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Thread: Iran is too flat - where are the Zagros mountains?

  1. #1
    bigdaddy1204's Avatar Campidoctor
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    Default Iran is too flat - where are the Zagros mountains?

    Hi EB II team - and thank you for making this mod. I'm very pleased and excited to be playing. In this post, I am going to praise you (I'm not here to complain). However, there is an important detail missing: the Zagros mountains area is much too flat. The Zagros mountains is a mountain range that separates Iran from Iraq, running from the Persian gulf all the way up inland towards Armenia, to the east of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.

    I had a look at the Alps for comparison, and I see the Alps are beautifully modelled - in fact I'd say this mod has one of the best mountain ranges I've ever seen in a Total War game. Your Alps are wonderful. So all that needs to be done is to make the Zagros mountains of Iran look much the same as you have done with the Alps in Italy. For comparison, the Alps highest point is 4,810 metres, while the Zagros is 4,548 metres. However, the Zagros is nearly twice as big as the Alps, due to it covering an area of 533,000km square.

    The Zagros are not some minor hills, they are one of the largest and most historically significant mountain ranges on planet earth. They also played a huge role in human history; some of the earliest evidence of human cultivation comes from the Zagros, which was part of the fertile crescent even as far back as 7,000BC.



    The Zagros include some of the greenest areas in Iran, having lots of rivers and mountains. The Zagros mountains certainly shouldn't be depicted as a desert (I'm not saying they are desert in EBII, I'm just mentioning it because some other M2TW mods got this a bit wrong) - that said, you probably could do with some big oak forests near Shiraz, as that area is famous for its oak trees ). Here's some photos to help.




    On the southern slopes of the Zagros:




    Here's another photo of the Zagros:



    And another:




    And another:



    And here's a map (for those interested) proving my point about the amount of rainfall the Zagros receives:



    What this is telling us is that the red, yellow and brown areas are as green as Greece - 380mm of annual rainfall. In fact, the red and brown areas are considerably greener, with up to 1,500mm. The areas marked green on this map have about the same rainfall as central Anatolia. These areas are more green than dry. The purple areas represent areas where desert covers at least 25% of the land.

    An area with 300mm of rainfall is a climate somewhere between Greece and central Turkey.
    Last edited by bigdaddy1204; October 25, 2016 at 06:02 PM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Iran is too flat - where are the Zagros mountains?

    I agree with this completly. And not just Iran, there are many parts of map that are flat, while they shouldnt be.

  3. #3
    QuintusSertorius's Avatar EBII Hod Carrier
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    Default Re: Iran is too flat - where are the Zagros mountains?

    While there is still work to be done on the topography of the map (and deArmas is working on the map - look at the changes to east Africa), there's a gameplay consideration that has to be factored in here too.

    Namely that mountains create impassable tiles around them, as do rivers. If we went with completely realistic topography, it would completely mess up pathfinding, because it there'd be so little passable space around them. So rather than having mountains with passes, you'd just have impassable zones stopping movement altogether.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Iran is too flat - where are the Zagros mountains?

    I agree with the OP, Iran is like a plain in the campaign map, when there should be that mountain range creating obstacles for armies like they did. Just think of Alexander and the battle of the Persian Gates!

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    bigdaddy1204's Avatar Campidoctor
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    Default Re: Iran is too flat - where are the Zagros mountains?

    Quote Originally Posted by QuintusSertorius View Post
    While there is still work to be done on the topography of the map (and deArmas is working on the map - look at the changes to east Africa), there's a gameplay consideration that has to be factored in here too.

    Namely that mountains create impassable tiles around them, as do rivers. If we went with completely realistic topography, it would completely mess up pathfinding, because it there'd be so little passable space around them. So rather than having mountains with passes, you'd just have impassable zones stopping movement altogether.
    Hi QuintusSertorius, thanks for your reply. I think this issue could be solved by having three places to cross the mountains. There's an area in the centre, near Hamadan that could be safely crossed. Another route would be taking the coast around the Persian gulf. The third route could be in the north, near Tabriz. It's interesting to see how various mods have approached this. I know in Broken Crescent, those are the three main routes used and they allowed quite a lot of space, enough to fit maybe three units next to each other on each gap in the mountains. A similar approach was also used by Stainless Steel submod SSHIP, which has similar routes to get past the Zagros mountains.

    Of course, another way is to represent part of the mountains with very high land, instead of "mountain" texture. I see that EB II already does this with the Alps in north Italy. Either way, thanks again for bringing us this wonderful mod. I am really enjoying my Pergamon campaign and am looking forward to play some more factions.

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    delra's Avatar Praepositus
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    Default Re: Iran is too flat - where are the Zagros mountains?

