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Thread: Assessment of the current shape of the SSHIP (0.9.2)

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    Default Assessment of the current shape of the SSHIP (0.9.2)

    Assessment of the current shape of the SSHIP (0.9.2)

    Over the last few years I have played a number of mods and submods to Medieval 2 TW, and other TW games (see here). The SSHIP is my favorite one and I’d like to share with you why it is so. I’ve made 2 reviews before – of the WtfN and the BC-B&S (links in my sig below). This one is slightly more structured.


    Criteria

    I assess any M2TW mod in 5 categories:

    1. Gameplay: is the game immersive; are you forced to play the best you can; is the AI and diplomacy reasonable; is there money-recruitment balance achieved; are the different mechanisms well interconnected and conditioned (like ancillary<>script<>usefulness for the player); are there pure stupidities or strategies open-to-abuse.
    2. Historicity: is the historical role-playing credible; is playing the game in a historical way rewarded; how does the turn of the events in-game reflect what I perceive historical, do the factions/rosters/provinces/resources/buildings feel historical to my taste, is there a good trait/ancillary mechanism that reflect things I'm reading in the books; is the map like a true map.
    3. Battles: how does it feel to play them; how does the BAI behave; are the units reasonable/historical/nice, how does the battlefield feel like (trees, hills, water); are there stupidities and bugs related to fighting.
    4. Artistic values: a.) graphics: how do the map, the battlefield, the battles, the units, the 2D pics look like (so all the stuff related to models, animations etc.); b.) sounds: music, voices, other.
    5. Technicalities: are there CTDs; how does the UI look like; how many bugs and unfinished issues linger; are there guides and explanations on how to play.



    What I’m looking for in a Total War mod

    I’m most interested in points 1, 2, and 5, while less in 3 and even less in 4. In particular, I’m looking for:

    • A challenging game: I do everything I can to win. I don’t give the AI money for free, I don’t turtle just for turtling – I turtle because it’s a superiors strategy. The need to make choices: there shouldn’t be easy choices and obvious solutions, everything should come at a price so every action should be well thought-out.
    • A feeling of “gaming a story as it was in the books on history”: the armies, the cities, the generals, the rebels, the crusades, the deaths, the civil wars and family feuds – everything should be there. Fast conquests should be possible but at risk of falling apart.
    • Management of the faction: investing in the buildings, keep an order, safeguarding the borders) to be an equally important goal of the game as the conquest. I'm a Civilization-raised type of person (I mean: Civ 1 of 1991) that means I'm a devoted builder.
    • An interesting development of the traits. The characters should take traits and ancillaries based on their actions. The traits should be historical (reflect the middle-ages’ reality according to our best knowledge of history), meaningful (each should be relevant for the gameplay), logical (eg. they cycle-of-life: young and middle-aged generals get the traits fast, but in the old age they're losing them; as a result the oldest generals should not be the best, but those of 30-50 old for fighting and 40-60 for governorships), producing consistent personalities (one general should not have completely contradictory traits).
    • The relevance and interplay of various mechanisms in the game: everything should have consequences, no chrome just for the sake of chrome. Interactive events are woven into the fabric of the game, the scripts should have an impact on the traits, the traits should condition the options for the player of using a particular general etc.
    • Battles that are played to win, not easy or based on exploits. Especially, I’m looking for the BAI behaving reasonably given the pace of the battles (in some mods it’s faster, in some slower). I think the battles are an exciting part of the game that makes the Total War games different from, say, Europa Universalis type of the games.



    The best aspects of the SSHIP


    • The balance between gameplay, historicity and role-playing immersion: excellent.




    • Gameplay is excellent:
      • no stack-spam from both player and the AI, comparatively little wars and reasonably slow expansion of the different factions;
      • the parameters limiting the player (availability of manpower/mercenaries, budget (income vs. costs), need to garrison cities, a challenge from the other factions) provide a very fine balance;
      • for a good result a player must do all the things a ruler in the Middle Ages had to do: develop economy, keep public order, shepherd the generals, marry himself and have children, and obviously expand territorially – if one forgets any of those elements, he will have problems (it’s why some gamers complain about pope, usurper system, high unrest, or little money – I suspect they don’t pay attention to the details).


