SP Antiquity Dark Ages 457 AD: Last Years of the Western Roman Empire

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Wlodowiec

Sergeant at Arms
457 AD - The Last Years of the Western Empire
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Hello! I've been planning to use this forum for a while, but never found the right time to do it. It's been years since I used to hang out in here and now Discord has taken over most of the audience but I still feel it could be useful for us to advertise our work here. So...
This space is dedicated to our mod, developed mainly by Oliver, me, Rafa and Fabio, for Mount&Blade Warband called "457 AD The Last Years of the Western Empire". As you can easily assume from the name, the mod is a total overhaul set in Late Antiquity/Migration Era.

ABOUT THE MOD'S SETTING:

It's the year 457, Emperor Majorian is about to launch his reconquest of Gaul, aiming to retake the city of Lugdunum, now in the hands of the Burgundians. Ravenna, now capital of the Western Empire, has suffered much during the last years: not only by the hands of evil barbarians such as Attila, but also due to the incompetence, greed and corruption who clearly marked part of its ruling class and Emperors alike. Now, with the new Emperor Majorian, the people of the Roman Empire look at their future with hope and moderate optimism... Visigoths rule in southern France from the royal city of Tolosa and they recently invaded Spain on the order of the Romans to quell the warlike Kingdom of the Suebi who was laiding waste in Vasconia.

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Jutes and Saxons are slowly moving to Britain, pushing West the coalition of Britons and roman settlers while the Picts watch from the North, waiting for the best time to strike. In Pannonia, instead, the power of the Ostrogoths, led by the Amali dinasty, is on the rise, giving much to worry about to the Scirii, the Rugii and other small tribes living alongside the danubian plains. As we set our eyes onto North Africa we see Gaisarix, king of the Vandals and the Alans. The warlord recently settled in the area around Carthage, making that ancient city, who was once Rome's greatest foe, the capital of a new, dreadful enemy of the Empire.
On the East, the once glorious Empire of the Huns is but a shadow of its former glory. The sons of Attila are having hard times recovering the death of their father and new, warlike nomads push to the East. Regardless, Huns still are a threat not to underestimate and from their turf and occupied cities north of the Bosphorus they still gaze with their spirited eyes their former subjects to the West.

Last but not least, a second Rome still resists... And flourishes! Even if Constantinople went through many dangers in the last decades, the imperial city now stands on top of all the others, outshining Rome and Ravenna in wealth, glory and prestige. People of all kind flocks to the city of Constantinople, once formely known as Byzantium but even the Eastern Rome has its own foes and major threats to deal with. More East, the Sasanid Empire, the illustrious heir of the Persian and Parthian Empire, aims to expand west, under the leadership of the Shahanshah Hormizd. The Persians, unlike many other barbarian tribes in the West and of the Steppes, are a major power in the civilized world who was able to outmatch, defeat and humble the Romans several times with the strength of their army. These are years of changes, after whose the world will never be the same. New kingdoms will rise, while others will fade away into history. The seed of the new Era is making its first sprouts, and men and warriors carry on, ignorant of what is to come.

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MOD'S FEATURES:
- FACTIONS MOSTLY OVERHAULED
- TONS OF NEW QUESTS!
- HIDDEN LOCATIONS!
- EVENTS TRIGGERED BY RENOWN, TIME AND MORE
- SPECIAL ITEMS
- START AS A KING
- DIPLOMACY
- FREELANCER
- TONS OF FRESHLY MODELED ASSETS BASED ON ARCHEOLOGICAL FINDS AND SCHOLARLY RESEARCHES!
- NEW TEXTURES, NEW SHADERS, NEW UI
- TONS OF NEW STUFF I FORGOT TO LIST! :grin:

USEFUL LINKS:
This is our Discord link: https://discord.gg/847ZVR2Ux5
MODDB page to download the mod (in "Files"): https://www.moddb.com/mods/457ad
You don't know how to install the mod, it's pretty easy, heres a tutorial:


SPECIAL THANKS TO:
- Maxi for all the help with scripts and bugfixing! Especially the add of client kingdom. P.S.: download his mod too! It's called Aut Caesar Aut Nihil, roman mod based on the first century, common era. You can find it on Nexus ( https://www.nexusmods.com/mbwarband/mods/6317 ) or in the Steam's Workshop! Visit their Discord too: https://discord.gg/D65uZWdtUc

- Antonis and Tocan, Warband wizards, working full time for the others and working on a ton of warband mods themselves! Visit their discord server ( https://discord.gg/j8cpyGNcqM ) where you'll find most of their projects!

- GulagEnabler, for the Berkasovo helmet and the campagi as well as help with the Fernpass helmet! Gulag is currently working in Burning Empire's discord, a Bannerlord mod focused on Late Antiquity, very similar to 457 AD and for which we too are giving a helping hand! Visit the mod's discord here: https://discord.gg/SEmg6UF54R

- Anoldretiredelephant for the OSP pack of hellenistic hats! They look really good in warband! Anoldretiredelephant is currently working on a roman mod for Bannerlord called Crossing the Rubicon, if you want to follow the update and the mod's development please follow this link to join their discord: https://discord.gg/Pq95mVRxGA

- L'Aigle developer, Jackson, for some flora texture and models, which in turn will be used in the NEXT update! L'Aigle is a Napoleonic Era mod that I'm sure most of you know already as it's one of the most famous mods for Warband! You can download it here: https://www.moddb.com/mods/laigle

- Sparta developer, ZedPaolo, to let us use his exomis tunics that we will use for north-african bandits and some faction units in the next update. Sparta is an amazing mod set in the classical era focusing on Greece and Eastern Mediterranean. This is its MODDB page, go check it out: https://www.moddb.com/mods/sparta

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Rafalongo

Veteran
I'm looking forward to this Mod. Have a book "En el Final de Roma" of Santiago Castellanos, who have a lot of information of this period, I was reading it to create a comic about that time. Have many historic data, events, names, etc. Is based in the letters of Sidonio Apolinar, the greatest source of information of that era.
 
This is absolutely fantastic! It's by far my favourite period of history, and the reskin alone makes it beautiful. I have about two hundred days in a campaign, and it's the most fun I've had in Mount and Blade in over a year. I did use Freelancer, and since I'm slow to swear I've just started my vassalage to the West, but overall it's been great.
I particularly like the attention to detail you've put in, not just with armors but with names and characters. I'm curious if you have a particular source you're working from, or a combination (like I said, favourite period, and I'm always looking for more material on it). In particular, I really like your decision to keep Soissons as part of the West rather than independent, as well as making Riothamus a Romano-Briton ruler, AND making Aspar a claimant to the East.

I have no complaints about it, just wanted to let you know how much I've enjoyed it so far. I also wanted to ask if you have a way to submit a bug report; bandit camps are multiplying like crazy on my map, and I wanted to let you know/figure out if it's intentional. If there's a different forum/place for conversation, I'd be interested in that too.
 

cartonofjuice

Sergeant at Arms
WB
This is absolutely fantastic! It's by far my favourite period of history, and the reskin alone makes it beautiful. I have about two hundred days in a campaign, and it's the most fun I've had in Mount and Blade in over a year. I did use Freelancer, and since I'm slow to swear I've just started my vassalage to the West, but overall it's been great.
I particularly like the attention to detail you've put in, not just with armors but with names and characters. I'm curious if you have a particular source you're working from, or a combination (like I said, favourite period, and I'm always looking for more material on it). In particular, I really like your decision to keep Soissons as part of the West rather than independent, as well as making Riothamus a Romano-Briton ruler, AND making Aspar a claimant to the East.

