1.2 New Grand Campaign
- The new start date for the grand campaign will be 278 BCE, during the Pyrrhic Wars in the central Mediterranean and toward the end of the Celtic migration in Thrace, Greece and Asia. Pyrrhus has fought in Italy for awhile and things are now heating up in terms of Sicilian involvement and Carthaginian influence.
- This new date allows for a more dynamic campaign start for many factions like Epirus, the Greek states, Carthage and, especially, Rome. Rather than have a unified Italian peninsula mostly under Latin dominance, our new scenario allows for a more challenging and interesting start for those who like to play as Rome. We are endeavoring to make sure that Rome as the AI is not hindered too badly, though. We all still want a strong Rome to face in the mid-late game.
- Along with the situation in Italy being more complex, the diplomatic relationships across the world are a bit different at this time. Some leaders are still there, others are new, etc. Various factions have been added and some areas are now a different experience for the player.
- Some may ask why we changed the date and the simple answer is that we felt it would make a more interesting campaign, especially for players who have been playing our Grand Campaign for 3 years. Hopefully this adds a little bit of spice to the start and makes for a more enjoyable early game for some of the more popular playable factions.
Imperator Augustus Campaign Map
- The new Grand Campaign will have its map replaced with the IA campaign map. To be clear, the Imperator Augustus Free DLC campaign will still be playable in its current form as it is in 1.1. We are replacing the current Grand Campaign with this new map and scenario.
- A huge thanks to the Ancient Empires team and ABH2 for our great partnership that has allowed us to have a wonderful foundation to work from for this map.
- There are many, many benefits to using the IA map for a foundation for the Grand Campaign. It is a superior map in many ways:
- Many more regions in total on the map, especially in areas where most campaigns are played. Some region diversity is lost in the extreme southeast and northeast areas, but for the most part the campaign really benefits from the new region layout.
- This new regional layout includes better provincial design and assignments. Syracuse and Jerusalem are walled cities, Sicily is its own province and there are many new provinces in various locations as well. Overall there is more complexity and accuracy in many areas.
- Because of the new regions, we can have new and more diverse factions that haven't been seen before in the grand campaign. These include various new african, iberian, germanic and other factions. The Etruscans make a return in our new scenario and the Aetolian League is now represented.
- We have found that the map itself seems to have better AI pathfinding and core logic. This won't be immediately apparent, but it is something that makes campaigns play out in more interesting and dynamic ways.
- Here is a layout of the new campaign map with faction assignments:
- The new startpos should also have the benefit of working for our OSX players on Mac. Using 1.2 and our new OSX submod, you should now be able to reliably play the grand campaign.
- Along with the use of the new IA map, we also have a new strategic map overlay. Thanks to Idraeus, who did our other overlays, we will have a beautiful new strategic and mini-map design for your enjoyment.
- The new grand campaign will also include emergent factions in all regions. Once again, a huge thanks to the Ancient Empires team for use of this concept, factions and implementation!
- Almost 200 new factions will exist in the campaign that are not active at the start. These factions can then rebel, be liberated and generally arise during the course of a campaign.
- The concept of these factions is to represent local cultures, tribes and competing political entities across the map.
- By having these factions present, you will have more options in terms of diplomatic and conquest routes. You may choose to liberate a region and use it as an ally or buffer zone. Perhaps, a main rival is down to their last city, so you choose to liberate their locality in order to control them. Or, a bitter foe may have some border disputes that you use to your advantage by destabilizing those regions and creating multiple factions there. In other words, it adds a great new dynamic element to the campaign.
- The AI will also choose to sometimes liberate areas, creating new local entities and causing new situations for the player to face. Over time, this makes for a much more complex and interesting campaign map, rather than having the same generic larger empires always globbing up in all locations.
- Some of the various new possibilities, just on a small section of the Italian peninsula, can be seen here:
New Playable Factions and Starting Situations
- Since we are recreating the startpos from the ground up, we have the option to change various things that have not been changed in a long time. These include very basic but important parts of the campaign like:
- Starting spies for playable factions, even minor and custom ones. Specialized starts for those factions with unit types and selections. Some will start with a governor (dignitary).
- All garrisons are now properly sized from the beginning of the campaign.
- All playable factions have a proper civil war faction so they will all be able to have a civil war if politics are not properly managed.
- Speaking of politics, all playable factions have 4 starting political parties and at least one character in each. Rome and Carthage are still the only ones with 3 playable parties. This makes politics more involved from the outset of the campaign:
- New frontend campaign faction selection maps for all Grand Campaign factions. These were necessary due to the new map, so we decided to overhaul them all:- 1.2 will feature around 45 playable factions in total for the Grand Campaign, quite a bit of diversity and choice for our players! These new playables include 8 new exclusive ones for 1.2. Meroe, Atropatkan, Rhodos, Scordisci (replacing Tylis) and Edetani (replacing Cantabri) have already been announced, more will be announced soon!
This Year in History Messages
- The Grand Campaign will also now have historical "This Year in History" messages for every year going into the A.D. Big thanks to the R2TR team for use of their script here.
- These messages have been researched and put together in order to let the player know what was going on in history at the time. They are not meant to mimic what is happening in your campaign, they simply serve as a nice way of chronicling how history had gone at that point.
- At the start of each year in Spring, the message will show up in your Events dialogue. Some examples include:
New Regional and Resource Building Slots
- Since we are redoing the startpos, it is also a great opportunity to add custom building slots for regional and resource locations. These are not obvious to the player, but serve as a technical backdrop on which we can create a much more customized building system.
- These new special buildings include resource-specific building chains in regions, special capital buildings for various cities, and much more. This will receive its own preview in the future, for now here is a taste of the concept:
Future scenario mods/submods
- Since this startpos will be made using the Assembly Kit, the files that are used to construct it will be provided. This will allow others to take these files and edit them as they want. They can create small changes, basic submods, or even whole new scenario submods for DeI.
- I will also create a tutorial for how to create a DeI startpos using the kit so anyone can try their hand at it. Hopefully this opens up the possibility of even more user-created content and submods in the future.
- A huge thanks to the Ancient Empires team for so much help, especially with the new IA map files and emergent factions!
- The R2TR team for their historical year message script.
- Idraeus for his strategic map overlay.