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The Wars of Liberty Team

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  • Welcome to The Town Hall! This forum is for news and discussion about anything related to WoL. You can ask any WoL-related questions here.
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  • Posts that don't fit this forum will be moved or deleted.
 
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Jutlander
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Wars of Liberty Team
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Location: Kingdom of Araucania and Patagonia
Favorite Civilization: Polish

Jutlander's developer blog

Sat Aug 03, 2019 9:11 pm

For a while I'll be writing a blog on Wars of Liberty, hopefully will last a long time.

The state of WoL: Where we are and where we are going
When Wars of Liberty was born as War of the Triple Alliance, it served the purpose of representing a corner of the world often overlooked, but it eventually got bigger and it had to change its name to Wars of Liberty. That change brought with it new desires both for the modders and the players: it wasn’t just about representation anymore, but about giving players innovative and fun gameplay. At the time it didn’t matter if the bonuses were too extreme, after all, it was just a mod and if you wanted to take it seriously then you were better off playing Napoleonic Era anyway. The mod, though, grew up immensely: every day more players were interested in trying it and, of course, more and more players claimed the mod was not to be taken seriously. After all, civilizations had access to many abilities that broke down balance, leading to ridiculous situations where civilizations had units with huge damage, hp, numbers, etc. That’s when we realized the mod needed to be taken even further from representation and innovative gameplay: it needed to stand its ground in terms of design and balance in order to actually provide a satisfactory game experience for all players alike. So, for the last couple of years we have been focusing on that, we were doing our best to track down the most unbalanced issues, the biggest bugs, to tune down broken mechanics and to retouch some aspects of civilizations that weren’t too well designed. Right now, the mod is in a better shape than it’s ever been, the player base keeps growing and we even have a tournament going on, but we know that to be the Age of Empires III modification we want to be, we have to do more.
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But first, what kind of modification do we want to be? What do we actually have to offer? I think it’s important to clear that up before I tell you where we are exactly and what’s on the future.
First of all, we want to be a treasure. That means we want to be a game people will find, years from now, and be amazed at how much there is to find out: the maps, the mechanics, the cultures, the civs, the cards, all the combinations, all the units, all the stories the game tells. We want a game that can truly take people through a journey and the only way to do that is with quality content that has enough depth on it and, of course, with having a lot of it to offer.
Also, we want to offer a satisfactory experience in terms of what to do, how to do it. We want to let you do stuff your way. Want to play hours long matches with you defending a stronghold against imperialist europeans? We got you. Want to simulate a new colony trying to survive on a hostile environment? We can do that too. Want to make a religious city flourishing with trade? There’s that as well. We are not and we will never be a simulator, but we want to provide the players all the tools they need to make the stories they want within the game, and for that, we need to offer them not just viable strategies, but a variety of them that can provide a challenge and experiences. Systems like espionage, religion, cards with weird effects, special Trade routes and Natives, and all of that are there just for this, for you, as a player, to be able to do what you want with it, even offline.
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Finally, we want to offer fair and fun gameplay, as close to competitive as we can. We know, of course, that Wars of Liberty will never be as competitive as the Eso-community patch, but we want to give each civilization and, of course, the players behind them a fair chance. Our main issue in the past in terms of balance was that our designs never had it in mind during development and, therefore, once the civilizations were live, they found many unfixable issues that ultimately made them broken beyond repair. Lately, we have been fixing that and, right now, we can say that our reputation is mostly that, a reputation based on the past of our mod and that we have changed a lot in the last couple of years. Big balance issues can be counted with one hand and, eventually, the number will be even lower.
As we work towards making Wars of Liberty better, we realize that the help of the players is vital to achieve the task, which is why we’ve decided to talk openly with you about where does Wars of Liberty stand now and where it’s heading.
In the next issues I’ll be talking about what to expect for the future of the mod and, then, I’ll reveal some aspects of the future changes for the game.
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Banyana
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Re: Jutlander's developer blog

Sat Aug 03, 2019 9:22 pm

Best AOE EVER !
WOL is its own game. And many ppl can look over balance issues..
I love your work, and the work from all other devs. You gyus rock it hard !
Thanks for invvesting so much tiem into our amusement..
I wish I could do more for you guys <3

Greetings Banyana
Smile like a Banyana... Image
 
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The black Demicannon
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Re: Jutlander's developer blog

Sun Aug 04, 2019 6:31 am

Well, I can only agree with Maxy/Banyana. I don't play any other version of AoE3 anymore, and still with every game I discover more things. I'm really interested in which nations and which maps and which other changes will come in the future so I can't wait to see that blog!
 
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cboye18
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Re: Jutlander's developer blog

Tue Aug 06, 2019 12:17 am

Hey man I just want to thank you and the team for this AMAZING mod! I've just recommended 6 of my friends to start playing it and we have a blast! I don't think I can ever get back to the original game, remastered or otherwise.
I'm mostly a casual and offline player, so while there's still some unfinished AI and bugs present, the sheer amount of extra content just overshadows the negatives. I love navy battles in all Age of Empires games so hopefully we'll get an AI fix for that soon!
 
