Dominion of the Sword supermod aims to make the perfect mod for MIITW
1 Egypt ( Ayyubid, Fatumid, Mamluk)
2 Moors (Amoravid, Almohad, Benemarin dynasties)%catholic
3 Sultanate of Rum (Seljuk Turks)
4 Byzantine Empire
5 Kingdom of Sakartvelo
6 Grand Duchy of Novgorod
7 Principality of Cilician Armenia
8 Grand Duchy of Kiev
9 Mongol Khanate (emerging faction)
10 Grand Duchy of Lithuania %catholic
11 Crusader States (emergent faction, triggered after successful Catholic crusade)
12 County of Burgundy
13 Kingdom of Sweden %pagan
14 Kingdom of Norway %pagan
15 Kingdom of Denmark %pagan
16 Kingdom of Aragon
17 Duchy of Bohemia %pagan
18 Kingdom of England
19 Kingdom of France
20 Holy Roman Empire
21 Kingdom of Hungary %pagan
22 Kingdom of Sicily %muslim
23 Kingdom of Leon-Castile
24 Kingdom of Poland %pagan
25 County of Portugal (Emergent faction)
26 Kingdom of Scotland
27 Republic of Venice
28 Republic of Genoa
29 Republic of Pisa
31 Minor factions (Non-playable)
%= Planned to be dual faith faction. Possibility of buildings/units which supports another religion which is essentially negative to that culture and faction however gives many useful bonuses. Can be useful dilemma for the player in building certain provinces up.
Features and concepts of the map
Let’s start with everyone’s biggest gripe when it comes to maps….What provinces/cities have you decided on? Why have you taken that tiny island and not this important city?
Well, its never easy with this one. This is one of the parts of a mod that will always get mixed opinions like the inclusion of factions. You just can’t make the perfect faction or province list. The game is limited. That’s that. Within these limitations we have to look at a huge and complex era of history and then forced to represent it in a way which is limited and stubbornly designed. Cities and settlements as well as borders were being constantly destroyed and reformed all the time, such was the very nature of medieval warfare yet we have no way of representing this in the game. We cannot change the size and form of provinces attached to each settlement. We do not claim that our solution is any better than any other mod’s attempt. However our concept was this: control points.
A city or castle, like a faction is always difficult to represent properly because it was historically always changing and may have in fact only been significant at all for less than a hundred years. That said, some cities and towns are obvious. What we decided on for the uncertain areas was to create a province where we thought one needed to exist so that it would represent an ethnic group or relatively important rebel district and then along with that comes a settlement or fortress. We chose our factions with the same kind of concept, but that is a philosophy we call area of conflict.
By filling the map with specific dynamics we could be sure that there was always action in every area of the map, it was a question of balance …. Maybe, but this is misleading because balance would mean that we are not representing historical accuracy but playability and just making factions stronger than they actually were. All historical mods and certainly vanilla is bound to have a situation where factions get crushed. How we cope with limiting the damage of a ridiculously large superpower like HRE or the Byz is quite complex and includes a number of features that I will come to later.
With the choice of factions based on creating dynamics- (action and conflict) we were then more logically inclined to say: ‘this faction is tiny and yet it has to stand up to a huge empire right next door’. Our control points now come into play.
Control points tries to represent the major cities, fortresses and towns of a faction and its start provinces plus even some of the areas a faction is ‘meant to’ to expand into. More importantly though, we included some real tiny villages and apparently pointless places. Why?
Again, this was not because say, we thought it would be cool to see the Isle of Man grow into a huge city…. that would be pointless. Our concept was to set up areas that reflected the friction points of history, the Isle of Man (believe it or no) was one of those areas for several centuries even before and after the mod dates. Between Scotland, the Norwegians and the English, the small British Isles that you will see on the map are important because we aim them to reflect the complex peripheral tensions of medieval politics and territories.
Kirkwall in the Orkneys is never meant to be a gold nugget of a province but it is an interesting Control Point if you are say Norway and want to be a pain in the backside for Scotland and England and harry their coasts. When you think about it, it’s a logical way to check the rather repetitive situation of most mods where say Scotland expands into Ireland etc. Through control points small areas such as islands or sometimes hardly significant border villages become areas of extreme and continual conflict: total war. We include several islands as control points in order to create areas of conflict in specific areas we thought required spicing up, such as the Baltic and Scandinavia, the British Isles, the Mediterranean and the Greek islands …although the latter tend to get a good look in the action stakes anyway.
