NTW2 Facts & Fictions & Limitations

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Lord Zimoa of Flanders
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NTW2 Facts & Fictions & Limitations

Postby Lord Zimoa of Flanders » Thu Sep 07, 2006 10:54 am


Well it has to do with two things mainly:

First: The RTW AI cannot handle the changes and game-play we have introduced:

-The RTW path-finding cannot handle narrow passings like bridges, villages, crossings etc... One of the reasons the RTW battlefields were kept simple and featureless.

-Our maps are full of that kind of tactical interesting obstacles. If you play Custom battles against the AI you will have noticed it, sometimes the AI will not even move.

-As we use the RTW missile units as a base for our infantry, RTW will always hold them in "skirmish mode" this means the enemy units will run away when you engage them and start to stack units on top of eachother, basically the AI armies become very disoriented.

Some suggest that we can use other RTW units as a base or change the formations, a few things that helped in other Roman based mods.

We did test it, but it will not help us. In the first case units will not shoot anymore and bayonet charge all the time, in the second case, as NTW2 armies are almost completely made up off missile units, the new formations are not working.

-The suicidal general and frontal cavalry charges, the RTW AI uses, are also not really compatible with what we had in mind and how we wanted the cavalry to be used.

-There are many other things that seriously hinder us. Most of these we can avoid in MP and scripted SP battles. And that is why those are so much fun to play.

The RTW AI is hard coded, in other words we cannot alter it. In MP and the scripted SP we can avoid it as we tell the AI how to behave. We cannot script the Custom or Campaign battles.

Second: We have modding limitations and we are working with some tools that are not completely bug free.

-We get a lot of questions why in the trailers the animations look so fluent and in game they seem in perfect sometimes. It has to do that we can make perfect working and good looking animations in 3D programs. But CA, the game developer, never released any tool. The tools we use are written by us or other TW community members using reverse engineering code language. However we could not get them all to work without problems, we asked CA for help, but so far they do not support us much.

In case of the animations like when infantry units walk, they hold their muskets as an archer, or cannon crew do not push their cannon backwards or the unit drummer boy does not drum or the officer walks a little bit in front of the unit etc...

Most of those we can make perfect outside the game but importing them back in the game, we start to get strange unit behaviour like spinning units or very odd unit formations. Especially the "moving" animations like running, walking, turning etc...are very tricky, so we had to experiment a lot how far we could go, and sometimes use only parts of the new animation and leave some original animations untouched.

In the trailers you we could use the perfect animations much more as here you see only a few seconds and the bugs will not show up all the time, in game-play it would ruin the game.

Another thing is animations always have to finish their animation loop before they will listen to your next order, so there is always a slight delay between order given and actual action. This delay is longer, the longer the animation is, so we had to consider this when looking at game balance and unit speeds, otherwise units would hardly fire a shot when being charged.

-We sadly could not alter some of the RTW original unit formations to recreate a perfect hollow unit square, again an animation bug. So we decided that putting units in solid blocks against cavalry is the best option.

We created a hollow square in the group formation that can be used against massive cavalry attacks, in case for you to get it to work, you have to select four units and a general & officer unit and put them in the hollow square formation. Do not forget to enable the special "morale boost" option for the officer.

-Sometimes things are just not possible in the RTW engine to create like rotating firing ranks or letting the front row kneel, or dismounting cavalry etc..

-In other cases things are just not working and ruin game-play like shooting cavalry or giving units experience upgrades.

-Or why the smoke effect and some explosions are not so intense and stay lingering longer. The problem is related to how smoke effects are created, but not terminated when they are NOT visible on the screen. So if you have a large battle raging across the map in MP and you only focus on one part of it, you'll start to suffer from a huge framedrop. Once you turn the camera to the other fights you will suddenly see massive clouds rising all across the battlefield and once they have thinned out. framerate will restabilise. If you know about the problem you can avoid it by regulary looking around the battlefield to "clear up the smoke effects", but we didn't want to include this in the public release and get tons of complaints about slow framerate. The lingering smoke and explosion effects will probably be included as an option in the next update - but use at your own risk.

To finish up let me assure you The Lordz investigated the RTW engine in all his aspects, we looked thoroughly at its boundaries. We have thought of everything very carefully, we have some top ace modders aboard who really know what they are doing, can achieve and cannot change on the RTW engine. We have spend thousands of hours testing, debating, investigating, looking for solutions and we still find things to improve and will during the coming months and updates. Believe us when we say we squeezed the engine and NTW2 is the best result you will get trying to create a musket & sword Napoleonic game created on an engine designed for antique melee battles and tactics.

We are well informed about Napoleonic warfare & history, we started creating Napoleonic modifications on TW engince since 2000 when the first TW game ever: Shogun TW came out. But not all historical facts and features can be introduced on the TW games, we have to accept these limitations.


The Lordz

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