SP Viking Conquest Balance Mod 13

Users who are viewing this thread

I hope that the 8.0(?) version of this mod gets combined with Zakarum's family edition, as it will finally address my irritation that the kings in the vanilla VC have no relatives whatsoever. May I suggest giving companions names (more like patronymics) such as these: Egil Horiksson or Brunhild Thonkriksdottir, to keep the "historical consistency" intact and generate no weirdness if they go rogue and become lords in their own right?
Hi Verisoxy:

I’d love for kings to have families, but only if it is thoroughly tested and proves bug free first. Warband wasn’t designed for it, and there are a lot of ways that family’s relationships affect both player interactions and under-the-hood AI decisionmaking.

Balance Mod has never introduced a new bug into VC, as far as I know, because I take a very cautious, step-by-step approach in modding, and then playtest everything extensively.

But I’ll also note that a lot of aspects of Zakarum’s mod, while I completely respect his vision, do not fit with my own goals for Balance Mod. For example, he changes all names/factions/titles to be in English, and standardizes titles within factions. But I prefer what the VC Developers have done—I like seeing minor kings within a faction, titled as “cyning” and ““konungr”, and especially factions like Northymbria benefit a great deal from the mixed-language extensive set of titles. We see “cyning” Egbert and know he is the puppet king of his Danish masters, and in Norway we have “konungr” Erik and know that Harald hasn’t yet conquered all. I think the VC Developers have effectively used these language differences and varied titles to create a great historical atmosophere.

And while I understand what Zakarum has in mind when he removed lords like Erik of Hordaland, as it does seem a bit odd for him to serve under Harald at this time, I think it is even more odd to remove him and pretend Harald has already completed his conquest decades early. Ultimately I think the VC Developers were right in how they represented Norway—indicate continued disunity by having two “konungr” titles as atmosphere.

So I won’t follow Zakarum and remove Konungr Erik in Balance Mod. Instead in 6.0 I guaranteed Erik a quarlsome personality, ensuring he isn’t cooperative with Harald’s regional hegemony, which is my preferred way of handling the Norway issue.

Moreover, Balance Mod 6.0 already had family relations mostly working well, having added in 10-15 missing family relations (I listed them here: https://forums.taleworlds.com/index.php/topic,372884.msg8980080.html#msg8980080), and having blocked AI lords from courting the historical wives of current and former kings (as of 6.0 AI lords will not court either Aslaug or Rhodri’s wife). I would like to go the final step as well and add king family relations, but only once it can be guaranteed bug free.

Zakarum has done something very cool with adding the sibling relationship via matrilineal relationships though, and that would be nice addition for Ragnar and Rhodri’s sons (or rather Ragnar’s sons from aslaug) even if king relationships run into problems, and that one seems comparatively unlikely to create issues.

Your naming idea is interesting, but Brunhild isn’t Norse, she’s Frisian, and Egil is a bastard. Did Frisians have a similar naming convention, and how did the Norse of the time treat the naming of bastard sons?
Tingyun, I love more the intentions behind Zakarum's mod rather than his mod itself. I honestly don't "care" HOW it happens, but the kings in this mod NEED to have a full family set of relations. It irks the history-lover within me when they're listed as, well, lonely rulers. You're right though, I love the naming conventions of vanilla VC, because it preserves the historical feel of the game. On those two companions I offered as examples, I've got explanations. For Egil, I'm pretty sure in Old Norse society ALL sons of the king get equal claim to inheritance (and right to use "father's name"son after their names) regardless whether they were born first, born last, in wedlock, in concubinage, or out of wedlock. It's what made succession so messy, and why joint kingship could be a thing. The only thing I'm hazy about is the story of Egil; because though he was aware of his father, was his father aware of him? For Frisians, as they still adhered to the old Germanic culture, didn't adopt the vulgar latin in use by the western Franks, and had a ruling class of Scandinavian warlords, I'm pretty sure they still used patronymics after their given names.
Hi Verisoxy,

Good points, I'll look into the issues you raised further for future versions. On Zakarum's mod, he messaged me asking me to integrate with Balance Mod, and I encouraged him to post a compiled version of his mod with Vanilla VC, as well as gave him permission to make a submod of Balance Mod with his changes if he wishes to do so later. Mainly, we need to wait for him to post a compiled version to allow testing.

7.1 uploaded, changelog coming shortly. Last update for a while, I need to take a break from modding and actually play. :wink:
7.1 uploaded to Nexus, changelog:

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 player or companion 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
Apologies to all my fellow solo melee cavalry players—among the changes in the next version is the code from Diplomacy to make a horse slow down as it takes damage.

