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Thread: VikingHorde for Opifex

  1. #1
    Van Zandt's Avatar pulvis et umbra
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    Default VikingHorde for Opifex

    Author: Van Zandt
    Support: Settra, z3n, Basileos Leandros I


    In the beginning, there was Medieval Total War, then one of the more substantial modifications in the history of the TW series was released, Medieval Total War XL by VikingHorde. This easy to install modification of the Viking Invasion expansion for MTW added additional factions and content that greatly increased play-ability and realism. This modification opened the door for modding opportunities for the TW franchise and set a standard for excellence that is well-regarded even now 15 years later.

    Medieval: Total War XL

    This is the final version of the XL mod for MTW. I made the mod the way I belive MTW should had been, harder and with more factions.

    Features of version 3.0:
    - New versions of Early, High and Late.
    - New map with 9 new provinces.
    - 17 new factions. Included are: Armenians, Bohemians, Bulgarians, Crusader States, Cumans, Genoese, Hospitaller Order, Irish, Lithuanians, Norwegians, Portuguese, Scots, Serbians, Swedes, Teutonic Knights, Venetians, and Volga Bulgars.
    - The unplayable factions can now be played (Burgundians, Golden Horde, Novgorod and the Papalcy)
    - Lots of new units.
    - Lots of new heroes.
    - Landbriges removed.
    - New Hospital, Bank and Royal bank building added.
    - 3 pagan religious buildings added.
    - Pagan shaman, emissaries, spies and assassins.
    - New unit stats (Units have more correct stats and higher morale. Battles are now much harder and fun!).
    - Improved AI (Build better units, better empire building)
    - New trade structure (The AI can't handle the trade network in the original game, giving the player a big advantage. Trade income has therefore been reduced and farm income increased by 30%).
    - GA mode playable with all factions.
    - New GA and Prebattle shields for all factions.
    - New music (large version only).
    - Old game still playable, but only with the 9 new provinces.
    - Auto-install (very easy install).
    - English and Spanish language.
    - And more!


    MTW - Viking Invasion is needed to play this mod.



    Medieval - Total War XL 3.0 full version:
    http://www.mediafire.com/file/vo0027...W_XL3_Full.exe



    If you have installed another language version of MTW than English and Spanish, then you will need to make some small changes to the game. Copy all the files from loc\eng into the folder loc"your language" (Backup the old files just in case).


    If you have questions, problems or feedback, then please post it here. This thread deals with anything related to this MOD.

    Enjoy!
    While VikingHorde himself has long been absent from the modding scene, his work stands as a milestone and forerunner of the modding work for all later titles in the series.

    I urge you to extend the honor of Opifex to this valued contributor to the TW gaming series.
    Last edited by Van Zandt; July 31, 2019 at 08:16 AM. Reason: add information

  2. #2
    Settra's Avatar the Imperishable
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    Default Re: VikingHorde for Opifex

    Support.
    Under the patronage of Pie the Inkster Click here to find a hidden gem on the forum!


  3. #3
    Axalon's Avatar She-Hulk wills it!
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    Default Re: VikingHorde for Opifex

    I'll get straight to it....

    Had this been about making VikingHorde an Artifex - when he was still active here - you easily would have had my vote on that. That totally based on his work with the popular MTW-XL 3.0-release. As this is about Opifex however - I can not. If I thought that VikingHorde's XL-release and work in general had Opifex-caliber - I would have nominated him myself (and that a long time ago). The fact of the matter is, I have not...

    XL3 is good and solid work, but it does not reach Opifex-levels in my opinion and I have worked with MTW for a very long time (longer then VikingHorde have, in case anyone wonders here). The only thing that truly distinguish the XL3-release are the generally rock-solid reliability and stability of VikingHordes and his assistants/helpers work (for this specific release). The craftsmanship is good and solid, it is tested, polished and it typically works (as intended). It is really here that XL truly makes its mark and shines, and if there are anything that qualifies this as a "work of reference" - it these two traits. Reliability and stability. As for the rest - like its designs and content - others have done all that, both before and after VikingHorde did his MTW-XL 3.0 release (2007) - back and forth. As a result, I think it will be hard to credibly argue it would still be exceptional work in general despite all that - especially in 2019. This by MTW-standards, and how MTW-modding have evolved during the last decade. As for other TW-games, I doubt there will be a much different story there.

    I will not support this Opifex-nomination. Sorry VZ, but there you have it.

    - A

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    Default Re: VikingHorde for Opifex

    Axalon said essentially everything I was thinking.
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  5. #5
    Van Zandt's Avatar pulvis et umbra
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    Default Re: VikingHorde for Opifex

    Quote Originally Posted by Axalon View Post
    I'll get straight to it....

    Had this been about making VikingHorde an Artifex - when he was still active here - you easily would have had my vote on that. That totally based on his work with the popular MTW-XL 3.0-release. As this is about Opifex however - I can not. If I thought that VikingHorde's XL-release and work in general had Opifex-caliber - I would have nominated him myself (and that a long time ago). The fact of the matter is, I have not...

    XL3 is good and solid work, but it does not reach Opifex-levels in my opinion and I have worked with MTW for a very long time (longer then VikingHorde have, in case anyone wonders here). The only thing that truly distinguish the XL3-release are the generally rock-solid reliability and stability of VikingHordes and his assistants/helpers work (for this specific release). The craftsmanship is good and solid, it is tested, polished and it typically works (as intended). It is really here that XL truly makes its mark and shines, and if there are anything that qualifies this as a "work of reference" - it these two traits. Reliability and stability. As for the rest - like its designs and content - others have done all that, both before and after VikingHorde did his MTW-XL 3.0 release (2007) - back and forth. As a result, I think it will be hard to credibly argue it would still be exceptional work in general despite all that - especially in 2019. This by MTW-standards, and how MTW-modding have evolved during the last decade. As for other TW-games, I doubt there will be a much different story there.

