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K-Mod: Far Beyond the Sword v1.46

K-Mod: Far Beyond the Sword

  1. karadoc
    K-Mod: Far Beyond the Sword
    Current version: 1.46
    Last Updated: 6/May/2018
    Forum page: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?p=10094243

    Installation instructions
    (Note: This mod requires Beyond the Sword 3.19, for Windows. It cannot be played on the Mac OS version. The official 3.19 patch can be downloaded here.)
    • Unzip into your mods directory. (eg. C:\games\Civilization 4 Complete\Beyond the Sword\Mods)
    • You should now have a directory called ...\Beyond the Sword\Mods\K-Mod, and the installation is complete!
    • To play the mod, start Beyond the Sword; choose Advanced, then Load a Mod, then K-Mod.
    • To load the mod automatically, create a shortcut to ["Civ4BeyondSword.exe" mod="K-Mod"].
    Uninstallation instructions
    • Delete the K-Mod directory.
    • K-Mod settings are stored in [Documents\My Games\Beyond the Sword\K-Mod]. If you don't want to keep your settings, delete that K-Mod directory as well.

    Upgrade instructions
    • Usually it is sufficient to just unzip the new version of K-Mod into the same directory as the old version - but if you want to be super sure that it's going to work correctly, uninstall the old version first. Save games from previous version of K-Mod will still work with the new version unless explicitly specified in the changelog, so feel free to upgrade K-Mod mid-game.

    Spoiler :
    I originally intended for this mod to be extremely minimalistic, and for personal use only. My original intended changes were just to buff serfdom, protective, and aggressive, and to introduce some features to make automated workers a bit more friendly. The plan was that my mod would be basically the same as the unmodded game, but slightly better in a couple of ways. But as I read the game code to learn how to implement my change, and as I browsed the change-lists of other mods (such as the PIG mod) to see what other minor changes I could make, I started to realized that unmodded BtS isn't anywhere near as planned and polished as I had thought. I use to think that all the mechanics and numbers were a result of careful calculations and thought and testing, but I learnt that many of the features in the game are completely arbitrary and sometimes obviously unfinished. So the scope of my mod widened dramatically to include pretty much everything that I thought was not as it should be.

    K-Mod is meant to be thought of as an kind of unofficial content & balance patch. The mod is intended to be played as a replacement for standard BtS. Many of the changes are 'under-the-hood' things that a casual player probably wouldn't notice, but I think the changes will enhance their enjoyment of the game nonetheless.

    Currently the most significant features of this mod are the improvements to the interface, the new global warming system, the redesigned spread of culture & religion, and - most of all - the AI, which really is much smarter. Try it and see for yourself.

    K-Mod also features many technical improvements, including shorter waiting-time for AI turns, fewer OOS errors in multiplayer games, and many user-interface improvements and bug-fixes.

    If you like the work that I've done and feel compelled to send money to me, you may do so. I appreciate the support.
    Paypal: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=55FEBSZPPXJHQ

    == Built-in mods ==
    • Actual quotes
    • BUG (heavily modified) [Some new features added, such as Rapid Unit Cycling; and some features removed.]

    == Better AI ==
    The BBAI mod was used as the starting point for the AI in K-Mod, but each new version of K-Mod comes with further AI improvements which are gradually replacing all of the old AI. The AI in K-Mod is now noticeably stronger than the AI in the BBAI mod, and the standard BtS AI. The obvious improvements are that AI civilizations will research faster, fight smarter, and place cities more thoughtfully. But there are also some "flavour" changes as well - different AI leaders like to pursue different kinds of strategies, with different areas of emphasis. It's also worth noting that the AI in K-Mod actually cheats /less/ than the standard AI; not more. (For those who don't know; the standard AI 'cheats' by sometimes knowing what is on certain plots without actually seeing them. This still sometimes happens in K-Mod, but it happens far less.)

    == New global warming system ==
    In standard BtS, global warming is a bit of a joke. It is triggered by the wrong things, you can't really do much to prevent it, and it hits the world in a harsh and unintuitive way. I've completely changed it.

    In short, it works like this:
    Every point of unhealthiness is counted across the world. If this total is more than some threshold amount then global warming becomes possible, and the likelihood increases as long as the unhealthiness total is above the threshold. There is an environmental advisor which can tell you all the details (on the same screen as the financial advisor).

    When global warming strikes, it no longer removes the tile improvement, and it doesn't turn the tile straight into desert, so each strike is far less severe than in original BtS. Also, global warming is more likely to strike cold tiles before hot tiles. eg. The ice caps are likely to melt before your plains get turned into desert.

    Positive healthiness (eg. from hospitals) does not reduce the global warming pollution, but a environmentalism and public transport have been changed so that they do reduce unhealthiness rather than increase healthiness.

