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Scenario Design and Modding
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Topic Subject: Outlining a Josephus Campaign
posted 02-08-21 01:39 AM ET (US)   
For me, one of the funnest parts of scenario design is fitting a story into the limitations or framework of the AOE Scenario Editor to create a scenario.

Josephus was probably the main 1st century Jewish governor and commander in the Galilee during the revolt against Rome. During his rule, he had some small, successful fights with another rebel, John of Gischala. Then he had some fights with the Romans and was conquered by Vespasian at Jotapata. Josephus is best known for his Antiquities of the Jews and Wars of the Jews, which together deal with Jewish history up to the end of the Jewish revolt of 66-73 AD. In particular, he wrote a passage on Jesus called the Testimonium Flavianum, and in my opinion he was a Torah-observant Christan (AKA Messianic Jew) because of his repeated allusions to Christian motifs. But most scholars would disagree that he was a Christian. So, major Story topics for the scenarios would be 1. his appointment as governor and his explanations for why he took power in his Vita (like how he wanted to defend Galilee from the rebels and maybe the Romans), 2. his allusion in section #2 below to James and other Christian motifs, 3. His reasons why he revolted from Rome (good for the Story section of a scenario where he battled Roman forces, 4. His reasons why he thinks that God allowed Jotapata (not Japha) to fall as he narrates in his Wars of the Jews, and 5. his dream about Vespasian, etc.

Below, I am numbering different sub-plots of Josephus' story that I could combine into a single scenario or campaign. There are a couple places that I don't have a good idea about how to turn certain battles into a scenario, and I put the parts in bold at the end of each numbered battle/section.

This map at the link below shows almost all the cities discussed below:

X 1. The Judean Provisional government in Jerusalem, including the son or grandson of the Biblical Nicodemus, sent Josephus to be the commander and governor in the Galilee in 66 AD. He got 70 Galilean rebels to follow him and built up the cities' defenses. (I need to reread his Wars of the Jews, but as I can tell, he built the cities through his rule.)

X 2. (Start of a scenario) In the city of Tiberias that his opponent John of Gischala controlled, Josephus made a speech on an elevated place, and when his enemies went to capture him, he went out through the crowd on the back of one James and sailed away to his headquarters in Tarichea. This story by the way is seen by some people as alluding to the story of James the apostle being thrown down from the Temple area and stoned, which Josephus narrates separately in his Antiquities. I could have Josephus start on a raised area and then have him flee to Tarichea. So the scenario would have to start with Josephus in that area.

3. Josephus puts guards around the edges of the city of Sepphoris and they let in an opposing captain (named Jesus) who has a small army outside, and then they capture the opponent, he promises to be loyal, and the opponent's army flees. AOE does not have a trigger to send a unit someplace like AOE2 does. I could have the captain (named Jesus) start in the middle of the city and then capture him with a priest, but there was no fighting, so it doesn't seem very interesting for a scenario unless I want to put all the events in Sepphoris in one scenario.

4. Next, Josephus was at Simonias and the Roman commander Ebutius tried fighting Josephus unsuccessfully in an area that wasn't flat, lost three people, and retreated to the city of Gibea. Ebutius wouldn't come out and fight Josephus, so Josephus raided the grain nearby at Besara. With AOE1, there is no trigger to "force move" an enemy, so I don't know how I could force an enemy army to retreat if they lose 3 people. Sometimes the AI's single units in AOE1 do retreat, but not in a clash between large groups. The best I can think of is to have a walled city (Gibea) with Roman forces in it and 3 units outside it for you to kill, and then a granary and farms farther away that you have to raid.

5. The attempted mutiny in Tarichea is not worth using.

X 6. Josephus built walls in Tarichea, then when there were Roman horsemen reported outside of Tiberias, people in Tiberias shouted against Tiberias. So Josephus and his supporters got on ships and sailed to Tiberias and made it look like they had a big army in their boats and Tiberias surrendered. This would be easy to use for a scenario VC (ie. just require your ships to sail near Tiberias and turn off Tiberias's ability to make a navy or towers to fight your ships) (He was also training men during his time as governor)

7. Next, he talks about his building walls in cities like Gamala, Jotapata, Sepphoris, and Tiberias. (He was also training men during his time as governor)

8. He goes to Chabolo and has skirmishes near Ptolemais with the Roman commander Placidus. Their two armies stayed separate and didn't fight, but there were skirmishes between small groups of their armies.

