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Balancing the campaign : observations and thoughts

24

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  • madskittlsmadskittls Registered Users Posts: 294
    Personally, I believe Bretonnia and the Empire don't necessarily need an explosive start, but easier confederations, is this possible, while making confederations less likely for dwarfs and elves?
  • uriakuriak Registered Users Posts: 4,437
    Well, it depends on what you think is the most fair solution

    making the main faction stronger leads to more confederations. I'm pretty sure Bretonnia and the Empire take so much time because they aren't "that" stronger than the subfactions.
    I can change the confederation likeliness but that will impact the player too, your mileage may vary. Do you want to simply require being friends? being much stronger?

  • madskittlsmadskittls Registered Users Posts: 294
    uriak said:

    Well, it depends on what you think is the most fair solution

    making the main faction stronger leads to more confederations. I'm pretty sure Bretonnia and the Empire take so much time because they aren't "that" stronger than the subfactions.
    I can change the confederation likeliness but that will impact the player too, your mileage may vary. Do you want to simply require being friends? being much stronger?

    Well base game, to me, it seems like the AI confederates almost solely when they are threatened by a force they cannot handle themselves. This is why I believe the Dwarfs confederate so quickly is because they are constantly being hounded by the warlike GS. Meanwhile the Empire can only get confederations when waiting for Skarsnik, VC, or Chaos to make someone freak out.
    I think that you should be able to confederate with SOME (definitely not all) subfactions solely based off of a high friendship, being much stronger, and having steadfast diplomacy.
  • bli-nk#6314bli-nk#6314 Registered Users Posts: 6,092
    Something to make Bretonnia confederate more quickly seems to best solution there as I've never seen them confederate more than 1 other duchy- partly Moussilion seems to survive very long and block access to other Duchy, and partly because Louen tends to be very weak- only time I've seen Bretonnia do well is when taking Marienburg and the Wastelands then attacking Nordland and into Norsca.

    Empire seems to do ok 1/5 campaigns up until Chaos invasion when they always die quite quickly so they are a tiny bit better off than Bretonnia. It is really too bad Empire can't have a couple random provinces start friendly when played by AI each campaign. If random script to make 1 Elector province ally with Reikland and 1 confederate that would probably be enough of a power block and random to keep in sandbox theme that Empire would occasionally snowball before Vampires though I think still would lose to Chaos + Norscans 90% of the time.
    Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence in society.” Mark Twain
  • uriakuriak Registered Users Posts: 4,437
    I'm gonna explore a way to amplify Bretonnia confederation chances in the next days.

    At the moment, this, the high elves and Skaven situation are the 3 things I think I should still try to balance a bit.
    Ulthuan and HE need a curbing of the confederation speed. Naggaroth stays quite divided until late in my playtests, but Ulthuan becomes a super power, and well it's logical in a way but unbalanced. Skavens may fare better with my latest army tweaks.

    I really would be happy to get more feedback on this The way I playtest campaigns makes Chaos invasions unlikely and helps Estalia too much, so getting information from a real campaign is always welcome.

    Your idea of random factors is one I'm quite agreing with, @Ichon Scripts could bring back the randomness that my be lost by balancing things.
    My end game would be to write some scripts for chaos invastion like events in the late game, of different nature, a big green invasion from the East would be cool, or an undead surge. But these are long term goals.

    For now I'm trying to analyze what to put in a mod that actually changes economic/war rules too, and maybe the diplomatic changes, that would be kept separate from the pure CAI mod. For the moment it could feature

    -income for Bretonnians Settlements
    -rebalancing post battle loot
    -buffing up Skavenblight and other places
    -randomly make Empire/Bretonnia provinces confederate at some point, perhaps forcing the Bretonnia unification if it stays under a certain level past some time.
    -add skaven/orc disorders events if their factions are eradicated too fast. I really see these factions as a nuisance that needs to quashed but always come back.

    -changing the climate penalties and especially hindering growth.
  • RowYerboat#9411RowYerboat#9411 Registered Users Posts: 1,162
    Uriak, which faction(s) would be most useful to see playthroughs of for some more data?
  • uriakuriak Registered Users Posts: 4,437
    Well for checking army compositions, anything that meet a lot of nasties of varied types. Factions like the loremasters are a good example.

