SP Dark Ages VC Balance Mod (saved game compatible)

Tingyun

Knight at Arms
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Viking Conquest Balance Mod Version 12.0, a saved game compatible modification for the latest release of Viking Conquest (2.054), including BugFixes by EvilSquid and Dark Age Village Names by Philippe at Bay

Discord Server

Hooded Horse Website

VC Balance Mod is a comprehensive mod for Viking Conquest, featuring hundreds of gameplay and balance improvements, including tournaments varied by faction, 2-handed Dane Axe wielding troops, more elite AI armies, realistic travel speeds based on map scale, increased Norse sailing advantage, AI lords stats varied based on history and literature, balanced troop and item stats, strengthened Laithland, added lord families, and much more. All changes documented, so you can know exactly what you are installing.

Nexus download page
ModDB download page

Feel free to comment here, or visit our discussion threads at other forums:
Reddit 1.0 release thread
Reddit 2.0 release thread
Reddit EvilSquid bugfixes (included in 3.0) discussion thread
Reddit 4.0 release thread (including discussion of traits)
Reddit Berserker changes for Balance Mod 4.0 discussion thread (over 100 comments, thanks everyone!)
Reddit 5.0 changelog thread
Reddit 6.0 release thread
Reddit 7.0 release thread
Reddit 8.0 release thread
Reddit 9.0 release thread
Reddit 11.0 release thread
Reddit 12.0 release thread

IMPORTANT NOTE: Travel speeds are now realistic in the main download based on:
1) mounted travel times between London and York vs speeds achieved in the Tevis cup;
2) sea travel speeds from Ribe to London vs historical guesses at longboat speeds;
3) historical records of roman army marching speeds (couldn't find anything closer in time)

If you want to restore vanilla VC 2x as fast as realistic speeds, download the alternate full install version

IMPORTANT NOTE 2: As of 9.0, the player has the option to manage any settlement, which allows you to finance temples for conversion (though in opposite religion fiefs they might be destroyed by riots), or to finance the construction of buildings to help out other lords of your kingdom.

If you have not modded VC yourself, you can just drop the text files from the full install archive into your VC directory and overwrite.

Difficulty settings: I highly recommend “Normal” campaign AI difficulty, “Hard” tactical AI, “hardcore” leveling and “hardcore” finance, for a balanced and challenging game. Here’s why: In VC, if you want difficulty, you want better parity between player and AI lord army composition. That means better party templates for AI lords (added in 5.0), and hardcore finance setting (vanilla VC bug fixed so it works as intended in 5.0) and hardcore leveling (this setting really helps preserve parity with AI lords). 5.0 also removes all ways in which the game cheated for the player on Normal Campaign AI, and rebalances most relevant mechanics under Normal to the old Hard Campaign AI (for example, tax inefficiency). I consider the rebalanced normal campaign AI to be the most balanced and immersive experience. If you do choose Hard campaign AI, you will have: faster replenishment of defeated AI lords and weaker player kingdom vassal lords.

Suggested houserules for a more challenging play through:
1) Don't reload ammo in the inventory chest more than at most a couple of times per battle if you are mounted (otherwise, it becomes just as easy as other mods to solo enemy armies at range)
2) Don't retreat from siege battles to reload ammo
3) Don't get a tree branch, mount a horse, and club all the elite bandits unconscious for recruiting (same as above, too many easy high level units)
4) Don't purposefully lose tournaments to pump up the renown of your kingdom's lords (obviously fine for them to get the boost for legitimate wins, just don't take a fall to milk feasts and their multiple tournaments a day to make all your lords capable of commanding huge armies)

As always, save compatible--full release version, no need to install prior versions first

Updated to VC 2.054

Captured ships report damage after battle to allow player to make better decision as to whether to keep (thanks to Taleworlds user Dhamon for this)

Player wears mercenary disguise when sneaking in to towns (better equipment and more fitting than the pilgrim disguise for Norse territory) (thanks to Taleworlds user Dhamon for this)

Dane axe removed from huscarls

As always, save compatible--full release version, no need to install prior versions first

Updated to VC 2.050

Money from raiding monasteries dramatically increased (dependent on random chance and looting skill)

Dane axe removed from tier 5 huscarl inventory (now confined to the tier 4 unit)

10.0 Changelog:
As always, save compatible--full release version, no need to install prior versions first


9.0 Changelog:
As always, save compatible--full release version, no need to install prior versions first


8.0 Changelog:
As always, save compatible--full release version, no need to install prior versions first


As always, save compatible--full release version, no need to install prior versions first

Norse Standard Bearer renamed to Norse Axe Warrior

Troll Axe renamed to Dane Axe

Norse Huscarls replace old norse standard bearer/new norse axe warrior as source of leadership bonus. For pagan players, these elite household guards bring greater prestige, and having them function in this role allows the pagan player a slightly higher proportion of combat troops, in asymmetric balance with the various ways a pagan player has more difficulty (less effective conversion, religious recruiting penalties in most towns, less access to cross-faction troops, etc)

Camp menu updated to reflect change, now says "Standard Bearer or Huskarl" and counts the bodyguards (NOTE: this one cosmetic menu change is not present in the alternate "restore vanilla 2x as fast as realistic speeds" version)

Armor performance against piecing/blunt/cutting changed to native Warband values. This will make spears perform substantially better against armor, and swords perform slightly worse.

Soldier xp for kills changed from VC 2.0x to Warband 3.0x. This will make promotions from actual combat somewhat faster, making fighting battles more important than simply using Companion trainer skills and the refuge training system. This balances well with some of the recruiting changes in prior versions, that made elite recruits harder to get directly from recruiting. Now getting elite troops will place more emphasis on combat, less emphasis on getting them for free by letting time pass. This does not affect companion or player xp.

Realistic speed versions (default download and alternate slower renown download) ONLY: Adjusted spotting range to new realistic world map scale (like speeds, now 50% of original, to reflect the scale of the Viking Conquest map compared to real world Britain)

Horses in Briton/Pict tournaments now use both normal colors of horses (instead of all being the same color of a weaker horse). Saddless versions are used.

