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Thread: Observations on the WotN:B 3.1 (+RF1.6)

  1. #1
    Jurand of Cracow's Avatar History and gameplay!
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    Default Observations on the WotN:B 3.1 (+RF1.6)

    Hi Guys,
    I’ve played recently two games with WotN:B 3.1 – RF1.6. Here you may find a few words on my experience after 2 games (the Franks and the Vendland - admittedly rather easy factions).
    I think it might be helpful for the newcomers to the WotN (as I was a week ago and I couldn’t find any). I had a good time playing!

    Here you have the financial data for both games:
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 



    And here is the data on the settlements from the Vendland game after 80 turns:
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 



    The observations (sometimes with comments):

    I. Overall assessment:
    o This is a very good, developed, well-thought-out, mature mod.
    o The mod is very stable. I didn’t have any CTD. Congratulations: this is the most important feature of any mod!
    o The map is vast and well-representing the area of Northern Europe, even if not state-of-the-art graphically. I may live with some approximations (like the lack of the lakes in the swampy areas south of the Baltic sea), as well. However, it’s vastness is a serious challenge for the AI and you might find it behaving quite un-reasonably.
    o The new buildings feel historical and are immersive. You build your settlements from scratch (most villages have no single buildings) what is a paradise for the builder-type of players. I love it.
    o The economic balance (income-costs) is good, although not without problems. In particular, I find the buildings too cheap compared to the units, especially to the mercenaries. This makes the strategy “keep the peace, build up your villages” a superior one for some factions.
    o One should adjust himself to the role-playing in this mod: it’s not for the governors, it’s for the warriors. Your generals are just to conquer the world – they get a lot of Command stars and hitpoints. If a general stay at a settlement, he doesn’t get many interesting traits in the long run (for short time perhaps yes – an ancillary and the like). However, there’s no point in having governor-generals. The Piety, Loyalty or trait-benefits seem to be rather irrelevant in this mod since they don’t change.
    o The factions are very interesting as they are different from many other games. The Scandinavian ones are probably very immersive (it's just my impression, I haven't played any yet), the Franks are well developed with the Regnum Frankorum submod, and the Slavic and Baltic-Finnish are ok (with some minor hiccoughs). It's really exciting to play with such an unusual faction as the Wiltzen.
    o I find the unit rosters ok. The composition of the Slavic factions is what I'd understand historical. The Scandinavian rosters are perhaps excellent. I cannot tell much about the units and their names as I don’t have much knowledge of the languages at that time.
    o I cannot tell much either about the BAI and the course of the battles. I didn’t have problems, but I didn’t play many.
    o The mod prompts the raiding strategy (income from sacking settlements is very high, you may fund many buildings at home for this prices, the AI keeps on re-building his settlements due to its bonuses on money, public order, and growth), so I believe it’s very good at simulation the Viking times. This makes this mod stand out!
    o However, there’re currently some other winning strategies possible that rather abuse the system (I’ve described them here). They can be easily fixed, though.
    o Visually the battlefield is ok, no complaints. I find units immersive, and the settlement models are specific to this mod and look fantastic.
    o For some players immersion might be limited by very succinct descriptions of the buildings and the units. It's not about telling the story about that times, it's not the EBII where you can learn history.
    o Music is stunning: many different themes, many songs. It feels so well to play with.

    II. Settlements & b
    uildings
    o Most (all?) of the settlements start at the village level and usually without buildings. The gameplay is based on the assumption that the player will gather the money from the raids, then build up the infrastructure, and only then the settlements will add something to the treasury. It's a long process as there many buildings. However, as you may see in the table at the beginning of this entry, developing many villages will add up eventually to a quite substantial budget.
    o The settlements differ from one to another. There are certain that have the potential to grow fast and to provide much money (like Szczecin in Vendland), other will struggle. The essential factor is the access to the sea; also the resources and the number of the bordering provinces are very important. The capitals have usually the biggest potential.
    o There’re many of the buildings and I like the logic. There’re many conditionalities among them (you need to build one first to be able to build another). It’s one of the best features of the mod.
    o The growth rates of the villages/towns are very reasonable for the village levels. At the higher levels (town, large town) they can get quite high (squalor grows slower than growth benefits from the buildings).
    o I really do like that setting taxes at “Low” doesn’t increase population growth. They are just to keep the unrest. You cannot put your villages on afterburner.
    o Guilds (there’s 3-4 of them, only military) are rather easily acquired if you recruit units.
    o Unfortunately, retraining doesn’t’ exhaust the recruitment pool what might be abused by the player (eg. you’ve got a unit of 4 soldiers, you retrain them up to 150, but the recruitment pool remains full. In this way you may collect good reserves).

