This modpack features a ton of improvements and additions, designed in an inventive yet conventional manner for players who want a better and improved AOE3 experience without having to incorporate other heavily modified mods which provide too much excessive content that result in performance issues, in-game bugs, and an overall spoil of the original game-play. The aim of this mod is to bring out the best elements of the game and build upon them rather then adding massive game script edits that are totally foreign to the game (such as new resources, unlimited population, maps with massive custom configurations).
If you have played the Improvement Mod by Mandos, you will find that a lot of his early content is incorporated in this version, including the new early formed US nation, new buildings, and new or refurbished units for each civilization.
1. Make sure you have Age of Empires 3 AND War Chiefs AND Asian Dynasties expansions installed with the latest patches updated for original Age of Empires III, War Chiefs and Asian Dynasties.
2. Download and extract the mod .exe packages and run the "Enhancement Mod v1.6.8b Installer" first (assuming you patched the game). When prompted, change your AOE3 directory if needed to either the Steam directory or a custom one. More details on this can be found on the download page.
3. Run the "USA Nation & Custom Maps Installer" next and make sure the files are installed into C:\My Documents\My Games\ (different Windows OS have different directories for this, the default one for this installer should be right for Windows 7 & 8).
4. Launch the Asian Dynasties and enjoy!
- I am not keen on making updated versions of this mod. Unless there is a genuinely severe bug found, I feel that this mod is complete and any additional implementations or ideas should be taken to the Improvement Mod. Please DO NOT give requests for features that are missing from it in this mod.
- In terms of online play, I have faith that the mod should work fine on ESO, and with LAN games, as long as players select the custom maps to play on, there should be no "out of sync" issues.
- Around a dozen new base skins and textures are originally from the 2008 Napoleonic Era Mod, credit goes out to them for their designing and hard work.
Years ago, I came across a modder by the alias of Mandos. He had set out to improve and add lots of new exciting features to AOE3. As he implemented more and more content to his mod, I was there from the early onset helping out and giving ideas that proved to be more practical then other requests. Through my help and contribution I myself learnt to modify the easier aspects of the game. Overtime Mandos greatly expanded his mod to what now is known as the "Improvement Mod". It is one of the finest, most regularly updated and active mods in the AOE3 modding community.
However, overtime our vision of how AOE3 should be changed and enhanced has come to bear different interpretations. Mandos continued to add ground breaking features to further enrich the gameplay, while I began to subside from modding and became more conservative of what should be implemented into the game.
So hence, our mod versions had split and Mandos' Improvement Mod has earned its prestigious rank and I casually continued to balance and tweak the game myself until about last year. Until now, I havn't taken the step to upload it, but my friends who I used to play AOE3 with, insisted that I do so, to share my conventional, simpler version of the Improvement Mod.
Okay, so whoever has been tuned to my mod updates has probably noticed many updates have been posted over the past month. But this won't continue for long, so don't get used to it :P
I've set this new article to more specifically address some of the core game issues players have had with AOE3 in contrast to the more favored and loved AOE2. I have used this thread as a basis of my latest changes and updates to the mod: Reddit.com
The people claimed that in AOE3:
Buildings and walls are too weak.
Maps are too small/units move too fast.
Counters are too strong.
Armies train too quickly.
Cards are completely unpredictable.
Defenses including towers/outposts are too limited and turtling is not viable at all.
So this is what I have done either very recently for v1.6.8 or have already somewhat addressed in earlier versions of the mod:
1st point - All buildings for every nation gain more hitpoints as player advances in age. Buildings gain 20% more hitpoints in the 2nd age, 20% more in the 3rd age, 20% more in the 4th age and 40% more in the final age. This means by the Imperial age, every single building has its hitpoints doubled from its original amount. Also, many types of hand infantry that used to specialize in destroying buildings have had their siege attack reduced (e.g. Samurai, Doppelsoldners, Halberdiers, Pikemen) so early age rushes will not result in heavy building losses and better opportunities to come back from an attack.
2nd point - AOE3 is unavoidably a much faster paced game then AOE2, whether you agree that maps feel too small and it doesn't take long to move troops to enemy bases is a fair opinion. To deal with this without upsetting others who may like this pace of gameplay, I have simply made every unit train 50% longer to slow everything down a bit, and I mean everything; villagers, infantry, cavalry, artillery and support units. The only exception I left out is the native villagers who train at the same speed. This is to help out the native civs again that I feel are still somewhat harder to play.
3rd point - Overall, I trust that my work after all these years has mostly balanced the game to a higher degree of success then it was originally. Any unit or tech that delivered an overpowered counter has been nerfed or changed, same with any combinations of units and techs.
4th point - Same as I discussed in the 2nd point.
5th point - Now this always gave me mixed feelings from the start. On one hand the homecity card system is a unique and dynamic feature, but on the other hand it creates issues of its own. Developers were trying to get more customization in the game but for many it ended in everyone looking up 'best cards for civ X' online, and everyone using the same deck anyway. At one point I deeply thought of disabling the homecity system altogether, but this element of AOE3 just couldn't be discarded for me. Again, I have reworked many iconic and powerful cards in attempt to make everything more balanced and equal in order for players to choose more broadly without feeling that some cards are way more useless then others.
Also when you create a new civ, you start off on level 120 with the ability to get 99% of the cards right away, meaning there's no disadvantage for any player starting off.
6th point - So for this issue I have implemented a solution in v1.6.8. From now on, all defensive buildings have 100%+ increased build limit from the start of the game. Coupled with the Asian and Native civs having additional types of defensive towers in my mod, and the hitpoint boost to all buildings in every age, makes turtling definitely viable in my mod. Also the 2nd wall upgrade for Asian and European nations makes walls even more stronger, so as long as you have towers up and culverin artillery to fend off the enemy's artillery, you should prevail well into late game.
Additionally, all defensive building have their rate of fire increased, meaning they inflict damage with their projectiles faster. The Town Center fires twice as fast as before too. And all buildings (except houses, some tents and docks) have now a whopping 50% resistance to all siege damage (although you can't see this information like with unit's resistances) making them more tough.
AND further notes for v1.6.8b, I have removed the Russian system of training settlers and infantry in batches. It didn't feel like a big advantage for them as you can train most units in groups of five or less anyway, and the batch system restricted you to one certain amount. In compensation, Russian settlers and infantry simply cost less resources.
Also the Landsknecht has returned. When you send the Royal Decree Improvement card for the Prussians (Germans) you will have access to a tech that enables them. Landsknechts are now elite pikemen, basically the Royal version of them that can be researched earlier before the Imperial age. They also deal small area damage.
The Dutch now train settlers 30% faster to buff the nation up a bit.
Developers notes on level 120 starting homecities.
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