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Hannibal_Barca

Vox Populi - The Ultimate Balance Mod

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Updated to 22.1.2

What has been done:

  • mercenary promotion
  • temple separation, differentiation
  • seleucid elite bronze shield pikemen need only 250 XP to promote to champion status (pikemen gain experience very slowly)
  • NEW - reduced size down to 63MB from 140MB (-55%)

 

As there have been some complaints due to the size and therefore downloadability of the mod, I have decided to offer a lightweight version that serves mainly for testing purposes and will exclude the Kushite civilization and new civic centre techs (but keeps the specialization techs and others as those have an impact on balancing) - the download link shall only be available on the first page.

The download of the full mod is recommended for a better and fuller experience.

vox_populi_22.1.2.zip

 

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I just played the Kushites, overall good work. However, there are a couple of things which could be improved.

Errors:

  • The Naptan Temple Guard has the wrong preview picture. It is confusing to see the Ptolemaic guard picture, but African looking units.
  • The sound of the pyramids is just annoying. Should be replaced by some African sound which better fits the atmosphere.
  • The name for the elephants should be African bush elephant. The current name suggests those elephants are imported from Eritrea. @Sundiata What do you think?
  • The sound for the land traders is currently the sound for the Ptolemaic camel traders. Donkeys just don't sound like camels ;) Please change that.

Improvments:

  • Nuba should be trained in a separate building. They should be trained from a tribe house or something like that.
  • There are two javelin throwing units which can be trained from the barracks. I think it would be better to have only the Nuba unit, which can throw javelins, and remove the African Bushman. The preferred weapon of the Kushites was the bow.
  • Requiring the mount technology to have Naptan heavy and light cavalry is maybe not a good idea. The problem I run into was, that I did not know what "mounts" are and that it actually refers to the "mount" technology in the blacksmith. I figured that out in the very last phase of the game.
  • The Kushites have one very interesting difference to most other cultures. They made very small and narrow gates. See figure 35 and 36 in this post:The current gates are huge wooden gates. Basically the opposite of what the historic Kushites would have build.
  • The Kushites do not have small walls. However, I think it would be nice to have small and cheap mud brick walls. The mud brick walls should cost a couple of stones and should not be very strong. For inspiration see figure 32 "Cerimonial walls in Musawwarat es Sufra"  in this post:
  • One of the most important sources of meat and milk for the Kushites have been/are (modern Dinka): Sanga cattles. Sanga cattles can be found in several pictures: figure 27, figure 49, figure 50 and figure 52 show Sanga cattles. I think it would be nice if the Kushites could breed Sanga cattles. The cost for breeding Sanga cattles should be 300 meat and they should return 400 meat. A technology, which can be develop, should reduce the breeding cost to 200 meat. The cost could be adjusted later if it causes balancing issues.
  • Furthermore, it would be interesting to create a Kushite looking outpost instead of using the standard model. @Sundiata what do you think about that?
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8 minutes ago, balduin said:

I just played the Kushites, overall good work. However, there are a couple of things which could be improved.

Errors:

  • The Naptan Temple Guard has the wrong preview picture. It is confusing to see the Ptolemaic guard picture, but African looking units. --- Placeholder, as listed in release post it's one of the things that needs to be done (same for Meroe Temple Guard)
  • The sound of the pyramids is just annoying. Should be replaced by some African sound which better fits the atmosphere.  -- Placeholder, wow set the noise to be the theatron one
  • The name for the elephants should be African bush elephant. The current name suggests those elephants are imported from Eritrea. @Sundiata What do you think?
  • The sound for the land traders is currently the sound for the Ptolemaic camel traders. Donkeys just don't sound like camels ;) Please change that. --- didn't notice that, will fix

Improvments:

