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MagisterModmod

Discussion in 'FfH2 Modmods, Scenarios, and Maps' started by MagisterCultuum, Feb 27, 2012.

  1. Calavente

    Calavente Richard's voice

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    just chimming in :

    for gargoyles : higher defense is a possibility.
    another is "paratrooper + blitz + 3mvt"
    thus they can "assault" from a city or fort, attack, and then go fly back. (blitz is necessary only if paratrooping forbids a direct attack in same turn as paratrooping..) it enables "active defense" and thus would be a competitive (in a niche role) over Iron golems.
     
  2. Cutlass

    Cutlass The Man Who Wasn't There.

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    I later figured out how they were building Tower of Mastery so fast was that he had 20,000 gold in the bank :p
     
  3. Tholal

    Tholal Emperor

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    Interesting idea. I'll consider merging it into MNAI. Though it will likely be as part of the Advanced Tactics game option.


    Dont have the code in front of me but I also believe this is true.


    Since most of the effect of rituals is contained in python code, it is nearly impossible to get the AI to give proper weighting. If you want the AI to use rituals regularly, the best way is to put overrides in python for chooseProduction.

    re: multiple production - I've avoided merging this code in because it makes a rather dramatic change in gameplay. I would consider it as a separate game option but doing so is not high on mypriority list.

    Yes. The AI will rush victory buildings if they can.
     
  4. Imp. Knoedel

    Imp. Knoedel Simperator Knoedel

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    Thank you. It's a very simple mod, it is after all the first time I did DLL modding. I ran into problems merging it with Dawn of Civilization, but it seems to run fine on its all at least. I also consider extending it a bit, adding more culture levels, maybe even giving penalties to cities without any or only a small amount of culture.
     
  5. MagisterCultuum

    MagisterCultuum Great Sage

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    Since most of my recent changes have been addressing issue with Gibbon's Changeling abilities, I'm thinking of adding a new event to allow other units to get the promotion too.

    What do you think about this:

    The event trigger would select a random unit, which must be alive, not magic immune, not a world or national unit, not a leader's avatar, not only defensive, and not a unit that would abandon the player based on civic or religion.

    Event Trigger text:
    "Grave news! We have discovered that this unit has been replaced by a changeling!"

    Option 1:
    "By now its victim is surely dead. We must make this monster pay for the murder."

    (No Prerequisites, Kills the unit.)

    Option 2:
    "Why should this trouble us? It is a blessing from Esus. Changelings are far more useful to our cause than mere mortals."

    (Requires The Council of Esus state religion. Grants the unit the Changeling promotion, and thus shadow affinity and shapeshifting abilities. .)

    Option 3:
    "Pray to Lugus. Only he can compel the creature to reveal where he hid his victim before he escapes back into the shadows of Esus's realm."

    (Requires The Empyrean state religion. Nothing happens to the unit at all. Causes +3 temporary happiness in all cities.)



    This unit would gain the Shapeshift abilities, but would not be a Mimic so it would not gain promotions from combat too. Also, without having its Scenario Counter set, the unit would not be able to cast Assume true form. Once it Shapeshifts to another form, it would be permanent until it finds another victim to shapeshift into. The Changeling from the event won't necessarily be tied to the religion, or abandon you for deconverting.


    I now have it so that Shapeshift and Assume true form both remove promotions that are found in the unit types xml defined. (Changeling, Mimic, and hero won't be removed though.) Shapeshift now considers the value of each promotion that the changeling would gain too. I decided to make Shapeshift also grant Hidden Nationality, so a Changeling can become HN even when it looses its marksman promotion or has the wrong religion. It can also reveal its nationality afterwords. I also found that HN is not applied if there are neutral units on the tile.


    Gibbon himself no longer has Stealth, but is invisible in his true form.

    I'm thinking about making Assume True form remove all negative promotions (like Weak or Vulnerable to Fire.)
     
  6. Auric

    Auric Chieftain

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    I'm wondering if it would be worthy to make a narrative video about the world of Erebus and post it on Youtube. FFH2 has a great lore and I think it could attract more players to the game.
     