    • Historicity is very good
      • the map, the provinces and their capitals, the numbers of inhabitants etc. – I find the choices made much superior to the other medieval mods,
      • the behavior of the AI in the game also feels quite historical (given the M2TW limitations).
      • Of course, it can be much improved (it doesn’t match levels of EBII and it doesn’t use all tricks shown in the other mods like HiMA or BC-B&S or BGR, not to mention TATW), but overall the historical aspects are very much developed and well-crafted for the gameplay (only a few things exist only to be “chrome”, they’re here on purpose). Sometimes there’re glitches (like the Papal States taking over of half of Europe) but not many.


    • City management system is challenging
      • A very good balance of unrest, money, need to have right buildings etc. A small issue: for some big infrastructure buildings I’d make the time needed for building longer.
      • The high natural unrest of the foreign provinces and the need to keep a lot of troops (or a very good general – the dreaded ones are useful!) is absolutely excellent. The only complaint is: you may convert the population too fast what makes it easier to conquer lands on the cultural borders.
      • I also like very much that the settlements are "tall" financially: a small settlement provides little money, while a big settlement a lot of money. It means that the strategy of developing settlements (aka "intensive expansion") is equally beneficial to the conquests of new settlements ("extensive expansion").


    • Budget is well-balanced: you can afford only a handful of the heavy cavalry feudal units, and you're able to build something only after loosing/disbanding a few of them. There’s always a balance to be struck between how many units you keep in line (expensive but safer), how much units you devote to keeping order in the cities, how much you invest in the buildings (but you’re vulnerable to the attacks). The idea Byg wanted to achieve in in BGR_IV is achieved in the SSHIP through simpler means that are intuitively grasped by a player (I hated to check personal wealth in BGR IV, and I hated artificial flat subtractions in the DLV).


    • Buildings are ok: many different types, historical, tech tree etc. There’re little redundant ones. Admittedly, I’ve experienced some glitches as well, and I find SSHIP lagging behind the HURB (well, diversity in that mod is indeed impressive, and as a builder by nature I’ve enjoyed it a lot).


    • Units are very good
      • Years of development and dozens of modders contributed to the quality of this part of the mod.
      • RR/RC fulfills its promises: the stats and comparative prices are well balanced.
      • Access and availability are well balanced. In particular, there's not spam of units: you need to wait long for the elites' pools of recruits to be filled.
      • Only very rarely there’re superfluous units (ie. several similar units fulfilling the same roles – what upset me in BC was a number of confusingly similar horse archers); or units that are never used because utility/price ratio is so low).
      • The balance between prices and upkeep is ok, but with one exception: mercenaries have too low upkeep so that they’re used for garrisoning.
      • People say the units are beautiful, but I didn’t have much time to enjoy it as I always play to win


    • Battles are reasonably good within the M2TW engine limits. Heavy cavalry rules the battlefield, but missile troops can have a significant impact. The battles are fast-paced: you don't have much time to make hammer-and-anvil if your center is weak. To be frank, I’ve fought the first dramatic M2TW defensive siege battles only in the SSHIP. Of course, there’re tricks known to the player (indeed H&A, or shooting boxes) which are detrimental to the AI, but it's still better than I'd experienced in the other mods.


    • CAI behavior is very reasonable even if not always perfect. The AI is aggressive and takes action when needed (especially the Papal States). The map is conducive to such AI behavior (it's not like in the WotN where huge distances make it unable to act decisively). Furthermore, the number of units is lowered that means the AI is not sending stack after stack against you.


    • Comparatively few bugs – they’re reported occasionally, but in my experience, they’re very few. There’s definitely a need to fix them.




