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Thread: Medieval II Mod Questions & Recommendations

  1. #1
    Jurand of Cracow's Avatar History and gameplay!
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    M2TW Modification Recommendations and Questions

    Looking for that special mod, a mod that suits your needs, but you're new to the forums or you're just too damn lazy to look for it your self? Ask away here. Even if you're just looking
    for the most popular mod at the moment, this is the thread to cover your questions. - Trajan

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    JoC:
    I think that it's worth to watch two youtube clips:
    - PartyElite's 2020 overview of the vanilla Medieval 2 - a few reasons why Med2 is still a very good game (there're many more)
    - 2020 review of a few (5) mods by Drtad - they overlap with my choice but the first one (I'm not interested in vanilla)

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    Hi Guys,
    I've played recently (ie. in 2015-2019) a couple of good mods and I'd like to share with you what I've found out.
    The first version of this entry (and also of the review of the SSHIP) had been written before I'd joined the SSHIP moding team. The later additions were made later but I hope I have remain objective, though.

    In 2018 I've written three in-depth reviews of the following mods:
    - Stainless Steel Historical Improvement Project
    - Broken Crescent - Buff and Shine
    - Wrath of the Norsemen

    I haven't written reviews, but I've had much fun with and I'd advise anybody to play a few other mods.

    --------------------------------------------------------------- I -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The "grand mods" that change most of the aspects of the game and are de facto new games using the M2TW engine:


    Third Age Total War with many submods. It covers the Tolkien world so it is for the fans of this universe, obviously. It uses the most ingenious methods to tweak the M2TW engine. The submods are actually the newer versions of the mod - there's a thread discussing differences among them making it easy to decide which suits the player best. It is very fortunate there're devoted modders who still developing them. I wish such a situation for the historical mods for Middle Ages.
    Be aware that the Divide et Conquer submod that actually has re-modded TATW to such extent that it is to be considered as a new mod, has been removed from the TWC site. What I think about this issue may be read here in words of Withwnar.


    Europa Barbarorum II. Depicts 3rd-1st ancient Europe, West Asia and North Africa history in the most historical manner. Despite the name, it doesn't concentrate on the Northern Europe but it gives its due to the whole covered world. It tilts towards role-playing so some seasoned players may find it not much challenging as far as the gameplay is concerned (easy AI, lots of money, big pools of recruits, few casualities in battles). It is still being improved and refined, including introduction of new mechanics. One of special features of the mod are very slow battles (see my times here) so it's not you enter a battle, click, click, and it's over.

    A good review of a recent version of the EBII (2.35, mid-2020) has been put here by Drtad. Have also a look at Lusitanio's Carthage campaign (2.35a, mid-2020).


    Stainless Steel SS6.4. Covers the Medieval Era in Europe and the whole Mediterreanean basin. It has two major new "minimods" that I perceive as the SS7.0 version in everything but the name: the Titanium and the SSHIP. Don't get swayed by the notion that they're unfinished - they are pretty finished, only some part are not developed as the modders wanted (eg. the Obodrites faction in the Titanium). The previous refinements of the SS were HURB and BtfB (and I enjoyed both of them, actully the BtfB is the mod I've played the most) but I think that the two new are now better. The base version of SS has many
    submods but bear in mind that many are included in the Titanium or their mechanics in the SSHIP (see eg. the BGR features in the SSHIP). Be aware though that the Titanium with BGR (and maybe without as well, I haven't played it) is pretty unplayable beyond turn 70 due to the huge bonuses for the AI. You need to tweak it so that you could compete. The AI is excellent in the Titanium and gives a serious challenge. If you want to learn about the SSHIP - read my full review.

    There is also another compilation based on the Staineless Steel: Bulat Steel. You may read two opinions of this compilation here.


    Broken Crescent, especially with the Buff&Shine minimod. It's ideal for those interested in the Near-East history: completely different map, plenty of factions, numerous units, many historical options etc. Music is wonderful. In which mod can you play an interesting game as Makuria? I've produced a detailed review of the Buff&Shine minimod so if you're interested, just read it. However, if you're a fan of non-muslim factions, be warned that Byzantium and Rus are on the border of the map and playing them may be not so interesting as playing them in the other mods.


