Greetings Europa Barbarorum fans!
So the day has come, and even before the apocalypse!! In this version you will find 1,14 unpacked GB of almost a year of blood, sweat, tears and whipmarks. When we started porting over from 1.2 to 1.5 we had no idea how much work we would end up doing. We have mentioned it many times on the public forums, but you have no idea how much we had to redo. Believe me, at one point it almost seemed there wouldn't be anymore EB as people almost broke down crying when it dawned on us how much we would have to work. With 1.5 we discovered that the building conditionals wasn't in, we had to scrap our recruitment system totally and develop a new one from scratch (again!!). So basically EB development was set back a lot, to pre-0.72. During that time some people have always worked on porting over the previous material, while others were working on our new factions, descriptions, new units, resource icons, graphics you name it. So again, we do understand some people have criticised us for taking too long developing 0.8, but, and we have said this before, EB is an entirely non-profit volunteer project. Sounds like some charity organization eh? Well, it kinda is. We don't get paid for working on this. We devote (and in most cases, especially for those of us with families and girlfriends, sacrifice) time to work on this mod. We can't devote 7-8 hours a day if not more like game developers do.
This is not a bug-free release, but we have tried our best at making it so. Any CTDs should have been gotten rid off and most glaring bugs too. However, on a project this size we wouldn't expect it to be 100% bugfree. We hope and we know some of you will, report any bugs and especially any CTDs you come across at our forums, so we can look into them and (hopefully) fix them.
So what can you expect from v0.8? 3 voicemods for one (Latin, Celtic, Greek). Three new factions, the Lusotannan, Sab'yn & Saka-Rauka. New GUIs. 80-100 new units, and...ahh heck, you probably want to play the mod right away, so if you want a complete list of changes, check Teleklos Archelaou's post.
We hope you will enjoy playing the mod as much as we love hating to work on it.
Many thanks to those in the EB team who have contributed to this mod. Everyone have helped out in getting 0.8 ready for the fans, and here is the EB team list:
Aymar de Bois Mauri
spirit of Rob
And in addition nikolai1962 gave us a tremendous help in porting over and EB 0.8 wouldn't be here without him. And also a big thanks to shifty157 & pinarius for the help they gave us with buildings and roman horse skins respectively. Big thanks to Prometheus & Res Gestae for letting us use his grass mod, city & port models. Caius Britannicus for letting us use his palms, and Dol Goldur for his help in implementing them. Bovi for helping us solve the Reinforcement CTD bug. Malrubius for doing the initial 1.5 port of traits. And we have thanked them before, but we do it again so BIG thanks to Morgan Casey & Nick Wylie for composing the music for EB. Neither should we forget our beta-testing team who (apart from those betatesters who have joined the EB team) are Slartibartfast, Reenk Roink, Andronikos Kypriakos, zero1, Adler, John I Tzimisces & enoch.
To help everyone understand some of the biggest new changes (this is in no way a total list of changes, just enough to get you used to the big new stuff), here goes a little summary. Be warned though, that there are spoilers:
1. Yes. The new faction is the Sabaeans. Sab'yn, more precisely. As'Sab'yn wal'Jau, most precisely. They are not completed yet though so while we have a handful of new units for the faction we also have a number of placeholders for the time being that will be removed when their other units are finished. We do have ethnicities, accurate names, many building descriptions, and as I said a handful of units, but you may want to wait till 0.9 or another update to play a full campaign as them if their unfinished nature worries you greatly.
2. The new music is in the game, and there is a mix for each culture. To keep from playing one song over and over, each culture group has a few songs from similar culture groups, or at least a few songs that we thought might go well with it. You can see the arrangement easily by going to descr_sounds_music.txt and taking a look. Feel free to alter that file with a text editor to come up with your own preferred arrangement for a given culture group. It's a piece of cake to change them; just cut/copy and paste. Enjoy!
