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Third Age Total War 3.0 Released (for M2TW)

Discussion in 'Total War Series' started by Marceror, Dec 14, 2011.

  1. Marceror

    Marceror Chaos Shall Be Sown In Their Footsteps Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    The 3.0 update was released today, and more than a year in the making, it's huge.

    The main update from previous releases is that now there are 25 custom settlements included, including a fully rendered Minas Tirith, Edoras, Helm's Deep, and a bunch more. They are stunningly and lovingly crafted. :)

    Anyhow, this is THE most popular modification for Medieval 2 Total War around, and I thought it deserved a shout out to M2 fans on BoM.

    Link
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2011
  2. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    God DAMNIT! Come on! But if can run M2TW on my current system, I can probably run this....
     
  3. Barmy Army

    Barmy Army Simple mind, simple pleasures... Adored Veteran

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    Holy crap that is a LOT of hard work gone into that. A huge undertaking. I'll download and give it a go.
     
  4. henkie

    henkie Hammertime Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    Sounds like I just found another thing to put on my gaming to-do list. Downloading now.

    If I still want to run vanilla M2, do I need a separate installation, or will this mod allow me to switch between the two?
     
  5. Marceror

    Marceror Chaos Shall Be Sown In Their Footsteps Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    @henkie, you can have vanilla and TATW installed at the same time, absolutely. Third Age is launched by its own separate executable/icon. Just follow the installation instructions for TATW and your current vanilla installation shouldn't be affected in any way.

    Glad to see that a few BoM members are planning to check this out. I'm currently in turn 21 as Gondor and having a blast. I highly suggest doing a few custom battles to take a look at some of the new settlements. The idea of having custom settlements in M2TW is a huge breakthrough, many, many years in the making by some extremely gifted and bright individuals. Now we have a tool called IWTE that anyone who is sufficiently skilled in 3D modelling can use to create custom settlements in Medieval 2: enter the Third Age Total War team.

    What King Kong, the TATW leader, and a few others have done to bring some key locations in Middle Earth to life is truly breathtaking. Minas Tirith is by far my favorite custom settlement.
     
  6. Barmy Army

    Barmy Army Simple mind, simple pleasures... Adored Veteran

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    I've downloaded and installed it, and started a go as Mordor. It's very, very impressive. Thanks for pointing this out to me Marceror, I wasn't aware of it. I can see this breathing new life into M2TW for me!
     
  7. Marceror

    Marceror Chaos Shall Be Sown In Their Footsteps Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    Glad to hear it BA.

    It’s probably worth pointing out that factions are very different from one another in this mod, unlike, say, in Shogun 2, where all factions can train just about exactly the same troop types.

    Third Age is much more about diversity, and trying to stay true to the lore of Middle Earth. This means that some factions may end up with little to no access to cavalry, for example. If you are a cavalry charge nut, you might not enjoy playing such a faction a whole lot. Here are some of the key traits of the various factions:

    Evil:
    • Mordor – They have mostly cheap, disposable units – and lots of them – backed up by a contingent of very powerful units, such as battle trolls, black numenorians and nazgul. Very limited cavalry and very basic archer units. Many think this faction is very difficult to play, especially in the beginning when higher tier units aren’t really available. Their catapult units are great, because once they run out of ammo, you still have a unit of burly TROLL catapulteers to throw at the enemy ranks. ;)
    • Isengard – They have some cheap orc units, but their Uruk Hai units are quite fierce. No big powerful trolls like Mordor, but better archers and access to more numerous (and fairly weak) Warg “cavalry.” Considered one of the better balanced evil factions.
    • Rhun – Has access to just about everything, but most of their units are fairly weak. Their later gold armored units are where they really shine.
    • Harad – Similar to Rhun in a lot of ways, but with the addition of deadly, deadly Mumakil!! Half Troll men make for some powerful infantry. If you can be patient to bring out the mumaks, you might have fun plowing through everything with these deadly beasts.
    • Orcs of Misty Mountain – Generally cheap throw away units like those of Mordor, but with less power-unit options to buff them up overall as a faction. They do have access to trolls, and wargs give them a basic cavalry unit. Considered by most to be the most challenging faction to play as. I hear that in some cases they may get access to a Balrog unit. I’m not sure how that works though.
    • Orcs of Gundabad – See Orcs of Misty Mountain, they aren’t too different at all. They get snow trolls, which I guess are more powerful than the cave trolls.