9. John's ally Jonathan's soldiers beat with clubs Josephus' supporters in Asochis. I could use Clubmen for that.

10. Josephus sets guards at the roads from Gabara to Galilee and from Galilee to Jerusalem and catches John of Gischala's messengers against Josephus. Specifically, John's messengers attacked the guards. I can set John's soldiers near Josephus', so that John's soldiers attack.

11. Josephus goes to Tiberias to deal with Jonathan's mutiny there, and he has to flee. This seems redundant after #2 above.

12. (This should probably be a separate scenario from the earlier one involving Tiberias) Josephus' forces caught John's ally Jonathan trying to go to Jerusalem, and he catches Simon outside the city of Tiberias, and then he attacks Tiberias and conquers it in a battle. I can have Josephus start at peace with Simon and with the City of Tiberius as two separate AI Players and then convert Simon and then attack Tiberius. I would start with troops around Tiberias.

13. (This would have to be a separate scenario) The city of Sepphoris excluded Josephus from their city, got permission from him to build walls and admitted a garrison of Roman legions. Then Sepphoris took up arms and Josephus conquered/took the city by force. Next, Josephus has to leave Sepphoris because the Romans arrived there under Cestius. For me to make the scenario so that you take Sepphoris and then retreat, I could have Josephus conquer Sepphoris within a set period of time and then when the deadline arrived, Roman units would have to spawn so that they would naturally attack Sepphoris. My challenge with this is that the spawn function in ROCKNROR looks a bit challenging. Another option could be to have Roman reinforcements start at the edge of the map and then arrive based on the speed of their units after you've had time to capture Sepphoris and retreat. It seems that the easiest thing to do is just to make #13 end when you take Sepphoris. And I can put in a timer so that he has to take it before a certain period of time, representing the time before the Romans arrive. Historically, Josephus left the city because the Romans' main force was in the area, not because they invaded Sepphoris. Had they invaded Sepphoris before he took it, he probably wouldn't have attacked it. If I make Roman soldiers spawn or invade from the map edge, then they would naturally invade Sepphoris, whereas historically they didn't go right into the city but rather Josephus retreated when they were in the neighborhood. Nor would he have retreated before the Roman army showed up. And it wasn't like he took the city and then had to retreat right away. So the whole idea of making retreating part of the scenario doesn't seem very good.

14. (this would need to be separate from the last scenario) After leaving Sepphoris, Josephus' forces conquer the city of Garisme/Garis in a battle but leave because they feel unacquainted with the area. Next, they get beaten in a battle against Roman cavalry in a plain and have to retreat from that battle. It looks too hard to combine #13 with #14. In his Vita, he doesn't say if he attacked the Romans in the plain or the other way around. I guess it was the latter because they were retreating from Garis. I know how to make Josephus' army attack a city (Garis) and then I can give him an Objective of retreating from it. But to make a Roman army attack him while he is on his way to retreating, I think I would need to set up a practically a "wall" of passive, "Neutral" Roman soldiers on Josephus' path or route to where he would need to retreat to. But I don't know if I could really make a Passive enemy army just sit there in an open area. Maybe I would need to spawn the Roman army there instead.

15. (This would have to be separate too.)Josephus; forces coax/provoke the commander Sylla's Romans out of their base at Julias and ambush them successfully. Josephus gets injured in a riding accident and goes to Tarichea. Next, Sylla has something of a successful skirmish and retreats. I don't know how you can make the AI launch a successful attack AND make it retreat. With AOE2, you could use the triggers to have the enemy retreat if some units are killed, but even then it would be hard for this scenario because that skirmish would follow the ambush at Julias, which would create different casualty numbers. I guess you could make the skirmishing party a separate Player and have it retreat if a certain unit is lost. But it seems just best in that case to make killing certain number of that party's units a VC.

16. (This would have to be separate) Vespasian battles Josephus successfully outside Tarichea (In his Vita he says that he writes about this in Wars of the Jews, but I don't see it there. He just talks about going from Garis to Tiberias and then to Jotapata). Since it was a losing battle for Josephus, the only things that I can think of for VCs are:
(A) to have Josephus be able to retreat to the edge of the map on his horse with a certain number of support troops while the rest of his army inflicts above a certain kill/loss ratio (eg. 1/2) and kill count, or
(B) to have Josephus and some of his support troops ride to the edge of the map in retreat and be able to survive within a certain deadline while his forces hold off the enemy.

