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The Forgotten Explanation
Posted: Tilanus Commodor @ Fri Jan 26, 2018 12:11 pm
Hey guys and gals,

I think I owe you an explanation. An explanation that I actually didn't really forget (as the title might imply), but that I have been pushing away for a while now. Those of you who have been messaging me for 1-2 years on Discord, Facebook and elsewhere about new versions and the progress on NE may be familiar with one of these replies:

  • I haven't really been able to work on NE due to my job.
  • Progress on NE has been rather slow lately.
  • I have another job now which leaves me only little time for modding.
  • Sadly I'm very busy with my job right now, but I'm still working on NE.
  • I don't have any time right now because RL is keeping me busy, but NE is still in development.

While all of these replies are telling the truth, I never really went into detail what I am busy with. And the answer to that is that I have been and still am working for Forgotten Empires, the developers of the Age of Empires 2: HD DLCs and the upcoming Age of Empires 1: Definitive Edition. That technically makes me an official Age of Empires developer, which is something I'm rather proud of, but that I also considered an intimate information which I was reluctant to share or spread as some sort of sensational news.

Now some of you might have questions about this and I'll try to answer a few beforehand:

Why didn't you tell us earlier?
There are several reasons for that: 1) I thought that for modding it shouldn't matter what I do for work. I could have been a plumber, an office worker, a forester, and it wouldn't have mattered either. 2) I still wanted to be an integral part of the AoE3 community and not being considered a biased, official developer who defends FE/MS no matter what. 3) The idea of being spammed with questions about ongoing productions, internal plans for future AoE titles which people think I might have and be able to tell about scared me off a bit. 4) There was also another, job-related reason for that as I wanted to avoid any possible (though rather unlikely) hassles with my former employer.

So why did you tell us now?
Again, several reasons! Mr. Green One major reason is that I finally changed jobs and no longer have two jobs. This allows me to invest all of my energy into official Age of Empires productions, which unfortunately also means that I don't really win time for modding. The work at Forgotten Empires is a fulfilling job to me and I take strength out of it, but it is also demanding and time-consuming. Getting back to the question: A handful of close friends and modders already know about my involvement, and I can say with certainty that rumours were already going around amongst other modders, too. So while I never brought it up myself and preferred to keep it for myself, I always knew that I could never keep it secret forever. Few people check the credits of movies and games, but still, some people do. Finally, I felt the urge that telling you about my work will make all the loyal, patiently waiting NE fans understand better why the development of NE has been so slow. I never lied about my involvement at FE (when asked) and would have no obligations either to tell people what I do, yet I kind of had a bad conscience about not telling you the whole story and leaving you a bit in the dark about the reason for the lack of NE updates.

Does that mean you will no longer work on NE?
No! That doesn't mean that. I still want to release NE 2.2 and ship the promised additions and features. Technically NE is not so far away from that, but since time for modding is pretty rare it still is very difficult for me to push the mod to that point.

For 12 years NE has been a constant thing in my life and it pains me not having enough time to finish it as quick as I would like to. After all NE (and my other projects as well) brought me to the place where I am today, so you can be sure that I don't give up easily. On the other hand though, it clearly is a different time for Age, or as it said in the AoE4 trailer "a new age is upon us". I've always considered myself a fan of the whole Age of Empires series without an over-fixation on a single title. Ironically I got into AoE3 modding not just because I liked the idea of NE, but also because I always felt that AoE3 could have been a better Age of Empires title and not just the good RTS that it is. With Microsoft's new commitment for the Age of Empires franchise arise new chances and risks.
As a passionate and long-term fan of the franchise since childhood this was the moment for me to wake up and read the signs of time. I interpreted them as a chance for myself to use the skills that I have to avoid further failures to be made in new titles and figure out with fellow designers how the Age of Empires franchise can continue its road to success. So I feel honored and very happy to be involved in the development of Age of Empires products as it is a dream job to me that was so highly unlikely to exist that I never even dared to dream about it.

In conclusion that means that my priorities have shifted for the mentioned reasons, but also that my goal to release NE remains unchanged. Smile

Why can you not just recruit more team members that help to finish NE?
I get that question quite often. The short answer to this is: Time.