Increased prevalence of horses in player faction tournaments to 20%

Made 2 and 1.5 handed weapons more competitive. All 2 and 1.5 handed axes given +3 slashing damage. All 2 and 1.5 handed swords given +3 damage to both slashes and stabs

7.0 Changelog
As always, save compatible--full release version, no need to install prior versions first


6.0 Changelog
As always, save compatible--full release version, no need to install prior versions first


5.0 Changelog was too massive to post here--I hit the character limit. See the following links

5.0 Changelog Part 1: https://forums.taleworlds.com/index.php/topic,373658.msg8976512.html#msg8976512

5.0 Changelog Part 2: https://forums.taleworlds.com/index.php/topic,373658.msg8976513.html#msg8976513

As always, save compatible--full release version, no need to install prior versions first

Berserker player ability buffed to +10% damage, +30% movement speed (does not speed up attacks), and lasts for entire battle.

If this seems strong, remember that the other traits give:
Leadership, +5% damage to entire player army
Tough, +10% movement speed to entire player army
Strong, -5% damage to entire enemy army

Berserker only affects the player and therefore needs to be much stronger in effect. Berserker should now be a balanced trait against the other choices, and a great trait especially for a player who does not fight mounted, and so will benefit from the movement speed.

AI units do not use the same mechanic as of 4.0, and so are unaffected.

As always, save compatible--full release version, no need to install prior versions first

Dialogue option to change lady equipment added back in, after removal in 3.1. The option to change lord equipment is still removed.

Bonus to accuracy from sneaking removed. Crouching shouldn't make you aim a bow better.

Berserk mechanic heavily reworked. Now lasts entire battle. Only for player, +20% bonus movement speed for player, will help for infantry. AI berserking units already have high stats that reflect their berserker power, and this allows removing extra checks from battle..Trait and berserker units should now actually be useful. No more berserker units turning traitors or constantly being tired. See discussion at modthread or reddit for further details on all of this.

Fixed Vanilla VC inconsistent mechanic where martial pagan lords hate low rep players. They now behave the same as pagan upstanding lords--they don't care.

Druid sacrifice now always give an attribute point, no more randomly missing out on a permanent point. I get the idea the developers had, gods being capricious, but attribute points are incredibly rare and valuable in VC, and permanently missing one out of nothing but random chance with no player control is not my preferred style of game design.

Luck reduction from days passed removed entirely

Troll axe strength requirement reduced from 21 to 20. The axe isn't really that good, but is kind of fun, so let the melee player try it out without having to be inefficient in stat distribution.

A couple of bugs that were carried over from the tweaks tool are fixed. First, merchant min and max cash corrected from incorrect tweak tool calculations by restoring vanilla values (this disables the ability to fully use the merchant cash tweak if using the module files, but corrects the numbers for everyone else). Prior to this, even if the user did not enable that tweak, vanilla behavior was still altered. Second bug from tweaks tool fixed: corrected a pict armor incorrectly getting ritual bonuses. That armor is now restored to all units that used it (it was removed temporarily from units in a prior changelog entry, pending locating the source of that bug).

Player no longer gets an unrealistic special bonus to decapitation chance over other bots. Chance overall reduced. It just isn't that easy to chop a head off. Also in game effect the special bonus punished the player with high skills--more deaths, less prisoners.

Lowered religion relation requirement for a quest, to give a player a better chance of seeing (was 50, now 10)

As always, save compatible--full release version, no need to install prior versions first

Bowing to popular demand, conversation options for changing lord and lady equipment are removed

EDIT: changing lady equipment dialogue option restored in 4.0, I realized it was only the lord one that people wanted removed.

As always, save compatible--full release version, no need to install prior versions first

Tons of EvilSquid bug fixes for Vanilla VC bugs! Feasts now work correctly, surrenders are fixed as well, and many others. Thanks to him for fixing so many things, and giving permission to include. See complete list here:
Revolt chance from tax collection quest reverted to native Warband behavior, to fix far too high revolts from VC system

Being a vassal shouldn't block quests any longer (the greater variety is nice, and you can always refuse yourself with the no relation loss tweak enabled, and the old list was incomplete of what quests should be allowed)

A few quests have their refresh timers shortened:

track down bandits - 30 days to 10 days (annoying enough to track them down, if you want it more frequently, why not)

rescue prisoner - 5 days to 2 days (hard enough to actually find a family member wanting someone rescued given VC's missing family relationships)

Removed some level requirement caps from quests (ie, where above a certain level you wouldn't ever see the quest again).

Removed renown limits on letter delivery. Play postal service for lords if you like.

Lords no longer block player from permission to court lady if not of same faction. Increases player options and roleplaying variety. And I don't think an absolute bar on such marriages makes sense--there are tons of diplomatic alliance marriages between kingdoms. Religion is already a bar anyway. If the faction dislikes you though they will use this same "not a vassal" dialogue to say no to you being a suitor anyway.

As always, save compatible--full release version, no need to install prior versions first

The big 3 changes:

- High level unit loot is no longer crowded out of the lootbox by peasant gear, as looting low level units is capped. Kill enemies in any order you like, even if peasants die first you will still get the good loot.

- "First claim on all loot" option now actually does that, you see all the loot exactly as if you fought solo. Before it just gave 4x standard loot, which made no sense and alternated between magically creating more loot than would have existed solo and giving far less than it should.

- Bandit party spawns no longer depend on player army strength. This means that Ireland won't have tiny 3 member bands just because 4 weeks ago you left your army in a troop camp in Norway for awhile. The old system rivals Oblivion as a nonsensical leveled world, except at least in Oblivion the leveling generally happened when you met the spawn, and didn't jump backwards and forwards constantly. Bandit spawn settings from camp options and campaign AI setting still influence their size (if providing feedback on bandit strength, please report your settings for those options). Thanks to reddit user LordIronToe for discussing the leveled world issues with me a week or so back.

And the rest:

- Ship Captains now count as sailors for the sailing speed bonus. (companions with sailing skills will be added in later version)

- Tournament rewards are more consistent and reasonable (smaller town relationship boost, but now can increase relationship past 30, more lasting small renown boosts rather than going to +0 by mid game, culture-generic mail armor rather than every town giving Norse armor)

- Train peasants quest temporarily set to 1 hour per training cycle, balancing with small rewards, lower training cap of 5 in VC, and need to kill bandits yourself. Dialogue statements not updated (so will still report 10 hours or so, but it will only take 1), as this is temporary until the quest can be properly updated to involve training shielded militia units that might actually help against bandits.

