1- I still believe that having troops have some limited leveling up would make the result funnier, as then losing troops won't simply a monetary matter. A simple recruit -> regular -> veteran is my preference, and if you object having troops get better equipment on the field, all three could have the exact same equipment, only differing in skills and stats.
Rejected. Sorry. I don't believe in splitting the soldiers up and adding filler troops. I've made this clear. You're going to put all those same soldiers in the same bunch and you'll average out somewhere between regular and veteran anyway. Why not just make a single soldier that's about the same level as what's between regular and veteran so that we can focus on the other aspects of the game instead of leveling your troops?
Nobody can convince me to change my mind on this, because if I change this, it will look too much like what the regular Floris game looks like already, except Floris uses cultural names instead of English
. A Rhodok Balestriere Veterano is a veteran Rhodok Balestriere, and a Vaegir Mladshiy Druzhinnik is pretty much just a rookie Druzhinnik (Elitniy is their "veteran"). No reason to redo that already established and successful system to me.
You guys keep suggesting the filler troops in my troop tree, but it seems you just actually want the other features, like that cool new recruitment screen that monnikje showed us, or the other suggestions from other people, but don't like the main concept
which is the simplified troop tree. Main concept = simplified troop tree
. This is the main concept and the only reason I'm doing this. If I give up the simplified troop tree, everything falls apart and we just have some cool new features that you can just play in the Workshop or the future 2.6 if it ever comes out, if they decide to put them in.
I'm not mad, but I wanted to emphasize it because many people obviously don't get my train of thought. I always type properly, which may come off as being cross or hostile or something, but that's not necessarily the case, and certainly not here. I'll toss in some smileys just to show my goodwill.
For the other features, anybody is welcome to those ideas to use them for yourself. They were only suggested here because this simplified troop tree idea brought it up.
2- Your suggested troop levels seem pretty high.
The only high level troops are the elites. Everybody else averages at about the tier 4-5 range that we currently have. It sounds high but only because we've gotten so used to fighting tier 1-4 troops that most AI lords use in the current game. This is one of the intentions of doing this troop tree, though: to reduce the useless and filler troops and subject the player to more powerful troops.
Two, huge armor values are not the solution to the first problem
No idea why you brought this up. I didn't edit any armors, and the elites, who will be the only ones wearing tier 6 and 7 equipment, are essentially tier 7 troops + 5 or 10 levels. And trust me, I'm doing everything in my power to prevent the player from getting 200 elites and 0 othertrooptypes.
I'm even thinking of having penalties for making an army of purely Knights. Aside from being insanely expensive (I estimate it might cost you more than 50,000 a week at Leadership 10?), I want there to be some kind of morale drop. I mean, Knights are usually of nobility too, and if you can have arguments between the noble commander lords, I think that Knights would have arguments too. They aren't slaves to the player and can leave your army on their own accord. I've seen the code in scripts for morale and have some idea of how to implement it already.
Three, it would take ages for the player and its companions to reach similar levels, as the exp required after level 30 is pretty large.
This is a fair point. Perhaps I could allow the supposed veteran soldier companions to start at a higher level, like Lezalit and Bunduk, and Sajjad who is also a veteran.
As for the player, I've actually been playing with some personal modifications (which brought me to the idea of building my own troop tree), and I've noticed that leveling up gets faster past level 30 if you're fighting higher level troops
. It actually makes sense. The problem is that aside from the steep curve in how much the to-next-level required exp increases per level at that point, we're stuck fighting tier 1-4 soldiers. And by the time you reach level 30, let's face it, your troops will be mostly tier 5-7 and of a significant size already. They'll be doing most of the killing for you. The only exp you're typically getting is after the battle, and it's very low because of the low levels of troops you just slaughtered.
But! If you're fighting a significant force of higher level troops, your personal kills will give you more experience, and after combat you'll also get more experience.
In the end, while I may consider some rebalancing among the troops, I'm sticking with the high average levels.
Four, higher level enemies = more exp for the player, which allows it to reach mid levels earlier, which may be make it too powerful too early (non-combat skills: leadership, trade, tactic, pathfinding, etc.).
