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Topic Subject: New Random Maps
posted 08-03-20 08:50 AM ET (US)   

Download here!

There was one area of the game which had not been tackled yet by the community... until now. I present to you: 10 new Random Map types to play on! This empires.dat mod changes your existing Random Maps and replaces them with the following:

- Arabia, Arena, Black Forest, Golden Oasis, Scandinavia.

- Alien Planet, Bubbles, Marshland, Nile Delta, The Great Wall.

The first 5 will surely make AoE2 players smile - I personally love to play these maps and I wanted them in RoR, so here you go. The following 5 are not based on AoE2 but are my own adaptation of what I always liked to see. Quite a few of these new random maps have unique play features, such as a new type of Fortification which cannot be destroyed by conventional means, or how about a Space Ship which functions as a mobile Town Center?

There are also new graphical elements for you to enjoy such as new Marsh terrain, snow patches and a variety of editor-only trees!

This mod does NOT change any existing units, terrains, buildings, campaigns, scenario's etc. in any way. There are no balance changes (RoR 1.0a balance). Nor will it alter any actual graphics of the game. Everything remains exactly the same!

Let me know your thoughts and comments and if you find a bug please notify me. I hope you enjoy these new random maps as much as I did making them!
posted 08-03-20 09:32 AM ET (US)     1 / 16  
I always thought about doing something similar, but I probably just would've stuck with the default maps while changing the terrains to make them look a bit more interesting. This is all cool and stuff but I have to ask what's the deal with the map choices?

I always detested the boomer's paradise that is Arena, and Black Forest in RoR? As if the Hittites weren't already bad enough? Arabia is all fine and dandy but isn't it basically the same thing as Hill Country?

The joke more alternative maps sure look interesting though. Kind of interesting to learn what you've always wanted to see in this game. "Yeah, I like Age 1 despite its flaws, and the historical period is probably the most interesting for any game in the series, but what I always felt was lacking was the ability to build my guys out of a mobile spaceship."

//The warrior of Isola

"I lack quotes that demonstrate Humor Intelligence or anything about me."

Cleidopus gloriamaris
posted 08-03-20 03:08 PM ET (US)     2 / 16  
Map choices: Personal preferences mostly. But it also depended a lot on what worked on each modded rm script as the game is VERY picky about what it allows, lots of trial and error when creating these.

I agree Arabia is quite similar to Hill country. At least you get a scout unit! I like a lot of the AoE2 random maps and wanted them in RoR. I find a mix of AoE and AoK most appealing as they are my favorite games of the series.

The other maps are mostly new play modes I wanted to explore and experiment with. It has nothing to do with historical periods or accuracy (we have campaigns and scenario's for that!). I find some of the standard random map types that come with the game a bit dull after years of playing. I added in the Alien Planet to add something truly different from everything else. Have a go at them and play them, you might just like some of these new maps!

[This message has been edited by PhatFish (edited 08-03-2020 @ 03:10 PM).]

posted 08-04-20 05:34 AM ET (US)     3 / 16  
Okay, so I've had a quick look at your mod and I have to say it's really neat. My main complaint is that shorelines are often generated with these single tile offshoots which cause an ugly cut off border between the shore and water. For whatever reason, Scandinavia is one of the few maps which never suffers from this. I'm sure you have already noticed but if it is fixable it would be neat.

MArshalnds is probably my favorite of the maps, due to the cool look of it and the gameplay it promotes. I think Golden Oasis would be neat with some elevation. I have a bunch of other comments but I''ll save them for another time. I have no clue whatsoever what is even doable with these techniques, but I have to say I'm impressed.

//The warrior of Isola

"I lack quotes that demonstrate Humor Intelligence or anything about me."

Cleidopus gloriamaris
posted 08-06-20 07:11 AM ET (US)     4 / 16  
Unfortunately the jagged water shorelines cannot be fixed. This happens when water terrain is rendered on top of another terrain (stacked on top, yes that's possible in random map scripts) at 100% coverage which is needed to achieve certain unique effects or terrain features (like the Bubbles map). It cannot be done in any other way. I hope that makes sense, kinda hard to explain otherwise unless you have worked with random map scripts. It's a very minor issue anyway. The Scandinavia map does not make use of this hence why it renders the shorelines like normal.

I updated the mod and Golden Oasis now has hills. I agree they were missing and needed! I'm glad you pointed this out and was able to get them in without any problems.

Like I mentioned the game is very picky about what it allows on Random maps. You can't even get rid of the land dividing river that is always present unless you use non-water terrain or some very very difficult and clever trickery. The AI doesn't even work unless you have one of the 4 forest type terrains nearby it's base (for example if you only have custom new forest terrain on a map the AI will NEVER build a storage pit or advance to the next age!). Another peculiar thing is that you cannot add or change elevation/cliffs. The amount is hard coded. There are several other properties you need to keep in mind for things to work as they should. It's not that hard to create these new maps, it's finding workarounds to serious limitations that's the real difficult challenge.
posted 08-11-20 05:42 PM ET (US)     5 / 16  
EDIT2: now I actually tried it. UPatch HD RC4 does NOT recognize this mod on my machine.

EDIT: I was too lazy to read. It does.

Does it work with the mod manager of UPatch HD?

[This message has been edited by Romanos_V (edited 08-13-2020 @ 04:27 PM).]

posted 08-14-20 08:21 AM ET (US)     6 / 16  
Thanks for notifying, I assumed it worked with upatch's mod manager but it does not. I rarely use upatch at all mostly because of the balance changes that were made. Why mods based on the original files are not supported is beyond me, that's just dumb. Anyways I have updated the mod and it now supports upatch, but not via the mod manager. Like with the original game, you need to rename the provided empires.dat in the data2 folder to empires_up.dat, then copy/paste and overwrite the empires_up.dat file in the C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Games\Age of Empires\data2\ directory - and the new random maps work like they should!