    • OST versus castle-city: is realized in the best way, IMO. On one hand, you’ve got good units (heavy feudal infantry and cavalry) even from the cities, on the other castles still give much more and are indispensable. A faction without a castle (or with a small one) is not doomed, but then conquering or building up of a castle gives a clear advantage and should be a priority. The castles give less money, but not dramatically less. Anyway - balance is needed, and balance is possible to achieve.
    • No forts – removed the advantages for the human player to block chock-points, made AI behavior better, and lowered the number of the siege-battles. This is a good solution, even if I think leaving them with a prohibitive price would even be better. (I also thing that the Watchtowers should be more expensive ;-)
    • No free upkeep – well, in reality, you have to pay all the troops, don’t you? The unrest in the settlements makes it indispensable to keep some forces as garrisons making you prepared for a surprising enemy attack (and enjoy defensive siege battles where you actually have changes) or a need to quell a rebellion in the land.
    • Good balance between autoresolve and the benefits of fighting the battles personally. You don’t need to fight battles if you’re in a clear advantage, but there’re benefits if you do while having a similar army.



    What’s good, but could be better


    • Diplomacy I find to be a weaker side of the mod. I think it’s partly because of reputation mechanism – you’re doomed to have it very low. If a war breaks out, it’s very difficult to make peace, what unleashes a vicious circle: it results in lower reputation, which resulted in fewer possibilities to make other deals (eg. peace, marry a princess) and so forth. I also find prices for diplomatic relations sometimes strange: some actions are cheap (bribing pope), but some are irrationally expensive.
    • Papal State’s behavior – while the Papal State is very aggressive and conquers large swathes of Europe, it’s comparatively cheap to get reconciliation and there’s an easy way to get rid of the pope by taking Rome for a faction close to Rome. I think is that this part of the game should be a priority to fix: the pope should be less militarily aggressive, but not forgiving transgressions like taking Rome. However, it should be crafted in such a way that you don’t resort to sending a pope to a small island – I find it to be an exploit.
    • The snowball effect is already reduced in a right way. It’s not an artificial additional money on more settlements (as it was, eg., in the DLV), but it’s based on the need to have more garrison to keep civil-peace what results in the provinces on the outskirts generating loses (see the financial data in my Polish campaign).
    • Prices of mercenary units – I really do like prices of units, especially big differences between feudal ones, professional ones, and the crappy ones. I like the fact that feudal units and upkeep is almost the same, while for the other types it differ (as it prompts a historical behaviour of disbanding feudal units after the war). However, the recruitment prices of mercenaries is sometimes prohibitive, while upkeep perphaps too low.
    • Fast religious conversion – after conquering a region its population doesn’t stick to old faiths. A Limited Assimilation script is badly needed since for now, you can change the religion of a province within few turns with a few crappy priests.
    • Usurper/civil war mechanics enhance the role-playing of the factions and provides for historicity. This was one the main mechanisms preventing the creation of large empires in the Middle Ages and should be made even more important in the SSHIP. However, it should be fixed first to prevent players from resorting to a-historical decisions as killing all the rebellious generals.
    • The number of agents – as the game progresses, and you get over 10 settlements, you’re losing the control of the agents. Their numbers should be lowered (it’s fixed in a tmodelsk minimod), although they should stay in the game (the solution in Thrones of Britania doesn’t look optimal).
    • Princesses – they’re not part of the game now, because their traits are low and random (due to the broken Antitrait mechanics), and because apart from the initial play it’s very rare to meet any AI princess or unmarried FL/FH.
    • Traits – well, it’s what I’m modding and I’ve solved the most irksome problems (eg. Drink/Sober), but there’re still many. Also, ancillaries need revamping, including provincial titles and crowns. All in all – a cohesive system (from the gameplay perspective) with the interplay between various traits and ancillaries should be elaborated.