  7. Mr. Zub

    Mr. Zub Chieftain

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    Thank you MagisterCultuum for keeping this mod alive and constantly changing! It is always interesting to play it after a long break. =)

    About Council of Esus:
    If you remove both votes from Agents of Esus and +3 affinity from Gibbon what is there left for Council of Esus to rely on? For now, it is a rush religion to quickly destroy opponents thanks to the strength of Gibbon and for manipulating Undercouncil as you wish, but without it the religion wouldn't be of much use - Shadowriders are tier 4 units and at the time you get access to them, other nations would have their answers.

    Maybe, increasing power of disrupt (spell to reduce culture) with nerfs will do the trick to balance this religion.

    While playing I found out that Enervation has very high variation of damage. My Archmage with Entropy 3/Metamagic 3 (+50 to spell damage) sometimes deals 6% of damage to a unit at 50%HP and 37% to a unit in the same stack with same HP amount. Is it OK or I do something wrong?

    The other issue is that AI tends to build forts over neutral resources to ensure that he will claim them later, but he doesn't change these forts into resource-producing improvements. Moreover, even if he is the only player on the continent, he keeps these forts.

    Why other evil nations are not able to make use of a shapeshifter's abilities? If not for espionage but for entertainment, for example, in Balseraph's circuses or as a regular unit in Infernal's army? Moreover, what prevents neutrals to use him too?
     
  8. MagisterCultuum

    MagisterCultuum Great Sage

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    Changelings are notoriously disloyal. Even half-changelings who inherit no supernatural abilities will always betray those who trust them. I don't see anyone who doesn't worship Esus as being able to control a changeling for long.

    That said, I'm thinking of adding a fourth option for the event. Since catching a true changeling is less common than falsely accusing an innocent man of being an impostor, the most reasonable course of action may be to dismiss the claims entirely. That would usually have no effect, but would have a chance of causing the unit to become a changeling under barbarian control.


    I'm thinking of removing the unitcombat_recon requirement for "Steal," the ability that lets Council of Esus units with that state religion take other player's equipment from them.


    I am also reconsidering the idea of giving The Council of Esus a High Priest Unit. I think I'd probably go with the simple name "Whisperer," and give them the two already-existing and thematically very appropriate spells known as Trust and Paranoia.

    Currently those are the only two cross-sphere spells. At one point I was planning to add many more, but never had enough good enough ideas. They both require Shadow 3, which may be the most overpowered spell sphere promotion anyway due to granting HN status to all summons and allowing you to make whole stacks HN in addition to summoning Mistforms.

    I'd also consider giving them the Impersonate Leader ability instead of Gibbon, probably giving Gibbon the promotions to let him use their abilities too.


    Such Diplomacy-related spells are the most thematic, but do have the downside of being most useful in the hands of a human fighting against AIs rather than the reverse. They might need something more direct too.

    One idea that comes to mind is something that grants HN status to neutral rival units within a certain range, letting you pick off units without war and provoking conflicts between others players who have no problems with each other but have troops in close quarters. This would of course be more effective if the HN status was from a separate promotion that does not allow Declare Nationality.

    I might just modify Paranoia to combine that idea with its diplomatic effect. I instead of being cast in cities and granting diplomatic penalties between the city owner and everyone else but the caster's owner, it could instead grant Hidden Nationality and Enraged to Neutral and Enemy units nearby and cause diplomatic penalties between the owners of all units effected. When multiple players are moving armies close together to fight common enemies, Paranoia could cause them to destroy each other and maybe even lead natural allies into open war among themselves.


    I might also consider something like "Summon Sceadugengan."
    This makes it seem like a unitcombat_beast summon with the Elemental and Changeling promotions would be appropriate.


    ----

    On another note, I just changed it so that all units with the Children of the One religion will be granted Scourge and Magic Resistant. So long as the owner does not have a State Religion those bonuses are the only change, but having a State Religion causes the units to lose Loyalty and gain Rebellious and makes them to defect to Grigori control once they enter the territory of a Grigori player with whom their religious owner is at war.
     
