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Thread: Imperial Splendour Overview and Complete Changelog

  1. #1

    Default Imperial Splendour Overview and Complete Changelog

    Awesome splash screen by Megalos

    I started modding for Empire Total War because it wasn't the game that I wanted to play. Eventually that grew, and I kept modding Empire Total War because it wasn't the game that you guys wanted to play. Imperial Splendour (IS) is the culmination of those efforts.

    There is an overview of the changes made at the start of each category.

    AI Changes
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    The AI has been reworked nearly completely. It was redesigned to provide a sustainable challenge to the player. My goal is for the late game in Empire Total War to be just as fun and challenging as the early game.

    To achieve that, I've reconfigured how the AI develops it's economy. It now has a much greater emphasis on constructing economic builds and educational buildings. You can bet that in the late game the AI will be swimming in as much cash as you are.

    I've tried to capture the feeling of 18th century military and diplomatic give and take with the AI. If you want to maintain peace, you must use diplomacy to ensure that international relations remain strong. If you neglect this aspect of Empire Total War you will pay the price in countless lives as you struggle to stay alive during constant war.

    I've also reworked how the AI develops and utilizes it's armies and navies. The AI will actively try to cripple your economy with it's navy through raiding trade routes and most of all blockading ports. The AI will exploit any chink in your armor, any weakness in your empire. If you leave a frontier province without a garrison or any sort of protection, the AI will seize the chance and try and take it from you. Similarly, it will exploit any other conflict you might be in for their own benefit.

    It's not all doom and gloom. All of these changes will work for you, as well, because I've drastically changed how the AI aids it's allies. The ancient greeks specialized in a formation of spearmen called a phalanx. In that formation, you didn't guard yourself with your shield, you guarded the man next to you. So on down the length of the army. The AI will now be that man standing next to you, protecting you where you are weak, and striking where your collective enemies are vulnerable.

    Current AI Status

    - The AI has been made as good as I can make it, as far as I can see. There are certain factions that are broken because of campaign pathing problems, or diplomatic issues (they're also broken in vanilla, I just can't fix them): The Ottoman Empire (the land bridge cuts their empire in half essentially, so it's much, much, harder for them to reach the required AI criterion to invade), Great Britain, Russia, Sweden, and Denmark. As soon as naval invasions are added, as soon as I can edit diplomacy, life could be very good indeed.

    Naval Changes
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    Overall, I've tried to make the naval side of the game more realistic by reducing turning rates and sailing into the wind (thanks again to darth for working out those headers). I've also tried to reduce the likelyhood of ships sinking, and made surrendering and capturing ships much more common. This is combined with dramatically increased naval costs to add real importance to each naval battle.

    Unit Cost Changes

    - Upkeep on Naval units remains the same, with the exception of trading vessels (All trading vessels now have 50 upkeep, though the proportional cost of Galleons and fluyts is much higher)

    - Recruitment costs have been drastically increased. Currently recruitment costs are twenty times the upkeep cost of a vessel.

    You should build up your Navy over time, instead of recruiting it all at once like an Army. Capturing ships is a very viable tactic now, especially with the other changes you're about to read about.
    - Galleys and Light Galleys have had their firepower dramatically reduced

    - Xebecs have twice the crew they previously had

    Traditionally Xebecs were fantastic pirate vessels because they sailed well into the wind compared to square rigged vessels, and they had a very large crew size for their gun poundage. With the increase in their crew size, they are now great boarders. Their low slung silhouette prevents a lot of damage when you board, and with the increased crew size you can "punch up" in boarding combat against heavier enemies.
    - Ships who lose 60% of their men are considered combat ineffective (not enough men left to sail the ship) and surrender

    - Ships will route closer to 40% hull damage instead of 70%+

    - Ship hull strength has been increased by 50%. Trading vessels and specialist ships (rocket ships and bomb ketches) have not had their hull strength increase.

    - Carronade Frigates now use 64 pound Carronades

    - Grapeshot and Improved Grapeshot has been increased in effectiveness.

    - Chain shot has received a minor increase in effectiveness.

    - Galleons and Fluyts now have a lower top speed

    - Sloops and Xebecs are now noticably better going into the wind (approximately 35 degrees in either direction from the source of the wind) than other vessels

    - Naval grape values now scale; number of pellets change based on weapon size, with 18 pounder staying at the baseline of 10/20
    (regular, improved).