[This message has been edited by PhatFish (edited 08-14-2020 @ 08:22 AM).]

posted 08-14-20 11:58 AM ET (US)     7 / 16  
The mod works with Upatch HD R4. You just need to rename the data file to "empires-mod.dat", change "language.dll" to "lang-mod.dll" and create Campaign, Save Game, and Scenario folders in a mod folder (just like other mods). You will also have to create a "mod.ini" file; you can copy it from most other mods.
It worked for me (I only use Upatch HD at this point).

Additionally: mods that use the original game data files do work with Upatch HD R4; 5thLegacy is one example.

[This message has been edited by The_Patriarck (edited 08-14-2020 @ 12:02 PM).]

posted 08-15-20 07:13 AM ET (US)     8 / 16  
Thank you so much for helping me out with this! Much appreciated. I have once again updated the mod and UPatch is now properly supported through the mod manager. The Upatch website is very vague about how to enable a mod, not well explained at all...

Also I do not know how to get the modded languagex.dll file to work with Upatch, I've tried several names like langx-mod.dll and languagex-mod.dll but it does not work (the lang-mod.dll works fine though). If anyone knows how to properly name the languagex.dll file for a upatch mod please let me know.
posted 08-16-20 03:01 PM ET (US)     9 / 16  
Upatch mods only use 1 language file. Any changes you made in languagex.dll (or language.dll) have to be done in the lang-mod.dll file; it overrides any existing text lines while the mod is active.
Hope that helps.
posted 08-17-20 05:34 AM ET (US)     10 / 16  
posted 08-17-20 05:11 PM ET (US)     11 / 16  
You forgot to include the "html" folder with the resources for the info/manual/faq into the updated mod files ;-)

[This message has been edited by Romanos_V (edited 08-17-2020 @ 05:12 PM).]

posted 08-20-20 06:17 AM ET (US)     12 / 16  
posted 09-16-20 12:41 PM ET (US)     13 / 16  
This is pretty creative work.
My main question would be whether you can still keep your normal random maps as well as the new ones, because the OP says that it "changes" your random maps.
posted 09-17-20 11:32 AM ET (US)     14 / 16  
You have a thread in July that is now archived and Replies closed:
New Patch, New Poll,6295,,10
What is your favorite Post-Iron Age Unit?

Heavy Horse Archer (20%, 38 Votes)
Centurion (19%, 37 Votes)
Heleopolis (13%, 24 Votes)
Legion (10%, 20 Votes)
Cataphract (10%, 20 Votes)
Schythe Chariot (9%, 18 Votes)
Armored Elephant (7%, 14 Votes)
Juggernaut (6%, 12 Votes)
Heavy Catapult (6%, 8 Votes)

My favorite is the Heavy Catapult because in the Around the Mountain Scenario where I was stuck slowly grinding regular catapults against about 5 tower-defended large enemy bases until I used the Heavy Catapult with full upgrades. A Heavy Catapult can make it not hard to plow through a strong enemy base in the Scenarios whereas otherwise I am stuck using regular catapults in a back and forth "raiding" style against them.

The big downside with catapults in general is that they automatically will smash your own troops hard if they are battling your enemies in close combat. So you have to specially select your catapults and keep them out of the way during troop v troop battles, which can be tough when the battles suddenly come up.

Heavy horse archers are fun to use because they can mass attack enemies quickly and reveal a lot of terrain and have good range, with the downside being that they get killed easily when attacked directly in combat, like if a catapult targets them.
posted 09-20-20 09:52 AM ET (US)     15 / 16  
Haha yeah the automatic archiving function is pretty dumb but there's nothing I can do about it.

HHA's certainly do lack a bit in HP, but when you consider the degree to which an attentive player can micro them the 103 HP you get with nobility is actually quite a lot. The fact that the "Heavy" Horse Archer moves around faster than its unupgraded counterpart also always cracked me up a bit.

//The warrior of Isola

"I lack quotes that demonstrate Humor Intelligence or anything about me."

Cleidopus gloriamaris
posted 09-26-20 01:41 AM ET (US)     16 / 16  
Well so long as we are making game criticisms, I am sure that the civilizations are not balanced. It seems to take alot away from Rome that they can't make ballista or guard towers, flaming arrows or elephants of horse archers or decent foot archers, IIRC. Maybe the Roman legions and centurions are supposed to be considered THAT good that it balances out. Historically the Romans would be the ultimate civilization in this time period, which makes sense because they are a later expansion pack. If you are talking about the 4th-5th century AD when the last scenario occurs, Rome was the strongest worldwide, with the Persians and Chinese being 2nd strongest. I am open to arguments for the Chinese being the strongest, but they were so far away that they were not really tested in battle against the Western nations' forces.

Nonetheless, it's also funny to me when I see mods or updates saying that they are meant to fix the "balance" of the game. It's funny because although it's not really fair or historical if Rome is not the strongest, at the same time, the original game was designed this way and it works, so it's not really a glitch. It's like the French in AOE3. AFAIK, the French are the strongest civilization in AOE3, due in part to their villager unit also being a decent soldier. So you can say that AOE3 is not really balanced or historical (since English tended to beat them in the imperialism game), but it's not really correct to make a "fix" that "balances" the teams, since the game designers made it this way and it works.
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