In most cases you need a lot of time to find, introduce, teach and push new members to a point of experience and skill where they are speeding up the development of a mod. Until then the opposite is mostly the case, because someone has to sacrifice their own modding time to aid the newcomers. And that someone was mostly me. Furthermore that teaching process is not without risk. Some people decide they rather want to do their own mod with their newly learnt skills, but most people just don't have the necessary level of self-discipline and stamina to catch up and then eventually run out of motivation. Just a small percentage of people really stays and contributes to NE for a while. In a decade of modding I've been spending a lot of time on teaching volunteers individually on how to mod and I've come to the conclusion that in most cases the time is not worth it, but would be better invested into actual modding.

The greatest misunderstanding of 'recruiting modders' probably is that something like that doesn't really exist. As a mod project leader you either ask people to join you or - the better case - they want to join you. People you'd ask to join are usually known AoE3 modders who mostly have their own mod already (so they won't be interested). The latter case are volunteers who are motivated, but seldomly can mod already and therefore pose a potential risk in terms of time investement.

Now you can imagine that finding suitable members is not that easy. AoE3 has been released 12 years ago and the modding knowledge and community is as old. Despite still having a notable player base the amount of creative content producers has been shrinking significantly over the years. So even though AoE3 modding is not that difficult as a whole compared to modding of other games it is nigh-impossible to find someone who still wants to mod that game and who can quickly adapt to the workflows and design rules of a 12-years old project.

What can you tell us about your work at Forgotten Empires?
It should be obvious that I won't risk my job and speak about NDA stuff, so I can only speak about the things that are or can be publicly known. Mr. Green As most will know Forgotten Empires was founded by AoE2 modders. Without mentioning names I can tell that modders from other Age titles are also involved, and even 2 former Ensemble Studios employees (iirc). So despite different preferences in regards to AoE titles I'd say what connects and motivates everyone at FE is our passion for the franchise, which I think makes us better developers, if not the perfect fit for Age of Empires games. At least I wouldn't know any other studio that knows the Age games still so well after all these years. As for my own work at FE: I've mainly contributed conceptually to the DLCs of Age2:HD and am responsible for the UI design of Age1:DE.

Will NE also come out for the announced Age of Empires 3: Definitive Edition?
This is a rather new question, but has also been discussed among other mods. My take on this is: It mainly depends on how Age3DE will be made on a technical level. If there are significant differences in code base and visual engine which would require large parts of the mod to be redone, then probably not. If porting mods from AoE3 to the Definitive Edition is easy, I'll surely consider it. Yet again, I've sadly arrived in a part of my life where time has become a very valuable, because rare resource.

What do you know about Age of Empires 4?
I'm serious: Not more than everybody else! Developers are not involved in the decision-making or plans of publishers and they only get to know things when they have to. As we all know AoE4 is being developed by Relic, not Forgotten Empires. Wink

Comments: 13 :: View Comments (Post your comment)

The Ottoman Empire mod is released!!!
Posted: PredatoR @ Sat Sep 23, 2017 4:59 pm
Hello AoE III lovers,

I worked on this project quite a lot to make it flawless with unique units, building set and with a nice game play for Ottoman Empires and finally it is time to release it.

Please enjoy.

Hopefully The Ottoman Empire mod will be in NE but maybe with slight changes.



Comments: 6 :: View Comments (Post your comment)

NE site reboot 2017
Posted: Tilanus Commodor @ Sat Sep 09, 2017 8:49 pm
Welcome everyone! This is just a short message informing you that this site has been relaunched recently after a wasted year of developing a new NE site. Read the full story here.

Oh god, this site is old, but feels good to be back online! Devil

Comments: 15 :: View Comments (Post your comment)

Modding Report #27 - Homecity trips
Posted: Tilanus Commodor @ Tue Jul 05, 2016 2:00 pm
Hey there!

I just wanted to let you know I'm still alive and working on NE 2.2 and I'll prove it with .. a proof of progress! lol Since my girlfriend loves to travel I took the opportunity to take some snapshots with my awesome desktop camera of all these nice NE homecities I have been in! Mr. Green

What can I say? I came across several heavy construction sites, but also new and old places in new splendor. You can check out my photo gallery below! Population


As the majority of fans might have read in earlier announcements one major aspect the next version is addressing is civ balance. One important part of civ balance is HC balance, since it is the HC that complements or amplifies the basic framework of every civ and determines how well a civ can cope with the best build orders of other civs.