    - Round shot ranges now scale, with 12 pounder staying at the old baseline of 400. Increments up at aproximately 100 per weapon

    - Chain shot range decreased for 6, 9, 12 pounders to scale for above changes.

    - Carronade ranges decreased to 200 and 250 for 32 and 64 pounder respective. Reload times decreased to 12 and 15 (32 and 64
    respectively). Carronades were light, small guns that could be serviced by a smaller crew, and fired much more quickly. A 32 pound
    carronade weighed about 1/3rd of an 18 pound long gun, for reference.

    - Fixed a bug what appeared to be a bug in 42 pounder reload times (they were lower for some ammunition types).

    - Naval mortar range decreased 750 -> 450.

    - Change damage amounts for all round shot, with old-baseline of 17 falling between 18 and 24 pounder. Smaller round shot does less
    damage that default; larger round shot does more (previously there was a 1pt different in each size type's damage) with exception of
    42 pounder, which was scaled VERY high comparitively (was 121, now 50). Carronades throw the same weight of metal, and now do the same
    damage for a long gun of their size.

    - Being shot astern has a larger morale penalty

    - Ships can no longer turn in any reasonable time while stationary (Thanks DarthVader for working out the headings in the naval_stats file!)

    - Ships turn much slower at low speeds

    - Sailing into the wind is much slower

    The combination of those effects means that you DO NOT WANT to turn into the wind unless you're a galley, steamship, or you've built up a lot of speed and the momentum will carry you to your next tack. Big ships now FEEL big and heavy. Smaller ships now actually have a role in fleet engagements, because with these changes their manueverability and acceleration blows the big ships out of the water. You now need a balance of ship types to have an effective fleet. Not just as many 3rd rates as you can crank out.

    - Decreased top speed for all ships 5th rate and up

    Land Changes

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    I've tried to make land battles more tactical. Each unit has a niche, or a role, and a counter. You need a balanced army and intelligent tactics to ensure victory. The first (and biggest) change you'll notice will be accuracy scaling. You'll have absolutely terrible accuracy at long range (the accuracy number I've shot for is based off of accuracy rates at those ranges in real battles). Once you close, however, your volleys will be absolutely lethal. It's important to time charges, advances, and retreats to take advantage of this new mechanic. I've also made artillery a vital component of every army, and cavalry has also been heavily reworked, with each type (missile, mobile infantry, lancer, sword cavalry) having a different role it needs to fill.

    Unit Cost Changes

    I've reworked all unit purchase prices and upkeep costs. You'll find overall that maintaining an army isn't economically straining. Keeping an army at full strength when it's actually fighting is going to cost a lot more money. It's very important to save some money each turn to build up a war chest.

    It breaks down as follows

    I've doubled the cost of every unit, and the upkeep is roughly 15% of that price. For artillery the upkeep is roughly 10% and for cavalry it's roughly 25%


    - Squares are more effective against cavalry

    - Infantry are more effective in melee against cavalry in general

    - Infantry have had their accuracy in close ranges increased, with long range accuracy much worse than vanilla

    - Double Barreled musket (grenzer) has had it's reload time increased. It'll take twice as long to reload as a regular musket, but it will still have twice the punch.

    - Muskets have had their range increased to 100, rifles now have a maximum range of 175. Light Infantry are at 125. Though accuracy at these long ranges is terrible.

    - Line infantry has been tweaked for various factions to add variety

    - Highland Clansmen can now be recruited by Great Britain

    - All expatriate infantry are limited to four units per faction

    - Grenadier units (not grenade launcher units) are the same size as a regular unit of line infantry. They shoot as well as regular line infantry, poorer than a Guard unit. They shouldn't be wasted on a fire line - they should be there to punch a hole in the enemy lines with superior melee.

    - Grenades are now less effective

    - Sikh and Bargir musketeers are considered Trained. Sikh Musketeers have improved melee stats. Bargir have improved melee defense (they are wearing actual armor, after all).

    - Light Infantry units are 50% larger. With the accuracy changes at longer ranges, they need more weight of fire per volley

    - Melee units have had their stats increased. Sikh Warriors now have an inspiring aura to compensate for Marathas' lack of elite infantry.