17. (this would have to be a separate scenario too) Josephus' defense of Jotapata and his capture. I could have a scenario where Josephus builds the defenses. But making the scenario where they defend from the Romans could be tricky because it's a "loser." After conquering the city, a woman betrayed Josephus' hiding location to the Romans and the Romans offered Josephus and his guards who were hiding in a cave to surrender, resulting in almost all his guards supposedly playing Roman Roulette, after which Josephus and his bodyguard gave themselves up.

I guess that I could control the defenders of Jotapata and that my goal would be to keep Josephus alive inside the cave while two small groups of like 20 guards slaughtered each other (in Roman Roulette, also known as "the Josephus Problem"). Then Josephus could walk outside the cave and walk to the Roman side. ROCKNROR would be useful here. Either after a certain period of time or on the "unit_loss" trigger (eg. a Jotapata Gov't Center being destroyed), the Romans would change their diplomacy to ally, and then one set of the guards faced off against each other (eg. 10 pro-Josephus guards of one ally AI and 10 of another) would switch to enemy against Josephus and fight each other. The problem with the Unit Loss trigger being used is that I might just be able to have my own units destroy it instead of waiting for Roman AI units to do so. The timer trigger idea seems better because I would be holding off the Romans so that Josephus could hide.

I have some more detailed notes on Josephus' story that I used for the outline above, and you can read them here if you are interested:
I think in the first scenario that I would make out of this, I would put 2,6,7 (building Tiberias' walls after a ROCKNROR timing trigger set my opponents in Tiberias to ally with me after I escaped from Tiberias in #2),9, and 10 in it.

[This message has been edited by rakovsky (edited 09-20-2021 @ 02:11 PM).]

posted 02-20-21 03:20 PM ET (US)     1 / 24  
That's a pretty solid outline. Fitting all of it inside a couple of scenarios would be cool, but requires some careful planning so that the player can't do things in the wrong order. Making it a set of multiple scenarios is the easier option for sure. Still for some of the directly following battles I think that starting with an army, fighting the first battle, getting some Gaia reinforcements and moving on to the next fight could be a good formula for you.

In general I find it interesting how you treat campaigns way more like a "history simulation" rather than consider what makes for challening gameplay for the player. With some careful balancing however I think you should be able to combine the two here if you desire to.

Yeah, while there are some retreat parameters in the .per file the reality of it is rather clumsy and you'll struggle to get anything to work. Maybe if you use a ranged unit for Ebutius you could force the computer inside the walls as it tries to avoid melee combat. Still it will probably be tricky and require the player to lose the units doing the "pushing" as the computer otherwise will chase you back out of the walls again.

The retreat objective seems like a good take on the losing battle. If it's a fixed force for the player you could always use the Kill Count VC for the computer to create an objective like "Josephus and 4 of his men must survive the retreat".

Good luck with your porject Rakovsky.

//The warrior of Isola

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

Cleidopus gloriamaris
posted 02-21-21 01:26 PM ET (US)     2 / 24  
That's a good suggestion about reinforcements and Gaia units, because the first time that I thought about this, I thought about having a couple battles going on at once, like event number 8 as well as one of the other events, as soon as the scenario starts. But based on your suggestion, I could have one of the events start at the beginning and then the player either finds gaia units or trains the units and then sends them to start another event like number 8. The scenario gets a lot more interesting when you combine events and actions and activities like that, instead of having only one event.
posted 02-22-21 05:43 PM ET (US)     3 / 24  
Planning the scenarios is one of my favorite parts of Scenario design. For a Nativity scenario, I thought of having you start with the three wise men and your goal is to first meet Herod and then go on a kind of Easter Egg hunt for the Holy Family in Bethlehem, and I would use RockNROR's trigger system to give the player a time limit, after which the Herod soldier units would switch to the player's enemy so that the Player has a limited time to flee to Egypt and send the wise men back to the Orient. The Holy Family could be a scout (Jesus on a donkey) plus a Composite Archer (for Mary) and a priest unit (for Joseph. Or the Scout unit could be Joseph. Their goal could be to reach the map edge near Egypt and the Magis' goal could be to reach the eastern map edge.

