Age of Empires formerly known as the Crazy Spatz Balance Mod, more or less. NOTE: Unlike the other Content mods, most of the features in the Empires mod's design require the full DLL SDK, or will involve new systems added in the expansion. In the interim, it acts as a general balance mod that is compatible with the Ascension and Mythology mods, and is still highly recommended for players of those other mods. Therefore, unlike the other two threads, the information posts for this mod will include both what has been implemented currently as well as what is intended in the long term. Some of the listed features might turn out to be possible without the DLL, in which case I'll include them as quickly as possible, but this mod will remain the least improved section of the Ages of Man set for the forseeable future. The middle Content mod (and last to be completed), this mod is somewhat inspired by the series of Real-Time Strategy games of the same name, but is based less on its namesake/primary inspiration than the other two content mods. The Empire mod focuses on general balance and depth of the gameplay experience in all eras, although its primary impact will be felt in the Renaissance, Industrial, and Nuclear Eras. Most of the previous Balance mod will be placed here, including all of the base Happiness and growth changes. Additionally, any parts of the old Content mod that take place before the Space Race are placed in the Empire mod as well; this includes the six National Wonders added in the pre-spaceflight eras (Magna Carta, KGB, Wall Street, Red Cross, Three Gorges Dam, and Hollywood) as well as many of the technology-based yield changes, Policy adjustments, and so on. Basically, if it's not explicitly fantasy/mythology or science fiction content, it'll be in this mod. Suggestions are welcome, but realize that it'll be quite a while before anything beyond the existing content is in here due to the DLL slowdown. Goals The Empire mod, unlike the other Content mods, is not built around a specific theme. It is designed to change and enhance a wide variety of aspects of the current game, deepening the Civ5 experience during the eras that are already the most significant parts of the core game. As a result, instead of grouping the content into separate Technologies, Buildings, Units, etc. posts, each post will discuss a different aspect of the game modified by the Empire mod. These can generally be grouped into a small number of specific goals: 1> Balance. Make the game more balanced by altering the statistics of certain Buildings and Policies, and in general aiming to prolong the game's competitive phase (i.e., before the point where you realize that it's all over but the mopping up). This also hinges on making cities more specialized, with more clearly-defined Wonder, Military, Science, Gold-producing, etc. cities. This will also include changing many of the existing assets, especially Units, to be less generic and more interesting. 2> Espionage. Adding both a unit-based Spy system as well as a building-based system will allow for weaker empires to keep better pace with the tech leaders, and reduce the impact of being the clear tech leader. 3> Diplomacy. Deepen the complexity of the existing diplomacy system, to encourage more realistic behaviors. This means having weak empires ally themselves with stronger "superpowers" for protection, forming voting blocs that become more defined as the game progresses. This will also include a unit-based diplomacy system with Diplomat units capable of altering relations between major empires. Additionally, I intend to add more ways for empires to affect each other negatively without going to war, such as Pirate or Privateer units. 4> Events. This would include both instantaneous as well as persistent effects. Instantaeous events would be simple one-shot events, such as a marriage between nobles that improves relations between two empires, while Persistent events could include a "Dark Age" where scientific output is decreased for all empires, or a global change in weather patterns that makes all farms more efficient for several turns. 5> AI improvements. Any general AI changes not related to one of the above topics would go into this category, but these would clearly require the DLL. Compatibility The Age of Empires mod, like the other two Content mods, requires the Base mod to function. Additionally, the Empire mod serves as the "Balance" mod for this set of mods, and so is intended to be used if either of the other two Content mods are used; however, this is not absolutely necessary, and users should be able to use other modders' balance mods in its place. Because of the many balance changes, it is not recommended to use this mod at the same time as any other balance mods.