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Jutlander
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Wars of Liberty Team
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Posts: 655
Joined: Sun Mar 12, 2017 1:30 am
Location: Kingdom of Araucania and Patagonia
Favorite Civilization: Polish

Re: Jutlander's developer blog

Wed Aug 07, 2019 12:23 pm

In what ways will Wars of Liberty change and why
So what does this mean for us and for the game? It means that we will rework almost every aspect of the game and our main focuses will be the three I mentioned in my last post: Richness of content, narrative depth and competitive gameplay. We want all aspects of Wars of Liberty to be vast, polished, fun and fair and our work, hopefully, will reflect that wish.
In the future you will see almost every Wars of Liberty culture reworked in one way or another. We will polish their unique mechanics, their shared cards, units, buildings so they make more narrative sense and offer every civilization of that culture tools powerful enough for them to stand their ground against anything in their own unique way. We will also make more unique civilizations, providing them with unique, yet not broken mechanics, strengths and weaknesses so every single civilization feels like their own world. We will rework espionage, religion, and almost every single aspect of the game to make it fit the mod setting, to do justice to the mod’s size and, of course, to make them more compelling, viable and fun. You can expect to see changes on everything, and I mean it, even how units themselves work.
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This, of course, with balance in mind. Every culture, every mechanic, every civilization will have tools to stay competitive, to bring something to the table, but we will only achieve that if we rework everything from the ground, so we can be sure we can standardize all aspects of the mod and, therefore, with the help of players, bring stuff closer together in terms of numbers.
Another aspect of the mod encouraging us to think about reworking was sensibility: It’s no secret that some designs are, at the very least, not really historical and, in not a few cases, openly stereotypical. We will work on fixing that. New designs will be more sensible with what they are trying to represent and will follow a rule we have been trying to enforce with our new designs: represent a civilization in their own terms, because with a mod so big, we can only have two options: to represent the entire world through the lense of one culture (in this case, european culture) or to represent each culture through their own lens. We obviously prefer the second, as it highlights the richness of the world in a way a monocultural interpretation will never do.
Last but not least, you can also expect what we’ve never failed to deliver: new, exciting stuff. We are still working on new civilizations, cultures, systems, maps, etc., some of them known to the public, some of them still secret, but all of them with what makes Wars of Liberty so unique. The rich world of Wars of Liberty will only grow richer over time as it fills the map, fulfilling its first promise: to represent those who have never been represented in video games.
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The black Demicannon
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Re: Jutlander's developer blog

Wed Aug 07, 2019 3:57 pm

I still like that discord pic to post number 1: Age of Empires III: War of the Triple Liberty
makes sense
 
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Circle of Ossus
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Re: Jutlander's developer blog

Wed Aug 07, 2019 4:51 pm

May I propose to put links to the next post in your first post? It might make navigating them easier (in case that lots of comments will happen). Or you disable and delete comments.
AI game on patch 1.0.11b (and onwards): viewtopic.php?f=4&t=1981
Swiss UA proposal (obsolete?): viewtopic.php?f=8&t=768&p=6612#p6612
 
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Jutlander
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Wars of Liberty Team
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Joined: Sun Mar 12, 2017 1:30 am
Location: Kingdom of Araucania and Patagonia
Favorite Civilization: Polish

Re: Jutlander's developer blog

Mon Aug 12, 2019 1:03 am

European rework
The Europeans were the first culture to be added to the game and, therefore, one can expect them to be ‘bland’, since every culture after them changes the way you play the game in a way. That was the biggest problem for european civilizations in the mod, nobody wanted to play with them for they didn’t offer what the mod was famous for: fun and unique mechanics. To fix that, we aimed at designing european civs with fun bonuses and to rework the original civilizations to differentiate them more from each other. This, as you probably know, is not enough and while european civs can be super fun to play as, the european culture as a frame offers not much besides an empty space to design around. This is good in many ways, first, europeans feel a lot more balanced or at least they feel like they could be easily balanced because they don’t have much in the way of changes, also, their simple design allows the civilization bonuses to shine brighter and, therefore, what every civ proposes is stronger than with civilizations from, for example, the native american culture. We certainly don’t want to take that away from the European culture, but we do want to make it feel special, we want it to feel a part of Wars of Liberty and not just the culture that was here before us.
So, what’s in store for Europeans? A lot of stuff, so let’s begin:
The Capitol will be moved to age II and will include a new set of technologies that will give the Europeans an edge in terms of map control to better represent how the europeans settled their colonies. This building will also host Royal Decree cards. Hopefully, this will be a core building for european civilizations that intend on booming, since this will give them powerful economic upgrades that no other culture will have access too, but for a high price.
Many cards will change the way they work. Royal Decrees, for example, will now offer a trade off technology that will emphasize the way the civilization is played, making it a more extreme version of itself, instead of the older effect that was just thematic at most. Explorer cards will also be reworked, along with some minor cards that will make european civs more fun to play. One example I can give is the age I British Museum card, that will make treasures give away a bigger bounty and your explorer a bigger bonus against guardians, in case you want to play treasure hunter. Also, native and mercenary cards will be completely updated to accurately reflect the state of the european civilizations’ colonial empire, allowing you to thematically play the civilization in any way you want and also getting a more viable roster of units to use in competitive play.
We’re also working on the European unit roster, specifically both Ultimate units and Artillery. We want Ultimate Units to keep their distinct roles, but we’re also aiming towards making them more intuitive both for the player and for the opponent. And for Artillery, we will of course bring the cannons from the past right into the 19th century, so you can expect to see POWERFUL artillery for the european civilizations.
And finally, you can expect to see major changes on most of the european civilizations, including some bonus rotation from some civilizations to others. Some of the civilizations that will be radically changed are: The British, the Dutch, the Germans, the Habsburgs (now to be renamed Austria-Hungary) and the Ottomans. You can also expect minor to medium range changes for all the other european civilizations.

