|M2TW and Kingdoms|
Stainless Steel was first started as a mod for Medieval 2: Total War (v4.1 and lower), but it switched over to Kingdoms after the expansion was released. It combines bug fixes, many small mods, changes to AI and AI armies, more provinces, graphical improvements and many other campaign and battle map changes in a package aimed at providing a much greater challenge and more enjoyable gameplay.
It is one of the most popular mods for Medieval 2, but is surpassed in popularity by Third Age: Total War.
Stainless Steel mostly keeps the same setting as the original Medieval 2 campaign, though it expands the map east and north while removing America.
Stainless Steel 6.4 Features
- Rebalanced victory conditions.
- Rebalanced building bonuses.
- Guild's HQ's now always offer a faction wide bonus.
- Rebalanced existing missions and added more missions.
- New building, place-able in locations with long rivers.
- Removed Ireland.
- Added a new region below Kiev (Ireland is now 2 regions).
- AI factions tend to stick to their Royal Blood for many generations.
- Alberi di Famiglia Regal implemented.
- New Faction Economy scripts.
- Knight's Templar & Kingdom of Jerusalem have been combined into Crusader States (with mixed units).
- Mongols are finally pagan.
- 1TPY Early Era campaign.
- Slave faction are now a lot more active - including the ability to use merchants, spies and assassins.
- New troubadours event.
The Campaign Map
- Completely new and huge campaign map, covering most of Europe and the beginning of Persia.
- New ground types and custom climates.
- Maximum width the engine allows of 510 movement tiles.
- Mountains, hills and map outlines are based on satellite data.
- Work of art coastlines instead of the square 'vanilla' ones.
- Maximum amount of almost 200 historically medieval settlements. (A few had to sacrifice historical accuracy for better game balance)
- Every Region has its own resources, including new valuable resources in the "outbacks" of the map
- Resources are now better balanced, a couple of new resources were also added.
- All resources were moved away from roads, to ensure merchants' peaceful life.
- AI friendly map, the AIs' armies should no longer get stuck.
- Narrow mountain passages were widened enough for agents to freely pass, while armies will still get blocked.
- Missing ports added.
- Rebels spawning on inaccessible terrain fixed and Rebel ships spawning in small lakes fixed.
- Agart's great city & castle models.
The Battle Map & Unit Balance
- Davide.cool grass mod implemented.
- Water now looks a whole lot better!
- Smoother steppes modification by wolfslayer implemented.
- New war horn sounds by wolfslayer implemented (hand picked by me).
- Ambient sound files for Muslim temples by wolfslayer implemented.
- Magus' Crimson Tide implemented (the no-dirt version).
- Award winning BAI by Germanicu5.
- Swagger's Skymod included.
- Knights Templar units from Lord_Calidor's KT mod implemented.
- BftB units by Caesar Clivus implemented.
- For God and St. George mods by AWellesley.
- Lord Condormanius's Mailed Knights.
- Polish Units by MADTAO included.
- Rusichi mod units implemented.
- Real Recruitment's AoR (Area of Recruitment) system included.
- RR's system nearly fully integrated. (please refer to RR/RC OCT 30 post for more detailed changes)
Traits & Ancilliaries
- Rebalanced merchant traits for 1TPY.
- As merchants get older, they lose movement points.
- Generals are now a lot easier to educate in settlements with schools etc.
- Faction Leaders can now acquire a set of traits affecting all settlements and generals.
- Auto border-less mode - ALT+TAB in and out of the game without any loading.
- New, epic loading screens.
- New music by Kevin MacLeod, Jon Sayles & Bill Hudak, vanilla MTW2 music was also brought back. (now we have 141 music files + vanilla music, compared to 89 in 6.1 and no vanilla music, that's a hell lot!)
- New main menu background & splash screen by Y2day.
- Faction selection crash fixed.
- All factions accessible in custom battle and hotseat.
- External campaign chooser - for easy hotseat and CTD reduction.
- External launcher application - taking care of things the user would normally do.
- CBUR with most of its features implemented.
- Riczu trade carts removed.
- Parts of Awellesley's 1100AD mod integrated.
- SSTC by Chimaeira implemented.
- Real Horses by Argent Usher implemented.
- CBUR and Unit Card improvement projects by Agis Tournas implemented.
- Animations updates.
- Y2day's faction shields & banners.
- New quotes.
- Proper character aging.
- Byzantine and Kievan Rus unit cards by akvilonn.
- Tax auto-manage should now work properly.
- Added Patriarchs for Orthodox factions.
