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, after about two months of buildup, we are extremely excited to finally reveal the Praetorium, which is a Roman Unique Building and defines this civ's unique playstyle, alongside the Fortress. We will also be briefly introducing the Centurion, one of the Officers trained at the Praetorium.
PraetoriumAs we’ve discussed previously, Roman military Buildings are categorized based on the military rank and historical origin of their units and not by what category of unit they train. We have previously revealed the Castellum, which trains proper Roman citizen soldiers like the Legionary (and serves as a Roman Improved Barracks) and the Auxilia Camp, which trains units of historically non-Roman origin (and serves essentially as a combination between the Archery Range and Stables).
Along with the Siege Workshop (which we haven’t yet revealed), these buildings train the bulk of all Roman troops.
But the Romans’ legendary dominance was not just a result of its disciplined soldiers and fierce allies but was even more a result of its structured organization and its brilliant leaders. And so along these lines, the unique Roman Praetorium trains an entirely unique type of unit, Officer Units.
Though Roman Officer Units still adhere to the traditional classes of units (Infantry, Cavalry, etc.), they each share several important characteristics.
First, as compared to other units trainable from that Age, each Officer Unit is generally much more powerful and more expensive. Overall, they will be far more pop efficient than normal units. Some will have unique powers, as well.
Second, each Officer will be subject to restrictive build limits, so only very few of each type can be trained at once. These numbers are subject to balancing, but we expect them to be quite limited when the unit first becomes available and then the total number increases with each age. This mechanic will really set the Romans apart from every other civ in the game and give them their own structured identity. Where the other six civs tend to encourage use of a single, spammable unit (at least in PvE), the Romans will be most powerful when players deploy a variety of units and use certain ones together. And where the others civs can feel at times like a mob of units thrown together, the Roman army has obvious leaders. On the flip side, if these commanders fall in battle, then the Romans lose much of their edge. Meanwhile, since players can only train a small number of Officer Units (perhaps about 10-20 percent of the total population), they will depend on their regular military and siege.
Finally, if these Officer Units remind you of the Norse Chief, you are on the right track. The Norse Chief was lifted directly from the original Roman design. Therefore, in order to give Rome its own identity and keep it from stepping on Norse toes, we needed to make some significant adjustments. Ultimately, the Chief is really just a one-off powerful, general buffing Unit. We have taken that original idea and now have created four far more distinct units that should really stand out and give Rome its own flavor and gel together to feel like a unique category of Officer Units. Our fingerprints are all over these units, and we cannot wait to see them in action.
Before we reveal one of these units, let's have a few words on the 3d model of the Praetorium. As you can see, we did not deviate very far at all from the original concept art. Happy Smurf quickly drafted the model and Chaos textured it. There have been only some minor tweaks since then (most noticably increasing its size to feel more substantial).
Now that we have revealed the majority of the Roman Military Buildings, let's have a look at them next to each other to see how a proper Roman Military Base is going to look like, shall we?
The game files occassionally refer to the Praetorium as the "Officer Tent," which is exactly what a Praetorium was in Roman military camps. We have seen several people mention their surprise to see so many wooden stakes and tents in our Roman architecture (as opposed to solid stone with shingled roofs). As we have mentioned several times, we are striving to deliver a civ that is as close to the original designs as possible, and those designs incorporated these temporary military encampments. The fact is, the Romans were conquerors and did most of their fighting on the road playing offense, so it makes a lot of sense that their military buildings reflect that.
Rest assured, almost all Buildings from here on out will feature that heavy stone Roman architecture so many of you are asking about. And your capital cities will be beautiful works of classical architecture, just like the Eternal City of Rome.
CenturionThough the Romans' first Officer Unit will be available in the Praetorium by Age 2, today we are revealing one of their two Age 3 Officers, the Centurion.
Roman Centurions were the elite commanders of Roman Legionaries. They have gone down in history as the epitome of Roman military officers, and it just would not feel right to announce Officer Units without announcing them, even though we have not completely finished their model and are not 100 percent on their stats and specialities. Historically, very best Legionaries were promoted to Centurion and fittingly commanded 100 Legionaries. Of course, the population constraints of AoEO obviously prevent us from adhering to that ratio. We presently expect Centurions to take two pop spots and be limited in Age 3 about 8 total units at a time. Ultimately, in Age 4 that number will rise and then after a tech upgrade, even more. (Again these details are the decisions to be made by our expert-level PvP balancing team and none of these numbers are final by any means) Though we are not totally certain of their details, we know they will be powerful and will stand out as the leaders of the infantry.
The Centurion model will visually indicate their superiority to the Legionary. They will be larger in stature (similar to Norse Berserkers) and have a fully plumed helmet and similar indicators of military rank. Other than their sheer power as melee infantry, we expect our Centurions to have a unique ranged attack by means of throwing a javelin. Historically, Legionaries would throw a javelin (called a pilum) before rushing in with their swords drawn. Though we decided that giving this feature to every Legionary would infringe too much on the uniqueness of Persian Immortals, this feature is far more appropriate for Centurions (who, as elite Legionaries, also threw the Pilum). However, for both balancing and realism, the Centurions' javelin will have a cooldown (perhaps 10-15 seconds) and function differently from that of the Immortals' Ranged Attack. These feature should give Centurions a completely different feel than Immortals.
Also, because of these various capabilities, we also expect that the Centurion will be one of very few units in the game to have 5 separate gear slots (Sword, Javelin, Shield, Medium Armor, and Soldiers' Gear). Though you won’t be able to train many Centurions, you will absolutely want to have all of them on the field. As we will reveal soon enough, the same will go for every Officer Unit in the Praetorium.
The Fortress was the resounding winner in last week's poll, and we are pleased to bring it to you now. From a design perspective, we changed its roof from a tent to a traditional roof because it did not feel substantial enough. We love that concept art and did not see any need to deviate from it. As discussed in more detail in our Building Design Blog, the Fortress is one of the 13 Common Buildings that every Age of Empires Online civilization shares.
There are several different Fortresses in Age of Empires Online.
- The Standard Fortress: Greek, Persian, Babylonian, Celtic
- These Fortresses cost 300 Wood, 400 Stone and train Palintonons (and in the case of the Celtic one, Rams and Stone Throwers instead of Palintonons)
- The Norse Fortress:
- This Fortress costs 400 Wood, 300 Stone and has less hitpoints than the standard Fortresses but has the advantage of being able to be built by Infantry, saving precious gathering time for your villagers, in addition to costing less Stone, a resources far less available than Wood and also and also having the ability to research Burning Pitch, a technology exclusive to the Norse civilization.
- The Egyptian Fortress:
- This Fortress costs 400 Wood, 300 Stone and has less hitpoints than the standard Fortresses, just like the Norse one but has the advantage of being able to train War Elephants, one of the most powerful units in the entire game.
The Roman Fortress will follow the standard model and train Palintonons.
Here's a lineup of every Fortress next to each other:
PF2K's personal note: Before any of you guys start saying anything about the size of the fortress (like you did with the Roman Dock, I put all of the Forts on top of each other, check it out here. As you can see, the top part of the Roman Fort is sticking out of the entire bunch, so it's not smaller or shorter than average by any means! It's just your eyes deceiving you. )
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 13, 2019 at 7:00 AM
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