  • Nuba should be trained in a separate building. They should be trained from a tribe house or something like that.  --- that requires another special building we don't have
  • There are two javelin throwing units which can be trained from the barracks. I think it would be better to have only the Nuba unit, which can throw javelins, and remove the African Bushman. The preferred weapon of the Kushites was the bow. --- Could be done, otherwise just remove the nuba one since we don't have advanced, elite models
  • Requiring the mount technology to have Naptan heavy and light cavalry is maybe not a good idea. The problem I run into was, that I did not know what "mounts" are and that it actually refers to the "mount" technology in the blacksmith. I figured that out in the very last phase of the game.  --- All civilizations require the same tech to train cavalry
  • The Kushites have one very interesting difference to most other cultures. They made very small and narrow gates. See figure 35 and 36 in this post:The current gates are huge wooden gates. Basically the opposite of what the historic Kushites would have build. --- not my field.
  • The Kushites do not have small walls. However, I think it would be nice to have small and cheap mud brick walls. The mud brick walls should cost a couple of stones and should not be very strong. For inspiration see figure 32 "Cerimonial walls in Musawwarat es Sufra"  in this post: ---- you probably mean to replace palisades with mud walls
  • One of the most important sources of meat and milk for the Kushites have been/are (modern Dinka): Sanga cattles. Sanga cattles can be found in several pictures: figure 27, figure 49, figure 50 and figure 52 show Sanga cattles. I think it would be nice if the Kushites could breed Sanga cattles. The cost for breeding Sanga cattles should be 300 meat and they should return 400 meat. A technology, which can be develop, should reduce the breeding cost to 200 meat. The cost could be adjusted later if it causes balancing issues. --- a bit overkill in features maybe
  • Furthermore, it would be interesting to create a Kushite looking outpost instead of using the standard model. @Sundiata what do you think about that? --- not my field

Sanga cattle actually can replace the sheep or whatever they have now while keeping the sheep-time-food ratio

Edited by Hannibal_Barca

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 @balduin, @Hannibal_Barca

  • Yeah, a bunch of new icons need to be made for Kushites, for both buildings and units.
  • Sound of the pyramids is ok for me, but I'm always open to suggestions
  • Actually those are the smaller "forest elephants" :P The name of the elephant should be "Kushite War-Elephant", or, another attrictive name I once saw for them in a Yale publication was "Apedemak's War Elephants".
  • Yes, donkeys shouldn't sound like camels :LOL:
  • The whole Nuba thing depends on wether or not someone models the building for Nuba mercs, and wether this is wanted. Nuba and Blemmye mercs would complete the historical unit roster, but seen as this isn't Total War (yet), they might be overkill. I'm for them, but I leave this decision in the hands of the community. African Bushman shouldn't be called like that anyway. That's actually the Nuba tribesman.
  • For the gates, it was decided not to do the narrow gates because of pathfinding issues that would arise in regard to siege weapons and elephants passing. Potentially upgrading a "regular" gate to a stronger "narrow" gate that doesn't allow elephants or siege to pass is an interesting idea.
  • Yes, palisades should ideally be replaced with mud-brick walls. I don't think wood would have been wasted on wall construction, but smaller mud-brick walls are very common throughout Kush. Doesn't need to be anything special, just simple, relatively weak walls. 
  • I think Kushites should definitely rear sanga-cattle as their main source of meat/milk. I recently found a bunch of reliefs in pyramid chapels depicting these cows in the presence of Gods and Kings, once again illustrating their importance. The herds were seen as a sign wealth and authority and were even used to do payments/loans. They also exported them to Egypt. Someone needs to model this species although I think an existing model of (Indian) cow can be "easily" adjusted to reflect the features of Sanga cattle.
  • About the outpost, don't they look the same for every civ? 

 

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@Hannibal_Barca They currently have chicken and goats. I would remove the chicken. Keep the goats, because this is accurate and introduce the Sanga cattle.

I don't understand the last part of your sentence: "sheep-time-food ratio". What is the sheep-time-food ratio?

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14 minutes ago, balduin said:

@Hannibal_Barca They currently have chicken and goats. I would remove the chicken. Keep the goats, because this is accurate and introduce the Sanga cattle.

