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Today I started creating a gameplay mod for the current (svn) development version of 0 A.D. “Empires Ascendant”. Although there are already multiple gameplay mods, and the aim of improving gameplay for the next alpha is not unique, this one has a different approach: each change has its own patch on https://code.wildfiregames.com/, to make it easier for the team to discuss, play-test, review, and implement them.

Open gameplay balance patches available on phabricator (can also be found with https://code.wildfiregames.com/search/query/fksZuv18waI4/#R ):

  • D497: Allow hunting aggressive and violent wild animals.
  • D904: Themistocle aura 1 modify.
  • D1351: Reduce cavalry gather rate.
  • D1354: Changed kush clubman into a maceman.
  • D1400: Hero aura revision.
  • D1762: Give fortress a territory root.
  • D2477: Garrison units on short wall segments.
  • D2493: Make siege engines uncapturable.
  • D2494: Tweak artillery attacks.
  • D2506: Allow building fields in neutral territory.
  • D2507: Allow building palisades in neutral territory.
  • D2508: Prevent ships and siege engines from attacking fields.
  • D2535: Remove pop cap civ bonuses.
  • D2585: Cavalry archer speed adjustment.
  • D2648: Make Caratacos and Maximus auras local.
  • D2674: Make foundations not ConquestCritical.
  • D2682: Unify hero health.
  • D2737: Add a flaming status effect to iber champion cavalry.
  • D2769: Add visible garrison points to wall towers.
  • D2801: Enable stables for all civilizations.
  • D2802: Make fireships ignore anything but ships.
  • D2815: Give all civs rams.
  • D2841: Split Celtic civ bonuses.
  • D2843: Kush: tweak Amun temple, deprecate upgrade_rank_elite_healer.json technology.
  • D2845: Change phase bonuses.
  • D2852: Tweak maurya worker elephant stats.
  • D2853: Tweak elephants again.
  • D2854: Introduce centre tech progression.
  • D2856: Redo special_war_horses technology.
  • D2863: Deprecate stoa champions and clean up stoa templates.
  • D2866: Tweak human training times.
  • D2878: Improve siege techs.
  • D2886: Introduce crossbowman templates.
  • D2900: Separate camels from cavalry templates.
  • D2917: Allow upgrading cart_house to cart_apartment.
  • D2937: tower_armour → tower_health.
  • D2939: Delete armor_hero_01 technology.
  • D2950: Keep population for houses.
  • D2951: Merge wonder population auras.
  • D2955: More realistic cavalry speed.
  • D2956: Tweak ship costs and tweak merchant ships.
  • D2965: Separate chariot templates.
  • D2972: Increase hack damage of pikemen.
  • D2987: Tweak ship technologies.
  • D2988: Deprecate animal technology.
  • D2992: Tweak structure <Loot/xp>.
  • D2993: Add visible garrison points to rome siege wall tower.

And also:

  • D2595: Separate elephant archer from cavalry templates.
  • D2720: Update information in {civ}.json files.


  • D574: Horses Balance Mov. Speed.
  • D890: Makes Military Colony stats dependent on Civic Centre.
  • D894: Attack Max Range and Vision Range revisited.
  • D896: Disabled training cavalry at civil centres.
  • D1231: Increase cost and build time of cav until researching a new tech.
  • D1349: Enables new military structures.
  • D2497: Keep stone for structures.
  • D2498: Cavalry can no longer gather (meat).
  • D2509: Remove territory influence from economic structures.
  • D2510: Change phase requirements.
  • D2605: Fix loot oversights.
  • D2684: Make rams less effective vs organic units.
  • D2840: Fix values in "heal rate" techs.

Tagging everyone listed in the `balancing.json` credits file: @Acumen, @Alex, @Alexandermb, @Allen ROBOT, @alpha123, @arissa_nightblade, @bb_, @borg-, @Deiz, @elexis, @fatherbushido, @Feldfeld, @Grugnas, @Hannibal_Barca, @historic_bruno, @LordGood, @Matei, @mimo, @Mythos_Ruler, @Nescio, @niektb, @Pureon, @quantumstate, @sanderd17, @scythetwirler, @Stan`, @temple, @ValihrAnt, @Wijitmaker, @wraitii.

Please refrain from discussing individual changes in this forum thread; go to corresponding phabricator page instead (click on the links in the list above).