    The Italian Wars - Ultimate: this is a very finished mod that has been developed for years by a very skilled modder (Aneirin). The mod had a few versions before and you can see how well-crafted it is (and you cannot see how many dead ends were met on the way and how much work turn out to be useless - the situation of every modder). It is really worth playing for those interested in this period of history. Fortunately, Aneirin still keeps on working on this mod at times, despite his decision to step out of modding. If only other great moders of the past would do the same for the Stainless Steel...
    There's also a version of this mod made by the Russian modders - see here (saddly, it never worked on my computer).


    1648: Thirty Years of War: I don't have much experience with this mod but this is a Gigantus' work and this is the proof of high quality. It seems to me that this mod is more "Total War" - the battles are more the focus of the mod than the city building or the character development (as compared to the SS and, especially, to the EBII). The historicity of the German factions is assured, while those on the fringes - not always (ehm, Poland... give me a break).

    --------------------------------------------------------------- II -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Two mods are in the final stages of modding and it seems they'll be playable soon after years of gestation:

    The Great Conflicts - set in the early Middle Ages and centered around the Romaioi faction (ie. they Byzantines). There're still bugs and not working scripts (June 2020), but you can play it if you're an avid Byzantine fan. The map is very granular one: small regions (what is good!). The main historical issue I have with this mod is the cut-off of the Levant. How can you play politics of Byzantium without wars in the Euphratus valley? That's a major drawback for me.

    Tsardoms TW - set late Middle Ages in the Balkans. Should be ready soon and could be really interesting: historical, in a rarely depited area and period.


    --------------------------------------------------------------- III -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Some advanced mods I'd played but now I find a bit dated and containing problematic gameplay issues:

    * Hispania in the Middle Ages: it boasts very intricated political mechanisms crafted for Spain, a very detailed map of the Penninsula, a variety of relevant factions, but it is much less modified in most other areas. Actually it's the closest to the vanilla M2TW of the mods discussed above - and this is why I don't consider it a "great modification". If you love the Spanish history in the Middle Ages (there're a few starting dates) and can live up with crude graphics and the AI, then go for it.

    * Bellum Crucis 7.0 - made by the Italian team thus best to be played in this area. Very nice map, great deal of additional mechanics and very eye-pleasing. Having played it twice I may say that I had issues with historicity (the level of ignorance of the Central Europe history or geography is sometimes astounding; I suspect there was no specialist in the team dealing with this area) and the campaign AI and diplomacy behaved in a strange way. Some mechanisms are very dubious (30-turn peace time followed by very aggressive AI attacks). Modding abruptly ended on this mod and it was left unfinished in some areas. However, if you want to play in Italy, this may give you a great historic experience.

    * Deus lo Vult with Battle Balancer - it has a really great battle AI (maybe the best I've seen in the TW games besides Divide et Impera for R2TW) and a very fleshed out role-playing aspects of the game. However, historicity was not at the heart of modifications to put it midly. The original DLV has a long instruction included in pdf but so many aspect were changed in the BB modification that you should treat it just as an introduction to the concepts and then disregard entirely. Saddly, the mod is dated now as there's nobody to continue modding. If you are able to live up with the historical blunders and outright cretinisms and your are interested in excinting battles - go for it.

    * Chivalry II: Sicilian Vespers - it has plenty of options as far as the starting date is concerned (5 iirc). This makes possible to have faction set appropriate for different times. The map is the vanilla in quality but made much more historical. However, it follows the vanilla very closely and is a very dated mod, especially on graphics and coding (AI, traits). Imho, playing other mods provides much more fun.
    A recent (2020) youtube review by Drtad is here.

    * The Last Kingdom - this mod has a very interesting setting: the British isles in the early medieval period. Plenty of factions, plenty of buildings, possibility of very interesting game. There's also much nice chrome from that period and the starting political situation is interesting. However, it seems that the authors didn't bother much with programming the AI and diplomacy. My tests proved this area to be very problematic, you may see the findings in the relevant thread on the TLK webpage. Actually, the lack of work on this project is really deplorable: so great opportunities so so much work wasted...