One of the most interesting "Food for Thought" is how to make a scenario that would match parts of Jesus' life between the Nativity and Gethsemane, using features in AOE. I am curious what ideas that you or other have. Here are some that came to my mind:
- Jesus could find Nicodemus or Joseph of Arimathea, who would be the Gaia old priest units who could tell their friends about Jesus (ie. a Conversion objective).
- Jesus could walk on water to go to a fishing ship or transport with some apostles. The walk on water feature is a neat mapmaking trick where you make shallows and then move the shallows graphics away so that the original spot just looks like water.
- There is an episode where Jesus was on a cliff and a crowd was going to push Him off, but He walked through the crowd instead. I guess this could be the opening part of the scenario, where Jesus is near a cliff edge and there could be an Enemy Player's crowd near him, and then like 4 seconds into the Scenario they could switch to Allied or Neutral so that He could walk through them.
- Jesus had a lot of farming parables, so there could be an objective involving gathering food from berries or a farm. There could be Gaia farmers or another AI Player (friend or enemy) near the resources and Jesus could in effect be a person in the parable.
- Another objective could be for Jesus to visit the synagogue (temple) in Nazareth, where he preached.
- Another objective could be to gather fish. Jesus could start as the only Player unit and then he could go find the Gaia fishermen and their boats by the shore.
- Jesus could visit the Jordan river for baptism. But if I used that objective, it would have to be the starting one, and then I would have to figure out how to work that into the part where he goes on a cliff area with enemies who switch to Neutral or allies.
- Jesus cast out demons like "Legion." But he did not kill the demons. So I could have Legion units representing demons, but it seems like the best that I could do would be to make them move away from or toward slinger units controlled by the player. The objective in that case could be to lure or prod the Legion enemy into a certain space like a shallows area. I would need to use the RockNROR triggers to make the Legion Player to switch to the Player's ally, since otherwise either the Legion or the slingers would kill each other or chase each other around the map indefinitely. And the only trigger that comes to mind is the timing trigger, where after X seconds of game time, the Player's status chances. There were a couple NT stories about Jesus or the apostles casting out demons, so the objective could be moving the Legion unit.
posted 03-03-21 02:23 PM ET (US)     4 / 24  
Yeah you know, I actually haven't experimented too much with RockNRor triggers. I just went around and made extremely complex dynamics late in my designing career. So unfortunately I can't really tell you a lof of what can or can't be done with triggers, I can just encourage you to exmperiment with them to learn.

For the nativity scenario I think you have the core idea clear, and the main gripe becomes what units to use. I think Priest for the wise men makes the most sense, and it would allow you to gather followers on your way to Bethlehem. In that case it might be an option to pick Macedonians for Herod's men for the conversion resistance.

As for the life of Jesus between nativity and Gethsemane, I think it's a good concept as it allows for some creative freedom as much about that time is open to speculation. Not sure if I have any specific ideas in mind but I'll let you know if I think of something.

//The warrior of Isola

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

Cleidopus gloriamaris
posted 03-04-21 04:55 PM ET (US)     5 / 24  
Thanks for your input in general. I value it.

[This message has been edited by rakovsky (edited 03-04-2021 @ 04:56 PM).]

posted 03-10-21 09:45 AM ET (US)     6 / 24  
It's a little challenge fitting what I want to say about Josephus in the first scenario into the 4000 letter limit for the Story, Instructions, and Hints. I want to 1. give some personal background and explain some evidence that Josephus was Christian AND I want to 2. lay out his contradictory relationship to the revolt at the start of the revolt, AND I need to 3. narrate his arrival in Galilee, which is the substance of the first scenario. #1 took 3,245 characters, so I'll move some of it to a later scenario and will shorten #2.

I'm also thinking more about how many of the numbered Parts to include in the first scenario. Story #2 (up to Vita 18) on Tiberias covers almost all the text space for the Instruction screens.

Section #3 is in Sepphoris in Central Galilee, so I would need to make the map cover all Galilee if I want to include it. Part #4 (Besara/Beit She'arim) is in western Galilee. Gibea is considerd to be Sha'ar HaAmakim, also in western Galilee.

Section #6 can be added to #1. Story #7 is just building walls and training soldiers, so it can be part of the above-mentioned Tiberias and Sepphoris missions.

Section #8 is in Chabolo and Ptolemais, in West and West-Central Galilee. #9 about Jonathan's forces is in Asochis in central Galilee near Sepphoris. #10 about Jonathan's forces is at Gabara as well as the roads leading out of Galilee into Judea, and anyway this part of the story is really dependent on #9.

I think that it just doesn't work to combine the missions in Sepphoris and Tiberias because it would cover too much map ground. Maps with lots of objectives and minibattles become more unwieldy.

