Modding Report #23
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Tilanus Commodor
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Joined: 03 Apr 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2014 3:48 pm    Post subject: Modding Report #23

Ho, ho, ho! It's Christmas time, you Napoleonic bunnies! Mr. Green Napoleon

We already gifted you some essential updates in NE 2.1.7b, but since that was in November, consider this Modding Report our christmas gift to you!

First of all, we'd like to thank everyone who voted for us in the Mod Of The Year 2014 awards, even though the player choices for the Mod Of The Year 2014 aren't up yet (but the Editor's picks are - to which we do not count)

As always, the report will be split in two parts, one for the released NE2 and a smaller one for the unreleased NE3. To everybody who is new to that, I added an introduction about NE3 this time.

________________________________________________________________________


Current version: 2.1.7b


  1. Let's start with some formal, but important words about two NE members: Since the modding report in last year, it can be said without any doubt that our last entries to the team - the honorable kangcliff and JRussell - possess the necessary coolness, hardiness and technical skill to live up to the philosophy of high quality, for which NE stands. Thus it's everything but a surprise they made it to NE core team. Kangcliff and JRussell are the calm guys you hardly see being around, but they are the secret stars who have done the tremendous work you have seen in the past and will see in the future in Napoleonic Era. I explicitly want to thank both of you for your splendid work and am proud to work with you! Thank you. Cool

  2. 2014 is a very important year for us. To make you understand, I would like to recap 2013 and 2014 a bit by having a worthy look on the evolution of NE 2.1.7b.

    It was in July 2013 when we released NE 2.1.5, which was the long overdue first step into the right direction, because it gathered and bundled all the publicly and internally available NE improvements that evolved since the release of NE2 in July 2009. NE 2.1.5 became the necessary working base for the planning, preparation and development of NE 2.1.6, NE 2.1.7 and NE 2.1.7b. This would take 1 more year, but would pay off significantly with 3 great releases in only a bit more than 1 month.
    With NE 2.1.6/7 we finally managed to leave the era of uncomfortable, error-prone file archive installations and provide you with beautifully designed, highly AoE3-compatible, nicely working installers for Mac OS X and Windows instead. It is the time, where we finally departed from the gross of buggy, duplicate, insufficient NE maps and natives. It is the time, where we finally cut off the ballast of redundancy, imbalanced feature creep, sleepy AIs and broken textures from which the beautiful, highly valuable, well-designed core values of the mod were suffering. 2013-2014 is the time, in which we re-gained control over the chaos that was in NE and successfully put the mod on new solid ground.

    You may say 2013 was the renaissance and 2014 the restoration of NE. What else can I say? Get ready to be baroqued in 2015! Mr. Green

  3. Baroque is a nice key word for a transition, since this is a historical era that was characterized by the extreme contrast of its amazing beauty and merciless cruelty. These are also roughly the things we will focus on in the next version NE 2.2, beauty and realism. It's a version with which we intend to finally get rid of the remaining historical inaccuracies and anachronisms in our mod and raise the realism and credibility by replacing them with more appropriate conceptual and more beautiful audio-visual interpretations. This won't be everything of course (even though the sentence allows a lot of interpretations itself), since we always improve in multiple directions. Wink So what will happen now is the announcement of things we will (or more likely: already) work at and plan to deliver in NE 2.2. Be prepared though as these leaks are likely to be sweeter than your Christmas candy.
    Devil

    • Let's begin with a small appetizer. NE 2.2 will have new treasures, mercenaries & guardians. These will vary depending on the geographical location of our maps. So whether you play a map in Northern Europe, Southern Europe, Northern Africa or in Western Asia, the mercenaries, treasures and their guardians will change accordingly. In Europe you will face Marauders and Outlaw Landsknechts that you may fight with decent Irish Wild Geese mercenaries while in Arabia and Africa Bandit Archers, Bashi-Bozuk and Outlaw Janissaries may be expulsed by the military aid of the well-respected Cairo Janissaries.

      bandits
      Bandit Archers and outlaw Janissaries attacking an Ottoman town
      marauders
      Marauders and outlaw Landsknechts pillaging a village

      Egyptian Cairo Janissaries can be hired on West Asian and North African maps

      Irish Wild Geese can be hired on European maps


      Among the treasures will also be European sea treasues for the first time. Also, the issues with treasures being misplaced on maps will be fixed too.