- Some minor loot changes (no more 1/3 loot penalty when party is below 40 men, too binary, and companion loot shares change from 3 to 1, since player has to equip them out of his loot anyway. Mostly relevant in the early game, and counteracts the occasional early game times when the new loot caps might reduce loot a bit)

- Bandit spawn frequency increases by 50% to adjust for a VC system where spawns are capped earlier when large, and so adapt to the new random spawn sizes from the deleveled world

Given the complexity of this round of changes, tweaks are now incorporated into the mod full install. If you would like to use your own tweaks, look for the optional Module installation download in the nexus files page, and you will find instructions within.

The included tweaks from the tweaks tool are: keep morrigan in party, battle continuation after KO, (EDIT: included in 2.0 modify lord gear from dialogue option removed in 3.1), 0 relation loss if you refuse most quests from lord, no troops stealing from you (ie, ale, jewelry), no marshall levying your troops, bandit lairs visible from twice as far away as normal, 99% ship capture in battle, random captured ship HP, prisoner hire waiting period of 6 hours, disable stat loss from long games, use horse in town scenes.

Thank you to all contributors of past tweaks to VC, and in particular Kalarhan and Kraggrim for their work on the tweaks tool!

Some personal tweaks of my own are also included: edit wife dress/hat from dialogue option, keep horse in docinga defense and farmland scene, keep your normal equipment when sneaking into towns and castles (instead of pilgrim robes and staff, which seems so much more suspicious than just wearing armor, especially in a Norse town).

If you prefer the much lower default VC ship capture chance, an optional file is included to restore it on the nexus files page. Just download and copy it into your VC folder after installing the main install. Thanks to reddit user BunnyPoopCereal for conferring on this and other release issues.

As always, fully save compatible with vanilla VC campaigns. Please report any feedback!


As always, save compatible--full release version, no need to install prior versions first

1) A pictish normal clothing item that incorrectly gave the ritual skill bonus for naked tattoo armor has been removed from units, pending locating the source of the bug. EDIT: found and fixed the bug in 4.0, it was from the tweaks tool using some incorrect code.

2) Veteran mercs given the standard tier IV spearmen melee item upgrade from the mod's 1.0 changes, as well as the glove chance given to all units with mail armor. Thanks to Reddit User Mathias_Bianchi for convincing me to include them.

As always, save compatible--full release version, no need to install prior versions first

1) Quality wrapping boots that weigh 2.0 now have +1 armor when compared to those that weigh 1.5. Special thanks to Reddit user EricAKAPode for suggesting this.

All changes are 100% Save compatible with vanilla VC saved games

Troops:

1) Angle Bodyguards now have the sword selection of Saxon/Norse Bodyguards. Before, they had only the worst swords in their inventory, which makes no sense given the faction balance/stats, where angles are supposed to have better swordsmen than the saxons, and is otherwise unheard of for a max tier faction swordsman unit.

2) Chance of leather gloves added to frankish horsemen, storyline only heavily armored mercs, and any faction unit with mail body armor.

3) Old captains lose the seaxes, gain some spears. Their swords are too short to be spearless while mounted, the AI can't handle the 81 length swords from horseback.

4)Tier V bodyguards/champion swordsmen lose the langseaxes, broadseaxes, and knives, and now all have swords.

5) Hunting knives and plain little seaxes removed from tier III and IV swordsmen line units. They now all have the decent broadseaxes, langseaxes, axes, and such.

6) Angle tier IV swordsmen have their broadseaxes replaced by longseaxes. Tier III angle swordsmen have these, it made little sense to downgrade on advancing tier.

7) Knives and plain little seaxes removed from units provided they have alternative close combat weapons in their inventory, or need the space for missles (if also having a good spear and mounted). A noble with fine mail armor can afford something a little better, at least a broadseax, for goodness sake. And a couple of the skirmisher cavalry now has a better chance to function in that role--the additional missles are much better for them, they didn't need a little seax in case their horse dies AND their spear breaks, at that point it wasn't doing them any good anyway.

Little knives still widely used by tier III spearmen. This change didn't add weapons to units (see below for the few limited related changes that did), it just removed the knife option when they already had better stuff available.

8 ) Tier IV spearmen get upgraded from plain little seax/hunting knife to basic axes or broadseax. Frisian max tier (tier III) spearmen also received this, as their level and proficincies approaches the tier above them.

This not being the case was partly why Norse Tier IV spearmen were oddly often better than saxons--the saxon tier IV was previously forced to rely on nothing more than a tiny little plain seax. That made little sense for the unit, and threw off faction balance.

9) Several high tier skirmishers get a second quiver of missile weapons, of the variety they previously lacked (both the 12 ammo horsemen javilins and the 8 ammo heavy javilins have good points, with the higher damage on the latter). Since change 7 removed the tiny seax from a few of these if mounted and having a good spear, they now have space for that second quiver, making them better skirmishers, and giving skirmisher cavalry a better chance at viably functioning.

10) Pictish crossbowmen type units give up their javilins and shields, hopefully to get more room for bolts. Seriously, you shouldn't be sending these guys into melee much anyway, their shields were terrible and couldn't be used with the crossbows, their javilins don't compare to their crosssbows...any commander would just order them to carry an extra quiver.

Items:

1) club now has +1 damage, giving it some reason for existing alongside the less expensive, longer reach tree branch. They both are terrible of course, but the balance between them previously made little sense.

2) basic low tier swords (swords, 2 types, short swords, 2 types) have +4 slashing damage. They were absurdly underpowered before, and generally inferior to axes, when in the Viking Age swords were immensely valued and treasured family heirlooms.

None of the swords players themselves tend to use are affected--these are only the most common, lowest level swords. As a side effect, this also greatly helps faction balance among units, given their seemingly random assignment of these previously trash swords among units vs the actually viable swords and axes.

Briton swords now also have something of a rival in early game--trade a bit of length vs a bit of damage on cuts and more on stabs. The similar pricing of these swords to the briton sword is now sensible (the difference in thrust damage alone never justified it, as thrust damage isn't as relevant to combat performance)

Irish short swords also given +4 slashing, though they were already great, in the hands of a player who only stabbed, but the AI being what it is a 13 slashing damage rating was inexcusable even given the great stabbing damage. They need to be able to at least disrupt the attack of someone they are hitting if swung. So, they get the +4 slashing as well, up to a whopping 17c now.