- All factions now have their one-liner pre-battle speeches activated (more speeches for existing factions, and no more mute Norway, Kwarzemian Empire, etc. generals)
- Unbelievable amount of fixes, both big and small, too many to mention them all.
Stainless Steel 4.1 Features
The whole game pace is slightly lowered. The default game length is about 350 turns (1.5 years per turn). However, you have also the option to play the game with the original game length of 225 turns. Population limits for settlement upgrades raised, building times and costs slightly increased. Heavy Infantry units are recruitbale later, therefore every faction gets an additional light infantry unit.
The Campaign Map
- Campaign Map completely resized and reworked
- Slight Map Extension to the north and east
- More space between settlements in order to have more field battles
- Many new details like smoother forests, new rivers, mountains, isles, trade routes
- Slightly changed borders of all regions in order to make them less noticeable
- About 50 New Provinces, well spreaded and historically correct (Exeter, Bari, Oporto, Arta, Barcelona, Belgrade, Balearic Isles, Bryansk, Lyon, Athens, Munster, Ancona, Isle of Lesvos, Warsaw, Diyarbakir, Salzburg, Kirov, Melilla, Salamanca, Groningen, Clermont, Thebes, Mecca, Basra, Astrakhan, Tortosa, El-Oued, Sinop, Norrkoeping, Benghazi, ...)
- Every Region has its own ressources, including new valuable resources in the "outbacks" of the map.
- Some ressources deleted to make others more valuable
The Campaign AI
Stainless Steel 4.x uses GrandViz Ultimate AI, specifically Ultimate AI 1.5. The Ultimate AI Mod is a complete redesign of the vanilla campaign AI, providing a more challenging and diplomatically active AI opponent. It also includes a lot of balance tweaks to settlement mechanics, economy (tax, trade, costs), population growth, religion and public order.
The New Factions
- detailed preview of the Kievan Rus
- 8 unique units with unique descriptions
- All units, banners and models reskinned
- Historical character names
- Difficult starting position
- Wikipedia on Kievan Rus
Crown of Aragon
- detailed preview of the Crown of Aragon
- 5 unique units with unique descriptions
- New historical unit names
- All units, banners and models reskinned
- Historical Character Names
- New Order of Montesa guild
- Wikipedia on Crown of Aragon
Order of the Knights Templar
- detailed preview of the Order of the Knights Templar
- 7 Unique Units with new descriptions
- All other units have specific Templar Knight designs
- Historical Characters and new Templar Knights events
- New Unique Titles which represent the Templar Hirarchy
- Very different and hard campaign
- Unit roster slightly changed from 3.2
- Wikipedia on Knights Templar
- New mercenaries for the Early and High Medieval Period:
- New and more varied mercenary pools
- Greater mercenary variety
- Mercenaries have more experience
- Less mercenary missile units
- Regions have more of mercenary special units
Improved and challenging AI Armies
- Proper Mix of Infantry, Missiles, Cavalry and Artillery.
- AI produces more Elite and Heavy units.
- This was done without changing any unit costs
New Traits, Ancillaries, Titles and RPG elements
- Titles for all Cities and Castles and for both Islamic and Catholic/Orthodox factions and with important bonuses in various settlements.
- Army attrition and supply system demands much more tactical decisions and religion is much more important (Byg's Reality traits)
- Countless new Traits, Transferable Titles, Ancillaries (Blood, Broads, & Bastards 2.x)
- Patriarch titles for Orthodox Factions available
- Many broken Character Traits and Ancillaries fixed
- New Knights Templar Titles
Much more interesting Historical and Game Events
- Events for Orders, Inquisitions, Culture, Battles...
- Events when a princess comes of age or when a monarch dies; many different portraits of beautiful and less beautiful princesses
- Including New Era Events which affect unit & mercenary recruitment
- Events who inform about the fall of any faction's capital cities.
Agents and Characters
- Historically accurate Character Names (CNP 3.0)
- Reasonable limits for assassins, spies and priests
- Agents rebalanced
- Captains are less likely to rebel
- Imam's required Piety to call a Jihad raised
Settlement and Unit Recruitment Changes
- Important medieval Cities like Constantinople, Kiev, Rome and Paris more powerful
- More logical and rebalanced recruitment, for example cities can build more ships & artillery than castles.
