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Thread: TATW Hotseat Balance Patch Beta 0.21 RELEASED

  1. #1
    JWANT's Avatar Senator
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    Default TATW Hotseat Balance Patch Beta 0.21 RELEASED

    I've finished the first version of a balance patch. The actual changelog is so long that i gave up on it a while ago but the highlights can be found below.

    Why this patch exists and how it fixes the balance issues of TATW

    Anyone who has played this mod knows there are serious issues with the auto-resolve (AR) battles. TATW was a mod made to play battles, not auto-resolve them, but as a result it broke the autoresolve balance in the mod. First it is important to understand how AR works.

    To simplify the calculation:

    A battle is fought 1 unit vs 1 unit over multiple rounds until a winner is calculated (morale for one army will break in most cases). Units will fire ranged weapons a number of times dependent on how fast their opponent can move and how fast they can fire. The distance that units start apart is defined by the calculation. Once the units meet in melee they fight until one unit is destroyed or fails their morale check and flees.

    Armour-Piercing!

    TATW players know that armour-piercing (AP) units are extremely effective. This stat allows the unit to cancel half of their opponents armour stat when calculation the AR battle. This is a huge advantage and explains why the Dwarves, who have good melee stats to begin with, are so much better than all other factions in AR)

    It is important to note that only some of the armour stat(s) are halfed - this includes the base armours (there are 2 layers of armour stats for all units but most only have one used since the second is considered flesh) and shield armour (shields only offer protection against attacks from the front but for AR I don't believe this has any effect except on units fleeing). Units also have a Defense Skill stat which reflects their ability to avoid attacks and defend themselves - AP has no affect on this stat. You'll notice that fewer infantry have AP stats but now cavalry do.

    How have these issues been addressed?

    What I have done to address this issue is change unit stats based on a formula that roughly (AR is too complex for me to model!) resembles the effectiveness of a unit in AR and how much a unit should cost based on this. The math is boring so I will provide some real examples.

    Ranged units (archers, throwing weapon units) rarely were used in TATW hotseats. This is because the AR calculation only allows them to fire arrows a few times (based on the speed of enemy units) before they enter melee. Since archers are usually poor in melee they have a poor AR performance. To fix this, I greatly increased the ranged attack stats of all ranged units so that when the AR calculation is made, their ranged weapons have more impact on the result. This makes them highly effective against poorly armoured and low morale units who can be shot to pieces before they move into melee.

    Cavalry (mounted) units are the least used in TATW hotseats. This is because the AR calculation is heavily dependent on the number of soldiers in a unit and Cavalry, which are small units, are the most expensive unit type in the mod. To address this issue I increased the number of soldiers in each cavalry unit. I also greatly increased their other fighting stats numerically and by making them AP because the AR calculation does not fully factor in the tactical advantage of Cavalry's mobility. No TATW player simply charges all of their Cavalry units into the front of their opponent's army so I had to make Cavalry much stronger to reflect this! These changes are also reflected in mounted General units who, aside from their leadership stats, were otherwise useless.

    Melee infantry units are the best in TATW AR because of the calculation's focus on melee. Melee infantry have the best melee stats of all unit types (especially Dwarves!). I didn't make many changes to these units because I changed the other types. Some Orc units had slight stat reductions because of their superior number of soldiers in each unit.

    Hotseat Patch 0.2 Changes

    Improve balance of Isengard vs Rohan match-up and Harad+Mordor vs Gondor. Rohan and Harad had units removed from their starting rosters to prevent a rush attack against their opponent.

    Remove Mordor horde spawn when defeated

    Added military unit recruitment buildings to some factions to help with balance and add flavour. For example, Rohan now has access to better cavalry, Elf factions have access to better units and Minas Tirith and Umbar become great places of recruitment for their factions right from the start.

    Hotseat Patch 0.1 Changes

    Completely re-worked unit balance. Ranged and mounted units now have value with their improved auto-resolve. Unit cost and upkeep re-worked as well

    o Ranged units can deal significant damage to enemies. Effective against most (particularly units with low armour values) but weak against strong melee (foot or mounted) units
    o Mounted units are tough and can deal significant damage. Effective against all units except spearmen or pikemen
    o Spearmen and pikemen are strong against cavalry but are weak against other infantry
    o Non-spear or pike wielding infantry are effective against spearmen and ranged units
    o Trolls are very effective against infantry but cavalry can counter them

    Removed barracks event now all units will be available from the start, provided that the necessary buildings to recruit them have been built

    Added population growth bonus to farms and increased other population growth bonus buildings. This will increase income and allow players to potentially upgrade settlements sooner.