    I will not support this Opifex-nomination. Sorry VZ, but there you have it.

    - A
    VikingHordes work with MTW XL revolutionized the TW gaming series. It brought thousands of fans an exceptional modification of the MTW game. It almost single-handedly produced the modding environment for the TW series games.

    His original release was ~ 2002, which incidentally was when I first began playing MTW, MTW XL, and it IS what brought me to this forum (which went by another name back then I believe).

    His name and modification are indelibly linked to Medieval Total War in this regard. He stood at the forefront of innovation and his work should be recognized as such.
    Last edited by Van Zandt; June 22, 2019 at 09:33 PM. Reason: add information

  6. #6

    Default Re: VikingHorde for Opifex

    The question here is if we want to posthumously register modding work that made a big splash at the time, that wouldn't make quite the splash now. One must decide to judge on modern modding standards or on the standards of the time. By now, what he did was nothing special - but consider how it was then, his legacy impact, if that would make it worthwhile or if that deserves considering. MTW modding has not evolved in years since his entry, and the baseline was pretty much hit with VikingHorde's original work. So, if we go by the standards of the time, looking at it as it is now doesn't have much of a point. But it doesn't seem there is an explicit statement of which scale to judge from, so I'll just leave this blurb without a conclusion.
    Last edited by CommodusIV; June 24, 2019 at 05:55 AM.

  7. #7
    Flinn's Avatar The Alpha Saint!
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    Default Re: VikingHorde for Opifex

    As Commodus said, it's difficult to judge by today's standard a work that was released at the beginning of modding.. I can't really vote on this, maybe more info could help convince me that the work in itself is worth an Opifex, but for the moment I have to abstain. Besides, I'm not sure that sponsoring someone who has left the site 3 years ago has much sense, I can't recall anything about that in the Constitution, but it's common sense though... My pick is that if this is not withdrawn by the proposer, it should be in any case abstained
    Under the patronage of Finlander, patron of Lugotorix & Lifthrasir & joerock22& Socrates1984; of the Imperial House of Hader

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    Default Re: VikingHorde for Opifex

    Quote Originally Posted by Flinn View Post
    As Commodus said, it's difficult to judge by today's standard a work that was released at the beginning of modding.. I can't really vote on this, maybe more info could help convince me that the work in itself is worth an Opifex, but for the moment I have to abstain. Besides, I'm not sure that sponsoring someone who has left the site 3 years ago has much sense, I can't recall anything about that in the Constitution, but it's common sense though... My pick is that if this is not withdrawn by the proposer, it should be in any case abstained
    All awards, as far as I can tell, are given ex post facto. VikingHorde's work obviously predates all others and that is just one reason it is significant. More than just a modification, it was a complete overhaul that showed just what is possible in the TW series. Yes it is older work but his contribution and legacy are overwhelming. It is likely that the activity generated by his modifications are what drove the early versions of this forum.It is certainly why I first visited and Im sure that is the same for many, many others.VikingHorde is uniquely qualified for the Opifex award. It is fitting and proper that the Curia should bestow upon him this small token of appreciation for his work.


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    Flinn's Avatar The Alpha Saint!
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    Default Re: VikingHorde for Opifex

    mm I got your point, but frankly speaking the only other MED 1 modder that I know of said it isn't so, so I'll remain on abstain for the moment being
    Under the patronage of Finlander, patron of Lugotorix & Lifthrasir & joerock22& Socrates1984; of the Imperial House of Hader

  10. #10

    Default Re: VikingHorde for Opifex

    Quote Originally Posted by Flinn View Post
    mm I got your point, but frankly speaking the only other MED 1 modder that I know of said it isn't so, so I'll remain on abstain for the moment being
    The trouble I have taking that opinion for granted - I haven't thought very far into this, I can and then fully articulate my thoughts if you want me to - is that I'm not sure the modder in question has properly considered the impact at the time. To be an expert on something gives you an elevated sense of ease from which you can look down on other works made before. A top contributor to the Windows 10 code can put down the achievements of MS-DOS. Would you consider that to be sound? I'd question it - no doubt that MS-DOS's work isn't worth any sort of award nowadays, but back then it was groundbreaking work for windows as a company and for whoever was the main contributor to its source. It's a more extreme example than in this case, but I think the fundamentals still apply.

    That's why I want to frame this for others as a decision between judging the impacts at the time - a longer gap than most issues of this award, so mind you, I don't necessarily agree with VZ on all awards being posthumous being an instant 'in' for this case - and the impacts it would have today. One has to ask, and ask Axalon in particular, if VikingHorde's work was a strong step from before at the time of its release. One's standards then aren't necessarily the same as now. We now have the lenses of history to draw back upon. Did his work form a baseline for projects in the future? Did his efforts result in a boost to TWC membership (evidently it did at least in the OP's case)? Is that legacy impact suitably good to judge upon for giving awards now in 2019? These are the things I think one should ask when determining this case. Ax might not agree, but I dunno man. The feedback given didn't give conclusive answers to those questions.

  11. #11
    Axalon's Avatar She-Hulk wills it!
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    Default Re: VikingHorde for Opifex

    "Just when I thought I was out... They pull me back in."

    ***

    Folks, I am smack in the middle in a position that I don't like much. For starters, I don't want to be unfair and unjust to VikingHorde or his work - he sure as hell don't deserve that. On the other hand, I don't want to attribute him traits he simply does not have or deeds he have not done either. Furthermore, I am not exactly thrilled about the prospect of possibly shooting down VZ's nomination here (with my comments) - or make him unfriendly towards me for posting my views on this nomination. After all, I have too work with the guy long after all this is over - so I do prefer good relations, if I can help it. However I fear that all this stuff, is not helping much on that note at this point...