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The black Demicannon
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Re: Jutlander's developer blog

Mon Aug 12, 2019 6:38 am

Circle of Ossus wrote: May I propose to put links to the next post in your first post? It might make navigating them easier (in case that lots of comments will happen). Or you disable and delete comments.
I'd find it better if Jut didn't delete the posts but edit a directory in the first one... Just in case I or someone else wants to read them later.
 
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Jutlander
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Wars of Liberty Team
Wars of Liberty Team
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Joined: Sun Mar 12, 2017 1:30 am
Location: Kingdom of Araucania and Patagonia
Favorite Civilization: Polish

Re: Jutlander's developer blog

Thu Aug 15, 2019 10:05 pm

Naval rework
One of the biggest flaws of Age of Empires III is naval combat, or sea play in general, it’s unrewarding in many ways, the ships make no sense strategically speaking and, above everything, it lags the game immensely. It also doesn’t feel significant in terms of what it brings to the game experience. We want to change all of that.
One of the things we noticed about the sea is how disconnected it is to land: owning sea gives you access to some resources and, in age IV, you can bombard the coast, but considering the amount of resources you have to use to actually fight over sea, it might end up feeling frustrating for how little you get in return. Another aspect we wanted to change was how boring and indistinct from each other ships and naval battles were: Ships were just stronger or weaker versions of each other and in combat you put them head on head and click on the ability every time it’s available. There really isn’t MUCH more to it. So we tried to define ways to make this better: Ships that can be tell apart from each other on how they look and what they do, a sea that is more rewarding, a combat system that is more engaging and, above all, many ways to actually make a sea victory count on land as well.
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We found the key to address and hopefully fix all of this in Age of Empires II HD and their rework of the naval system. While not using their same ideas, we are following the spirit of their rework: triangular balance. A beats B, B beats C, C beats A. I’ll now explain each new ship archetype:
  • Light Ship: Fast moving ship, good against Siege ships. It’s cheap and not so durable. This is the master of the sea. It allows you to move fast so you can cover ground without spending much resources. This Ship has basically zero influence on land.
  • Heavy Ship: Much more expensive and slower, yet extremely strong. This Ship has a bonus against Light ships but most of the time it won’t be able to catch them while they are on the move. This is the perfect Ship to protect your Siege ships, docks, or to make amphibious assaults, since this ship can train your Naval Infantry. More on that later.
  • Siege Ship: Slow and expensive Ship with a bonus against Buildings and Siege ships. This Ship, like the other two ships, is gonna be available from age II already. But don’t let that make you think they are gonna be breaking havoc on age II, since this ship is more expensive than a dock and two Light ships, making it easy prey to an opponent paying attention. Also, the range of this ship gets better on each age-up, so you’re not gonna be able to reach that many buildings on age II.
This is how the sea will basically look like in the future: Light ships ruling the waves while Heavy ships rule the space they are standing on. Siege ships, if well protected, and hopefully after winning on the sea, will sail and will reward you for winning on sea. But be careful, too many Siege ships and your opponent will be able to beat your navy only with cheap Light ships!
Finally, we have Naval Infantry. Right now those are units available to some civilizations only but in the future every culture will get access to their own sailor. This unit can only be trained on Heavy ships and they will feature a unique siege damage ranged attack, meaning they can pierce through most units armor. Great for amphibious assaults! This will make the sea even more relevant than before, considering you can now make a forward base on the coast, anywhere you want, as long as you have enough ships protecting the zone.
Anyway, that’s it for now! I hope you liked. The next issue will be about a classic WoL culture: the Latin Americans and their rework.
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