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Hannibal_Barca

Vox Populi - The Ultimate Balance Mod

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Vox Populi - An Introduction

 

This mod tries to address the main "weaknesses" of the current release: it aims to balance "op/up" units, it adjusts technologies and introduces some variety along the way ;)

As the name implies (Vox Populi = Voice of the People) , this mod is open to all suggestions of the 0 A.D. community and there is a high chance that if several "known" players agree on a suggestion, it could be added in here.

 

Supported by a moderator and developer, the features of this mod - if found good - stand a great chance at entering the next release, perhaps even more so than some other balance mods.

 

Anyway, I'm sure you all wouldn't like to read 349 paragraphs about why, what, where etc.. so I'll list the changes this mod brings (hopefully to 0 A.D. Alpha 23) :P

 

NEW - Kushite civilization!

(Differences from 22.1_KD)

Replaced unfitting heroes with Nastasen and Arakamani

Added Ptolemaic Trireme to be trainable - requires Nastasen hero

Reduced Village Phase unit selection

Righted the mix up of temples, now can separately build both Amun and Apedemak temples. - Amun temple is more expensive but offers unique technologies and a greater garrison number - at a cost.

Mercenaries are promotable:

  • made rank 2 and 3 actors for Clubmen  -- placeholder, waiting for better
  • others just keep actor but promote

 

Vision

Citizen-solider infantry base vision 50. (Maximum: 70)

Citizen-Soldier cavalry base vision 55. (Maximum: 75)

Champion infantry vision 75.

Champion cavalry & Infantry heroes' vision 85.

War elephants' vision & Cavalry heroes' vision 90.

Elephant heroes' vision 95.

All siege 90 vision except the Siege Tower's 100.

Healers & Women base vision 25. (Maximum:45)

Traders & Worker Elephants base vision 30. (Maximum: 50)

Fishing ships base vision 10. (Maximum: 30)

Merchant ships base vision 40. (Maximum: 50)

Fire ships base vision 40. (Maximum: 50)

Biremes and Triremes base vision 80. (Maximum: 90)

Quinqueremes vision 100.

 

Run speed adjusted to be reduced by same amount as Walk Speed.

 

Players have long complained that such high vision is unrealistic and that it should be lowered.

 

 

Attack Ranges & Movement Speed
Archer units maximum attack range reduced by 4.
Archer units gain +10 attack range per phase, slinger units +6.

All units start with only 80% of original movement speed.
Town Phase gives +10%, City Phase +14%

 

Citizen Soldiers
Cavalry rework
Sword, spear and skirmisher cavalry have all been reworked.
Based on tests so far: Sword Cavalry > Spear Cavalry > Skirmisher Cavalry > Sword Cavalry
Ptolemaic camel units now inflict a 20% attack penalty on all cavalry (including allied) within a 40m range.
Spear Cavalry 2s attack rate, attack reworked to suit the new values.

Citizen-soldier archers' maximum movement speed increased to 10.

NEW - Elite Seleucid Bronze Shield Pikemen now need 250XP to promote to Champion Silver Shield Pikemen

 Unit loot increases with rank.

Elite units' stats improved slightly.

Citizen-soldier cavalry capture rate decreased to 1, increase of only 10% hp per rank (instead of 20%).

Logically, cavalry should have a lower capture rate than infantry.

 

Champions
All cavalry champions' capture attack reduced to 4.
Archer champions' attack range decreased by 4.
Skirmisher Chariot Champions now have 320HP and +2 pierce attack but require 2 population.

Spear Cavalry Champions retain the 1.25x counter vs. other cavalry, likewise the 3 second attack rate.

Gauls - Naked Fanatic pierce attack increased by 2.

 

Heroes
 Carthaginians

Hamilcar's 2nd aura: As you all probably have figured by now, Hamilcar is not a "useful" hero (giving only +15% speed compared to the attack bonuses of Marhabal & Hannibal)
Thus, a new aura has been created (based on historical facts) which decreases enemy mercenary attack values by 20%.

Persians

Darius I's movement speed bonus aura increased from 10% to 15%.

Romans

Scipio's aura range increased from 10 meters to 30.

