SP Viking Conquest Balance Mod 13

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Knight at Arms
Ruan: I can't remember the specific files for certain, but if you tweaked your own, then you should be able to use winmerge between the VC balance optional module files for modders download and your own files. The changes you are looking for should be something like this:

Loot changes related to "claim all loot" mechanics:

- (I think in the scripts file) one line that changes the formula from a multiplier bonus to simply removing the party shares division

- (same file) a block of new code that flters through low level troops and caps out how many of them can be looted (to prevent their bad gear from overflowing the loot box and blocking good stuff)

- (different file, probably menus) a change to the morale penalty, giving a high flat penalty but lower steady growth (to prevent the exploit of using "claim all" to always peak first, and then when good loot exists rely on the morale penalty cap to limit the morale cost)

Bandit spawns decoupled from player army strength and made random

- (I think scripts) change of the player army strength to a big block of code that generates a series of random numbers, weighted heavily towards smaller numbers


Knight at Arms
A note of apology to everyone for my long absence and the delay of the 5.0 changelog--my family has been moving, and my life has been consumed by that. Happilly, we are at least in the new house now, albeit surrounded by boxes, but I will get the changelog compiled from the previous 9 part mini-changelogs posted here and post within the next several days.



Quick question, since You know your way around module system: do You perhaps can shed some light as to how exactly horn works in the sandbox game (besides making combat more cool...)?

BTW. Module files you provided on Nexus are the exact copy of regular files from VC Balance Mod? I'm thinking of adding more tweaks of my own, but don't want to miss on the stuff you did already :wink:


Knight at Arms
Hi Sineval,

Yes--you will need to first download Kalarhan's Tweaks Tool, then copy over the VC Balance Mod changed module files for modders on top of that, then tweak and compile with the Tweaks Tool as normal. After all that, you will need to copy the 3 text files included in the VC Balance Mod module files for modders download over to overwrite the compiled version (they contain some changes that were easier to make in text form, like all the changes to troops, items, and physics calculations for damage)

The only things you'll be missing are a couple of final manual text changes I made (keep horse in Docinga defense, keep gear when sneaking into castle/town). You might be able to get those by using winmerge with missiontemplates.txt if you wanted them (unless you change something else in mission templates, that file goes crazy whenever the slightest change happens, and all the numbers get jumbled)

Here's what the horn does in singleplayer:

("horn_sp_trigger", [#singleplayer only
        ###horn effect
        #(call_script, "script_apply_courage_bonus", 2),
        (call_script, "script_change_courage_around_agent", 50, ":agent"), #still needs to get balanced

I don't really know how the courage mechanics work though, as I have never looked into or modded morale.


I have installed your mod and didn't touch party loot thingy in any way. Yet I don't literally get every item, when I claim the loot first. Is this suppose to be normal? Anyone else can give feedback?


Knight at Arms
Ruan: With VC Balance Mod you do get 100% of the loot, exactly as if you solo killed the enemy party.

That doesn't mean you get every item the unit possesses in combat. Warband loot doesn't work that way. Instead, every item potentially used by a unit has a drop chance, with higher value items having a lower probability. Try solo killing enemy parties, you'll see you only get a small fraction of items as loot.

The "take all" in VC Balance Mod exactly matches loot for a solo kill of the enemy party (unlike vanilla VC, where that option can sometimes give 2x or more of the loot of a solo kill, or sometimes far less than a solo kill, depending on party size, because it was a straight multiplier to loot amount in vanilla).


I understand. I feared I might have done something wrong. By the way can we request very simple things just in case for future? I thank you again for your interest. You've done good job  :grin:


Knight at Arms
Hi Ruan: Thanks for the kind compliment!

Sure, any and all suggestions are welcome. Just leave your requests in a comment here, and I will add them to my list to look at for later.


Can you  add new enterprises? Such as meadery. And rework about trade balances. You know besides norway, denmark and friese prices are almost same, native warband price differences were more significant. 

But that's just my opinion though.

Also I'm having bugs/glitches in conversation and quest logs is this normal or is it because of my a few edits? And if not how can I solve it?
Mind you I didn't add new lines or edited .txt files.