  9. Elyssaen

    Elyssaen Chieftain

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    Quick question. Playing New Erebus scenario as Hippus, Sheaim are absolutely vast (I auto-played for ages and then switched to the weakest civ), and... the game seems to hang on "Waiting for Other Civilizations" now. I got past it once or twice but I'm now completely locked on turn 350. Only seem to have a BBAILog - Tasunke in Logs, of the mentioned files to check for this error, and can't spot anything suspicious-looking.

    Anything I should try doing, anyone know?

    I might look into that. I have some programming background in Python anyway, and I'm secretly as bad as Magister for looking at a brilliant piece of work and thinking: "Hey! I can improve that!" (Fair play to Magister: he absolutely did.) One of these days I'm going to have to make a personal mod-mod-mod of this. At the very least, I can probably pretty easily create new leaders (enjoyed that about Wild Mana) and work toward merging Multiple Production into my copy.

    Just a naïve question, having never looked at it: are Civ 4 mods inherently open source? i.e. does the mod folder contain readable source I can fiddle with? I haven't looked beyond the XML files so far.

    Ah, I can see that being useful! I played a brief test game to check Changeling, had some trouble with Gibbon seeming to refuse to shift into some barbarian types and picking a Warrior instead of anything useful, and so kind of gave up. I didn't stop to find out what was blocking him.

    I think that's not a bad idea. It would be nice to have some incentive to pursue the Children of the One sometimes. I wouldn't apply Rebellious to any unit of that religion, personally, as you're right that only the Cult should be such a malus. But for Luonnotar it'd be fine, serving more as an incentive to de-facto follow the Children.

    Just curious, is it straightforward to code a building that gives a benefit that only applies when not in a state religion? I can't think of any idea for what that might be, yet, but that sort of mechanic might be useful for making the Children a really viable choice. I'm not that great on the lore but I assume it'd need to be some kind of citizens' forum / lecture hall. If the Children were to be a solid choice, given they can't really offer much unit power, it seems they'd need some kind of economic benefit.

    Can't complain much: my current game has the Sheaim spamming Elegies pretty effectively. I'm playing "New Erebus" and desperately wish there were Elohim now! I'm getting pretty obsessively interventionist with Worldbuilder now, anyway, and often hack the Illians ritual progress at various stages.

    I definitely agree with those two changes: Mountaineer wouldn't make an enormous strategic difference (I think), but it does make sense.

    Hmm, I'd need to play about and see if 1 Aff felt enough, I can't quite tell. 3 seems excessive, but Mr. Zub might be right that with just 1, the Council would feel a little underpowered. However you may both be right that the answer is to empower them elsewhere. A religion shouldn't derive too much power from their hero, as only one civilisation is going to get them.

    It's a really cool idea for the 'gargoyle' theme, but perhaps doesn't fit the FFH gargoyle design very well: their current Def > Atk design might render that paratrooping useless. Personally I think I'd rather just have them be more effective stack defenders than Iron Golems, even it just by an inch.

    Fair enough. I'll look on the bright side: at least I won't be tempted to abuse bloodpet spamming.

    Love this idea. To be clear, if you choose "make the monster pay", does it become a barbarian unit? I also like the idea of ignoring it as an option.

    Personally, I'd leave the recon requirement for Steal, but perhaps that's just because I haven't thought it through enough. It seems to fit that Assassins and Rangers can do it but Men-at-Arms count, and I appreciate a little perk for focusing on Recon units.

    As I said before, I really back the idea of an Esus high priest. But, personally, I'd want to see them gain some kind of economic ability. They should have a weak economic game (certainly vs. Runes and Fellowship), but they could have a disruptive economy. Stealing cash from enemies, a hostile spell-building (is that possible?) that saps hammers and passes it to a nearby owned city, etc.

    I like Trust and Paranoia, and they're certainly thematic, but it's not just human-human games they don't work in: they also don't really work in Always War and they don't mean much in Aggressive AI. I love your proposed changes to Paranoia, though. Personally I'd design Whisperers with your new Paranoia plus something along the lines I'm describing above.

