===///=== Diplomacy 4.Litdum - Reloaded! ===///===
*** MAJOR OVERHAULS ***
>>> TROOP TREES
> Every faction recieved a Troop Tree overhaul, wich now consists in an elite branch (Tier 6 max), a strong branch (Tier 5 max) and a weak/alternative branch (Tier 4 max). Mercenaries now have 4 branches, 1 for each class in the game +1 for manhunters. Every merc branch has an elite troop to evolve to, considering they are generally weaker (less skilled but somewhat better equiped) and more expensive on the long run.
> Every single combat unit has been reviewed and balanced to be an analog of the player when on their level. This means that a elite level 39 troops has the same stats a player of that level would have, if they specialized themselves for it. This 1:1 ratios gives the player a much greater challenge when facing enemy armies and encourages the player to build up themselves a proper army too. No more can 50 Swadian Knights steamroll through the game (and sieges even!) like its nothing. One of the factors too is:
> Troop upgrade costs GREATLY increased. Considering that their equipment also scales up as you upgrade them, you can no longer amass such heavily-equiped soldiers so easily, as their gear has to have some costs in a more realistic and sensical logic. The cost is still not as high as I would like to make it, but the impairment of troops experience being decreased too, I lightened the hand when nerfing this aspect of the game. Feedback on that is highly appreciated!
>>> FOOD & RESOURCES
> Food quantity and quality had recieve an overhaul too. More expensive foods like Honey recieved a morale bonus buff, while grains and bread are more of a base food. Quantity for every food except meat, chicken and pork is increased.
> Ale and Wine are now consumables too! Alongside a new food-type, Military Rations, wich has 250 quantity but only provide +1 morale to your party.
> Bandits of every type now drop some quantity of low-quality food alongside their equips when looted. This not only makes sense but provides a sustain for the player when manhunting in the initial stages of the game.
>>> LORDS, CASTLES AND TOWN PARTIES
> Not only are lords being rebalanced in a 1:1 ratio to the player (in a somewhat 3-template-style as of now, and their equipments hasn't changed also, but this may be touched upon further later in the mod progress), but their parties are now much greater than before. You can expect armies of 200 to 300 men following their lords to wage war along Calradia. Kings too have had their fair share, and are too 1:1 to player on attribute/skill levels. This impacts their army size too.
> Castles, and mainly Towns, are now much more well garrisioned too, in a range of 300-500 and 700-1200 of men respectively. Some mercenaries group in the garrisons too, alongside faction soldiers.
>>>/ EQUIPMENT /<<<
> Most weapon modifiers have being included to a variety of weapons. Expect to see some Heavy Sword, Balanced Mace, and Masterwork War Axe selling around Carladia.
> The mechanic on wich Bastard Swords revolve around was removed. Instead, "bastard" weapons now use a toggle function (X key). This was done so they can be effectively be used on horseback, as the vanilla code gives them a speed penalty when used while riding or shielding yourself.
> Weapons are now centered torwards their class. There are swords, spears, axes, maces, polearms, shields, bows, crossbows and throwing weapons.
> Swords come with the least ammount of changes, as they served as a base to most other classes. Short swords and two-handed swords are generally faster, and some had their Thrust damage reduced or increased dependiing on the type. There are now 2 new swords, a Dueling Foil and an Estoc, a one-handed and a two-handed thrust-oriented swords with proper thrusting animation to overhead attacks.
> Spears are generally faster and much more deadly now, their damage highly increased. When used with a shield or alone, they can thrust while attacking overhead too, making them even more useful then before.
> Axes are the main choice of most nordic troops and some sarranid troops, reason being their exceptional strength in close quarters and against shields. One-handed axes are faster and deadlier than before, but offer no Piercing damage alternative and limited range. Two-handed axes are now deadlier too.
> A great problem with maces in most vanilla-like modules are their tendencies to be sluggish short weapons. This has been changed, and now one-handed maces are in pair with their swords and axes counterparts, being more useful against heavily-armored targets than their peers. Two-handed maces are now more viable for cavalry, as seen used by Manhunters
> Polearms always has being the sup-par choice to most players, considering we always run a cavalry hero and most of these weapons perform badly on horseback for a variety of reasons, but the crucial one being the attack animation itself. Now, whenever there is some sense into it, your character will SWING instead of THRUST with polearms when horseback. Shockingly enough, there is even an animation in the game exclusively to add this feature, but was only used on 2 itens (Hafted Blades). Polearm maces, Iron Quarterstaffs, Warhammers, Glaives, Scythes, run wild with them and have fun!