    • Originally NE had a some more European maps to offer. A few of them never made it to public, others got removed by us and both types of maps vanished for basically the same reason: They were not well-designed. NE 2.1.7b has around 7 European maps to offer, which are Alps, Alpine Pass, Black Forest, Finland, Malta, Rhine and Ural. In the last time we've been sketching and thinking a lot about new NE maps and we got to a point now, where feel comfortable enough for an announcement of new European NE maps, that will definitely come in NE 2.2, these are:

      • NE Italian Peninsula
      • NE Gibraltar
      • NE Scotland

      We do have more maps planned of course, but I won't spoil too much here, will I? Wink

    • There's just one more information regarding European maps that I would like drop here. It affects the European natives. You already know natives like Bavarians, Westphalians, Wurttembergers and Finns, which are - similar to Native american tribes - local powers. Let me just say, that this won't be the only type of minor civs that we have in mind for European maps. That is, because it is admittedly quite of a ridiculous thing to force ethnic European minorities such as Hugenottes or Catalans into the classical role of AoE3 natives. We'll be excited to read your guesses. Mr. Green

    • In the context of Random maps, I would like to point out that I updated our Random Maps page for you, where you can see a list of all NE maps including mini-map previews and map descriptions!

      NE RhineNE MaltaNE Alps


    • Random maps, check. Time for a technical interlude! GameRanger, for example. For those who don't know, GameRanger is a multiplayer platform for PC & Mac that supports the LAN game mode of ~1000 games. After the MS Gaming Zone was shut down for Age of Empires II, GameRanger became the new multiplayer platform of the AoE2 community. Even though NE works fine via ESO, nobody can tell how long this online multiplayer will still be run. GameRanger is also a blessing of an alternative for those, who really forgot their ESO login or lost their CD keys. So, NE has had talks with GameRanger about adding the Napoleonic Era mod to their line-up of supported games. We'd be in fairly good company, since other Age of Empires mods such as Age of Chivalry or Forgotten Empires are already there. =)



      Another possibly interesting fact for the online veterans among you: I'll try to translate the balancing achievements of the FanPatch from ZutaZuta & Co. as well as picking up balancing suggestions from other experienced/professional players to Napoleonic Era, so that not only the NE singleplayer is like an expansion to AoE3, but also its multiplayer.

    • Speaking of LAN games: It is quite annoying and perfectly unnecessary to level your homecities if you just want to play some quick games against some friends, right? Nobody has the time to level them to max level and unlock all cards, but of course everyone would better want to use all features of a civ. So I think, we'll just code fully developed LAN Homecities.

    • After having released well-designed tools like our Mac and PC installer, we're already working on another tool, which all of you will appreciate and that we call Congress of Vienna. It basically is a workaround for the limit of playable civilizations by the computer (AI). The game code does not allow us to make the computer play with more than 14 civs; another annoying side effect is also that you can not create homecities for the civs that the computer can not play with. For the latter issue, we did so far always provide you with pre-created singleplayer homecities, so you could at least play with them yourself.
      Our tool Congress of Vienna will fix this problem by allowing you to choose your enemies every time before you start your game.

    • Since we told you just about civs that could not be covered by the AI, let's now talk about civs that were never really covered by NE. Yes, let's talk about our dirty little secrets! The Asian & Native American civs in NE2.

      Aztec Sioux Iro Aztec Aztec Aztec

      I have 2 annoucements to make about them and I'll keep the explanations short:

      1. Right now we think that we will *most likely* not improve the Native American civs, because we think that they neither fit our setting nor do we believe their history makes them credible major civs. This, by the way, also includes the Incan bonus civilization which do not intend to finish.