    Good:
    • Gondor – Really, this is the faction with everything, including very dangerous borders. They have very tough, well armored units, excellent cavalry and excellent archers. They also are one of the few factions (perhaps the only?) to gain access to trebuchets as part of their siege arsenal.
    • Silvan Elves – smaller units with reasonable, poorly armored infantry. If you’re looking for archers, though, these guys are the goods. They shoot farther, better, and faster than anyone else. Their cavalry is limited to light horse archers. Even their generals are infantry based archer units. Some of their later units are quite tough in melee. I do believe they can recruit ents later in the game also! I think Ents are considered siege units, so this is what Elves use to break down walls.
    • High Elves – A bit better balanced than the Silvan Elves, with more access to cavalry and better armor overall. While their archers aren’t as good as those of the Silvans, they are better than everyone else’s – which is to say, still quite amazing. Their Eldar units are truly awesome.
    • Rohan – Horse gods, and that’s almost all there is to be said. They have access to reasonable infantry and archers also, with a couple of elite units in those categories.
    • Free People’s of Eriador – Mostly a fairly weak rabble of unorganized soldiers, with a few good later units such as their Numenorian units. Theirs is the home of the once great sister kingdom of Gondor, Arnor. These guys get Argorn as their faction leader and Gandalf as one of their generals, and generally have access to a nice balance of units. Oh, and they get hairy footed hobbits too! A lot of players start as Eriador with hopes of reforging the Kingdom of Arnor.
    • Arnor – If you play your cards right, you can recreate the Kingdom of Arnor while playing as Eriador. My understanding is that Arnor units are as tough, even tougher than those of Gondor, though they have less variety in their unit selection. When this happens you will actually switch factions from Ediador to Arnor, and I hear that the transition can be a little tricky in terms of balancing your finances (you lose access to most of your free upkeep units from Eriador, for example. So you can plan to disband a lot of units to keep finances afloat).
    • Dwarfs – The best infantry in the game, hands down. On the other hand, they don’t have any cavalry and their archers are quite basic (though new axe thrower units sound interesting). If you want to be an infantry god this is the faction for you.
    • Dale – A fairly well balanced faction that doesn’t stand out too greatly in any one area, except that they have a few exceptional archer based units.


    This is all from memory, so hopefully I didn’t leave any faction off the list. I didn’t take the time to proof read this time, so pardon the typoes.

    I hope this helps some folks in figuring out where to start!
     
  8. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    So this is strictly a mod? So long as I have M2TW installed, I can download, follow the directions in the read me file, and have at it?
     
  9. Marceror

    Marceror Chaos Shall Be Sown In Their Footsteps Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    Yep. It's not so different from installing, for example, the Americas campaign for Kingdoms. It goes in a separate "mods" folder from the rest of the game, and otherwise doesn't change the base M2 install.

    Speaking of Kingdoms, you do need to have it installed, but it doesn't matter if you're running version 1.04 (the original release version) or version 1.05. TA will work with either patch level. Really, there's nothing to lose in trying it out. It's easy to remove also.

