By PF2K on Jul 13, 2019 at 7:00 AM
  1. PF2K

    PF2K Lead Artist | PvP Balance Team Lead
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    Header_-_Week_8.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, 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.

    Praetorium
    ===========
    Week_8_-_Praetorium_Closeup.png
    As 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.

    Week_6_-_Praetorium_Concept_to_Creation.png

    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?

    Week_8_-_Military_Buildings_Lineup.png
    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.

    Centurion
    ==========
    Though 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.

    Week_8_-_Centurion_Feature.png

    Fortress
    ========

    Week_8_-_Fortress_Closeup.png
    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.

    Week_8_-_New_Fort_Design.png

    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:

    Week_8_-_Fortress_Lineup.png
    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. :mad:)

    Week_8_-_Fortress_Mashup.png
    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.
    ========
     
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What Unit/Building would you like to see next? The top 2 will be shown on next week's Blog!

  1. Armory

    8 vote(s)
    13.8%
  2. Age 2 Walls

    16 vote(s)
    27.6%
  3. Cretan Bowman

    18 vote(s)
    31.0%
  4. Centurion's 3D Model (Sorry it didn't make this week! Busy with Summer Event development)

    19 vote(s)
    32.8%
  5. Merchant Transport (PF2K's Favorite)

    14 vote(s)
    24.1%
  6. Siege Workshop

    6 vote(s)
    10.3%
  7. Battering Ram

    2 vote(s)
    3.4%
  8. Villager

    10 vote(s)
    17.2%
  9. Other (mention in the comments section)

    2 vote(s)
    3.4%
Multiple votes are allowed.

Comments

Discussion in 'Romans' started by PF2K, Jul 13, 2019.

    1. Fraxure022

      Fraxure022 Long Swordsman

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      It’s not “wrong” at all. We do not know the rest of the Roman design, so we do not know how the Legionaries fit into the grand scheme of things. You have not addressed the fact that having the Legionaries use a ranged attack does in fact step on the toes of the Persian Immortal, the Persian’s most iconic unit.

      Rome -cannot- have all of the toys. If it did, not only would it overshadow existing civs, it would leave no design space for future ones. It’s not just about what’s historically accurate, AoEO already breaks that rule pretty frequently and consistently. It’s about what makes for a fun and flavorful Civ, the pulls from many differing interpretations of Classical Rome.

      If Legionnaires had a ranged attack, they would quickly go from being A Roman unit to being THE Roman unit. I suspect you are looking at this from a PvP standpoint, where things like build time and cost are more relevant. Am I correct in this, as it would help further the discussion to know where you are coming from?
       
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    2. Gaiacheck

      Gaiacheck Spearman

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      I'd say legionaries are the hecking romanest of roman units and if they're lacking flavour or are unimaginative it will be the big let down.

      I am really scratching my head. You all say "roman units can't reuse other civs ideas because it's unimaginative and yatta yatta" while legionaries will get charge in golden age which is copying like 3 other units...
       
    3. Fraxure022

      Fraxure022 Long Swordsman

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      So it is your position that the Legionaries, the Roman T2 Swordsman equivalent, should have a ranged attack comparable to the Persian Immortal, a charge like the Celtic Woad Raider and an officer unit like the Norse Chief, in order to properly capture Roman flavor? I’m sorry, but I strongly disagree. That just sounds like a bloated unit design. It leaves very little room within the rest of the Civ for other units to be useful, at least in a PvE context. Rome should not get all the toys the other civs have. Period.
       
      PF2K and coolblade23 like this.
    4. Gaiacheck

      Gaiacheck Spearman

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      No, I merely point out that they will already use other civ's mechanics (read legionary devblog) while everybody points out that's not okay for them to have ability similar to immortals. I don't think they should have full ranged capability but rather cooldown based ability or slowly replenishing charges of ranged ability. How is that similar to immortal?

      Like read about the fucking roman tactics before attempting to discuss on unit flavour- immortals were versatile units capable of using large cariety of weaponry thus they can employ both ranged and melee weaponry. Legionaries used their ranged weaponry as disposable shock weapon or to disable enemy shields.

      Like how the fuck can anyody even attempt to label those two as the same is way beyond me.

      I heavily disagree that legionaries should have charge ability and I already expressed that in Legionary devblog. It is lazy and does not fit roman flavour very well.

      Lastly, I think that Centurion should be more of a strategic unit rather than "bEtTeR BiGgEr LeGiOnArY"
       
    5. Fraxure022

      Fraxure022 Long Swordsman

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      I’m not sure if it is your intent, but your tone and the cursing are coming off as very aggressive. There’s no need for that, we are having a disagreement over a video game. It’s not earthshattering material here.