    What changes I’d like to see in the SSHIP in future


    • Those things above that could be better – should be better ;-)
    • Even more historical things, like the proper names for the provinces, or amended spots on the map, or maybe some scripts.
    • Fixing the biggest un-historical thing that is in almost every M2TW mod: the possibility of the creation of stable big empires. The Alavaria campaign (199 in 187 turns) is extreme (players, fear not - he's exceptional! You won't come to such a situation with the SSHIP), but I think that even moving beyond 10-15 settlements should be difficult (it's not: see here). This is because the internal politics has always been a problem in the Middle Ages. At some point, there always was a son / relative / general who thought he'd be a better king. There's always a party within the empire to support such a guy. And the life of an exceptional king was always limited– his sons (or grandsons, at worst) used to be inferior or contested. Therefore civil strife and civil wars should be the major problem for any faction – and the bigger the faction the bigger centrifugal forces. Keeping an order in the conquered provinces should also get more and more difficult. To be sure, the SSHIP moved closer in solving the problem than other mod (but EBII and BGR), but it’s still possible to get a pretty large empire. The recent work on the Usurper-Loyalty system is a move in this direction. Perhaps it should be optional to make it easier for the players who don’t want to have any problems with making those big empires in the way as it is now with the scripts to the BC-B&S). (The only mod that made it really difficult to create a big empire was, afaik, BGR_V).
    • Factions’ rosters reviewed, adjusted, updated. They should be even more historical, but they should still pose challenges. For instance, I really like that Hungary has to struggle with light bow troops against armored neighbors. Or that the Poles don’t have access to good archers at the beginning (well, they do get it soon… to soon ;-).
    • Guilds don’t feel much historical at the moment. They should be modified, and the probabilities (points) should be reviewed and adjusted.
    • More interplay between various mechanisms, for instance between traits, usurper scripts, interactive events.
    • Mechanisms known from other mods would be welcome:
      • One-building-type recruitment system – modified as I’ve described here (so a HURB type), to be used together with
      • Governor script (or Limited Activities, in the base SS): recruitment and building only with a general present in the settlement. One should be cautious though to implement it in an AI-neutral-way as Byg did it (see a bud of a discussion here).
      • Captain script: you may attack an enemy only with a general in the army (done recently in BS-B&S, while the idea was present in the BGR as well)
      • Supply system – the best form was in the BGR, but a simplified version of tmodelsk minimod collection is also ok.
      • Longer assimilation – achieved by submod or through other means (BS-B&S recently)
      • Automatic garrisons to prevent the player from taking the cities too easy – as it is in many mods, including tmodelsk minimod for the SSHIP.
      • Costly and long-lasting sieges – as it’s now in the BC-B&S, but modified and related intimately to the traits and ancillaries. This would make a preparatory phase before going on the offensive more important, also the siege engines would be more cost-efficient.
      • Miguel_80 scripts included in HIMA – eg. related to the marriages and diplomacy, rulers coronation.
      • Royal Ladies of the Court submod (SS, also in Titanium) – with the fix of the Princesses it would give another dimension to the game (10 years ago the DLV tried to provide for it).
      • Interactive events should be more numerous (like Almsgiving in the BC).
      • Some BGR IV_E tweaks (army morale, payments at Coming of Age and marriages).

    • Some more esthetics: I think 2D units’ cards could be improved to add immersion (some look terribly, eg Magyar Cavalry is more a bunch of scarecrows), maybe also other elements.



    Ok, that’s for now. For those interested, I’ve made a short report on my Polish campaign with lots of data – might be read here. Comments are obviously welcome
    Last edited by Jurand of Cracow; June 10, 2018 at 02:12 AM. Reason: Spelling mistakes fixed.
    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

    Default Re: Assessment of the current shape of the SSHIP (0.9.2)

    As there is tons of positive things, and thats reason i play mostly, if only, this mod, I'l enlist some negatives. With those things improved, this could be probably crem de la crem mod.

    I agree with merceneries, they should be reworked somehow. Because with low cost, i too use them as garrisons. Maybe revert it to old, low recrutment, high upkeep. It could be justified with this thing... They already have equpment, you just need to pay them starting salarie.. Not sure about this though.

    Religion conversation should definetly be way slower. EB2 is a good example in this (too slow, but you got point).

    Unit stats are yet to be done in my opinion, but its on very good way.

    Number of agents is definetly anoying.

    About estetics...I would realy love to see new flags and banners for factions, more accurate and more beautifull.

    Faction rosters reworked, yes pls.

    With those things improved over time, sship will be immaculate.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Assessment of the current shape of the SSHIP (0.9.2)

    I think it's pretty ludicrous from a gameplay perspective to arbitrarily force disloyalty and make it impossible to forge a stable realm of considerable size. Of course in history disloyalty, plotting and civil war were part and parcel of many countries, but there were always multi-faceted reasons behind this. It usually took internal socio-economic problems and/or external military/diplomatic issues to create that sentiment of 'I would do a better job than our current ruler' - outside of resentment/jealousy from the unfortunate second son, or what have you.