    For checking on skavens, any skaven faction (I dunno if there is way to reveal them all for spying)

    And for the whole balance, honestly anything but a horde could do I guess. By playing DE or HE you'll just see how the other block handles it, by playing bretonnia or empire you'll remove the issue of seeing who can prevails etc. Maybe just avoid a faction too isolated?

    Thanks a lot, in any case. I know it's not easy to dedicate time for this, without assurance the mod works entirely. :)
  • Overlord87#6613Overlord87#6613 Registered Users Posts: 1,027
    uriak said:

    Well for checking army compositions, anything that meet a lot of nasties of varied types. Factions like the loremasters are a good example.

    For checking on skavens, any skaven faction (I dunno if there is way to reveal them all for spying)

    And for the whole balance, honestly anything but a horde could do I guess. By playing DE or HE you'll just see how the other block handles it, by playing bretonnia or empire you'll remove the issue of seeing who can prevails etc. Maybe just avoid a faction too isolated?

    Thanks a lot, in any case. I know it's not easy to dedicate time for this, without assurance the mod works entirely. :)

    I haven't had much time but in the coming weeks I want to start a lore-themed campaign with Grombrindal to go and settle an old grudge with Malekith, and will probably test out your mod. I'll give you some feedback then hopefully.
  • RowYerboat#9411RowYerboat#9411 Registered Users Posts: 1,162
    edited November 2017
    uriak said:

    Well for checking army compositions, anything that meet a lot of nasties of varied types. Factions like the loremasters are a good example.

    For checking on skavens, any skaven faction (I dunno if there is way to reveal them all for spying)

    And for the whole balance, honestly anything but a horde could do I guess. By playing DE or HE you'll just see how the other block handles it, by playing bretonnia or empire you'll remove the issue of seeing who can prevails etc. Maybe just avoid a faction too isolated?

    Thanks a lot, in any case. I know it's not easy to dedicate time for this, without assurance the mod works entirely. :)

    Ok. Haven't played Tyrion or Skrolk yet, so might try one of them. Was also considering Skarsnik. I'm missing the Greenskins but I wouldn't want to affect the early game in the badlands. Don't want to do Brets/WE until the updates get into ME.
  • uriakuriak Registered Users Posts: 4,437
    You mean Norsca? or the Ror (which I understand)
  • RowYerboat#9411RowYerboat#9411 Registered Users Posts: 1,162
    uriak said:

    You mean Norsca? or the Ror (which I understand)

    The RoR, and WE followers. I thought there were other updates to Brets as well, but could be wrong.
  • uriakuriak Registered Users Posts: 4,437
    I've got a mod for followers if you wish ;)

    Okay, just updated the Experimental CAI mod :

    - I changed climate occupation decisions to a more drastic difference
    - scripted buffs for Empire/bretonnia
    - lowered confederation chance for diplomat personnalities (aka HE) they have more chance in last stand and depending of power, but less when ultra friendly.

    The latest update before increased priorities of farm and ports for bretonnians, lowered the value of yeomen and skaveslaves.
  • InuOkami#8640InuOkami#8640 Registered Users Posts: 688
    Hi, i was wondering, it'll be possible to make the WE to not expand like they do? It seems weird that when i arrived to the bretonian coast, it look like they just got over the Fay and Alberic, and also having Estalia and part of Tilea. I guess CA mess up with the "issolationist" trait.
  • PhoenixKingMalekith#5710PhoenixKingMalekith#5710 Registered Users Posts: 2,534
    Main factions need to be buffed (when not played by the player), so they can survive for more than 60 turns, when you are still expanding in your continent.
    "You stumble about in darkness. There is no light here, no mercy. Naggarond has claimed the souls of better heroes than you."
  • uriakuriak Registered Users Posts: 4,437
    @coury97 : the isolationist diplomatic stance works as intended, what happens is that there is a campaign script that change this attitude after a while, triggering both the WE confederacy and their invasion. It works as expected, but I agree Bretonnia shouldn't shoulder always the brunt of this attack. Caracassone starting at war with Orion serves no real purpose, imho. Neither will realistically invade the other until the Wild Hunt begins.

