard part is getting the stats to match and balance" and stuff like that, my first reaction is for my blood to boil a bit, frankly.

    You people really obviously have no idea how many dozens upon dozens of hours I put into my Real Deal. How much consideration, thought, and actual real testing went into each change. The flaws that exist, and believe there are plenty, can be largely attributed to the fact that *I* made the thing, and I made it *alone*, and please believe me when I say that *I AM VERY MUCH MORTAL*.

    Now obviously you guys have put similar quantities of work into all of the stuff you have been doing, and I appreciate that, and that is why I haven't been going around thumping my chest. I truly respect your dedication and skill, and the fact that you all have been here with the community and working on various project much longer than I have. Please understand though that I have shed enough sweat and lost enough sleep over certain aspects of this game to stand with you in certain respects.

    .

    Anyway, Krae, if you are looking for some of my changes to *ravage* or whatever, please feel free to take shots at my Real Deal mod. It's been there for ages. *I HAVE TAKEN IT AS FAR AS I CAN*. Please do take shots at it, so that it can move forward. If I continue to be the sole author of the thing, it is doomed to stay right where it's at, and I know there are many things that can improve, probably things that I myself haven't even thought about yet.

    .

    Anyway, from what I hear, it appears that you Mizus have acquired an excellent feel for the projectiles.txt file. This is excellent, I know that I don't know it *that* well. And I have said that the changes you've made to guns really impress me, though I would have to interject that I don't quite see the historical evidence to justify the concept of the harquebus being more powerful. In fact I thought the Musket was not supposed to be a real musket at all but just an improved harquebus. But overall you've probably provided a model for any modding I'll do, as I know I never really tested or got into the whole projectiles thing and was very nervous about the few tweaks that I had made.

    .

    As for Cav's properties, I believe I shall pull a few articles and dates to argue that point purely on historical/realism grounds.

    .

    As for all this concern with metrics/feet/relationship between game values and actual values, I will humbly hypothesize that perhaps you are missing the forest for the trees on this one. I personally think it's better to start with an image of what you want, and tweak stats and test test test to see if it's good enough. This sort of thing defies scientific quantification, for real, IMO.

    .

    Anyway, I'm off.

    Matt
    .

  15. #15

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    Gothmog,
    Hey, that's great to hear that you like the cav so much! Definitely use the cav's speed to get flank and rear charge attacks which gives them an additional combat bonus. You don't need hold to get the yari bonus. That will actually work against most of the men getting in their charge bonus on the enemy unit.

    I played in that 4v4 with Kraellin last night, and one of my NC that rampaged along behind the enemy lines came out of it with 278 of my 891 kills. If not contained, the cav is extemely dangerous. The one musk I had tagging along got 5 kills. The guns are still very strong if you try to rush them, but they are not the devasating unit from a distance that they used to be.

    The ai can really hurt you with this cav as well because it's programmed to make flanking maneuvers with it. I was blown away in a custom battle when the ai blindsided me with cav.

    MizuYuuki ~~~
    Clan Takiyama ~~~

    _________Designed to match Original STW gameplay.


    Beta 8 + Beta 8.1 patch + New Maps + Sound add-on + Castles 2

  16. #16

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    Khan7,

    Sorry, I wasn't suggesting that you didn't do a lot of playtesting. I was speaking for myself, and, having just finshed spending something like 300 hrs on this present patch, I'm not anxious to jump right in again.

    Having an overall vision of the finished product is most important or you just go around in circles changing stuff. If that specification can be put into writting, it becomes a guide to work by, and ensures that everyone involved is working toward the same result.

    You completely misinterpreted what I said. I don't have time for the type of rant you just posted. Krae was kidding with you, and you took offense. Seems to me that any collaboration between you two is doomed from the start, and he basically agrees with the points you made.