The run.app thing is called what compiling right? Well that compiler doesnt extract conversation.txt maybe it is the problem. Any help with that? It was a syntax error and it has been solved.


Knight at Arms
Hi Ruan,

I'll add your suggestions on trade to the list.

Good that you found the source of your errors.

Yes, if editing and compiling your own version, you always have to be very careful. I generally use winmerge to check over all VC Balance Mod .py files before release, comparing them to the original unmodified files and reading each edit again to ensure there are no errors.


Hi Tingyun,

A bit late response, but... The only file you changed in .txt format was mission_templates?
And thanks for that code snippet, I found something relating to horn before, but without that call_script (therefore the question :wink:)


Knight at Arms
Hi Sineval,

No, the troops.txt, module.ini, and itemkinds1.txt, were all changed in text format as well, but are included in the module files for modders download in text form.

missiontemplates is the only text file I changed and did not include, because that file gets jumbled whenever you make the slightest edit to the .py file and compile, so it is impossible for people to use winmerge to merge in the changes if they change the .py version. So it seemed simplest to leave that out, and avoid confusion, since the text edits to it are minor (there are more substnatial edits to the .py version, it is just the text editing part to it was small).


Hello Tingyun!

At first let me thank you for such awesome balance mod! Truly amazing and precize work

I have one proposition but not sure about it - what do you think about adding some income to the refuge? Like, 0 for the level 1(it's basically a few tents), about 250-300(random amount in this range) for level 2 and 400-500 for level 3

Not a big sum, but it can help to make the refuge more self sufficient

It's just an idea to think about, of course :smile:


Tingyun said:
Hi Ruan,

I'll add your suggestions on trade to the list.

Good that you found the source of your errors.

Yes, if editing and compiling your own version, you always have to be very careful. I generally use winmerge to check over all VC Balance Mod .py files before release, comparing them to the original unmodified files and reading each edit again to ensure there are no errors.
Conversation and quest log glicthes still continues  :dead:


Knight at Arms
Ruan: I'm sorry to hear that, but since the bugs come from your personal modified version, I don't have any way of helping you solve them.

VC Balance Mod doesn't have any such bugs, so you could try just using the 5.0 full install option. Editing things yourself unfortunately always has some risk.


Knight at Arms
Nerevar said:
Hello Tingyun!

At first let me thank you for such awesome balance mod! Truly amazing and precize work

I have one proposition but not sure about it - what do you think about adding some income to the refuge? Like, 0 for the level 1(it's basically a few tents), about 250-300(random amount in this range) for level 2 and 400-500 for level 3

Not a big sum, but it can help to make the refuge more self sufficient

It's just an idea to think about, of course :smile:

Hi Nerevar:

Thanks for the praise! Since you are clearly a Morrowind fan and thus have great taste in games, the praise means even more. :smile:

I'll add it my consideration list, but I'm not sure keeping troops in camp should generate income. This is the Dark Ages, and keeping a standing force is already a little odd. and the refuge percentage discount on upkeep costs is already pretty generous. The player also already has access to an enterprise system within any town, which seems to be where production would take place. From a game balance perspective, I also think the refuge provides pretty good utility for its cost, and am not sure it needs a boost.

If you've got a strong argument for it (immersion or game balance, either works, or even better both), then feel free to post it, and I'll reconsider my position. And definitely keep all suggestions coming--I don't agree with everything, but a huge amount of the changes have been prompted by people's suggestions.


It was more not about the troops but about the fact that the refuge is in fact a small village and some peasants are constantly doing something there, even if you don't have troops at all(so not all of these peasants are your soldiers families :smile: ) And being a peasant in the dark/middle ages means you need to pay taxes to your master :smile:
But if no, then no - it was just an idea:smile:

Another thing - may you please add the hornman's horns to the vendors? It's mainly for RP purpose, but I can't see any reason why they should not be available at shops(I spent eternity trying to generate a hostile hornman's party to loot them :smile: )


Knight at Arms
Hi Nerevar,

That's a good point on the peasants. I'll consider it further.

Good idea on the horn. I'll add it to the list. Easy change to make.


Knight at Arms
CREDITS for 5.0 (please let me know if I missed anyone who contributed an implemented suggestion):

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



Knight at Arms
Credits above! 