3. There is a new government level. When you first capture a province, you still have to destroy the old government building (which is 100% damaged), just like before. But now, there is a one turn "Provisional Military Government/Regional Pacification" level that will allow you then to pick from among the possible correct governments once it is constructed. It's basically a level one from which we can branch the government levels but keep them in one complex instead of spread out over four (wasting three complex slots). Not a big change really, you'll get used to it very quickly indeed, and it gives us three free complex slots to use for other things which we badly needed. As with the 0.74 build, we strongly recommend totally destroying any government buildings that exist in a province when you take control of it. They should be damaged 100% by scripts, but we cannot totally destroy them, so make sure that is the first thing you do when you capture a new province. Then we suggest immediately installing the new Regional Pacification level and moving on to your choice of government.
4. The new MIC system may be the biggest change. I don't know if I can do it justice, but it was forced upon us by the changes in 1.5. Basically 1.5 made all building conditionals for units cause instant CTD's in certain situations (i.e., viewing the building description). So we had to remove all government building requirements for units. But the system we have now still achieves pretty much the same results as before, it's just that now there are multiple barracks (MIC's) in the code. There was no other option though if we still wanted our recruitment to stay pretty much the same, and this works nicely. The immediate way you will come to see this change is when you start the game - you will not only have your regular factional MIC's (where all your faction's units come from), but you will have regional MIC's also (where you train "foreign natives"). What type of MIC's you build is entirely dependent upon the type of government you build first (which is entirely dependent upon who your faction is and where the province in question is and what types of governments you could build there). Let's take an easy example in Makedonia. If you are Makedonia and you capture Epeiros (Ambrakia), you can build govts 1-4. If you build a type1 govt (homeland), then you get all 5 levels of your Makedonian MIC's and one little level of your regional/local MIC's. If you had built a type4 govt (allied), then you get all 5 levels of the regional/local MIC's, and maybe one Makedonian MIC or maybe none at all. It varies by faction. Pretty simple actually. One last thing: If you capture a province from a faction that is a lot like yours, you might find that the faction and the regional MIC's can immediately give you troops. But if you capture a province from a faction not very close to your own, you will have to start building those faction and regional MIC's from scratch. Just recruit lots of mercs till you get the place well under control. That's the best I can do describing the new system. We didn't necessarily want to change it, but that's the way the cookie crumbled when CA made those changes in the 1.5 patch and this is the only even remotely possible way we could get past the hurdle - by making the MIC's dependent upon governments and provinces, not the units themselves. The resulting system is absolutely as complex as before though, recruitment really doesn't change, you just have to build some additional MIC's (which in most situations slows things down more actually - not such a bad thing).
5. The Nomadic system is a big change too. The battlemap items have not entirely been inserted into the game yet either, but the building progression is now in place. The best way of understanding the system is to refer to this flowchart till you get the hang of it:
6. There is a lot of other new content in many different areas, all of which we hope you enjoy:
-Many new buildings, including a new group of gymnasia for Greeks, new local MIC's, Buddhist Stupas.
-New constructed images for some older buildings to emphasize culture group differences.
-Plenty of new ships and enhanced ship unit cards and unit info images.
-Lots of new loading screens with more to come.
-Our brand new soundtrack already mentioned above by Morgan Casey and Nick Wylie.
-Ethnicities for some factions that didn't have them before and expanded ones for some others.
-New province summaries for Greek factions taken from Strabo.
-Lots of new ancillary portraits, especially for certain culture groups.
-New Graphic User Interfaces (GUI's) for each culture group. They include some new event pics and others filtered to match the GUI for that culture group.
-Many new building descriptions, although they aren't finished yet.
-New and different short building descriptions for some factions (Carthage, Maks, some Ptolemaic and Pontic ones).
7. Culture groups are changed. You will notice big differences. Battlemap cities are different now for some cities and you will feel more like you are in an eastern Greek city instead of just a Greek one. The new GUI's, and new music, and new (and filtered) event pics will all make the culture groups much much more distinct. Romans now speak Latin. The groups are:
Barbarian - Casse, Aedui, Arverni, Sweboz, Lusotannan, Getai
Roman - Romani
Semitic - Qarthadastim, Sabyn
Greek - Koinon Hellenon, Epeiros, Makedonia
Eastern Greek - Ptolemaioi, Arche Seleukeia, Baktria
Eastern - Pontos, Hayasdan, Pahlava
Nomadic - Saka Rauka, Sauromatae
8. The Lusotannan are our other new faction. They are not complete yet either, but have a lot of wonderful new units as you have recently seen in our faction preview. They have new building descriptions also, and the faction team will continue working on other regional Iberian units and completing this faction in the very near future.