    @LordTorquemado : maybe. Ultimately I'd be thrilled if even subfaction could become the main threat in a campaign. Making more of them playable is a good idea.
  • Overlord87#6613Overlord87#6613 Registered Users Posts: 1,027
    uriak said:

    @coury97 : the isolationist diplomatic stance works as intended, what happens is that there is a campaign script that change this attitude after a while, triggering both the WE confederacy and their invasion. It works as expected, but I agree Bretonnia shouldn't shoulder always the brunt of this attack. Caracassone starting at war with Orion serves no real purpose, imho. Neither will realistically invade the other until the Wild Hunt begins.

    @LordTorquemado : maybe. Ultimately I'd be thrilled if even subfaction could become the main threat in a campaign. Making more of them playable is a good idea.

    I agree on Carcassonne. Have you considered changing initial diplomatic relationship?
    Bretonnian Kingdoms should start at peace with each other. Alberic at war with Mousillon (and no HE faction), Carcassonne maybe with Estalia and Beastmen? Don't know, just an idea.
  • uriakuriak Registered Users Posts: 4,437
    edited November 2017



    I agree on Carcassonne. Have you considered changing initial diplomatic relationship?
    Bretonnian Kingdoms should start at peace with each other. Alberic at war with Mousillon (and no HE faction), Carcassonne maybe with Estalia and Beastmen? Don't know, just an idea.


    It's possible, and the good news is that with the power of scripting, I could do this without changing the start position - changing the start position is evil. Making everyone there start at peace would let them pick a war of their choosing instead I suppose.
  • RowYerboat#9411RowYerboat#9411 Registered Users Posts: 1,162
    edited November 2017
    The Bretonnian start is an odd one in that there are few obvious enemies around. WE don't make much sense, and from a gameplay point of view are virtually impossible to invade at the very start of the game. Brets are basically surrounded by other "Order" factions, save the one Greenskin tribe that has a whole one settlement to grab, and Skarsnik. And Mousillon. But all of these combined have very few settlements, and even those settlements are in provinces that are partly owned by Order factions. I guess the situation with Norsca is a bit different in ME; I have to admit I'm not very familiar with that part of the map from an ME standpoint.

    It would be interesting to see a Bret start that could be focused on turtling up and confederating as quickly as possible, but the mechanics of the game don't make that very easy, or fun. The early Bret economy can barely support armies to fend off Beastmen/Mousillon, and the only mechanic to really speed up confederation is cash gifts. Maybe someone has tried it, but I just don't see it happening. It would be cool to be able to do quests for subfaction neighbors, on a path to confederating them, a la Endless Legend.
  • uriakuriak Registered Users Posts: 4,437
    edited November 2017
    You're touching some more complicated design elements, here :)

    This start is odd and it is what gives Bretonnia its personnality. I think the rule about paysants and economy are there to force a "think small " midnset at the core. You have to basically pick your fights, and it's liekly than in ME this is much more varied than in the old world campaign, since you have the mountains and even skavenblight if you're feeling audacious.

    Note that a future Middenland start would suffers from the same issue I reckon, though Empire infighting is much more encouraged.

    Now from the CAI perspective, what do we want from Bretonnia. Hopefully to meet some serious Bretonnian power at some point in some campaign and this restricted start makes it complicated. Honestly in my latest test Bordeleaux does quite well, as does Carcassone. The issue is the 3 of them don't confederate in time to survive whe WE eating half of Bretonnia or to stop Mousillon.
  • RowYerboat#9411RowYerboat#9411 Registered Users Posts: 1,162
    Fwiw, I did see Bretonnia do well in one of my two ME campaigns, at least at first. Bordelaux was down into Estalia, and Bretonnia had the northern half of Bretonnia proper and fully half of Norsca. They then confederated to become a very solid power. But, with all their armies up north (AI seems really bad about covering all its fronts or leaving armies in defense), Tilea rolled over Estalia, WE stormed into Bretonnia, and then Dwarfs came in and took all of that stuff, leaving Brets stuck up in Norsca.

    Interesting, but same ultimate result.
  • RowYerboat#9411RowYerboat#9411 Registered Users Posts: 1,162
    If WE would unleash their midgame rage on Dwarfs, that might change things quite a bit.
  • uriakuriak Registered Users Posts: 4,437
    Was it with my CAI mod or with the normal ME settings?
  • Overlord87#6613Overlord87#6613 Registered Users Posts: 1,027

    If WE would unleash their midgame rage on Dwarfs, that might change things quite a bit.