    Sceadugengan sound really interesting, but I don't think an Esus summoner high priest is mechanically what's called for. But how about, when you follow Council of Esus, you have a small chance of spawning a Sceadugenga in any unimproved, unworked tile in your empire. If possible, the chance would be increased if a caster with Shadow II or an Agent of Esus/Whisperer was nearby. Thinking about it, though, I think they'd need to have some special tactical role to make sure they feel really distinct from the Treant. HN might be enough though, but Fear would fit too.
     
  10. Terkhen

    Terkhen King

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    I created an issue in MNAI's tracker for Multiple Production and discussed it a bit with Tholal; you can see the discussion here: https://bitbucket.org/Tholal/more-naval-ai/issues/93/multiple-production. I was planning on porting it from my mod to MNAI and adding a new game option for it this weekend. Then I would make a pull request so that Tholal can merge it into MNAI. Since MagisterModMod uses MNAI's DLL, this means that you should get the feature when MNAI releases a new version and MagisterModMod updates its MNAI version to the new one.

    I am mentioning this just so that we don't duplicate work; if you want to learn more about compiling and modding the DLL part of the code (it is in C++) adding Multiple Production would be a good choice as it would be a simple merge (just taking some code from the EMM DLL to the MNAI DLL) but it would still need some simple additions (creating a new game option for it, and isolating the bits of code so that they only run if the new game option is enabled). If you want to work on this, let me know and I will be happy to help you with any questions you may have (better via PM though, so we don't clutter this thread more). If I remember correctly adding new game options breaks savegame compatibility, so this should be done before MNAI leaves beta.

    They are not open source in the strict sense (to my knowledge there is no license or rules on how to use the code anywhere), but all of the code is usually available.
     
  11. Nothrazim

    Nothrazim Chieftain

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    Keep in mind here, if Imp. Knoedels culture changes are applied, it'll have a more significant impact. But i do definitely agree with the risk of council becoming much too weak.
     
  12. MagisterCultuum

    MagisterCultuum Great Sage

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    What about a new spell for Agents of Esus called "Embezzle" which could only be cast in rival cities that have Gambling Houses (thus making the Undercouncil's Gambling Ring resolution more useful, to encourage more rivals to make themselves vulnerable) and which allows the unit's owner to steal a random amount of gold equal to up to the city's total current economic output?

    (Actually, if I do that, I might want to remove the Undercouncil Membership requirement from the Gambling House's price discount, but make that resolution reduce the building's price globally.)

    I'm thinking the economic benefit of Embezzle would be more useful early, and that the city-stealing ability of Disrupt would be more appropriate for the high priest. I think I'll increase its prereq, but also make its strength scale with the unit's level.



    It is easy to make a building grant a happiness bonus or penalty based on whether its own religion is the player's state religion, but anything else would require making multiple versions of the building and switching them out in python.

    Creating buildings with negative effects in general is easy, as is making them bRequiresCaster buildings dependent on spells that cannot be cast in your team's territory.

    Determining what city or even player should be given benefits from the same building would be hard. If not impossible, it would still require some ugly and inefficient python code. It wouldn't be that bad if the benefits all when to the owner of Nox Noctis or if it were distributed evenly among Council of Esus or Undercouncil Members, but checking the city's tile for possible casters and deciding which one actually should be treated as the true caster would be a potential nightmare.



    I implemented Sceadugengan, but think I will remove them as I ran into an issue I should have predicted. The shapeshifting ability allows the summons to become living units with the CoE religion, which lets them to return as Manes upon death. The Infernals could really abuse this. I also had to allow Shapeshift for limited duration non-living units to make the summon work, but I think I originally placed those limits on the spell for a very good reason to prevent issues with duration and immortality.



    When it comes to the new event, the option to ignore it would have some chance (about 1 in 3) of the unit becoming a barbarian Changeling. Choosing to execute the unit would simply kill it, and maybe cause some slight temporary happiness to those who see it as justice.


    Since the religion itself would be stronger after these changes, I'm going to remove the Council of Esus religion prereq from the Eyes and Ears Network, so that anyone with Shadow Mana and Undercouncil Membership can build it in any city rather than needing to spread the religion to that city first. That prereq was always too hard on the Grigori and Illians anyway..
     