Secondly, in every striking balance deficit lies the chance for renewal (or renaissance as the versed Frenchmen would say). Now just count these two things together and you will get an idea of what I (also) have been doing the last months!

For almost every civilization whose homecity changes I'll preview in this report the same thing happened: Changes - of different nature - in the main civ required adjustments in the HC. Since I don't plan showcasing more than HCs in this report I will make up for this explaining not only what has been changed, but also why it has been changed. You'll notice not every civ's HC is shown here, that is because the amount of changes just wasn't worth the time. But let's not waste any further sentences and have a look at the HCs!

    First of all a few updates regarding homecities with European-style homecity layouts (yes, incl. Britain! Mr. Green ):

    • The HC cards Dance Hall and Wild Cards have been disabled until we find a better, more interesting concept for them.
    • Unlike in the original game the HC card Advanced Artillery now also researches Culverins Royale for free.
    • Swedish Fusilier cards will be replaced by cards of Irish Wild Geese, whose stats are identical.
    • Italian Elemeti cards will be replaced by cards of German Demilancers, whose stats are identical.
    • Finnish Hackapell cards will be replaced by cards of Croatian Crabat mercenaries, who are different.
    • A couple of cards that were so far unique to a certain civ may now be shared with multiple civs or be moved as new unique card to another civ.

    The American HC got heavily reworked in 3 sections, the Market, the Harbor (Laclede's Landing) and the Military Academy having a total record of 27 exchanged and ~13 updated cards.

    Market - NE 2.2

    The smaller team resource crates in the Market were moved to the Swiss and got replaced with standard ones. American players will notice that all villager-themed immigrant cards were moved here from the Harbor. Additionally there are also new cards such as 2 Settler Wagons or Pennsylvania Dutch that sends a large group of Settler Wagons from the German Palatinate and researches Selective Breeding. The card on bottom is Mass Immigration with a new icon. German players might notice the Conestoga Wagons card coming from the German HC (which will not remain the only German card).
    Generally I might add that the American civ will take and unite a couple of boni from the original AoE3 civs so that those ones can be updated and reworked with new, proper, historically inspired boni. That'll turn the Americans to some degree into a patchwork civ that's gonna profit from an exquisite selection of various AoE3 civ boni! Cool That does not only make a lot of sense for the Americans from a socio-historical point of view but also if you remember that the European civs in AoE3 were actually designed as colonializers instead of regional countries embedded in their core territory.

    Harbor (Laclede's Landing) - NE 2.2

    The new Laclede's Landing appears much smaller in comparison to the old version (see below), but the impression that lots of card were removed is misleading, because most of these cards were actually moved to other places such as the Market (see above).

    You'll see the Immigrant cards have been rew entirely redone and are no longer unit cards (white border) due to also (always) having (had) additional technological effects. Consequently they are no longer infinite in last age anymore. All immigrant cards were rebalanced, got new icons and not seldomly completely reworked. There are some cool aspect about these new cards I'd like to explain in more detail:

    • They grant the Americans a small civilization bonus from the country of origin.
    • The system behind these cards has been standardized: Immigrants have civil/economic effects and are free, Armies cost food and send military units and boosts. These are the 2 standard cards every immigrant civ gets.
    • The immigration civs are now the French, the Dutch and the Spanish with the following benefits:
      • Dutch Immigrants: Bank & Plantation gather rate; Dutch Army: Red Lancers & Mortars
      • Spanish Immigrants: Missionaries & villager HP; Spanish Army: Veteran Musketeers, Lancers & HI HP
      • French Immigrants: Sansculottes & villager+militia DMG; French Cuirassiers: Cuirassiers & HC HP; French Army: Grenadiers, Fusiliers & HI DMG

    • The immigrant card effects are based on actual needs/deficits of the American civ and work well when combined or selectively chosen for a particular strategy. For example Spanish and French Immigrants both benefit villagers while the Spanish and French Army boost Heavy Infantry . Furthermore they are also inspired by the historical reinforcements and benefits that these colonializers provided and had. The French for instance were the major military supporters of the American militia army (hence 3 shipments) and Dutchmen knew how to make profits in the New World (powerful eco immigrant card).

    Indeed the Asian, Hunter, Eastern and Southern Immigrants were kicked since they were either out of NE's timeline or vastly overpowered. However, you now got also access to native americans and the powerful Dutch Raiding Fleet.