      2. We will try to update the Asian civs since they are not only missing NE features like extended Saloon/Arsenal functions, University and equivalents to late game units, but also lack 'asianized' standard AoE3 features such as Spies or hospitals. Even though they do have been neglected and really miss stuff, they are still fairly good civs. So we'll have to check if there really is a need case by case.


    • Remember the beauty aspect that I mentioned when skipping over to NE 2.2? Let's get a lil more specific now. First of all, NE 2.2 will have new 3d models, mostly speaking of muskets, swords, hats and helmets. There are plenty of screenshots depicting these models already for a long time (see a few examples below). If you're wondering why these models have never been included so far, than that is because we want to ensure consistency in visual quality. You can hand each unit a nice musket model with many details on it, but if the unit itself keeps its ugly, mushy texture then the overall result will be bad and not convincing. Neither did we want to visually upgrade only a small selection of units while others would continue to use improvable assets.


      Musket & Tricorner models


    • What did we do once we realized our models look better than many original units? Of course, we started to rework the unit designs. The new 3d models, however, were not the main reason for this. Mostly the original unit designs were too medieval and the textures had a quality that couldn't live up to the NE standards. In consequence the AoE3 units often felt clumsy and not just because of their low-res textures and sometimes weird model compositions, but also because of questionable animation choices.

      The dimension in which these units (and also buildings) were reworked varies. For example, our new Dragoon looks completely different, so does the Saloon including its name, but the Pikeman might just get a few details added here and there. I may point out, that we consider this a nice extra. It wasn't on our original agenda for NE2, but we'll surely care enough to leave this construction site in a state that everybody can live with.

    • And nooooow ladies and gentlemen. I'm very proud to present you a Tilanus & JRussell co-production: The redesign of all Royal Guard & Church tech units! - Wait, did I say all? Well. It's still 2014 aaand let's be realistic, the release of NE 2.2 somewhere in the future. But since it's Christmas, we'll already show you a selection of reworked RG and Church tech units (list is incomplete!) *and* additionally reveal some of our current ideas for civ updates:

      • AUSTRIANS

        Church tech unit: Hungarian Grenadier (Grenadier)
        Plans: Rework the Grenzer techs

      • BRITISH

        Royal Guard: Scots Grey (Hussar)
        Royal Guard: Redcoat (Musketeer)

        Plans: Redesign Longbowmen to Yeomen

      • DUTCH
        Royal Guard: Blauuwe Garde (Halberdier)

        Plans: Replace Geus

      • FRENCH
        Royal Guard: Voltigeur (Skirmisher)


      • GERMANS
        Royal Guard: Frei-Jäger (Skirmisher)

      • ITALIANS
        Royal Guard: Genovese (Crossbowman)
        Church tech unit: Legionario (Rodelero)

        Plans: Replace/rework Utili & Condottiero

      • OTTOMANS

        Royal Guard: Humbaraci (Grenadier)
        Church tech unit: Solak (Longbowman)

      • POLISH
        Royal Guard: Winged Hussar (Hussar)
        Royal Guard: Lipka Tatar (Lisowczyk)

        Plans: Add Lithuanian units, rework Stable and Infantry units, Folwark, AgeUp fix, Hetman > Szlachcic

      • PRUSSIANS
        Royal Guard: Brunswick Jaeger (Skirmisher)
        Royal Guard: Flügelgrenadier (Leibgarde)

        Plans: Transform Schütze into Leibgarde, replace Teutonic Knight

      • PORTUGUESE

        Royal Guard: Dragão da Legião (Dragoon)
        Royal Guard: Mosqueteiro da Legião (Musketeer)
        Church tech unit: Guarda de Emperador (Lancer)
        Church tech unit: Estremoz Field Gun (Falconet)

      • RUSSIANS
        Royal Guard: Dvoryanin (Cavalry Archer)

        Plans: Considering Infantry RG and heavy cavalry replacing Oprichnik

      • SPANISH

        Royal Guard: Blandengue (Lancer)
        Royal Guard: Infante de Marina (Arquebusier)
        Royal Guard: Walloon Guard (Musketeer)
        Church tech unit: Alabardero del Rey (Halberdier)