3) Two unique swords, draguandil and blynjubtir, have +4 slashing damage. Now, you might actually want to use one of these special swords. Perhaps not, though, as they are still often worse than easily available alternatives, because their length is significantly shorter than alternatives. But at least now special unique swords aren't trash weapons and have a chance at seeing use. Why create unique special swords that are inferior to everything?

The false Ulfberts also get +2 slashing. They are special and rare enough to be a bit better than plain briton swords, especially given their appearance on top tier units.

4) Orm's Lorrica nerfed to be comparable to a bear lorrica. It was an overpowered to the point of being a cheat item before, and only available in storyline--two fatal flaws. If you disagree, you can easily use winmerge to remove this change. Or just copy this line over the relevant portion of the item file to restore vanilla:

itm_orm_byrnie Orm's_Lorica Orm's_Lorica 1 thor_armor 0 553648141 0 20440 167772196 19.000000 10 12 58 28 11 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

It remains an incredible armor even with the nerf to the level of bear lorrica (1 more leg armor, 1 less head, rather than the previous +10 body, +2 leg, and much lighter), which is an amazing and incredibly hard to get item anyway. Indeed, Orm's is much, much easier to get than a bear lorrica, so getting it in the storyline is still a wonderful event.

5) One norse light armor and one norse long cloth armor get a +1 or +2 armor, bringing them equal to saxon and angle equivalents. Now, if the player wishes to go the light and medium armor route, he can choose to dress either in the anglo-saxon or norse styles with no loss of performance.

6) Gloves are now +2 armor rather than +6. It was far too high at +6, little gloves could be made hardened and obtained for around 150 gold that dwarfed the contribution of much more expensive armor, it generally acted only to favor the player (since only they and companions would be wearing gloves mostly, as many troops lacked them most of the time), and created a nonsensical differentiation among troops (ie, your veteran warrior can afford expensive mail armor, but not spend a trifling amount on gloves that would hugely increase their armor?).

7) A saxon light armor changed from +19 leg to +10 leg. This was an obvious typo by the VC devs, no light armor goes that high, and the fix brings it to be equivalent to other armors of which it is graphically identical but with a color change.

8 ) A pictish light armor has it's head armor rating reduced to 0 from +8. Another clear error--it lacked a hood or any basis for head armor.

Credits:

Credit to tweaks and the use of the VC Tweaks Tool from the taleworlds forums, and its creators Kalarhan and Kraggrim, who generously grant permission for use of their tool in other mods. Find their wonderful VC Tweaks Tool here: https://forums.taleworlds.com/index.php/topic,348186.0.html

Credit to EvilSquid for all his great bugfixes, included in Balance Mod with permission, permission granted via both email and personal message at Taleworlds forums.

Credit to Philippe at Bay for his wonderful Dark Age Village Name mod, permission to include in Balance Mod granted here: https://steamcommunity.com/app/48700/discussions/0/517142253864366831/

Credit to Diplomacy mod and Taleworlds users Waihti and zParsifal, for several incorporated changes, including horse slowing with damage. Diplomacy mod page and use permission: http://forums.taleworlds.com/index.php/topic,116424.0.html

Special thanks to the following people whose suggestions and discussions have improved this mod:

Reddit user EricAKAPode, who suggested improvements to the weight/armor distribution of quality wrapping boots

Reddit user Qidder, who holds an excellent Faction Units Highlights discussion series at Reddit

Reddit user Mathias_Bianchi, who convinced me to include veteran mercs in the glove and melee upgrades applied to faction units

Reddit user BunnyPoopCereal, who offered advice on several 2.0 release issues

Reddit user LordIronToe, who helped clarify bandit spawn and world leveling issues through past discussions

All contributors of past tweaks to VC, and in particular Kalarhan and Kraggrim for their work on the tweaks tool

Taleworlds user Entaro and Reddit user Glorious_Jo for requesting changes to the tax collection quest

Reddit user Azura13e for discussions contributing to warnings on lord inventory option and bandit setting

Reddit user Joaquin823 for finishing the job of convincing me to remove lord inventory option

EvilSquid bug fixes are included as of 3.0. Thanks EvilSquid for granting permission!

Reddit users Syn7axError, EricAKAPode, and everyone else who contributed to the berserker changes discussion!

Steam users Windrider and Pode for consultation on second outfit vanilla VC bug

Steam user Adabr Brcol for bringing my attention to the vanilla VC bug with Odin's cave and high athletics

Taleworlds user Zeqe for requesting village defense changes

Talewords and Reddit user Maluxorath for reporting the vanilla VC bug about hardcore finance and suggesting giving Norse Bodyguards guaranteed helmets

Reddit user EricAKAPode for frequent consultations on a range of topics, including throwing weapons

Taleworlds user Cokjan, Reddit user Peppiping, and Steam user Windrider for discusion on archer issues.

Steam user Tuidjy for lending his expertise as both a real-world and in-game archer to the bow rebalance

Taleworlds user EvilSquid for Vikingr upgrading to danish and norwegion elites

Taleworlds users Scar1981 and EvilSquid for ideas for proposing upgrade path for Svear Warriors

Reddit user EricAKAPode for suggesting upgrade defenders for peasant trading parties

Reddit user D_Pear and BallioLeno for discussions regarding siege accuracy mechanics

Reddit user Lynxbuckler for suggesting several missing family relationships

Reddit user Joaquin823 for suggesting rebellion changes in optional add-on

Taleworlds user Kalarhan for suggesting changes to timescale in optional add-on

Reddit user Joaquin823 for suggesting changes to rebellions

Taleworlds user Rubik for making his Custom Commander code available for all to reference

Talewords user DeSoto for suggesting changes to tournaments

Reddit user Syn7axError for suggesting lowering leg armor strength (way back in the 1.0 release thread)

Nexus user Karth Galin for suggesting changes to quest timers

Reddit user D0UB1EA for also suggesting quest timing issue

Nexus user Karth Galin for suggesting many changes to 8.0 including making bandit lair loot not include idle soldiers and consulting on a wide variety of issues, including buffs to laithland and lord placement

Reddit user ObeseMcDese for discussions on morale system

Taleworlds user Zakarum for discussions regarding late-game lord defections and personality

Steam user Tuidjy for discussions on horse changes and morale

Steam user Philippe_at_Bay for giving permission to include his excellent Dark Age Village Name mod

Taleworlds user Zakarum for noting there were two lords named Bacseg and suggesting a name change

Diplomacy mod (http://forums.taleworlds.com/index.php/topic,116424.0.html) and Taleworlds users Waihti and zParsifal, for several incorporated changes, including horse slowing with damage.