I don't understand the last part of your sentence: "sheep-time-food ratio". What is the sheep-time-food ratio?

sheep cost-cost-time-profit

meaning if we keep the ratio then using the sanga-cattle they should get the same amount of food in the same time for the same price (basically only model change)

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If capturing meta is introduced or by way of wololo is it possible to train other animals than your Civ will allow if your captured unit (other Civ) builds a corral? 

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@Sundiata

  • The sound of the pyramids sounds metallic, whereas the background sound and the other sounds are kind of chill. The sound does not fit the atmosphere. Every time I clicked on a pyramid, I thought I am getting attacked and started looking around the map.
  • I like "Apedemak's War Elephants" as a name for the Kushite war elephants.
  • As far as I know the Celts (Gauls, Iberians or Britons) have a couple of embassies. Where you can recruit 'foreign' units. I think it would be nice to have cheap mercs instead of having a ton of units which can be recruited from the barracks. I think it is worth a try, especially because Vox Populli is a mod and not the main game.
  • I understand the path finding issue. I like the idea of having "narrow" gates which do not allow siege weapons to pass. However, kushite war elephants should be able to pass. The Kushite war elephants have similar dimensions like war chariots of other fractions. But I think, the Kushite war elephants are based on the Ptolemaic war elephant model. Obviously, those are too big to go through a "narrow" gate. The hero Natasan should not be able to pass through the "narrow" gate. In my opinion there should not be a "regular" gate.
  • Yes, the outpost is the same for every civ and that is okay for most civ's. However, I think the Kushites would have build something different, like a high mud brick tower or something like that.  @Sundiata what do you think of an earlier version of a modern Suandese minaret. I found a picture from a mosque in Khartoum: Farouk's Mosque . The minaret of the mosque looks more African/Kushite then Arabic. Maybe you have a better idea.
Edited by balduin
Accidently, hit the save button.
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21 hours ago, balduin said:

I like "Apedemak's War Elephants" as a name for the Kushite war elephants.

I'm unsure if we should add this to the "Apedemak" group. Arakamani boosts all current Apedemak entities and I'd rather not have boosted war elephants. Kushite or current is good enough IMO.

 

21 hours ago, balduin said:

The sound of the pyramids sounds metallic, whereas the background sound and the other sounds are kind of chill. The sound does not fit the atmosphere. Every time I clicked on a pyramid, I thought I am getting attacked and started looking around the map.

I changed the sound to a "new" never before heard one.

 

21 hours ago, balduin said:

As far as I know the Celts (Gauls, Iberians or Britons) have a couple of embassies. Where you can recruit 'foreign' units. I think it would be nice to have cheap mercs instead of having a ton of units which can be recruited from the barracks. I think it is worth a try, especially because Vox Populli is a mod and not the main game.

I'm unsure of this. I'd rather have the exotic kushite units than have barbarians in the fore.

 

 

 

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On 9/7/2017 at 5:43 AM, Hannibal_Barca said:

This mod plans only to test features before their implementation into the main game.

This is one of the main reasons why I like this mod so much. The other is that dev-players are taking action in it. I have two questions, though:
1. Are there people playing it yet?
2. I plan on doing a video on this. Will I bump into some copyright/licensing problems?

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@Hannibal_Barca You don't have a repository for your mod files? You just keep them in one folder on your computer?

9 hours ago, Hannibal_Barca said:

I'm unsure if we should add this to the "Apedemak" group. Arakamani boosts all current Apedemak entities and I'd rather not have boosted war elephants. Kushite or current is good enough IMO.

I like the name. I did not know that you have an Apedemak group. You are free to call them Kushite War Elephants.

 

9 hours ago, Hannibal_Barca said:

I changed the sound to a "new" never before heard one.

Nice.

9 hours ago, Hannibal_Barca said:

I'm unsure of this. I'd rather have the exotic kushite units than have barbarians in the fore.