 


Technologies

NEW - Unique technologies for each civilization. (current goal is 1/civilization - incomplete, feel free to suggest)

2 new technologies at the Civic Centre, affecting both movement speed and health respectively.
Artillery Instructors: Siege weapons cost 20% less wood
This technology now costs: 500 food, 250 stone, 250 metal instead of the original 500 metal.

Unlock Spies: All support units may now be bribed, not only traders.

Mounts: Unlock village phase cavalry, researchable for 100F 100W 50M at the Corral.
Mounts icon changed, now uses a portrait imported from Delenda Est.
2nd redundant tech replaced with an autoresearched one - at the cost of a warning message when using the Structure Tree


 Domestic animals base train time doubled, added new technology "Husbandry" for -15% train time and moved Stockbreeding to the Town Phase with maintained -25%.

Blacksmith features new Specialization technologies
Hero armor tech split up into mounted and infantry ones, now supersedes infantry and cavalry armor upgrades respectively.

 Stoa technology added as fitting the Royal Stoa's functions - Price Control: +15% market barter values.

Wall Tower technologies added, first may shoot arrows then bolts.

 

Carthage

Colonisation technology (500W 500M) now affects Civic Structures (Civil Centre, Temples, Houses) by reducing their cost instead of -25% build time.


Structures

NEW - Stables

Stables now available for all civs like for the persians currently. Unlock champion units technology moved to fortress as a consequence.


All civilizations have received a new animal trainable from the Corral, this new addition is the Chicken, for all civilisations.

Ships
The Ptolemaic Juggernaut now costs only 5 population instead of the original 8.

Siege
Siege Towers' maximum arrow limit increased to 15.
Some changes by @Grugnas were incorporated.

Support
Healers now cost 200 food.

 

Trade

Trade income was re-balanced based on suggestions by @Nescio

 

 

Incorporated several features of the Pro Balance Mod (by @user1)
https://wildfiregames.com/forum/index.php?/topic/22798-pro-balance-modconcept-please-test/

 

 

GUI Changes

  • Panels now showing Vox Populi mod name with version.
  • Lobby title says "Multiplayer Lobby (Using Vox Populi) - to avoid players forgetting they are using the mod and joining a vanilla game.

 

Download Here!!! :D

vox_populi_22.1.3.zip

 

lightweight edition (for balance and testing purposes)

vox_populi_22.1.2_lightweight.zip

 

 Installation Instructions:


Extract this zip file into the mods folder.

The correct folder depends on your operating system.

Windows
replace USERNAME with your windows login name.

Vista or newer
C:\Users\USERNAME\Documents\My Games\0ad\mods\

XP / 2000
C:\Documents and Settings\USERNAME\My Documents\My Games\0ad\mods\

 

OS X
 ~/Library/Application\ Support/0ad/mods/

Note: "~" is a shorthand for the current user directory.

 

Linux
~/.local/share/0ad/mods/
Note: "~" is a shorthand for the current user directory.

 

--------------------

Changelog

22.0.1 - base version
22.0.2 - Rabbits fixed, infantry archer champion speed increased to 13 to stay constant with citizen-soldier infantry archers.

22.0.3 - Trade nerf fix, vision rework based on suggestions by @elexis and @Grugnas

22.0.4 - Rabbits removed, cavalry rework, attack range and movement speed rework +++

22.0.5 - Trade fix (based on suggestions by @Nescio), Skirmisher Champion Chariots rebalanced.

22.0.6 - 2 new CC techs, 2nd cavalry tech fix, new icons, new corral tech, increased training time for domestic animals, ++

22.0.7 - Specialization technologies, hero armor technology rework, new stoa technology

22.0.8 - Wall Turret rework, new technologies first to unlock arrows then bolts.

22.0.9 - Unit loot increases with rank, cavalry only +10% hp/rank, some minor adjustments to elite bonus and spear champion cavalry.

22.1- Kushites added, seleucid pikemen can promote to champions

22.1.1 - Kushite hero rework, error fixes, reduced Village Phase unit selection

22.1.2 - Kushites: Temple rework and differentiation, mercenary fix

22.1.3 - Unique civ-specific technologies, hero abilities, stables added

Edited by Hannibal_Barca
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We'll see..