    If a player is able to build a stable, harmonious realm which clearly becomes the wealthiest and most advanced nation in the world, there is far less reason for generals to become disloyal simply because they are far away, far less reason for people to revolt, far more reason for settlements in other factions' control to want to be a part of the new megastate. This should be represented as well. It should be the supreme challenge, of course. But we must remember that the Medieval era ended when Constantinople - capital of an empire plagued by infighting and a lack of unity as well as foreign military and diplomatic pressure - was defeated and one of the longest lasting and most stable empires in history (not without its fair share of revolts, of course) took over. The player should be able to play a large realm faced with the problems the Romans had and try to solve them just as well as he should be able to build an empire like the Ottoman that unites people under its banner and rules them - with an iron fist where needed - for a great period of time. It's also thus reasonable to allow for a player to be able to build an empire like the Ottoman empire and do so even more optimally - a player might defeat the Poles at Vienna, prevent revolts in the Caucasus, successfully assimilate Persia, and so on - if they are skilled enough.

    Player skill should always take precedent. The game stops being historical the second 'end turn' is pressed for the first time; from there, the sucess or failure of the realm should be in the player's hands, and there should be ample potential for triumph and disaster.

  4. #4
    Lifthrasir's Avatar A Clockwork Orange
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    Default Re: Assessment of the current shape of the SSHIP (0.9.2)

    That's basically what we're trying to do. to get us wrong when we talk about usurpation, civil war etc... These are part of the global feature. It is quite easy to "simplify" the game to get public order. Making it more complex by adding these features as well is more difficult. So all in all, making huge empire would be still a possibility (for the gameplay) but the player will have to take into consideration historical factors that we're trying to reproduce/represent in game (hope I'm understable ).
    So all in all, I think that we're on the same view
    Under the patronage of Flinn, proud patron of Jadli, of the Imperial House of Hader



  5. #5

    Default Re: Assessment of the current shape of the SSHIP (0.9.2)

    The Rus should be given one horse archer unit in their native roster for early gameplay and early army builds.

    The Torkil and were already settled and drafted by the Rus in their armies for decades if not over a century by the startdate of SSHIP, and the Berendei were settled and swore fielty to the Rus a decade before the startdate.

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    Default Re: Assessment of the current shape of the SSHIP (0.9.2)

    Quote Originally Posted by Lifthrasir View Post
    That's basically what we're trying to do. to get us wrong when we talk about usurpation, civil war etc... These are part of the global feature. It is quite easy to "simplify" the game to get public order. Making it more complex by adding these features as well is more difficult. So all in all, making huge empire would be still a possibility (for the gameplay) but the player will have to take into consideration historical factors that we're trying to reproduce/represent in game (hope I'm understable ).
    So all in all, I think that we're on the same view
    Indeed, I know we do I was responding in particular to this:

    I think that even moving beyond 10-15 settlements should be difficult (it's not: see here). This is because the internal politics has always been a problem in the Middle Ages. At some point, there always was a son / relative / general who thought he'd be a better king. There's always a party within the empire to support such a guy. And the life of an exceptional king was always limited– his sons (or grandsons, at worst) used to be inferior or contested. Therefore civil strife and civil wars should be the major problem for any faction – and the bigger the faction the bigger centrifugal forces. Keeping an order in the conquered provinces should also get more and more difficult.
    It reads without any consideration of player skill whatsoever and basically suggests the mod should have an algorithm of more provinces = more disloyalty, more unrest. Which I (and I trust you are as well) am fully against reducing it to something so basic and dull.