Heh so you noticed it too apparently... Yes this is intentional. I'm not interested in the early game. In real life, if you prove yourself as a commander in 1 or 2 battles, people already start to respect you. Your enemies become wary of you. The next battles you command, they might stop thinking of you as small fry and throw everything they have at you. No "experience" or "levels". I in fact plan to include an optional module that allows the player to recruit large numbers of militia troops right at the early game, in order to begin waging war immediately, if the player chooses.
Warband to me is a tactical game. A strange and wonderful hybrid of RTS and RPG. Unlike RTS games, this game allows you, the player, to be in the thick of the battle, rather than just some disembodied floating entity that can see the entire battlefield. And unlike an RPG, it focuses more on your troops than just yourself. If I wanted to play an RPG and start off with plain broadsword, ragged padded armor and 100 gold to my name, I would play any other RPG, especially the Japanese games that are so accessible to me. Frankly, as an action RPG, despite its open-endedness, Mount & Blade is not a very good game to me and I'd rather be playing something else. Something more polished and, quite frankly, prettier. Maybe Skyrim or Fallout, or even other games like Mirror's Edge or Assassin's Creed.
But I'm not playing Warband as an RPG. I play it as a tactical game. I love devising strategies and figuring out ways to defeat difficult opponents even if I seem to have an inferior force. This is why I came up with this troop tree idea, and this is why I will stick with it. I want to focus on and emphasize the tactical aspects. I know people might not agree, but that's their choice. They can make their own troop tree and modifications and I'll respect them for it. But this is how I want to play.
To give in and relent now would be to give up the whole thing altogether. Might as well play regular Floris Expanded, or another game for that matter.
3- Both trees you've posted have troops that can more or less be split into weak/average/strong troops (although for Kergit the average/strong delimitation is quite fuzzy). Since your system won't require a full tree going from tier 1 to tier 7, do you have any plan to have faction vary a lot in that regard?
I am thinking that it would be interesting if factions with different ruling systems would get different troop spread.
Yes, and thank you for your suggestions. There's a lot of similarities between what you thought of and what I had planned.
In reality, the planned troop trees are very varied, and don't necessarily have "weak/average/strong troops". It only seems that way because half of what you saw was the Swadian tree, which is supposed to be the bread-and-butter good-for-beginner-tacticians army. You already made a correct observation with the "fuzzy" lines with the Khergits. I'll go into detail below:
As the "base" kingdom, it's fitting that Swadia is the simplest to come up with battlefield tactics for. Just like most games that have a main hero, main faction or whatever, the Swadians are the most well-balanced (with a little emphasis on offense, again just like most other games) of all the armies, as they're comprised of a good balance of infantry, archers and cavalry. Even a beginner tactician can use this army well, but is still fun for expert tacticians as I like to think of myself, as you can pull some fascinating stunts. Indeed, the Swadians are one of my favorite factions even in Floris Expanded, which is why I didn't steer too far away from the way it was built there. I simply got rid of a lot of the filler troops, and modified the roles to fit the medieval western European army theme a bit more.
The Vaegirs were, traditionally, an army comprised of professional soldiers. The Druzhina, historically the main bulk of their army and not really a class but a social standing like the Samurai, were known for their effectiveness in battle. But they trained in various weapons. In order to simplify this, I simply made them an elite class with various weapons. But other than that, the Vaegirs are a strong infantry force focused on hard-hitting offense and shock tactics. A commander may want to want to move their archers forward instead of have them in a line like the Swadian longbowmen, closer to the infantry, as the infantry will be charging very quickly and viciously.