Have you tried maybe 2.5 attack rate of all melee cavalry but must have a minimum distance to execute? This might enhance a better animation so that there will be no pause. As noted in DE a 2 sec attack rate is quite smooth. I have had so many casualties because of wrong anticipation of this melee cavalry behavior. As tested on grugnas mod the 3 second attack rate did not provide a smooth and anticipated hack attack. 

BTW with so many discussion about OP cavalry if mods produce some improvement in gameplay but still can't avoid heavy rushes why not try playing the game starting with very low resources. This could change some players mindset on rushing. 

Edited by Servo

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I was thinking of @Grugnas @borg_ and @Servo only

But @wowgetoffyourcellphone is a good idea and @Nescio too

 

But I'm unsure whether @DarcReaver would like to work with me

 

Edit: The persons above were meant as "main" partners, otherwise everyone is welcome.

Edited by Hannibal_Barca

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I've tried this mod with Hannibal_Barca and Grugnas in particular. I played 2 games and took gauls in both to test skirm cav rush and fanatic rush. For now i believe that both are balanced. To be sure of that, more testing is needed of course.

As for skirm cav rush : I played against grugnas in a team game and we both did skirm cav rush, the winner of the cav fights won the game. That made Grugnas believe that this mod changed nothing but i don't think so : we both had excellent hunt (ideal conditions to rush) and cav is trained later. This fact makes me believe that it is possible to defend a rush by having enough foot citizen soldiers on wood.

About fanatics : I succesfully used them in a team game, making people suspect it's op but :

- I think that a fanatic rush is very hard to do correctly and i would be interested in seeing someone else achieving and winning with a fanatic rush in this mod.

- I grabbed lots of metal this game ( I used 22k metal in 40 min of gametime) that allowed me to train them even late game which would be impossible in almost every game. A fanatic remain expensive on metal !

These facts make me thinking that fanatics aren't op in is mod, needs more testing of course.

In future games i think i'll try some other civ and defend a rush myself.

 

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The trade nerf only applies to Athens, Macedonia, and Sparta? (I have my own ideas about reworking trade, haven't posted them yet.)

Haven't tested, but I think the vision change will be nice.

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2 hours ago, Feldfeld said:

As for skirm cav rush : I played against grugnas in a team game and we both did skirm cav rush, the winner of the cav fights won the game. That made Grugnas believe that this mod changed nothing but i don't think so : we both had excellent hunt (ideal conditions to rush) and cav is trained later. This fact makes me believe that it is possible to defend a rush by having enough foot citizen soldiers on wood.

Watching at the replay I managed to train 8 skirmish cavalry while you had 4 only + 3 producing from the Civic Center. In the attempt to scout your base, your civic center constantly attacked my skirmish cavalry and instead of retreat, i continued my attack with the civic center still attacking my cavalry and in the meanwhile  2 soldiers came closer to my cavalry and killed 1 only as long as infantry soldiers are simple dummies then i lost half of my "army". With a better micro and retiring while in time i could have survived.

After that lost battle, i finished food ( cavalry cost tons of food for the first minutes of the game ) and the only defense i could focus on was sentry turret because it costs food. Matter of fact something like 15 skirmish cavalry destroyed that sentry tower with ease and at that point the game finished for me.

The point is that more cavalry shouldn't be the only counter to cavalry as long as there are other stuff to train / build. In this mod, just like in vanilla, once a player has a relevant cavalry disadvantage ( something like 5 skirmish cavalry number of difference) it is game over already since he has no way to turn back.

Anyway I think that 2 techs in order to being able to train all the cavalry available is too much as long as cavalry raids become less effective after the minute 5.

Simply having barracks as prerequisite to train cavalry would slow down cavalry rushes even more since the time required to build it is more than building the corral + research the tech and that the resources spent are somehow equals ( then the issue is adressed to the different cost barracks have per civ).

Edited by Grugnas

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Game works without hitches. Very interesting delaying the cavalry training and need to think any strategy before cavalries come out. So far tested Macedonians and the Lancer cavalries are quite devastating. 20 mins to produce cavalries on hard to lure eles on African plains.  with my lesser skills. 