  7. #7
    Jurand of Cracow's Avatar History and gameplay!
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    Default Re: Assessment of the current shape of the SSHIP (0.9.2)

    Quote Originally Posted by Larkin View Post
    It reads without any consideration of player skill whatsoever and basically suggests the mod should have an algorithm of more provinces = more disloyalty, more unrest. Which I (and I trust you are as well) am fully against reducing it to something so basic and dull.
    To clarify: I didn't mean any simple and mechanical algorithm. However, the current SSHIP already does have a mechanism somehow in this sense - with triggers related to the number of settlements (like 1. civil war), or to the distance (2. the "distance from capital" unrest makes is sometimes very difficult to keep big settlements, 3. the FarLoyalty provides with Loyalty malus if far away.
    The problem is that 1 and 3 are bugged (as VineFynn and me we've showed) and there's the 4. problem with master guild HQ (what is also a bug - you're supposed to have one master guild, but if you conquer other factions' you may have dozens - and get all the faction-wide bonuses) plus there's that 5. excessive Loyalty from winning the battles (thanks for Alavaria who discovered those tricks).
    Exploiting all these bugs allow create a "whole-map empire". It's not about "skillful player" but about a player knowing these bugs (or using them just by way; well, the first to do it - Alavaria - should definitely be called "skillful" or rather "ingenious" ;-). My ideal would be to enable creation of bigger realms that is historical and depend on skills, not on bugs.
    (I think that the posts #3,4,6,7 belong to the discussion on Loyalty-civil war issues, not to the current shape of the SSHIP).

  8. #8

    Default Re: Assessment of the current shape of the SSHIP (0.9.2)

    Ok I stopped my current CrusaderStates campaign @ 20 regions, turn ~120 (VH/H)

    I would like to write more, but I lack a bit time and want to play Portugal next

    mods I used ( I write more about them later)
    -select heir
    -merchants nerfed
    -mercenary cost
    -snowstorm
    -levy archer boost/ archer crossbow availability
    -peasent unit bug fix
    -army supply cost + 2,5% global money boost
    -max treasury 200k
    - crusader jihad mercs to levante/spain
    -slower armies
    -agent numbers limited
    -provincial titles (joc)
    - general traits commons sense fix (joc) (used his newest version) http://www.twcenter.net/forums/showt...ense-fix/page5 descr_character_traits.txt
    - assasins home protectors (only the home chance 0,8-->0,5, base chance 33-->25)
    -no dread on assasinations
    - garrison sript no unguarded settlements/raise unit on siege
    -fight for survival (boost for small factions)
    - no bad rep for occupying towns

    What I liked


    - absolutely CTD free, even though I used a lot of submods
    - City building: nice mix of pro/con buildings
    - no more army spam, it works pretty well. AI maybe has some issues in the early game with fielding a full stack though.
    - character progression: traits were much on point, I often got negative traits (coward) but that was because I attacked 2 vs 1, fair enough
    - unrest system in core regions (slows down progression, forces you to leave an army behind)
    - battle AI: my last experience with m2 was SS 6.4 unmodded (no bugfix), so I remember the AI general charging headfront kamikaze style every battle. I definitely saw a lot of variations and no more Kamikaze, expect for siege battle blol but that is probably unmoddable
    - campaign AI: mostly reasonable. for the most part, the stacks very led by a general. But I was playing in very safe position, saw no betrayals because I had no bordering allies. Christian factions rarely fought a war against each other, AI could be a bit more agressive in general. but maybe not having total war in europe is a more realistic approach, if this was the goal, it definitely was achieved!
    - new events and messages , I enjoyed reading them
    - snowballing is harder with rebellions/unrest. I saw the post of 1 player conquering all map in 200 turns, but I don't know how this is possible with unrest. at least for me the Anti Snowball worked rebellions in core regions were hard to fight.