> The paramount counter to melee is shielding yourself with a proper board. Now, however, you must have some skill with it, because high tier shields require having 2 to 4 Shield skill to use them. And obviously you cannot be riding your warhorse while shileding with a Huscarl's shield no more, it never made any sense. Shields to be used from horseback are their own class, and you now must use them whenever riding to battle. This brings a diversion in utility betweeen small and big shields, but a useful and necessary one.
> Again as the same with swords, bows have had little to change. Elite-tier bows are now available to use, and some had their shot speed (the distance and speed their arrow travels) buffed. Longbows cannot be used on horseback anymore, but provide greater shot speed and damage for a lower skill required. Bodkin arrows now also penetrate shields as intended, but offer lower damage bonus.
> Crossbows are the go-to ranged option to players who only want to skill up their Ironflesh/Powerstrike and CHA/INT-related skills. While this may still be the case, comparatively, low-tier crossbows are now weaker than before. The Strength requirement of high tier ones are increased. A Noble Crossbow was added as an elite counterpart to Khergs bows, and Siege Crossbows are now elite tier themselves. A Bodkin Bolt variant of the Steel Bolts was added too, and has the same function of Bodkin Arrows.
>> THROWING WEAPONS
> The annoying stuff Sea Raiders throw at your army (and randomly headshot you out of nowhere) is back, and stronger than before. Most ammo doubled in general. Throwing Daggers are also a real thing now, much faster and deadlier with some skill on it. These ranged weapons are the main focus of Nords and Sarranids when fighting from distance, making them powerful opponents on sieges and close-quarter situations.
> Claimants are now able to be a much bigger and stronger part of the player campaign. Not only are they better equiped and much more skilled than before, they posses exclusive Claradian relics and/or exceptional weaponry and armoury of their own. These changes now place the player more in a questing position than a leadership one. They will still be on your party as long as the rebellion endures, but they will prove their worthy on the battleground much more fierciely while chasing the crown, and its your duty to protect and help them.
> Their equipment no longer can be changed or accessed, and all of their weaponry and armoury are at lordly/masterwork level.
> Convincing a lord to join your side is now much more dependent on your Persuasion level, making the skill finally USEFUL at something. The vanilla code gave a bonus of around 1-2% per Persuasion skill level (wich is pitiful at least), whereas now it gives you 4-8% on some ocasions. The Persuasion skill cap is also at 15 now, but playtesting it I noticed that at skill levels 12 and 14 no bonuses are given greater than at 11 and 13 level respectively. This has something to do with the base game code itself and unfortunately there doesnt seem to have something I can do about it. Now you can expect to be able to recruit friendly lords (40 to 60 relation) to your starting rebellion with something around 10% to 30% chance, wich is much more feasible than the -8% to 2% (playtested it haha) from the vanilla code.
Now on the simpler side of things, one of the first modding decisions I took was trough Tweak MB, so here follows these changes:
* Tweak MB
> Cattle follows you
> Food consuption increased to 1 unit per troop.
> Most honor consequences and honourable actions been increased in value, both positive and negative ones.
> Money threshold for merchants increased.
> Amount of mercenaries available for hiring tripled in average. Cost of higher tier troops greatly increased.
> Books take a bit longer to read, from ~6 days to 10 days total (in resting/idle time)
> Stats loss for longer games disabled
> Right to Rule consequences increased in value.
> Some skills have had their root Attribute changed, to be more sensical and reasonable to improve when levelling. These being: Athletics - STR; Looting - INT; Persuasion - CHA; Prisioner Management - INT; Trade - INT;
Please note that by doing this, now levelling Charisma leaves 1 extra point per 3 levels, allowing a full commander/general archetype to have some way to also level up combat skills like Ironflesh etc. This also makes redundancy in INT-based heroes less of a problem.