    * Wrath of the Norsemen - related to the TLK. It could be a really good mod also for the gameplay if only the 3 major problems are fixed. Read my review (at the beginning of this page) to find out the details. Maybe you can fix those problems?

    * Rule Britannia 1.7 - again: a very interesting area and exciting time period (British isles in 13th century), with a true story behind, a great variety of factions, and with many candies included (eg. plethora of missions, historical characters, special scripts for agents). It looks quite finished. However, it is dated and you may feel it in comparison to the other mods. Especially the CAI and BAI are not up to the current standards (even though I tried it for a very short time).


    A note on battle AI: In may gaming I've seen various AI behaviour and now I wouldn't play a mod that doesn't contain a kind of Germanicus Really Bad AI. This is a huge piece of coding (in 50k lines of the SSHIP script it takes up 22k lines) but it's worth it. Of course, the great mods I've described has it (or similar other scripting) included, while the older ones don't. It's why I think it's worth to play only the newer mods (or DLV ;-).

    I have no interest in fantasy mods like Hyrule, Warhammer or
    Westeros. I have not delved into the history of China so I cannot tell anything about the much-acclaimed Rise of Three Kingdoms (also by Gigantus and Seether). I'm looking forward (although without much hope) to the conclusion of work on Machiavello. I don't know much about Rus 2 TW, Fleur de Lys, they may be good as well.


    --------------------------------------------------------------- IV -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    The opinions above are obviously subjective. The reviews don't discover new planets but provide insights that are relevant from my perspective. They're based on the recent, 2018, experience, and I hope they'd be useful for those who are looking for an interesting historical game.

    My perspective is as follows:
    Quote Originally Posted by Jurand of Cracow View Post
    Criteria

    I assess any M2TW mod in 5 categories:

    1. Gameplay: is the game immersive; are you forced to play the best you can; is the AI and diplomacy reasonable; is there money-recruitment balance achieved; are the different mechanisms well interconnected and conditioned (like ancillary<>script<>usefulness for the player); are there pure stupidities or strategies open-to-abuse.
    2. Historicity: is the historical role-playing credible; is playing the game in a historical way rewarded; how does the turn of the events in-game reflect what I perceive historical, do the factions/rosters/provinces/resources/buildings feel historical to my taste, is there a good trait/ancillary mechanism that reflect things I'm reading in the books; is the map like a true map.
    3. Battles: how does it feel to play them; how does the BAI behave; are the units reasonable/historical/nice, how does the battlefield feel like (trees, hills, water); are there stupidities and bugs related to fighting.
    4. Artistic values: a.) graphics: how do the map, the battlefield, the battles, the units, the 2D pics look like (so all the stuff related to models, animations etc.); b.) sounds: music, voices, other.
    5. Technicalities: are there CTDs; how does the UI look like; how many bugs and unfinished issues linger; are there guides and explanations on how to play.



    What I’m looking for in a Total War mod

    I’m most interested in points 1, 2, and 5, while less in 3 and even less in 4. In particular, I’m looking for:

    • A challenging game: I do everything I can to win. I don’t give the AI money for free, I don’t turtle just for turtling – I turtle because it’s a superiors strategy. The need to make choices: there shouldn’t be easy choices and obvious solutions, everything should come at a price so every action should be well thought-out.
    • A feeling of “gaming a story as it was in the books on history”: the armies, the cities, the generals, the rebels, the crusades, the deaths, the civil wars and family feuds – everything should be there. Fast conquests should be possible but at risk of falling apart.
    • Management of the faction: investing in the buildings, keep an order, safeguarding the borders) to be an equally important goal of the game as the conquest. I'm a Civilization-raised type of person (I mean: Civ 1 of 1991) that means I'm a devoted builder.
    • An interesting development of the traits. The characters should take traits and ancillaries based on their actions. The traits should be historical (reflect the middle-ages’ reality according to our best knowledge of history), meaningful (each should be relevant for the gameplay), logical (eg. they cycle-of-life: young and middle-aged generals get the traits fast, but in the old age they're losing them; as a result the oldest generals should not be the best, but those of 30-50 old for fighting and 40-60 for governorships), producing consistent personalities (one general should not have completely contradictory traits).
    • The relevance and interplay of various mechanisms in the game: everything should have consequences, no chrome just for the sake of chrome. Interactive events are woven into the fabric of the game, the scripts should have an impact on the traits, the traits should condition the options for the player of using a particular general etc.
    • Battles that are played to win, not easy or based on exploits. Especially, I’m looking for the BAI behaving reasonably given the pace of the battles (in some mods it’s faster, in some slower). I think the battles are an exciting part of the game that makes the Total War games different from, say, Europa Universalis type of the games.