    Harbor (Laclede's Landing) - NE 2.1.7b

    Added for comparison purposes. The old Laclede's Landing had massively overpowered immigrant cards sending a lot of units (just check the numbers on the Austrian, Italian and Chinese flag icon) for often no more than just 1-2k food.

    Military Academy - NE 2.2

    The 2 obvious things: A new cavalry unit and 4 new, flagged icons marking the starting point for 2 further regular unit shipments. So what are those?! Mr. Green

    The new cavalry unit is the Light Dragoon which is similar to the Mounted Rifleman it replaces, yet different (you'll get to see all new stats in the release notes). One important - and interesting - detail is the fact that Light Dragoons become available only in Age 3, the very first card (3 Light Dragoons) can already be sent in Age 2 though and that is for the simple reason the Americans now face a "cavalry vacuum" in Age 2 in which they have no trainable regular cavalry units at their disposal by default.

    This funny and surely shocking fact brings me to mystery no.2, the Legion & Company cards! These cards send and activate a specific unit for the Americans:
    • German Hussar Company (Age 2): Sends 3 Hussars, activates Hussars.
    • Pulaski's Legion (Age 3): Sends 7 Uhlans, activates Uhlans.
    • Armand's Legion (Age 4): Sends 4 Veteran Dragoons, activates Dragoons.
    • Canadian Congress' Own (Age 4): Sends 7 Veteran Fusiliers, activates Fusiliers.

    The historical American continental army (mainly consisting of militiamen) suffered - particularly in the beginning - from the severe lack of cavalry (and artillery) forces. It did thus force the Americans to adjust their strategy which is exactly what players of the NE Americans will have to do as well. You start with no regular cavalry trainable in Age 2, but you'll have to find a way to get along with it.

    Native cavalry might be an option and the German Hussar Company Age 2 shipment as well (probably the better one). You may also skip both options though and try a FF to access Light Dragoons instead. You see, American gameplay will be notably different in NE 2.2, some things will be easier, others be a lot tougher than before. Yet there will always be a good option available for your problem in your homecity, a place full of gifts from badazz Europe! 'urope, FUCK YEA! lol

    Actually I think this is a good example for a feature that is truly inspired and shaped by a historical reality as opposed to some feature that was filled with historical junk stories and clichés.

    The Austrian HC will profit from simplified and new cards. While the Austrians are already being a potent, versatile civ, there are still various things worth improving.


    The greatest improvement in the Austrian Cathedral is the combination of the numerous cards for native allies. No other civ had so many cards to boost and profit from natives in all imaginable ways. That was both a privilege, but also a burden, especially for the deck. Furthermore the connections in the HC were not following a consistent logic and were therefore redone. Cards like Native Combat, Native Treaties, Native Alliance vanished in favor of one card that sounds similar (Native Allies), but harmonizes a lot better with the other 2 unique Austrian native cards Multinational Empire and Multinational Army.

    And for the joy of all Austrian history freaks the Spanish Riding School (thenceforward located in Vienna!) is now member of the Austrian HC. May those Lipizzaner horses flood the map!


    It is not that well known that, even though landlocked to a large degree, the Austrian archdukes did maintain a little fleet to secure inland waterways, the so called Donauflotte (Danubian Fleet). This is a new card that benefits the build limit, speed, line of sight of Galleys and Galleons, but also reduces their hitpoints and the build limits of larger warships such as Monitors and Frigates. You heard that correctly, Austrians will get Galleys instead of Caravels. Those simply do better on rivers!

    Ah yes, instead of Westphalians and Wurttembergers Austrians can now hire Greek and Bavarians native allies! Smile

    The Brits can now send the Royal Explorer card which is imagined after James Cook and allows the British Explorer to train Native Scouts instead of getting the Swashbuckler ability from the old Captain card. Longbowmen fans won't like this, but Longbowmen will be a lot more like Crossbowmen or Hand Cannoneers as the Yeomen and 20 Longbowmen card have been removed in order to prevent people from building huge Longbow armies in later ages when cannons and Napoleonic type of troops should dominate the battlefield.

    The British got the Northwest Passage card from the French since expeditions to find/explore the Northwest Passage were mostly done by British navigators. Additionally the Brits can send Westphalian Allies and 4 Puckle Guns (renamed Gatling Guns)!