    MizuYuuki ~~~
    Clan Takiyama ~~~

    _________Designed to match Original STW gameplay.


    Beta 8 + Beta 8.1 patch + New Maps + Sound add-on + Castles 2

  17. #17
    Member Member Khan7's Avatar
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    Look, I apologize. I tried not to sound to offended, but evidently I did. I apologize, that I do have a bit of a chip on my shoulder, and that it may on occasion boil over just a bit. I shall spare you all an explanation of the obvious origin of this chip.

    I shall try and keep a smiley face and a rational outlook whether or not I'm being taken seriously. I thought I was doing a decent job, but obviously I slipped. My apologies.

    Matt
    .

  18. #18
    Senior Member Senior Member Erado San's Avatar
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    Khan,

    the way you describe that test session is pretty much how the past 6 weeks have been. Plus, we had the 'advantage' that after you thought you had it right one of the other testers came up with yet another factor that completely undemined you theory and hard work and you had to start from scratch again.
    A voice from the past is heard in the lands...

  19. #19
    Member Member Lord Toranoga's Avatar
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    "we also had very little info given to us from CA, thus, we had to tear all this stuff down ourselves and figure out how it worked. the gun model is somewhat weird all by itself and presented some nasty little problems. and we frankly still dont know what 'frequency' does, though my best guess on this is that it is the frequency of misfires, but, it's just a guess."

    With comments like this, how can we properly mod this game if C.A. won't explain what everything is and does!

    I really would love to know EXACTLY what honour does. Eradosan said it basically raises the melee and defense by 1. Why would you need that function when you can raise and lower them already individually????
    I assumed it was morale. If Eradosan is correct, then NC has a real melee value of 12 and defense of 9. Why not put honour to zero and plug in 12 and 9 for melee and defense?????

    How can you set a units morale then????

    Since CA hasn't given me answers;
    DOES ANYONE KNOW 100% POSITIVELY WHAT HONOUR DOES IN THE TROOP STATS AND WHAT FREQUENCY IS AND DOES?

    [This message has been edited by Lord Toranoga (edited 11-28-2001).]

  20. #20
    Member Member Khan7's Avatar
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    Okay guys, look, bottom line--

    Your work is good. You appear to have balanced the game quite a bit, and put a great deal of thought and work into it. I have issues with many of the changes, but I also like many of them. At the same time it is impossible to deny that the game has been improved considerably. As you have pointed out, realism is not your ultimate guide, but this is fine.

    The Real Deal mod has been ready for initial distribution for over a month. It is a worthy piece of work. Forgive me if I view your patch as a bit of a newcomer to the mod scene.

    Whenever and if ever all of you elites feel the RDM deserves hosting/attention/whatever, is fine. I will simply go and hibernate until this point.

    Adios,

    Matt
    .

  21. #21
    Senior Member Senior Member Kraellin's Avatar
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    khan7,

    "Okay, perhaps that's a bit of an overdetailed portrayal, but very accurate believe me. When you people say things like "anyone can tweak a few stats" and "the hard part is getting the stats to match and balance" and stuff like that, my first reaction is for my blood to boil a bit, frankly."

    understood. it really wasnt directed at you personally in any of my statements. just a general statement and was certainly NOT meant to invalidate anything you've done.

    "You people really obviously have no idea how many dozens upon dozens of hours I put into my Real Deal. How much consideration, thought, and actual real testing went into each change. The flaws that exist, and believe there are plenty, can be largely attributed to the fact that *I* made the thing, and I made it *alone*,..."

    actually, we probably do :) and, i do appreciate that you did this on your own. we were fortunate in our mod group to have folks that took different avenues of approach to things. me, i like to tear things apart to see how they work. yuuki is a true workhorse on testing. when he says something is this way and he got this result, there is NO dispute. tosa is a like a badger with an attitude. when he gets on track with something there's no pulling him off it. he has godd ideas and has a decent handle on history. doc...well, we liked him so much we made him a mizu :) so, yes, we had some advantages there. but the same strength that numbers bring also bring that many problems with it, so i wouldnt lament too much the fact that you worked alone ;) like i said, there were times when we were pulling each other's hair out as well as our own.