Final changelog VC Balance Mod 5.0 Part 1

- Improved reinforcement templates for NPC Lords. Vanilla VC captured the historical feeling of levied armies by having NPC lords walk around with tons of tier I peasants. The problem is the player doesn't generally do that. And the NPC lords suffer hugely for it. We don't have to have an army of elites for NPC lords, but we can and should shift their recruiting to better resemble what the player gets--Much less Tier I, more Tier II and III units. Elites remain rare, but competent fighters for the npc lord shieldwall are now the general rule, with a few skirmisher peasants in much lower numbers. The historical feeling of mixed peasant armies is still present, but with the greater number of tier II and III the ai lords will pose a much better chance of challanging players and their more elite armies. It will take awhile for current saved games to adjust to this, as the lords need time to recruit under the new templates as they lose and hire troops.

- Norse recruiting templates made generally more elite than other cultures. Few basic recruits, more swordsmen, but still keeping an eye on financial pressures. Let's make them feared, as they were at the time. All AI lord recruiting templates given upgrades, but less powerful than the Norse. a) Christian factions recruit 50% or less the peasants they previously did, and replace these with spearmen (third tier, the first one after branching off with swordsmen). Those spearmen are now the dominant part of their armies. Should improve their shield walls while retaining the historical feeling of levied armies. b) The Northymbrians and Frisians get the Elite Norse list for their medium and high recruitment levels, but have a mix of angles or frisians at their basic recruitment level (which is called more often than the others). This represents their nature as factions that would have a smaller population of norse, but those would in turn be more likely to be warriors, than the native Norse nations. Basically, they are nations of norse warriors + conquered levies, vs the Norse list, which draws more broadly from Norse society.

- Slightly altered the conversion balance in favor of christians. They already get the occasional bonus from close by monasteries, but I think I will increase their conversion effect form buildings to happen a bit more frequently than pagan shrines. It is pretty clear that Christianity is much more effective at spreading itself than Norse paganism in the real world. I'll start with a very small +0-1 increase in Christian conversion building effects, and that might be all that is needed. Conversions from Christian to pagan much less common for lords than the reverse--I don't know that we even have many examples of that occurring. Combined with the army template changes to make the Norse more fierce, should lead to an interesting and realistic dynamic--feared pagan armies but a Christian religion that can potentially conquer them even as they conquer Christian lands. Specifically, Random lord conversion chance reduced. Now upstanding and martial lords will not randomly convert away from their kingdom's religion. A Christian kingdom will convert its lords to christianity twice as effectively as a pagan kingdom does the opposite

- should now be possible to actually engage in sustained religious conversion. If you have either a mead hall (village) or a prisoner tower (town) the symbols of your authority are now strong enough that the villagers will not tear down your temple (they block the rioting from occurring). There really needed to be a way of doing this--building temples had turned into nothing more than a path to ruining relations with a fief.

- Chance of riots destroying religious building minimum faith now equalized to level AI lords had. Before, player needed a 55-45 majority of their faith to prevent riots. AI lords needed only a 30-70 minority to prevent them. The AI number was the sensible one--30 is the level at which you get the message _____ are accepted here. So now that is the new cutoff for the player as well. Should lead to less riots. Of course the above buildings now prevent them entirely too.

- "first claim on all loot" (which as of Balance Mod 2.0 actually does exactly that, instead of magically multiplying loot by 4), now has an instant morale penalty of -20, instead of -2, but you can take up to a 1/2 share without further penalty (instead of prior 1/6). This frontloads half the -40 vanilla penalty for taking everything to the initial viewing, but allows you to make part of it back pretty easily, and achieves better results scaling with the size of the loot pile. Most importantly, this balances the option against the way players actually use it--to save inventory space or grab the top gear for themselves, leaving their men with a mountain of bad stuff that while technically valuable in the aggregate, is a pain to haul and of little use to them. Now, if you want to always take the only actual great stuff from every loot pile, leaving the rejects and trash for your men, you will pay a little bit of morale for it, as you should. Should make the decision tree more complex than pretty much doing it in every decent battle.