    III. Income and prices

    o At the beginning, the main source of income is the lump sum of the Kings' purse. The settlements provide little until they're developed and trade with the neighboring provinces. The trade is then a significant source of income, more important than in the other mods.
    o The buildings are cheap in comparison to the units (usually: first levels 600, second 1200, third 2400, while recruitment of a decent infantry unit might be 1200-1600). I'm not sure how it impacts on the dynamics of the campaign. There'll be fewer stacks and rather few of the large ones (what means it's a way better than in the new TW games). The WotN may excel in this feature, but I haven't played long enough to tell.
    o The building times are rather short but then you very often have several stages of a building chain what makes the overall time reasonably long (as the Rome was build not overnight). One may wonder if for the infrastructural establishments (called "buildings", but being much more than a building) the times couldn’t be longer (eg. doubled or tripled for farms, mines, ports, walls).
    o Everybody should be aware how much money do the generals suck – as described in another entry – and should perhaps limit adoptions and marriages. As I recon that it provides for an abusive strategy of taking settlements only with bodyguards, I think halving their numbers and prices is badly needed.
    o Otherwise, the balance seems to be struck. It’s an essential feature of a good mod so I praise the WotN on this.
    o Watchtowers are dirt cheap in comparison to their benefits (you need to have a look at your vast territories as there’re many rebels spawned). The result is the player is better to build them everywhere. I think it'd beneficial for the gameplay to make them more expensive, eg. 500.

    IV. Public order
    :
    o The main sources of disorder in the mod are:
    ..1. Distance from capital: goes up and challenges the player in building a big empire.
    ..2. Additional 30% in the settlements in territories that might be called “not our people”. So a settlement far away from your capital suffers not only the distance from capital penalties but also this penalty.
    ..3. Religious unrest: for the pagan factions this can be a serious problem as they don’t have priests, it takes a long time to convert the population. The Christians have it easier (maybe it’s a good solution, but it’s still too fast). Comment: it actually doesn’t matter much as most of the map is pagan. Only if you play the Franks you need to pay attention.
    ..4. Squalor (due to the size of the settlement) – this impacts very little, only from the size of 1000 or so. Only for towns/large town it starts to mater and prompts you to keep a larger garrison (but then you’ve got a free upkeep so it again doesn’t matter).
    ..5. Other (enemy spies, traits of the governors, others?) – I haven’t seen them in practice but there might be a black swan.
    o The buildings provide some order, but not so much – it’s not enough for the far-away regions, and most of them are available from the level of a town. Thus it makes it slightly more difficult to control those regions - perhaps a good challenge.
    o Given the M2TW mechanics, one unit is enough to make a maximum garrison-order in a village (as this is counted by comparing the number of inhabitants with the number soldiers, and it’s capped at 80%). Only over 1000 inhabitants another one is needed. Then, at a level of a town, you get many free upkeep slots and it renders the whole mechanism irrelevant. For this reason, I'm unsure what reason actually the "free upkeep" serves in this mod.
    o The noble and levy units have not difference for the garrisoning purposes. I think that the levy/peasant units should have the "Is_peasant" attribute in EDU what would make them half-as-impactful (for garrisoning) as the noble guys. I think it'd historical and reasonable.

    IV. Traits & ancillaries
    :
    o This is a mod for warriors so Commanders traits are numerous, concentrating on the “Command” stars and “Hitpoints”. Sometimes it can make the generals invincible.
    o Governors’ traits (+% tax, trade, happiness, - unrest) are rare and irrelevant because you don't want to waste your general on governing. I'm not happy about this (as I specialize in moding the traits), but this is the feature of the mod.
    o Ancillaries for the Viking factions seem to be interesting, for the Slavic factions they’re more limited. As this mod time-span is actually shorter than the other large mods, I find it ok.