No one will train rabbits but they are bugged. They are invinc:mellow:ible 

Edited by Servo

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6 hours ago, Grugnas said:

Watching at the replay I managed to train 8 skirmish cavalry while you had 4 only + 3 producing from the Civic Center. In the attempt to scout your base, your civic center constantly attacked my skirmish cavalry and instead of retreat, i continued my attack with the civic center still attacking my cavalry and in the meanwhile  2 soldiers came closer to my cavalry and killed 1 only as long as infantry soldiers are simple dummies then i lost half of my "army". With a better micro and retiring while in time i could have survived.

After that lost battle, i finished food ( cavalry cost tons of food for the first minutes of the game ) and the only defense i could focus on was sentry turret because it costs food. Matter of fact something like 15 skirmish cavalry destroyed that sentry tower with ease and at that point the game finished for me.

The point is that more cavalry shouldn't be the only counter to cavalry as long as there are other stuff to train / build. In this mod, just like in vanilla, once a player has a relevant cavalry disadvantage ( something like 5 skirmish cavalry number of difference) it is game over already since he has no way to turn back.

As we both went for cavalry rush, it seems logical to me that the winner of the cav fights win the game. I keep believing that if one of us went for foot citizen soldiers, he could defend. It's true though that it is a bit more difficult with non hellenic civ.

And as servo said, rabbits are still not tamable, and i'm pretty sure that when we don't give them orders, they go where they want.

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4 hours ago, Feldfeld said:

As we both went for cavalry rush, it seems logical to me that the winner of the cav fights win the game. I keep believing that if one of us went for foot citizen soldiers, he could defend. It's true though that it is a bit more difficult with non hellenic civ.

And as servo said, rabbits are still not tamable, and i'm pretty sure that when we don't give them orders, they go where they want.

so you think that killing 5 units is fair enough to let you win the game? None changed at all as long as cavalry still has same hp and trainin time of vanilla, the way to counter cavalry rush is always the same... cavalry.

Charriots requiring double pop is a bad idea as long as they are ordinary champions and the fact that they are Charriots it is only a visual thing. Basically they will be like normal citizen soldier skirmish cavalry (maybe even weaker) while all the other cav champion will dominate the game (Roman sword cavalry champions will be even stronger after the champion spear cav nerf ).

Edited by Grugnas

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2 minutes ago, Grugnas said:

so you think that killing 5 units is fair enough to let you win the game? None changed at all as long as cavalry still has same hp and trainin time of vanilla, the way to counter cavalry rush is always the same... cavalry.

As i said in last post, I still think we can defend cavalry rush without using cavalry. As we both went for rush in last game, it seems obvious that cavalry will be fought  with cavalry, and with the very weak and unprotected eco that goes with the rush, winning cavalry fight is crucial.

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15 of any unit should destroy a sentry tower

After all, they are called "sentry" towers and obviously not meant to defend against so many units - only the lone raider or two

 

Anyway as the mod develops I will keep uploading new versions, which can be seen in the log at the end of the post.

In the newest version, rabbits have been fixed, archer champion speed adjusted.

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16 hours ago, temple said:

The trade nerf only applies to Athens, Macedonia, and Sparta? (I have my own ideas about reworking trade, haven't posted them yet.)

Haven't tested, but I think the vision change will be nice.

As far as I know, all civilisations are affected.

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Sorry for spamming the idea, but I really think stables are an elemental part of any historical RTS, and should be as well for 0AD. The most logical solution to prevent too early cav-rushes.

Horses are not trained with infantry. They have completely unique requirements, which makes them much more difficult to train than infantry, and need special infrastructure.

Stables are historical and necessary in my opinion. I've always thought training horses from CC''s and barracks looks horribly awkward. 

EDIT: maybe Gauls and Iberians don't need stables for simple cav units, because they kept horses in the field for longer periods.

 

Edited by Sundiata
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I do not think any civ should be exempted, especially not the celtic ones who can develop very fast.

Stables could be a nice feature but as of the moment only Persians have stables and I'm going to work with what I have (corrals).

 

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2 hours ago, Hannibal_Barca said:

As far as I know, all civilisations are affected.