- masterless men parties free XP on creation divided by 20 from vanilla VC values. This means it is no longer possible to find 30+ member tier IV masterless men parties. This made no sense previously--even lords seldom have that many of a tier IV unit. It also encourages much more variety--you will find very small bands of high level units, or mid-sized bands of a mix of two different tiers of units. Much more fun. And less unbalancing to recruit such bands as well--no more getting tons of Tier IV units too easy.

- train units lord quest now requires tier IV units be trained (Vanilla VC used to always ask for tier V, because player level was added to random roll and vanilla VC required level 35 to do the quest, rendering the random check in the code irrelevant. Quest available via EvilSquid fix earlier in Balance Mod, but still basically always asked for tier V in practical circumstances). Much more reasonable to obtain Tier IV and measured against rewards of the quest (they are great, huge relations boost, but tier V units can be nearly impossible to train on many settings and the idea of training a raw recruit into it strains belief).

- The system for random bandit spawns added by Balance Mod 2.0 now rolls numbers over a wider range, but has checks that heavily weight the results to the low end. Combined with the preexisting vanilla system that blocks larger spawns when spawns already exist, this should result in a world with a bit more of the small parties, while adding a very rare chance of seeing the super massive spawns as well.

- crossbows made cutting damage instead of piercing, to balance with bows. Pictish elites have 200 WP and do 56-60 base damage, while the best archers in the mod only have 120-160 WP and do around 32-45 damage after powerdraw bonus. Having the crossbow do piercing while the bows do cutting made the crossbow a super weapon, probably unjustified by the kinds of crossbows the Picts were using, and at any rate doesn't fit with the balance of maintaining focus on the shieldwall. See more explanation here: https://steamcommunity.com/app/48700/discussions/6/1699415798772769131/ At 56-60c damage, the Pictish crossbowmen remain the best missle units in the mod, but they no longer shoot shields to kindling quite as fast while laughing at their poor archer counterparts.

- Irish short swords can now be used to parry. No reason for them to not be able to--hand axes and normal short swords can block in VC, the Irish shortsword treatment was inconsistent. However, seaxes still can't block, based on price, looks, and rarity the Irish shortswords are likely of better quality.

- Laufi made a bit better, +4 slashing, to account for by the time you could get it you could get widowmaker anyway, and give it some chance of being used.
- Ulfberht sword given +1 slashing. It is probably one of the hardest swords to acquire, after all, certainly harder than widowmaker or the unique swords, and the high thrust damage didn't quite make it competitive with the other swords. A little boost brings it into better line with the other top swords and it becomes the viable alternative it should be.

- Disable second outfits affecting skill modifiers. They were bugged in Vanilla VC, with reversed modifiers (ie, if using a second outift, then when wearing the second outfit you would get the skill changes from the primary, and when wearing primary you would get skill changes from second outfit). This led to exploits, like you could put the pict ritual stuff in second outfit and get the skill boosts when wearing primary. This bug triggered upon entering a town: https://steamcommunity.com/app/48700/discussions/6/1699415798756888368/

- Powerdraw no longer reduced by helmets. This was creating a weird affect of harming the higher level archer units, and it really doesn't make that much sense. You can handle the same drawweight with a helmet on. Instead, helmet now reduces athletics by 1. Should give some balance for norse bodyguards sometimes lacking a helmet actually, but mostly just fits with the theme of reducing better armored unit mobility. Powerdraw no longer reduced from having shield on back. Again, unit balance.

- Spotting boost from scouts or on water reduced from +4 to +2. The prior implementation was encouraging the player to not progress past 6 in the skill.

- Missle and melee speed damage exponent now reverted to logical 2.0 (ie, squared). Little effect in most circumstances, but better to match real world physics.

- Damage to interrupt attacks increased, more enemies will power through very light damage (now 6 instead of 3)

- Ammo amounts for normal sling rocks tripled. They are rocks--not too hard to find I think. This should make it impossible to really wait out slingers running out of ammo in most circumstances, and let them baically harrass a shieldwall with little fear of ammo loss. Sling lead amounts doubled (high level slingers could use the boost, given they don't have a skill to differentiate damage). Military slings given a damage boost (+2). They need to be susbtantially stronger because a major source of damage difference present among low and high tier archers (powerdraw) does not apply to slings. Accuracy also boosted for all one handed slings (+3). Staff sling accuracy nerfed (-5). So normal slings 95 accuracy, staff slings 85. Military and normal sling accuracy and speed differences brought into good consistent order (speed reduction for military versions resulted). military one hand sling shot speed slightly increased. General reload speed reduction (-20 one handed, -30 staff). Military versions get +10 speed (often will be using lead not rocks).  Military versions get +2 accuracy.