  13. Cutlass

    Cutlass The Man Who Wasn't There.

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    For Esus, I was thinking of maybe a Temple of Shadow. Then you could have Priests of Shadow, and High Priests of Shadow. And give them similar base abilities like the priests of other religions, but ones that matched the Esus theme.
     
  14. MagisterCultuum

    MagisterCultuum Great Sage

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    I do not plan to add any "Temple of Shadow," or conventional priests. It is part of the lore that Esus has no temples, at least not the sort that anyone would be able to locate like those devoted to other gods.

    I did however give Agents of Esus the Medic 1&2 promotions and bring their tier and strength in line with other Priests, and give Whisperers Medic 1&2&3 like other high priests. I also let both of them gain spellcaster xp. Both of these Esus Clerics remain Invisible and can travel through rival territory without open border agreements. They are both bOnlyDefensive and bNoCapture, which prevents them from fighting directly but allows them to enter cities even with Hidden Nationality defenders but not to enter during war.

    I'm thinking I may make Embezzle boost XP too when successful, to make up for the Agents' lack of combat XP.

    I changed Disrupt to scale based on the units XP rather level, but prevented it from capturing Capital cities and thus eliminating players entirely.


    I made it so that Agents of Esus no longer abandon players for having the wrong state religion, although like other priest they still of course need the state religion to be trained. I removed Agents' ability to pillage but let them use the vanilla Civ spy ability to spend gold to destroy improvements. (Note: I believe this ability works even on Unique Features. I thought of removing the ability for that reason, but it is actually somewhat thematic. It is cannon that Junil removed The Seven Pines from creation in order to protect the holy site from being destroyed by forced loyal to Esus.)

    I let other Esus units still investigate cities, but not use other spy abilities like Steal Plans because it would be too risky for them to be killed through the ordinary spy discovery method.


    I gave various Empyrean units the bCounterSpy tag, so they can protect from Agents of Esus infiltration

    I decided that letting Agents of Esus upgrade to Nightwatches and Assassins was too much, as other priests could only ever upgrade to National units. I currently allow Agents to upgrade to Whisperers, Shadows, Druids, and Eidolons, although I'll probably remove either Druid or Eidolon.

    I made the Invisible promotion grant Hidden as a summon Perk. A Druid who started as an Agent of Esus could thus summon Guardian Vines which no one would see until it Entangled them.


    I decided to change the Shadowwalk promotion so that the buff no longer duplicates the effect of Commando (letting units use enemy roads) but instead decrease the movement penalties based on terrain. It will let your units treat forested hills as if they were featureless grasslands. This is more thematically appropriate and more useful for players with the Raiders trait (such as Faeryl Viconia).


    I removed the Shadow 1&2 promotions from Shadow Riders, and the free Shadowwalk from combat, but made sure that all the abilities of Blur and Shadowwalk were inherent features of the unit itself. Since the lore says that they can pass through any solid matter with ease, I decided to allow them to not only ignore city defenses but also ignore terrain movement penalties and even move through impassible terrain (like Peaks). To balance this somewhat, I made them more vulnerable to Empyrean units. I'm also thinking of making Revelation act like Entangle as far as this one unit type is concerned (making them immobile for a few turns), since the lore that that bright lights are to them what physical barriers are to others. (I considered making Blinding light extra effective against them, but it is not worth making an XML-only spell use python. Now that I think of it though, it might make more sense just to make Revelation give them the Blinded promotion.)


    I played a pretty good game with Whisperer's Paranoia spell granting both Enraged and Hidden Nationality, but then decided it was annoying how the AI kept declaring nationality immediately but leaving their units Enraged. Then I decided to combine the effects into one new "Paranoid" promotion (using the icon of Fatigued), which has a 50% chance of wearing off per turn. I made it so that Paranoid can be removed by the Pool of Tears or either Revelation (the Empyrean priest spell) or Assuage (the Spirit 3 spell). Spirit 3 makes a unit immune to the spell in the first place, and purchasing Spirit 3 will automatically remove Paranoia. I increased the range from 1 to 2.