I shouldn't have ended that with a question mark.

simulation/data/technologies/trade_nerf.json
{
    "genericName": "Trade Nerf",
    "autoResearch": true,
    "description": "tn",
    "requirements": {"any": [{"civ": "athen"},{"civ": "mace"},{"civ": "spart"}]},
    "icon": "ionic_column.png",
    "tooltip": "Trade income is reduced by 50%",
    "modifications": [{"value": "Trader/GainMultiplier", "multiply": 0.5}],
    "affects": ["Trader"]
}

 

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Thank you @temple for your contribution, it has been addressed

On a medium sized map the most you can get is 48-65, while on a normal sized map its 77-105. Even if not the longest route, an upgraded route between 2 players with one player in the middle can still get you about 90 profit. - using the traditional placement of players

 

Vision has been reworked more drastically after informative talks with both @elexis and @Grugnas

 

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stanislas69 mentioned me earlier, so here are some of my personal thoughts and opinions:

  • Personally I'd rather work on improving the main distribution than on yet another mod, no matter how ambitious its name
  • In my experience, the time spent on actual modifying and adding files is just a minor fraction of the time spent on documentation etc.; thinking beforehand, doing some research, and checking, double checking, and cross checking afterwards is essential.
  • Vision: I've repeatedly toyed with the idea of drastically decreasing unit vision range, but have not implemented it in my mod (0abc); here is my reasoning:
    - vision range is intertwined with attack range; because an attack range greater than their vision range is practically undesireable, vision range always ought to be greater than attack range
    - there is no reason why melee units would have a lower vision range than their ranged counterparts; just dropping a bow does not lower vision; besides, they have a right to know by whom or at least from where they're attacked
    - there is no reason why champion units (or heroes) would have a higher vision range than their citizen counterparts; just having better armour does not increase vision
    - there is no reason why age advances or similar technologies would improve vision
    - ergo: the possibilities of limiting vision range are rather limited
    - what I did was decreasing ranged siege weapon vision range to 100 and increasing the vision range of civic centres, fortresses, outposts, sentry towers, and defensive stone towers to 100
    In your mod, infantry archers currently have a vision range of 50 and an attack range of 68 (champion: 55 and 76, respectively), cavalry archers 60 and 68, respectively (champion: 65 and 72, respectively).
  • Trade income: just halving trade gain, as you did, might be a quick and easy fix, but it isn't perfect. While I agree that long-distance trade is far too profitable, I think trade gain is acceptable for medium distances and too low for short distances. So I edited the file:
    /simulation/helpers/TraderGain.js
    and replaced lines 40 and 43:
    let distanceSq = firstMarketPosition.distanceToSquared(secondMarketPosition);
    gain.traderGain = gainMultiplier * distanceSq / 10000;
    with:
    let Ndistance = firstMarketPosition.distanceTo(secondMarketPosition)/100;
    let NdistanceP = Math.pow(Ndistance, 1.5);
    gain.traderGain = gainMultiplier * (Ndistance + NdistanceP);

    Effectively this significantly reduces long distance trade income, keeps medium distance trade income similar, and improves short distance trade income, to allow players squeezed in a tiny corner to gain at least a few resources; however, to maximize gain you still have to maximize the distance.

  • Cavalry: requiring a corral and one or two technologies to enable cavalry seems a bit too much; just disabling training them from the civic centre (thus requiring a barracks or stables) would achieve the same objective (delaying early cavalry rushes)
  • Spartan city walls:
    - Yes, Sparta itself did not have city walls for centuries; however, the same applies to Rome, which was mostly outside its ceremonial city walls until the construction of the Aurelian walls in the third century AD.
    - Spartan colonies (e.g. Taras/Taranto) did have impressive city walls
    - The Spartans themselves frequently constructed stone walls at the Corinthian Isthmus, Thermopylae, and other locations during their campaigns
    Therefore I think it's justified to allow the Spartans to construct stone walls
  • Animals: just stick to the traditional four: goats, sheep, pigs, cattle. Yes, nowadays we eat rabbits, but this certainly was not always the case. Rabbits did not exist outside the Iberian peninsula until late Antiquity, and when they emerged beyond the Pyrenees, they were considered pests (as are mice and rats), not food. (In the European Middle Ages hunting (e.g. deer) and poaching (e.g. hares) was forbidden for all except the priviliged, however, killing rabbits (i.e. pest control) was actively encouraged.)

To summarize, please take your time to think carefully before implementing any changes.

 

 

PS Personally I greatly benefitted from the help and advice of fatherbushido and others.

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If you change the vision then you should change the walk speed and attack range accordingly imo.

