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The Ancient Mediterranean Info

Discussion in 'Civ4 - The Ancient Mediterranean MOD' started by thamis, Jul 19, 2006.

  1. Manco Capac

    Manco Capac Friday,13 June,I Collapse

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    I have to say this mod should be more popular than I see now. Sad the project ended as I could add some criticisms (about balance it is always most important to me)/bugs detection from my first game to haul the mod even more.

    Nevertheless, the team did a great job.
     
  2. graywarden

    graywarden Chieftain

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    Thamis, Ambrox and I appreciate your comments regarding TAM, and I myself would welcome a rebirth and ready to pick up where we left off. However I dont see that happening anytime soon. I have found a spiritual successor to TAM and happy to pass it on to those who may be interested:

    http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=352646

    Pie's Ancient Europe
     
  3. Manco Capac

    Manco Capac Friday,13 June,I Collapse

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    Although it won't have repercussion, I made a quick list of what I felt. To show you my appreciation of the good little times this mod provides to me.

    =================================================================

    · No control over early religions (except the latest being christianism) and a great feature is the scaling job. Later religions receive better odds of spreading, making up the lateness.

    · Big weakness in the game balance is civs starting with Tools technology versus those who don’t. Tools allow higher level AI’s to get their due free workers while those who don’t receive nothing. Big difference of powers rise from this. Although I may understand most civs who don’t start with Tools are supposed to be weaker nations like the celts or gaul, but from the point of a fine game balance, this should be fixed automatically. It’s quite disastrous except for the germans for a particular reason; possibly due to high unit spamming XML value…

    · Double movements in deserts don’t work.

    · Oracle of Dodoma is destroyed. Although I suspect it’s due to the pre-req building being destroyed to be the cause…or the 25% culture…but that shouldn’t be. A wonder should not be destroyed like that. Especially a costly wonder like this one that the AI’s love to build early.

    · Why the roman nation have such good impression of the world…as peaceful to give instantaneous +4.

    · I think it lacks difference in the XML values for many AI’s. Several aspects like religions, sharing wars, etc. are identical. A rework on this it should be.

    · I noticed a huge gap in difficulty in the highest levels starting EMP. I looked into the XML values and noticed the team kept the absurd bonuses from Vanilla/Warlords, but the AI has improved quite a bit since then…making IMM+ extremely hard. IMM is tolerable, but deity TAM is as absurd as deity Warlord…if not worse. I won’t change the XML values (challenges are always to me), but newbie players would notice the drastic difficulty…compared to normal BTS.

    · I noticed Astrology path is quite ignored by the AI…still it does unlock many powerful wonders…especially the Sphinx. Not I complain really since I want an edge to compete against high level AI’s, but getting easy Empire civic sure is strong.

    · I noticed goody huts don’t give techs. Interesting. Not that I mind about that because since the european map, my following games follow the no hut/no random event dogma…

    · I think the Mediterranean map is harder than a random map because of the unbalance in starts. This mod is hard early on the happy cap and the sheer lack of happy bonuses variety make hard to compete an AI with higher free happy cap. Especially as you kept the Vanilla happy cap of 3 free happy faces.

    · Any processes like making research, wealth and culture should have a rate of one for one…not 50% like Vanilla.

    · Skirmisher is a very interesting part of the early game as it provides a real possibility to early wars while not being too costly even on higher levels because it is an alternative to siege and cities are costly (twice as costly compared to BTS). Since I am a warmonger in blood, this is my preferred part of the game.

    · Cottages come too late. Especially for civs who don’t have any pre-requisite techs.

    · An interesting change is how to diminish the power of mounted units. All mounted units have –50% sieging cities. No more abuses from horse archers rushes, cuirassiers rushes, etc. Nonetheless, I feel between skirmishers and catas boosted with Alchemy, there is a gap in siege unit power. Mounted units are almost wasted hammers, same for skirmishers.

    · No vassals? That sure surprised me. I thought I heard about client states concept…

    · I like several rebalances you have made like making scouts useful for once. Sentry adds a bonus over the warrior while in regular BTS, making a frail scout at the same cost of a warrior made the warrior an almost obvious choice each time. I saw some others, but I don’t recall them.