    I also don't want to see the Opifex abused, it is the only award that really matter to me here at the TWC. It means something, or rather it should mean something... The Opifex have been awarded to people that deserve it but (unfortunately) also to people who simply did not qualify for it. I prefer to limit the number of the latter category as much as possible - as to minimize the damage done to this award. Otherwise, it will eventually lose its meaning... And then, the whole point of it is lost, and I don't want that.

    Now, I have in the last 24hrs or so been trying to figure out how VZ's strange and wild claims about VikingHorde supposedly would add up (somehow). So far, I only got a theory here - and even if it would turn out to be true - the perspective assumed in that case would still be both totally irrational and hopelessly inadequate in regards to reality and MTW-modding in general, as I understand it. Anyways, my working "hypothesis" is that VZ is looking at Vikinghorde and XL strictly and only within the context and framework of the TWC (in regards to all this). If true, its still totally irrational and hopelessly inadequate - but - it would make his claims a bit more understandable and easier to follow - even if they still won't make much sense due to their inherently flawed and skewed basis.

    ***

    Anyhow, I will comment on some things here, if nothing else but to dispel the worst delusions I noted here thus far... I'll start with Commodus...

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Quote Originally Posted by CommodusIV View Post
    The question here is if we want to posthumously register modding work that made a big splash at the time, that wouldn't make quite the splash now. One must decide to judge on modern modding standards or on the standards of the time.
    The relevant question here is if it is exceptional work or not, or at least if it realistically and credibly can be argued as such. All this considered out of the current/existing modding-standards of the relevant base-game, anything else would just be screwed up.

    Whether it made a splash or not in its day is essentially irrelevant, much in the same way it is irrelevant that McDonald's as a multinational corporation have massive distribution-network if we are to evaluate just its products as such - the burgers (and so forth)... It is beside the point. Same thing applies here...


    Quote Originally Posted by CommodusIV View Post
    By now, what he did was nothing special - but consider how it was then, his legacy impact, if that would make it worthwhile or if that deserves considering.
    Let me put that in proper context... It is nothing special today because MTW-modding has de facto evolved well beyond the standards in which it (XL3) was created. What it has to offer in terms of designs and content was essentially both preceded, matched or even surpassed somehow. There are lots of evidence for that over at the Org. Basically, it has "aged" in that sense, and today it is rather obvious that it is a project of its time - even if we do limit this to a MTW-modding context only - which is the only rational way to examine this, btw. Other games are irrelevant, simply because they are different games, for boobs sake...

    XL 3.0 is clearly one of the most popular and widely played mods in MTW-history - along with the BKB-Supermod, MTW-Redux and Pike & Musket. This is true not only at the TWC, but elsewhere as well. Strictly at the TWC, the XL-project does pre-date all the other works mentioned here - since VikingHorde was smart enough to set up shop here early on, this in contrast to most others back in the day...


    Quote Originally Posted by CommodusIV View Post
    MTW modding has not evolved in years since his entry, and the baseline was pretty much hit with VikingHorde's original work.
    This is nonsense and it is not true... MTW-modding have actually evolved quite a bit in the last decade. There have been multiple shifts, changes and innovations since 2007. And there are lots of examples and evidence of this to be had all over the place - if one knows where and how to look. One has to just study various major releases in the last decade and there is zero doubts to be had about it. I have very much been part of that development and movement - so I should have a clue about these things....


    And then some comments for VZ...

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Quote Originally Posted by Van Zandt View Post
    VikingHordes work with MTW XL revolutionized the TW gaming series. It brought thousands of fans an exceptional modification of the MTW game. It almost single-handedly produced the modding environment for the TW series games.
    Believe whatever you want but MTW-XL did not revolutionize anything. In fact, it did not even innovate stuff much either, if at all. Instead it mostly relied on the discoveries of others (before it). Most things we find in XL both terms of content and designs has either been preceded, matched or surpassed somehow (this for quite some time). With that in mind it is just irrational to argue that anything he did is still exceptional somehow, because it is not true. The available (public) evidence simply destroys all such delusions.


    Quote Originally Posted by Van Zandt View Post
    It [XL] almost single-handedly produced the modding environment for the TW series games.
    This is nonsense, it did no such thing... If that were true, there would be no serious MTW-modding (or any TW-modding!) done before it - and this is clearly not the case. The are lots of evidence that proves that there were plenty of stuff around long before XL. Da TWOrg is filled with it, see here.


    Quote Originally Posted by Van Zandt View Post
    VikingHorde's work obviously predates all others and that is just one reason it is significant.
    More than just a modification, it was a complete overhaul that showed just what is possible in the TW series.
    This is fiction, pure and simple... There was plenty of projects that did overhauls more extensive (and impressive) then XL ever did. And a bunch of them pre-dates XL too.... Reconquista Total War for instance.... The unfinished MTW Middle Earth-project is another example of the same. Both are found at da TWOrg. Check the timestamps of the threads, do the math.


    ***

    I have worked with MTW for a very, very long time. That circumstance have ended up making me an extremely experienced MTW-modder at this point. Over the years, I have had 8-9 major releases under my belt. All of which, were larger and more extensive, and had more content then XL ever did, at any given point. In other words, I have easily done as much work as VikingHorde ever have, and then some. I know MTW like few others do. As a result, I am uniquely qualified to evaluate and examine any major work done for MTW - as I have seen most of it somehow, at some point - including XL...