    - All matchlock armed citizenry now have the stats of Militia. Hopefully now blitzing won't work as well. (Thanks very much to Matte979 for this)

    - All melee infantry units are now at least as large as Line Infantry

    - Increased cost of Grenadiers and Elites

    - I couldn't find a way to make a recruit cap for just England and France, so the unique Elite Infantry that these two factions get do not have the Inspiring Aura.

    - Native Americans have had their spacing increased

    - Native Americans should be more aggressive

    - Added Mountain Troops AKA Norwegian Ski Troops to the Swedish Roster

    - Added unit limit for Sikh Warriors

    - Removed Inspiring Aura from elite cavalry (hate to do this, but in late game some factions were just unbreakable in combat)

    - Grenadiers can no longer Platoon Fire

    - Grenadiers are now more expensive

    - Elite infantry is now more expensive

    - Light infantry is now more expensive

    - Grenadiers have had the "Throw Grenade" ability removed, instead they now inspire fear in their enemies due to their size and ferocity

    - Native American units have been dramatically reduced in size

    - Native American units have had their stats dramatically increased

    - Colonial Infantry has had it's stats reduced

    - Unit caps have been added for all units recruitable in North America

    - Grenadiers have had their melee attack and charge values increased slightly

    - Rifles now have a 40 second base reload time instead of a 30 second base reload time

    - Light Infantry Drill (not Doctrine) is now available after you research your first technology

    - Ranger units have had their size reduced significantly, and their stats dramatically increased

    - Light Infantry have had their purchase price increased

    - Range for Cannister Shot, Light Infantry Muskets, and Rifles has been increased to 165, 150, and 215 respectively

    Accuracy at those ranges still sucks, even for these high accuracy units. What it does mean is that at line infantry range they will outshoot line infantry. They are absolutely terrible melee combatants, however. They are also significantly more vulnerable to artillery, due to their smaller unit size (each man lost affects their effectiveness much more than regular infantry). They are very vulnerable to cavalry, and to bayonet charges. They also only outshoot line infantry at line infantry's maximum range. If the line infantry closes range, they will outshoot light infantry due to weight of fire. I made this change because skirmishing was sadly lacking in the previous version, and it became a very important factor in combat as 18th century warfare evolved. European light infantry beats American rangers, due to unit size
    These changes also spell a very different style of warfare in the Americas. Your European style army full of Line Infantry will not do well against the new Native Americans. They're harder to hit with bullets, they should ambush more, and if (when) they get to your lines, you'll be cut up like a child molester in a triple max. It's time to start relying on your Native auxiliaries. The actual Native American factions have better melee than your auxiliaries, but not by an insurmountable margin. You've also got a big advantage in firepower thanks to the heroes of the frontier - Rangers. Use your superior firepower to weaken the incoming Native melee units so that your weaker (but still considerable) auxiliaries can finish them off. Line Infantry will outshoot Natives, but they will have problems putting enough fire on the melee units to be able to route them in melee. Native auxiliaries were very important during conflicts on the American frontier, they are now in IS.

    Of course, you can still use a European army, especially if you stock up on Artillery with Cannister shot. It's a much dicier proposition, however. You will not be able to react as well to ambushes when you're burdened with artillery, and if they get to your guns and you havn't gotten enough damage, it ain't gonna be pretty.

    - Isarelys can now build prebattle fortifications

    - Line infantry (and units that were the same size as line infantry) are now 25% larger

    - Russian units have been decreased in size. They are now 20% larger than regular infantry units, and their stats have been changed to compensate.

    - Musket wielding Maratha infantry have had their melee stats decreased. Each type now has a certain aspect of melee it's more effective at, the same way each type has a variety of shooting it's more effective at.

    - Native American Warriors no longer inspire fear

    - Native American Medicine Men now inspire fear

    - Native American Artillery has been removed

    - All Native American infantry now have Light Infantry Behavior, instead of just Musketmen

    - Grenadiers can now form square

    - Grenzers should now be recruitable throughout Europe, instead of only in Vienna

    - Grenadiers are only recruitable in Europe

    - Highland Infantry are now recruitable for Great Britain

    - Rifle units have been normalized in cost and stats (Greenjackets are still more expensive, with higher melee stats due to bayonet usage)

    - Wooden Stakes have been removed for realism and AI reasons

    - Guerrillas have had their accuracy and reloading speed decreased, however they now have excellent morale.