I have no complaints about it, just wanted to let you know how much I've enjoyed it so far. I also wanted to ask if you have a way to submit a bug report; bandit camps are multiplying like crazy on my map, and I wanted to let you know/figure out if it's intentional. If there's a different forum/place for conversation, I'd be interested in that too.
I'm glad you're enjoying the mod! There's a more recent version of the mod available on the discord server, which fixes many of the bugs as well as changes the start date to 457, to the reign of Majorian. I still have to update this thread at some point, expanding on some of the osps I left out as well as other mod-related details.
 
I just tried out the newest release (out August 1st). I like the expansion of the map compared to the original release, but I'm a bit disappointed by some of the armor changes. In particular, there seems to be much less brass-coloured armour, which was a striking and attractive look that drew me to the mod originally. You also changed quite a few of the names to more detailed descriptions, which, while accurate, seem to make the names a bit too long to be easily recognized/seen on screen (i.e. Roman Miles Comitatenses as opposed to Roman Comitatenses), especially when they don't necessarily add anything to the flavor.
As the above are probably intentional on your part, rather than ask for you to change your vision for the mod, would it be possible for you to keep links available to each release version? If something corrupts on my part, I'd like to be able to get the original release again, rather than the most current update (after I try it out, of course).
 

shikaka

Squire
WB
Since I am looking for a bug-free, more or less finished mod with romans for some time, I decided to check this out.
And yes, this is currently (december 2020) the most complete, most bug free mod with romans, so congrats. (there is only one close contender, Rome at War, but it is a bit different period)

What I like:
- the scope of the map is perfect. Enough settlements to represent the different players of the age, but not too big and laggy. (whole europe mods usually have an overcrowded OR very sparsely populated map. This is very good)
- the troop trees seem realistic
- I like that you can be impactful. I think a good player could defeat a minor faction by himself. (didn't try yet, but some have only 2-3 holdings)
- very good choice of armor textures. (I didn't find nomad headgear at all though, only the fur cap)

Possible bug:
- the shield values are very random. Lot's of shields which have the same size icon have drastically different values. For example the same round shield (I mean when you equip it on the character, it is the same size and shape) with different names have 89 and ~140 ish size. This means that an archer player cannot shoot at shielded enemies, because they are a much bigger force field than what is visible.


Minor nitpics:
- it would be nice to add the type of soldier after the native name. Especially with deserters, I have no idea what they are. For example: instead of "vandal contarius" you could have "vandal contarius (C26)" meaning that this is a level 26 cavalry unit. Instead of level you could use upgrade tiers. ("vandal contarius C4"). This would really help with deciding to encounter bandits or deserters (now, you have to look up the troop tree to see what it actually is)
- the walking animation is very unnatural. It would be much better to have native walking
- the weapon speeds are super slow. (but I guess it is Brytenwalda heritage?)
- in general, the way to go seem to be the usual Brytenwalda-style strategy: go for heavy armor units, which are nearly invulnerable in battle. This means that the game is quite hard until you get 80-100 armored units. But when you do get them, nothing can stop you. So late game is easier then it should be. I'm not sure if this is intended. This is in most Brytenwalda style mods: the armor are simply too good, and there are very few armor piercing weapons for troops. Arrows don't work either, because of shields. So the AI has no way to counter the armored units of the player.


Really good job. Strange this is in the mods under construction section. It is more polished then some mods which are finished for years.
 

Gimilzor

Recruit
Since I am looking for a bug-free, more or less finished mod with romans for some time, I decided to check this out.
And yes, this is currently (december 2020) the most complete, most bug free mod with romans, so congrats. (there is only one close contender, Rome at War, but it is a bit different period)

What I like:
- the scope of the map is perfect. Enough settlements to represent the different players of the age, but not too big and laggy. (whole europe mods usually have an overcrowded OR very sparsely populated map. This is very good)
- the troop trees seem realistic
- I like that you can be impactful. I think a good player could defeat a minor faction by himself. (didn't try yet, but some have only 2-3 holdings)
- very good choice of armor textures. (I didn't find nomad headgear at all though, only the fur cap)

Possible bug:
- the shield values are very random. Lot's of shields which have the same size icon have drastically different values. For example the same round shield (I mean when you equip it on the character, it is the same size and shape) with different names have 89 and ~140 ish size. This means that an archer player cannot shoot at shielded enemies, because they are a much bigger force field than what is visible.