    JoC
    Last edited by Jurand of Cracow; September 22, 2020 at 03:25 AM.
    If you want to play a historical mod in the medieval setting the best IMO are:
    Stainless Steel Historical Improvement Project and Broken Crescent.
    Read my opinions on other mods here.
    ........................................................................................................................................
    Reviews of the mods (all made in 2018): SSHIP, Wrath of the Norsemen, Broken Crescent.
    Home rules for playing a game without exploiting the M2TW engine deficiencies.
    Hints for Medieval 2 moders: forts, merchants, AT-NGB bug.
    Thrones of Britannia: review, opinion on the battles, ideas for modding. No good mod yet, alas!
    Dominant strategy in Rome2, Attila, ToB and Troy: “Sniping groups of armies”. Still there, alas!
    .................................................................................................................................................................................
    Mod leader of the SSHIP: traits, ancillaries, script, buildings. Download SSHIP v.097 here.

  2. #2
    Trajan's Avatar Capodecina
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    Default Medieval II Mod Questions & Recommendations

    M2TW Modification Recommendations and Questions



    Looking for that special mod, a mod that suits your needs, but you're new to the forums or you're just too damn lazy to look for it your self? Ask away here. Even if you're just looking for the most popular mod at the moment, this is the thread to cover your questions.
    Last edited by Trajan; November 11, 2008 at 07:37 PM.

  3. #3

    Icon3 Re: Need Mod Recommendations? Ask Away Here

    Well, i guess i will start by asking what is the main differences between what seem to answer my wishes: Deus Lo vult, Land to Conquer, Rise of Kings and Anno Domini. Would you recommend one in particular? What I am looking for is:
    - longer campaign
    - strategy for late campaign (large empire costs more)
    - improved AI, both campaign and battle
    - ancillaries improvements, better hereditary vices and virtues and such
    - better formations
    - raised overall game difficulty
    - raised siege difficulty (those massive walls crumble waaaay too fast!!!)

    Thanks to all
    Cheers

    etz
    Last edited by etz; April 19, 2007 at 08:47 AM.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Need Mod Recommendations? Ask Away Here

    I tried other mods only briefly, but to me, Lands to Conquer was flawless. Or, let's say, almost flawless... And it fulfills all your conditions there as far as I'm concerned. And after all, it's made by the legendary Lusted. (kidding... I hope it doesn't offend anyone, and you don't consider it a big reason to play LtC)

  5. #5

    Default Re: Need Mod Recommendations? Ask Away Here

    I've tried Road to Jerusalem,and Vanilla + Darth Mod. RtJ was a bit to easy in my opinion, giving money too easily... I was a big fan of RTR, not for the realism (I don't really care), but for the longer battle and improved gameplay.

    Right now, I deeply hesitates between Land To Conquer and Stainless Steel, both ready for 1.2. I can see Stainless Steel has more shiny goodies ("Blood, Broads, & Bastards" features, new faction, graphics, mercenaries), while LTC is more pure and may be more balanced.

    So, anyone can help me ?

    Thanks to all

  6. #6
    Tom Servo's Avatar Semisalis
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    Default Re: Need Mod Recommendations? Ask Away Here

    Quote Originally Posted by LapinDuracell View Post
    I've tried Road to Jerusalem,and Vanilla + Darth Mod. RtJ was a bit to easy in my opinion, giving money too easily... I was a big fan of RTR, not for the realism (I don't really care), but for the longer battle and improved gameplay.