    V. AI and diplomacy:
    o This seems to have been a less important facet of the mod for their creators. The attitude of the factions is rather positive unless you’ve got a common border or you just invade somebody. Among the AIs it’s similar: the wars erupt very rarely.
    o Initial diplomacy: there’s just one obvious conflict foreseen. Then the world is pretty peaceful unless the player attacks.
    o The AI doesn’t seem to cope well with the challenge of the vastness of the map. It errs at finding his way to a foreign settlement to conquer, it hesitates, moves forth and back, it uses just part of the movement points etc. It wouldn’t invade across the sea, I suppose (no ships spotted over the 80 turns beside those initial ones).
    o The AI is a good builder – I’ve seen his villages build up to the maximum what’s possible. This is an opportunity for the player to raid and raise funds. Good for the gameplay so that the player indeed adopts raiding style. However, it also shows that the AI sits on the mountains of cash (what’s also visible in the statistical screen).
    o Having much money, the AI may be abused it in the trade negotiations, as already highlighted. Perhaps a simple script (like this one) could prevent AI treasury from sky-rocketing.
    o The AI sends also 2-3 unit stacks which are easy to mop up. The army composition is not particularly reasonable though: mainly the weak units a faction has access to. However, as I have mentioned, the AI is a builder so it can get access to the higher-tier units and field higher quality armies.

    VI. Agents:
    o There’re plenty of Merchants in this mod as every village gives one (the system I’m skeptical about, see here). They give rather little money (something like 24-40-100) and they develop max +2 Finance from their ancillaries (I haven’t seen any traits). After some time also the AI hires merchants and they come to your lands, sniping your merchants (the autoresolve is skewed in favor of the AI). But you may defend by striking with your older +2Finance on the AI +0 novices.
    o You’ve got quick access to the diplomats (village level), while to the spies only from the level of a town (and to the assassins as well). Given the vastness of the map, the spies are very valuable. This is a very good solution for the mod to limit the number of the spies. Actually, at the beginning I’m using merchants to gather information about the foreign lands, what I find also historical.

    VII. Other issues:
    o Rebels spawn quite often. What provides for a good check on the player’s strategy: forces are needed at home, so you cannot raid with everybody.
    o As a matter of fact, it'd be more immersive if a different currency would have been used: deniers. For now, there're florins and they were created only in 13th century, IIRC.


    All in all, for me it’s one of the most interesting mods for the M2TW engine. If the role-playing (development of the generals) is not so important for you, you should play it!

    I'd like to say that we owe all of this to the modders who have spent many hours just for their and our fun. So I'd like to thank Mr_Nygren, absinthia, Horsa, Aphain and all the others for their work. We can have fun only thanks to them - so big thank you!

    Cheers
    JoC

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    If somebody would be interested what I’d tweak in my files for the next game (low hanging fruits):
    - EDB:
    o Farms, roads, mines, walls – building times x2 or x3 (I feel it realistic: infrastructure takes a long time to build, much longer than setting up just a building / establishment. And moving up to a higher settlement level, eg. from a village to a town, should also take a longer time. This is also good for the gameplay)
    o Merchants – recruitment only from Market level III (town) (to avoid cluttering of the agents' window. Very good also for the gameplay as - given the 0 costs and low income from their work - the player spams map with the merchants just to learn about the AI army movements).
    o Buildings – double all the prices (to align them with the costs of the units - I'm still not sure about this one, and I'd do it only for playing with the current levels for some time)
    - EDU
    o Bodyguards – the number of men lowered by half and the costs lowered accordingly (and I'll play on Large, not Huge) (to unable the abusive strategy of taking villages just with cavalry while making it more affordable to have also governors - I think this is the most important and badly needed change).
    o Is_peasant attribute for the low-tire units of the faction I’ll play (to make upper society units more effective at garrisoning settlements).
    - EDCT
    o Traits – actually, this is the topic I specialize on so I’d introduce some of my modifications just to make governors more useful and to make the life-development more convincing. I'd also limit the number of Command and hitpoints benefits, add +Movement, work much on the governors' traits.
    o Ancillaries – perhaps some review would be needed to adjust them to the traits. But not a thorough investigation.
    - Other
    o Watchtowers' prices increased from 200 to 500 (to make a player really scratching his head if it's price-effective to see every corner of his realm).
    o Homerule: you don’t accept any money from the AI for any trade agreement.
    Last edited by Jurand of Cracow; February 02, 2018 at 01:07 AM.
    For those who want to play a historical mod in a medieval setting:
    try either the Stainless Steel Historical Improvement Project + minimods,
    or the Broken Crescent + Buff and Shine submod.
    ..........................................................................................................................................................................
    Reviews of the mods: SSHIP (2018), Wrath of the Norsemen (2018), Broken Crescent (2018).
    Thrones of Britannia: review, opinion on the battles, ideas for modding.
    Minimods for the SSHIP: Generals Traits, Provincial Titles, Crowns.
    Short guides for the SSHIP: population growth, forts and watchtowers.
    Pros and cons of having Merchants in an M2TW mod.
    Home rules for playing a game without exploiting the M2TW engine deficiencies.
    Dominant strategy in Attila TW and Rome 2 TW: “Sniping groups of armies”.