    This will likely be voted mod of the year on ModDB this year. It was number 3 last year. It's more than worth a look. ;)
     
  10. henkie

    henkie Hammertime Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    Thanks for the write up, Marceror. Makes me want to start playing it right away, though I haven't decided on the faction yet. It gets the M2:TW juices flowing again :)

    /edit
    Just noticed this, but damn, this mod is huge. More than 3.5 GB download.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2011
  11. Marceror

    Marceror Chaos Shall Be Sown In Their Footsteps Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    Yeah, plan on grabbing a bite while it downloads, or if you don't have broadband... plan on grabbing a few bites. :D

    The download portal was nice and fast for me, and I was able to DL in around 30 minutes.
     
  12. henkie

    henkie Hammertime Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    Oh, it downloaded quite quickly, half an hour sounds about right, didn't really pay attention, was just surprised when I saw the files on my harddisk. Surprisingly, the biggest file installed quickest.

    It looks very nice, but I wonder about the game balance a bit. There's some really crazy powerful units in there for some factions, I wonder how that's going to play out in an actual game. Won't have any time this week to try, but perhaps next week I'll find some time and start up a game. I like the dwarfs, maybe I'll go with them.

    Rohan cavalry didn't look that really powerful, though. I think Gondor has more powerful cavalry (but maybe more difficult recruitment requirements?).
     
  13. Marceror

    Marceror Chaos Shall Be Sown In Their Footsteps Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    I believe Gondor technically has the most powerful cavalry unit in the game -- a late game unit, obviously. Rohan has many, many cavalry options, many of which are available very early. Not all Rohan cavalry are powerhouses, but you can mix and match with your light fast cavalry, your bow slinging cavalry, medium cav, heavy cav, elite cav.... Cavalry is the main feature of the faction, and Rohan, played well, will dominate any other faction in that regard.
     
  14. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    I do have kingdoms installed so I should be good to go. A 3.5GB will take a while but not horrifically long.
     
  15. Marceror

    Marceror Chaos Shall Be Sown In Their Footsteps Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    Sounds like you should be all set, if you're so inclined to give this a try.

    I just hit turn 40 in my Gondorian campaign, and thought I'd share a few comments. First off, I'm having a blast. This is definitely a TOTAL WAR experience. With Harad to the south and Mordor to the east, I'm getting attacked almost every turn. I'm spending so much time defending, that it's nearly impossible to mount my own offensives while staying within my budget. I'm playing on hard/very hard difficulty, by the way (the recommendation by the modding team is to play on very hard/very hard difficulty, which I hear is REALLY a bear).

    This is definitely not a mod intended for newbie Total War players. I suppose you could playing on easy/easy, but the campaign is designed to be difficult, far more difficult than vanilla. The AI, both campaign and battle, are BY FAR the best I've seen in any M2 mod. Things that I used to be able to get away with before, the AI anticipates and thwarts me. Awesome!

    My economy is growing at a snail's pace. Actually, no, it grew a bit, and then decreased because I've had to sink so much cash into my military. Growth in all regions has been slowed WAY, WAY down from vanilla, and population requirements have been increased to expand a settlement. I can't just turn a bunch of crappy, nothing settlements into powerhouses like I could in vanilla. Your villages are likely to remain villages for a very long time, and it will be a veritable eternity before you can increase them again to the next level. While this is aggravating on the one hand... it's actually quite refreshing at the same time. I'm not going to end up with 30+ huge cities/citadels by the end of the game. That just wouldn't be Middle Earth at all. So your strategic settlements like Minas Tirith (which is a very rare settlement that begins as a huge city) become all the more critical over the course of the game.

    The other thing is that the availability of all units has been drastically reduced, so often times I'm not even able to retrain my units that just got battered in a fight -- in spite of the fact that I can see another stack of enemies inbound. You will have to be much more strategic with regards to how you build your armies. Sending in militia units from halfway across your empire to reinforce key "hot zones" in your kingdom will likely be a necessity. Waiting to build upgrades in your cities will also likely be necessary due to most of your cash needing to go to training and upkeep of soldiers. Oh, and the prices to build/upgrade new buildings have been drastically increased also.