    Fixed Mumakil recruitment bug. They should now be available after a Mumakil Training Ground has been built.

    How to Install:

    You can simply copy the files attached to this post and replace the existing game files. I would recommend making back-ups of your current files being replaced.

    Instead of changing your existing install, or if you want to keep your vanilla TATW install, I would recommend making an extra install of the TATW mod. Here are the instructions courtesy of Emperor of Hell:

    http://www.twcenter.net/forums/showt...erent-submods)

    Instructions to install the balance patch:

    Unzip the archive to a location of your choice. Install 0.2 first, then install the 0.21 files
    Make backups of the files you are about to replace!
    Export_descr_buildings
    o This file goes in your TATW folder in \mods\Third_Age_3\data and should replace the existing file there
    Export_descr_unit
    o This file goes in your TATW folder in \mods\Third_Age_3\data and should replace the existing file there
    Descr_events
    o This file goes in your TATW folder in mods\Third_Age_3\data\world\maps\campaign\imperial_campaign
    Descr_strat
    o This file goes in your TATW folder in mods\Third_Age_3\data\world\maps\campaign\imperial_campaign and should replace the existing file there
    Descr_sm_factions
    o This file goes in your TATW folder in \mods\Third_Age_3\data and should replace the existing file there

    Files:


    http://www.mediafire.com/download/ib...0.2%282%29.rar

    http://www.mediafire.com/download/2a4sr8ua18xwga7/0.21.rar
    Last edited by JWANT; January 17, 2016 at 12:08 PM.

  2. #2
    JWANT's Avatar Senator
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    Default Re: [WIP] TATW Hotseat Balance Patch by JWANT

    Resources for the Public

    I will be sharing anything I use to develop the balance patch for those who are interested.

    1. I have attached a spreadsheet with unit information. This spreadsheet is an updated and expanded version of what is found in the Third Age folder. I updated the existing spreadsheet from 3.0 to 3.2 and added some additional info for each unit using the export_descr_unit file. Unit names are based on that file, not necessarily how they show up in the game.
    http://www.mediafire.com/view/b1knk6...ts_22.8.15.xls
    Last edited by JWANT; August 22, 2015 at 11:32 AM.

  3. #3
    Nice's Avatar Biarchus
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    Default Re: [WIP] TATW Hotseat Balance Patch by JWANT

    I made a similiar post 2 years ago. Maybe it can help you:
    http://www.twcenter.net/forums/showt...ons&highlight=

    Never went ahead to implement it as no one was willing to start a hotseat with my suggestions.
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    JWANT's Avatar Senator
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    Default Re: [WIP] TATW Hotseat Balance Patch by JWANT

    Quote Originally Posted by Nice View Post
    I made a similiar post 2 years ago. Maybe it can help you:
    http://www.twcenter.net/forums/showt...ons&highlight=

    Never went ahead to implement it as no one was willing to start a hotseat with my suggestions.
    Thanks for mentioning that post - I had forgotten about it. That is important analysis I can use to maintain balance between the factions since my goal is to make a TATW that is balanced for both Good vs Evil and FFA

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    JWANT's Avatar Senator
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    Default Re: [WIP] TATW Hotseat Balance Patch by JWANT

    The patch coding is done so it is time to start testing. I will be running a test campaign on my own but will post the files and the instructions for how to install them. I will also update the OP with the actual changes that were made.

    I testing goes through without any issues I will create a beta Hotseat and invite players to join. I anticipate that the testing should be relatively simple many of the changes have already been done by others for mods or personal use - only the stat changes and the redesign of the unit cost and upkeep system is unique to my work AFAIK.

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    Adanedhel's Avatar Campidoctor
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    Default Re: [WIP] TATW Hotseat Balance Patch by JWANT

    Cool! Would love to take a look.

  7. #7
    JWANT's Avatar Senator
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    Default Re: TATW Hotseat Balance Patch Beta 0.1 RELEASED

    The first version of the patch is ready to go - check out the first post here. I would encourage anyone interested in playing hotseats with it to install the files and take a look at some of the changes and test things out for themselves.

    I will start some new hotseats using this patch over the next few days.

  8. #8
    Chieftain Khuzaymah's Avatar Domesticus
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    Default Re: TATW Hotseat Balance Patch Beta 0.1 RELEASED

    I have a question. If I recall correctly you wanted to give cavalry a better strategic purpose in this game, right? So, making them stronger in AR than they currently are?