    As it stands, I have actually examined and studied XL multiple times (for other reasons), which makes me even more qualified in this particular case. In the end, VikingHorde made the mod he liked and wanted, and he never claimed otherwise - the result was something that were very close to the raw game in most regards - just with more factions, units and regions on top essentially. There was some attempts at altering farming-mechanics, but it was hardly drastic, special or new somehow. Overall, I am telling you people that while he clearly is/was solid and good modder in terms sheer craftsmanship - he never truly reached beyond that point somehow. Because if he had, I would have known about it - and that a long time ago... And I would have possibly used, or at least been inspired by, or perhaps even tried to emulate that stuff somehow - that is what usually happens when you confront the exceptional. None of that has happened, it just did not reach such levels - if it had, our story here would have been blatantly different - and VikingHorde would probably already been nominated somehow a long time ago. Personally, I think this was already true in 2009, and it is even more true today, in 2019.

    Just saying...

    - A

  12. #12

    Default Re: VikingHorde for Opifex

    Quote Originally Posted by Axalon View Post
    Folks, I am smack in the middle in a position that I don't like much. For starters, I don't want to be unfair and unjust to VikingHorde or his work - he sure as hell don't deserve that. On the other hand, I don't want to attribute him traits he simply does not have or deeds he have not done either. Furthermore, I am not exactly thrilled about the prospect of possibly shooting down VZ's nomination here (with my comments) - or make him unfriendly towards me for posting my views on this nomination. After all, I have too work with the guy long after all this is over - so I do prefer good relations, if I can help it. However I fear that all this stuff, is not helping much on that note at this point...

    I also don't want to see the Opifex abused, it is the only award that really matter to me here at the TWC. It means something, or rather it should mean something... The Opifex have been awarded to people that deserve it but (unfortunately) also to people who simply did not qualify for it. I prefer to limit the number of the latter category as much as possible - as to minimize the damage done to this award. Otherwise, it will eventually lose its meaning... And then, the whole point of it is lost, and I don't want that.

    Now, I have in the last 24hrs or so been trying to figure out how VZ's strange and wild claims about VikingHorde supposedly would add up (somehow). So far, I only got a theory here - and even if it would turn out to be true - the perspective assumed in that case would still be both totally irrational and hopelessly inadequate in regards to reality and MTW-modding in general, as I understand it. Anyways, my working "hypothesis" is that VZ is looking at Vikinghorde and XL strictly and only within the context and framework of the TWC (in regards to all this). If true, its still totally irrational and hopelessly inadequate - but - it would make his claims a bit more understandable and easier to follow - even if they still won't make much sense due to their inherently flawed and skewed basis.
    To have a position that is critical and assumes that something just isn't as cracked up as it's supposed to be is not to be unfair and or unjust. If you shoot him down for your reasons, then so long as you substantiate them properly, that is that. Someone who holds that against you despite you putting in your honest input is not someone's opinion you need to worry about spoiling.

    In my case, I present no actual claims, only a framework, and since your post addressed the concerns raised in that framework, there should be no hard feelings resulting from it.

    Again, holding an opinion or a differing set of standards as one member out of a multitude of voters is not something that should result in unfriendly relations, and if it does, the unfriendly person is not someone you should be paying much heed to. But, to the points.

    Quote Originally Posted by Axalon View Post
    The relevant question here is if it is exceptional work or not, or at least if it realistically and credibly can be argued as such. All this considered out of the current/existing modding-standards of the relevant base-game, anything else would just be screwed up.

    Whether it made a splash or not in its day is essentially irrelevant, much in the same way it is irrelevant that McDonald's as a multinational corporation have massive distribution-network if we are to evaluate just its products as such - the burgers (and so forth)... It is beside the point. Same thing applies here...
    Exceptional in its day could very well be relevant, though it is entirely your viable choice to deny that. You seem to contest the idea that it was so relevant in its day in your responses to VZ, so the latter part is quite moot since you've already denied its viability then. To that, I say fair enough. However, I consider it a very poor slope to blanket dismiss primitive contributing works that were considered substantial at the time, though I'm speaking in general in saying that. The appropriate thing to ask if it applies here is if the burgers of the example created a standard from which burgers would be evaluated and improved upon in the future. Again, it seems you consider it an early, and yet unremarkable burger. This is fair enough.

    Quote Originally Posted by Axalon View Post
    Let me put that in proper context... It is nothing special today because MTW-modding has de facto evolved well beyond the standards in which it (XL3) was created. What it has to offer in terms of designs and content was essentially both preceded, matched or even surpassed somehow. There are lots of evidence for that over at the Org. Basically, it has "aged" in that sense, and today it is rather obvious that it is a project of its time - even if we do limit this to a MTW-modding context only - which is the only rational way to examine this, btw. Other games are irrelevant, simply because they are different games, for boobs sake...

    XL 3.0 is clearly one of the most popular and widely played mods in MTW-history - along with the BKB-Supermod, MTW-Redux and Pike & Musket. This is true not only at the TWC, but elsewhere as well. Strictly at the TWC, the XL-project does pre-date all the other works mentioned here - since VikingHorde was smart enough to set up shop here early on, this in contrast to most others back in the day...
    Let me put this in the proper context.

    Was XL3 a defining factor in forming standards for later mods, and/or a groundbreaking entry compared to other mods of its time? If not, then by the standards I'm seeing, the award is not deserved. If so, what I just quoted is quite besides the point. If it was and yet the circumstance is too old for the Curia to judge on it, then I'd say fair enough, and that should be a precedent made standard.


