Arcane Wars is extensive mod for Kohan 2 game and continuation of my old project released as 0.7 version in 2010. Mod is aimed to bring back old units from Kohan Ahriman's Gift add new units and expand game options with added system of Global Spells along with faction/nation system of sovereign citadels and kingdom units/structures. Version 0.78 was aimed mostly at implementing global spells and create basic visuals for sovereign citadels and released for testing purposes of new additions in single player custom games and multiplayer. Mod was so far developed by me alone and strictly on amateur level, game system is still in development please keep that in mind.

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Mod development


Hello everyone,

took me longer then expected to stitch together some new images from work in progress on mod and basic overview about what's going on.

added images:

Haroun Lanterns

- minor tweak in visuals for Haroun settlements used as experiment with animations and creation of custom texture file for model combined together from different models.

Day Cycle

- experiment with implementing day/night cycle to game, respective parts of day can have properties and triggers attached to it, for instance during night supply and control radius can be reduced, or provide buff for undead and shadow units for night and penalty for day, etc.

Maelstrom Engine

- recreated unit from original KIS and KAG games, complete with on death and attack animation, probably will be integrated as unit provided by one of Enclaves.

Rhaksha units and Enclave

- images of work in progress on new units and Enclave for Rhaksha, units are reworked to make Rhaksha look more like their original version from KIS and KAG, including experiment on recreating "Mommy Rhaksha" Ceyahdev as potential titan unit for their enclave. In right part of image are original units used as Rhaksha in K2 for comparison.

Slaanri units and Enclave

- same as with Rhaksha, work in progress on Slaanri who will probably offer quiet large range of units, but lack titan unit.

Work on next version:

Lot of work was as images show delayed by learning how to work with NifSkope and Blender more properly, so still have lot to do in terms of template editing to make game system overhaul for next version, for now I only list most important changes that I work on and need to finish them before release of next version:

Enclaves and foundation spot

- in next version of mod will incorporate first four enclaves, that will work more or less as smaller settlement comparable roughly to village or town and will provide new units for player that captures it. Enclaves along with some monster lairs will be placed over foundation spot that will newly generate on random map and along with enclaves will be used for most of kingdom structures, that will allow reduce number of settlement spots to original value.

Changes to Sov. Citadels, kingdom system

- experimenting with new templates that would allow construction of Sov. Citadels as unique structures without need of consuming 11 kingdom points. If new system works kingtom points will become more versatile "resource" that can be used to limit elite units and titans or to construct more kingdom structures. Among changes are also new templates used for titan units that can limit strongest units to one instance regardless on number of available kingdom points.

Changes to Global powers

- after release of 0.78 and 0.79 version it is clear that global powers work, but need some limits of usage to prevent situations like spam of thieves to bankrupt one player(AI loves to do that moment it finds first of players building, or from start if explored map is used). For now I'm trying to activate faction experience in game that is originally used to limit general powers in AA, unfortunately mamaged to only unlock it in game, but failing to create visible widget that shows actual amount of experience owned. Second limit that can be used is to remove vorpal as resource and instead create resource "Khaldunite dust" that will work in same manner as gold. Both of this options can be used to limit Global powers as they won't be available in large amount from start and their income can be further limited separately from gold.

Global powers need further adjustments, like better descriptions and "casting" cost, just not sure if I can prepare them for next version.

Most of these changes require experimenting and adding new templates to game, so unfortunately can't say how long it will take to find some way to make it work and test it properly, same as I still have to test more new units and models, lot will also depend on fact how much spare time I'll have for development of mod. I'll try to update this article from time to time when I've something new about progress, must admit that addition of Enclaves although useful to wrap up game system for mod is also lot of work, especially in case of Slaanri and Rhaksha as both of them have only two models in original K2 game, hope that next two enclaves will be bit easier to make.

That will be for now all, thanks to all players that showed interest in my mod even that it is still unfinished and in testing stage, hope that I'll be able to finish next version prefferably sooner then later.

Darquan Mortis

EDIT: 02.08.2022

- finished work on models and animated portraits for range captains that will be automatically used as basic captain for ranged companies and ranged siege companies, took me some time to create and finish them from original models from game, but hope that result is worth it. Made few basic tests with them and it looks like they help a lot to keep ranged companies more coherent after increasing their attack range compared to original.

- finished basic templates for inclusion of Enclaves on random map, hope to have some time during weekend to test them and see how AI is able to work with them or if there are some unexpected problems that will need more attention.

