The View So Far...

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The View So Far...

Post by posionrun on Wed 3 Apr 2013 - 8:27

So yes i played the K&B Prologue, and i thought i'd give me thoughts on it so far.

First i want to say great work on the textures! The units and buildings look great, even the AI is decent (But could use some work.)
Now i played for a hour and i think i want to mention some things that definitely need to be fixed or changed. The Era/Age system i don't like the Village, City, Capitol system it would be better if you put actual medieval ages (Also there is no Post-Age). Now one thing i noticed that i really liked was the choose your home city or civ screen, i really like were it shows where each civ is located, but i wish you guys could change the home city feature so that when you make a home city it works with Supremacy and Deathmatch, if you can. Gameplay was good except for the bugs that need fixed, but i know your working on all that. I love the new siege, but the catapults need guys pushing it, there are lots of good units, but i wish the Knight was a Paladin that would make this mod so much better. The music was good, but some times a little too intense and loud, the spear throwers and skirmishers sound when they throw spears is annoying that is one thing i didn't like at all, you need to change that or at least turn it down. All in all if the bugs are fixed i would probably never play Aoe 3 again and just play this mod Very Happy
There are a few more things
1. The Halberdiers. I do not like there helmets, but i like there outfits.
2. There are no rams?
3. I wish the farms were green, not wheat. (Its looks better visually that way.)
4. I think it would be cool it there was a 300 population limit.
5. Certain buildings should have no build limits or at least a larger build limit
(Barracks, Archery Range, Siege Workshop, Guard Tower, and Town Centers.)
I know everyone says it unbalanced but that's not true because you are spending a lot of
resources on buildings so it is still balanced, and i know a lot of my friends stoped playing aoe 3 because of
the build limit.

Here are some pictures of bugs i found.



Clipping


This is not a bug, it just does not look good. You should just keep all villager icons the same. Smile


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Re: The View So Far...

Post by Synecdoche on Wed 3 Apr 2013 - 8:34

posionrun wrote:I love the new siege, but the catapults need guys pushing it, there are lots of good units, but i wish the Knight was a Paladin that would make this mod so much better.
The catapult originally had attendants, but unfortunately they were about 18 feet tall and we couldn't scale them down and still get their animations to work, if I recall correctly. As to the Paladins, they were a little before the timeline of our mod, but we've put a tribute to them in our Crusader Lord! If it's a heavily-armored French Knight you want, one of the French unique units is the Chevalier, which is the strongest non-Order-or-Mercenary cavalry unit in the game (it's also available through the Crusader "Haute Cour" card in Age IV, or any old age at all until the patch since there are significant Royal Decree issues right now Razz )
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Re: The View So Far...

Post by posionrun on Wed 3 Apr 2013 - 9:23

There are a few more things
1. the halberdiers i do not like there helmets but i like there outfites
2. There are no rams?
3. I wish the farms were green, not wheat. (Its looks better visually that way.)
4. I think it would be cool it there was a 300 population limit.
5. Certain buildings should have no build limits or at least a larger build limit
(Barracks, Archery Range, Siege Workshop, Guard Tower, and Town Centers.
I know everyone says it unbalanced but that's not true because you are spending a lot of
resources on buildings so it is still balanced, and i know a lot of my friends stoped playing aoe 3 because of
the build limit.
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Re: The View So Far...

Post by peugeot407 on Wed 3 Apr 2013 - 10:14

Thanks very much for writing such an elaborate review! It's very important to us to know that the community likes what we're doing.

The Era/Age system i don't like the Village, City, Capitol system it would be better if you put actual medieval ages (Also there is no Post-Age).

It's a bit of a quirkiness of K&B in our ever-present hunger for historical probability. After all, if you would imagine a K&B game in the real world, what you are actually doing is playing out a local skirmish, a single battle if you like, and even if this imaginary battle were to be part of something as lengthy as the Hundred Years' War, it wouldn't stretch all the way from 500 to 1500. Imagine that, a thousand year long battle... I know it's unlike the age names of all other AoE3 mods and indeed the original game, but we prefer it, and I hope I managed to explain why.

Now one thing i noticed that i really liked was the choose your home city or civ screen, i really like were it shows where each civ is located, but i wish you guys could change the home city feature so that when you make a home city it works with Supremacy and Deathmatch, if you can.

Thank you very much! I'm rather fond of the civpicker myself, and the little map is no doubt useful for people who are not quite as familiar with medieval history as we are. As for your request, I don't think that's possible. I haven't tried it out, but it sounds like it might be hardcoded.

I love the new siege, but the catapults need guys pushing it, there are lots of good units, but i wish the Knight was a Paladin that would make this mod so much better.