You misunderstood my idea or better @Sundiata's idea, being able to recruite Bejas mercs. Have a look at his document and look for Beja: https://github.com/Jeeppler/kushites_mod/raw/master/docs/build/specification.pdf

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@sphyrth You should not have any copyright and license issues for your video since almost all art assets in 0 A.D. are licensed under creative commons or similar free and open source licenses.

However, @Hannibal_Barca please pay attention to the licenses and ask the authors of the assets in your mod to indicate the license.

5 hours ago, sphyrth said:

Are there people playing it yet?

One more if you play it ;)

Edited by balduin
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14 hours ago, sphyrth said:

1. Are there people playing it yet?

Yes, from time to time we play it. Usually with @Feldfeld @elexis and some others

 

14 hours ago, sphyrth said:

2. I plan on doing a video on this. Will I bump into some copyright/licensing problems?

No

Foreign assets only from @wowgetoffyourcellphone (let's hope those tech portraits are ok) and @Sundiata

 

 

13 hours ago, balduin said:

You misunderstood my idea or better @Sundiata's idea, being able to recruite Bejas mercs. Have a look at his document and look for Beja: https://github.com/Jeeppler/kushites_mod/raw/master/docs/build/specification.pdf

Let's just call them Blemmyes ;)

 

As for all the stuff elsewise mentioned in the document, @Sundiata must realize that all that would just serve to make Kushites the most op civ and will make them stick out among the other civs. I think small additions could be done but no major stuff (unless we take something away in return)

 

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There are currently several questions hanging in the air

 

1) What should be the weaknesses of the Kushite civilization?

Currently their only weakness seems to be that they require a hero to train Triremes (therefore setting the +20% attack hero off limits) and that they only have War Elephants and Siege Towers.

 

2) African Bushman vs. Nuba Hunter

Should we keep the African Bushman (which has actors for all ranks) and just rename it or should we remove that one and instead use the Nuba javelinist (which has only 1 actor)

 

3) Do we need a special building for the few mercenaries?

Probably not.

 

4) Missing Icons and models

Models for the mercenaries and the heroes (excluding Amanirenas)

Temple Guards currently using ptolemaic placeholder

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1) The weakness of the Kushites is the naval battle on the sea (ocean).

2) African Bushman vs. Nuba Hunter -> Nuba Hunter. One javelin throwing unit is enough. The Kushites have already many long distance units.

3) It would be nice to have a tribe house or something where player can train the mercenaries.

4) Kushite Icons and models would make the Kushites more kushite ;-) Therefor, please add them.

@Sundiata what is your opinion?

Edited by balduin

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The usage of war elephants is well attested for Indians, Achaemenid Persians, Alexander, Seleucids, Ptolemies, Epirus, and Carthage (in that chronological order). Yes, elephants lived in their neigbourhood, and yes, the Kushites exported ivory (and possibly live elephants as well). However, I'm wondering, is there any clear evidence they actually deployed war elephants (pachyderms)? (Sundiata?) And siege towers?

 

HB, do you also intend to include your “dedicate temples to the gods” idea in this mod?

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@Nescio: The references actually include a war-elephant statuette from Meroe, with mahout...

 

 

 

 In the Lepsius collection alone, six elephants are depicted, 2 of them held by a rope, one elephant can be seen between the feet of a ruler, the same way dogs and lions are sometimes depicted and one deity(?) can be seen riding an elephant:

 

Elephant depictions feature prominently in Musawwarat es Sufra, and important sites in Meroe itself. Ptolemies to their North acquired part of their elephant-corps, specifically from the Island of Meroe, (the location of Musawwarat) as well as mahouts... Axumites, to the South of Kush, acquired some of their war-elephants from the southern reaches of Kush.

Finally, I'll share the following image of the war elephants in Musawwarat again, showing it in a bigger context. An oversized Kushite ruler is seen standing with one foot on the back of each of the two elephants, leading prisoners of war by a rope, as if to say that victory was delivered on the backs of these elephants. 