    Quote Originally Posted by Axalon View Post
    This is nonsense and it is not true... MTW-modding have actually evolved quite a bit in the last decade. There have been multiple shifts, changes and innovations since 2007. And there are lots of examples and evidence of this to be had all over the place - if one knows where and how to look. One has to just study various major releases in the last decade and there is zero doubts to be had about it. I have very much been part of that development and movement - so I should have a clue about these things....[/SPOILER]
    Before painting opinions as delusions, untrue and nonsense, I must pointedly ask for you to properly review what you are addressing. I confess my irritated tone is somewhat excessive and a circumstance of my own creating, but here is the point which you have entirely missed.

    I didn't talk about nor did I care about the last decade. I specifically avoided talking about it and meant to reference the years before, hence saying in years. The word I failed to properly put in was 'had', which would have properly conveyed my point. Now, if you would rebut that, fair enough, do inform me otherwise, and do so in a way that does not paint other members as delusional. That is what will make people unfriendly, not the opinion itself.

  13. #13
    Lifthrasir's Avatar A Clockwork Orange
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    Default Re: VikingHorde for Opifex

    No matter the quality of his work but, with all the due respect, I'm wondering what the point is to reward someone inactive for about 2.5 years while there are a bunch of modders still active and probably deserving recognition for their work
    Last edited by Lifthrasir; June 26, 2019 at 02:27 AM. Reason: Typos
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  14. #14
    Axalon's Avatar She-Hulk wills it!
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    Default Re: VikingHorde for Opifex

    I'll try to be brief...

    Quote Originally Posted by CommodusIV View Post
    Let me put this in the proper context.

    Was XL3 a defining factor in forming standards for later mods,
    In short, no... I have seen nothing that supports or even suggest such a thing. If you can find any such material - feel free to forward it here, at any time...

    Quote Originally Posted by CommodusIV View Post
    ...and/or a groundbreaking entry compared to other mods of its time?
    Again, no... I have seen nothing that suggest or support such a thing. If you can find any such material - feel free to forward it here, at any time...

    Quote Originally Posted by CommodusIV View Post
    "I didn't talk about... ..."
    I can only reply to what I see, and that I have... Had you written.... "Had MTW modding has not evolved... ..." it certainly would have put your sentence in very different light. And it would have made a whole lot more sense too, granted. As it were, you did not... It said "MTW modding has not evolved... ..." and that is a ridiculous claim and I said so. Anyways, its academic at this point.

    ***

    Regarding standards - past, present and evaluations based on these... (Bear with me)....

    The standards of the past are always irrelevant in the present (including any evaluations done in the present) as they are already replaced, abandoned and forgotten in favor of new, current and relevant ones. Ultimately we are hopelessly colored by our present-day standards and the expectations they create/generate - whether we like it or not. They shape and influence our opinions and what we expect of things as we evaluate and examine them. We can't "undo" that... Pretending otherwise is irrational and ridiculous. If we do evaluate something, we thus apply the standards of the present, as those are the only standards we can be sure about. Because we can never be sure about old standards of the past - as these are never properly recorded for posterity, to enable some "post-present" evaluations in the future...

    All we can do, is to remember the best we can - but do we always remember and get all things right? The obvious answer is "no" and there lay the answer as for "why" any such activities are unserious. The simple fact is that we can only do it with the present standards as those are the only ones we are familiar with and can be absolutely sure about - thus it ends up as our only alternative. Otherwise we would inevitably land in guesswork, and that is not serious....

    Agreed?

    - A
    Last edited by Axalon; June 27, 2019 at 01:28 PM. Reason: clarity...

  15. #15
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    Default Re: VikingHorde for Opifex

    Quote Originally Posted by Lifthrasir View Post
    No matter the quality of his work but, with all the due respect, I'm wondering what the point is to reward someone inactive for about 2.5 years while there are a bunch of modders still active and probably deserving recognition for their work
    that's my concern as well... and since there is no clear indication that the work in itself is deserving a recognition I will remain on abstain; no will to disregard the good intentions, but Opifex is for something else, at the least in my book
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  16. #16
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    Default Re: VikingHorde for Opifex

    =============================================================================================


    Friends, citizens, non-citizens, lend me your ears....


    Its difficult to answer many of the questions regarding Medieval Total War XL and VikingHorde due to the passage of time and the era from which he did his work. I searched my own archives to the best extent I could and found fragmented records from his mod within my own archives. What I found was several of the early versions of his mod (1.1, 1.2 and 2.0). He eventually ended with a 3.0 version but he went through several beta versions so in actuality he covered some number more than just three major releases that you might seem to indicate from his last 3.0 version. I also have a handful of screenshots and several dozen save games, mostly dated from the 2004 to 2005 time frame.

    Ironically all originated from an archive on an old laptop, which likely was used to transfer files at the time. The computer I used and its hard drives are long gone so there is no possibility or resurrecting anything else, unless my archives produce some more surprises.

    But I digress, lets go back to the issue at hand....


    From the Constitution...

    Opifex - To qualify for the Opifex award, the nominee must have made exceptional contributions to the Total War sections of the forum, either by modding or other contributions related to the those sections. Any member is eligible to receive the Opifex award.

    Now the real question here is how the work of VikingHorde, a highly regarded modder by most in the field,would apply to this definition.

    VikingHorde was a member in May 27, 2004. His activity here is limited to the thread for his modifications (with a few exceptions - see his Royal Knights mod for the julii faction in RTW)..
    https://www.twcenter.net/forums/down...do=file&id=160).


    Link to his MTW XL modification thread here at TWC.
    https://www.twcenter.net/forums/show...988-MTW-XL-Mod


    During his relatively short period of time here he produced 3 + versions of his modification, which has garnered him 615 posts and 271,700 views, at this time. That is #2 among all MTW mods listed here at TWC, even though his peak of activity was during the golden years of MTW in 2004-2005. His mod was never entered into the mod registry or pinned or given hosted modification status. It has simply languished on page one of the the MTW modifications forum for over 15 years. Quite an achievement and one that shows just how popular his mod was, and not just here at TWC.