    The Danes are already pretty fun (and almost done). Their HC evidently uses the European layout with the familiar cards. There are however some recombinations that may look like blasphemy to the hardcore AoE3 puritan! (Good! evil )

    Military Academy

    Danes are quite HP-heavy/tanky. Hence the Hitpoint boosters may not be a surprise neither should be the already announced Ridder unit (heavy healer cavalryman) nor the sneaky Snaphaner skirmishers. Age 2 can be a tough age for Danes, but I'm certain the truly skilled players among you will find a way to utilize their defensive capabilities for the offensive! Razz

    That being said, even though Danes are (usually) a peace-loving people, they do have some notable late-game punches both in their HC and other respective institutions. Having a choice between Rockets and Cannons is a nice thing and troops that can be hired for gold usually have a notable impact on the battlefield.


    Next surprise! Fluyts! (Yes, Fluyts!) And Sepoys. (Sepoys!) But only once. - If you're confused and maybe a bit disgusted now, then that's exactly where I want you to have you! Mr. Green It just takes some knowledge of Danish history to resolve this misunderstanding. No, Fluyts aren't Danish. Yes, I know you think Sepoys must be Indian. Welcome to history class, please open your book!

    First the Fluyts. Once, when things weren't working so well for Denmark and its navy the Dutch proved to be reliable and powerful naval (and diplomatic) allies. The Prussians would be the equivalent (preferably) for landbased issues (see Military Academy). Now the Sepoys. The Danish actually called them Cipajen who were Indian Hindus/Tamils serving in the Danish colony of Tranquebar (today: Tharangambadi). Other Danish colonies existed in the Carribean (hence the Caribs), but they didn't turn out as profitable as the privateering business they started (hence the Privateers). Must be those viking genes!

    And yes, that card with the red tricorner is good for your docks. Devil

    The Dutch are - together with the Germans - one of the civs that got one of the least historically representative unit rosters in AoE3. With this screenshot you should be able to figure out what has changed in the Dutch military unit roster so far. Mr. Green (More history is yet to come, muahahaha!)

    Military Academy

    There's not much to say about the French HC yet. It passed some cards like Wilderness Warfare and Northwest Passage to other civs and dropped the archaic Crossbowmen in exchange for Arquebusiers ("Hand Cannoneers") and generally a more appropriate unit selection in the HC (i.e. Garde du Corps). With the updated Tirailleurs card you can now turn your Arquebusiers into Skirmishers and the new Dragonnades card gives French Dragoons a melee bonus vs. settlers and makes them more effective vs. buildings!

    No more Conestoga. No more War (Wagons)!
    But Bavarians and Goons.
    And Reichsarmee does now auto-upgrade Kreisarmeen (Circle armies) from Reichstag also to Imperial status in Age 5! x)

    +Archers. +Galleys.
    -Jat Lancer. -Caravels!

    The Italian HC is affected by a series of card replacements, so far I have removed 20 cards and added 24 new ones (these numbers will be balanced). Their HC got a lil face lift with new icons and layouts and all Italian HC sections received new titles named after historical places in Rome. Here are the new names:

    - The Market has been named Piazza Navona.
    - The Military Academy has been named Palazzo del Quirinale.
    - The Cathedral has been named Basilica Papale di San Pietro.
    - The Manufacturing Plant has been named Palazzo dei Conservatori.
    - The Harbor has been named Porto di Civitavecchia.

    Market (Piazza Navona)

    The beautiful Piazza Navona has no gold crates, but instead sends the coins directly to your bank account. No villager needs to be assigned to crates in order to gather them. You might almost say it's a bit like online banking (just a bit slower). Mr. Green

    Cathedral (Basilica Papale di San Pietro)

    The Cathedral got cards from other (inappropriate) sections but also a less chaotic, but properly arranged layout. As you can see the city cards received some icon (and balancing) love. There are 2 new city cards, the Corsican Republic and the Kingdom of Sardinia and Piedmont. The Treaty of Cateau-Cambrésis (activating Church techs) is now called Corsican Constitution.