> Power creep skills had their ceiling raised, specifically STR and CHA ones, to encourage specialization when leveling. These are
- Limit of 15: Ironflesh, Power Strike, Power Throw, Power Draw (only 12 as its useless to raise it any further because of how its bonus is applied), Athletics (Now STR), Riding (AGI), Shields (AGI), Persuasion (Now CHA), Leadership, Prisioner Management (INT). Note that some other skills that would be useful to have above 10 limits, like Inv. Management, Trainer, and Wp. Master, do not work as intended past its vanilla limits, so no changes were made on these skills.
> However, First Aid, Surgery and Wound Treatment was nerfed to a limit of 8, giving a bonus no larger than 11 (8+3) when raised by the player themselves. This was done in order to level a bit more the advantage of player-involved battles across the map.
> Battle map sizes increased by 50%, except in steppe biomes. This places Cavalry in a more strategic place and makes mobility a useful tool too.
> Max renown possible per battle quadrupled. Divider also sligthly lowered, making huge disadvanteous battles much more worth it. XP and denars gained after battle doubled.
> Attacker and Defender waves increased in sieges, focused in giving more advantage to the defending side.
> Ladder building in sieges time increased, Siege Tower building time decreased. This should decrease the disparity between them.
>>> BUDGET MANAGEMENT
> Troop wages drastically changed. Consider now that holding a fief with a garrison is now not only a way to store troops, but to save money on them. Heroes now really mean to prove their worthy,and demand for it. Changes are as follows:
- Divider for troops base wages slightly decreased, increasing their overhaul value
- Mounted units wage multiplier decreased, from a +66% to +20%
- Mercenaries costs 2x their faction equivalent. However, they have access to much better, all-rounders equiped elite troops. Their skills tend to be somewhat more dispersely distributed, though.
- Companions wages is increased. 10x over.
- Garrisoned troops demand 10x less wage, so consider that as you build your army up.
- Leadership reduces a bit less the wages value than before, from 50% to 40% at Leadership 10.
> Enterprises initial cost and profits tripled in most cases. Expect them to pay for their costs in 25 to 35 months. The exception is the Velvet Weavery, the go-to enterprise in 90% of the towns. While this certainly may still be the case, considering its profits are tripled too, its initial cost increased from 10k to 75k denars. Quite the investment, gentlemen! ;)
> Minimum Relationship needed with Town's owner and guild to open an enterprised increased from 0 to 10. This makes guild and lord quests much more useful and a necessary grind to estabilish yourself as the biggest Calradia Entrepenour ever seen! ;)
> AI and Player party size increased, and both are based on the same grounds.
> Garrison sizes increased, approximately 1.5x for castles and 2x to 3x in Towns. Richer towns tends to get much more soldier for their garrisons, and get it faster.
> Bandit party sizes increased and now are more diverse.
> Party Size increased by 20 and morale by 25 per Leadership point, and +1 party size for every 10 Renown.
> Companions no longer bring a morale penalty to your party.
> Lord escape chance after being defeated by the player reduced to 40%
> Prisioner Management increases 20 prisioner limit per point.
> Chance of being offered ransom per Lord captured doubled.
> Morale penalty per prisioner recruited decreased to -1.
>>> QUESTS & REPUTATION
> Quests cooldown time greatly decreased, and are now based on weeks. Some can be taken weeekly, others every 2 weeks, and some only monthly. This makes grinding for village and lords relation much faster.
> Reputation gained by completing quests and errands greatly increased. Failling some of these wil also incur in greater pnealties, so be aware of the compromises and risks while questing in Calradia.
> Relation gained by freeing lords from its captors or letting enemy lords go free increased, and the penalty for capturing ones decreased to -2. War is war after all, and they almost never let you go free anyway, so keep that in mind.
>>> TOWNS & VILLAGES
> Bandit infestations are less frequent, but more impactful torwards a village prosperity. More of them also spawn when fought back, so be warned before going all heroically troughout Calradia.
> Improvements to villages, castles and towns had their time to build decreased to 1/3 of the original. With no engineer skill, most take a month time, while having a 10 engineer companion will make you able to build most of things in a week.
> Prosperity gained by caravans tripled. This is more of a balance patch as bandits roaming Calradia are greater in strenght and number now.
> Prosperity gained by deliver quests greatly increased, and the penalty for villages being looted has come from -20 to a staggering -80.
> Normal recruitment in villages has being slightly buffed, but large recrutiment (when you recruit on villages where you have a positive relation with) is much more impactful now, offering you higher tier soldiers and more numerous ones too.