    My trouble is with the Isengard-Rohan match up. As you know the Rohan Rush I developed needs to be perfectly countered by Isengard, but if Rohan's cav got an AR boost..
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    JWANT's Avatar Senator
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    Default Re: TATW Hotseat Balance Patch Beta 0.1 RELEASED

    Quote Originally Posted by Chieftain Khuzaymah View Post
    I have a question. If I recall correctly you wanted to give cavalry a better strategic purpose in this game, right? So, making them stronger in AR than they currently are?

    My trouble is with the Isengard-Rohan match up. As you know the Rohan Rush I developed needs to be perfectly countered by Isengard, but if Rohan's cav got an AR boost..
    That is something worth testing out.

    Cav got an AR boost but spearmen and pikemen can counter them. Isengard also has access to better units earlier due to the removal of the barracks events which should help them - they just need to build a barracks or 2. the Isengard unit roster is stronger than Rohan's but Rohan has the strategic flexibility of using fast moving cavalry and a much better economy. It is also worth noting that units are generally more expensive now (upkeep costs are about the same) so Rohan would have a challenging time recruiting at the pace they did before this patch.

    If your Rohan rush is still an issue I will address the imbalance in version 0.2
    Last edited by JWANT; November 28, 2015 at 01:23 PM.

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    Chieftain Khuzaymah's Avatar Domesticus
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    Default Re: TATW Hotseat Balance Patch Beta 0.1 RELEASED

    Quote Originally Posted by JWANT View Post
    That is something worth testing out.

    Cav got an AR boost but spearmen and pikemen can counter them. Isengard also has access to better units earlier due to the removal of the barracks events which should help them - they just need to build a barracks or 2. the Isengard unit roster is stronger than Rohan's but Rohan has the strategic flexibility of using fast moving cavalry and a much better economy. It is also worth noting that units are generally more expensive now (upkeep costs are about the same) so Rohan would have a challenging time recruiting at the pace they did before this patch.

    If your Rohan rush is still an issue I will address the imbalance in version 0.2
    Yes, spearmen and pikemen can counter them, but my rush reaches a critical point for Isengard as soon as turn 3. On turn 5-6 I'll have all available units on the front lines, and because Rohan has a lot more settlements than Isengard, Rohan has got quite a bit more units than Isengard.

    So the barracks event removal means you can now make barracks in every settlement?
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  11. #11
    JWANT's Avatar Senator
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    Default Re: TATW Hotseat Balance Patch Beta 0.1 RELEASED

    Quote Originally Posted by Chieftain Khuzaymah View Post
    Yes, spearmen and pikemen can counter them, but my rush reaches a critical point for Isengard as soon as turn 3. On turn 5-6 I'll have all available units on the front lines, and because Rohan has a lot more settlements than Isengard, Rohan has got quite a bit more units than Isengard.

    So the barracks event removal means you can now make barracks in every settlement?
    The sheer number of Rohan units may still overwhelm Isengard but we won't know until someone tries. Ranged units also have much improved AR especially against low armour-stat targets and I believe Isengard has more.

    The barracks event removal allows settlements which are large enough (fortress/citadel, large/huge city etc) to build higher level military buildings (which grant recruitment of new, superior unit types) as soon as they are available instead of waiting for the game to allow them through the event system it has. The first barrack event happens between turns 32 and 40 and the second one happens between turns 56 and 64. They pop up as event messages in single player but I don't think they do in hotseats - but they are still there.

    Hotseats rarely go that long so now all factions can have access to better quality troops earlier in the hotseat. This has been done to allow hotseaters the chance to enjoy the mod using all available units instead of simply heavy infantry and militia spam. It also made balance improvement easier since some factions have much better early tier units than others but generally the later tier units from all factions were much more balanced.

    The Rohan rush is more of an initial set-up issue than a unit balance issue so I could address it by simply removing units from Rohan should it be an issue - this is an entirely different file than the files I have uploaded and changed. Anyone can feel free to install the files and test this out and I'll take a look at it myself as well.
    Last edited by JWANT; November 28, 2015 at 04:09 PM.

  12. #12
    JWANT's Avatar Senator
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    Default Re: TATW Hotseat Balance Patch Beta 0.1 RELEASED

    I did some testing today and Rohan still has an advantage if they send every unit to attack Isengard and they are the attacker. Rohan can field 2 stacks after 2 turns of recruitment vs Isengard's 1 stack.

