By PF2K on Aug 31, 2019 at 1:05 PM
  1. PF2K

    PF2K Lead Artist | PvP Balance Team Lead
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    Header_-_Week_13.png
    Hello there Celeste players! We are back with another Roman reveal blog.

    As we develop the Romans, each week we will be revealing the Romans to you building by building, unit by unit, and technology by technology. We are not just showing you what the Romans will be, but showing you how we are building them, who is building them, and also why we are building them the way that we are.

    This week, we are revealing our long-requested Roman Villagers (both male and female) as well as the 3d models for both the Age 3 TC and the Pontifex, both of which we have discussed previously.

    Villagers
    ===========
    Villager_Closeup.png
    Even though Villagers are predictable and uniform across the civs, they are the most important and heavily used unit in the game, so as Developers, we owe a duty to make ours fit perfectly.

    Villagers are one of four Common Units, which are hardwired into the game code to be shared by all civs. Each Common Unit appears at the same Age and has the same statistics, regardless of civ, with almost no exceptions. One notable exception: while the standard Villager training time is 15 seconds, the Egyptian Villager takes 18 seconds. This penalty is likely linked to the fact that Egypt can continue to produce Villagers as it researches the next Age (Egypt ages up by building Temples) and that Priestesses of Ra can buff TCs and reduce the training time/increase gathering rates. Though Babylon ages up at the Ziggurat and thus can also produce Vils constantly, the original Devs appear to have decided not to increase their training time on account of its TC having to also train Ox Carts, which gums up Villager production.) Here you can see the Roman villagers gathering resources, wearing Legendary gear:

    Villager_Gathering.png

    Therefore, there is precedent for us to slightly manipulate the base villager statistics. Though to remain consistent to the game design, we really should do so only if necessary to offset some fundamental change to Roman Villager productivity.

    But as it turns out, it is necessary for us to scrutinize this otherwise unremarkable detail when designing the Romans. Though the Romans will age up at the TC just like most civs, the Roman TC plays a more heightened role that in part affects its Villager production: the Roman Town Center trains more than one unit.

    And as you can imagine, toggling any other Villager statistics (gather and construction rates, speed, health, damage, etc.) would have a dramatic impact on the viability of the entire civilization. We don’t touch those buttons without a significant and obvious reason. The Romans will be a slow-moving Age 4 powerhouse. Since we do not need to tweak its Villager to achieve that vision, we should not meddle with them at all.

    Ultimately, for reasons we will reveal later, we presently do not plan to alter the Villager statistics. But like many otherwise boring decisions we have discussed in this blog, in order to decide to not make a radical design departure with the Romans, we still need to analyze all possibilities and justify our actions (or inactions) in a way that remains true to the original design rules.

    The Romans must be unexpectedly unique in many areas and predictably uniform in others. So long as we intelligently choose which of those areas should be unique and which should be uniform, the Romans will feel fresh and fun to play, be filled with deep new strategies, and yet still feel like a natural addition to the Age of Empires Online world.

    Age III Town Center
    ==================
    Age3_TC_Closeup.png
    A few weeks ago, we announced that the Roman Town Center will be an Improved Building, which is an otherwise standard Common Building that contains a special technology or other attribute that improves it in a small but decisive way.

    Concept_to_Creation.png

    Therefore, starting in Age 2, the Roman Town Center will be more than just a Villager factory. It will produce a second unit. We are super excited about this and can’t wait to share these details soon enough.

    Let's have a look at all Age 3 Town Centers from all the 7 civilizations together:

    Age3_TC_Lineup.png

    But for today, you can see the Age 3 Town Center, which Chaos and Happy Smurf have worked hard on. It is designed to indicate the obvious progression in the civ as it gets larger and more austere with accents changing from Bronze to Silver to indicate the Age. As you can see, the square frame of the Town Center remains throughout the ages, but the roof and other features become more pronounced in the classic Roman tradition.

    TC_Progression.png

    Pontifex 3D
    ===========
    We announced the Pontifex last week, and are pleased to show him off today. As the Roman Templum and priest appear to have been late additions to the original designs, we had no concept art or icons to guide us.

    Therefore, we hit the books to research Roman religions and roles, seeking some hook to form a historical bond for our unit to attach to our civ. Religion in Rome was anything but standardized, let alone religion across the entire Roman Empire. In addition to their well-known pantheon of gods inherited from the Greeks, the Romans also worshiped and had temples dedicated to countless other deities, such as Isis (Egypt), Epona (Celts), Mithra (Persians), Sol Invictus, and even some of Rome’s own imperial legends such as Julius Caesar.

    Yet at the same time, AoEO civ designs paint in broad strokes. And in broad strokes, compared to most of the existing civs, our Romans are intended to focus more on their scientific and practical strengths than with their panoply of mystery cults. So we can’t let the Templum bog us down. We just want a taste. Remember, these guys weren’t even going to have a temple or priest at first.