    In fact, all Dwarfs and WE should have some aversion penalty to diplomacy. Definitely not be on good terms like Clan Angrund with WE main faction.
  • uriakuriak Registered Users Posts: 4,437
    At least they aren't allied anymore are they?
  • uriakuriak Registered Users Posts: 4,437
    BTW, I've just written a guide to add fully compatible scripts to your own mods. This is for half experienced script editing.

    No testing today though :(
  • Overlord87#6613Overlord87#6613 Registered Users Posts: 1,027
    I was wondering uriak, do you believe It will be possible in the future to mod the way Chaos invasion works, with scripts? Also add other end game events, like a huge Vermintide, a gigantic Waagh, things like that?
  • uriakuriak Registered Users Posts: 4,437
    Yes, but...

    Well, it's certainly possible (in another mod, the scope is quite large) to do this, for me or someone with a similar scripting level. The two big issues would be testing, because while it's easy enough to check if each element works, checking if the whole works as intended with the real turn/imperium triggers is complicated. The modder would certainly need help.
    The other issue would be to draw a clear definition of what the scripts are supposed to achieve, and how. What are the preconditions? Where to spawn, which factions, how much, etc. This could require a a round of brainstorming.
  • Overlord87#6613Overlord87#6613 Registered Users Posts: 1,027
    uriak said:

    Yes, but...

    Well, it's certainly possible (in another mod, the scope is quite large) to do this, for me or someone with a similar scripting level. The two big issues would be testing, because while it's easy enough to check if each element works, checking if the whole works as intended with the real turn/imperium triggers is complicated. The modder would certainly need help.
    The other issue would be to draw a clear definition of what the scripts are supposed to achieve, and how. What are the preconditions? Where to spawn, which factions, how much, etc. This could require a a round of brainstorming.

    Sure, that wasn't any kind of request and I know you're already doing a lot of (free) work for us. Plus, it's clearly something different from a campaign AI mod.

    I was thinking about two ideas actually.
    One came around in this forum a few weeks ago, and it tied Chaos invasion to Archaon.
    Here: https://forums.totalwar.com/discussion/206186/mortal-empire-chaos-invasion-setup#latest
    I thought it was a very interesting concept, forcing the player to send an expedition force in the old world to end the Chaos invasion for good.
    I think it's Celtik mod for game one that modded Chaos invasion with much improved horde composition and replenishment. While it would be too hardcore (probably) to make that change in game 2, considering how many stacks spawn now, It could work to improve only Archaon's horde that way. So, once the invasion hits, the player would have to deal with the stacks in his own neighborhood, but also assemble an elite stack to hunt Archaon, as the AI would not be able to kill him.

    The second idea is for a randomized endgame event. Instead of always having a specific event (Chaos invasion), there could be a random threat selected from a set (Skaven vermintide, a world-ending Waagh, etc.).

    I think it could be possible to assemble a testing group for a mod like this. Maybe even people with modding experience to share the workload. I'd certainly be willing to help to the extent of my capabilities.
  • uriakuriak Registered Users Posts: 4,437
    I've not looked at the chaos invasion script for the moment. I'm a bit wary of doing this because I should check the latest beta (I dunno if I can update a mod for a beta) and it could change again sooner than expected. IDeally I could try to make it more advanced AI like.

    I think the priorities are : make the varied factions share the burden of repelling chaos (maybe not skavens) especially the powerful Ulthuan/LM block. Make chaos attack evenly. Make it come in time and alter the strength with the player power, or maybe the total power of the order factions.

    I may have spread/originated the second idea : it's a great goal that would come after the chaos fix of course.

    Unfortunately I'm starting to feel that without a proper chaos invasion the balance of the campaign is difficult to achieve. In the most ideal setup, the order faction would be quite allied but take a heavy toll, this helps the destruction factions that can't form such a vast alliance.



  • RowYerboat#9411RowYerboat#9411 Registered Users Posts: 1,162
    uriak said:

    Was it with my CAI mod or with the normal ME settings?

    That was in vanilla.
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