    - All Light Infantry have had their melee stats reduced. Don't use them in melee, essentially.

    - Highlanders are now recruitable from all level of government buildings in Scotland.

    - All light infantry has been reduced in size by 5/6ths, except Rangers and native Americans, who retain their original size.

    - Rifle base reload time has been increased to 60 seconds.

    - Rifle units have had their reload skill lowered.

    - Rifle, Light Infantry, and Cannister have had their ranges reduced to 180, 115, and 130.

    - Pandours can now use light infantry drill.


    - Cavalry have been reduced in size to 40% of a line infantry unit

    - Dragoons maintain their large unit size

    - Light Dragoons are slightly larger than regular cavalry units

    - Cavalry costs have been increased across the board

    - Cavalry stats (excepting Dragoons) have been increased to compensate for unit size loss

    - Sword wielding cavalry are now exceptional melee combatants, but they charge poorly

    - Lance wielding cavalry have a devastating charge, but are poor melee combatants

    - Dragoons now have infantry levels of upkeep. Dragoons are poor cavalry, they truly are mobile infantry now.

    Traditionally, if infantry DID stand against a cavalry charge, the charge failed. Cavalry charges were only fatal when the infantry broke and tried to run. With the changes in morale, using cavalry to flank formations is much more valuable.
    - General units are much smaller. The power of their inspirational aura has been increased, but they are too fragile to be used except in the most dire of combat situations.

    - Dragoons have a much lower cavalry charge bonus. They are still a versatile unit, but they cannot charge like dedicated melee cavalry. Still excellent flankers, point guards, and at chasing down routing units. Dragoons also have slightly larger units.

    - All sword wielding cavalry (including General units) can now dismount to avoid musket or artillery fire.

    - Generals are now accompanied by a staff of Officers, who wield pistol blunderbusses

    - Dragoons now carry blunderbusses (their namesake). They have a very limited range, but within that range are tremendously effective. Deploy them wisely, or they'll be shot to pieces. Light Dragoons maintain a more traditional armament.

    - Dragoons are now recruit able after Light Dragoons become available. They fill different niches now.

    - Carabineers now use blunderbusses as well. They're actually worth using now.

    - Swedish cavalry units are now larger than other cavalry units, ala vanilla. Their cost has also been proportionally increased

    - Hussars are now superior to Regiments of Horse. Hungarian Hussars are the best Hussars.

    - Hussars now carry a single shot pistol into battle

    - Cuirassiers also carry a single shot pistol into battle

    I've set the range on these pistols to 200, as a safeguard for the AI. The AI won't use these guys effectively if they can still shoot, they'll run them up close and then fire, ruining any charge bonus. So the AI will shoot early, and then use them like regular cavalry. Players, however, now have an extra trick they can use if infantry is in square, for example.
    - Generals have been reduced in price to 1800

    - Austrians can now recruit Dragoons again.

    - Hussars now use the more historical carbine and sabre combination.

    - Hussars no longer have invisible handles on their carbines

    - Carabineers have had their equipment and firing animation fixed

    - Added a unit limit to Native American general bodyguards to prevent erroneous AI behavior

    - Colonial Light Cavalry is now full sized

    - Hussars are now more expensive than Regiments of Horse


    - Cannon Accuracy has been increased. They were responsible for more than 50% of the casualties back in the day, hopefully now they'll pull their weight a bit better.

    - Decreased accuracy of Mortars significantly

    - Decreased accuracy of Howitzers moderately

    - Increased range of Howitzers and Cannons by 100, for a total of 500

    - Artillery recruitment costs have been increased across the board. Upkeep costs remain the same

    - Increased artillery unit size by 50%

    - Cannister has increased in effectiveness and range

    - Artillery has been changed Range has been reworked, the heavier the gun the longer the range, from the 3 pound gallopers at 300 to the 64 pound great cannon at 600. Cannister has been reworked. Cannister is basically a bunch of musket balls, so I figured you got about 10 musketballs per pound of lead (very conservative, but I'm tired and I do'nt want hard math), so a 3 pound gun has 30 musketballs shot per cannister round, a 24 has 240 musketballs shot.