59de19e1ec3df_ElephantsofMusawwaratclothblanketrulerstandingontheirbackleadingboundprisonerstiedcaptiveskingdomofkushkushite.thumb.jpg.8940f4ace08bf6c86c248aa9d9f3ab5f.jpg

 

Also, you said: "The usage of war elephants is well attested for...". I need to remark that most of that "attesting" is done by sometimes ambiguous classical authors, and blindly parroted by historians ever since. I'm not doubting the use of war-elephants in those empires, I'm just clarifying that even in those "logical examples", clear evidence is often lacking. Their history is just taken for granted, while that of Kush is simply overlooked even though there is a significant amount of really tangible information to go on compared to other states of the time. Either way, most academics in the field consider Kush to have fielded war-elephants, at least occasionally, including, but absolutely not limited to, David Nicolle Phd, who i quoted here.

 

About siege-towers and battering rams: There is a very clear reference to the use of battering rams and siege-towers dating from the 8th century BCE. Written in stone, using hieroglyphs,  a stela dedicated by Piye of the 25th (Kushite) dynasty narrates the conquest of Egypt. I have had no luck finding references that date to 500BCE - 1AD time-period though. I have to clearly remark that there were many impressive fortifications in Kush, and internal struggles unavoidably led to siege-warfare within Kushite territory. When rulers put down internal rebellions, it often included retaking forts and fortified towns/cities. The nature of these fortifications was such that siege was necessary. I will be sharing more images of Meroitic period fortifications soon. The frequent forays in to Southern Egypt also meant taking some mighty impressive forts, some originally built during the Middle Kingdom but reoccupied by Ptolemies at some point. I would prefer a simple battering ram over the complex tower though... 

 

Edited by Sundiata
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14 hours ago, balduin said:

1) The weakness of the Kushites is the naval battle on the sea (ocean).

2) African Bushman vs. Nuba Hunter -> Nuba Hunter. One javelin throwing unit is enough. The Kushites have already many long distance units.

3) It would be nice to have a tribe house or something where player can train the mercenaries.

4) Kushite Icons and models would make the Kushites more kushite ;-) Therefor, please add them.

@Sundiata what is your opinion?

1) currently the case

2) I mentioned that we got the actor problem, not so easy just to choose nuba one unless someone will actually make them

3) nice to have != need, if no model then problem solved

4) Noone questioned the fact that icons and models are needed. What was asked is that who would do them.

13 minutes ago, Sundiata said:

About siege-towers and battering rams: There is a very clear reference to the use of battering rams and siege-towers dating from the 8th century BCE. Written in stone, using hieroglyphs,  a stela dedicated by Piye of the 25th (Kushite) dynasty narrates the conquest of Egypt. I have had no luck finding references that date to 500BCE - 1AD time-period though. I have to clearly remark that there were many impressive fortifications in Kush, and internal struggles unavoidably led to siege-warfare within Kushite territory. When rulers put down internal rebellions, it often included retaking forts and fortified towns/cities. The nature of these fortifications was such that siege was necessary. I will be sharing more images of Meroitic period fortifications soon. The frequent forays in to Southern Egypt also meant taking some mighty impressive forts, some originally built during the Middle Kingdom but reoccupied by Ptolemies at some point.

If want battering rams need a model

Still I think they'd be OP

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4 hours ago, Nescio said:

HB, do you also intend to include your “dedicate temples to the gods” idea in this mod?

No icons, noone making tritech possible = no

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Thank you for your reply, Sundiata, I was asking out of curiosity. I know next to nothing about Nubia/Kush/Aethiopia, only that it's the area between the first and sixth cataracts (nowadays Sudan), was heavily Egyptianized, conquered Egypt at least once in the first half of the first milennium, and had a farao Taharqa; that's all :)

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Is it correct for me to assume that the Replays are version-dependent; meaning that 22.1.2 Replays won't work on 22.1.1 Game and vice-versa?

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