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 will be revealing the Dock and Fishing Boat, as well as an update to Roman Wood colors as part of the civilization's visual identity.
Dock and Fishing BoatAs discussed in more detail in our Building Design Blog, the Dock is one of the 13 Common Buildings that every Age of Empires Online civilization shares.
Because the usefulness of Docks varies wildly based on the map, they are notoriously difficult to balance. In order to equal out, a civ with a particularly strong navy must be relatively weaker on land. But then if the map doesn’t have water, the civ is at an unbridgeable disadvantage. So it is not surprising that no civ has yet featured a special Dock and that everyone basically has the same one. In this way, the Dock is very similar to the Town Center, Market, and Armory as being a Common Building that does not have an Advanced or Unique version.
But while we have already announced that the Romans will feature an Improved Town Center, their Dock will remain a Common Building.
Here are the Roman Dock and Fishing Boat next to their cousins from other civilizations:
Frankly, we saw no evidence that the original Developers intended for anything different with the Dock itself. However, the original designs did demonstrate a strong emphasis on the Roman navy.
But for a number of reasons, we are also announcing today that the Roman navy is one area where we are deviating from the original Roman designs. As we mentioned earlier, the original Roman design was noticeably bloated in several places, and the Dock was definitely one. The original designs called for the Dock to train no fewer than four different warships – two Warships in Age 2, plus an Age 3 Ram Ship, and an Age 4 Siege Ship. No other civ in the game has more than three warships, and the Celts have just one. Four warships would be next to impossible to balance, and it makes us seriously doubt that the Devs would ever have launched the civ so out of proportion with the others.
So we consulted with some of the original Devs, and they gave their blessing for us to ground some of the Roman fleet. Exactly how we do this will be the topic for another time. But for now, get comfortable with the Roman Dock to be functional, but certainly not overpowering.
We will be able to speak more specifically after we balance the civ, but at this point, in order to allow Rome to dominate other areas of the game, we expect their navy to end up around the same power level as the Babylonians.
This is consistent with Roman history – though Rome would eventually control the entire Mediterranean region, it was always relatively stronger on land than on sea and had almost no navy at all for the first few hundred years of its existence. It was not until the Romans found a grounded Carthaginian quinquereme during the First Punic War that they reverse engineered it and finally began making decent ships. And even then, the Romans had a knack for losing entire fleets at once. In the Second Punic War, more Roman troops drowned from shipwrecks caused by bad weather and poor seamanship than the total number of Carthaginian deaths in the entire war.
Roman Wood Color
As we continue to design the civ in real time, we occasionally encounter issues we never even knew were issues until too late. This week marks the most recent example. A few days ago when we were fussing with the final Fishing Boat design to prepare for today’s post, we realized that its wood color was totally different than the color of the wood in some siege units (which we have not yet disclosed to you). Upon closer inspection, we realized that each of the Original 6 civs have their own unique color and type of wood that tends to appear across the board in its Ships, Siege Units, and Buildings. But our Romans had all sorts of different colored wood everywhere.
Our stomachs dropped when we discovered we had bulldozed right through a nuanced area of civ design that we had never before noticed. So PF2K set right to work. We quickly tried on different wood colors, chose an appropriately austere grayish woody hue, and he applied it forthwith to every model in the civ.
Therefore, we now have the pleasure of showing you slightly updated versions of your favorite previously revealed Buildings. A discerning eye may also notice some other handsome alterations we have made thanks to your ongoing feedback. Look at that Storehouse roof! Look at that reshaped Guard Tower!
Here's the new version of the Age II Guard Tower (Age III and Age IV versions have been adjusted accordingly as well) next to other civilizations' Age II Guard Towers:
For next week's Blog, we will be revealing the 3rd Roman military building, other than the Castellum and Auxilia Camp. But you have a chance to vote for the 2nd revealed unit/building by voting in the poll below.
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.
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By PF2K on Jul 6, 2019 at 8:53 AM
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