- Throwing weapon changes to make more throwing weapons (especially spears) a viable tactical choice, as well as bring weights and ammo amounts into consistent relationship. Also make irish/pict versions only slightly better, so they don’t appear to be some kind of alien technology in their superiority. All weights are per projectile, with bundle weight following in parenthesis. Shot speed listed, hidden stat, very important for effectiveness.

- Throwing spears, 2 ammo, 40 damage (+13), 18 speed, 1 weight (2 bundle)

- Javilins, 4 ammo, 24 damage (+:cool:, 28 speed, .375 weight (1.5 bundle) (weight x1.5 )

- Skirmish Javilins, 6 ammo, 20 damage (+2), 30 (+2) speed , .333 weight (2 bundle)

- Heavy Javilins, 8 ammo, 22 damage (+2), 28 speed, .375 weight (3 bundle)

- Horsemen javilins, 12 ammo, 18 damage (unchanged), 30 (+2) speed, .333 weight (4 bundle)

- Against the heaviest armored opponents, throwing spears are best if at close range. At medium range, heavy javilins are probably your best bet, though horsemen javilins huge ammo increase will make them deal similar total damage over an entire quiver. Against lightly armored opponents, horsemen javilins are best. In the hands of the AI, the higher ammo amounts are generally always better, as they often waste their initial throws, and the throwing spears with the huge damage increase somewhat makes up for the AI's trouble using them correctly.

- Speeds of missles and weights now line up more logically. Damage amounts mostly track along weight, with the heavy and horsemen assumed less bulky and suffering a tiny bit in damage for it. In player hands, the horsemen and heavy javilins are especially potent with balanced modifiers, but large bag of throwing spears works well for a player that likes to fight very close.

- Partially to compensate for earlier changes to rationalize the velocity exponent for kinetic energy of melee weapons to real-world physics of 2.0, spears buffed in damage (+4). Should also help the tier II units compete better against the higher ones (assisting lord armies performance), help the mid range spearmen compete better against their swordsmen counterparts, ensuring the spear has its intended role in warfare.

- Lord train unit quest range of target amount soldiers narrowed to high end (7-:cool: to balance against high rewards in relationship and make more consistent

- Berserker recruiting now requires 1000 renown (was 150), but is significantly buffed. 70% chance 2 berserkers, 25% chance 1 berserker. Should be worth a trip now and then to a hoff, but only for famous people.

- Pagans can now interact with monasteries more, including giving them money. Monks aren't so picky when you come offering gold, and pagans needed a way to donate to placate christians. Christians can now donate to hoffs as well.

- Prebattle duals improved (no more battles to the death between NPCs who don't exist and don't actually die, instead only the player has a chance of dualing, and no free cheat health added to player)

- Event in town for getting +1 strength and intelligence no longer requires any gold--you can choose "build both" for free, and recieve both bonuses. Why? Because it was a trap for new players. Experienced players would just walk around with gold, guaranteeing themselves +2 total attributes. New players might not, and happen to be carrying too little gold, guaranteeing a permanently weaker character.  I don't agree with that sort of game design, where players who don't look things up can end up permanently weaker for no real purpose. So assume you fund the buildings from general funds or collection--a few coins is far less important than not locking players out of +2 attributes. Combined with the druid changes, all players are now guranteed access to the +4 attribute points available within a game, no more randomness and accidents permanently making your character worse.

- Strong shield taunt reduced to changing enemy damage to 97% instead of 95%. This balances its generally stronger power than inspiring (given likely armor values) and ability to overwrite the AI lord warcry damage bonus in many of the most important battles.