    As global warming becomes more likely, civilizations start to get a happiness penalty which is based on their relative contribution to global pollution.

    In standard BtS global warming typically either did nothing, or it completely trashed the world; by contrast, global warming in K-Mod will not trash the world - at least not before someone wins the game - but the effects of global warming will ramp-up towards the end of the game, giving a kind of sense of urgency and tension, this helps build up to a _climactic finish_ at the end of the game.

    == New culture system ==
    Perceived problems with the old system:
    In the old system, plot culture was essentially dominated by 'free culture' from cities. The actual culture output of a city had very little effect other than to increase the culture level of the city. In a culture war (where two civs attempt to push each other's borders back with culture) the culture slider wasn't much use, because the culture output of a city had a relatively minor role on plot culture.

    Two cities would almost always be able to culture press a solo city even when the solo city had much more culture output than the combined total of the two cities. "Culture bombs" did almost nothing, and using spies to spread culture had essentially the same effect on plot culture as a great artist culture bomb! And culture was only useful in border cities (and in the top three culture cities when trying to get a cultural victory).

    My solutions:
    Plot culture is now primarily determined by the culture output of cities. The 'free' culture has been reduced to almost nothing. (I haven't completely removed free culture because otherwise it would be too easy for civs with the cultural trait to culture press in the early game.) Instant boosts to culture, such as great works and espionage missions, now apply as much plot culture as if the city had produced the culture in the normal way. Finally, plot culture from a city now extends a couple of squares beyond the borders of the city, and so cities don't need to be right on the border of the civilization to contribute to a culture war.

    The result is that cultural output now plays a more significant and dynamic role in determining cultural borders. The culture of inner cities is no longer useless, because it will typically extend far enough to help contribute to the culture front-line, and even if it doesn't reach that far it can still contribute via the new 'trade culture' mechanics.

    == New religion spread system ==
    The spread of religion has been changed so that early-game religions don't always dominate. The likelihood that a religion will spread to a city now depends on many factors, including the proximity to the holy city; the city's population; the number of religious buildings; and the time that the religion was founded. The technical details of the new system are complex, but effects on gameplay are intuitive, interesting, and quite subtle. (There are some details in the changelog if you're keen to find out more.)

    == Balance changes ==
    ... too many to write down. I'll just give a couple of examples here. Check the changelog.txt included in the zip file for a more complete record. (In general, the balance changes are fairly subtle. The goal is to increase the viability and gameplay flavour of some of the weakest parts of the game without disturbing the overall game balance and familiarity.)
    • Serfdom: +1 commerce farms & plantations, -1 commerce from towns [This makes serfdom a useful mid-game civic]
    • Vassalage: -25% number of cities maintenance
    • Environmentalism: removed health bonuses, replaced with -30% unhealthiness from population, removed the corp maintenance penalty.

    • Protective: +100% build rate for security bureau
    • Aggressive: +100% build rate for jails (and mausoleum)

    • Eiffel Tower now comes with mass media instead of radio [to make mass media more appealing, and make free broadcasting towers less weird]
    • Ironclad, from 2 moves to 3. [the ironclad was frustratingly slow... with this buff it is still slower than galleons]
    • Public transport, removed health bonuses, replaced with -15% unhealthiness from population, cost raised from 150->200, now gives +1 happiness with environmentalism.
    • Stonehenge no longer goes obsolete. [I felt that this wonder was actually disadvantageous, because the 'free' monuments disappeared and thus robbed the owner of late-game culture]
    • Tech requirements for corporations changed: civ jewelers: corporation, sushi co: refrigeration, cereal mills: medicine, creative constructions: steel, standard ethanol: combustion [in my experience, sushi and mining inc are always by far the most powerful corporations. My goal with changing the prereqs is to make the weaker corps more viable.]
    • All promotions that have a combat promotion as an optional prereq also now have the equivalent drill promotion as an optional prereq. (march, blitz, etc)
    • Leadership promotion now gives 50% protection vs revolt (in addition to +100% experience gained)
    • Nuclear meltdowns: no longer destroy other buildings or population. Can still create fallout. [meltdowns were far too powerful]
    • The count of vassal cities is now halved in the number of cities maintenance calculation. [To make vassalizing more attractive]
    • Number of cities maintenance cost is no longer capped (ignores the caps set in the xml) [to weaken the power of huge civs]
    • Removed attitude averaging between vassals and masters [I felt the previous behaviour was unintuitive, undocumented, and discouraged vassalizing]
    == Bug fixes ==
    I haven't spent the time compiling a complete list of bug fixes, but suffice to say there are a lot of them. To see a more or less complete list, search the git log for "bug".
    Orion Pax, Commodore 64 and Mylon like this.

Recent Updates

  1. v1.46
  2. v1.45

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