As Thomas said, we did have guys pushing it, but they were very much out of proportion with the rest of the units. The catapults are already too large, but if there's nobody pushing them, it doesn't look quite as awful as when it's being pushed by five metre tall giants...

the halberdiers i do not like there helmets but i like there outfites

Ah, but the helmets are picked to go with the outfits! Very Happy
I've actually been thinking about that myself, and when I find the time, I might make a new kettle helmet model for the Halberdier. Still, there are more urgent things to do, so it probably won't be until the Quintessence that they've had their helmets changed.

There are no rams?

Oh, there are! Siege Towers and Mantlets too. Thing is, they're not trained from the Siege Workshop. You can train a Sapper from the Siege Workshop, and that Sapper can then build the Siege Camp, which trains Battering Rams, Mantlets and Siege Towers. The idea behind this is that you can build the Siege Camp close to the enemy walls you want to besiege, so you don't have to walk the not very quick siege units halfway across the map.

I wish the farms were green, not wheat. (Its looks better visually that way.)

I suppose opinions differ here... I personally much prefer wheat, and it would also be closer to reality, which is why I chose to texture it that way. I know green looks more instinctively agricultural, but I reckon the Farm is still quite easily recognisable as an agricultural building.

I think it would be cool it there was a 300 population limit.

Ah, the poplimit. It's quite an active discussion all around the modding community at the moment, but in order to increase system performance, reduce ingame micromanagement and decrease the chance at the replacetexture bug, we're keeping it at 200.

Certain buildings should have no build limits or at least a larger build limit
(Barracks, Archery Range, Siege Workshop, Guard Tower, and Town Centers.
I know everyone says it unbalanced but that's not true because you are spending a lot of
resources on buildings so it is still balanced, and i know a lot of my friends stoped playing aoe 3 because of the build limit.

We partly agree, actually... We did feel that the buildlimits in AoE3 did not make a lot of sense, especially not in a medieval mod, which is supposed to have a larger focus on fortifications. What we did was significantly increase the buildlimits of buildings, but we're not getting rid of them entirely, partly because that would make it nigh impossible to balance, and also partly because these buildings, but Towers in particular, also affect other units to such an extent that some gameplay systems would be ruined if we were to remove the buildlimits entirely.

This is not a bug, it just does not look good. You should just keep all villager icons the same.

I'm aware. The Pilgrim portrait was made at the last minute as a placeholder, but a better one is on its way. I'm currently fixing other UI issues, but once I get those done, I'll fix all units that have missing or rubbish portraits and icons.


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Re: The View So Far...

Post by Pepp on Wed 3 Apr 2013 - 21:23

Here are some pictures of bugs i found.
This bug also happened in AOE III. As far as I see, it is happened because the horse hasn't "die" yet AKA the horse animation moves slower than the rider. This caused the rider to stay on place and not going down.

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Re: The View So Far...

Post by misterscp on Thu 4 Apr 2013 - 2:53

well I m on the catapult... if i m ready it's wheels should move aswell^^.
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Tilanus' 1st review ..

Post by Tilanus Commodor on Mon 8 Apr 2013 - 8:06

I've played as byzantines and turks so far. Turks really really need a long start time, I'm not sure if that's as well appropriate as thoroughly balanced. Right now, K&B is unplayable for me due to the performance. Admittedly, my RAM is pretty low (and I'm gonna increase it soon), but something in your AI is making it impossible for me to enjoy progressed game as it becomes worse the longer a match takes.

Apart from that, I mostly enjoyed the units and the HC pick screen surprised me, I liked the world map feature at this. Your buildings are good as well, but It was funny to realize how it didn't really surprise me, since they were so similar to my choices for TAA. Wink

You still see though that the mod is far from being finished, there are quite some obvious quality differences between some units and the many missing stuff that has been posted and announced already proves that.
I didn't quite understand why you preferred plenty of missing icons over reusing icons from AoE3 simply for the least sake of orientation. It is really strenuous to hover everything and in case of doubt I'm 100% sure I'd appreciate any vaguely fitting Aztec technology icon for any K&B tech, just in order to get an idea of what a tech does and more importantly at least be able to differentiate. Unfortunately I also have to admit there a few new icons that I like...
Another important thing: Hotkeys. If you want your mod to be played competitively in the future, you should get them done for the next release. It annoyed me I could not use the standard hotkeys for very simple tasks such as training peasants.