- Sneaking skill is now capped at for 2 for most unique locations,instead of being equal to athletics with no cap. Three reasons: 1) A vanilla VC bug resulted from high athletics in Odin's cave: https://forums.taleworlds.com/index.php/topic,348857.msg8354788.html#msg8354788
2) It made 0 logical sense that you being 'sneaky' could work once the first enemy started shouting AARRRRGG and swinging his sword at you
3) many of these locations should be difficult as they provide very powerful unique items

- Odin's cave is capped at 0 instead of 2 to make absolutely sure the above vanilla bug doesn't arise.

- A few left uncapped: the exceptions is the mercian forest infiltration and the ambush siege warfare missions. Given the nature of those, basically had to keep it for them, even given the flaws.

- Mercenaries now cost 2x wages normal value, instead of 1.2x, in upkeep. Should encourage their more time limited and targeted use. And if you want camp follower women to improve morale, you will have to pay for it more now, as seems right

- Mounted troops cost 1.5x instead of vanilla 1.25x wages. Should be one of the most effective ways of encouraging players to rely on infantry, and reflects the care and maintenance of the horse (or, given the way some players hurl their mounted troops around, the purchasing of very expensive replacement mounts). Despite rumors to the contrary, VC has extremely powerful cavalry, lets make them expensive to keep them on the periphery.

- With the above two changes, Frankish horsemen should no longer be the instant cheap powerful army they were. Instead, you'll have to think about whether you can afford it. Also, will do a great deal to improve the viability of strategic alternatives in several troops trees with mounted units (briton horsemen vs archers, frisian horsemen vs warriors, etc)

- Lvl 26 moved to 27 as cutoff for midrange wages. Vanila cutoff created illogical jump in some faction troop trees with a favored lvl 27 unit (ie, saxon tier IV spearmen vs swordsmen, Norse the reverse). Though the later Tier V units have quality differences, those don’t exist at Tier IV, so no point in having such a cost jump. Later changes to recruiting mechanics will be enough to encourage reliance on home troops.

- Very minor shift, but Tier IV and V wages increased by 4, ensuring linear increase difference with tier III at least covers persuasion difference given only to them, keeping the multiplied the ultimate determiner of difference (beyond level itself).

- Defender accuracy boosts in sieges reduced from crazy magical heatseeking javilin 300% vanilla values to a believable 150% reflecting knowledge of home terrain to judge distance, see: https://www.reddit.com/r/mountandblade/comments/7uoduo/infantry_focused_mods/dtn5oz9/

- No more immersion breaking 50% accuracy for attackers in siege. Let the walls and battles speak for themselves.

- Featured Longbow is enabled for shop sales.

- Begin town recruiting nerfs starting here:

- a modifier to number of recruits if the 3rd tier is rolled, based on relationship. So now, you will either get a large number of lower level troops, or a smaller number of higher level troops, with the reduction based on how high your relationship is.

- Recruits start lower in number

- Min result is now 0 troops instead of 1

- smaller growth from renown

- prosperity provides a boost to the random roll, not absolute amount, and is adjusted by religion, but the boost is slightly higher

- Charisma and leadership boosts are adjusted by religion

- Begin town recruiting buffs here:

- High center relations provides double the number of bonus recruits as before

- chance of negative relations blocking normal recruiting lowered to 90% from 100%

- Much higher bonus for being lord of the town (x5 vanilla value, 0-10 extra instead of 0-2 extra, and applies after religious modifier, meaning a lord can recruit well even if he doesn't share the town's region)

- As a whole, this should result in a much more logical recruiting structure, and make relations much more important in getting high level troops (rather than having a hard cap of 30 after which it doesn't matter) The value of higher relations and being a lord to recruiting has increased substantially. This is realistic, and encourages developing good core recruiting centers, rather than around-the-world type circuits of recruiting.

- A tournament balancing change--ponies instead of horses as a reward. This is the same issue as the earlier switch for norse armor to a generic armor--many cultures in Viking Conquest do not use the full-sized horses, and would not give them as rewards (not even their lords have them). With this, tournament rewards should now be balanced--a reasonably expensive and useful sword, armor, mount, and the useful cow--but not the potentially best armor in the game and a full horse, right from the beginning, as a skilled player can win tournaments with a starting character.

- Merc changes begin here:

- Dorested now gets full chance of all mercs for tavern recruits. The limitied list seemed motivated by storyline, but wasn't limitied to it, and wasn't needed in any event. Norse towns can now attract the full range of recruits, including frankish cavalry.