    what could be improved
    - conquering cities is still too easy. There are less stacks you can field but this results in the AI having a lot of unguarded settlements, especially early game. Maybe more money for AI on VeryHard?
    - I never got an usurper/plotter/civil wr. maybe because I used the next heir script, I'll try to deal with bad heirs next time.
    - assasins are too strong: you can probably win a campaign only using assasins, its not a problem of this mod, but M2 in general. I find them cheesy and factions having such murder machines is probably aghistorical too. I nerfed assasins base chance from 33 --> 25 and home modifier 0,8 --> 0,5. full star asssasins are still beasts.
    - you being the only faction having cardinals is still very easy after you have the Master Theology guild. Maybe it is possible to give other factions a higher chance for cardinals, even if you have the most and best priests?
    - jihad happened too rarely imo, I changed piety required from 7 back to 5 (original SS)
    - factions emerging in strange places: norway got settlement from rebellion in the middle east
    - having a second family tree was confusing. but maybe that is needed for usurper/plots?
    - religious orders were confusing, sometimes they were available somtimes not, it has to do with reputation, but seemed buggy to me. What rep is needed to have them? I also could field Johanniter all the time, even as despicable, but not templars?
    - campaign AI: AI always attacks same settlement. I know for sure which settlement the AI will attack, even though there are a lots of bordering ones they can attack. Maybe it can be modded so they attack undefended settlements more often? I had a lof of them because lack of armies.
    - replenishment might be too short: if I lost an army I did not care, I knew I could replace all my knights instantely. Early game balance was nice, with 10+ settlements, replacing armies became too easy.

    now to the mods I used

    -select heir (maybe made the game too easy, no usurper, no civil war , will disable next time)
    -mercenary cost ( good I think high buying cost + low suplly is unrealistic)
    - merchants nerfed (changes economy balance, but if it nerfs merchants, it is probably for the best since human players use them best)
    -snowstorm (have no Idea I just enabled it ;D)
    -levy archer boost/ archer crossbow availability (will disable next time, I saw a lot of AI armies consisting of 15+ shooters)
    -peasent unit bug fix (good bcause bugfix ;D)
    -army supply cost + 2,5% global money boost (I changed parameter to max of 1500 cost per turn for sieging and made the AI only be affected by 1/4.) I think it slowed down my progression a bit, which is good.
    -max treasury 200k (will leave it on, maybe more higher value)
    - crusader jihad mercs to levante/spain (nice flavour, maybe messes with balance though, too easy for player?)
    -slower armies (more chance for field battles so I like it)
    -asassin numbers limited ( I dislilke assasin spam so this is a must for me )
    -provincial titles (joc) (good!)
    - general traits commons sense fix (joc) (used his newest version) http://www.twcenter.net/forums/showt...ense-fix/page5 descr_character_traits.txt Education of General, very good for char development/roleplay (I encountered no bugs, but I had no usurpations etc)
    - assasins home protectors (only the home chance 0,8-->0,5, base chance 33-->25); I also buffed the chance to purge heretics from 35-->43 in return. Fighting heretics with your priests instead of assasins should be a viable alternative and not result in more heretics 90% of the time. Again, not a problem of this mod, just personal preference.
    -no dread on assasinations (will disable on next playthrough since I rarely had a general with dread and maybe differences will result in civil war this time
    )
    - garrison sript no unguarded settlements/raise unit on siege (very good approach, but I rarely noticed an effect; if I did, the garrisons were usually smaller than the author's description)
    -fight for survival (boost for small factions) (VERY good submod, 130 turns in only the Fatimids were destroyed and the closer they came to extinction, the harder they fought, it was a noticable effect. I absolutely recommend this mod, since it will make your mid game campaign harder.
    Would be cool if you could make it AI only.
    - no bad rep for occupying towns (I disliked having bad rep for occupying towns so I changed this.Why would taking a town back give bad rep?)

    Next playthrough I will probably make a houserule to not pick a Crusade/Jihad target. I called every single crusade target; its a powerful tool and helped me a lot in conquering/fighting muslim factions a CrusaderStates.

    Thanks for the modding team , wonderful mod overall, I will continue playing it and look for updates. Also thanks tmodelsk for making this submood tool. Its very user friendly and bug free, absoultely recommend. And thanks a JoC for his improvment/bugfix! After coming back to M2 it was a unique and refreshing experience.

    edit:
    -other positive thing I noticed is that it is not as easy to bait the AI into paying you a lot of money for Ceasefire/Trade etc as I remember
    -Extermination is a bit OP in my opinion. It gives almost the same amount of money as sacking (a lot, 50.000 for Sevilla on turn ~70) and the very best public order bonuses (very important).
    - I agree with JoC, religious conversion is a bit easy, especially with the new buildings; I can produce a crazy amount of priests, I'm playing Portugal, have 8 regions and can have 20 priests.
    Last edited by Djangoo; October 29, 2018 at 07:45 AM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Assessment of the current shape of the SSHIP (0.9.2)