To try out individual changes, just include the corresponding patch in your repository (e.g. `arc patch D888`; and `svn revert -R *` to remove them again).

If you know of other small, up-to-date patches (only gameplay balancing, not art, maps, mechanics, etc.), feel free to propose them for inclusion in this list. Other feedback is also welcome.

Edited by Nescio
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Today I started creating a gameplay mod for the current (svn) development version of 0 A.D. “Empires Ascendant”. Although there are already multiple gameplay mods, and the aim of improving gameplay fo

These patches are related, so I bundled them in a mod: walls_a24.zip So people can try them out easier. This mod requires the svn development version (A24), mind, not the latest (A23) or ear

I'll list my concerns with some of the changes. This pretty much kills rushing. Being able to train infantry from the CC while cavalry can only be trained from stables or barracks means that yo

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A24 gameplay balance commits:

  • 24021: Garrison outposts visually.
  • 24020: Add turret points to gates.
  • 24019: Allow a few more units on walls.
  • 24016: Debuff outpost and remove un-necessary technologies.
  • 24015: Balance economy techs to make City Phase less of a snowball.
  • 24014: Slightly buff melee units by making ranged units promote slower.
  • 24013: Allow training Axeman Cavalry at barracks.
  • 24012: Move cavalry movement tech to village phase and make it cheaper.
  • 23934: Tweak vision of walls and some special structures.
  • 23931: Remove territory influence from arch, monument, pillar.
  • 23928: Disable artillery towers and bolt towers in-game.
  • 23921: Allow women citizen to lay the same foundations as citizen soldiers.
  • 23915: Delete paired wall technologies.
  • 23895: Unify infantry walking speed / vision.
  • 23893: Update Briton war dog.
  • 23892: Tweak the Spartan "Agoge" tech, affect champions only.
  • 23891: Buff "archery tradition" tech.
  • 23890: Enable Macedonian gastraphetēs (crossbowmen) at the siege workshop.
  • 23889: Reduce palisade health and repair ratio.
  • 23888: Disable Persian Hall & Ishtar gate as buildable structures.
  • 23887: Train champion chariots at the Persian fortress.
  • 23886: Update gate cost to be proportional to wall costs & not cost stone.
  • 23868: Tweak champion cost to make the viable again.
  • 23840: Remove the build time malus from Greek civ bonus.
  • 23839: Allow Rome to build palisades.
  • 23838: Make the Seleucid reform/traditional split affect infantry only.
  • 23837: Tweak military structures build time and cost.
  • 23836: Reduce the cost of the silver shield technology and increase the research time to match the other civ phase tech.
  • 23832: New Gaul team bonus: reduce blacksmith tech cost.
  • 23831: Rework PreferredClasses to target either Human or Human/Siege.
  • 23829: Give Macedonians a champion swordsman.
  • 23824: Tweak wonder/pyramid cost and remove healing aura from wonders.
  • 23823: Give Mauryan a 30% bonus to elephant build time.
  • 23820: Increase citizen soldier capture attack strength.
  • 23819: Tweak Macedonian champ infantry to have more attack, not more armour.
  • 23818: Move train time increase for advanced/elite to the upgrade tech.
  • 23810: Fix broken templates following rP23804 while retaining the same functionnality.
  • 23804: Differentiate African and Indian war elephants because of their sizes.
  • 23803: Deprecate rotary mill, and instead introduce a special technology (town phase, workers +15% grain gather rate) for the Gauls, to reflect the fact they invented a harvesting machine in the Iron Age.
  • 23802: Allow to train mercenaries from embassy by any civilisation.
  • 23801: Lower the repeat rate of spear cavalry.
  • 23800: Decrease penalty -50% to -30% when promoting to advanced and elite.
  • 23798: Increase cost of "upgrade mercenaries rank" tech to make it more like the other armor techs.
  • 23793: Allow building Kushite mercenary camps in neutral territory.
  • 23782: Make javelineers easier to catch by cavalry, by reducing their speed slightly.
  • 23781: Remove the briton kennel as it's not historically correct.
  • 23780: Introduce axeman templates.
  • 23764: Increase the max # of embassies from 2 to 3.
  • 23753: Make rams less effective by reducing speed and preventing attacks on organics.
  • 23752: Remove 'Structure' preferred class from elephants, shorten max range.
  • 23746: Train champion cavalry at stable.
  • 23745: Standardize wonder healing.
  • 23737: Unify Cavalry walk speeds across citizen/champion/hero variants.
  • 23728: Make elephants more interesting by reducing their cost.
  • 23715: Allow training all barracks champions at captured barracks.
  • 23713: Make wall segment cost proportional.
  • 23579: Give worker elephants an aura.
  • 23559: Standardize structure loot to 20%.
  • 23549: Use chariot unit instead of foot soldier for Amanirenas.
  • 23547: Reduce Blemmye and Nuba camp building time.
  • 23544: Enable archery tradition for kush. It is historically correct and will buff Kushites a little bit.
  • 23543: Balance ranged infantry citizen soldiers.
  • 23541: Experience trickle.
  • 23461: Buff loom to double female citizen HP.
  • 23399: Nerf citizen javelinist team bonuses, because they allowed too quick reinforcements and economy boom.
  • 23285: Siege Artillery rework.
  • 23179: Amphitheater name fix, Gladiator commit and amphitheater integration, Maurya double towers, ptolemaic sentry tower actor update.
  • 23160: Bolt tower and ampitheater commit, updated ptolemaic sentry tower while I was at it, and radiant flame texture added for directionless fire effects, babylonian tower template switched to persian denomination for potential upgradeability.
  • 23159: Give the Macedonian defense towers the ability to upgrade into artillery towers.
  • 23094: Artillery tower master commit, Keep your eyes open for errors, everything's good on my end but my subversion is filthy.
  • 22984: Enable workshops for all civilisations.
  • 22802: Use the @wowgetoffyourcellphone's Uffington Horse as the Briton Wonder committed in @Enrique's special commit rP19095. As such the building is no longer garrisonable, and no longer gives a population bonus.
  • 22202: Bring the palisade templates under their own parent (instead of the stone wall).