9. Campaign map changes: In case you hadn't downloaded the resources update for your 0.74 build, you will see a huge difference now on the campaign map. The resources have been changed from the small symbols to graphics that are more realistic. Instead of a marble block, you will see a marble quarry. Instead of a fish, you will see a fishing village. Instead of pots, you will see workshops. On the campaign map you will also notice a big change if you have not played Res Gestae before - Prometheus has allowed us to use his city and port models and shifty has streamlined them even further by removing many of the rear polygons that are not visible. The result is that Prom's wonderful cities are in the build and don't cause any real lag (maybe on some of the slowest systems, but we have not seen a difference).
10. Province changes and their effect: The AI has worried us in places, but it is behaving a lot better recently, in terms of expansion on the strat map. Baktria has two new provinces to represent the areas under the control of the Baktrian Satrap in 272, and for a while it was expanding constantly into the steppe instead of into India. But with map changes we have recently seen it much more interested in the east instead of the north and west. We hope this continues. The Ptolemies also have a new province at Ptolemais Theron on the Red Sea, but it is very simple and won't be a major factor early in the game. We have also been working on keeping Hayasdan out of the steppe too and thanks to some creative map work have seen better results in this area as well. You will also notice that the AI does not go after the Sahara as much because the city has been moved far away, and further border changes of this province have also benefitted the diplomatic relationship between the Qarthadastim and Ptolemaioi, lessening the chances for continual war between them. One other item: the province Gaetulia will be removed in a future build, so the borders it shares with other provinces were shrunk to lessen its impact on the game.
This is a beta still. You are all officially beta-testers in the widest application of the term's meaning. We would like you to help us figure out what needs work, *but* don't worry about immediately flooding us with things your first day or two. Enjoy it. It's going to be a lot like 0.74, but better. If you liked 0.74, you should really like 0.8, but if you hated 0.74, then instead of berating us or those who do enjoy it, don't bring yourself down. Go play something else and have fun there.
If you are shocked, surprised, bewildered by anything else in the new build, we'd probably like to know. What else is there for future builds and updates? Some of the things we are working on still include:
-recruitment work (currently fixing recruitment areas is incredibly easier than it was in the past. Some old recruitment problems might remain, like gaps in places, but with the new system, fixing problems will be a lot simpler.)
-more faction and regional units and some additional variations of current units
-more detailed ethnicities for some factions and generally better building descriptions for some factions that are a bit thin
-more scripted events (won't say more about these since they'll be some of our bigger surprises for the next updates)
-possibly more music
-more voicemod work
-more nomadic buildings on the battlemap
-more loading screens as additional downloads
-more work on the government system
-more work on where you can and cannot obtain regional MIC's
-more editing of text descriptions
-more ancillaries and traits, specifically culture-specific ancillaries
-more historical battles
-totally getting rid of all vanilla captains, generals, standard-bearers (as these do not make up entire units, they have been towards the end of our to-do list. We have included many more in this build, but we aren't done yet.)
-working on ways of solving some problems that continue to plague us, like why some buildings placed at the start of the game insist on showing up as another culture's variant
Finally, a word about the build's -mod format: We decided over the summer to use the -mod format for EB 0.8. This format gives us a number of benefits, but a few drawbacks. Benefits include the incredible ease of dropping files into the UI folders and having them immediately work instead of packing them first. This also will make EB more moddable if anyone wants to personalize their build. One drawback though is that some files absolutely will not work in the -mod files, like the loading bar. A few other files have had to be left in the "base" build, but the loading bar is the only one that we are aware of that would affect other mods installed in different -mod files. It is our recommendation that EB still has its own separate build on your computer, and that other -mod format mods be installed on an entirely different build, but we are not aware of any other direct conflicts beside the loading bar. Alter other base files at your own risk though after EB has been installed.