Well, as you can see it didn't take me long to follow up on my last release! Things are really picking up steam now as the grand scheme to this mod is starting to come together. Starting with this version, my mod will become increasingly more diverse, immersive and fun! I have always intended to keep the vanilla looks and feel, but make the game harder, more complex and in the end more realistic and historically accurate. In the last version, you received a pretty map, but with an easy economy that was over inflated. After a few turns you could purchase a huge mercenary army and then have some left over. To me, this makes the game way too easy and eventually boring.
Like this captain in Carthage, I too wanted economic peace
So, In the footsteps of my friend Quinn_Unit from TWC, I decided to use the economy he made for Extended Realism Mod (ExRM). This economy focuses on farming for income. Here, I will let him explain it:
Farming and Growth:
Income from farms was historically the major source of income for most states, yet the RTW engine heavily privileges trade (especially sea trade). As a result of this, in a well-balanced mod, you won't be able to recruit and sustain a major army from inland regions. If you could, then you'd have to be able to recruit huge armies from the coastal regions.
We've fixed this by leveraging the game's "tax income" feature into a farm-based income system. Regions are given tax income multipliers based on both their base fertility and the level of farming improvements there. Many improvements also give minor income tax penalties to represent maintenance and/or pollution costs, but they always make up for it in other ways. This forces players to be careful to build infrastructure only where they actually need it.
This ensures that farming (in most regions) is a more important source of wealth than trade, but that trade remains important to your overall income stream. This system allows inland regions to support troops just as well as coastal ones, or at least nearly as well. (A new "river ports" system that increases trade bonuses in regions with great rivers also helps.)
You now generate income from farming
Now that farms are at the heart of the economy, what about the crazy population boom that comes next? All veteran RTW players know what building too many farms can do! Don't worry, Quinn explains:
As you can imagine, this system required us to tackle growth, as well. Astute players will have noticed that growth in most RTW mods (to say nothing of the unmodded game) is heavily weighted toward the early game, since a base fertility level of 6 is equivalent to L2 farms + L2 sewers + L2 trader. We thought this made games too quick while simultaneously deprecating the importance of proper region management. So we set up a system of slow, balanced growth that relies more on buildings and less on base fertility.
This allows for the measured growth of regions, and rewards careful management by players. It should also reduce the occurrence of population-growth-induced rioting, since such growth cannot get out of control now. Your people may still have reasons to riot, but displeasure at ahistoric population growth rates will no longer be one of them.
We've also added a Herding building tree for nomadic cultures that they can choose instead of the agricultural tree. This allows them to develop their populations in a more realistic fashion.
Herds can be built by factions who historically were nomadic and lived around poor farmland
Okay, farming income - check. Population Growth - check. Trade?? - Check!
You'll see a few new trade resources in the game, such as salt and fish. We thought these were more important than some of the existing ones, and allowed us to more accurately portray the strategic significance of some cities.
Much more has changed "under the hood" with the trading system. Fewer buildings provide trade bonuses now, and many of those that do provide such bonuses only boost land trade. This allows us to keep trade income from become the main source of income for almost all factions, like it is in the unmodified game, and it also prevents the income from sea trade from completely overshadowing land trade income. Trade is still very important, of course, but it's now just one part of a balanced budget.
We also went through and carefully documented the major trade routes and centers of the time, then added them to the game with an eye to making in-game trading behaviors map as closely as possible to real-life ones. For instance, the amber resource is placed in-game such that the Amber Road will replicate itself as you play.
Here are the rest of the changes:
- Grain is a powerful resource, and thus has been strategically placed in the world based on historical accuracy. Every region that borders a region with grain, gets a grain import boost to the economy.
- Not every city with a port generated lucrative trade.. Now only major historical ports will be able to have trade fleets
- River ports have been added to generate more trade income for regions that were on the large navigable rivers and that had no access to the sea.
- A new Vineyard building has been added to generate income based off of Viticulture and the Wine resource.
- Last but not least, sea trade has been cut back by 60% or so. This means that you won't generate enormous amounts of denarii just because you built a few ports. It's going to take a lot more than that to get your finances to where you want them to be.