Taleworlds user Ryantheskinny for his conversions of Troops and Parties files. Everyone should follow the progress of his mod in development, where he is expanding the VC map to cover Europe, among other exciting changes.

Taleworlds user Eternalflame for druid sacrifice change

Reddit user ObeseMcDese for discussions leading to the more elite Saxon recruiting templates (when compared to Angles)

Steam users 杰克·赫兹, Disturbed, and Pode, and Nexus user adslhzc543, for discussions on fix for Thora dialogue

Taleworlds user Toster and everyone who participated in discussions at Taleworlds regarding marriage and courtship

All the many Taleworlds users who participated in the horse slowing with damage discussion at the VC Balance Mod thread

Taleworlds user Sarkiss for suggesting increasing monastery raiding rewards

Taleworlds user Dhamon for contributing his changes where ships report damage after combat and the player uses a mercenary disguise instead of pilgrim when sneaking into towns
 
Last edited:

Tingyun

Knight at Arms
Best answers
0
Added that it is for the latest 2.036 release to the top line of the post, thanks for the suggestion Kalarhan!
 

scar1981

Squire
Best answers
0
Checked the changelog.... Please also pay attention to frisian troops. Wigand, werand and horseman do not have any desend weapon for close combat. Wigand should have short battle axe or broadseax, werand as top tier must have at least short sword, langseax or normal axe. Horseman must have long handle axe. All of them have spears but in close combat take out pathetic small knife and die fast.
 

Tingyun

Knight at Arms
Best answers
0
Hi Scar1981!

I'm happy to say that Frisian Werand veterans have recieved a bit of attention, and we've also been having a detailed further discussion about Frisian troops here: https://www.reddit.com/r/mountandblade/comments/7qpl8k/comment/dsrczl0

The short summary of discussion so far is:

- Frisian top line werand veteran infantry have recieved a chance at gloves, from the change for all faction units with a chance of getting mail armor, and their tiny little seaxes have been replaced by broadseax or axe. They are a Tier III spearmen, but with slightly higher xp requirements and proficincies, and have so been given the same weapon improvement as Saxon and Angle Tier IV spearmen. I edited the changelog on the tier IV spearmen changes to make clear Frisia recieved this as well, thanks for pointing this out. So they got the normal axe you are asking for at least.

- Frisian wigand warrior infantry are a Tier II spearmen, but again with slightly higher xp and proficincies, so I treat them as a Tier III. However, no Tier III spearmen have been given improved melee weapons. I am open to discussing whether to do so, but it would be a discussion about all the tier III spearmen, saxon, angles, frisia, etc.

- Frisian cavalry require only around 50% of the xp to promote a village recruit to Briton light cavalry, and only around 20% of the xp required for a village recruit to become Pictish/Irish/Saxon/Angle cavalry. As such they can't be balanced against other horsemen--they have to be much weaker. For the ease of aquiring them, they are very useful right now, and even dismounted they are much better than any other faction tier II or in most cases even tier iii unit.

- Firisan cavalry should probably be a tier III upgrading from Frisian wigand warrior infantry, rather than directly from peasants, as their proficincies and equipment cost (when pony is considered) are a match for the werand veteran. Hoever, I can't change upgrade paths without breaking saved game compatibility. If in the future if I make a version of this mod that isn't save compatible with vanilla VC saved games, I will move the frisian cavalry up a tier to be upgraded from wigan warriors, and buff their melee equipment accordingly. But at the moment I am pretty committed to save compatibility.

Let me know if you disagree with any part--I am happy to discuss and open to being convinced I am wrong! :smile:
 

Cokjan

Sergeant at Arms
WBNW
Best answers
0
I would like to ask you. Are archers balanced enough for you? Because I always felt they are really worthless, not even as a support. Javelins are better at every way!
 

Tingyun

Knight at Arms
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Hi Cokjan!

You are right that archers are weak in Viking Conquest, but that is the intent of the developers based on their historical judgment of the period, and it helps to create the unique atmosphere of VC.

I guess there are multiple senses of the word "balance." When I say I am trying to "fix the existing balance, don't try to create a new balance", I don't mean I am aiming for balance in the sense of all units or factions being equal choices (that would be boring anyway). Instead I am trying to iron out a few oddities that disrupt what seems to be the intended balance of power among factions/units/equipment.

The Angle Swordsman line is a good example. The unit stats indicate the Angles were to have a relative advantage over the saxons in swordsmen, with their elite bodyguard having 1 extra powerstrike and a significant proficiency increase over the Saxon bodyguard. This also makes sense in that otherwise the saxons are strictly superior to angles, which while that would make sense with something like the Frisians or Britons, probably not here.

But that wasn't actually the case as long as the Angle bodyguards only had terrible 23c swords in their inventory, while the saxons and Norse all had an identical selection of very good swords ranging from the high 20s to low 30s. The identical selection indicates that that selection of swords was not truly meant to be something culturally unique at the bodyguard level, but rather looks like a choice for max tier swordsmen in general. Meanwhile, the Briton bodyguards had a unique cultural choice of swords, but they too were high performance weapons, nothing like the terrible swords the angles have.

So I switched the low performance swords out for the same selection Norse/Saxon bodyguards get.

The other things I tried to do was ensure equipment selection and stats was informed not just by reality, but rather by the unique functioning of the warband engine. So for example, a sword having a stabbing attack option is generally a disadvantage in warband compared to an axe which is swing-only, because of how the stabbing animation works especially for the AI. That is very much not true in real life, but warband is what it is. So if you want to have swords that sell for a base price of over 2000 and are special weapons used by good melee units, they can't have stats like 23c 18p, when basic axes can have 25c-27c, as a little difference in range on the sword won't ever make up for having that much less damage as well as the worse stabbing animation mixed in.

So I gave those basic swords a +4 damage, bringing them to similar damage or slightly better as the axes in the swings, and then it becomes a trade off between slightly more range on the one hand, or being saddled with the piercing animation and missing shield breaking on the other hand. They then become viable, and their price and unit assignment makes sense now.