    Military Academy (Palazzo del Quirinale)

    Most notable is the update of the Company cards which are now closer to Italian history and (usually) address the civs' incapabilities. The companies now also refer with name, effect and icon to actual (and notable) people in historical Italy such as Croatians, Greeks, Spanish, San Marinese, etc. instead of randomly calling them Star or Rose's Company. The character of Company cards being infinitely sendable has been preserved, but the cards now cost between 700-1000 gold each instead of the prior 500. They're still somewhat of a gift though considering the Italians' capability to make a lot of money. I won't spoiler the content of these cards here, but just list their names from top to bottom:

    1. Greek Company
    2. Spanish Company
    3. San Marinese Company
    4. Maltese Company
    5. Croatian Company
    6. French Company
    7. Papal Company

    The Palazzo del Quirinale also reflects the addition of new regular Chevauleger cavalrymen, who replace the Condottieri and take the role of Hussars as well as the addition of Dragoons who replaced Utili. Also Fusiliers and Arquebusiers are finally represented. Condottieri will only play a marginal role now as mercenary leaders (see below)

    Harbor (Porto di Civitavecchia)

    The main change in the Porto di Civitavecchia is the Duce (top right), a reworked Condottiere who receives shipments, trains and inspires nearby mercenaries. The Duce can also train some mercenaries and hence they act a bit like Japanese Daimyos which also can be sent from HC. Apart from that there are now Greek Allies and the unique Italian cards Venetian Arsenal and Merchant Fleet got new icons!

    The Ottomans now received an overdue update from PredatoR's Ottoman civ mod and myself. Therefore their HC mainly displays these changes and new additions.

    Military Academy

    You can finally see Azaps and the newly added Archer shipments! The HC layout was also improved, since the Ottoman Military Academy tended to be overcrowded with too many cards. There's now one card less for Hussar, Spahi, Cavalry Archer, Abus Gunner, Grenadier and Falconet in order to add the aforementioned units and other ones such as Tuareg Allies in the Harbor. Some people might remember the new icon for the Irregulars card that now also improves cavalry archers siege damage by 30%. ^^ Also, Janissaries obviously got a new icon (they're no longer white-bearded grandpas!).

    A small detail has also changed: Grenadiers and Abus Gunners now share the same column and since Abus Gunners will be moved to Age 3 (due to Archers being early Anti-Inf) I added an Age 2 Abus Gunner card to compensate this a bit.

    Polska! Lietuva! Reworking and converting the Polish stable to the historical developments was one of the trickiest things to accomplish with the unit design rules for a game like AoE3. The history of Polish cavalry is very dynamic and ambivalent, but can generally be said to have mainly transformed from heavy to light cavalry. Now we are all used from games that units upgrade from light to heavier versions, but some are historically versed enough to know that it would also be weird to start in Age 2 with Polish Napoleonic Uhlans and then end up with archaic, super heavy Winged Hussars, right? And what's even with the multitude of weapons that every Polish-Lithuanian cavalry trooper seemed to have carried parallely? Which weapon should they get? Should they all got lances, because it was their primary weapon? And how would people know what they were good against?
    Right. There you have the dilemma!

    Military Academy

    You spot 3 new unit icons and therefore 3 new units! Or well, let's say reworked as two of their names - Pancerny and Lisowczyk - will continue to be used but for a unit whose role has turned over! Lisowczycy (left from Dragoons) are now unique Lithuanian cavalry archers and can also be improved with the Irregulars card (the unit card sizes are still WIP). Pancerni (next to Uhlans) became heavy Hussars and right between the Pancerni and Lisowczycy you can spot the Winged Hussars! The so called Husarze (sg. Husarz) is a new Polish heavy lancer who is designed to crush units in tight formations with their splash damage. They are mainly (but not solely) available in HC and hence a bit like Spahis, but actually are more dangerous since they can be sent already in Age 2. Another interesting feature is that the Polish get a lot of different HC card types for Husarze. A plain unit shipment, a double, an infinite, a team one and a tech/booster.

    Portugal also got its Crossbowmen entirely replaced with Arquebusiers both in main civ and HC. The Portuguese will get increasingly reworked into an infantry civilization. Most significant change is the loss of having the best Dragoon through the removal of the Genitours and Early Dragoons card. But don't worry, it'll be compensated!

    Prussia now gets Skirmisher and more Dragoon cards and there are also some new icons!

    All Strelet cards will get their unit count updated according to the stats of the new Strelez. Russians can now also hire Black Riders and Finnish Jääkäri instead of the Nootka Clubmen. Russian Cavalry Archers can now also profit from the Irregulars shipment.