    "Anyway, Krae, if you are looking for some of my changes to *ravage* or whatever, please feel free to take shots at my Real Deal mod. It's been there for ages. *I HAVE TAKEN IT AS FAR AS I CAN*. Please do take shots at it, so that it can move forward. If I continue to be the sole author of the thing, it is doomed to stay right where it's at, and I know there are many things that can improve, probably things that I myself haven't even thought about yet."

    i really was just kidding about that, khan7. we were never trying to upstage you or compete with you or anything else and i did consult your real deal stats when i started looking at the mobility stuff. i sorta like the spacing thing and sorta not. i like the idea of tight units, but i also dont like that another unit cant move thru it...i forget if yours prevent this or not, but i did read a thread where this was discussed. i think this is one where i would sacrifice reality and history for game play if it did prevent other units from going thru a unit...but that's just a style preference. i did look at the spacing on some of the other units as well and was tempted to mod some of the cav. if i recall correctly, the mongol cav is pretty loose. and i did work up a formula for changing the turn speeds, but again, it was too late.

    as for the projectiles stuff, yes, we did get into that quite deep. we had to. what we found was that guns in particular suffer from the current model. they cannot be set as we really wanted them to be and CA was unwilling to devote the resources to re-model them, which, frankly at this point, is quite understandable. part of the reason my longer range, more historically accurate guns didnt make it into the patch was that the curve of power to kills doesnt work quite right and this shows up at longer ranges than at short. thus, you could end up with guns with a longer range that shld kill way less at longer ranges, but dont. so, they got scrapped. from the research i did on muskets, the dutch arrived in japan in the 1590's. at that time the only 'gun' the dutch had was the 'serpentine'. this did have a very long range relative to bows and did hit harder than bows. it was also VERY slow to reload (two minutes or more) and VERY inaccurate over 50 or 80 yards or so. so, CA did take some 'literary/creative license' on this one. we were thus, not mandated, but certainly influenced, as to what we could or would do with guns. even both game manuals state that guns shot further than bows, but because of all of the above, they shoot the same distance. hopefully CA will re-model this for Medieval.

    re the cav stuff, by all means do. my personal opinion is that cav do suffer a bit in melee. a yari on a horse is hard to manuever. a najinata is better but is still a blade on a stick and it's much harder to protect both sides and rear and the horse itself while up on a horse with that sort of thing. a sword has good mobility, but suffers in reach while up on a horse. but a horse, all by itself, raises charge value. add in a decent pointy stick (lance) and this becomes pretty fearsome when charging. frankly, i wanted to give ys a better charge value too. all those pointy sticks coming at you in formation would scare the bejeebers out of me :) also, did you ever notice that cav speeds add to actual combat values? try it sometime. take a horse at its current charge speed and then reduce just the speed of the horse, not the charge value, and notice the difference in kills.

    "I personally think it's better to start with an image of what you want, and tweak stats and test test test to see if it's good enough. This sort of thing defies scientific quantification, for real, IMO."

    well, real world standards provide a basis for working with. nothing more. it adds some consistency when you say that the maximum value a horse can run is this, and then you start subtracting some of that speed based on what armor it has and so on. it also makes it easier for everyone in the group to make the changes they want and simply adjust the other parameters based on those standards. we did this with ALL of the footspeeds for infantry and cav. thus, if we added a point of armor to a unit we had to subtract some speed. in the original stats there were some real inconsistencies to this that just bugged me to death. knowing how far across in feet or meters one tile is allows you to also figure out gun ranges, bow ranges, footspeed, overshoots, where friendly fire takes place or not, who's on first, what's on second and so on. it just adds some consistency and organization to what can otherwise be pretty confusing at times. there's nothing wrong with your approach either. we were fortunate in that we had both types of folks in our group; some went by feel and some went by what i'm talking about. i tend to be more of a 'logic/modeling' type of person. i want things to be consistent and logical and based on real world, but this approach can sometimes break down badly with all the number crunching, so you also need the guys that go by 'feel'. magyar and kocmoc provided this in a large way for us. tosa tends to go this way too, i think. yuuki seems to combine the two methods pretty well, and i'm not sure what doc uses...divine intervention maybe? ;) there are all sorts of approaches one could take on this. if your method works for you, then hey, great.