  2. #2
    Mr_Nygren's Avatar Berserkir
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    Default Re: Observations on the WotN:B 3.1 (+RF1.6)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jurand of Cracow View Post
    Hi Guys,
    I’ve played recently two games with WotN:B 3.1 – RF1.6. Here you may find a few words on my experience after 2 games (the Franks and the Vendland - admittedly rather easy factions).
    I think it might be helpful for the newcomers to the WotN (as I was a week ago and I couldn’t find any). I had a good time playing!

    Here you have the financial data for both games:


    And here is the data on the settlements from the Vendland game after 80 turns:


    The observations (sometimes with comments):

    I. Overall assessment:
    o This is a very good, developed, well-thought-out, mature mod.
    o The mod is very stable. I didn’t have any CTD. Congratulations: this is the most important feature of any mod!
    o The map is vast and well-representing the area of Northern Europe, even if not state-of-the-art graphically. I may live with some approximations (like the lack of the lakes in the swampy areas south of the Baltic sea), as well. However, it’s vastness is a serious challenge for the AI and you might find it behaving quite un-reasonably.
    o The new buildings feel historical and are immersive. You build your settlements from scratch (most villages have no single buildings) what is a paradise for the builder-type of players. I love it.
    o The economic balance (income-costs) is good, although not without problems. In particular, I find the buildings too cheap compared to the units, especially to the mercenaries. This makes the strategy “keep the peace, build up your villages” a superior one for some factions.
    o One should adjust himself to the role-playing in this mod: it’s not for the governors, it’s for the warriors. Your generals are just to conquer the world – they get a lot of Command stars and hitpoints. If a general stay at a settlement, he doesn’t get many interesting traits in the long run (for short time perhaps yes – an ancillary and the like). However, there’s no point in having governor-generals. The Piety, Loyalty or trait-benefits seem to be rather irrelevant in this mod since they don’t change.
    o The factions are very interesting as they are different from many other games. The Scandinavian ones are probably very immersive (it's just my impression, I haven't played any yet), the Franks are well developed with the Regnum Frankorum submod, and the Slavic and Baltic-Finnish are ok (with some minor hiccoughs). It's really exciting to play with such an unusual faction as the Wiltzen.
    o I find the unit rosters ok. The composition of the Slavic factions is what I'd understand historical. The Scandinavian rosters are perhaps excellent. I cannot tell much about the units and their names as I don’t have much knowledge of the languages at that time.
    o I cannot tell much either about the BAI and the course of the battles. I didn’t have problems, but I didn’t play many.
    o The mod prompts the raiding strategy (income from sacking settlements is very high, you may fund many buildings at home for this prices, the AI keeps on re-building his settlements due to its bonuses on money, public order, and growth), so I believe it’s very good at simulation the Viking times. This makes this mod stand out!
    o However, there’re currently some other winning strategies possible that rather abuse the system (I’ve described them here). They can be easily fixed, though.
    o Visually the battlefield is ok, no complaints. I find units immersive, and the settlement models are specific to this mod and look fantastic.
    o For some players immersion might be limited by very succinct descriptions of the buildings and the units. It's not about telling the story about that times, it's not the EBII where you can learn history.
    o Music is stunning: many different themes, many songs. It feels so well to play with.