    I felt that Spain needs some love and more strategic perspectives! Smile It evidently is a civ that's supposed to be strong early on, but is too bad later on for my taste. Thus I replaced a couple of cards.

    Military Academy (Torre del Oro) - NE 2.2

    Notable additions are Musketeers and Dragoons, but there is also a Arquebusier card now. Most obvious change is the reduced amount of Pikemen and Rodelero cards, which made all the other additions possible. Rodeleros become truly archaic units now (without Royal Guard + Imperial upgrade), but with much better stats. Since the Infinite 10 Rodeleros (Age 3) card has been removed they got an Infinite 6 Rodeleros card (Age 2) in exchange. The Spanish Square card was replaced with the Spanish Tercio which sends 2 Pikes, 2 Muskets and 2 Arquebusiers. Spanish Dragoons can also profit from the Dragonnades shipment.

    So you still see archaic units have their say in the Spanish HC, but modernizing doesn't just mean to wipe out all the justified archaic content of a civ, right? I think the new Dragoon and Musketeer shipments can contribute at paving Spain's way from Fortress into Industrial Age and beyond! Smile

    Military Academy (Torre del Oro) - NE 2.1.7b

    Just added for comparison purposes. The old Spanish HC featured more Pikemen, Rodelero and Lancer cards.

    Sweden has changed quite a lot. All that OP stuff is gone and the remnants of Ensemble Studios' original plan to make a Swedish civ (Swedish Fusiliers, Finnish Hackapells) were now fully merged into the NE Swedes. The Leather Cannon was removed, Drabants were merged with Hackapells and the Torp concept has changed from Barracks to House (torp means house in Swedish). I'm pretty aware that this won't be a popular move, but I'm not modding to cement false historical presentations or appeal people with a mislead perception of history.

    After all it's a give and take. You still get nice gifts in the main civ and HC, but it's now a lot harder to lame with anything, because in the end Sweden is just Sweden and not the British or French empire, right?

    (By the way, Swedes are now pretty good at:
    fencing )

    Military Academy

    With the new Hackapell (Drabants) and the Carolean (between Pikeman and Fusilier) Sweden has got 2 fine unique units available from Age 2. I can already point out that Caroleans are archaic units and require the Guard Caroleans card (the card with the yellow tricorner) in order to be upgraded until Imperial Age. The Soldier Torps card (below) got a new effect and now spawns Caroleans from all your Torp Houses and allows Carolean and Pikeman training in Torps.

    I should also point out few things about the powerful Swedish Arsenal cards: The advanced Arsenal technologies are now already available from start and do no longer need to be enabled by the Advanced Arsenal HC card (which was removed). The case was that the Swedish arsenal cards used to research these advanced arsenal techs already when they were not available. Now that they are available by default Sweden got its bonus slightly changed and since their arsenal cards researched huge amounts of notably priced arsenal techs for free I decided to "nerf" these cards in that they only research the standard Arsenal technologies and "only" give a -50% cost discount on the advanced Arsenal technologies. Here is the detail change paragraph from the release notes that I'm working on:
    Advanced Arsenal changes - NE 2.2 Spoiler:

    - Advanced Infantry no longer researches Incendiary Grenades, Veteran Pikemen and Veteran Caroleans (-3). It still researches Rifling, Infantry Breastplate, Bayonet and Iron Sights [4]. The advanced Arsenal upgrades Paper Cartridges, Military Drummers and Flintlocks become -50% cheaper instead of getting researched [3]. The card is now available in Age 3 (-1), but also costs 750c (+450).

    - Advanced Cavalry no longer researches Veteran Drabants (-1). It still researches Caracole, Cavalry Cuirass, Sabres and Demi-Lancers [4]. The advanced Arsenal upgrades Camp-Volant and Pillage become -50% cheaper instead of getting researched [2]. The card costs now 500w (+200).

    - Advanced Artillery no longer researches Veteran Grenadiers and Guard Grenadiers (-2). It still researches Field Guns, Howitzers, Culverins Royale, Heavy Horse Artillery, Incendiary Grenades and Gunner's Quadrant [6]. The Arsenal upgrades Professional Gunners, Shrapnel, Heated Shot and Trunion become -50% cheaper instead of getting researched [4]. The card costs now 750f (+350).

    Finally Bavarian and Finnish allies are now available in the Harbor and some new icons were made.