        Plans: Reworking Rodelero stats

      • SWEDISH

        Church tech unit: Mörnerska (Hussar)

        Plans: Boni revamp regarding Royal Guards and Wood production (Torps)

      • SWISS

        Royal Guard: Cent-Suisse (Reislaufer)

        Plans: building mobility revamp, population growth


    • Is this everything? No, not yet. (And I told you already in the beginning this would be sweeter than your christmas candy! ^^) Since we have fully arrived in the civilization section of this Modding Report already, this seems now like a good place to resolve some outrageous rumours. Some freaks really asserted we'd be working on a Persian & Danish civilization for NE2. Rolling Eyes Well, what I can I say. It's true. Mr. Green
      Danish-Persian Xmas Spoiler:


      Oh, and yet another christmas box, suupriiiiiise! lol

      • DANISH
        Defensive naval civ

        The Danish were originally planned for NE3 only. However, being a classical European civ of that time, we thought they should be comparably easy to realize also in NE2. In past modding reports we have already presented our plans and work for the NE3 Danish civ. Even though NE2 and NE3 are quite different, many design variables stay the same, so I'll drop this the key facts right here:
        • Leader: Christian IV.
        • Capital: Copenhagen
        • Explorer: Tycho Brahe (possibly)
        • Building Set: Western European
        • Royal Guards (planned): Dragoon, Uhlan
        • Unique units (types): Skirmisher, Halberdier, Mounted Healer, Monitor
        • Strengths: Fishing/Whaling, Navy, Churches, Neutrality, Hitpoints, Healers
        • Deficits: Coin, Costs


        Images:



      • PERSIANS
        Offensive cavalry civ

        Persians were never officially announced, but we did leak screenshots in the past and most of you will know the Persian bonus civ.

        • Leader: Nader Shah
        • Capital: Isfahan
        • Explorer: (yet to be found)
        • Building Set: Persian
        • Royal Guards (planned): Qizilbash, Tofangdar, Cavalry Archer
        • Unique units (types): Dragoon, Lancer, Hussar, Musketeer, Rodelero, Artillery, Caravel
        • Strengths: Trading Posts, Stables, Resource crates, Cavalry
        • Deficits: Factories, Infantry, Navy, Artillery


        Images:





________________________________________________________________________


unreleased


  1. What is this confusing NE3?
    An introduction for our new fans

    You may have stumbled upon this term a few times already, either in this report or outside in any of our screenshot galleries. It may be good to understand that Napoleonic Era isn't just one mod, but a mod series. NE1 was made for Age of Empires 3 without the expansions and exists roughly since a few months after the release of AoE3 in 2005. NE2 was released in 2009 for AoE3 and both of its expansions and is the current part of the Napoleonic Era mod series. So, NE3 is pretty much the future.

    With NE3 we intend to make everything better we don't deem possible - or worth to be made - in NE2 anymore. While NE2 expands AoE3, NE3 will rework AoE3 in the tradition of the former Age of Empires games while trying to preserve all the AoE3 innovations that we think are worth to be kept. So, NE2 to NE3 will be a shift from an expansion mod to a (total) conversion mod. What will be different? Well, let's try to keep it short by pulling out just a few major changes we planned:

    • New artillery & sea combat system
    • More modern/less archaic standard units in a more streamlined civ setup spiced up by shared elite units (i.e. Commanders, Riflemen, ..)
    • Completely reworked civs with greater historical depth
    • Reworked civ, combat and map balance, greatly considering the lessons learnt from AoE3 multiplayer (and other multiplayers)
    • New game roles and interpretations for many known variables such as Mercenaries, Minutemen (Militia), Trading Posts, and 'Minor' Civs, unique units and homecities
    • Increased immersion of game environment
    • Great influence from the look & feel from former Age of Empires titles

    So, that's all a bit abstract for most, but since NE3 has neither been made nor playtested to a degree, where more things can be announced as facts, this list works best for the moment.