Combined with Balance Mod’s past hits to player cavalry (much weaker leg armor, improved low quality swords and improved spears raising the melee threat from the ground, more deadly low and mid quality throwing weapons, improved archers, and slingers with 90 sling rocks per slot ammo)...I think we will finally have reached the end of the utter silliness of mounted melee players safely soloing 40+ member vikingr bands or 100+ member skirmisher bandits.

Partially to combat players abusing the retreating mechanic to clone fresh horses, I’m also planning on lowering the price of horses considerably (maybe 33-50% of current cost), but making the chance of “death” laming a horse or killing it outright very high (possibly something like 25-50% lame 50-75% death), which would incentivize less extreme behavior when mounted, better reflect the likely economics of the world, and avoid the oddness of immortal horses.

I’m a bit sad about all this, as solo player melee cavalry was always my preferred early-mid game play style, but each change seems to make sense, as does the result. More reasonably sized bands should still be fairly safe to solo, though I would guess soloing will no longer be the most profitable player choice when compared to other options, which seems right.

Any suggestions or thoughts on this issue, including other ideas? The next version won’t be out for maybe a month or more, so plenty of time to explore ideas.

Good day to you. Vikings don't do cavalry so these changes are ok for me.
It reminds me of another movement concern. Is it possible to make backward speed of units slower than forward? What is your opinion on that point?
Verisoxy said:
I hope that the 8.0(?) version of this mod gets combined with Zakarum's family edition, as it will finally address my irritation that the kings in the vanilla VC have no relatives whatsoever. May I suggest giving companions names (more like patronymics) such as these: Egil Horiksson or Brunhild Thonkriksdottir, to keep the "historical consistency" intact and generate no weirdness if they go rogue and become lords in their own right?
I suppose Brunhild is frisian so she is not 'dottir'. I think only Egil, Asbjorn, Helgi and Solveig are norse companions. Or am I wrong? Dwywei and Caio (in this mod) are pagans, others are christians.
toster said:
Good day to you. Vikings don't do cavalry so these changes are ok for me.
It reminds me of another movement concern. Is it possible to make backward speed of units slower than forward? What is your opinion on that point?

Thanks for sharing your feeedback! Backpedaling speed is slower than forward movement, and some mods have of course experimented with features like “tripping” to counter the “backpedaling dance of death” that many players use.

I’m not planning on doing so though, for a few reasons:

- it would make a lot of storyline ambushes and VC unique locations too difficult, given the amount of enemies

- it would probably make tournaments very frustrating, as generally bad luck in companions or weapons means at least 1 or 2 rounds heavily outnumbered

- it would make the infantry player less powerful, which I don’t want to do

- the ranged combat player would become more powerful relatively

- the mounted player would again become too powerful relative to the weakened infantry player

- Warband combat system is very simple, and offers no good alternative means for a player to fight multiple opponents (unlike some games that model movements more finely)

- it would be pure difficulty increase, rather than a balancing of an overpowered playstyle

Basically, mounting a horse in vanilla VC turned the player into a one-man-army with good skill, safely soloing vast numbers of enemies. Since each change itself made sense, reducing that power only brought player cavalry into closer balance with infantry (frankly, it is still far more powerful, and with the changes soloing vast odds mounted has only become risky, where for player infantry it would mostly be suicidal). To weaken infantry backpedaling would once again widen that gap, and cause too much of a difficulty increase in unique locations and storyline ambushes especially.
Careful not to nerf it too hard, I never got the hang of melee cavalry as it was. We're not all as good at it as you are. Dunning Kruger is a *****.

That said, changes seem solid.
Hi Pode!

Pode said:
Careful not to nerf it too hard,

Diplomacy's numbers were used unchanged for the slowing from horse damage, so hopefully it feels balanced and familiar from other mods that use it (btw, high riding skill mitigates the speed loss somewhat, and the amount of speed lost is minimal at high HP, but becomes dramatic at low HP)

I'll be playtesting for a month or so before the next release, and will keep on eye on feedback as well afterwards, in case anything is frustrating players.

Pode said:
We're not all as good at it

There should be much less effect on the normal cavalry player, with most of the impact felt by the solo against vast odds cavalry player.

The reason is that the most significant changes push up the risk of continuing to fight mounted after an unlucky hit (by slowing the horse after that hit) and the danger of the "circle the enemies until they run out of ammo tactic" (by increasing the length of time you have to do that with increased slinger ammo, the accuracy of archers, and the damage of the weaker throwing weapons).

A player fighting mounted more normally retains options--dismount the horse and fight on foot, rejoin teammates, etc--while it is the solo against vast odds player that feels the added risk.
If anyone has any thoughts on the current troop upgrade changes, complaints, or further suggestions, I am open to any feedback.