Navies are much more useful and eventful now than in vanilla, and transporting troops will be a key element of the game, much more in focus than in vanilla or previous mods. Which brings me to our next feature:
One major feature which will definitely be part of the mod, and which though easy to achieve will require a good deal of work to perfect is our idea for navigable inland waters. The map and mod will retain the aspect of minor rivers which act as land barriers and which enable armies to cross at specific fords or bridges just as in Vanillia. However, we aim to include the aspect of major rivers. This feature is very simple, we will enlarge certain few rivers such as the Dneipr, the Danube, the Volga etc for a specific distance to allow transport ships and navies to sail up deep inland where the map did not allow previously. This will enable an entirely new dimension to strategy, invasion as well in fact as trade.
With what the game uses as ‘sea areas’ inland we can now faithfully represent cities that were settled on major rivers and acting as important river trade centres and river ports. Trade amongst cities up and down along these rivers on each side will be able to trade extensively. But won’t this prevent armies crossing huge areas of the map? Well, no. Island crossings and land crossings are not new to M2TW, it is quite easy to allow armies to cross the major rivers as specific points. What we cannot do is allow roads and bridges over these rivers. So in ‘fluff’ game terms you will have to imagine that these land crossings are ferry points on the major rivers. Roads can probably be designed to run parallel along the rivers connecting the settlements on each side of the bank however and then the major river can be ended nicely in a vanilla style minor river allowing a bridge there. Basically, if roads run parallel along the rivers your armies should have no difficulty in reaching the ferry points, you won’t have to trek for two turns through rough terrain until you reach the land crossings.
Provinces: Who gets what and how many?
Well this is WIP, we need to communicate between General Staff and each and every Faction Team, we all need to work on the global map together and agree on the provinces, their size, number and power. IE. Hungary will not only get to decide its own provinces but that of its neighbours too, so Hungary and Poland need to reach an agreement and be comfortable that each Control Point is necessary and relevant to the game….because remember we are not ONLY including the major and most important longlasting cities we are working on the system of control points to allow areas of conflict.
These are set to be the main areas of conflict and tension:
The British Isles, Italy, Iberia, Scandinavia, The eastern Baltic, Central Europe and Middle East. The Russian Steppe and Caucasus is also an area of focus, we hope that the emergent nomad factions as well as the inclusion of Georgia as a faction will enable an area of conflict here.
Apart from all the features of the map we are working on bringing a completely new depth to the mod the likes of which hasn’t been seen since Europa Barbarorum. We want to set a standard.
Many features of the gameplay we are already sure we can implement and will be in fact adapting the work of already established mod work. Most of these will bring about a whole new range of options for the player, and a new depth in governing your faction’s fate. Primarily these are based upon or have connections to the tech tree.
Secondarily, work on the presentation and packaging aspects of the game is very important to us. Professional appearances are always marks of quality, but to make a mark of distinction we are actively immersing ourselves in the aesthetics of our supermod. Visually and aurally we want to create a powerful experience. Some players prefer music and graphics to be hardly noticeable aspects of a game and allow the core ‘play’ of the game dominate. We do not.
Our philosophy is one of maximising the potential for atmosphere and immersion in a bygone world.
Heraldry and titles
Those of you who remember MTW and the system of titles that could be acquired by generals, etc through specific buildings as well as settlements will enjoy our take on M2TW. Characters will now be full participants in politics as well as recreating history.
Faction standing/Power status
The behaviour of your faction and its nobles will determine the authority you hold over your own provinces but also have direct relationship to say, the Papacy, your allies, and other factions you will have political contact with. This in itself is not a new aspect of the game, both vanilla as well as a good deal of mods have placed importance on these aspects of gameplay.
One of our more experimental features is the acquisition of new provinces and settlements or even factions themselves through diplomatic actions. For instance, when your own cardinal becomes Pope you will temporarily acquire responsibility over the Papal states, other than the Vatican. When the Papacy is gained by another faction then they rule those lands. What you do with these lands will have powerful diplomatic repercussions, and will prove to be as rewarding, but also demanding for each faction. This is both positive and negative for the player, and it is this kind of dilemma and depth of enacting politics that we are most interested in. Furthermore, marriage and alliance will have dynamic and exciting repercussions in the game, enabling specific powers, buildings and units as well as complicating the political standing of the player’s faction, naturally.
Colonisation/Area of Recruitment
Another new feature of play will be the options open to a faction as it conquers other provinces. Colonisation and the grades of control you have over newly acquired provinces will be variable and each have repercussions politically, forcing you to make choices as a faction leader. You will no longer be able to recruit the same units wherever you are on the map.
