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Alpha 4, available now!

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Level 13 Extraplanar Programmer
Alignment: Chaotic good
Location: Toronto
Posted on October 16, 2010 at 4:04 pm

Get the latest alpha here! This release is mostly bug fixes, but we're quickly nearing feature-completion. The Athenian campaign is also enabled now, although a number of the quests are still broken. We've also added a few new quests to the start of the Philip campaign to explain the new features, including charging, flanking, upgrading roads, changing homes, and blockading. (That last one isn't a new feature, of course, but it's even more useful now.)

As always, let us know what you think, and keep the bug reports coming.

Level 8 Human gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on October 16, 2010 at 5:50 pm

Awesome, felt like restarting my major Phillip scenario anyway (even though It was going really well and finally getting the hang of the game I think), out of curiosity, in terms of the bugs fixes was the possible fort ghost unit apart of this?

Also, a minor suggestion, but I think down the line you should eventually consider doing something to replace the old villa's on the map, since at the moment they are just ruins and as a result you're getting little pockets of FoW throughout the map, which can be really annoying in my opinion. A simple solution (at least I think, lol) would be to just make those ruins, that are now on the map instead of the villas, have a little LoS added them, thus those pocket FoWs that are encountered throughout the map would be gone, but that's just a thought naturally.

As usual keep up the great work, and will post feedback if I encounter anymore bugs as my playthrough progresses again.

Level 8 Human Gem hunter
Alignment: Lawful evil
Location: Beleriand
Posted on October 16, 2010 at 9:33 pm

I don't suppose we could get some release notes on what all the bug fixes are could we? I'm curious about what all got fixed.

Level 13 Extraplanar Programmer
Alignment: Chaotic good
Location: Toronto
Posted on October 17, 2010 at 4:18 am

I usually don't post the full bug list, because it would take me a bunch of time to crawl through our commit logs and put that list together. However - and Rob might correct me on this - I don't think he's tracked down the ghost unit bug yet.

Those little pockets of FoW have always bugged me a little bit too, especially up in the north where it's more like little pockets of LoS. (For those who aren't familiar, that's "Line of Sight": the opposite of "Fog of War".) If we want more LoS spots, it would make more sense to add more watch towers, since that's what they're meant for, but in some places (like the aforementioned North) it's just not feasible. Much earlier in development, we discussed the option of clearing entire areas when the player owns all the buildings in the area, but we weren't sure that it was worth spending the time to reorganize our code to allow that feature when it seemed like a pretty trifling matter.

For me, I only really wanted the feature because I can be a little OCD about the whole "completionist" thing, so I figured it wasn't that important and wasn't really worth fighting for (and clearly none of the other guys were really passionate about it either). Also, we later added the feature that turns the map purple as you conquer it, so that struck my OCD chord :)

But we were working in a vacuum then, and it's always cool to hear what our players think. So I'm curious, is your desire for more FoW clearing similar to mine, or do you have a different take on it?

Level 8 Human gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on October 17, 2010 at 7:40 am

It crushes when loading alfa-3 save , have I to start new game?

Level 8 Human gamer
Alignment: Chaotic good
Location: In my own little world.
Posted on October 17, 2010 at 10:26 am

I like the FOW pockets because it means you don't always know what's going on in your lands which happened a lot. It forces you to camp out some sentries or just deal with whatever comes. It can also slow down an advance as you figure out how to move your newly acquired slaves around hehe.
On a slightly negative note I was playing the Athenian campaign and it crashed when I moved 2 triremes from Pydna and 1 from Methone. The message: An error occurred while running Hegemony.
couldn't create sprite mesh.
I made the dump file but I have no save since I just started it.

Level 8 Human gamer
Alignment: Chaotic good
Posted on October 17, 2010 at 11:52 am

I do have an error. Error. Could not create sprite mesh. This happens when I task switch and try to continue the game. I also generated a dump file.
Thanks for the changes to the list. The marching sounds are quieter for me now in relation to all the other sounds, did you do something with them as well or am I seeing (hearing) things?