    We ultimately honed in on Jupiter, who is the king of gods in Greco-Roman mythology and featured prominently in Rome. A grand temple dedicated to Jupiter stands proudly on top of the Capitoline Hill in the center of the city near the Emperor’s palace, and was not only Rome’s most important temple, but was considered by some to be the home of the god himself. Similarly, the Roman military traditionally held Jupiter above all others and made offerings to him and dedicated the state sponsored military Triumphs to him.

    Though our Templum and Pontifex do not directly reference Jupiter in some specific technology or ability, their models and icons do by featuring Jupiter’s lightning bolts (on the Templum icon’s book and on the Pontifex’s belt). Similarly, historical Pontifexes were priests of Rome and closely tied to Jupiter. So the name fits.

    We know that our Pontifex will convert units, but until balance testing we will not be certain of his stats or any other powers (such as healing or something else). Therefore, we don’t want to show our cards on the tech’s use only to later change direction.

    As for his visual design, PF2K, Recon, and Andy (the three of us who drafted the final blueprints for the civ) envisioned an old man and originally thought to bring forth a model based on the classic AoE1 priest. In fact, we had intended to borrow Peepaw, dress him up, and promote our dear friend to Pontifex. However, when Happy Smurf and Chaos got to work, he took on even more personality, and we love him. Peepaw is still hiding behind the icon image, though! Also, we love his priestly hats.

    The Templum is slated to contain one tech upgrade, Pax Deorum. Though usually translated into English as “peace,” Pax was a compact, bargain or agreement. In religious usage, the harmony or accord between the divine and human was the Pax Deorum (“the peace of the gods” or “divine peace”). The gods instilled Pax Deorum only in return for correct religious practice by the Romans. Religious error (vitium) and impiety led to divine disharmony and Ira Deorum (the anger of the gods).

    Pontifex_Closeup.png

    As the idea and design of so many of our Roman units had been hammered out by the original Developers before we arrived, we feel a special ownership of the Pontifex and Templum. In fact, the Pontifex is the only unit that we named and the only unit we had to visually design from scratch. He’s our guy. (Though at this stage, our sense of ownership manifests more in a nagging sense of responsibility and anxiety.) But we are confident that the Pontifex will make a terrific addition to the Roman roster.

    As an added bonus, let's have a look at Roman Villagers hard at work gathering resources, shall we?



    Thank you for reading, and we will see you all next week!

    Project Celeste Development Team

    What do you think about this week's blog? What would you like to see next? Let us know in the comments below!

    ========
    Missed the Roman Civilization's announcement? Find out about it HERE.

    Project Celeste is completely free and always will be. However, we gladly accept donations for our overhead costs, which are larger than we have budgeted. If you want to support us, you can do so HERE.

    Read every Romans related blog HERE.

    Tell your friends! Join our Discord HERE.
    =========
     
    #1 PF2K, Aug 31, 2019 at 1:05 PM
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2019
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What unit/building do you want to see next? Pick your top 2!

  1. Roman Palintonon

    39 vote(s)
    68.4%
  2. Enneris (Rome's mightiest Warship)

    37 vote(s)
    64.9%
  3. Roman Palace (Capital City Building)

    15 vote(s)
    26.3%
  4. Roman Embassy (Capital City Building)

    6 vote(s)
    10.5%
  5. Gear Hall (Capital City Building)

    2 vote(s)
    3.5%
Multiple votes are allowed.

Comments

Discussion in 'Romans' started by PF2K, Aug 31, 2019.

    1. Ander

      Ander Spearman

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      I'm loving this civ sooo much, the style, concept and evrything is just so fleshed out it's amazing. I'm really looking forward to seeing what we have yet to see (not to tell playing it).
       
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    2. Fristi61

      Fristi61 Spearman

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      Looks great as always!

      I agree using Jupiter in the design makes the most sense, especially when you consider that he was an original Roman/Latin/Italic deity rather than Greek (though he does share a common prehistoric "ancestor deity" with Zeus that they're both derived off).
      Also he was notably the only god to feature in both the older "Archaic" and the later "Capitoline" central triads of patrician Roman religion, which is a testament to his importance. Other deities came and went, but Jupiter remained.


      One thing I've been wondering... the "Pontifex Maximus" was the chief high priest and there was only ever one of them. So it's a bit weird for all of them to upgrade to "Pontifex Maximus" as you'll have a whole bunch of them, it's kind of like a medieval civ recruiting an army of popes.