    II. Settlements & b
    uildings
    o Most (all?) of the settlements start at the village level and usually without buildings. The gameplay is based on the assumption that the player will gather the money from the raids, then build up the infrastructure, and only then the settlements will add something to the treasury. It's a long process as there many buildings. However, as you may see in the table at the beginning of this entry, developing many villages will add up eventually to a quite substantial budget.
    o The settlements differ from one to another. There are certain that have the potential to grow fast and to provide much money (like Szczecin in Vendland), other will struggle. The essential factor is the access to the sea; also the resources and the number of the bordering provinces are very important. The capitals have usually the biggest potential.
    o There’re many of the buildings and I like the logic. There’re many conditionalities among them (you need to build one first to be able to build another). It’s one of the best features of the mod.
    o The growth rates of the villages/towns are very reasonable for the village levels. At the higher levels (town, large town) they can get quite high (squalor grows slower than growth benefits from the buildings).
    o I really do like that setting taxes at “Low” doesn’t increase population growth. They are just to keep the unrest. You cannot put your villages on afterburner.
    o Guilds (there’s 3-4 of them, only military) are rather easily acquired if you recruit units.
    o Unfortunately, retraining doesn’t’ exhaust the recruitment pool what might be abused by the player (eg. you’ve got a unit of 4 soldiers, you retrain them up to 150, but the recruitment pool remains full. In this way you may collect good reserves).

    III. Income and prices

    o At the beginning, the main source of income is the lump sum of the Kings' purse. The settlements provide little until they're developed and trade with the neighboring provinces. The trade is then a significant sources of income, more important than in the other mods.
    o The buildings are cheap in comparison to the units (usually: first levels 600, second 1200, third 2400, while recruitment of a decent infantry unit might be 1200-1600). I'm not sure how it impacts on the dynamics of the campaign. For sure, there're no large stacks and rather few of them.
    o Otherwise, the balance seems to be struck. It’s an essential feature of a good mod so I praise the WotN on this.
    o The building times are rather short but then you very often have several stages of a building chain what makes it reasonable. One may think if for the infrastructural buildings the times couldn’t be longer.
    o Everybody should be aware how much money do the generals suck – as described in another entry – and should perhaps limit adoptions and marriages.
    o Watchtowers are dirt cheap in comparison to their benefits (you need to have a look at your vast territories as there’re many rebels spawned). The result is the player is better to build them everywhere.

    IV. Public order
    :
    o The main sources of disorder in the mod are:
    1. Distance from capital: goes up and challenges the player in building a big empire.
    2. Additional 30% in the settlements in territories that might be called “not our people”. So a settlement far away from your capital suffers not only the distance from capital penalties but also this penalty.
    3. Religious unrest: for the pagan factions this can be a serious problem as they don’t have priests, it takes a long time to convert the population. The Christians have it easier (maybe it’s a good solution, but it’s still too fast). Comment: it actually doesn’t matter much as most of the map is pagan.
    4. Squalor (size of the settlement) – this impacts very little, only from the size of 1000 or so. Only for towns/large town this starts to mater a bit and prompts you to keep a larger garrison (but then you’ve got a free upkeep so it again doesn’t matter).
    5. Other (enemy spies, traits of the governors, others?) – I haven’t seen them in practice.
    o The buildings provide some order, but not so much – it’s not enough for the far-away regions, and most of them are available from the level of town. It makes it slightly more difficult to control those regions.
    o Given the M2TW mechanics, one unit is enough to make a maximum garrison-order in a village (as this is counted by comparing the number of inhabitants with the number soldiers, and it’s capped at 80%). Only over 1000 inhabitants another one is needed. Then, at a level of town, you get many free upkeep slots and it renders the whole mechanism irrelevant.