[This message has been edited by rakovsky (edited 04-12-2021 @ 11:15 PM).]

posted 03-11-21 11:48 AM ET (US)     7 / 24  
I just finished my Instrution Screen Messages for Scenario 1. The AOK HG Blacksmith has a "Project" section, but I don't think that the AOE HG granary has anything like that.
posted 04-04-21 01:51 PM ET (US)     8 / 24  
Not that I know. Our community is smaller and thus less active than AoK's, so I guess they have implemented more different things at their users needs? Maybe the two Pisces could offer a more accurate answer.
posted 04-12-21 11:22 PM ET (US)     9 / 24  
I just submitted a Josephus scenario that covers Sections #1,2,6,7,10 in my list in the OP. My next scenario I plan on is one dealing with Section #12. It should be easier to work on because I already have the geographical map down. Basically the story will pick up on Josephus' conflict with his rival, John of Gischala, in the wake of the events of the scenario that I just submitted, called Josephus takes command of Eastern Galilee. The second scenario could be something like "Josephus' battle at Tiberias" or "Josephus battles John of Gischala at Tiberias."

[This message has been edited by rakovsky (edited 04-12-2021 @ 11:22 PM).]

posted 04-13-21 09:11 AM ET (US)     10 / 24  
Project section? To like, upload your works in progress? Nah we don't have that just put whatever demo material you have in the category that suits best.

//The warrior of Isola

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

Cleidopus gloriamaris
posted 04-17-21 02:55 AM ET (US)     11 / 24  
I learned that lions were in Israel and the Middle East in modern times and that crocodiles were in its Mediterranean rivers. I thought about updating my Josephus map to add in some lions. But I have a hard time imagining lions roaming Galilee in Jesus' time. However there really were crocodiles in the rivers that let out to the Mediterranean. Some Crusaders in medieval Galilee got eaten by them. I guess these things in maps can always be improved.

[This message has been edited by rakovsky (edited 04-17-2021 @ 02:59 AM).]

posted 05-20-21 03:27 PM ET (US)     12 / 24  
In his battle against the city of Tiberias, Josephus defeated his opponents and drove them into the city, after which they surrendered. I think that in AOE1, there is no way to set a Victory Condition where there are 0 units belonging to a Player in a given area. It must be normal in historical battles for the Objective to actually be removing all hostile forces from a location, not necessarily killing a certain number of enemies. But in AOE1, the best I can probably do as the Editor is to count all enemy units occupying a spot and making the VC to kill that number, or else to make the enemy Player Resign.

Maybe in AOE2 you can set one of the Victory Triggers to be making "0" units of a Player in an area.
posted 05-27-21 09:37 PM ET (US)     13 / 24  
I submitted my second Josephus scenario. It covers events #11-12 in my list above.

I planned on putting 10 scenarios into my "Christian campaign." But as it stands now, #8 and #10 are two emperors getting assassinated, and that's not a very nice note to end on... But each scenario has taken me a lot of time and work. So I am thinking of doing a kind of fun "Mor Havoc" scenario as number 11.
posted 06-28-21 09:27 PM ET (US)     14 / 24  
I finished Scenario #11- Journey to Arbela. It has a couple Stages. I submitted it about 15 minutes ago, but I am not sure if I included my README file in it. I think I did.

[This message has been edited by rakovsky (edited 06-28-2021 @ 10:00 PM).]

posted 09-20-21 02:08 PM ET (US)     15 / 24  
I am trying to edit my first Josephus scenario, "Josephus Takes Command of East Galilee," so that it will work OK without using ROCKNROR because I made it with a ROCKNROR trigger. The scenario is here:

In history, Josephus and his guards (Yellow soldiers in the screenshot above) were at a stadium near the city of Tiberius with John of Gischala's forces (Brown soldiers). John's forces were stronger and went to attack Josephus. (The grey panel in the lower left corner of the screenshot above hides the rest of John's brown army.) So Josephus fled with a few guards to a ship waiting in the harbor (Gaia boat in the screenshot). Then he sailed south to the city of Tarichea and made peace with John. Then Josephus built walls around Tiberius to protect it from the Romans.

So in my original ROCKNROR version of this scenario, I had John's brown army attack Josephus, and then I told the Human Player in the instructions to make Josephus flee from the city of Tiberius. Then I added in a ROCKNROR trigger that switched John (Brown's) stance to the Human Player to Allied and vice verse to make peace between you and John. Then I told the Human Player in the instructions to build wall units in on the tiles with the line of rocks between the Yellow flags in the screenshot above.