- Early/Late Generals rarely recruitable in castles/citadels
- Income, city growth and distance to capital punishment rebalanced
- More balanced money script to support AI Factions
- Byzantium can build Highways
- Added many missing and additional units such as Dismounted Gothic Knights, English Armored Sergeants, Dismounted Broken Lances, Hussars, Greek Arquebusiers, Desert Raiders and more
- Rebalanced and fixed guild triggers
- Historically more accurate Faction Names
- Conquering the Aztecs is much harder
- 10 new Custom Battle Maps
- Darth Mod 1.4B battle AI and physics
- More balanced units stats and costs
- Longer Lasting Battles due to slightly higher morale
- More realistic battle map movement
- Completely new Faction Symbols & Menu Designs by Alletun
- 20 new epic loading screens
- New Symbols for the battle map
- New unique Shield textures for all catholic factions
- New unique Unit Textures for all European Early & High units (Burrek)
- New unique Unit Textures for all Feudal & Mailed Knights (Knights&Knaves)
- New unique unit textures for all Order Knights armor upgrades
- High quality unit textures & banners for Byzantium (DG's One Faction At A Time)
- New unit textures and banners for Hungary (Magyar Mod + own additions and improvements)
- Historical accurate faction banners and banners for special units (Kings Banner 2.0)
- More spectacular Sky variations and little more blood (improved Horsearcher's skymod)
Team and Credits
- gracul - Leader
- King Kong - SS 6.1
- Point Blank - RR/RC, lots of things
- Byg - support and BGR
- Caesar Clivus - forum handling, support and CBUR
- Rozanov - coding and ideas
- Germanicu5 - coding and ideas, BAI
- y2day - art & graphics
- Awellesley - units & support
- Bane_tw - forum handling and bug fixing
- Ishan - forum handling and bug fixing
- cedric37 - art & ui graphics
- (HG)LordKoal, (HG)Super, (HG)Iliturgitano, (HG)Xaviar, (HG)Carlos, (HG)Adrics, CeltiberoThormes, penyetta, garcy170 (Spanish translation)
- Fred Putz (German translation)
- warman222 (new combo&death animations)
- Baraban (textures & model fixes)
- KDK (ui graphics)
- beikon & gord69 (Steam help)
- Fair Prince (SSNOP, SSHCP, SSTAIP)
- newt (No Waiting)
- Savage - CAI
- Santiago de Pola
- davide.cool - better grass
- Argent Usher - real horses
- Agis Tournas - CBUR
- Anthonius II - CBUR
- Magus - Crismon Tide
- Lord Calidor - KT mod
- agart - castle & city strat models
- Agis Tournas - Unit Card improvement
- Black_Nebula - Hungary Impaler Skins
- Seether - AFR mod
- Soupdragon - EE watchtower
- Chimaeira - SSTC
- Lord Condormanius - Mailed Knights
- Akvilonn - additional unit info cards
- MADTAO - polish units
- Barser - unit models
- Csatádi - hungarian map guidelines
- gewehr36 - pagan mongols
- Cedric37 - UIs
- Kevin MacLeod - music
- Jon Sayles & Bill Hudak - music
- Swagger - sky mod
- Akvilonn - Unit info cards
- nonnob3 - Unit info cards
- Lusted - CAI
- Lord Calidor - KT mod
- Quark (wherever you are right now)
Leader: King Kong
- Alletun for making beautiful symbols and designs for my mod
- Student for his help and research on the Knights Templar
- Disgruntled Goat for his outstanding unit textures
- Darth Vader for his battle AI and physics
- Grand Viz for his Ultimate AI
- Yuiis, shaeffer, numerosdecimus, M2_Junky for their great contributions
- Byg for his Reality traits
- Horsearcher, Ziher, Plasticfigurine, Salty, Headlock for their graphical improvements
- Burrek for his unique European textures
- Joe Dreck for his Kings Banner mod
- Dearmad and Pnutmaster for BBB
- All others who contributed in the Stainless Steel forum
for the help with the 4.1 patch:
- Lusted, Klink and DrJambo for their battle AI
- Quark and shaeffer for being a great help
- Nerazzurri for the Movies fix and the Stainless Steel icon.
- Tyre for some of his new skins
- All others for their feedback and bug reports
A full list of credits for all release versions can be found in this forum topic
Stainless steel 2.0 has been included on the free DVD supplied with a UK gaming magazine.
Version 6.4 released in this thread on the 10th of January 2011.
Version 6.3 released in this thread on the 3rd of August 2010
Version 6.0/6.1 released in this thread in April 2008
Version 5.0/5.1 released in this thread in October 2007.
Version 4.0/4.1 released in this thread in July 2007.
Version 2.2 was released in this thread in January 2007.