EDIT: 12.09.2022

- finished work on updated version of Slaanri Kohan captains and models for their units, it required to learn how to build polymesh and weighting it to existing bones, so it unfortunately took longer then I thought. These Kohan captains was already added in AW 0.7 version, but used only reskined portraits and generic models for slaan units from original game. Added screens of Portraits and models for units for respective Kohans, unit screens also include origial models from game for comparison.

- started with tests of enclaves and updated system for global powers, so far it looks like everything works properly, with bit of luck I should have next edit for article with more details about release of next version and screens for updated models of Slaanri and Rhaksha units to keep them up with what I've learned when working on Slaanri kohans.

EDIT: 26.10.2022

- finished work on new unit models for Rhaksha Enclave and prototype model for Titan unit Ceahdev that still needs some work and for now lacks portrait. Instead of Slaanri they will work more like quick raiding companies, with high damage output, but mostly fragile.

- finished some details for global powers, like tab icon and targeting decals so they fit more to games fantasy narrative.

- finished converting vorpal resource to another cost resource(same as gold) used now for casting powers instead of gold, that fixed problems with exploit of using powers right from start. Small drawback is that game isn't able to differ between cost resources and players get same amount of Gold and Khaldunite shards at start of game, cost for powers had to be increased. To simplify things a bit shards are produced as byproduct of mana production and any structure that produced mana now produces shards as well, amount produced will need adjustments after some testing.

- with most of graphics finished for Enclave units I'm slowly moving back to balancing implementation of Enclaves to game system and their generation on random maps along with adjustments to kingdom structures. With bit of luck it will go faster then learning how to edit models in Blender and in next article update I should have at last info about releasing new version of mod. Unfortunately with all delays this year there probably won't be time to fix campaign and mod will be released as another test version, just more suited and balanced for multiplayer games.

EDIT: 7.12.2022

- finished implementation of foundation spots and enclaves to editor and random map generator, enclaves will be generated on foundation spots, remaining foundation spots will have monster camps placed on them after clearing camp kingdom building can be build on spot to limit their placement on map.

- new cost resource Khaldunite shards used for Global Powers created bug in most SAI variants when AI aimed only for settlement development ignoring company recruitment and expansion, managed to create basic fix for that, but AI now recruit companies more often and is more aggressive with partial disregard for its own economy.

- created separate template for Titan units that allows to have separate experience levels for them to prevent them from gaining new ranks too quickly, created new company icon and base decals for easy identification of Titans on battlefield.

- added "aerial scouts" command to Keeps and settlements upgraded to Citadel, that allows to send untargetable scout unit to map location, will explore map on its path and temporarily remove fog of war, upon reaching target location return back to its point of origin.

- unfortunately wanted to have finished reworked sov. citadel construction system at this point, but complications in real life prevented me to do more, for that I'm not sure if I'll be able to release upcoming version of mod in second half of December as planned. Need to finish at least that and balancement of random map generation along with kingdom building availability and some changes to units to make mod more suitable for multiplayer games, for sure won't be able to fix campaign and it's probable that full day/night cycle will be absent too. Will add at least one update of this article before release of next version of AW mod.

Will edit more info as work on next version progress further, still lot to do before next version can be released.

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Arcane Wars v0.79 beta

Arcane Wars v0.79 beta

Full Version 3 comments

New version of Arcane Wars mod, mostly aimed to update visuals for mod content, fixing several bugs and improving performance/stability issues.

Arcane Wars v0.78beta

Arcane Wars v0.78beta

Full Version 1 comment

Test version released for purpose of test of global spells and expanded game system.

Comments  (0 - 10 of 20)

Not tested yet the very latest changes but glad you work on the game still and do it well. Once I have time I will check the game if I can find some issues or maybe solutions to share.

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DarquanMortis Creator

New version isn't released yet, I'm just keeping up info about progress in development.
Next version should be finished in month or two, got request to prepare it for multiplayer games so I'm working on it and will announce it when next version will be published.

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Very impressive! Like many changes, when I saw Shadow cultists (settlers) in the first try of the mod I was just wow.