Other than that this seems just yet another balance mod to me and fairly pointless as long as there is no coherent gameplay design...

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I also have a remark on vision range. Am I the only one that thinks it should be increased, rather than decreased? Vision range limits in the game aren't realistic and even make me feel claustrophobic sometimes. 

In real life, vision range varies greatly: 

Spoiler
How far can the human eye see at sea level?
For an observer on the ground with eye level at h = 5 ft 7 in (1.70 m), the horizon is at a distance of 2.9 miles (4.7 km). For an observer standing on a hill or tower 100 feet (30 m) in height, the horizon is at a distance of 12.2 miles (19.6 km).

 

Therefore a dynamic vision range, drastically changing with elevation (increasing vision with higher elevation), and perhaps forestation (reducing vision range around thick clumps of trees) would be the most realistic, and intuitive use of terrain in terms of vision. 

Yesterday I went for a walk on the edges of my town, which is very hilly, overlooking valleys on both sides. At the right places, you can see many tens of miles!

Spoiler

This was the view from the hill yesterday. In real life, it's much more clear than this pic. You can see for many many miles. You could see a camp fire maybe 50km away! You could make out entire villages and towns (if they were there), and definitely identify an army on the move, in 0AD's case.

59b10de7edeb9_Mamponghilltopview.thumb.jpg.3ca0d5f626b19ad531e7b094306b6ea6.jpg

 

Pic I took a few years ago on another side of the edges of my town:

59b10eaab8226_DSC_0566copy.thumb.jpg.2446af732f19cb5e5d11e562cc9aeb97.jpg

 

But, as you can see, in the little farms and bush in between the hills, vision is drastically reduced.

59b10df175fb0_Mampongvalleyfarms.thumb.jpg.5a1cddf13f64b4c86a0e5271844a2bf0.jpg

1.thumb.jpg.04b7184bd495cd6df7ccb08d22794d81.jpg

 

In the dense forests, sometimes you can't even see more than a few meters ahead!

DSC_0035.thumb.JPG.8402a3a12abad6657147ab2aee834009.JPG

 

 

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@Sundiata Since we can't order archers to attack zones, it would became really complex to use them in dense forest areas. While in reality they could just shoot in the sky and let the arrow drop.

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36 minutes ago, Sundiata said:

I also have a remark on vision range. Am I the only one that thinks it should be increased, rather than decreased? Vision range limits in the game aren't realistic and even make me feel claustrophobic sometimes.

I think that as long as the game isn't a simulator, playing with vision ranges makes game interesting especially when lower vision ranges make the exploration of the map more challenging and despite the unexplored map may feel claustrophobic, once the map is explored having low vision range open the door to more strategies like outflanks and expansion near the opponent territory influence. Also outposts are barely used when units have higher vision range in comparison  ( 1 idle cavalry unit on the map gives higher vision range than a garrisoned outpost without vision range extension tech ).

Anyway i strongly agree about modify vision range with elevation.

I can't get the point of decreasing units movement speed though.

Edited by Grugnas
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6 hours ago, Nescio said:

Personally I'd rather work on improving the main distribution than on yet another mod, no matter how ambitious its name

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

 

6 hours ago, Nescio said:

- there is no reason why melee units would have a lower vision range than their ranged counterparts; just dropping a bow does not lower vision; besides, they have a right to know by whom or at least from where they're attacked

melee units have the same vision as ranged units in the same category

 

6 hours ago, Nescio said:

Spartan city walls:
- Yes, Sparta itself did not have city walls for centuries; however, the same applies to Rome, which was mostly outside its ceremonial city walls until the construction of the Aurelian walls in the third century AD.
- Spartan colonies (e.g. Taras/Taranto) did have impressive city walls
- The Spartans themselves frequently constructed stone walls at the Corinthian Isthmus, Thermopylae, and other locations during their campaigns
Therefore I think it's justified to allow the Spartans to construct stone walls

Although this could be correct, spartans are extremely strong already in the game and it is up to the game developers to allow them walls or not

 

 

 

Also please note that at version 22.0.3, this mod is not even near to a proper mod (starting at min. version 22.1)

I just released it so early so that people could suggest, and not fully develop it alone

Any changes before 22.1 are solely for a little testing

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