      I will agree that I’m not crazy about the Legionaries having a charge ability. They’re heavily armored and I think it infringes on the Woad Raiders a tad more than I like.

      Roman flavor is not just about what is historically accurate, far from it when it comes to AoEO. Think about it. All six of the existing civs draw as much from pop culture as they do from history or prior games. The Immortals are the best example of this. Historically, they didn’t wear the masks that way, and they were consistently trashed by Grecian forces. The version we see in the game instead draws from 300 for inspiration. Rome needs to feel like it fits with the other six, so it will need to draw from various inspirations too, not strict historical constructionism.

      I am curious. How precisely would you make the Centurion “more strategic”? Keep in mind that activated abilities are a rarity in this game, although not unheard of. I think the version they’ve designed does an excellent job of playing like a fancier Legionnaire.
       
    6. Gaiacheck

      Gaiacheck Spearman

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      I am not reffering the pop culture immortals but rather historical accounts of immortals actually using variety of weapons from spears to bows and slings.

      I'd say there is a fine line between "tapping into pop culture" and not making any sense and at this rate legionaries make no sense.

      I'd say the best example of how Centurion could work is looking at Chief Vemundr in the norse campaign. One thing could be having very limited number of Centurions with some sort of aura (damage reduction, cooldown recovery) that would make positioning and keeping him alive very important. Another thing could be damage amplification, snare on damage while within aura radius, armour reduction etc). It could even be aura carrier in age III and gain active with champion upgrade like he could let nearby infantry charge with a press of the button (which would be amazing replacement for current legionary upgrade) or stun/slow nearby enemies. There are thousand ways to make centurion unique and powerful unit that would reward skill.
       
    7. Fraxure022

      Fraxure022 Long Swordsman

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      It doesn’t matter what you were referring to with Immortals. The fact is that Immortals, alongside many, many other units in this game, were designed, in part, based off of how pop culture sees them. Age of Empires Online is not a historically accurate game. If it was, the Norse wouldn’t be in it.

      Legionaries make sense as designed. I fail to see how they make zero sense. They are not a perfect reflection of what they were historically, and that’s OK. Nothing in this game is.

      The Centurion you describe belongs in Starcraft. Age of Empires is a macro heavy game, and the micro decisions come from things like unit formations, flanking and focus firing. Micro-managing several different units with activated abilities like that turns Age of Empires into something that it’s not. I feel like you want Rome to be this crazy, rule-breaking Civ, irrespective of the other factions. Much of what your asking for sounds like unit and design bloat to me.

      I suppose we’ll have to agree to disagree, which is sad, but that’s the way it goes sometimes. :)
       
    8. Andy P XIII

      Andy P XIII Moderator
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      Worth mentioning again: we didn't get drunk, make up our own version of Roman history, and give Legionaries charge. Historically, they threw the pila and then charged. "The legionaries were trained to hurl their javelins and then immediately draw swords and charge to contact. A Roman imperial legionary was the finest heavy infantryman of antiquity, and a massed legionary charge was the ancient world’s last word in ‘shock and awe’." (https://www.military-history.org/articles/roman-legionary-profile.htm, as well as several other sources that stand for the same proposition.)

      Unlike woad raiders, they will not have area damage. One point I haven't yet seen anyone pick up on yet: if you micro the Legionaries and Centurions correctly, you end up with exactly what the histories tell us: a pila throw followed by a charge, which is about as good as we are going to be able to muster and satisfy the constraints of the game.

      And, as always, everything is subject to balance testing. But we are doing our damnedest over here, guys.
       
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    9. TheSpaniard

      TheSpaniard Champion

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      Andy, your last point about combining Centurions and Legionnaires is exactly what I was thinking... When you put both together, you get "everything" that we're looking for historically--the pilum throw and the charge.

      Regarding AoEO as historical, it is obvious that it is a combination of historical and fictional, which is perfect for a video game like this. Maybe the motto should be "AoEO: Based on history, inspired by pop culture, but always bound by fun."
       
      Andy P XIII likes this.
    10. Fraxure022

      Fraxure022 Long Swordsman

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      You guys do great work. You really have no idea how much this game means to me. I hope my mild criticism of the charge on Legionaries doesn’t diminish that. I am very, very excited for Rome, and every Saturday ups the excitement.
       
      TheSpaniard and Andy P XIII like this.
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