    Keep it flat. We don't more stupid 80 degree battlefields in this game.

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    Roma_Victrix's Avatar I am your sovereign now
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    Default Re: Iran is too flat - where are the Zagros mountains?

    Quote Originally Posted by QuintusSertorius View Post
    While there is still work to be done on the topography of the map (and deArmas is working on the map - look at the changes to east Africa), there's a gameplay consideration that has to be factored in here too.

    Namely that mountains create impassable tiles around them, as do rivers. If we went with completely realistic topography, it would completely mess up pathfinding, because it there'd be so little passable space around them. So rather than having mountains with passes, you'd just have impassable zones stopping movement altogether.
    The Alps present a similar scenario, yet I've crossed the Alps in the paths provided before, while playing as Koinon Hellenon and the Roman Republic. I don't think the AI has too much of a problem with it, either, from my own experience and dealing with invasions by the Suebi into northern Italy years before I pushed into southern Germania and Austria in both of those campaigns. I think the Zagros mountains, if given enough passes, could achieve the same thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by delra View Post
    Keep it flat. We don't more stupid 80 degree battlefields in this game.
    Mountain battles are annoying, but EB II should be concerned with realism and accurate depictions of warfare in the time period. Geography plays as much a part in that as the specific gear worn by legionaries, hoplites and horse archers.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Iran is too flat - where are the Zagros mountains?

    i used to find good custom battlefield coordinates and write them down for EB. i wonder if doing the same for EB II would do any good in finding a solution to this situation. making the passes passable only in certain places?
    very small rocks?

  9. #9

    Default Re: Iran is too flat - where are the Zagros mountains?

    While there is still work to be done on the topography of the map (and deArmas is working on the map - look at the changes to east Africa), there's a gameplay consideration that has to be factored in here too.
    link pls! wanna check deArmas work

  10. #10
    bigdaddy1204's Avatar Campidoctor
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    Default Re: Iran is too flat - where are the Zagros mountains?

    The other notable thing about the campaign map is that the Caucasus mountains are depicted perfectly, as are the Moroccan Atlas mountains. Yet the Zagros is left out. If someone could see their way to putting this right, it would greatly increase the enjoyment of campaigns in Persia and Mesopotamia.

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    Roma_Victrix's Avatar I am your sovereign now
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    Default Re: Iran is too flat - where are the Zagros mountains?

    Quote Originally Posted by bigdaddy1204 View Post
    The other notable thing about the campaign map is that the Caucasus mountains are depicted perfectly, as are the Moroccan Atlas mountains. Yet the Zagros is left out. If someone could see their way to putting this right, it would greatly increase the enjoyment of campaigns in Persia and Mesopotamia.
    I support the motion and move it to a vote on the floor.

    Too bad EB II isn't a democracy...it's a haphazard oligarchy! You can still petition the oligarchs with your concerns, though.

  12. #12
    Cohors_Evocata's Avatar Centenarius
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    Default Re: Iran is too flat - where are the Zagros mountains?

    Quote Originally Posted by Roma_Victrix View Post
    I support the motion and move it to a vote on the floor.

    Too bad EB II isn't a democracy...it's a haphazard oligarchy! You can still petition the oligarchs with your concerns, though.
    Join the dev team, contribute and get a voice (after a while). EB II may be an oligarchy, but not a very exclusionary one.
    I tend to edit my posts once or several times after writing and uploading them. Please keep this in mind when reading a recent post of mine. Also, should someone, for some unimaginable reason, wish to rep me, please add your username in the process, so I can at least know whom to be grateful towards.

    My thanks in advance.

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    bigdaddy1204's Avatar Campidoctor
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    Default Re: Iran is too flat - where are the Zagros mountains?

    That may be easier said than done. A demanding job, relationships, family, work etc can make it difficult to find the time to play the game, let alone mod it. I did play around with the geomod a few months back, but couldn't get it to work. I'd definitely have another go myself, if only the tools were a bit more user-friendly. Trouble is it seems as though one needs to study the equivalent of a PhD in computing to understand how the thing works. But perhaps I exaggerate. It's just not easy work for someone who has a spare 45 minutes here and there. But it's good to hear the team's open to suggestion.

    EBII is a fascinating mod, I've really enjoyed just reading all the text about each individual province, learning about the geography and the history. It's wonderful. And the map is beautiful. Slightly off topic perhaps, but I found it hard to go back to Attila after playing EBII. The thing I really miss is those province descriptions. Indeed, in Atilla they ripped out all the background text about units and buildings altogether, and put it in that encyclopaedia which is really slow and has to be opened separately. What an error. EBII shows that they should be adding detail, not stripping it away.