    · Although it fits the general scheme to start in the stone age and being limited to few features of the game, it is a shame Great People are so limited early game. Especially limited to engineers and priests…mainly from wonders. That kills one of the greatest aspect of regular BTS, which is technical bulbing path, allowing several strategies.


    There are others, but I can't recall them...
     
  4. Manco Capac

    Manco Capac Friday,13 June,I Collapse

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    I did a quick play into PAE and I did not enjoy as much. I dunno, perhaps it is too restrictive or it deviates too much of what I'm used too. It takes time to let new concepts ooze in.

    Just to say thanks to those little good moments with that mod, I went less depressed.

    Hope this comment changes from the usual random guy/gal request about how to make the game work.
     
  5. Manco Capac

    Manco Capac Friday,13 June,I Collapse

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    'twas a very relaxing game. Finally I could feel the flow of a TAM mod game. And, depending of the start, EMP is quite easy at some critical point where the tech machine is unstoppable.

    What I found weird was the mention of Client States as a replacement of vassals state. How so there is no such implementation. You see, in the present state, that looks like exactly like Vanilla where dom is easier than conquest (as you need to raze, raze and raze) and the game can stretch for quite a bit if several AI's spawned on other continents. Thumb up allowing several ships to go into the ocean. Otherwise, several mapscripts would be unwinnable militarily.

    Indeed, since the game is occurring in ancient times, there are no way to make oversea trades, right? Sounds weird when you can travel through oceans.

    Finally, I got a quick glance at the recap and I clearly saw nations starting with workers (because starting tech is Tools) are way positively handicapped compared to those who don't have Tools. That is something that should be "repaired". I guess some easy work in the XML files to allow all AI nations to get Tools for free. Indeed, human players who don't have Tools will suffer largely. Nonetheless...just capture those from AI's. :evil:

    And that is interesting we can snatch workers while not having Tools tech while free workers are not assigned for nations without Tools. I feel some SDK change in that way OTOH.

    Anyways, I'll now ride towards an IMM 10 players on a large map (larger is funnier) and see how the game is harder. Deity TAM will be definitely infernal because you forgot to adjust to BTS standards, a.k.a. previous Civ4 versions abusive handicaps combined with the better AI from BTS. Again, ouch!

    Another point that is raised is how military edge don't really exist. So far in regular BTS you pass from medieval units to for instance cuirassiers, making both ages incompatible for equal warring, so far TAM allows to continue to push war even with a slight tech disadvantage. I chose the to be the tech leader to make a costless war, but I sensed just making units after hitting the 20 cities bar would have done the same job. I think.

    AI are easy to manipulate so far because they barely trade techs each other (PLEASED stance required) and they backstab without effort. Is that part of the ancient times paranoia implemented? I see AI's are far less friendly than regular BTS.
    And harder to make friends since religions affect not so much and war sharing too for most AI's. Not to mention OB arrives late and only techs make some edge early game.

    Liked the trade boats concept and bronze, iron and at last steel special promos. Really interesting concepts. Funny forest growth sounds too when I equipped with better weapons...


    BTW, I tried Pierre's mod again (PAE) and still, I did not enamored yet. I see exceptional implementations. Original, refreshing and also immensely irksome. I mention for example those events that are broken so hard. One time I got a free GArtist (during Paleo...um ok) and few moments later locusts and a meteoritic shower...destroying all my savana around Babylon and making super unhealthy...and that was like a game over event since recover the healthiness was impossible. Quite irksome. For casual play, PAE is fine, but for hard play with a sense of strategy: TAM hands down.
     
  6. Manco Capac

    Manco Capac Friday,13 June,I Collapse

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    Once I finish an IMM game, I'll continue my sempiternal soliloquy. :)
     
  7. TiboNans

    TiboNans Chieftain

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    Very cool Mod.

    I agree with some bullet points that Tachywaxon listed.