Edit: Also my units got stuck in the main campaign. From the city Emathia going to the city Elimia through the tight mountain pass, they were stuck at the end of the hills accumulating. I had to click several times before all were at the end and they would move out of the pass.
Last but not least, you receive an early goal to connect the city Eordaea to the city in the north Heraklea Lyncentis. The tooltip from the objective menu for the second city leads to a "no page found" error. The F1 key for the city itself leads to the correct entry.

Taskswitching again and again to add the correct names for this edit has caused the second crash with the same error as mentioned above (sprite mesh).

Edit2: Eh cut that, marching sound overlays still are really loud and make my speakers scratch.
I think I found another issue with the trireme technology objective. I sent the noble to the capital before I was told to do so and I think he disappeared now and I cannot finish the arc, since it tells me I must still do it. He does not appear under assets or when I click his name in the objective description.

Level 8 Human gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on October 17, 2010 at 1:15 pm

I noticed the pathfinding issues through tight mountain passes and sometimes over bridges as well, what i find works best with this (until perhaps it's solved in future updates), is get to get in column formation, as they seem to at least work a little better navigating through the hills and such.

But a las, this can get really annoying if you decide to campaign through Illyria with all it's tight mountain passes, ugh was it a pain to maneuver my horses around there, let alone my infantry, hehe.

As to your question Rob about the pocket FoW, you pretty much hit the nail on the coffin, I'm a completionist too, so it sort of bugs me to see those pockets of FoW throughout the map, where I know for a fact I've conquered the area. The thing is, areas that did not use have FoW before, since they where controlled by the Villas, but now since there gone, you have more notable pockets of FoW, so that's really my main complaint, is area's that shouldn't have it, now they do, which can be annoying to see.

Level 8 Human gamer
Alignment: Chaotic good
Location: In my own little world.
Posted on October 17, 2010 at 1:26 pm

...
Edit: Also my units got stuck in the main campaign. From the city Emathia going to the city Elimia through the tight mountain pass, they were stuck at the end of the hills accumulating. I had to click several times before all were at the end and they would move out of the pass.
...

What I do to fix this is click somewhere so the unit dots show red instead of white. It worked the two or three times I had to use it.
I think it might be an issue with units coming out of forts and cities near the mountain paths, but I'm not sure.

Level 8 Human gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on October 17, 2010 at 2:00 pm

Have you checked Assets and Objective log window.
Mine crushes as I press ...

Level 8 Human gamer
Alignment: Chaotic good
Posted on October 17, 2010 at 9:10 pm

Hm I haven't noticed it in the old version. Maybe I haven't played that much.

Right now to raise the squads back to their full strength, I am micromanaging their home cities and switch them back and forth to cities that do have recruits available. Maybe this is not intended, since it feels a bit tedious. Maybe players shouldn't even be able to do that, unless the previous home city was captures, but I am unsure. Would it make sense if recruits would travel to cities in which they are needed, similar to food?

Level 8 Human gamer
Alignment: Chaotic good
Location: In my own little world.
Posted on October 17, 2010 at 11:28 pm

I think it's accurate because I can't see Philip asking his brigade from Pella waiting to be resupplied while the brigade from Edessa has too many available men. I think he would take men from wherever he could.
I wonder if, over time, you could have a city change from a mercenary city to a homeland city. Like if Dardania became so accustomed to your rule that eventually they could form phalangite brigades. Maybe after 10 years or so of ruling it. Just a random thought.

Level 8 Human gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on October 18, 2010 at 1:51 am

I think it's accurate because I can't see Philip asking his brigade from Pella waiting to be resupplied while the brigade from Edessa has too many available men. I think he would take men from wherever he could.
I wonder if, over time, you could have a city change from a mercenary city to a homeland city. Like if Dardania became so accustomed to your rule that eventually they could form phalangite brigades. Maybe after 10 years or so of ruling it. Just a random thought.