    On the other hand, the AI gets all kinds of advantages that you, the player, do not. Put another way, they get to cheat! They will periodically be "gifted" new troops, often advanced troops to increase the challenge. Certain key settlements have a "garrison script" applied, which means that the AI will gather forces from the local populous when you attack, resulting in your fighting a much larger army than you expected. So don't expect to just overwhelm your enemy. They are going to have some serious staying power, which should result in a much more challenging, satisfying gaming experience. Most of these difficulty increasing features can be disabled with some simple tweaks, by the way, if such things just aren't your cup of tea.

    You will be well served to learn how to win against desperate odds in this mod, because you'll be outnumbered a lot of the time! Also, I can't emphasize enough how important it is to create line of sight around your borders. Have your generals build lots of watch towers, and employ spies to keep an eye behind enemy lines. You DO NOT want to get caught unaware.

    Happy gaming!
     
  16. joacqin

    joacqin Confused Jerk Veteran

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    Man, I still have plenty of hours left in Skyrim, WoW is fun and I had thought I would finally get around to New Vegas this holiday but this sounds awesome. You wrote that I needed kingdoms right? I do not have it, I even declined to get it for free from a friend a few weeks ago as I thought I would never need it, but here we are but if I ever get the time I should be able to steam for a few bucks right? Cause this sounds awesome, especially the difficulty. I usually play on normal/normal because honestly I hate it when the AI gets to cheat in games. The AI should have the same constraints that the player has. Sadly programmers suck at making AI so when the playing field is even the AI gets trounced so hopefully the slower growth and limited units will make the challenging part of the campaign last longer and I won't reach critical mass as early as in the normal campaign.
     
  17. Marceror

    Marceror Chaos Shall Be Sown In Their Footsteps Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    @joa, yes, Kingdoms is required for this. I'm sure you could get it for super cheap on Steam. TATW has at least as much replay value as the original vanilla grand campaign, so I'd say it's well worth the small investment.

    As for the AI getting to cheat, I hear you. Modders have improved the AI time and time again, and made some amazing breakthroughs over the years. That said, there's only so far they can take it, so I believe King Kong decided to allow some cheating to compensate for the fact that a halfway skilled human player is ALWAYS going to make far better decisions than the AI. The primary goal is a challenging campaign, even if it requires some fudging to make it so. As I said, if this bothers you, you can disable most of the scripts that gives such advantages to the AI. The FAQ on the site I linked in the OP tells you how to do it. It's just a few simple text edits.
     
  18. Cap'n CJ

    Cap'n CJ Arrr! Veteran

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    Looks totally *****in', downloading it now. Who to play as, though?
     
  19. henkie

    henkie Hammertime Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    Was just looking at the FAQ, but probably will at least try it for a bit with the cheating AI. Like joacqin, I don't particularly like cheating AI, nor do I like it if it's too difficult. I play for fun, not frustration, so prefer it if it isn't too difficult. But we'll see how it is on medium/medium before I start modding the scripts.

    I also noticed that some units can apparently use stakes (like the longbowmen, I assume) at will, rather than only during deployment. Again it seems to be to give the AI an advantage, but it sounds rather cheesy. After all, if they're able to throw up stakes right as your cavalry is about to hit them, it would be nearly unavoidable. I hope they implemented it better than that and also that it is only allowed to deploy stakes once, or this will likely be the first thing I'll remove from the scripts.

    I hope the building progress isn't too slow, though. I always thought that building in the original was going quite slow enough, and if they slowed this down even more, that would make for some incredibly long campaigns. Or just some very slow ones. How long is the main campaign, actually?
     
  20. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    I'll definitely start on medium/medium. And if some factions have units that can create insta-stakes, that's definitely cheesy. I wouldn't even mind if they had multiple uses of it if it wasn't instantaneous. Like, in order to plant stakes your unit would actually have to spend a minute or two doing it, and be uninterrupted. Then again, if it were inst-stakes, I'd probably abuse the hell out of that feature.
     
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