    Right now, I deeply hesitates between Land To Conquer and Stainless Steel, both ready for 1.2. I can see Stainless Steel has more shiny goodies ("Blood, Broads, & Bastards" features, new faction, graphics, mercenaries), while LTC is more pure and may be more balanced.

    So, anyone can help me ?

    Thanks to all
    I'd say Stainless Steel is a bit buggy and untested. I'm personally using LTC for the 1.2 patch.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Need Mod Recommendations? Ask Away Here

    I'd say Stainless Steel is a bit buggy and untested. I'm personally using LTC for the 1.2 patch.
    Well, SS is a very complex and big mod and I can assure you that I've used most of my time to test all the new features.
    Also I make very regular updates and I'm constantly searching for bugs and a better balance for the campaign and battles.
    The new SS 3.1 patch eliminates all known bugs of the 3.0 full version.

    And finally I think LTC and SS are quite different mods, if you want to play a better vanilla game go for LTC, if you want a harder game and an overhaul of most game aspects you should try SS.

    Just my little self-promotion...

    Winner of 'Favorite M2TW Mod' and 'Favorite M2TW Modder' Award 2007 & 2008

  8. #8

    Default The best texture mod

    What, in your opinion, is the best unit texture mod. I'm currently using burreks textures.

    What do you think is good?

  9. #9
    Giorgos's Avatar Deus Ex Machina
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    Default Re: The best texture mod

    -Burrek's the most complete at the moment.

    -If you are a Byzantinophile, Whitewolf's is the way to go.

    -DisgruntledGoat has been showing amazing screenies from his work on the Byzantine faction on his faction-after-faction retexturing mod.

    -English Redressed is a good effort concentrating on the english faction only, although not my cup of tea.


  10. #10

    Default Re: The best texture mod

    Do the texture mods impact performance at all?

  11. #11

    Default Re: Need Mod Recommendations? Ask Away Here

    Are there any mods that have a significantly smaller map, similar to the original Viking Invasion expansion?

  12. #12

    Default Re: The best texture mod

    There's also a reskin of the Turkish faction which adds some variety to the CA skins...

    http://www.twcenter.net/forums/showthread.php?t=76393

  13. #13
    EzE's Avatar Libertus
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    Default Re: Need Mod Recommendations? Ask Away Here

    Have there been any mythology mods? Not sure if this is possible but I love mythology and would like to know if anyone has tackled this or plans to.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Need Mod Recommendations? Ask Away Here

    Depends what you mean by mythology. There are some fantasy mods out there, if this is what you're asking...

  15. #15
    EzE's Avatar Libertus
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    Default Re: Need Mod Recommendations? Ask Away Here

    I guess mythology could be considered fantasy. I was thinking more like the Illiad and Odyssey type of mythology. Greek and Roman Gods and battles involving humans that have certain gods behind them. Maybe the cultures that worship the same god band together to attakc opposing cultures that worship other gods. Or something like the Trojan War with heroes like Achilles and Hector.

    If not, then are there any fantasy mods that are complete yet? I see alot in the works but did not notice any complete or in the beta stage yet.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Need Mod Recommendations? Ask Away Here

    There is a Troy: Total War (for RTW). Other than that, nothing done...

  17. #17
    EzE's Avatar Libertus
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    Default Re: Need Mod Recommendations? Ask Away Here

    Thanks

    I will check it out.

  18. #18

    Default mod for iceland

    is there a mod that includes iceland and upper norway, plus perhaps more of africa down to oxum and more of india?

  19. #19

    Default Re: mod for iceland

    Here is the thread to ask.
    And Miak's Extended Map mod is maybe the closest thing - although it's not done yet, and it doesn't include Iceland as far as I know.
    Here is Miak's mod.

  20. #20

    Default Re: mod for iceland

    Wrath of the Norsemen in the Hosted Mod section is also adding Iceland, but they are in need of modders right now.

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