Now I am making a campaign using this scenario, but I don't want to require the Human player to play it with ROCKNROR enabled to make it work, because a lot of players probably aren't going to want to download a Mod. So I am thinking about how to edit the scenario so that the story line still works without the ROCKNROR triggers.

1. One option is that I can just delete the trigger and let John's Brown units follow and attack my armies around the map. That wouldn't match the history, but it would be practical.

2. Another option is that I could put walls (including trees or water) running from the stadium to the sea, so that you can escape onto the sea, but John's forces won't go elsewhere on the map. I can also set John's forces to Neutral so that he won't attack your walls. One downside to this option is that the Human Player could come back with archers and priests and kill John's forces in the stadium, which is not historical. Another downside is that it makes it a little slower for you to bring your villagers up from Tarichea to Mount Arbela to make walls there, but you can change the game speed to Very Fast to do this. A third downside is that if I add in a city wall, then the arrangement becomes unhistorical because it was Josephus' job to build the wall after he came back to Tiberias. The Romans had banned Tiberias from building walls.

3. A third option is that I could give you very strong allied soldiers (eg. Aqua Player 8 ally centurions) by the sea or towers by the sea. This way, John's forces would end up attacking them and getting killed after your forces fled over the lake. The Allied forces would in effect act as guards to protect you and mop up John's forces. One downside is that it's not historical for John's forces to get killed that way.

4. A fourth option is to put John's forces on the Allied stance right at the beginning. You would still need to leave the stadium to progress with the mission because I would put an Objective for Josephus (Jason Hero unit) to go to Tarichea. This option works well with the story line, but it's more boring if John won't attack Josephus (Jason unit).

Option #2 feels the best to me. What do you think?

[This message has been edited by rakovsky (edited 09-20-2021 @ 07:26 PM).]

posted 09-21-21 08:11 AM ET (US)     16 / 24  
You didn't know that having RocknRor is required for Triggers? Obviously triggers are not in the base original game nor in DE, what did you expect?

Some sound advice here: Make multiple copies of your Age of Empires installation folder, just copy the whole directory and paste it in the Microsoft Games folder under a slightly different name (e.g. Age of Empires_RocknRoR). Keep one "clean" installation, the rest are for different versions of the game (e.g. 1.0b, 1.0a) or mods such as upatch or RocknRor. This is what I do whenever I playtest my work.

How about option 5? Basically works exactly the same as a diplomacy switch trigger: an asking for tribute .per file. You can set it so that at a certain point in time the diplomacy switches between the CPU and the human player to Ally or Enemy (whichever you prefer) if the human player can't tribute/does tribute gold. Additionally you have some text interaction which is almost always nice to see. Here's an example of this .per file:

128 1 //SNTributePlayer Player 1 (blue)
124 150 //SNTributeAmount
125 50 //SNTributeChatFrequency
126 2 //SNTributeChatRandomness
132 1 //SNTributePersistence Once
127 20 //SNTributeTimeout
129 1 //SNTributeSuccessOutcome Ally
130 1 //SNTributeFailureOutcome No effect
133 0 //SNTributeRevokeOnAttack No
posted 09-21-21 12:16 PM ET (US)     17 / 24  
Your Option #5 is the best.

I found these three pages with information on making Per files.
"Per Edit" by Phil Phree


Индивидуальные особенности компьютерных игроков в Age of Empires

I remember reading a FAQ someplace that explained how to add Tribute triggers into your scenarios, but I forget where I read it.
"You didn't know that having RocknRor is required for Triggers? Obviously triggers are not in the base original game nor in DE, what did you expect?" - Phatfish.
I wasn't sure what would happen because I'm a Rookie-level scenario designer.

[This message has been edited by rakovsky (edited 09-21-2021 @ 06:37 PM).]

posted 09-21-21 12:26 PM ET (US)     18 / 24  
Thanks for providing a Code.

In the scenario that I am working on (#5: Josephus Takes East Galilee), you are Yellow Player #3 and John of Gischala (Brown Player #4) starts Neutral to you. John (#4 Brown) has the "Super Aggressive" Personality. I would like John of Gischala to demand about 100 gold 1 minute into the scenario and then stay allied with you for the rest of the scenario without asking for more gold.

This was my ROCKNROR Trigger:
message=Josephus smoothed relations with Tiberias. John won't attack you.
I guess that I need to open the Super Aggressive .PER file in NOTEPAD and edit in a series of Tribute SN lines and a tribute demand chat line some place in that file.