I think it's like that to slow down the pop overall for the AI, and perhaps yourself too. Changing between home cities, is not as micromanaging as some may think, and I find it more strategic in terms of the way you connect your supply lines, as it's an intricate web of connect the dots in a way, so honestly I'm ok with the way it is, but could it be improved to what you guys suggested?, Well, I wouldn't mind that either, however, I can't speak for the devs here, but that would probably require a lot of work to change something like that, as you are basically changing a fundamental rule of the game design here with how population resupplies your units.

In a way, I'd much rather prefer the focus on one of the newest feature in the game "Diplomacy", as per my post in the general thread, I feel those prices are extremely to high, but I guess I may be alone on that thought perhaps, lol.

Level 8 Human gamer
Alignment: Chaotic good
Location: In my own little world.
Posted on October 18, 2010 at 3:52 am

You're not alone on that one, I just failed to address it hehe. They can be too high, especially if you're maintaining a few catapults and triremes at the same time. As a permanent payment of 400 or more gold, the price is a little steep. However, signing a truce/alliance is a very big decision and should be weighted accordingly. The steep price makes you think about the pros and cons a little more for each choice. I do wonder if the price for a truce should be lowered though since it's not as binding as an alliance. Do you know if the AI will break a truce on its own accord? The more I think about it the more I think the truce price should be lowered while the alliance price should stay the same. You would just have to manage your economy with a more critical eye.
I do wish alliances were available in the original Philip scenario as, from what I understand, Philip liked diplomacy more than war.

Level 8 Human gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on October 18, 2010 at 4:29 am

I also noticed problems with path finding. It happened to me twice with characters: the first princess and then with the guy from Olynthus on the way to Pella. They got stuck near the edges of the mountain passes. I had to take them back a little and forward again. Strange.
Also the "punish Olynthus" task is no longer in "Olynthus-first blood" objective. It's in the sacred war now. Or maybe it's just me after messing with the files so badly ;)

Level 8 Human gamer
Alignment: Chaotic good
Posted on October 18, 2010 at 10:26 am

I have a traitor general hiding cowardly in a city. I cannot kill or attack him and he is preventing any routes to the city to work. See this screenshot:
http://img259.imageshack.us/img259/4053/hegemony.jpg Any way to destroy him?

Level 8 Human gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on October 18, 2010 at 11:26 am

You're not alone on that one, I just failed to address it hehe. They can be too high, especially if you're maintaining a few catapults and triremes at the same time. As a permanent payment of 400 or more gold, the price is a little steep. However, signing a truce/alliance is a very big decision and should be weighted accordingly. The steep price makes you think about the pros and cons a little more for each choice. I do wonder if the price for a truce should be lowered though since it's not as binding as an alliance. Do you know if the AI will break a truce on its own accord? The more I think about it the more I think the truce price should be lowered while the alliance price should stay the same. You would just have to manage your economy with a more critical eye.
I do wish alliances were available in the original Philip scenario as, from what I understand, Philip liked diplomacy more than war.


Yea, at least know when your beaten, a great example was my campaign through Lower Macedonia, to quell the cities like Olynthus, Krossius, Potidea, etc...

I did a pretty aggressive campaign through there, and only left that league that starts with a C which has Olynthus, with just 1 city, on the little coast past the Canal of Xerses objective, and they still wanted 600 gold for a truce. (When I had a intimidation of 85 I think), I mean come on, it shouldn't really be that high, when the faction is basically wiped out.

I think the reason why alliances are probably not there in the Phillip scenario is because of the objectives and the fact you need to capture cities for the objectives to complete. Perhaps alliances screw with that in some way?, so who knows. I do wish, down the line, that the cities that do decide to ally with you based on the objectives, that you should honestly be able to build Ally units there, instead of mercenary units, so at least that scenario does take advantage of one of the newer features in the expansion.

Level 16 Extraplanar gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on October 18, 2010 at 1:33 pm

Thanks for the all the great feedback. I'm working on some of the most critical bugs right now and hopefully we can get a quick update for you guys.

As far as the fog of war is concerned: although the effect in the north is intentional, it is less realistic to have pockets of fog in the heart of your kingdom like around the old villa at Kyrros (?, the one west of pella). The easiest solution at this point would be to extend the view range of friendly buildings. This is what we did with supply ranges as it wasn't really our intention in the original game to have units able to starve so close to home.