    one other big advantage we had over any single person doing this was that we had someone to test with online. the ai in custom sometimes gives very odd results. it doesnt use guns very well at all. it can do screwy things at times and the best test is always in a controlled environment. trying to control the ai is like trying to control a single drop of falling rain in a rainstorm. in some instances we had to set all footspeeds to 0 to keep the ai from bouncing around :) the ai also changes tactics game to game and it can get hard to tell how things are working game to game. there were a whole lot of online tests of 'ok, you bring up that unit and i'll bring up that unit and we'll square them off and see what happens.' or, 'ok. set your guys on hold now and we'll try it again.' and none of this is meant to say that you didnt do the same things or didnt test comprehensively or anything of the kind. we're really NOT attacking you here, so quit taking it that way :) ...ok, that was an attack ;)

    ok. i'm sure everyone's getting bored with this now and it's a damn good thing the .org has nearly unlimited space, so, i'm outta here :)

    K.


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    I'm sorry, but i never apologize.

  22. #22
    Member Member Khan7's Avatar
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    You may have a historical point about Cav. While we do see many instances in which Cav is engaged in long melees (for instance on particular isolated incident at the Battle of Bannockburn where 300 Cataphracts tried for an entire hour to break a Scottish schilltron), but there does seem to be an emphasis on hit-and-run and mobility. For instance, the first Battle of Tannenburg, where Knights of the Order participated in a ten-hour-long battle, but one that basically went in the sequence of "charge!.. slice, slice" and some melee for maybe fifteen or more minutes, then withdraw, reform, and charge again. But even here we see the melees lasting quite a while, at least relative to the impression you evidently are working with.

    And it also deserves mentioning that the nature of the Total War engine, where units *CANNOT* walk backwards and are seemingly *glued* together when in combat, really doesn't allow for the kind of falling back, withdrawals etc. that were the norm for both infantry and cavalry of all ages. Even cav fighting against clumsy foot is "glued" to them so that they can't get away without taking it up the butt.

    I would also have issues with the idea of a catclysmic cavalry charge. Give me historical examples of when a flanking cavalry charge *alone* had a fast-acting, "cataclysmic" impact. All of the examples I have tend to afford cavalry this kind of effect only when it is used at a critical moment against an enemy already engaged and worn down. Even the Knights of the Order at Tannenburg charging against unarmored and poorly armed East European tribesmen were not instantly effectual, and indeed were eventually overcome and surrounded.

    It also bears mentioning that the Cavalry in STW is not heavy in a medieval Western sense, rather probably closer to the heavies of Roman days. They are not cataphracts.

    Anyway, thinking on it more, it seems as if some increase in charge value is probably positive and realistic. IMO it should *eventually* be combined and balanced out with a maneuverability increase.

    Okay, one more thing that bears saying, is that an increase in melee power can be justified by the Cav's ability to pull back slightly when in combat and do another "mini-charge". As I understand it the "official" charge bonus only applies to a full charge at the initiation of combat. Food for thought. Tell me what you think.

    .

    Understood Krae, that you're not trying to compete or anything, nonetheless the RDM has been at least temporarily sacrificed for the sake of the patch. This is a bit aggravating but as I said I'm cool with it and I understand.

    Anyway, suppertime..

    Matt

    //P.S.: What's your e-mail anyway, Krae? Or perhaps Puzz. There may be a couple things I would want to e-mail to you, even if you're so sick of numbers you won't look at them for a while.//

    [This message has been edited by Khan7 (edited 11-29-2001).]
    .