Had a discussion over at the steam forum on this just now, here are my rationales for the current changes:

- Anglo Saxon cavalry is moved to upgrade from the Tier 2 archer rather than the Tier 3 melee units. Light cavalry is an auxilery role as well, and Unmodded VC making that cavalry unit Tier 4 guranteed that almost no player would ever upgrade to it--it was terrible compared to the Tier 4 swordsmen/spearmen and the other cavalry options available. Since it had to be made Tier 3, the archer units were the only option (warband only allows 2 upgrade paths per unit, tier 2 freeholders already have the swordsmen/spearmen split), and that matches what unmodded VC does for light cavalry anyway, unmodded VC places light cavalry in the same upgrade chain as archers for Britons, Picts, and Irish.

- The new Norse dane axe warriors are upgraded from Norse Warrior Archer for 2 reasons. First, they are a Tier 4, but a powerful Tier 4, so they need to be upgraded from a level 26 unit (warrior archers) instead of a level 23 unit (normal tier 3) to require the proper amount of XP for their strength (Warband upgrade XP is based on lvl of the unit upgrading from, not the unit upgrading to). Second, this reflects the historical reality that the Norse did not view archers as an entirely seperate role, so the upgrade reflects these warriors aquiring the equipment from looting or purchasing better armor to have their combat role evolve (note the Dane Axe warriors WP are modest, and in line with an upgrade from the melee skilled warrior archers).

- Most unit lines are no longer dead-ends--so Irish and Pict lighter cavalry can upgrade to the heavier variety, and auxilery units are often given the chance to upgrade to a standard bearer if they earn enough xp (essentially, earning the right to carry the standard through their veteran status). Basically, as long as the WP change in a given upgrade was a reasonable jump for a single tier, there didn't seem to be a reason why a unit accumulating XP (and presumably equipment along with it from its loot share) shouldn't be able to upgrade given enough time. After all, despite using names like "freeholder" and "noble", VC upgrades aren't based on any social status distinction.

But of course reasonable minds can differ on these issues. For example, Piedalf proposed instead making the Anglo Saxon cavalry stronger, to make them competitive at their unmodded VC Tier 4 slot, which would have been another solution, https://forums.taleworlds.com/index.php/topic,373658.msg8945236.html#msg8945236 though I ultimately decided it was better to preserve the Anglo Saxon weakness in cavalry.

Any of this is open to reconsideration, so let me know if you have any thoughts!
Philippe_at_bay has granted permission to distribute as part of Balance Mod a modified version of his Dark Age Village Name mod. It will be modified slightly for compatibility with the latest version of Viking Conquest, but otherwise identical in content, if you have tried his mod out in the past.

The mod replaces the location-based unmodded VC villages names (“Dore hem East”= Village east of Dorested) with village names based on a combination of Brytenwalda village names and Philippe’s own research.

So once again we have the question—which should be the main version, and which should be the optional download:

1) Current unmodded VC village names are familiar to players and include location name

2) Philippe’s village names are much more immersive and fit with the historical atmosphere better.

Please share any preferences and thoughts!
Some advance credits (since a small part of the changes are coming out in advance versions, though most will wait for 8.0, which is more than a month away):

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

Above list does not include credits for changes not yet implemented in my test version, as I don't know whether they will be in 8.0 or not. Additional 8.0 credits will come on release.
Philippe at Bay's dark age village name mod is now available as an optional add-on at the nexus page (while we decide whether or not to make it part of the main version--see question 2 posts above). NOT saved game compatible, won't mess up your saves or anything, just won't show up.

I've also added an advance version of the upcoming 8.0 troop and item changes as an optional download for 7.1. These were discrete enough that it was easy to just upload them for any who want them early. Most changes here will only show in a new game, but of course are perfectly safe for current saves to install, they just won't change anything.

Advance version changelog:

More AI lords now carry swords instead of langseaxes. Their soldiers could afford swords, so why can't they as well.

Saxon, Angle, and Briton horsemen guranteed helmets

Companions WP modified according to starting level and skills. Now warriors with 9 powerstrike won't have 100 WP (let me know if I missed someone). For simplicity I used a standard set of possible WPs, one for skirmishers, one for warriors, one for untrained (left those alone, like brunhild, asbjorn, beda, ones like that)

Minor lord stat adjustments

removed more hats from ladies

Briton bodyguards are increased in strength. The rest of the Briton tree is mostly subpar (though somewhat buffed in prior versions of Balance Mod), but if they promote all the way to top swordsmen at least there is the possibility of some top elites for Briton King Arthur revival playthrough.