- Sailors no longer appear as tavern mercs. They were 10x too expensive (over 400 vs 40 from old captain by docks), and they are now replaced by spearmen, making spearmen more common than the fancier mercs (as is realistic)

- Meanwhile, frankish cavalry is now 1/4 as common as other mercs. and is otherwise replaced with the spearmen.

- So we have Spearmen, 2.75x as common as other mercs; Frankish cavalry, 0.25x as common as other mercs. Should be a more sensible system, better fitting the rarity of high level cavalry in VC. Combined with the merc wage changes especially, it no longer strains belief all the AI lords aren't running around with frankish cavalry as well, and no more instant, cheap 300WP player armies wearing heavy mail.

- Player leadership skill no longer magically makes more mercs available in tavern. Instead, they simply roll over a larger random range. (ie, rather than 3-9+ leadership, it rolls 3-19, giving same avg results as 5 leadership)

- Village recruitment changes begin here:

- doubled growth by relations, halved growth by renown. Villagers care more about your local rep, they don't read newspapers.

- charisma and leadership bonus now are modified by faith

- charisma and leadership are now about 2.5x as effective at increasing recruits

- base recruits start lower

- Rolling a tier II recruiting session now gives about 1/2 as many total recruits. Vanilla was about 3/4. They don't have many experienced men--but a lot of men you can train.

- Higher tier recruits become available for a player much earlier, 30 rather than 60, but have a 50 percent fail rate on that (they still get another check after though)

- Being lord of a village gives +0-60 extra recruits, not reduced by religious diffeences,. Vanilla was basically +0-2 extra guys.  The lord now has a 70% chance of upgraded tier even if the peasants dislike him

- So there is a serious advantage to keeping a village under your control--huge numbers of men can be pressed into your service rapidly. May be a viable strategic choice despite the lower money now.

- Per Zeqe's request, some faction troops will now defend villages. It will be about 1/3 each of basic farmers and 2 kinds better troops. Also changed how number of defenders are determined, instead of adding a number to low prosperity (which in vanilla meant you would get a discrete cutoff where increasing prosperity suddenly dropped number of defenders by 20), a min is just set.

- fix for vanilla VC bug reported by Maluxorath--hardcore finance used to actually reduce upgrade costs compared to normal. Now hardcore is the same as normal. Now, hardcore is +25% normal costs.

- The final tier is no longer such a huge discrete jump in upgrade costs, instead is just a 1.5x modifier over normal cost from being the final tier. The old huge jump was making it a seriously questionable move to upgrade to the last tier--they were stronger, but not quite warranting the close to 2-3000 peningas it could get to, especially when top tier mercs hire for much less, prisoners hire for much less, etc, and you are essentially paying 2500 pengingas + a tier IV unit in exchange for a tier 5.

- Major change to upgrade costs for mounted units. If the prior troop is level 23 or below, ie you are upgrading to a tier IV or below mounted unit, the cost is now 2x normal price. Why? First, because of realism--horses and ponies cost a lot in VC. Second, because of troop tree strategic alternatives. Most mounted units of a low level compete with a very underwhelming, low level unit for upgrades (briton horsemen vs briton archers, frisian horsemen vs frisian warriors, etc). The mounted line often has much better skils, equipment, everything. So let's make it cost something to pursue that line.

- However--if the troop is upgrading to a final tier horsemen, then the cost is only increased by 25% (less than vanilla VC 33% increase). This is because final upgrades are already very expensive, and frankly the horse units at the tops of those tiers are not really that much better, or better at all, than the extremely well equipped foot top tier units. If you decided to forgo just hiring frankish cavalry and train your own, no need to punish you with a huge cost increase. It isn't justified by realism much anyway, as if you look at the equipment upgrades hapening along those lines, even with the mount included there isn't much of a difference in tier iv to tier v jump compared to some f the infantry lines of other factions. Note that since base upgrade costs are doubled here and level is higher, often you will end up paying around the same premium as at lower tiers.

- Some very slight reductions in ai lord troop wages at the high end, and additional 500 penningas per week given to npc lords as part of their base income
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