While I think your UI is unique and neat (kudos on this), I do have a massive problem with the golden checkboxes. They're just so bright, it looks as if it was already checked. Even though I should know since all the years that AoE3 checks boxes with a stroke, I simply don't do that at yours. Wink

The music. I know someone composed it for you and I respect the skill, it sounds well, harmonic, medieval, not odd, but it simply doesn't create a distinct feeling for me when playing your mod. To me it just feels like music that I've heard already a thousand times in any medieval themed game. Also, I realized the battle theme tends to fade in very quickly, even at small skirmishes that I would never deem large enough to be a battle, the theme comes up. Did you change something there maybe?

I also need to leave some notes on the game design. My real impression? Too many techs clustered everywhere and some feature creep. I'm missing orientation in your civs, I'm literally getting lost in them. They might look well-structured for you on paper, but keep in mind that this can be a completely different case for all the new K&B players, that try the mod now for the first time and that is simply, because they have never actually read any of your civ concepts nor worked on them as long as you did. And while cool features are always great, not all the ones you can think of and do make sense for your medieval theme, might be necessary and wise to include. So you might want to reconsider which features really should be core features of your mod and which are just fancy, but don't really add more depth, but rather .. confusion?

All these issues that I listed sum up to one great point of criticism. I have played your mod, I've seen lots of great textures and cool ideas, I like and dislike several details about the prologue, but while most of these can be fixed easily, because they're of technical and cosmetical nature, there is something else that you should be more worried about: Despite of all my optimism that you will master all the current and only natural bugs and deficits, I still don't know what K&B is about. I can not feel the atmosphere, the flair of K&B. What's the the master plan, the soul, the story, the world of K&B that kept you motivated for so long to work on this mod and is the original reason why you actually want to do it? I'm really sure, there is something like this, but I can't see it myself yet.


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Re: The View So Far...

Post by Synecdoche on Mon 8 Apr 2013 - 8:18

As to your main complaint, I'd noticed that myself and really think you hit the nail squarely on the head. I think the reason the mod seems a bit incomplete is that many features are not implemented correctly with our early release, but as Mr. Faber indicated in his video we've really had to force ourselves to set a deadline we'd stick to this year. Happily, the release has galvanized activity in the background and we're working extremely hard on polishing, tweaking, and reworking areas that are most obviously lacking. Once that's done, we'll have more room to take a step back and account for the enchantment factor in the gestalt of the game.

As for minor grumbles that you enumerated, we're hard at work on fixing them, and I spotted many that have been fixed and are awaiting implementation.
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Re: The View So Far...

Post by AOE_Fan on Tue 9 Apr 2013 - 5:27

I'm missing orientation in your civs, I'm literally getting lost in them. They might look well-structured for you on paper, but keep in mind that this can be a completely different case for all the new K&B players, that try the mod now for the first time and that is simply, because they have never actually read any of your civ concepts nor worked on them as long as you did.
I'm still not getting why they are so hard for you to understand. I think your point makes as much sense as someone playing a game they have never heard of; players need to experiment a bit. Not trying to be arrogant but I think each civ in Prologue has their bonuses supporting specific gamestyles, with some civs having more possibilities (like Italians) than others (for example Byzantines).
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Re: The View So Far...

Post by Tilanus Commodor on Tue 9 Apr 2013 - 6:17

No, I'm not talking about civ boni or unit rosters and such things. I'm talking about the general quantity of content within each of your civs. Surely, it always takes a lot of time to master and understand each sector of a game, but that doesn't mean there is no sort of limit concerning the amount of content and thus complexity that you can pump into a civ, into a game. I'm highly questioning the "gain" or benefit for the gameplay and access to your mod. Therefore I'm worried about that to happen and to be continued in K&B, it's a recommendation after all. I'm just trying to be helpful, not to be cocky. Wink
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Re: The View So Far...

Post by peugeot407 on Tue 9 Apr 2013 - 6:51

I understand, Peter, and I'm quite grateful to hear the opinions of a professional game designer. We do obviously know that we've got a lot of features, but we try to keep as many of them optional, so they don't make it more difficult for people to start playing any of our civs.


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Re: The View So Far...

Post by Tilanus Commodor on Tue 9 Apr 2013 - 7:45

Yes, I realized you can do quite well even without the numerous upgrades and techs, so they are not mandatory for experiencing fun or even to win in K&B. Iliander probably worked hard on balancing the interplay of all these features and techs, right? It's quite a tough job.

I know that a professional player always tends to seek and achieve the maximum of available upgrades and every missed tiny upgrade is one too much for them. Wink
Handling macro and micro gameplay on a proper level is already tough enough for most average gamers. So by offering more choices in the macro you also sort of enlarge the potential gap between the capabilities of noob/average and professionals players, because worse players usually focus only one of them and neglect the other, while pros handle both quite well.
So, more complexity is - in my opinion - always more power and fun for more professional players over worse. It's an edge, because it's their nature of learning and approaching a game.

