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Thread: Fast-Paced Version Wanted

  1. #1

    Default Fast-Paced Version Wanted

    Shortened version of original post which got lost for no discernible reason whatsoever when the computer froze and restarted itself without preemptive warning or reason given...

    Having recently tried out Fourth Age in a Dwarf campaign, I'll have to heap praise upon it. It's a work of love, and a work of art. It's a beautiful piece of work, with highly atmospheric music, voice acting, interface, unit portraits and skins, buildings and even a Dwarven hold. The attention to detail is lovely, the amount of buildings available to construct just adorable for someone who has always very much appreciated the building side of strategy games. The texts makes good reading, and there are lots of clever bits such as the option for restoring Dwarven gathering halls in Mount Gundabad. Middle Earth has never before seemed so alive, regardless of Age. I'll have to confess that the only thing I feel is missing in the unit roster, are Dwarven crossbowmen, which underlines their mechanical affinity and sets them apart from Elves with their archery. I even liked the two-step pacification of newly conquered provinces, though it was mainly too time-consuming by far.

    Now, there's a problem, the pace of things. Even when going full-out on economy and population growth, with a long early game of peace and prosperity, I found the game pace later on to be just too slow, with too long time before you can recruit units in conquered territories.

    This is a recurring theme in well-made mods, I've noticed, Third Age and Fourth Age included. I guess this is a conscious choice due to the particular tastes of most modders, but what it means is that the end product is one tailored to one taste niche of some Total War players, but not to the rest. Once, I tried out Third Age in an Elven campaign and spent much of half a summer's spare time playing without hardly getting anywhere. I do not wish to repeat that experience, ever.

    So, for the love of the game and out of respect for the mod, to make it more available to all sorts of Total War players, please release a fast-paced version, particularly one which ignores the blasted Tolkienish elder-races-in-doomed-decline streak and lets players consciously bypass it if they invest heavily in some extremely costly population-growth buildings. I want a game where you can play as Elves and Dwarves and reverse that downward trend soundly and thoroughly, where you can for a huge amount of money colonize acquired Human territories with Dwarves and Elves, where you can partake in the large game of empire, conquest and colonization on par with the more numerous Human factions if you truly gear yourself up for it and pay up in gold - and not just by Human auxilliaries, ingenious though that idea is for the mod's overall theme. I want not only a faster paced game, where units gets available earlier in new territories and where you can transform every province into a Dwarven or Elven city. Even for the Dwarves or Elves, the pace in such a mod version would be way more similar to Barbarian Invasion than the current mod.

    Perhaps view it as an extremely costly settlement improvement, "revival of first age spirit" or whatever, and leave the option there for Elf and Dwarf players determined and wealthy enough to take the step.

    As such, not ouf of disrespect for the vast amount of labour invested in the Fourth Age mod by its creators, but out of respect for it: Please consider releasing a parallell fast-paced sandbox version, which actually lets elder races break out of the Tolkien mould of decline if they can manage the steep investments. I'll propose something similar for the Third Age, and for any historical or fantasy mods suffering from problems of pace.

    By releasing two different-paced versions (one realistic, modder's cut, one more free but still hard fast-paced one), you'll open up the mod to more players. This realization struck me hard when trying out a couple of Warcraft Total War mods. One of them was a rough alpha version, the other a simple but lovely little Orcs and Humans version without public order buildings(!). Small though they are in comparison to Third and Fourth Age, their pace was basically the core game's, and little else. And gosh was it liberating to play that. Of course, high unit upkeep would still as ever be the limit which Elves and Dwarves can't reach beyond, even if they boost their towns' population and colonize Human lands in contrary spirit to Tolkien's dimming vision.

    Thanks for reading, and hats off to all the talented and devoted people who made this mod possible. It's far beyond my own abilities, and as such I must ask others to carry out changes I couldn't ever make myself.
    Last edited by Karak Norn Clansman; March 12, 2016 at 10:43 AM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Fast-Paced Version Wanted

    Nice idea, though the only way I can see this realized is if you, and/or someone else who is interested in getting it done, sign up on the team or create a sub-mod.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Fast-Paced Version Wanted

    Yeah... I like the pace as it is, and found third age too fast for my liking. In any case, the small team is using all of its energy to get a patch out, so this will only happen if you do it yourself.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Fast-Paced Version Wanted

    It's not *that* difficult to do (not that I'm volunteering ). A custom campaign where all regions have a special hidden resource, and a few lines of code (+ pop. growth, + pub. order, - constr. time, etc) in 2-3 key buildings conditioned by that resource, and pesto. Now, balancing it, that would be quite a different thing...
    Last edited by Aradan; March 15, 2016 at 07:47 AM.

  5. #5
    webba84's Avatar Praefectus
    Join Date
    Sep 2011

    Default Re: Fast-Paced Version Wanted

    As Aradan says, what you want isn't that difficult to do. But it is time consuming and, sadly, time is something that none of has much to spare these days.

    Would be very happy to see submods that play around with this sort of thing, since we invariably cannot please everyone's taste.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Fast-Paced Version Wanted

    Thank you very much for explaining! Should I ever rise above amoeba tech stage, I will give it a try. Meanwhile, fingers crossed some unlikely hero stumbles across this thread and gets infected.

  7. #7
    Apani's Avatar Senator
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Tuskny, Iddly

    Default Re: Fast-Paced Version Wanted

    So your problem is only with Dwarves and Elves? Are the other factions fine?

  8. #8
    Thangaror's Avatar Senator
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Ducatus Saxonia

    Default Re: Fast-Paced Version Wanted

    Quote Originally Posted by Karak Norn Clansman View Post
    This is a recurring theme in well-made mods, I've noticed, Third Age and Fourth Age included. I guess this is a conscious choice due to the particular tastes of most modders, but what it means is that the end product is one tailored to one taste niche of some Total War players, but not to the rest.

    Given the popularity of slow paced mods like EB and RTR and RSII, I think that "niche" is pretty large.
    I would rather have a memory that is fair but unfinished than one that goes on to a grievous end.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Fast-Paced Version Wanted

    Oh, I didn't say anything about the size of the niche. It's obviously large, but not all there is in town even if it is in clear majority.

    Haven't yet tried out the human factions. Might be a while before I give Total War games another go, but the sheer details of this mod makes it tempting to visit soon again.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Fast-Paced Version Wanted

    TBH, for me, the human factions are more interesting to play most of the time, even though they're more "conventional" (Elf and Dwarf gameplay in FATW is pretty unique).
    The most "FATW-ish" human faction is probably Dale. They're also one of the easier ones and have an optional mechanism that reduces provincial control build time.

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