  2. However, there is one thing we've been working on before we decided to put more efforts into polishing NE2, which is a new villager system. Don't worry, we won't be splitting up the eco with dozens of additional villager units, but we'll keep it all fixed in one.

    The idea is that Settlers will upgrade like military units and exist in three stages, which are Serf → Peasant → Citizen. There can be unique upgrades per civ, both visually and statistically. Part of the civ boni in NE3 will be the stages at which the civs start. Civs starting with Serfs and possibly having upgrades available in a later age than other civs have more vulnerable settlers and are hence easier to raid.
    These upgrades have no impact on gather rates or unit costs.

    We've already been making a few designs:


    Citizens


    Peasants


    Serfs




________________________________________________________________________
PERSONAL REVIEW Finally done with this report - and soon with 2014. It was a strenuous, hard year (at least for me) - and we're all off with better times!

Nonetheless, as mentioned in the beginning of the report, we're feeling really good with the current release, which is almost bug-free. And we know that is no coincidence. See ya next year after the age up to 2015 and thanks again for your support! Cool

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swedenpaul
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2014 7:11 pm    Post subject: Post

Great news!

I hope you know hom much we all apreciate your work on the NE mod!

Still (As an active 1st Ltnd ranked TAD treaty player) I would like to share my opinion about several things:

- currently, I have to admit, the mod is pretty much not at all balanced for treaty (the following is only regariding multplayer!):

french are still annoying with their gendarmes

french card fo infinite fort is overpowered

us-americas economy is incredibly overpowered, as you can not only have a huge amount of settlers but also build miners after reaching the settlers build limit to gather ressources for the gold Arrow food trade (which btw. makes the us civ even more op because their musk unit costs food only)

swedish can train canons instantly ! Embarassed which makes it impossible to counter them at any way

swedish leather canons are NOT beatable in any way, as they have a bonus even against cavalry and a insane rate of fire (ROF) + their 0 seconds train time

swedish culverins are overpowered as they have 3 area damage (trough a card), making it again impossible to counter them

otherwise swedish economy is not at all strong enough to play them in a treaty game

swiss civ is not playable in treaty as they're not able to make walls

prussias building limit is ok, I don't like it but it's a understandable way of making them less overpowered, but the limit for economy buildings (plantation/ mill) make prussia a bad choice for treaty, as villager contribution is not any variable.

removing the oprichnik would make russia at least 50% less cool for treaty! pls don't killem Rolling Eyes

german needlers (Zündnadeln) should IMO not be renamed, but they should IMO receive the name "Prussian needlers" or "Preußische Zündnadeln" as they are already called when you buy them in an asian consulate (I know there needs to be a separation between prussia and germany but in the end they united anyways so ... Razz)

german were hussars finally linked with the Uhlan cards, so know its more like 15% HP for hussar than 15% HP for Uhlan which it was before, nice! Smile

IMO there is no redesign for the yeomen required, they are truly beatiful already <3

now some wishes that any treaty played cries about. It would be cool if you could (somewhen) find a way to deal with these problems:

spanish and russian units often don't attack in treaty games, they just stand in front of their enemy units and do nothing, which is quite frustrating ... (same for russian musketeers when they are told to build a fort)

fix french OP-ness (already mentioned but: pleeease, french civ ruins so many cool and fair games Crying or Very sad )



overall all this sounds like your mod would be totally awful Arrow it is NOT! I love it, really! To the moon and back you know ...

but as you were talking about multiplayer, I simply had to add my (and many other treaty players) worries about NE and general AOE (+TAD and TWC)

Love,


Paul Cool
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GamerLuna
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2014 8:24 pm    Post subject:

Talk about having a christmas present , happy holidays to you to Tilanius and NE team Surprised
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cemoII
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2014 11:32 pm    Post subject:

Woww you're work here is amazing, thank to keep bringing to us the chance to play a major game, with his major and best (by far) mod. Ican't wait to play with the persian civ, with his elefant archers and more!!! (I thought that the belgians were an important civ of that time too, but whatever)
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Silmariel
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2014 11:42 pm    Post subject:

Very nice news guys. And what amajor effort ny Tilanus. It's not diffucult to by sidetracked by a city such as berlin. So a major applaus for him alóne.. Hungeraian grenadiers are particularly nice. Watching forward to play dames.Persians will ne mice too
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Ande59
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2014 12:28 am    Post subject:

Quote:
swedish leather canons are NOT beatable in any way, as they have a bonus even against cavalry and a insane rate of fire (ROF) + their 0 seconds train time


Culverins? lol

Quote:
otherwise swedish economy is not at all strong enough to play them in a treaty game


I guess that's what (whispers) kind of balances the Swedish civ?


This is great! Very nice work from the NE team. Love to see a mod that's still actively being changed/reworked on such an old game Mr. Green
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Tilanus Commodor
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2014 12:47 am    Post subject:

Thanks cemoII & Ande59! Glad you appreciate the mod. Smile

Also, thanks GamerLuna, you really have a talent to always get my nickname wrong by still varying it. Wink

Na, Silmariel? Noch schön einen über die Weihnachtstage gezwitschert? Mr. Green

@swedenpaul: I do not agree with all that you said, but I took some notes and will look into several points you mentioned (i.e. Americans, French and Swedish). Wink
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EduardoXV
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2014 2:06 am    Post subject:

Great news! Thanks to all NE Team for your work.
I think that the mod is getting closer and closer to be finished.
Right now it is only about some overpowered and underpowered units and techs that you should take into account and balance them.
Anyway, It was really good to see that you're still working Smile

Happy Holidays
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SAOL
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2014 9:02 am    Post subject:

I thought we'd get a little Christmas present Devil And boy, we must have been good children Mr. Green

Naturally congratulations are due to Kangkliff (obvious pick!) and JRussel (who I know less about) for making it into the league of splendour!

What can I say otherwise that I haven't already said in the past? Razz Mörnerska is not a name that I think makes much sense in Swedish. It needs another word after it to make sense.

If you want to keep Mörner, I would suggest "Mörners ryttare" instead (and let people come up with their own nicknames).
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GamerLuna
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2014 12:29 pm    Post subject:

Its an ancient skill lol lol lol

im really excited to play the persians , i wonder how spammable their units will be?
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Ivenend
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2014 2:52 pm    Post subject:

I notice that there is a Doppelsoldner in this picture, and he has a new standing animnation and the weapon model is the original landsknecht's sword?
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2014 3:32 pm    Post subject:

@SAOL: Hm, but it's called Mörnerska husarregementet. So I thought 'Mörnerska Hussar' would be like 'Hussar of Mörner'. Why does it not work? Mr. Green Otherwise, would Mörners Hussar work? Or is there even the possibility for a single term (idk, 'Mörnerhusar'?) ^^

@Ivenend: These are not Doppelsöldners, but they're Marauders, which is our Doppelsöldner version for a treasure guardian.
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Ande59
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2014 2:26 am    Post subject:

Quick question, I noticed you didn't mention anything about Wood Plantations (which was mentioned months [or was it years?] ago)... Are they planned in NE2 or NE3? Or are they scrapped?

... Or is that Exclamation Strictly Confidential Exclamation ?

Edit: Nevermind, found the answer in another post. Sorry! :S
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SAOL
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2014 9:49 am    Post subject:

Tilanus wrote:
Why does it not work?
Because those of my ancestors who dreamed up the language we call Swedish wanted to make life tricky for you Devil

To be honest I'm not sure about the grammatical explanation - and I couldn't think of an equivalent in German - so you'll just have to take my word for it. Your thinking is sound but the result unfortunately not right.

"Mörners Hussar" would work better, indeed.
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Gustav II Adolf
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2014 4:29 pm    Post subject:

"Mörnerhusar" would work, I think.

Great work as always. Smile
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GamerLuna
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2014 10:26 pm    Post subject:

Vööking wöuld be föne töö lol lol lol lol
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