Some issues:
1. (solved) I didn't understand "126 2 //SNTributeChatRandomness" very well. The "Age of Empires Personality Types" file says that it
Sets the randomness (in seconds) of the computer player’s chat messages asking for tribute. Must be >= 0 and < SNTributeChatFrequency.
Another Description says:
0 ≤ S < R be the maximum amount of seconds difference between actual computer promptings for gold
and scheduled computer promptings for gold

126 S //SNTributeChatRandomness
R is the value in 125 SN (Frequency of Tribute Requests).
It sounds like S in the 126 SN means for example that if I pick "1" as the randomness value, then there is a chance that the chat message could appear on screen 1 Second earlier or later than the value that I put for the "Frequency" of the Tribute chat message "125 SNTributeChatFrequency".

2. For "128 SNTributePlayer", the description says:
Sets the player ID# of the player the computer player will target for the tribute request. Must be a valid player number for the game
So I should set this as "3", because the Computer player will be targeting the Human Player (#3) for the request.

3. For Line 130, you put:
130 1 //SNTributeFailureOutcome No effect
However, the "Age of Empires Personality Types" information page says that
the value for "No effect" is 0, not 1 as you put.
The information webpage says:
Controls what happens when the tribute request is not fulfilled within the allotted time. If set to 0, nothing happens. If set to 1, the computer player will go to war when the tribute amount is not paid.
4. Line 127's information says:
127 SNTributeTimeout
Sets the amount of time (in seconds) within which the tribute must take place. Must be >= 0.
Does this mean that tribute must occur within ___ seconds of the start of the game or from the moment of the computer's request for tribute. I guess that it means the latter (eg. 60 means 60 seconds from the moment that the computer asked for tribute, even if the request for tribute was made 60 seconds into gameplay.)

5. You put "132 1 //SNTributePersistence Once"
But based on the description below, you should have put 0.
Controls whether or not the interactive tribute system operates once or forever. A value of 1 makes it last the entire game (i.e. the computer player will continue to demand SNTributeAmount of gold for the entire game, at intervals roughly equivalent to SNTributeChatFrequency from the outcome evaluation). A value of 0 makes the interactive tribute occur one time.

[This message has been edited by rakovsky (edited 09-22-2021 @ 01:27 PM).]

posted 09-21-21 06:36 PM ET (US)     19 / 24  

I followed your advice about making a separate AOE1 ROCKNROR folder with my game files.

Then I opened the standard "Super Aggressive" .Per file and made the end of the .Per file read:
128 3 //SNTributePlayer Human Player 3 (Green)
124 100 //SNTributeAmount
125 60 //SNTributeChatFrequency
126 2 //SNTributeChatRandomness
132 0 //SNTributePersistence Once
127 100 //SNTributeTimeout
129 1 //SNTributeSuccessOutcome Ally
130 0 //SNTributeFailureOutcome No effect
133 1 //SNTributeRevokeOnAttack Yes
Then I renamed it as JohnGischA.PER and put copies of it in my Data2 and AI folders. Then I opened my AOE1 exe file in my ROCKNROR directory. In the game Editor, I chose JohnGischA.per as the Personality for Brown Player #4 (John of Gischala) and resaved the scenario.

Then I loaded it in my Single game scenario player on the MODERATE difficulty. 1 minute into the scenario, John (Player 4) demanded 100 Gold like I set it to in the Per folder. Next, I paid the 100 gold using my Diplomacy menu to Player 4. But instead, Player 4 replied that my "petty offerings will not sway" his decisions.

What did I do wrong?

[This message has been edited by rakovsky (edited 09-22-2021 @ 01:16 PM).]

posted 09-22-21 01:53 PM ET (US)     20 / 24  
I thought that my problem with the bad outcome (the "petty offerings" announcement might be that I had the Outcome values for the 129-130 SNs wrong because I start with John (#4 Brown) set to Ally in my Diplomacy menu and John starts with me set to Neutral. Plus, read in EME2940820's PER TRIBUTE page that the values for 129 and 130 are switched between 0 and 1 depending on the circumstance:
Situation I: Gold for Alliance
Computer: If you tribute me Q more gold, I will ally with you.
***Human tributes Q gold in T seconds***
Computer: You have made a wise choice – together we shall rule the world.
***Computer allies with Human***
Computer: If you tribute me Q more gold, I will ally with you.
***Human fails to tribute Q gold in T seconds***
Computer: Alas! We could have made an unstoppable team.