    IV. Traits & ancillaries
    :
    o This is a mod for warriors so Commanders traits are numerous, concentrating on the “Command” stars and “Hitpoints”. Sometimes it can make the generals invincible.
    o Governors’ traits (+% tax, trade, happiness, - unrest) are rare and irrelevant.
    o Ancillaries for the Viking factions seem to be interesting, for the Slavic factions they’re perhaps limited.

    V. AI and diplomacy
    :
    o This seems to have been a less important facet of the mod for their creators. The attitude of the factions is rather positive unless you’ve got a common border or you just invade somebody. Among the AIs it’s similar: the wars erupt very rarely.
    o Initial diplomacy: there’s just one obvious conflict foreseen. Then the world is pretty peaceful unless the player attacks.
    o The AI doesn’t seem to cope well with the challenge of the vastness of the map. It errs at finding his way to a foreign settlement to conquer, it hesitates, moves forth and back, it uses just part of the movement points etc. It wouldn’t invade across the sea, I suppose (no ships spotted over the 80 turns beside those initial ones).
    o The AI is a good builder – I’ve seen his villages build up to the maximum what’s possible. This is an opportunity for the player to raid and raise funds. Comment: good for the gameplay so that the player indeed adopts raiding style. However, it also shows that the AI sits on the mountains of cash (what’s also visible in the statistical screen).
    o Having much money, the AI may be abused it in the trade negotiations, as already highlighted. Perhaps a simple script (like this one) could prevent AI treasury from sky-rocketing.
    o The AI sends also 2-3 unit stacks which are easy to mop up. The army composition is not particularly reasonable though.

    VI. Agents:
    o There’re plenty of Merchants in this mod as every village gives one (the system I’m skeptical about, see here). They give rather little money (something like 24-40-100) and they develop max +2 Finance from their ancillaries (I haven’t seen any traits). After some time also the AI hires merchants and they come to your lands, sniping your merchants (the autoresolve is skewed in favor of the AI). But you may defend by striking with your older +2Finance on the AI +0 novices.
    o You’ve got quick access to the diplomats (village level), while to the spies only from the level of a town. Given the vastness of the map, the spies are very valuable. This is a very good solution for the mod to limit the number of the spies. Actually, at the beginning I’m using merchants to gather information about the foreign lands, what I find also historical.

    VII. Other issues:
    o Rebels spawn quite often. What provides for a good check on the player’s strategy: forces are needed at home, so you cannot raid with everybody.


    All in all, for me it’s one of the most interesting mods for the M2TW engine.

    And this we owe to the modders who spend many hours just for their and our fun. So I'd like to thank Mr_Nygren, absinthia, Horsa, Aphain and all the others for their work. We can have fun only thanks to them.

    Cheers
    JoC

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    If somebody would be interested what I’d tweak in my files for the next game (low hanging fruits):
    - EDB:
    o Buildings – double all the prices (to align them with the costs of the units - I'm still not sure about this one)
    o Farms, roads, mines, walls – building times x5 (I feel it realistic: infrastructure takes a long time to build, much longer than setting up just a building / establishment. And moving up to a higher settlement level, eg. from a village to a town, should also take a longer time. This is also good for the gameplay)
    o Merchants – recruitment only from Market level III (town) (to avoid cluttering of the agents' window. Very good also for the gameplay as - given the 0 costs and low income from their work - the player spams map with the merchants just to learn about the AI army movements).
    - EDU
    o Bodyguards – the number of men lowered by half and the costs lowered accordingly (and I'll play on Large, not Huge) (to unable the abusive strategy of taking villages just with cavalry while making it more affordable to have also governors).
    o Is_peasant attribute for the low-tire units of the faction I’ll play (to make upper society units more effective at garrisoning settlements).
    - EDCT
    o Traits – actually, this is the topic I specialize on so I’d introduce some of my modifications just to make governors more useful. I'd also limit the number of Command and hitpoints benefits.
    - Other
    o Watchtowers' prices increased from 200 to 500 (to make a player really scratching his head if it's price-effective to see every corner of his realm).
    o Homerule: you don’t accept any money from the AI for any trade agreement.
    This is a very good review of the mod - good job!

    I think maybe by increasing the distance of generals and captains we could make the AI move more often from one settlement to another. Maybe the distance is too far and by increasing the movement points it could be solved?
    Be your friend's, true friend. Return gift for gift. Repay laughter, with laughter again
    but betrayal with treachery.