Minor nitpics:
- it would be nice to add the type of soldier after the native name. Especially with deserters, I have no idea what they are. For example: instead of "vandal contarius" you could have "vandal contarius (C26)" meaning that this is a level 26 cavalry unit. Instead of level you could use upgrade tiers. ("vandal contarius C4"). This would really help with deciding to encounter bandits or deserters (now, you have to look up the troop tree to see what it actually is)
- the walking animation is very unnatural. It would be much better to have native walking
- the weapon speeds are super slow. (but I guess it is Brytenwalda heritage?)
- in general, the way to go seem to be the usual Brytenwalda-style strategy: go for heavy armor units, which are nearly invulnerable in battle. This means that the game is quite hard until you get 80-100 armored units. But when you do get them, nothing can stop you. So late game is easier then it should be. I'm not sure if this is intended. This is in most Brytenwalda style mods: the armor are simply too good, and there are very few armor piercing weapons for troops. Arrows don't work either, because of shields. So the AI has no way to counter the armored units of the player.


Really good job. Strange this is in the mods under construction section. It is more polished then some mods which are finished for years.
Personally, I think a fix to this would be to make archers more dangerous by buffing the damage of bows and arrows, or even just arrows- or don't, if you don't want to
 

shikaka

Squire
WB
Personally, I think a fix to this would be to make archers more dangerous by buffing the damage of bows and arrows, or even just arrows- or don't, if you don't want to

I could do it, but I guess there are players who will not understand why their bows work in some cases, or are blocked by an invisible force field in others. (The Ai bot carries the same shield, and in one cases, the model has 87 size, in other cases ~140.)

I think this is a bug what the modders might want to know about, it is not obvious if this is intended or not.


In general, the damage of bows is fine I think. With a specialized (power draw 8+) character, you can one shot bots not in mail armor, after you break their shields (or get behind them). Works well, apart from the unpredictable shield sizes.
To be honest this is the only Brytenwalda-based mod I actually like playing. In most Brytenwalda style mods archery and horsemanship (which are the most fun aspects of Warband for me) are usually nerfed to be useless. While these are weaker than native warband, they still remain usable, so this is instantly more fun than the others.
What I would like is a bit less mud-dirt-ruins, and a bit more color and light, but I guess portraying a post-apocalypse like dark ages is the intention of the creator, so this probably won't happen.


edit:
As with end game strategy: I said arrows don't work, but I actually meant arrows don't work for the AI. If the player micromanages her archers (eg. hold fire - hold this position (behind/unshielded side of enemy) - fire at will) they do work. But the AI is not smart to do the same, and thus cannot stop ~100 heavy armor, shielded units the player has. This is true in all mods where armor is good but weapons are weak+slashing. (eg. original Brytenwalda, A clash of kings, Viking Conquest, etc.)
The solution of most mods is to make heavy armor shield units hard to get, but it only makes the game more grindy. The actual solution is to allow the AI to use effective (!) cavalry and archors, but this sometimes interferes with the heavy infantry focus of the mods.
A good example is Viking Conquest: heavy cavalry in numbers is non-existant. BUT you can do it yourself (with companions and mercenary units), and since noone else has heavy cavalry, your javelin thrower mail armored cavalry is inmediately more useful than they should be, as they have no counter on the battlefield at all. (hold fire, follow me, hold position behind enemy shieldwall, fire at will. 8 companions throwing 24 javelins from a stationary horse behind the enemy shieldwall usually does it's job...)
 
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