    This is a fantastic review, thank you for sharing! One thought I had on a minor point of yours is on the reputation loss for taking towns. I agree that it seems weird, but I think it is a base MTW2 mechanic that is being subverted by the SSHIP team. basically, it is making other factions weary of your military expansion, which is a very good thing, because the AI often becomes very docile once you get large.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Assessment of the current shape of the SSHIP (0.9.2)

    Quote Originally Posted by Djangoo View Post
    - assasins are too strong: you can probably win a campaign only using assasins, its not a problem of this mod, but M2 in general. I find them cheesy and factions having such murder machines is probably aghistorical too. I nerfed assasins base chance from 33 --> 25 and home modifier 0,8 --> 0,5. full star asssasins are still beasts.
    Ironically, I realized later on that as your income grows, eventually you can just keep machinegunning assassins from multiple settlements and keep throwing them at people, as they can not only endlessly block recruitment by sabotaging the buildings, but you can remove all kinds of annoying generals** by throwing a stack of assassins at him repeatedly until someone gets lucky.

    I suspect that the AI also tends to prioritize repairing buildings, so sabotaging any top level barracks, Huge Cathedrals/Jama, Curia/Merchants Quarter, Docklands etc are one way to "help" the AI burn all its cash.


    **For example, the Mongols spawn with super generals, and while they can be killed even so, it is funny to sic 20+ assassins on them (you can also bribe/marry them, and even bribe the stack into disappearing)


    Quote Originally Posted by Djangoo View Post
    -Extermination is a bit OP in my opinion. It gives almost the same amount of money as sacking (a lot, 50.000 for Sevilla on turn ~70) and the very best public order bonuses (very important).
    Yeah, but Exterminate and sack both reduce the level of buildings, and even remove them if they were a low level variant. Losing the last two upgrades of something sweet like the Huge Cathedral turning into a a "mere" cathedral, docks going down two level etc can nuke like 50+ turns of building worth instantly.

    It can also destroy that sweet Master Thieves' Guild that would let you break the game...
    Last edited by Alavaria; November 01, 2018 at 12:52 PM.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Assessment of the current shape of the SSHIP (0.9.2)

    Ah I never noticed the destroyed buildings, haha good to know, thx!

    I did another playthrough with Portugal, same submods as before but I

    - disabled all dread related submods since dread is important trigger for ursurper mechanics it seems.
    - disabled next heir script since you can avoid civil war too easily
    -disabled archer and crossbowmen availability (too many archers in army last time, this time better)
    - I played with BugMugCarl AI + BugMugCarl AI tweaks

    Campaign was Portugal (VH/H).
    This time I got civil war after my second leader died. Very cool mechanic, good idea to limit movement points of character, therefore I could not kill them off easily and the son of the ursuper became faction leader and a second civil war started.

    Overall the AI behaviour was very different but I would not say better.
    In the early game I saw 2 simultanous attacks on my cities but then never again. AI more often than default AI using armies without generals. This plus me not playing on not very hard battles resulted in few very easy victories early game + I still had the small faction boost script on which helped me a lot.
    The AI was a lot more agressive than default AI, Pope excommunicating left and right, wars anywhere. But overall it was not more challenging because the AI was fighting 2-3 front wars aswell as I and was very eager to make peace once in a weak state. So taking 2 unguarded settlements and making peace was entirely possible. Something that did not work out when I played with default AI.

    I agree that I should change occupation to minus rep, but this time it made no difference, I was despicable most of the time since I exterminated most of the cities I conquered.

    I would love to play a VH/VH with default AI again, but I have to tryhard for my final examns the next months , so byebye computer games .

    screenshots: I leave them here because they are kinda related to this mini review


    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    (leader has no son, his almost max dread brother became usurper)
    (my es muslim convert, most chivalrious guy, is most unhappy with new usurper)
    endscreen

    Last edited by Djangoo; November 02, 2018 at 11:05 AM.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Assessment of the current shape of the SSHIP (0.9.2)

    Looks like you have some rebels in Hispania to clean up.
    ORANGE MAN BAD

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