The last feature from ExRM is not only a trade resource, but a new wrinkle into recruitment by limiting the amount of regions that can recruit heavy cavalry. Quinn explains in detail:
Heavy shock cavalry are well-known to us now, but at the time this game takes place they were still a relative novelty in the world. These men and their trained mounts were a valuable resource, warriors more grown than made. A key factor in the decline of the Seleucid Empire’s dominance was its access to the great cavalrymen of Media, Bactria, Cappadocia, and Syria, and its gradual loss of those possessions rapidly accelerated the decline in its military fortunes. However, the basic game gives us no way to replicate the strategic significance of such major sources of cavalrymen.
As a result, we’ve added a “horses” resource to the map. Wherever this resource is visible, you’ll be able to train heavy cavalry. Elsewhere, you’ll only have access to your generals’ bodyguards, to represent the relatively few nobles in these regions that could be called upon to act as heavy cavalry.
If a Horse is present, you'll get minimal trade but be able to recruit heavy cavalry
Once all of ExRMs economic features were added, I looked at the Mundus Magnus mod made by ngr. Luckily enough, he also had Fish, Salt, Horses and Ivory that tied in well with the ExRM economy.
The other cool feature that I had never really paid attention to, was the fact that he added other models to the settlement viewer. I decided to add Generals, Captains, officers and militia to each settlement view to give it a more lively look. Little things can make a difference!
The main thing I wanted (and many of you have been asking for, for months now) were the faction symbols. I took them all, and they really do spruce up the game! Gurrerro Sabino is responsible for the Macedonian symbol.
New Faction Symbols from Mundus Magnus
Mundus Magnus also had a few units, but after some snooping around I found that the units came from a little known mod called Ptolemaic Egypt Mod. This mod was made by Titus Andronicus and sleighr back in 2005 and had some amazing units. I added most of them, as well as a unit made by Tulius Hostilius.
Syrian Archers, Bowmen, Neo-Cretan Archers, Auxiliary Pikemen, Skirmishers, Greek Lancers, Machimoi Pikemen, Ptolemaic Cavalry, Judean Zealots, Aetolian Cavalry, Mauri Archers, Nubian Archers, Nubian Infantry
Finally, I went through each settlement and region and gave as accurate as cultural ownerships as possible. When playing as the Seleucids and Ptolemies some of your cities won't start as Greek, but instead eastern or something else. This better replicates the difficulties these Kingdoms had with the local populace.
Oh, last but not least, Spain has finally been renamed to Iberia! Yay!
Full Features list:
- New Economic System from ExRM - new farming buildings, port bonuses, river ports, accurate resources, herds, and vineyards.
- Grain distributed strategically and historically to provide population boosts
- Sea Trade Reduced by 60% and no more pirates! (For now)
- Heavy Cavalry recruitment dictated by Horse resource
- Ivory now tradeable
- New faction symbols from Mundus Magnus
- More enhanced Settlement View with more models being shown
- New units from Ptolemaic Egypt mod and Tulius Hostilius
- Cultures of regions and settlement updated to reflect accuracy and the difficulty of managing multiple cultures across a Kingdom.
Also, a few CTD's were fixed!
- Fixed CTD fighting rebels in Italy by adding a rebel version of a Centurion and Signifier
- Fixed CTD when besieging Olbia and Tyras, it was a vegetation issue, fixed by Robbe.
To finish, I am very excited for this release. I think it's kind of like pandoras box in how it will open up this mod to be multi-dimensional going forward. Please give feedback, it is much appreciated!
DOWNLOAD AND INSTALLATION:
- If you have an old HRTW version, you can try overwriting, but to be safe, delete it as this will not work with it. This version isn't save compatible.
- One thing that I need to be clear on, is this mod runs on the Alexander.exe not the regular Rome Total War exe. Please make sure you use an Alexander Install.
- To Install, simply extract HRTW into your Rome Total War Directory, or if you use steam, your Rome Total War Alexander Directory. when making a shortcut, use the Alexander.exe or in steam go to Launch options and include this: -show_err -mod:HRTW -noalexander
- Quinn_Inuit for his entire economy that he worked hard on. You truly set an amazing standard for RTW research and modding, and I am happy to call you a friend.
- ngr for his Mundus Magnus mod. It's features are now fully utilized, and the symbols are a perfect upgrade.
- Titus Andronicus and sleighr for their Ptolemaic Egypt mod.
- Robbe for fixing the CTD around Olbia and Tyras
- Tulius Hostilius for the Judean Zealots model
- Gurrerro Sabino for Macedonian Symbol