    The Swiss got a lot of new team cards in order to make them a support/team civ. Around 20 cards in total were so far replaced or reworked. For example they received all the Age 2 team resource crate cards from the Americans and got other cards such as:

    - TEAM Cheap Stables
    - TEAM Cheap Arsenal
    - TEAM Cavalry Scouts
    - TEAM Wool Staple Ports
    - TEAM Hand Infantry Damage
    - TEAM Polearm Combat
    - TEAM 6 Musketeers

    Can that be overpowered? In certain team constellations, maybe. It has never been entirely impossible to negate this possibility in a game and mod as big as AoE3/NE. However, Swiss are a nice civ for 2v1s. Either for a single player who is yet too good for the 2 other players or in fact for one of the 2 players who'd be too good with allrounder civs.

    Military Academy

    The most ovious addition are the Swiss Troops team cards. All your team mates receive units in the respective type except for the Swiss player who will get money credited instead. The icon should give you an idea of what type of units they send. The card names are:

    - TEAM Swiss Horses
    - TEAM Swiss Ranged Infantry
    - TEAM Swiss Infantry
    - TEAM Swiss Guards
    - TEAM Swiss Officer

    That mysterious Swiss Officer (who can be seen here) allows your mates to train some Swiss units to a certain extent.

    You can also see that Halberdier and Hussar cards vanished in exchange for Stadtreuter cards (their new unique cavalry) and the team cards. A few other cards were also converted into team cards such as Schweizergarden and Swiss Guards got a new fancy icon btw.

    Finally you'll probably also have noticed the Dragoonish card in the bottom line. This card is called Miliztraguner and allows the training of downgraded Dragoons in Stables.

    Phew. So much writing! Another modding report is done, finally! Mr. Green

    I know some of you are badly trying to get a release date out of my mouth, but all I can give you is an answer like I gave here and here. ^^ Also, I have intentionally spared out further infos on NE 2.2 release notes for obvious space limitations. Just let me assure you there's a lot more to NE 2.2 than these HC changes. I'm looking forward to get more things done and come closer to a point where a release is technically possible.

    A final note on the HC changes though, these changes are all work-in-progress and still open for change. Be certain a few things will still change and if you have wishes, ideas, suggestions then don't hesitate to tell me!


    If you appreciate my work for NE and AoE, feel free to
    send me a donation!

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Brief update on debug messages
Posted: Tilanus Commodor @ Mon May 16, 2016 5:12 pm
Hey there,

I don't know when this thread will be posted (Edit: Wow, that was posted instantly!), but I hope it'll be asap (this already points to one of the few issues this site seemed to get out of nowhere). I've posted it on facebook already a few days ago, but anyone who visits the forum will surely have noticed it there are some technical issues. I've received a few mails and private messages of you guys and only didn't answer them, because you'd have gotten all the same reply with the same explanations which I prefer to post once here.

The current forum issues are:

  • Delayed postings - It seems that some posts do appear on the forum after a significant delay of several days later. Can't tell whether all posts will appear after some time or just a few, but I do have that impression right now. Spies

  • Bugged post counter - You see a lot of Spies these days on the forums. I'm referring to the user rank here that - usually - only users with 0 posts get. I can't tell yet, but I assume this is also some sort of delay issue.

  • Invisible topic titles - It occurs that the topic with the latest post made appears to have no title shown in the forum overview.

  • Debug message - This is the most frequent error and appears after trying to post. I've studied the error message thoroughly, but the technical reason given there actually doesn't make much sense to me. This might either be because I'm almost clueless about SQL or because - what I actually believe - the error is somewhere else and this message just a random symptom.

Why are all these things happening? I don't know yet, but I suspect some database or cache needs to be cleared. I got in touch with Elpea, the server owner, but both of our time seem to be quite busy right now. I'll try to fix this issue either alone or with his help. Elpea has been looking into the issue briefly, I wouldn't say he fixed it, but maybe that'll happen as unexpected as the issues came in first place. Wink (let's hope for it)

The purpose of this post is that I just wanted to let you know I'm well-aware of these issues, have been and will be trying to fix them. It could take a while though, because I actually consider progressing with NE 2.2 a bit more important right now. This might sound a lil unfair, but if I'd only focus on fixing the forum NE 2.2 would be delayed even more and the truth is that the majority of NE fans would rather see a new version coming out than a fixed forum.

Comments: 9 :: View Comments (Post your comment)

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