Played few games with AI and encountered some problems however:
- Ranged companies have to wait until melee commander returns to the formation after engagement before they can move. With increased engagement radius it could take some time.
- Ranged compaines refuse to engage ordered target when outside of range: they just come in range and wait (often noticable when ordered to attack walls).
- Super power (global spells) sound is too loud.
- Stutters starting frome some point.
- Background on unit icons make it hard to distinguish units.
- Flooding log with "Stealed 1 gold" message when you have the according tech.
- Grayed out upgrade button in Sovereign Citadels menu.
- Council kohan with fireball spell is pink in animation window.
- Companies with different frontline units don't respect group behaviour.
- Companies engage walls that were attacked before by other companies. Sometimes you need to move a ranged company to counter militia archers so you have to move closely with alt key.

And balance - it's just my opinion so don't take this seriously:
- Super powers: spam of thieving, spells which you cannot counter that kill your mage kohans and companies, demon gates that easily captures citadels, etc. I didn't like these abilities in AA, but at least none of them could destroy a HQ alone. I wish to see much cheaper non damaging (and no morale hit) spells with lower numeric values but which you can use more often.
- Units with non regular damage types are too easy to obtain in masses, what makes armored units less useless too much (eg electric harpooners with openning valley that just blow out constructs) and researches have less effect.
- New sovereign units: the first time I've seen Certified Crimson Mage commanders in action I was "what's going on?" They are crazy. Both in damaging all around and cluttering the screen. I wish to see more in line units just stronger, not so crazy.
- Arcane techs (with walls): sometimes at the start of the game AI sends companies to them (without success of course) one after another.
- Ranged companies (siege like leviathans too) need ranged commanders by default.
- Why 1.5 resources for basic cavalry units?

Very like your mod, hope you'll continue to develop it.

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DarquanMortis Creator

Hello, and thank you for your interest in my mod. Took me a while to prepare reply to your message. Development of mod continues, but can spare only free time for work on it, will mention bit more about development at end of my post.

Now to information you've provided:
- in next version ranged companies will have as default ranged captains by default, hoped to find way how to change behavior of commanders to engage/command same it was in KAG, but for now wasn't able to make it work.
- didn't noticed problem wih ranged companies refusing to attack targets, will try to check on it before releasing next version of mod.
- not sure if I can do something about loudness of sounds made by global powers and so far didn't got any complains about it, will try to check on it.
- stutter can happen with large amount of active effect or when AI "thinks too much", constantly trying to improve performance, but with amount of added content it will probably take more then next version to solve it.
- noticed that some icons shows respective units poorly, will try to get rid of them over time same as to add back player color shown on original icons.
- wasn't aware that Blessing of Midas cause such problem with message log, will try to limit it somehow.
- all Sovereign Citadels have 8 structure slots although game shows only 7 slots, you need to build 8th structure in order to upgrade Sov. Citadel with siege militia.
- noticed and fixed several visual problems that were caused by renaming texture files(missed or misspelled texture name on few models), kohan you're mentioning is among them and in next version portrait will be shown properly.
- not sure what you mean by companies with different frontline units don't respect group behavior and problem with companies attacking walls, can you elaborate more on that?

About balance issues:
- Global powers: most of spells and powers, are first working version both powers and their system will be updated and rebalanced in next version.
- elite units and units with special damage, are for now cheaper for purpose of testing and will be rebalanced(reduced stats and damage, increased upkeep), basic "by the numbers" balancement is already done and will be part of next version.
- elite captains, units like Crimson Mage Official, Star Maiden, Mistress of Death, etc. were nerfed too as part of balancement, some will have their abilities changed.
- some of Arcane tech structures have too strong defences even for players and for sure will be changed in future as they are used to test attack abilities and flyers used for defence.
- Ranged commanders will be included in next version and set up as default for most of ranged companies, just need to prepare models for them which is now possible with usage of NifSkope and Blender, just takes time to finish.
- all cavalry units got large buff to speed and got specific attack with slight stat change, these changes were already done in 0.7 version of mod, which was released more then 10 years ago so doesn't recall exact reasons my guess is that I've made that change to compensate changes in their stats.

Glad that you've enjoyed my mod so far, as mentioned development still continues. Unfortunately can't give development as much time as I would like so work goes slower for now, partly because I'm working on addition of Enclaves to mod, reworking system on which kingdom structures and Sov. Citadels work, changing system for usage of Global Powers. Expecting that even if things go smoothly next version won't be ready sooned then in 2-3 months.
If it goes for Enclaves already managed to prepare first version of structures and units for Slaanri and Rhaksha Enclaves and need to create at least two more enclaves for next version. Enclave is technically capturable "sub-nation" same as in KAG it requires to create settlement center, walls, structures and expand range of units as both Slaanri and Rhaksha have only two models in game.
There are more things going on in development of mod and exploration of game system, will try to create some article next weekend about it and post few screens from work done so far for those who are interested.