    - The Havamal

  3. #3
    Jurand of Cracow's Avatar History and gameplay!
    Artifex

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    Default Re: Observations on the WotN:B 3.1 (+RF1.6)

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr_Nygren View Post
    I think maybe by increasing the distance of generals and captains we could make the AI move more often from one settlement to another. Maybe the distance is too far and by increasing the movement points it could be solved?
    Hi,
    as you ask me directly I understand that my answer would be welcome and wouldn't be considered as an unkind besserwisserism ;-)
    I hope you know now how much respect do I have for the mod developers (even if I don't know them - see my defense of the BC devs creations here) and how much I like your product - the WotN. If I write something it's just to provide some help to those who actually do the stuff.

    Concerning more movement points: I'm not an expert on the AI, I haven't programmed the AI or diplomacy, and I haven't played WotN enough to have more insights, so I'd say frankly: I don't know. The following it's just my guess.

    I think that the AI is the biggest issue in providing a good challenge to the player. If one starts with a faction having many independent provinces around (Vendland is particularly bad, but Gardarike, Prussi, some Scandinavian factions as well, or the powerful Danmork and the Franks) it can expand undisturbed, build up the economic base, make a few long-range raids across the sea to gather money, then attack a neighbor. How to provide a challenge to a player - this is a question... (on the other hand, I guess that the most difficult factions are Obodrites, Gautland, Gutland, and Kursi, also Kriviche would be constrained soon).

    I think that the direct effect on the AI would be as expected: somewhat more jumping from one settlement to another. However, I have doubts it would be beneficial overall. It's for 5 reasons:
    1. I don't think it would have made a bit difference. The distances between the settlements are large and if you would add so many movement points, you'd end up with ridiculous Rome 2 TW or Attila movements.
    2. I don't think it would prompt the AI to conduct naval invasions. I think it's more complicated (however, the EBII creators are told to achieve it).
    3. The higher movement range could (and if could - it would ;-) be abused by the player: taking neutral settlements would be easier and faster, the agents would scout more terrain and the like.
    4. To my mind, the vast territories of the WotN are also what makes the mod interesting: you go with your army into the dark seeking an enemy and the settlements. You may have noticed that I'm in favour of lowering the number of the merchants - one of the reasons is that too many of them make the player knowing better what's going on (and the proposal for more expensive watchtowers is based on the same reasoning). Your armies have to go long away from home - this is a challenge as well. Actually, the WotN provides for much of operational challenge, what's rarely seen eg. in the newer TW games.
    5. there must have been a balance on strategies foreseen by the WotN developers (including yourself) as far as the course of the campaign is concerned. There must have been many tests. If you'd make the change in movement then the whole balance would be undone. I'd be afraid of the negative unforeseen by-effects. The deal might have been, for example,: the AI has much more money than the player, more armies, but it lacks the acumen for maneuver that the chance for the weak player is to outmaneuver it (I don't know if if it's true, it's just a pure guess).

    Furthermore, there're other important issues for the AI expansion. IIRC, the campaign objectives determine much of the directions of the AI expansion. As I see now the campaign objectives, I wouldn't expect them to guide the AI well. Only some (Moerrafylki, Vestfold,) have a few provinces defined as the objectives. For some factions, the initial direction of expansion is well-defined (Prusa: destroy Gardariki, Franks: Danmork, Gardariki: Kursi), but for most it's just a generic "Vestfold, Swethiud" or very far-away factions (this might be not so bad though, I'm not expert).

    Actually, I would ask for advice somebody who has recently made a good AI for another mod. Perhaps z3n of EBII, maybe Witnwnar or Ngugi of TATW, and maybe MWY from the SSHIP team. I'd expect Gigantus to have an overview of all the mods :-)

    I'll post something more if it comes to my mind.
    JoC
    Last edited by Jurand of Cracow; January 31, 2018 at 03:39 PM.

  4. #4

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    Based on my limited playthrough, I think it's worth choosing a village and only developing that particular village at least until you're pulling a hefty profit. Maybe it's different for the Franks or Danes. IDK, for the Norwegians I think it's the best strategy. Also as you noted I agree that generals are for conquest, not for governance. I guess it's thematic?