Another aim was to make sure different options presented to the player had viable rationales for each, to enhance the fun of choice. So the change to basic swords above also makes them make more sense relative to Briton swords--which previously were far far better despite similar price, as their only disadvantage was a weak stab damage, which has very little true effect on combat performance. Now Briton swords are probably still mostly better, but not overwhelmingly so. Same for club getting +1 damage, so the tree branch isn't strictly superior in every way. Same for orm's lorrica being reduced to reasonable stats, or Norse light and medium armor of two kinds getting boosted to Saxon/Angle levels, or two unique swords given slightly more competitive damage--the aim is to make the stats not overwhelmingly make one choice either terrible or amazing, but instead make more choices the player is presented with viable alternatives.

However, I don't want to do that in cases where it would disrupt historical judgment--so the most basic tier swords can get the boost, because they were valuable and treasured in the Viking Age, and should not be always a worse choice than axes, but bows should probably remain generally weak, given their lack of use in war. All of that is part of what makes Viking Conquest great and gives it a unique atmosphere.

EDIT: Archer units have been increased in power slightly as of version 5.0. They still remain relatively weak, but should prove somewhat more useful.
 

Tingyun

Knight at Arms
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Qidder is hosting a discussion of the Angle and Saxon troop tree balance, and we are also discussing current and potential future changes for the mod: https://www.reddit.com/r/mountandblade/comments/7r2log/viking_conquest_anglesaxon_factions_highlight/
 

scar1981

Squire
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IMO, VC is balanced enough by default. The only drawback was in frizian troops line (of which I posted before). Other than that everything looks reasonable. Bows should be weak because the time of mighty english bowmen will come at least 200 years after. As for top tier angles vs saxons - here is the balance: angles have more skill but a bit cheaper swords, saxon- less skill but better weapons. Actually in terms of skill this looks doubtful because both angles and saxons by that time were in fact one group of people, with same military organization, divided mostly politically. But one thing is for sure, Wessex was rich and politically stable while Mercia, East Anglia and Nortumbria were not... thats why the danes devastated their lands at first. Therefor the warriors of Wessex could be better equipped. Yes Orm’s lorica is the best armor in game, but personally it never made me a tank in battle as 3-4 spear thrusts, 2-3 hits with sword or axe by top tier troops usually take 75-80% of HP. When fighting in shield wall you cannot be secured from strikes coming from several enemies at once, so not OP armor for sure. Generally no armor is OP in VC.
 

Tingyun

Knight at Arms
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scar1981 said:
The only drawback was in frizian troops line (of which I posted before).
I gave a detailed 5 paragraph response to your proposed changes, explaining what changes I did make and why I am not inclined to implement the others. If you disagree, you can cite the specific parts of my reasons that you believe are mistaken, and we can discuss further.

But in general, it is odd you think the Frisians are a problem, and everything else is ok--the EXACT issues you have with Frisian spearmen melee weapons apply to the other faction troop trees as well.

scar1981 said:
As for top tier angles vs saxons - here is the balance: angles have more skill but a bit cheaper swords, saxon- less skill but better weapons.
Well, first you are underestimating the difference. The jump from 23c (angles) to around around 27c-31c (saxons) is huge. Powerstrike works off base damage, and armor deducts from it, so the difference we are talking about can reach as much as a reduction of around 50% in damage in some circumstances.

More fundamentally, the mistake you are making is considering the swordsmen in isolation. Take a look at the spearmen--Saxon Nobles compared to Angle Nobles--and you'll understand exactly why the sword selection on the bodyguards was a problem.

Saxon Nobles signficiantly outclass Angle Nobles, and given the skills of the units the proper balance was clearly for Angle Bodyguards to outclass the Saxon Bodyguards.

Faction Troop Trees are balanced as a whole, not unit by unit.

scar1981 said:
the warriors of Wessex could be better equipped.
That would be a potential design choice, but it is flatly inconsistent with the rest of the troop trees and item selection. Angles have just as good armor, and their other units have just as top quality weapons as the Saxons. Meanwhile, their troop tree skills show an intent for them to have talented, well organized swordsmen.

In that context, the Angle top tier swordsman line weapon selection is a stark anomaly.

Frankly, I am glad what you suggest wasn't the Viking Conquest design--it isn't a conclusion compelled by history (at least in the relatively early period Viking Conquest is set in--a few years later and maybe things would be different), and in general as a game it would be much less fun and varied if the Saxons were simply better at everything.

scar1981 said:
Yes Orm’s lorica is the best armor in game, but personally it never made me a tank in battle as 3-4 spear thrusts, 2-3 hits with sword or axe by top tier troops usually take 75-80% of HP. When fighting in shield wall you cannot be secured from strikes coming from several enemies at once, so not OP armor for sure.
Your definition of overpowered seems to be: near invulnerability allowing the player to tank many hits from top tier units.

My definition of overpowered is: far superior to alternatives in a way that isn't justified by the difficulty of acquiring and removes strategic choice. The Bear Lorrica is much harder to acquire, and yet Orm's had +10 body armor and a much lighter weight compared to it.

It isn't overpowered by your definition, but it is overpowered by mine.

With the change, it is instead comparable to a Bear Lorrica (just as good overall, a little different), and thus remains a huge gift for the player, but a more balanced one.

This last issue illustrates an important point--the beauty of mods is some people like the changes, some people don't. You want an incredibly powerful player-only armor far better than any alternative. Other people feel it currently represents a cheat item, and would prefer it more balanced. Each type of player decides whether to use a mod or not depending on those preferences.

To quote a user comment in this mod's reddit release thread:
"I'm glad you slightly nerfed Orm's Lorica...its so hard to justify not using it since it is so much better than anything else...With your tweaks, its still a special item, but there are other alternatives to use if you want."
 

Tingyun

Knight at Arms
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Version 1.2 is released and posted at the download page.

1.2 Changelog:

1) A pictish normal clothing item that incorrectly gave the ritual skill bonus for naked tattoo armor has been removed from units, pending locating the source of the bug. EDIT: found and fixed the bug in 4.0, it was from the Tweaks Tool using some incorrect code.

2) Veteran mercs given the standard tier IV spearmen melee item upgrade from the mod's 1.0 changes, as well as the glove chance given to all units with mail armor. Thanks to Reddit User Mathias_Bianchi for convincing me to include them.
 