For Situation I to occur, use the following in a PER file:
124 Q //SNTributeAmount
125 R //SNTributeChatFrequency
126 S //SNTributeChatRandomness
127 T //SNTributeTimeout
128 1 //SNTributePlayer
129 1 //SNTributeSuccessOutcome
130 0 //SNTributeFailureOutcome

Situation II: Oppression without Alliance
Computer: Tribute Q gold to me or you will be destroyed.
***Human tributes Q gold in T seconds***
Computer: It was wise to do as I requested.
Computer: Tribute Q gold to me or you will be destroyed.
***Human fails to tribute Q gold in T seconds***
Computer: You dare defy me?! Prepare to die!
***Computer sets its diplomacy on Enemy with respect to Human***

For Situation II to occur, use the following in a PER file:
124 Q //SNTributeAmount
125 R //SNTributeChatFrequency
126 S //SNTributeChatRandomness
127 T //SNTributeTimeout
128 1 //SNTributePlayer
129 0 //SNTributeSuccessOutcome
130 1 //SNTributeFailureOutcome
But I don't think that this is the source of the problem, because the instructions say that 1 should be the value for 129 SN to make AI Player 4 into an Ally, which is what I want to occur.

I also thought that the problem could be that I was playing on ROCKNROR, but when I copied my files into my regular AOE1 folder and played using AOE1 ROR UPatch, the same problem occurred. Next, I opened the DEFAULT .PER file and added in the Tribute Trigger SN lines above and renamed the file. Then I used my newly-edited DEFAULT .PER file instead of my original JOHNGISCH .PER file, and the same problem reoccured where John (Player 4) tells me that my petty offerings are not enough, even when I tributed over 100 gold to him.

[This message has been edited by rakovsky (edited 09-22-2021 @ 02:15 PM).]

posted 09-22-21 04:32 PM ET (US)     21 / 24  
This brings me to the question:
Can you get the Tribute system to work if you as the Human Player are Player 3 or anyone besides Player 1? If so, it would feel a little strange because if the Tribute System only works if you (the Human Player) are Player 1, then it would make the following line pointless:

128 1 //SNTributePlayer Human Player 1 (Blue)

That is, there would be little point in the game having a Tribute SN line where the editor has to manually select the Player whom the AI would ask for Tribute if Player 1 was the only Player for whom the Tribute system worked.
posted 09-25-21 07:10 AM ET (US)     22 / 24  
You figured it out, well done

With this tribute .per, no matter which player the HUMAN player is be it 3 or 8, if you want to ask the HUMAN player for tribute always set the

128 1 //SNTributePlayer Human Player 1 (Blue)

to 1.

If you want to ask another CPU player tribute, (so CPU asking CPU), change it to whatever CPU player you want to demand the tribute from. Keep in mind that if you do this the message asking for tribute will still display, making it seem like the CPU player you assigned the tribute.per to appears to be asking the HUMAN player the tribute. In this case, if you want to use a simple diplomacy change without involving actual tributing from ANY of the players (HUMAN or CPU), simply set the

127 1 //SNTributeTimeout

to 1 second.
posted 09-25-21 09:38 AM ET (US)     23 / 24  

Your advice works when I set all Players' Diplomacy to Neutral and make Player 3 Human and set Line 128 to 1. When the CPU asks me for Tribute, it immediately changes its stance to me to ENEMY, and then when I pay it the requested 100 GOLD, it allies to me. It also works when I set my starting stance to all players to Ally and leave their starting stance toward me at Neutral.

One weird thing is that when they make the tribute request, their stance switches from NEUTRAL to ENEMY toward me until I give them the tribute. I don't know if it's possible to keep them on Neutral until they give me the tribute.

Also, the .PER file only works when I put it in the AI folder, not the Data2 folder. What is the point of the Data2 folder then?

[This message has been edited by rakovsky (edited 09-25-2021 @ 10:51 AM).]

posted 10-09-21 08:57 AM ET (US)     24 / 24  
I assume youre using upatch. Just use the base game data folders for the original game otherwise the AI folder for upatch.

Neutral is an interesting position, the cpu likes to switch from ally to neutral to enemy and back from time to time. Just set to ally when using the tribute .per depending on how you want to use it.
Age of Empires Heaven » Forums » Scenario Design and Modding » Outlining a Josephus Campaign
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