    I tried recruiting generals to govern a few key villages but the cost of their wages and bodyguards made it a terrible investment. Even doubling my domain did nothing to my coffers besides loss.
    Last edited by Aphain; May 22, 2018 at 03:37 PM. Reason: double post
    ORANGE MAN BAD

  5. #5
    Jurand of Cracow's Avatar History and gameplay!
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    Default Re: Observations on the WotN:B 3.1 (+RF1.6)

    I would really wish this mod to be further developed!
    I'm just reading a book (in Polish, here's the link for those who can read it ;-) and would love to play a Slavic faction.

  6. #6
    Mr_Nygren's Avatar Berserkir
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    Default Re: Observations on the WotN:B 3.1 (+RF1.6)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jurand of Cracow View Post
    I would really wish this mod to be further developed!
    I'm just reading a book (in Polish, here's the link for those who can read it ;-) and would love to play a Slavic faction.
    I am working on an update using RF as a base (because it's hopefully more stable after doing radical changes to starting positions etc and removing the rebels) where i actually let every faction start with all their territory from the start.

    I did a Vikings submod back in january 2016 for the original with this very concept and music but it would crash on the end turn very often..

    I am hoping this won't be the case if i use RF as the base for it. Not sure when i will be done.

    Then we have the Grand Campaign which i will try to release at least in a first version at some point.
    Be your friend's, true friend. Return gift for gift. Repay laughter, with laughter again
    but betrayal with treachery.

    - The Havamal

  7. #7

    Default Re: Observations on the WotN:B 3.1 (+RF1.6)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jurand of Cracow View Post
    I would really wish this mod to be further developed!
    I'm just reading a book (in Polish, here's the link for those who can read it ;-) and would love to play a Slavic faction.
    Hi there,

    I plan to update the mod on a semi-regular basis. However, since my knowledge about Slavic people is quite limited,
    these updates will mainly benefit the Scandinavian, Germanic, and Baltic factions - if you are versed in Slavic
    (especially West-Slavic) culture I would appreciate it if you could maybe send me some information regarding them,
    e.g. important events, leader and clan names etc. (maybe after you finished the book?)

    Cheers, Aphain

  8. #8
    Jurand of Cracow's Avatar History and gameplay!
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    Default Re: Observations on the WotN:B 3.1 (+RF1.6)

    Well, Guys, I'm quite interested in a few things:
    1) have you squared your differences in the use of RF (apparently Aphain creation) as the base of the future work?
    2) do you have a kind of roadmap or something? what to modify further etc.? What kind of "update" do you plan?
    3) what do you think about the proposal I've made in the spoiler to the very first post of this thread?
    cheers
    JoC

  9. #9

    Default Re: Observations on the WotN:B 3.1 (+RF1.6)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jurand of Cracow View Post
    Well, Guys, I'm quite interested in a few things:
    1) have you squared your differences in the use of RF (apparently Aphain creation) as the base of the future work?
    2) do you have a kind of roadmap or something? what to modify further etc.? What kind of "update" do you plan?
    3) what do you think about the proposal I've made in the spoiler to the very first post of this thread?
    cheers
    JoC
    Hi there,

    to answer all the questions:
    1) Since I used Nygren's work as my basis I think it is completely fair if he uses my submod in a similar manner - as long as he incorporates all the credits of course.
    2) There is a "Planned Features" section at the first page of my submod.
    3) Since most of those are balance changes they are, at the moment, not all that important to me. However I assure you that I will think about them after I have produced a more "feature-complete" version of my submod.

    Cheers, Aphain

    P.S.: Thanks for your hard work - especially the long term testing.

  10. #10
    Jurand of Cracow's Avatar History and gameplay!
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    Default Re: Observations on the WotN:B 3.1 (+RF1.6)

    Thanks for the answers, Aphain. As your main interest are the Franks (and Saxons, I suppose), it means that you'll indeed get more interests in the Slavic factions - the Abodrittes and Wilzen were their main "counterparts", not the Vikings. I'm looking forward to the results of your work.
    cheers
    JoC

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