      I suppose the problem is that the Pontifices themselves are already a very small group of high priests, so besides Pontifex Maximus there aren't many other ranks higher than Pontifex left?
      I suppose there's the Rex Sacrorum, but that's also only one guy. There's the Flamens, but that's what most of the Pontifices already are.
      You could reserve "Pontifex" for the upgrade, and use a lower-ranking title for the unupgraded version. But then the problem is Rome's lack of a "priest" occupation other than the high priest offices (performing religious rites was just a side-job of the local leaders, there were no separate priests), so there's no real job or office title to base the name of the unupgraded unit on, I guess.

      Huh, that's pretty tricky. I suppose Rome's lack of a proper priest caste does really justify that officers have priest-like abilities though, since they would also lead the troops in religious practices.
       
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    3. Andy P XIII

      Andy P XIII Moderator
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      I’ve been anticipating the Pontifex Maximus question. Sure, it doesn’t fit perfectly, but it’s an amazing name and AoEO is never literal. Centurions were the leaders of 100 legionaries each, and we couldn’t let that ratio stop us. I figure if this bugs a purist too much, they can just make one Pontifex Maximus :)
       
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    4. Fristi61

      Fristi61 Spearman

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      One mono-pontifex maximus meta coming right up :D
       
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    5. MatrixSoft

      MatrixSoft Long Swordsman

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      Great job, the city center was really cool, very detailed, and it's great to see all the team's efforts to make it real, pontifex was really cool too.
      I am translating the Civs-related texts into Portuguese and I see the huge amount of information that surrounds each construction, units, equipment and functions that during the game is trivial, but to work, is a huge puzzle and difficult to solve. So you can believe me I understand the huge work that is making this real, stay strong and stay motivated, because you are doing something amazing, congratulations.
       
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    6. Andy P XIII

      Andy P XIII Moderator
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      Glad you appreciate it! Civ building is a huge puzzle. Inevitably players will form opinions and look critically at our work, so we hope to demonstrate the weird complexity of it all to temper expectations. People can criticize, but to do so, we want to use these blogs to shift the burden onto them to follow the same rules and find a solution. It’s not easy. :)
       
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    7. MechSmith

      MechSmith Spearman

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      I wondered if anyone else was going to ask the pontifex maximus question, and am amused to see it already asked and answered.
       
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    8. TheSpaniard

      TheSpaniard Champion

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      Calling it now: the other unit the town center produces will be the Engineer.

      The question becomes... What will the engineer's role be?? Building only? Increasing building rates? Something to do with siege engines (buffing/decreasing train time)? Some combination of these?

      Excited to see!
       
    9. Exclusive0r

      Exclusive0r Hippikon

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    10. mandakafa

      mandakafa Spearman

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      what about a backup unit senator from the structure of senato .. senator always manipulate the warriors using their creative mind and also money...
       
    11. John Quincy

      John Quincy Spearman

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      Again, these reveals are just awesome! I love the Age III Town Center. The new tech for the town center is cool as well. Revealing the teams thought processes give such great insight into the development. My anticipation grows with each blog! Thanks again.
       
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    12. Andy P XIII

      Andy P XIII Moderator
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      that is a fun idea, though we don’t have a senate building (or a coliseum like you mentioned in the other post). It’s tricky to fit everything into a civ! But I love the ideas
       
    13. RASPUTINPRIME

      RASPUTINPRIME Long Swordsman

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      Love the TC and the progression through the Ages.

      I can't wait to see the Pontifex in action!
       
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    14. mandakafa

      mandakafa Spearman

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      you are right.. it will be difficult to get out of standard coding and also new modelling issue.. anyway we already have a colosseum structure modeling on our hand ( main cities arena building ) .. unusual units can also disrupt the balance between races. maybe just for a special campains.. i dont know.. thank you very much for your answers by the way :) senator.jpg
       
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    15. TheSpaniard

      TheSpaniard Champion

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      Hmm... no likes or response from Andy/any other dev to my post. I must have hit the nail on the head with my engineer prediction (pun intended). ;):cool:

      And yes, I'm trying to coax a response, I won't deny it. These hints and prediction games are part of the fun!

      And I was just thinking the other day... I was wondering how we could only be about "half way through" blog post reveals (as mentioned by Andy somewhere recently--I think the Discord), and then I realized we haven't seen Roman cavalry yet (among many other things)! Can't wait to see the Roman cavalry units.
       
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    16. Andy P XIII

      Andy P XIII Moderator
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      We have lots of units left. And, Spaniard, keep guessing!
       
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    17. happysmurf

      happysmurf Game Developer

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      There are still some units left, the wonder, some late age building upgrades, and a full arsenal of roman capital buildings. Besides that we have a full region to build with unique structures.
      And it does not stop there.
      A civ also needs his personal nature textures, trees, bushes water and cliffs.
       
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    18. TheSpaniard

      TheSpaniard Champion

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      Totally forgot about nature textures! I know some were revealed back after the map design contest, but I can't wait to see the new grass/trees, water, etc.! And man, I bet the Eternal City itself is gonna look SUH-WEET.
       
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