    If you visit the official TotalWar forum, and visit the discussion section, you will see his mod listed first among the "most well received mods from the community" - a definitive honor to be listed as such on the official forum for the game.
    https://forums.totalwar.com/discussi...-the-community.


    Wargamer, a well respected forum that covers PC gaming, awarded VikingHorde with "Award for Excellence" in March 2005. I have added some of the highlighted commentary below,
    https://www.wargamer.com/reviews/med...al-war-xl-mod/


    "Whole communities have bloomed around the more popular releases, and with these larger groups come some of the best mods available, making some great titles and franchises truly mind-blowing. However, I really didntt know how truly fantastic a mod could be until I installed the Medieval:Total War XL mod, released by a modder known to me only as VikingHorde on the Total War forums. The care and dedication put into this tremendous mod is evident in all facets of the package, from newly added units, factions, and buildings to the smoother operation of the games economic and tactical models. If Medieval: Total War is a favorite and has never left your hard drive,
    immediately seek out Medieval: Total War XL. It gave me that very rare joy found when something beloved is improved upon, to the point that the original beloved game seems almost quaint by comparison."
    Also, a passage which points to one of the important innovations of the mod...

    "Primarily, the modder designed Medieval: Total War XL with a virtual switch. At the beginning of every new campaign game, the player is given the choice as to play the original, unmodded Medieval: Total War, or to start a new campaign in Medieval: Total War XL. I personally found that once I played a few turns of Medieval: Total War XL, I had no desire to return to the original game, as much as I had loved it. Just having that choice is a welcome one, though. Unsurprisingly, campaigns using the original Medieval: Total War cannot be used in Medieval: Total War XL mode, and vice versa. With the switch included, however, there is no need to delete those old games, since the mod doesnt render them permanently useless. Players may likely forget them though, as I did, in favor of starting a new campaign with Medieval: Total War XL. The choice is ultimately up to the player, which is exactly how mods should always be built."
    In this Youtube video you can see that aspect of his mod beginning at the 1.25m ...point. This is one of the aspects that mode his modification so popular, you could still play the original (vanilla) game from the same start menu.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SX19rtw7nUQ

    Some more commentary on his mod from the Matrixgames website, another well-respected forum.
    http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/pr....asp?m=1675291
    http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm...&key=&#1675291


    I highlight some of the most relevant comments here,


    "I just started playing with this as well... After spending most of my TW time with Rome and Medieval II, I was amazed when I went into a roughly equal battle with the AI, expecting to annihilate them like you can armies 3x the size of your own in Rome or M2, and actually LOST! The AI moved it's infantry after my center, kept it's overwhelming archer superiority back and firing into my troops (as opposed to suicide charging like in Rome and M2- their missile superiority and ability to actually use it is what destroyed my army), used it's cavalry to chase after my own archers, and KEPT IT'S GENERAL AWAY FROM THE BATTLE! It was amazing to see, and reminded me why Rome was uninstalled pretty quickly after I got it, but I kept on playing Medieval 1 for years after Rome came out."
    I myself kept MTW XL on my computer until 2011, when I eventually moved to a new computer. I still have the original installation disks, etc. Medieval Total War has a better AI, in general, than the other TW games that followed, but VikingHorde was able to improve upon that. MTW used a regional reinforcement system that produced battles that were far superior to anything else that followed in the TW series, and the battle AI, well, read from my own
    description of a battle against the Golden Horde..
    https://www.twcenter.net/forums/show...nado%92s-Story

    "My most memorable battle was with the Golden Horde. As a general of Norway, I chased their main army around Lithuania and finally cornered them. But they were clever and made a stand behind a bridge. You know those long, grinding bridge battles. This one was for the books. Both armies were at max strength. The Horde, as always, had the advantage of superior cavalry. But I had Huscarls, and some excellent merc cavalry. The bridge was a slaughterhouse, and I fed unit after unit into the gaping maw. I tried outflanking them by sending my merc cavalry over the second bridge, but they were wiped out. And I began losing ground at the main fight. Horde foot soldiers were inching their way onto my side of the river. I used my last infantry reserves to hold them. Remaining was my general knight’s cavalry, and a few units of light cav. I noticed the Horde cav making their way across the second bridge, running down the routing remnants of my once proud heavy cavalry force. I spurred my general and his escort of light cav into action, charging through the woods. Now there is something to be said about the MTW routing system, once a unit gave way to route, it had a dramatic effect on nearby units as well. Particularly if it was a generals unit. This was one of those times. My cav force came through the woods, apparently unseen, and hit the Horde cav force right in the middle. Now they were tired, no exhausted. They had been fighting nonstop here, across the river, and near the main bridge. And when my cav hit them, they routed immediately. I was shocked to see the vaunted Horde heavy cav flee shrieking like little girls across the river. But I gave chase and ran them down. In the process, the remnants of my heavy cav rallied and I put them on my tail as I worked my way onto the Horde side of the river. Having killed or captured all of the Horde cav, I grouped my light cav together and aimed them at the Horde bridge defenses. I then joined my heavy cav and put them in column for my next move. The infantry had held, and had even pushed the Golden Horde back a pillar on the bridge. And that’s when might light cav hit them in the rear. While not having as dramatic effect as I would wish, it did allow me to push them back infantry wise a few steps. Unfortunately the light cav disappeared into the mass of Golden Horde infantry. Gone. I spurred my heavy cav and headed for the battle, they were my last remaining units not already committed to battle. In terms of infantry, I was down to a handful of spearman and Huscarls. Maybe two dozen knights cav, and a handful (think 5-6) merc heavy cav. The Horde had suffered as well, but still had strong units fighting on the bridge. At this point, the battle on gone on for hours. Every unit, friendly and Horde, was exhausted. With a column headed for the Horde forces, I thought I would at least get a unit or two to rout on the other side of the bridge where my cav would hit. Then, as my cav approached to a lance length away from the Horde forces, which had turned and charged from their side of the bridge, the battle timer ran out.
    I lost."