Surely, it's also a question of design philosophy. For example, AoE3 also empowered better players in a very obvious way by rewarding these with even more powerful HC cards.

So, all I actually want to say is: You can have too much possibilities as well in games as in life, so that they actually turn into an actual burden and not a real benefit.
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Re: The View So Far...

Post by iliander on Tue 9 Apr 2013 - 22:17

Tilanus wrote:Iliander probably worked hard on balancing the interplay of all these features and techs, right? It's quite a tough job.
I quitted K&B because I have no interest in working for an AoE3 mod anymore, nor do I really have interest in the game itself anymore (though that will probably come back). The last couple of months I didn't get anything done, I was losing interest rapidly and therefore Thomas balanced most units a few days or so before release, lol... I never started balancing techs because the unit stats were still not completed. I made a crapload of mistakes in the beginning, this made me change the stats multiple times and eventually I lost interest.

Balancing felt like very complicated homework. And I couldn't keep up with everyone else's progress due to the complexity of the job and my almost non-existent interest.

The fact that I never playtested anything for the sake of stats probably doesn't help either...

lol
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Re: The View So Far...

Post by Tilanus Commodor on Tue 30 Apr 2013 - 1:20

What were your mistakes? It'd be interesting to hear why you think like that.

Also, I wonder if the K&B team will somehow consider my suggestions or already did some decisions based on my feedback? Haha, I'm not trying to look important or something, but I think these are crucial points to improve the gameplay experience. Neutral
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Re: The View So Far...

Post by iliander on Tue 30 Apr 2013 - 2:30

Tilanus Commodor wrote:What were your mistakes? It'd be interesting to hear why you think like that.
If we are talking about 2011 or something like that lol, well I was a noob I didn't really make use of a system nor of correct mathematics yet. And then later on I made some small mistakes with eventually a huge impact.
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Re: The View So Far...

Post by peugeot407 on Tue 30 Apr 2013 - 2:40

We don't really feel the particular need to change the music, so we probably won't do that, but the rest of your suggestions were taken in. The UI things will be changed, and we'll see about adding Hotkeys, but since those are sort of last-minute things, we've not been working on them yet. We will have them done by the release of the Quintessence though.

As for the feature creep, we're definitely keeping that in mind when finishing to plan the other nine civs. We won't be removing any features that we've done so far, because that would be quite wasteful, but we're being very critical about adding new systems, and are trying to make the existing systems more easy to understand on first use, to make it so that people don't have to read three hundred pages of manuals before they know what a system is about and how to use it to best effect (that's already not quite the case, but you know what I mean).

As for the essence and soul of K&B, I'd very much appreciate it if you could enlighten me on that one, because while I understand your criticism, I'm having trouble imagining how we could improve on it...


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PS: Very sorry for only writing a proper response at this time, I should have done it much earlier...

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Re: The View So Far...

Post by Pepp on Tue 30 Apr 2013 - 21:11

Well, if there is someone wanted a new music, I have prepared a DLC (own DLC under my own name, not K&B). But yeah, it is still prepared as I have much other more important things to do (read: texturing).

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Re: The View So Far...

Post by Tilanus Commodor on Tue 30 Apr 2013 - 22:48

I can understand that the effort to change music would be too much, it's still quite a powerful stylistic device. It's good to hear the other plans though. Easy acceess and good overview on content is quite important and also, in case that might not work to 100% in the game, you can also think about providing extra material, such as techtrees or whatever. While not everyone will read those (just like not everybody will listen to the music), some definitely will and these ones can act like messengers for all the other players.

As for the soul, I'm missing something like a clear philosophy or core idea upon which the mod was errected. I may just fail to see, but I think I've got enough experience in that sector. Why did you do K&B? What are the principles?
Do you just wanted to have AoE3 with a medieval setting or is there more, something like a personal note to that? I don't really know and the mod doesn't give me a clear answer when playing it.

So, if you ask on how you can improve it, there are really just questions that I can send back, like: What is the unique selling point of K&B? Why should people play it? Do you care about a certain audience? Is it the music? The visual style? The gameplay? A certain mix of it? etc. etc. You as designers need to find out what your vision of K&B was/is/should be, so I can't help you there, because I don't know. As a first step I think you should try to answer these questions for yourself and then find out where you have the highest match in order to be back on course to your common vision for K&B. Once the vision is clear, I can also support you again.
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Re: The View So Far...

Post by peugeot407 on Wed 1 May 2013 - 0:52

That actually was a very helpful post, thank you!


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