    Anyway on the subject of the map, I've no idea if submods exist for EB II but if they do, and somoeone was willing to make this tweak, I'd certainly play it. I mention that because someone did make a mod for Attila based on improvements to the Persia region on the campaign map. Again sadly I couldn't do it myself, but at least someone else could and did.
    Last edited by bigdaddy1204; January 14, 2017 at 09:16 PM.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Iran is too flat - where are the Zagros mountains?

    its not just Iran, most of the landmass between Caspian and Aegean seas needs a lift.

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    delra's Avatar Praepositus
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    Default Re: Iran is too flat - where are the Zagros mountains?

    It doesn't need anything. Battles are unplayable with high slopes (unless you enjoy exploiting AI charging up an 80 degree slope?), so the topography should be seriously toned down and kept as flat as possible. On world map it's a cosmetics problem, on battle map it's a serious gameplay issue.

  16. #16
    bigdaddy1204's Avatar Campidoctor
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    Default Re: Iran is too flat - where are the Zagros mountains?

    But there are other mods like SSHIP and Broken Crescent where they have much larger mountains, and it works just fine...

    Besides, mountains equal to what I'm asking already exist on the EB II map in the Alps and other regions, just not in Iran. Would anyone seriously argue that the current situation is satisfactory? As it stands, there is no mountain range between Iraq and Iran. I'm sorry but it just looks wrong.

    Here's a comparison with SSHIP:



    And the same region in Broken Crescent:



    Now look at EB II:



    I rest my case.
    Last edited by bigdaddy1204; January 15, 2017 at 07:15 AM.

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    delra's Avatar Praepositus
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    Default Re: Iran is too flat - where are the Zagros mountains?

    I rest my case too. I play EB2 instead of BC or TA because here I have normal battlefields.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Iran is too flat - where are the Zagros mountains?

    I think the solution has to be somewhere in between...

  19. #19
    delra's Avatar Praepositus
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    Default Re: Iran is too flat - where are the Zagros mountains?

    It's an ancient game with a lot of core issues that were never addressed by the studio, they never patched it, as at the time they were busy making the massive flop and the worst game in their history. What battlefields look like when translated from world map to battle map is one of those issues which CA could have fixed but chose to ignore, and modders need to work around that to keep the game going. Playing Parthia or Baktria with all the silly slopes only kills gameplay. Flat world map is purely cosmetic. There's really no point to sacrifice gameplay for cosmetics.

    This thread wouldn't even be posted if the OP wasn't convinced he's the smartest guy in the room and the only guy who knows what the map of Iran looks like. Sadly he completely ignored the consequences of his suggestion while showing off his great geographical knowledge.
    Last edited by delra; January 17, 2017 at 04:08 AM.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Iran is too flat - where are the Zagros mountains?

    Playing Parthia or Baktria with all the silly slopes only kills gameplay. Flat world map is purely cosmetic. There's really no point to sacrifice gameplay for cosmetics.
    I am sorry, but it is just fundamentally wrong to want every battle field to be unequivocally flat; gameplay balance does not always trump accuracy in this mod. They are both important considerations for us, but usually gameplay takes a backseat to accuracy... If we want to accurately depict the geography of the world, we can't have flat battlemaps everywhere(or even have them be predominant). It just makes no sense whatsoever. Purging any advantage in altitude from this mod, or any other mod, is totally historically inaccurate. Altitude on the battlefield was no doubt an important consideration for commanders historically, and as a game which tries to accurately simulate warfare, players should be able to use altitude strategically as well. Making every battlefield flat would just be plain boring IMO.

    I agree with this completly. And not just Iran, there are many parts of map that are flat, while they shouldnt be.
    This post is totally correct. Flat land on planet earth is not the norm by any standard...There is simply too much geographic difference in altitude, topography and etc for that to be true.

    This thread wouldn't even be posted if the OP wasn't convinced he's the smartest guy in the room and the only guy who knows what the map of Iran looks like. Sadly he completely ignored the consequences of his suggestion while showing off his great geographical knowledge.
    Can we try to be more civil, please? OP is totally correct about the Zagros mountains, and AFAIK, fixing their geographic nature is probably on a to-do list somewhere; he has all the right in the world to civilly(read his OP, can you detect a toxic tone there?) point out the inaccurate(IMO) nature of the Zagros mountains. Not only does he have that right, but some people in this thread have actively agreed with him(achilles, myself). We also have that right.

    How the Zagros mountains will look in the future is anyone's guess(as QS mentioned, pathfinding is an issue), but IMO they should be(and may one day) be changed. When or if that happens, is anyone's guess.
    Last edited by Genghis Skahn; January 17, 2017 at 09:50 AM.

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