The Mongols, a heavy inspiration for the Khergits, were not professional soldiers the way a professional soldier is thought of in the West, but tribesmen that have been warring for generations even before Genghis Khan was born. All he did was defeat each clan and unify them for the purpose of conquering the rest of the world. That said, I wanted to average out the various major clan branches, not necessarily with specialties but rather just to make it so that the player can have multiple groups of horse archers and lancers, as those are the only two real classes you have to play with. This is so that you can perform complicated tactical positioning of cavalry (by grouping the Tatars as group 4, Kerait Lancers as group 5, Kerait archers as group 6, for example), like the Mongols did. It isn't really intentional for some Khergits to seem "weak", but I did lower some levels just to balance it out (because a full army of purely Merkits is actually possible, unlike a full army of purely Knights). Light armors are historically accurate, as the real Mongol Horde was comprised of fast and light skirmish troops. They didn't wear much armor on themselves or their horses so as not to slow the horses down. Foreign troops don't fill the weak role. The conscripts are actually for decoys, and you'll only have a handful of them at a time, hopefully, just like the real Mongolians did.
I may reconsider the levels of the Khergits, to make them average out at a slightly lower level, but seem more balanced against each other.
The Nords are mostly free men, focused on powerful raider troops. Huskarls form their main professional army, but they have many powerful volunteer troops. The Vikings they were based on were trained in combat from childhood. I read somewhere that a sword is granted upon every Viking boy as a baby, and they train with it all their life. They are free men, but the high quality of the training makes them very effective, unlike most militia troops. The Nords will average out very well and at higher average levels than most other infantry (a Nord Berserker might typically be able to kill 4 or 5 Swadian Swordsmen before dying himself). But the Nords also suffer from having a relatively small army. Basically it plays the same as the current Nord setup.
The Rhodoks are also mostly free men that volunteer for military service. They have regular soldiers that are very powerful, and their own knights, but the bulk of their army will feel very much like militia. I think the Rhodoks may be the toughest to form tactics for as a commander, because individually, each soldier is weaker than most, being mostly peasants that wear very light armors, if any at all. That doesn't mean they'll be weak as a whole, though, as they'll have vast numbers and some fearsome warriors such as the Highlanders, and the farmers from lowlands like Veluca will all be properly trained in either holding up a pike or pavise, or the art of firing a crossbow. The AI performs simple tactics like shield walls, phalanxes and crossbow ranks with volley fire properly, which means they'll still be a mean army even in the hands of the AI. But they'll be even meaner in the hands of the player.
The Sarranids are also warring clans, pulled together by the Sultan for the purpose of war. They are much less "professional" than most armies, but they come in vast numbers, and there is much more variety among the clans, which separates them from the Khergits. Western Sarranid clans (tribesmen from Hawaha, the area around Shariz) would have been influenced by the disciplined Rhodok tactics often used against them. The clans at the foot of Asugan Castle (Tazjunat, Uzgha region) are focused on tactics that would work best against the skirmishing Khergit horde that often invades them. The deep desert region (From Tilimsal, to Shibal Zumr, to Iqbayl) is the purest Sarranid doctrine, focused on horsemanship, swordsmanship and archery combined into one powerful fighting man. Their elite troops are the weakest of all, but come in larger numbers.
As you can see, there's actually a lot of thought that goes into the building of the armies. Don't worry--I'm a certified history and military geek, and I'm very much interested in keeping the game as close to accuracy as we can compromise, while still keeping it fun for tacticians, historians, and gamers (hopefully, though gamers are low on my to-please list). I wouldn't say that the balance is perfect and set in stone already, and the projected levels from the two trees are simply the suggested levels, and are subject to changes as I see them necessary. It was primarily also so that spexau, who volunteered to help with coming up with and naming variant troops, would have an idea of the strengths (so he knows that I plan to make the Billmen essentially better trained than the Swordsmen, for example).
Just remember that, while it's cool and all that you guys will get to play this eventually, I am my own primary audience, and I while I welcome and actually read every suggestion and comment, and will listen to and weigh each suggestion that comes my way, but ultimately I will only pick the ones that are beneficial to the way I want to play the game. Everything else will never see the light of day. NEVER! D:
Oh and I've been quite busy with real life work in the last few days, so I haven't really fired Notepad++ up much. Maybe when I get back to work on this mod in a few days, we'll have some cool new ideas and hopefully the balance of troops would have been ironed out properly already. I'm reluctant to release a public test version until we figure out whether the variant troops and whatnot will be implemented, because these changes are not save compatible.