    Been playing with Tartussia last game at Prince level. Successful early rush on Iberia which allowed me to have entire Spain for myself, then some frictions with Vercingetorix (being french, I recognized who was behind the leatherhead lol) but not enough to prevent me to conquer Aquitaine. Currently trying to out tech everyone with tartussian merchant ships and deficit research, and keeping good relationships with Dido and the Illyrian empire to get some nice luxury ressources (having a religion and the good civic with a temple is a huge happiness boost, perhaps too much?).

    Very hard to get wonders though. Hanging Gardens are very powerful however (Christ Redemptor+Globe theater in one building available so early is maybe overpowered) and I'm glad I was able to have it.
     
  8. Conqueror Worm

    Conqueror Worm Chieftain

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    Great Mod - Thanks!

    I had been meaning to play this for years. Took a long break from Civ IV. Started a game with PIE's Ancient Europe recently. I like it very much. He hasn't yet incorporate Better AI though. And so I wonder...

    Does this great mod use Better AI?
     
  9. Manco Capac

    Manco Capac Friday,13 June,I Collapse

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    Don't expect any answers. The people here defected a long time. I even PMed the creator itself while still active (I saw with my own eyes), but kept silent. Sadly, PAE has taken the succession.

    One good aspect of TAM is the sheer difficulty IMM+ compared to PAE.
     
  10. AbsintheRed

    AbsintheRed Chieftain

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    Thamis disappeared long ago, while Ambrox switched to Civ V.
    Graywarden answered here a couple months ago, but he was more of a senior playtester than a modder AFAIK.
     
  11. Conqueror Worm

    Conqueror Worm Chieftain

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    Right, Thanks.

    I understood that TAM is dead and PAE is carrying on from reading a bit through both forums.

    I will play both mods over time, and continue to peruse through the two forums as well.

    I saw that Tachy thought the AI was more capable in TAM, and I read that efforts to impliment the AI from K-mod into PAE were unsuccessful.

    I do hope they implemented the Better AI as of 2010 into TAM before it died though, but it doesn't state that they did in the final features list, so I must assume that they didn't.

    See you all over at PAE forum as it seems to be much more active, and is the game I am currently in the midst of now, anyway.
     
  12. Manco Capac

    Manco Capac Friday,13 June,I Collapse

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    Wrong. In a couple of months before, I saw him but kept silent to my messages. He is making himself invisible.
     
  13. ambrox62

    ambrox62 Chieftain

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    Yes, currently there is no more development support on this mod.
    I just recommend to install latest 0.91f patch - see post #2 here:
    http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=371077
     
  14. Manco Capac

    Manco Capac Friday,13 June,I Collapse

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    I thought, but now I know both PAE and TAM did not change the SDK and AI behaviours are described there. And particularities between leaders in the XML files.
    I don't understand the need of better AI asap. Just raise the difficulty. In TAM, the AI did well because the concepts were pretty much similar to regular BTS and the handicaps were the abusive ones from Vanilla/Warlord expansions.
    PAE is simply too complicated for the AI to grasp and handicaps are those of unmodded BTS.
     
  15. graywarden

    graywarden Chieftain

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    I try to keep my eye on the forum as I can, I have been working with Sephi on Master of Mana mod pretty much since things shut down here.

    I brought PAE to Thamis attention and he was pleased with the "succession" as it were from TAM. He is currently working with a software group on a paid assignment, and would like to see TAM go to CIV5 one day.
     
  16. Manco Capac

    Manco Capac Friday,13 June,I Collapse

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  17. thamis

    thamis King of Kish

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    Thanks a lot for writing this up. It's been ages since I checked on TAM, and seeing those screenshots made me nostalgic. As a shameless plug, if you like antiquity, why not try Rome II: Total War, the game I am currently working on? ;)
     
  18. Laurino

    Laurino Chieftain

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    That gameplay report by tachywaxon is indeed really good, made me think about reinstalling the game, just for good old time sakes.
     
  19. thamis

    thamis King of Kish

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    Yeah, good old days... :)
     
  20. ambrox62

    ambrox62 Chieftain

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