  23. #23
    Senior Member Senior Member Kraellin's Avatar
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    khan7,

    i'll fully admit that i'm no historian. if you say cav would melee better or not, i wouldnt really be able to argue the issue. what occured in the mod team was that when we got around to 'fixing' cav we already had more or less 'fixed' infantry. we then had to balance cav against infantry and against the other cavs. so, at this point, history became of secondary importance to game play. it really was pretty much that simple. we still had to go back and tweak some of the infantry and then go and tweak cav again and back and forth a bit, but by then we're starting to look only at the numbers and game play and historical accuracy takes a dive or not, but it does suffer any further looking at.

    if we'd had a year to do this and could have started by MAKING one truly accurate unit and then taking every other unit in turn and balancing it against that one stable unit, it prolly would have been a lot closer to historical models. but that would have taken thousands of hours to do correctly. we had no such luxury.

    and what you say about backing up from a battle and doing another little mini-charge is quite interesting. i've noticed in the game at times that the ai will actually do this with some units in some circumstances, but not always. i'm not quite sure why, and what all those instances are, but i have seen it. more investigation along those lines could prove fertile ground for modding.

    there is also one other thing you can try in modding the units for better or worse charge vs melee ratios. if you take the charge, melee and defense (c-m-d) stats and double them or triple them or even 10x them, you can get a much more protracted battle. naturally, you'd have to do this multiplier to all units you planned to play with or things would get lopsided very quickly, but it does have the advantage of stretching out a battle and allowing one to view almost exactly how different units interact. a naginata with a defense of 80 is truly amazing to watch :)

    yes, we realized that japanese heavy cav isnt the 'heavy horse' of braveheart or the stereotypical 'knight' in full plate. the original troopstat file shows the range for armor as 1 to 12. i made a little scale based on this with light leather or tunic or some such at 1 and heavy plate as 12. and frankly, that seems a bit condensed to me, but that's the values CA stuck in there, so that's what i used. i think the highest armor value we used was 6, which might correspond to something like thick studded leather or light chain mail, i forget. but we were aware of it. we also had to try and figure out if horses were armored or not and if this was figured into the values or not. there were a number of assumtions we had to just make at times and live with. trust me, it's a lot harder ...oh hell, you already know this from working with this stuff yourself, that taking someone else's model and modding it is a whole lot trickier than making one from scratch.

    and yes, i really do agree with you about the mobility stuff. your real deal mod inspired me during all this testing and tweaking to work up a formula for setting these values. i wasnt about to rip yours off, so i just came up with my own way to calculate them, but we just flat ran out of time and couldnt ever test this. i've still got that stat file somewhere with those numbers plugged in, but it didnt make the final cut.

    frankly, one thing i personally was hoping for, was that this whole thing would inspire others to make more mods. obviously, you had already been working on this and just as obviously you got upstaged a bit by our 'offical' mod. when CA went from verion 1.00 to 1.01 they also closed off the stat files for online use and i think that kind of killed things a bit on the mods. the timing of all this with your mods and our mods and CA's decisions to open, close and then open the stats again prolly did have an adverse effect on your mods getting more attention than they did. i know when we first discovered that we could mod the stats in version 1.00 there was a nice little stir in the mods forum. when they closed them off again in 1.01 this stir went to a dull thud, at least for me. at that point i decided to just go back to map making. and somewhere in there i think was when i released my map pack and you released your acw mod and then the real deal mod. i was intrigued by your idea to mod this game to the cival war era. nice touch. very innovative :) and i'd love it if you'd figure out those damn bif files so we could mod the sprites so yer civil war guys could wear the proper uniforms. btw, you can now mod the thunder bomber's unit size to make your own mortar unit now ;) tosa and i did a quick mod one day of making those suckers shoot about 10 tiles away. we then each took about 15 of the suckers in there and started firing away. it's hilarious to watch :) but i could easily see taking a kensai and making him your field general, muskets are obvious, mortars, cav...heck, you could even turn the mongols into the french foreign legion if you wanted to :)

    K.


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  24. #24
    Summa Rudis Senior Member Catiline's Avatar
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    Interesting stuff people, but i'm moving these patch discussion and analysis threads to Editing mods and patches. Must dl it tonight tho'

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    Quo usque tandem abutere, Catilina, patientia nostra

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