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Few more issues:
- Some new summoned creatures (dark portal ones, hunters' lurking wovles) spam route sound.
- Only haroun council citadel special building has available researches.
- [s]SAIs placing sov structures on top of resource deposits.[/s]

Balance and QoL suggestions:
- Unlock the last invisible building slot of sov citadels only after upgrade, since it is very unobvious that it has hidden slot.
- Make sov engineers icon more noticeable and different from simple engineers one. Make all units available to recruit only in sov citadels icons some special look?
- Remove Rhaksha city walls and add barracks-hives that spam (either in quantities or high rate) little rhakshas?

Keep up the good work.

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DarquanMortis Creator

Hi, sorry about late reply, didn't expected your post here when you're already on Art of War discord.

- route sound shouldn't occur with summoned units and didn't noticed it, will try to look at it.
- Yes Harouns are only ones with new researches, they were added as experiment in 0.7 to find out if I've managed to replicate research template correctly, they will be probably removed in next version as I still don't have prepared researches for remaining nations.
- Aware of occasional problem with SAI placing kingdom structures with wall overlaping over mine or outpost this will be fixed in next version by addition of foundation spot that will be needed for placement of most kingdom structures, with bit of luck this issue will be solved fully by this change.

- still trying to solve problem in UI to show 8th slot for building, but slowly giving up hope on it seems that this value is hardcoded same as with for instance showing all company units in quick overview when larger company is used. Will keep your suggestion in mind.
- sov. engineers will get new icon in next version as they will be replaced by different company.
- Not sure what you mean by Rhaksha city walls as in released version they still have only Nest and Hive without walls, Rhaksha Enclave will be introduced in next version and not present in 0.79, did you meant some other structure with walls?
Edit: I've probably misunderstood your suggestion about Rhaksha Enclave at first. Your idea is ofcourse possible and achiavable in several ways as for instance Drauga Marauder Camp shows, not sure if such option will be viable for enclave, will see when I start testing Enclaves in game.

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Not tested this mod yet but I am glad the game is not forgotten. I was also aim to make a mod but my skills are limited yet and I personally would want to add more models, better graphics, slightly better resolution and make the game peer to peer so you do no need to connect to the dead gamespy or use third party softwares.

After checking the mod I will tell what needs maybe some improvement or how you added models. I am aware the current option to add models for the game is the gamebryo engine file importer for kohan2. Last time I checked on an older version of blender It does worked but because of I am not skilled enough with blender yet not added any new model to the game. Units and stats are simplier to modify and with this methold I created some factions but that is all basically.

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DarquanMortis Creator

Hi, game is for sure not forgotten, but fans are scattered. If you want to try work on mod for K2 aimed for new models and better graphic you can try from free tools NifSkope(mostly viewer and adjuster unable to edit mesh), it is able to open most of models used in K2 and is better suited for optimizing .nif files to be used in game without problems. You can also try GIMP that can edit .dds textures.
Improvment of graphic with this tool is possible. If it goes to changes in resolution or addition of peer to peer didn't checked on those options much, but they may be hardcoded which may be problem.

Let me know after you test AW for your opinion, just plese keep in mind that it is still test version and there is still lot that needs to be finished, changed or "polished", including temporary or old models. Fact that I'm still working on more content like Enclaves delayed finishing mod game system and making some usable balancements, so expect some problems with global spells, overpowered units, spells, etc. . Good luck in game and hope you'll like it.

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when it starts it comes out fatal error.

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DarquanMortis Creator

Hello, that shouldn't happen if mod is installed correctly, what kind of error is displayed in error screen?

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Data\Units\Ceyan\blademaster.tgi(0):Thingdata name already used:blademaster.

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DarquanMortis Creator

Looks like you have installed another mod or there was some tampering with file location and names.

"Thingdata name" must be unique and there is already Haroun unit named Blademaster in AW mod. Simpliest way to fix error will be delete file located in Ceyah folder, or change its IDS name directly in blademaster.tgi file to remove error and preserve Ceyah unit in game.
You can edit .tgi file in basic text editor, if it is frontline unit you must also change its name in company subnode at end of file to match new IDS so it loads proper unit when creating company.

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