    I recall many such battles were the AI produced a cunning and ferocious foe.


    From the Lordz forum, whioch is where Napolean Total War is hosted (I did some beta-testing for them around that time period).
    https://www.thelordz.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=9137


    "MedievalTotal War XL - A great mod, completely changes MTW and adds over 10 new factions and renovates the rest, basically what MTW should've been."
    So they say if its on the internet its out there forever. Well, I have been on the internet since the first days of the Magellan browser back in 1995. You would be hard pressed to find any material dating from this time period, and that same seems to be true for the early 2000 to 2008 time period as well. So unfortunately I cant pull the statistics from the downloads that shows that, by far, MTW XL was the most popular modification by a huge margin. So perhaps my attempt to convince you of the importance of the mod is ultimately doomed due to its age. So before I close, let me quote from one of the posts in this thread,

    "The only thing that truly distinguish the XL3-release are the generally rock-solid reliability and stability of VikingHordes and his assistants/helpers work (for this specific release). The craftsmanship is good and solid, it is tested, polished and it typically works (as intended). It is really here that XL truly makes its mark and shines, and if there are anything that qualifies this as a "work of reference" - it these two traits. Reliability and stability.."

    So even the main detractor had some very positive things to say about the XL mod. But if you read comments concerning the XL mod from some of the sites that I have listed you will find some rebuttal to the opinions offered in detraction to this award proposal. Ultimately, everyone has an opinion but as you see many had a very positive affection for this mod.


    This is particularly remarkable as most other mods that followed never became even remotely as popular as the XL mod by VikingHorde.

    Medieval Total War XL was a modification that produced an immensely popular response during the golden age of the Medieval Total War gaming. It had a profound effect on the TW community and an obvious one here at TWC as well. Meeting the standard defined for the Opifex award by a large margin.

    VikingHorde is uniquely qualified for the award of Opifex, and I stand here bound by duty, and honor, to request that you grant him recognition for his work.


    I will post no further on this matter. I thank you for your time and attention. God bless all.


    Respectfully,

    Van Zandt
    Last edited by Van Zandt; June 26, 2019 at 10:17 PM. Reason: edits

  17. #17
    Axalon's Avatar She-Hulk wills it!
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    Default Re: VikingHorde for Opifex

    Quote Originally Posted by Van Zandt View Post
    His mod was never entered into the mod registry or pinned or given hosted modification status. It has simply languished on page one of the the MTW modifications forum for over 15 years. Quite an achievement and one that shows just how popular his mod was, and not just here at TWC.
    This is clearly not true, and I will now show why... In spoiler...

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    This is a screendump from Aug 05, 2010 over the TWC MTW-area... As you can all see, XL is stickied and held as good a spot as any project done for MTW could ever hope for (at the time). It held that position - at least from 2008 (when I signed up as a member) to 2018 (when Frunk, drastically re-worked and changed the MTW & STW-area).

    Everything related to MTW languished at the TWC up to 2014-2015, at least. I have fought long and hard - almost for 10 years to end that structural discrimination that both MTW and STW-games had too endure on the TWC-Index. It is not until 2018 that all this truly changes as these two games were then finally granted a dedicated section each, to call "home" - just like as every other TW-game had been granted for years before them. Up to that point, XL had the best possible position anything related to MTW could ever hope for...

    As for the Mod-registry and MTW... Nothing for MTW was ever entered or registered until 2014 - and then it was just one entry (MTW-Redux). And let me tell you, since then it has not done that stuff any favors as the MTW-section of it is currently stashed away from the public in some forgotten corner within the staff-sections "labyrinth of doom". Hopefully all this will drastically change - soon - lets hope... Regardless, any significant or major project/mod is welcome to register, at any time....


    ***

    MTW-XL actually held the No:1 spot at TWC (generating most views/traffic) all the way to 2018 - when it finally after 10+ years lost that top position to MTW-Redux. That is an amazing track record (despite being the oldest thread around with a head-start in views to everything else) and it shows how popular this mod have been, and still are...

    However, the Opifex is not about general popularity or any popularity-contests - other awards may very well be - but the Opifex is not. It is about exceptionality in works and deeds, and preferably both. And, as I have already pointed out, VikingHorde's work - while solid - does not reach such levels - as that is what my experience and the material (XL and otherwise) tells me. And as a result, I question any claims that suggest otherwise.

    - A
    Last edited by Axalon; June 27, 2019 at 05:29 PM. Reason: clean up...

  18. #18
    z3n's Avatar State of Mind
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    Default Re: VikingHorde for Opifex

    @Axalon Your screencap indicates that MTW-XL was exceptional in the way it attracted some much interest to TWC, more than any other MTW mod at the time. I don't think mods have to necessarily be "uber" exceptional and extraordinarily innovative. Creating an actual full mod in itself is a very impressive feat. I don't believe I have done that myself (and yet I have opifex), I only contributed toward mechanics of the mod or created various submods, tutorials etc.

    Full mods like that are impressive in their own right, and exceptional.

    However, I do also have a concern about the point of awarding opifex to him (he probably won't be around to see it any time soon). He's a lawyer and likely quite busy.