    - Reload times have also been reworked. Artillery has a base 15 second reload time, and each pound a gun has increases that time by 1 second. So a 3 pounder reloads in 18 seconds, a 24 reloads in 39. Howitzers have a 5 second penalty for special shot types, except for percussion shells.

    - Mortars have had their range unchanged (will remain that way until I can make them mobile), their reload times have been tweaked, 4 pounders reload in 35 seconds for special shots, 8 pounders in 50 seconds.

    - Artillery recruitment in North America has been limited: You get 5 12lb cannons and 5 12lb howitzers

    - Regular artillery is now only recruitable in your home theater (Europe for Europeans, India for Indians, etc...)

    - All cannister shot (regardless of cannon poundage) now takes 7 seconds longer to reload than previously.


    - Integration of Tighter Formations Mod, with many many thanks to lesterthenerd

    - Morale has been standardized based on level of training a unit has. Elite units have high morale, 11. Well Trained units have 8. Trained units have 5. Poorly trained units have 3. Artillery still has low morale. Dedicated melee units are two steps higher on the training scale for morale. IE: A poorly trained melee unit has 8 morale.

    It's going to be very difficult to keep a poorly trained unit fighting. As was the case during this time period historically, many armies simply would not fight. They'd fire a volley, recieve a volley, and simply flee. Good use of your general is going to be key to keeping your army fighting. I'd especially like feed back about this change
    - Ammunition capacity has been doubled for all units.

    - Movement speed for all units have been decreased. You'll really notice moving through rough terrain, like woods, and you'll really notice it when it starts to rain

    - Morale has been reworked. Units will route closer to 50% casualties lost instead of 80%+. Units will gain more benefit from nearby inspirational units, flank protection, and terrain. Units recieve a bigger penalty for being attacked in the rear or sides.

    - Land unit cost changes now show up in the custom battle

    - Units will now rally more easily.

    - The "inspires terror" fear aura has been dramatically reduced in size. It's only effective in melee now.

    - The effect of whether a unit is winning or losing a combat on morale has been slightly increased.

    - Morale for units has had a behind the scenes increase (you won't see it on a unit card, but it's there).

    Campaign Changes
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    - Churches have had their conversion rates and happiness modifiers greatly reduced

    - Buildings now cost more

    - Fisheries now have a small growth bonus to town wealth. 2/4/6 a turn respectively. This will now provide some benefit to the AI and the player after population has been maxed out. You don't need to trash your fisheries any more.

    - The Mughal Empire now has a starting technological advantage in the fields of Agriculture and the Textile Industry

    - The Mughal Empire's starting treasury has been dramatically increased. They were the richest faction in the world, and now this is represented.

    What's To Come

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    I have a few more things I'd like to add to this mod. Unfortunately, they can't be done right now. I'm holding out for the official modding tools. When they arrive, here's what to expect -

    - Campaign movement ranges will increase dramatically while in friendly territory and decrease dramatically while in enemy territory

    - Diplomacy will be reworked to the same extent that every other aspect of the game has been reworked.

    - Increased use for the Rake and the Gentleman (Hopefully, though this may be hardcoded and impossible to change)

    - The Battle AI will be reworked heavily

    - The tech tree will be adjusted, with at least 4 new lines. Each line will increase a pair of stats for Line Infantry (reloading skill and ammo capacity, accuracy, melee skill and charge, and melee defense and morale). The starting stats of all line infantry will be lowered. This creates more unit variety (something Empire is lacking), and it gives more strategic choices to the player. There might also be a naval version of this change.
    Last edited by Quixote07; May 03, 2009 at 01:30 PM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Imperial Splendour Overview and Complete Changelog

    The startpos.esf does:
    - Make Minor Factions Playable
    - Add Victory Conditions to Minor Factions
    - Increases Starting Funds for Mughals, they were pwned by the Marathas to quick
    - Changes Portugal, Italian States and Denmark to Major factions, maybe this includes another AI behaviour.

    The scripting.lua only disables the Protectorate Handover. This change is for one thing required to make those Protectorates playable, and on the other hand that Handover always destroyed all units, leaving the regions totally undefended and an economic risk for their owner.

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