One of the areas we are particularly excited about is including a system of governing your provinces with the dilemma of two religions. As was the case with the changes occurring in the Middle Ages many countries were involved in religious complexities which the original game does not really reflect. We will give the player bonuses if religions other than the faction’s core religion is supported in a province. For instance, say you are a Scandinavian faction and ruling the mainly Pagan lands of the North are proving difficult and unpopular as a Christian king… well you just develop pagan buildings and this will change your situation it might even enable you to recruit powerful pagan units. It will of course make your faction standing and your political status change dramatically and negatively, but again these are the complexities and dilemmas we think the player deserves.
This is something we are completely overhauling. It will most like be tied in with our other systems such as Political Annexation and Power Status as well as even the enforcement of certain powerful traits which will have huge political significance for your faction. For instance, if you are ruling a Baltic or North Sea province and you are asked to join the Hanseatic League this will naturally give you a dilemma. Bonuses might be increase in trade and population as well as some military opportunities be it the reduction on recruitment costs in the province, an automatic garrison and law bonus in the Settlement details or even the ability to recruit certain militia units. It will on the other hand tie you politically and economically to the HRE, which will put you in direct conflict with the Papacy. Papalist and Imperialists, or Guelphs and Ghibellines are going to be political features of the mod, probably through Traits, and these acquired through diplomatic contacts.
Sufism will also be one option for the Muslim factions, allowing a range of developments to your province it will have bring limitations and dilemmas especially in the light of it being one of several options open to you.
The inclusion of Knights Orders will be a numerous occurrence in the mod, to represent the Teutonic Order States, The Livonian Order, as well as the Crusader States and not least the general power and political involvement that the Knight Templar and others had. The Orders will however be tied in with the Religious Affiliation aspect and will for the most part only be available to monastic rather than say, Cathedral provinces.
This will probably be an aspect modded from Guilds, or it may be part of the tech tree inn itself or alternatively it might be part of scripting. In any case, Catholic and Muslim faction will now have choices when they acquire a province as to what manifestation their faction’s religion will take in their province. Catholics will have the opportunity to choose to encourage monastic life allowing hospitals and libraries, this might also have military options attached to it later- such as the availability of certain military Orders of knights, so far we are planning to include around 15 historical Militarised Monastic Orders. Monastic provinces will be contrasted with Church provinces although, to deepen complexity we may enable the other branch to be opened once its opposite branch has been fully upgraded, so that a Cathedral province will then be able to build monasteries. Muslims will choose between Sunni and Shia Islaam, whose different interpretations of the religion and their different views on state and religion will effect the options open to developing a province culturally and politically.
Some factions will be impossible to destroy, like the Papacy. They will re-emerge perhaps not in their original lands but similar to MTW they will no doubt crop up in your territories when you least expect them. Some of you may find this pointless and will be worried that it will present obvious barriers to conquering provinces and acquiring victory. However Victory Conditions will not be based on unhistorical mass conquests of the map. Furthermore re-emergent factions does not mean indestructible and impregnable provinces.
Like many a mod these days our victory conditions will be completely reviewed, adding complex dimensions to the single player mode as he tries to prevent other factions reaching their goals whilst seeking to attain his.
Invading a capital or specific regions will spawn National Guard armies, (we hope that we can make it so) this will not bring financial burdens but act as a kind of automatic militia for your faction as well as others, not least minor factions or factions in their last throes. You will be able to disband your National guard when the crisis has abaited. This attribute combined with the re-emergent factions will make wiping out whole regions difficult, especially for a large faction such as the HRE trying to destroy say, Bohemia- it will be a completely different prospect than before.
These are essential to ensuring strong Public Relations and respect for the mod. To create an aura of a supermod we have to look and act like a supermod. Not arrogantly and by proclaiming over-ambitious ideas, but by presenting the work on our supermod in an exciting and professional manner. Regular updates of our achievements are so essential in maintaining public interest and support, without the fans and the eyes of the modding community all our hard work is for nothing. So, it only makes sense that by making our presentations actually part of the work on the supermod then we are actually achieving something and coming closer to our goals.
Part of the General Staff will be dedicated to this aspect of our mod.
Sound and vision
Loading screens and campaign map music, in game music as well as historical events will all feature new and original work. Well, kind of. One school of thought is that we use historical pictures and music from the medieval era. It might well be the case that some kind of compromise between flashy graphics and ancient tapestries is used, as well as a mix of cinematic, atmospheric music as well as ethnic music with pipes, drums and obscure languages sung in irritating ways.
BEGINNING CUT OF THE GRAND PREVIEW