    I suppose retroactive acknowledgement is OK with me, it's better than none. So a hesitant but still a support from me.
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  19. #19
    Axalon's Avatar She-Hulk wills it!
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    Default Re: VikingHorde for Opifex

    Hopefully, this will be my last post here...

    ***

    Some lost commentary to VZ's innovation-remark...

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Quote Originally Posted by Van Zandt View Post
    Also, a passage which points to one of the important innovations of the mod...
    I totally forgot about this statement. It really deserves some commentary, so I will produce some right now...

    If that "innovation" (the raw game-switch) actually was important (and useful), it would have seen some actual use, beyond just VikingHorde, since 2007... The reality here is that it has not... Ever, if memory serves... So, that kind of disqualifies it as "important" somehow I would imagine. As far the "innovation" itself goes... Well, due to the way MTW is actually built up, it is hardly practical or possible to implement it unless you are very close to the raw game in terms of designs.

    In other words, the more you deviate from the raw games designs - the more impossible it gets to implement that "innovation" - and this in turn probably explains why MTW-modders have not bothered with it since VikingHorde "innovated" it in 2007, or was it 2004? After all, most modders, want to deviate from the raw game somehow, with their own new and different ideas and plans, making such a "feature" all but meaningless for them. So, in light of all this, "important innovation" strike me as a misleading exaggeration of an element that no public MTW-modder ever bothered with since it was introduced. I just thought we should clear that one up as well...


    And also some comments for Zen, and in general...

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Quote Originally Posted by z3n View Post
    @Axalon Your screencap indicates that MTW-XL was exceptional in the way it attracted some much interest to TWC, more than any other MTW mod at the time.
    Yup, the level of popularity is remarkable, I agree... However, it is irrelevant in this context - as it is beside the point of this award, as devised. After all, it was hardly created to celebrate and recognize popular stuff, for the sake of it being popular... And "popularity" neither qualifies as any kind of work or as any sort of contribution, or deed, now does it? So, it is irrelevant here by definition. In other words, the Opifex is still about exceptional work and/or contributions to the TW-boards somehow, and popularity is irrelevant in such a context...


    Quote Originally Posted by z3n View Post
    I don't think mods have to necessarily be "uber" exceptional and extraordinarily innovative.
    Well, that is essentially the premise of this award, as it is defined... After all, it is about exceptionality - and in order to get there it has to be exceptional enough, meaning it has to still live up to the concept of exceptional as such, and that in turn excludes any half-measures or supposedly "moderately exceptional" stuff, by necessity... Innovation, is an obvious and typical expression of exceptionality... Pioneering things is another. Following in the footsteps of others, is not. Doing what the crowd does, is not. That is just how things are. There is no changing that. Even if you do it well... It makes no difference... Either we respect the award as it devised, or we don't. If it is to be the latter, then what is the point with it?


    Quote Originally Posted by z3n View Post
    Creating an actual full mod in itself is a very impressive feat.
    It certainly can be, depending on the mod and its actual content and extensiveness... How many that have worked on it, and so forth... Basically, it does not automatically have too be... However the important question here is rather - is it enough to release "a major work" (of sorts) in order to qualify for the Opifex? As I understand the award, the answer is a clear "no"... It is not enough by itself. If it is, then it sure is news to me. And I could probably conjure up at least 4-5 seriously qualified candidates tomorrow, for Opifex - all solo or near-solo projects like XL, similar scope/size and all. If that is the precedence you want to set here. Because they are there - they exist - and that reality kind of take away the exceptionality of things.

    At least in the world of MTW-modding - and that is the world we are currently travelling here - circumstances for other games are irrelevant in this case. Personally, I think it would have been much better to nominate VikingHorde for the new "Modding Service Award" instead - since he actually does qualify for that one at least, and thus it would be better to hand him that, for that very reason. I would easily support such a nomination any day. It would fit much better then the Opifex, all things considered....


    Quote Originally Posted by z3n View Post
    I don't believe I have done that myself (and yet I have opifex), I only contributed toward mechanics of the mod or created various submods, tutorials etc.
    Well, I don't know your case, and I am not an expert on M2TW-modding... All I can do here is to assume that someone thought you were qualified enough to receive that award. And quietly hope that they were right... What is the alternative?


    Quote Originally Posted by z3n View Post
    Full mods like that are impressive in their own right, and exceptional.
    Bolding mine... Again, in the world of MTW-modding, it really isn't... So why should we pretend that it is?


    ***

    Ultimately, if you people want to hand out an Opifex for seemingly all the wrong reasons - I can not stop you. All I can do, is to point it out. And I have. Either you accept and believe in my expertise on MTW-modding matters, or you don't. I will not support this Opifex-nomination, and hopefully there are good and solid reasons for that - as already partly outlined and explained by me in various and previous posts (beyond the few but sufficient Org-links I provided). What you folks do with it from here, is up to you...

    Personally, I think it would have been better to just nominate Vikinghorde for the brand new "Modding Service Award" instead. Since he actually does qualify for that, as I understand these things...

    - A
    Last edited by Axalon; June 28, 2019 at 11:41 AM. Reason: update...

  20. #20
    z3n's Avatar State of Mind
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    Default Re: VikingHorde for Opifex

    Fair enough but you may be missing what I am getting at.

    From my point of view he was a pioneer on TWC, releasing the first major mod here and showing the way to others (exceptional). Certainly popularity doesn't necessarily indicate quality or a state of being exceptional but to many, what they like is exceptional. The main point of contention is that a pioneering mod that already undertook the discovery phase and research efforts made it easier for future mods to create things. We all know modders look at each other's work to imitate and improve upon it, just like game development studios.
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