Saddless horse versions now take a -5 hit to manuverability (saddless ponies -4). Slight speed increases (+1) and riding skill requirement (+2 horses +1 ponies). Realism, and helping to bring the overpowered Pict troop tree down a tiny bit. Pict noble heavy cavalry unaffected, they use saddles. Saddless horses now slightly cheaper, reflecting this as well as a presumed greater supply vs demand in Pict lands where sold

Some minor adjustments to troop equipment and stats..Norse bodyguards now have a chance of getting the 2handed dane axe (tests show them performing very well with a few mixed in, and the units that have them switching intelligently

dane axe changed to 18 str requirement

Horse and pony prices adjusted to be sensible given troop upgrade alternatives and economics of game. Previously they were far inflated, perhaps intended as a money sink or to encourage the player not to use them, but we are balancing them in better ways and a couple thousand extra is not going to delay a player (one more tournament victory, part of one more trading run). Besides, the economy as a whole is more sensible and balanced now, and money sinks like this aren't needed anymore (especially when it doesn't sink much money anyway, and breaks immersion when villages have horses in their scenes and basic units upgrade to using them).

AI lords now use horses rather than ponies (as they are available for sale in every town anyway, the player always towering over them isn't as much fun, and many of them commanded troops riding on horses). Some other minor changes to AI lord stats and equipment.
Update on the Horse changes discussed previously: After feedback:

- Diplomacy horse slows with damage code slotted for inclusion in 8.0 next month, but heavily modified in consultation with Tuidjy at Steam

- Horse prices reduced somewhat (see advance version changelog above for details)

- unsaddled (Pict) horses changed relative to saddled horses (see advance version changelog above for details)

Abandoned changes:

- Increased permadeath for Horses in battle NOT included (some players seemed to find the mechanic frustrating, but open to reconsideration and counter arguments as always).

- More dramatic horse price reductions NOT included (these would have balanced out horses dying in battle by making them cheaper, but without that mechanic, only more moderate price reductions were needed)
Finally, given the advance partial troop and item changes release, a general note on updates (since people message me about this from time to time):

All updates are fully save compatible, it's just that a few changes don't show up. I don't personally think anyone should ever start a new play through just to get the few changes that don't show up in current saves. They really aren't that important. And that cycle will never end (when 8.0 does release next month, it will also have a few more changes that don't show up in current saves, currently including strengthening of the Laithland faction, AI lords courting ladies within their own faction, some set fief assignments and personalities, etc). I'm obsessive about maintaining save compatibility so you don't have to start over--no need to chase that 1% of content that doesn't show up in current saves.
Verisoxy said:
Any news on the faction leaders getting families?

When Zakarum releases his mod in compiled form, even if just for vanilla VC, then players will be able to check it out and playtest to see how it works and check for any glitches. If it passes playtesting, I’d love to add some elements.

Until Zakarum releases, there won’t be news. 1-person-modding-team means I have limited time, and I have to weigh likely benefit to the game vs playtesting required. Adding the missing Lord families in 6.0 was a priority, because family structures influence how lords behave and interact with each other and the player. Going the additional step to add king families likely won’t influence how the kings behave much (though we’ll have to see), most of the effect will be in causing a few who have children (like Rhodri the great) to have those brothers play nice with each other. But then again, I think historically Rhodri’s sons ended up fighting each other.

This makes it fall under “nice to have”, but when that competes with more pressing balance issues that require far less testing (like my current project of setting fief assignments for Laithland so its lords have efficient distribution and Laithland doesn’t lose multiple fiefs quickly in every play through, or the next on the to-do-list of having lords in scenes “cycle” through on enter-exit so that a player can speak to all lords during feasts and not get clogged up by a few), then that “nice to have” but heavy testing required item ultimately gets pushed to the back of the line, the only way that changes is if I don’t have to do all the playtesting myself, meaning waiting for a public compiled release for other players to test.
Hello everyone! So far I'm liking the changes being made to 8.0. In my opinion however, there are some changes that have made me stick to version 6.0 of the mod, as I am a bit biased towards the change in Danish troops and the troop trees in general. I am open to corrections and being convinced to different points of view given good reason, like historical reasons.

I like the idea of adding a Dane-axe wielding unit, but the removal of the standard bearer seems a bit odd to me. Why not just add a new type of troop to the roster? On that note, I'm still not convinced of the accuracy of the upgrade paths always leading towards the final infantry tier. I mean, the best archer in your army should stay an archer right? It doesn't translate that he should start joining you in your shield-wall. I think the same would apply for horsemen. I don't see how being fast and nimble on the battlefield translates to fighting well in tight formations. I believe that people in those days had certain proficiencies that couldn't be translated into other areas.

If you have better reasoning, I'd love to hear it, as I've found myself coming back to version 6.0 as it seems like I can easily reconstruct the vanilla upgrade paths quickly. Thanks for reading!
Top Bottom