Tingyun

Knight at Arms
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VC Balance Mod 2.0 released, Looting Reworked and Deleveled Bandit Spawns

The big 3 changes:

- High level unit loot is no longer crowded out of the lootbox by peasant gear, as looting low level units is capped. Kill enemies in any order you like, even if peasants die first you will still get the good loot.

- "First claim on all loot" option now actually does that, you see all the loot exactly as if you fought solo. Before it just gave 4x standard loot, which made no sense and alternated between magically creating more loot than would have existed solo and giving far less than it should.

- Bandit party spawns no longer depend on player army strength. This means that Ireland won't have tiny 3 member bands just because 4 weeks ago you left your army in a troop camp in Norway for awhile. The old system rivals Oblivion as a nonsensical leveled world, except at least in Oblivion the leveling generally happened when you met the spawn, and didn't jump backwards and forwards constantly. Bandit spawn settings from camp options and campaign AI setting still influence their size (if providing feedback on bandit strength, please report your settings for those options). Thanks to reddit user LordIronToe for discussing the leveled world issues with me a week or so back.

And the rest:

- Ship Captains now count as sailors for the sailing speed bonus. (companions with sailing skills will be added in later version)

- Tournament rewards are more consistent and reasonable (smaller town relationship boost, but now can increase relationship past 30, more lasting small renown boosts rather than going to +0 by mid game, culture-generic mail armor rather than every town giving Norse armor)

- Train peasants quest temporarily set to 1 hour per training cycle, balancing with small rewards, lower training cap of 5 in VC, and need to kill bandits yourself. Dialogue statements not updated (so will still report 10 hours or so, but it will only take 1), as this is temporary until the quest can be properly updated to involve training shielded militia units that might actually help against bandits.

- Some minor loot changes (no more 1/3 loot penalty when party is below 40 men, too binary, and companion loot shares change from 3 to 1, since player has to equip them out of his loot anyway. Mostly relevant in the early game, and counteracts the occasional early game times when the new loot caps might reduce loot a bit)

- Bandit spawn frequency increases by 50% to adjust for a VC system where spawns are capped earlier when large, and so adapt to the new random spawn sizes from the deleveled world

Given the complexity of this round of changes, tweaks are now incorporated into the mod full install. If you would like to use your own tweaks, look for the optional Module installation download in the nexus files page, and you will find instructions within.

The included tweaks from the tweaks tool are: keep morrigan in party, battle continuation after KO, can modify lord gear from dialogue option (only use this to correct odd gear of a favorite lord, not for theft), 0 relation loss if you refuse most quests from lord, no troops stealing from you (ie, ale, jewelry), no marshall levying your troops, bandit lairs visible from twice as far away as normal, 99% ship capture in battle, random captured ship HP, prisoner hire waiting period of 6 hours, disable stat loss from long games, use horse in town scenes.

Thank you to all contributors of past tweaks to VC, and in particular Kalarhan and Kraggrim for their work on the tweaks tool!

Some personal tweaks of my own are also included: edit lady dress/hat from dialogue option, keep horse in docinga defense and farmland scene, keep your normal equipment when sneaking into towns and castles (instead of pilgrim robes and staff, which seems so much more suspicious than just wearing armor, especially in a Norse town).

If you prefer the much lower default VC ship capture chance, an optional file is included to restore it on the nexus files page. Just download and copy it into your VC folder after installing the main install. Thanks to reddit user BunnyPoopCereal for conferring on this and other release issues.

Note that that you will have dialogue options to change the gear of lords and ladies--I use them to improve gear on lords in my kingdom and remove silly hats from some ladies. Using them to steal equipment from lords would be using it as a cheat option--consider it the same as accessing cheat menu.

As always, fully save compatible with vanilla VC campaigns. Please report any feedback!


Finally, in case anyone working with the Brytenwalda/Viking Conquest loot options, or lootbox overcrowding in general, is interested, here is the looting code I added:

    (try_begin),
        (eq, "$loot_option", 1),
        (val_min, ":num_player_party_shares", 10),
      (end_try),

And the middle part of this (testing showed these caps to work pretty well across bandit spawns and lord parties, generally blocking the loot when better was available and not losing much. A few less peasant hats and shirts to sell in the very early game, but any party with enough Tier III to be capped also generally has better stuff to fill the lootbox, with only a few masterless men spawns as exceptions)

    (party_get_num_companion_stacks, ":num_stacks",":enemy_party"),
      (try_for_range, ":i_stack", 0, ":num_stacks"),
        (party_stack_get_troop_id, ":stack_troop",":enemy_party",":i_stack"),
        (neg|troop_is_hero, ":stack_troop"),
        (party_stack_get_size, ":stack_size",":enemy_party",":i_stack"),
(store_character_level, ":troop_levelloot", ":stack_troop"),
(try_begin),
(le, ":troop_levelloot", 23),
(val_min, ":stack_size", 10),
(try_end),
(try_begin),
(le, ":troop_levelloot", 20),
(val_min, ":stack_size", 5),
(try_end),
(try_begin),
(le, ":troop_levelloot", 16),
(val_min, ":stack_size", 2),
(try_end),
        (try_for_range, ":unused", 0, ":stack_size"),
          (troop_loot_troop, "trp_temp_troop", ":stack_troop", ":loot_probability"),
        (try_end),
      (try_end),

EDIT: The test version of 7.0 now has a much better solution to the loot overflow Warband problem, sorting the enemy party in order of descending level. Credit to Rubik for his custom commander mod, which had some similar sorting code that I modified for this purpose:
Code:
(party_get_num_companion_stacks, ":num_stacks",":enemy_party"), 
  (assign, ":last_stack", ":num_stacks"),
  (try_for_range, ":unused", 0, ":num_stacks"),
    (assign, ":best_stack", -1),
    (assign, ":best_level", -1),
    (try_for_range, ":cur_stack", 0, ":last_stack"),
      (party_stack_get_troop_id, ":cur_troop", ":enemy_party", ":cur_stack"),
      (neg|troop_is_hero, ":cur_troop"),
      (store_character_level, ":troop_level", ":cur_troop"),
      (gt, ":troop_level", ":best_level"),
      (assign, ":best_level", ":troop_level"),
      (assign, ":best_stack", ":cur_stack"),
    (try_end),
    (try_begin),
      (gt, ":best_stack", -1),
      (party_stack_get_troop_id, ":stack_troop", ":enemy_party", ":best_stack"),
      (party_stack_get_size, ":stack_size", ":enemy_party", ":best_stack"),
      (party_remove_members, ":enemy_party", ":stack_troop", ":stack_size"),
      (party_add_members, ":enemy_party", ":stack_troop", ":stack_size"),
      (val_sub, ":last_stack", 1),
    (try_end),
  (try_end),
 

Entaro

Recruit
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If its in the scope of this mod, any chance you could nerf the peasant revolt during tax collection quests?  It is asinine in my opinion how many multiple times they will revolt during the course of a collection.
 