    I'm thinking Revelation may cause Vampires to become Paranoid instead of curing them of the promotion. Canonically speaking, the Light of Lugus does cause them to feel such guilt that they are not only physically weakened but temporarily loose their wits and lash out like an injured animal.

    Adding the new promotion did break by saved game, and I have not had time to playtest the changes, but I think they'll work well.
     
  15. Nothrazim

    Nothrazim Chieftain

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    Wow. Those are some pretty impressive changes & additions, and they sound both fun and thematic. I've never been fond of the Svartalfar but this definitely means i'll be playing as a CoE Svartalfar next game.
     
  16. Imp. Knoedel

    Imp. Knoedel Simperator Knoedel

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    Food for thought: Diseased corpses should be cheaper when Blight is ravaging.
     
  17. MagisterCultuum

    MagisterCultuum Great Sage

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    Council of Esus Svartalfar is nice, but CoE Calabim might be a better way to experience all the new changes.

    Of course, a lot of those changes make them weaker instead of stronger. Vicars become a serious threat to vampires. I also just made Vampires treat the Mirror of Heaven like a Necrototem, running away in fear.
    That would be very hard to implement and not worth the effort. Blight is not an ongoing status, but an event with linger effects. I don't even know if there is a way in python to detect whether an event has occurred, much less how recently. I suppose I could check every other player's cities' health, but that would be extremely inefficient.


    ----

    Kael recently reveled in the FfH2 Reddit that Runewyns have six wings, not 2. I'd like to change the Runewyn art to reflect this, but don't really know how. (I could reskin a Seraph instead of an Angel of Death, but I much prefer the overall look of current model.) Are any of my fans good enough with Blender to help?

    I also learned from the same post that a Nive should look more like a Yeti than a wolf. Does anyone care to provide a Yeti-like model? I suppose I could just reskin Gurid or Margalard.

    Edit: Those apes look horrible when given light colored reskins. It makes it clearer just how low the polygon counts are. Despite Kael's recent description, I think I'd rather keep Nives as they are unless and until I find a better model.

    I'm thinking about changing Citadels of Light to be an Empyrean-only improvement rather than Malakim-only. Since I made them automatically Blind Shadowriders, I'm thinking it may be better to let every civ access that defense rather than limiting it to the desert Nomads. This change would have to rely entirely on Python, but I mostly use python anyway in order to prevent the improvements from falling into other civ's control so it wouldn't be a big deal. The biggest change would be code to change all the improvements in one's empire when converting religions, but those would not run often enough to really effect performance.

    I'd probably increase the terrain bonus for Nomad if the Malakim loose this strength.
     
  18. Mr. Zub

    Mr. Zub Chieftain

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    Huge nerf of Shadowwalk. =( It was of use to commando nations since Raiders doesn't give commando to Arcane or Disciple units while Shadowwalk does. Also, it allowed to attack immediately, without spending time and spells on reducing city defence
     
  19. Imp. Knoedel

    Imp. Knoedel Simperator Knoedel

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    Whenever I try to open the Unit Upgrades or Promotion Tree sites in the Civilopedia from the main menu (that is not in game, there it works fine) I get a Python exception.

    Did you ever get around to fixing Somnium btw?
     
  20. MagisterCultuum

    MagisterCultuum Great Sage

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    I'm not quite sure what you mean by that last part. I never suggested removing the ability to ignore city defenses.

    I suppose I could keep both the ability to reduce terrain/feature movement penalties and the ability to use enemy roads, but that might be a bit too much.


    I think that exception was caused by an error in jrandrew's code. I thought we discussed it months ago and already found a fix, but I'm not finding a post or PM about it and I too saw those python exceptions when I ran a quick test. I was already thinking that those charts could use some work for the next release, so I'll go ahead and ask jrandrew if he can get be a better version of the code. If I don't hear back from him by Sunday I might look into rewriting the code myself, but but I'd rather outsource the job to the original author.


    I believe the Somnium bug to which you refer was a single character typo, which I fixed weeks fix not months ago. That fix will definitely be in the next release.
     

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