Someone mentioned alpha 4 crashes when loading old savegames. If this hasn't been clarified yet: unfortunately alpha 4 is incompatible with old savegames due to some internal changes to support new objective types.

Regarding the movement problems: I'm aware there is room for improvement (and it's planned for the long run) but I'm curious is this something you guys think is worse in the latest build?

I'm totally open to reducing the cost of truces/alliances. The current values are just ones that I estimated when writing the code and I was planning to revise them based on play testing. As far as the intimidation is concerned, it currently has two components: half being based on the total relative strengths of the two factions and the other half based on the immediate threat to either of the faction's cities. I could make it the max of the two factors so that eliminating them down to their last city could max the intimidation and/or bringing an important city of their to the verge of capture could as well.

Regarding micromanaging recruits: we did discuss treating them almost identically to food but not only were we unsure whether we had the time to make those changes but it complicated the interface substantially. Out of curiosity, would making the number of available recruits in each city more readily apparent make the process of reshuffling your units less tedious. I've had a few ideas on ways to do this but haven't had a chance to implement them yet.

Level 8 Human gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on October 18, 2010 at 3:14 pm

As far as the fog of war is concerned: although the effect in the north is intentional, it is less realistic to have pockets of fog in the heart of your kingdom like around the old villa at Kyrros (?, the one west of pella). The easiest solution at this point would be to extend the view range of friendly buildings. This is what we did with supply ranges as it wasn't really our intention in the original game to have units able to starve so close to home.

A simple fix like that would be so ideal, especially on the little pockets that never use to have that, so I would totally recommend to go for that.

Regarding the movement problems: I'm aware there is room for improvement (and it's planned for the long run) but I'm curious is this something you guys think is worse in the latest build?

Hmm, can't say, as a matter of fact I noticed it a tad bit better in this build, however, I haven't really hit a snag since in this build I'm saving Illyrian conquest to much later in the game (As in Alpha 3 I tried going there before pacifying Amphipolis which was a huge mistake), and it was around those Illryian mountains where I noticed a ton of a pathfinding-stuck issues.

I'm totally open to reducing the cost of truces/alliances. The current values are just ones that I estimated when writing the code and I was planning to revise them based on play testing. As far as the intimidation is concerned, it currently has two components: half being based on the total relative strengths of the two factions and the other half based on the immediate threat to either of the faction's cities. I could make it the max of the two factors so that eliminating them down to their last city could max the intimidation and/or bringing an important city of their to the verge of capture could as well.

Ohh please do, in fact I really like the idea of capturing a key city, or most of their territory, then the faction will be more inclined for a truce which I think can really help the diplomacy aspects a lot.

Regarding micromanaging recruits: we did discuss treating them almost identically to food but not only were we unsure whether we had the time to make those changes but it complicated the interface substantially. Out of curiosity, would making the number of available recruits in each city more readily apparent make the process of reshuffling your units less tedious. I've had a few ideas on ways to do this but haven't had a chance to implement them yet.

I think any little bit that helps improve the interface is always a welcome change. I find myself using the strategic map a lot, especially as my lands get much bigger, so having something like that readily available on the map as mentioned before would help a lot, however, I do understand your concern about cluttering up the strategic map with a move like that, so I guess it would totally depend on how it actually looks and all.

Also, one thing I noticed in this Alpha 4 build, is that the invasions are happening a lot less then in Alpha 3 which ironically I kind of prefer it like this, as the invasions still happen, but a lot less frequently, so is that intentional?

Level 16 Extraplanar gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on October 18, 2010 at 3:33 pm

Also, one thing I noticed in this Alpha 4 build, is that the invasions are happening a lot less then in Alpha 3 which ironically I kind of prefer it like this, as the invasions still happen, but a lot less frequently, so is that intentional?

It's probably the result of a bug we've since discovered that causes some ai attacks to fail (it's also why argaeus isn't always working right now). The bug has already been fixed but i'll make note of your opinion on the attack frequency.

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