Tingyun

Knight at Arms
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Sure! I just replied to a similar issue from a player here, if you saw it as well: https://www.reddit.com/r/mountandblade/comments/7saoxf/every_time_i_collect_a_single_coin_in_taxes_for_a/

I'll post my reply here as well, as I am open to any suggestions:

The quest is grabbing your powerstrike, strength, and persuasion, and then making "mod" out of it:

    (store_skill_level, ":persuasion", "skl_persuasion", "trp_player"),
      (store_attribute_level, ":strength", "trp_player", ca_strength),
      (store_skill_level, ":power_strike", "skl_power_strike", "trp_player"),
      #      (call_script, "script_get_max_skill_of_player_party", "skl_trade"),
      (val_div, ":strength", 2),
      (val_sub, ":persuasion", 5),
      (store_add, ":mod", ":strength", ":persuasion"),
      (val_add, ":mod", ":power_strike"),

Then "mod" helps determine the chance of "unrest", ie the peasant fight:

    (store_div, ":unrest_chance", 10000, "$qst_collect_taxes_total_hours"),
        (val_add, ":unrest_chance",30),
        (val_sub, ":unrest_chance", ":mod"),
        (store_random_in_range, ":unrest_roll", "$temp", 2000),
        (val_add, "$temp",":mod"),
        (try_begin),
          (lt, ":unrest_roll", ":unrest_chance"),
          (jump_to_menu, "mnu_collect_taxes_revolt"),
          (val_add, "$temp2", 1),
        (try_end),

I'll do something with it for the next version of the Balance Mod, just not sure what yet, so open to any suggestions or thoughts. Currently thinking this is mostly an early game quest for players trying to get initial seed money, and so shouldn't be too onerous on the skill checks. Also probably mostly done by trader type players, so maybe it shouldn't be 2/3 of the revolt reducing stats are combat related. More generally, maybe strength is how tough you look and intimidates people, but powerstrike seems an odd choice, it being more hidden skill to use your weapon than something the townsfolk would immediately see.
 

Tingyun

Knight at Arms
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3.0 posted!

Includes Entario's request above. Here's the complete changelog:

Tons of EvilSquid bug fixes for Vanilla VC bugs! Feasts now work properly, surrenders are fixed as well, and much more. Thanks to him for fixing so many things, and giving permission to include. See complete list here: https://www.reddit.com/r/mountandblade/comments/7sjlfb/vc_evilsquid_bug_fixes_and_mods/

Revolt chance from tax collection quest reverted to native Warband behavior, to fix far too high revolts from VC system

Being a vassal shouldn't block quests any longer (the greater variety is nice, and you can always refuse yourself with the no relation loss tweak enabled, and the old list was incomplete of what quests should be allowed)

A few quests have their refresh timers shortened:

track down bandits - 30 days to 10 days (annoying enough to track them down, if you want it more frequently, why not)

rescue prisoner - 5 days to 2 days (hard enough to actually find a family member wanting someone rescued given VC's missing family relationships)

Removed some level requirement caps from quests (ie, where above a certain level you wouldn't ever see the quest again).

Removed renown limits on letter delivery. Play postal service for lords if you like.

Lords no longer block player from permission to court lady if not of same faction. Increases player options and roleplaying variety. And I don't think an absolute bar on such marriages makes sense--there are tons of diplomatic alliance marriages between kingdoms. Religion is already a bar anyway. If the faction dislikes you though they will use this same "not a vassal" dialogue to say no to you being a suitor anyway.
 

Tingyun

Knight at Arms
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A question came up on reddit during discussion of the 3.0 release as to why I removed the vanilla VC rules against getting permission for courting ladies outside your faction, here's the reasons:

    NPC lords court outside their faction, and nothing blocks that, which makes it weird to apply that rule to the player.

    Many factions are in fact closely aligned, within religion group. Take laithland. They are in some ways an extension of Danmark and Norway, the various adventuring lords of each kingdom. The anglo saxon kingdoms may also reasonably be seen as pulling together, at least by marriages, into an emerging concept of England.

    Famous marriages currently exist across faction in game. Alfred the Great (brother of Wessex king) has as his wife the daughter of a Mierce Lord (even though the VC's missing family relations means it isn't listed, the tavern keepers still talk about it as a rumor)

    Blocking across faction marriages means the player will often have very few choices. Norway is a good example--the only courtable Norwegion lady is Gyda Ericssdottir, the famed loved of King Harald Fairhair. Best not to restrict the player to courtships that make little sense or they don't want.

 

Tingyun

Knight at Arms
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0
Discussion of the 3.0 release at Reddit has given rise to a tiny 3.1 update. Reddit user Joaquin823 gets credit for striking the final blow in convincing me to slightly change the default options included in the full install version.
 

Zeqe

Recruit
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Hey!

Loving the mod so far, great changes. I'm having an issue trying to integrate your mod with Dark Age graphical enhancement mod. I like the gritty darker look of the Dark Age graphics. Can you give me any pointers on how best to accomplish this? All my current attempts result in either weird texture glitches, or buttons in menus ceasing to function.

Any help (from anyone) appreciated!
 

Tingyun

Knight at Arms
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0
Hi Zeqe!

I would love to help, but I'm afraid I don't understand the graphics side of Warband modding.

My only thought about something to try is :

1) determine what text files are absolutely essential to the graphics mod, test run a vanilla VC installation to make sure it runs with just the graphics mod installed and only those files without the issues

2) use winmerge to combine that stripped down version with the files from this mod.

But, that could get very complex, depending on how many files it has. And it may not be possible at all. Hopefully someone more knowledgeable chimes in.
 

Pode

Sergeant Knight
WBM&B
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I would start by comparing the 2 mods module.ini files and creating a 3rd that included everything from both. I suspect that will resolve many of the issues related to not loading properly graphical resources.