    Rohan simply has too many units and can overwhelm Isengard. The AR is fairly balanced though so that is good to see. I'll address his for version 0.2 which will be released in a day or 2. Then the hotseats will begin.

    Thank you Chieftain for pointing out that match-up issue. It wasn't something I had tested initially and having never tried it I didn't realize how unfair it can be.

    Here is the Isengard vs Rohan save i used for anyone interested in trying it with the patch.

    http://www.mediafire.com/download/zc...senvsRohan.sav
    Last edited by JWANT; November 29, 2015 at 09:46 PM.

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    Default Re: TATW Hotseat Balance Patch Beta 0.1 RELEASED 0.2 coming soon

    Isn't Isengard's stack worth 2 Rohan stacks? Have not yet looked at the patch, but my impression of this match-up was that Isengard just needs to bunker up for a few turns and wait out Rohan's rush, and after that he has an advantage in numbers and AR.

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    Default Re: TATW Hotseat Balance Patch Beta 0.1 RELEASED 0.2 coming soon

    Quote Originally Posted by Adanedhel View Post
    Isn't Isengard's stack worth 2 Rohan stacks? Have not yet looked at the patch, but my impression of this match-up was that Isengard just needs to bunker up for a few turns and wait out Rohan's rush, and after that he has an advantage in numbers and AR.
    That is true in vanilla because Rohan's 2 stacks are mostly Cav and militia which are both terrible in AR. But with the balance changes I made Cav is much better now and difference between an Isengard unit and a Rohan unit is much closer.

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    JWANT's Avatar Senator
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    Default Re: TATW Hotseat Balance Patch Beta 0.2 RELEASED

    0.2 is ready to go. I'll be using this as the version for the first hotseats.

    I expanded the scope of this version beyond simply Rohan vs Isengard to include Harad+Mordor vs Gondor. I also added recruitment buildings to some factions to help with balance and to get some better quality units into the fight earlier in the hotseat.

    I'll be making some hotseats tomorrow. Format TBD but something like JWANTs 2 and/or a Good vs Evil hotseat will likely be the choice. Any feedback on the type of games people would like to see is appreciated!

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    Chieftain Khuzaymah's Avatar Domesticus
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    Default Re: TATW Hotseat Balance Patch Beta 0.2 RELEASED

    What exactly did you change with the Harad+Mordor vs Gondor set up?

    Could you also (briefly) elaborate on (some of) the real changes you made? You mentioned some units are now better in AR, but I don't have any knowledge of the game mechanics, so how did it change? And the effect of AP?
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    JWANT's Avatar Senator
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    Default Re: TATW Hotseat Balance Patch Beta 0.2 RELEASED

    Quote Originally Posted by Chieftain Khuzaymah View Post
    What exactly did you change with the Harad+Mordor vs Gondor set up?

    Could you also (briefly) elaborate on (some of) the real changes you made? You mentioned some units are now better in AR, but I don't have any knowledge of the game mechanics, so how did it change? And the effect of AP?
    I'll update the main post with some in-depth examples of what was changed and what type of different experience(s) to expect.
    Last edited by JWANT; December 09, 2015 at 06:38 PM.

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    Macrath's Avatar Domesticus
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    Default Re: TATW Hotseat Balance Patch Beta 0.2 RELEASED

    Well done m8. I look forward to taking a look at all the changes when I have some time. I may actually end up playing a TATW HotSeat afterall..I guess pigs really can fly

  19. #19
    JWANT's Avatar Senator
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    Default Re: TATW Hotseat Balance Patch Beta 0.2 RELEASED

    We are now at version 0.21 but that post update was lost in the forum reset. I will have the latest patch up soon if the forum posts are not rstored.

  20. #20
    JWANT's Avatar Senator
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    Default Re: TATW Hotseat Balance Patch Beta 0.21 RELEASED

    Likely changes to be incorporated into 0.3 (I think this update got deleted by the forum reset):

    - removal of assassins. No TATW hotseat allows them anyways.
    - all factions will be able to recruit at least one diplomat. This is very important for FFA games and helpful for Good vs Evil since the fighting starts quickly.
    - review of starting positions for all factions. Some factions may be given additional starting units/buildings or have them taken away. Isengard and Eriador will get most of the attention.
    - review of unit stats. Right now I'm fairly happy with how the AR balance has been in 0.21 but more testing is needed.
    - removal of annoying scripts like he Shire Autonomy. No use for these in hotseats since they don't work.

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