Please let me know if I missed any.

Edited by Nescio
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A small selection of things I'd like to see implemented as well:


  • D2025: Technology specific names.
  • D2595: Separate elephant archer from cavalry templates.
  • D2685: Simplify mercenary cost.
  • D2720: Update information in {civ}.json files.
  • D2733: CivStructure class for civ-specific structures.
  • D2855: Clean up templates attack sound groups.
  • D2953: Move various values to specific fauna files.
  • D2959: Deprecate template_unit_cavalry_melee.xml and *_ranged.xml.
  • D2990: Split template_gaia_flora*.
  • D2991: Split template_gaia_geo*.

clean-up and corrections involving file moves or deletions:

  • D888: Regrouped special technologies.
  • D918: Gather technology naming consistency.
  • D2739: Delete golden fleece.
  • D2740: Rename palisades_fort to wooden_tower, deprecate palisades_outpost and palisades_watchtower.
  • D2774: gaia/fauna_fish* → gaia/fish/*
  • D2777: Delete maps/scenarios/height*.
  • D2925: Deprecate campaigns/ folder.
  • scout/defense/stone tower → large tower
  • wooden/sentry tower → small tower

graphical user interface:

  • D2051: Display wonders alongside heroes and relics.
  • D2247: Omit unnecessary decimals for resistance tooltip.
  • D2568: Remove empty space between logo and buttons.
  • D2620: Use non-breaking space in 0 A.D.
  • D2623: Increase label space in chat.
  • D2926: Make random maps the default.
  • D2985: Omit resource trickle and loot from attack & resistance tooltip.


  • Allow custom starting values for each resource.
  • Allow elevation to automatically adjust vision range.
  • Allow mounted archers to shoot while moving.
  • Allow option for a proper money-economy instead of bartering.
  • Allow negative resource trickles; e.g. upkeep (D1323).
  • Allow resources to (re)grow; e.g. living animals fatten, dead animals decay (D1718).
  • Allow restricting which resources can be tributed or obtained from trade (D1846).
  • Allow garrisoned units to have different garrison sizes (D2056).
  • Allow garrison slots on units (D1958).
  • Allow attacks to consume resources; e.g. 1 stone per catapult shot (D2113).
  • Allow negative resistance levels (D2975).
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I'll list my concerns with some of the changes.

  • D896: Disabled training cavalry at civil centres.
  • D2498: Cavalry can no longer gather (meat).

This pretty much kills rushing. Being able to train infantry from the CC while cavalry can only be trained from stables or barracks means that you'll be far too behind in numbers to ever do anything and that's without counting in cav being unable to hunt now. All cavalry rushes rely on the initial cavalry paying for the next ones through hunting, so not only will players be unable to afford a cavalry rush, they'll need a military building on top of everything. 

So in my opinion D2498 is terrible, but D896 can still be fine if the ability to train infantry from the CC is removed too like in @borg-'s mod.


D2300: Single walking speed for all citizen infantry.

I understand it's meant to even out unit overall gathering efficiency, but the side effects aren't even nearly worth it imo. Unit move speed is balanced according to their attack range for ranged units and armor for melee units. So archers are slower than slingers, who are slower than skirmishers (Same for cavalry) and pikemen are slower than spearmen, who are slower than swordsmen. So now we have the problem of archers being just as quick as skirmishers, but having 3 times more range and if you've ever dealt with camel archers you'll know that's a big design flaw. Even now it's a pain to chase down slingers or archers with skirmishers if they're controlled by someone with good micro. So now I can rush someone with just archers and whatever they do they'll fall behind. If they try to chase me with their skirmishers/slingers I will never be caught and can micro down their units. If they go for cavalry they'll need to invest loads of food until they have enough cav to scare me back to my base and while they're massing those cavalry they need to somehow survive. If my enemy goes for towers he will need a minimum of 2 and even then there's no guarantee I won't be able to hit his woodline due to how similar archer attack range is with tower range. In the case of a well towered woodline I still outrange the CC with my archers so I can easily harass food. Basically it is a camel archer rush but with infantry archers instead of cavalry archers.

Similar thing with infantry. The only thing which kept pikemen from being completely OP was their turtle move speed. Now they're basically a bullet sponge capable of outrunning Usain Bolt if they took off their chestpiece.

The other changes seem fine. I'll just have to really see the effects of fortress territory root to say what I think of it.

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Thank you for the feedback!

53 minutes ago, ValihrAnt said:

like in @borg-'s mod.

@borg-'s mod is incompatible with the current development version and it's unclear if and when it will be. Besides, it also includes some art and mechanics changes. This means it will be very difficult to review and commit his changes.

This mod's objective is the same (improve gameplay), but the approach is radically differnet (it's basically a collection of available patches). Because each change has its own patch, it should be relatively easy for team members to review them individually. I don't expect everything to be committed, but some changes ought to be uncontroversial and others could be worth trying out even if they won't be accepted.

Anyway, it's a work in progress and I intend to add more changes in the future. And if borg or someone else starts writing patches, then those could be included here as well.

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By and large I like a lot of these changes done.  They're minor, but a lot of them are quality of life things that definitely seem like they should have been implemented.  I was wondering though if there would be a way to have people working at an economic task could have a different movement rate when they are armed.  I feel like that would be the ideal option; coding it might be admittedly difficult though.

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I could ask @Itmsand @wraitiii. I need something similar yet a bit different to replicate the starcraft beahvior. In Starcraft not only do units accelerate and decelerate they also have no obstruction when gathering. But they do have one normally and use unit pushing to circumvent that. https://code.wildfiregames.com/D1490

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 5/7/2020 at 4:14 PM, Stockfish said:

What's the point about giving the elephant an aura?  Do you want to avoid something? @Feldfeld

I'm not sure I understand your question. The elephant aura was added for realism purposes and i checked and confirmed the resulting balance shift it could have.

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On 5/7/2020 at 4:14 PM, Stockfish said:

What's the point about giving the elephant an aura?  Do you want to avoid something? @Feldfeld

All items in the lists have links. Click on them to see what the changes are exactly.

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2 hours ago, Feldfeld said:

realism purposes

"realism" sounds like a mystic word for an rts ;-)

I have tried to put an elephant near me last time and I didn't build my wall faster :D

(same for an elephant bringing magical wood to build a temple)

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1 minute ago, fatherbushido said:

"realism" sounds like a mystic word for an rts ;-)

I have tried to put an elephant near me last time and I didn't build my wall faster :D

(same for an elephant bringing magical wood to build a temple)

0 A.D. is an historically-inspired fantasy game. Superheroes and auras are just two examples of that. :)

Anyway, previously elephants could build any structure, despite not being able to initiate any foundation.

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