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 Age 2 Wall and Merchant Transport, as well as showing the model for the Centurion, which we discussed in detail last week.
Age II WallsAs discussed in more detail in our Building Design Blog, the Wall is one of the 13 Common Buildings that every Age of Empires Online civilization shares. The Babylonian Age 1 Clay Wall, which costs much less but has fewer hit points, is the only Improved Wall in the game, and there are no Advanced or Unique versions. So hypothetically, there’s still room for a special Wall.
In the game files, however, we did not find any evidence that the original Devs intended to feature Roman Walls in their tech tree. Therefore, we rather quickly agreed to have the Roman Walls remain a Common Building that behaves identically to all the other Walls in the game. Accordingly, the Romans will use the same Age 1 Wall model as all other Civs and will then have their own unique models for Ages 2, 3, and 4 (though we do not expect the Age 4 wall to be available in their tech tree).
However, we quickly realized that the available concept art for the Roman Walls would not work. Can you spot the problem?
The original Devs reassigned the Roman Walls to the Legion of Carthage. They are almost a perfect facsimile.
So PF2K, Happy Smurf and Chaos designed something new. To do so, they first designed the Age 4 Wall. Then, once we agreed on its final design, they scaled the design down to create the Age 3 Wall and then the Age 2 Wall.
Here is how the Age 2 Roman Walls look next to their equivalents from other civilizations:
To give you a better look at the visual unity of Roman buildings, here is a few of their buildings next to the newly revealed Age 2 Walls:
In the picture you can see the Guard Tower, Auxilia Camp, Castellum and Watch Post buildings.
Merchant TransportJust like Common Buildings, every civilization in AoEO shares the same Common Units. There are four Common Units: Villagers, Caravans, Fishing Boats, and Merchant Transport Ships. These units can have small statistical differences in different Civs (the Egyptian villager trains slower, for instance). But otherwise, they are identical across all of the Civs.
Therefore, it would be groundbreaking for the Romans to not have a Merchant Transport. However, while we ultimately are giving them one, they almost didn’t make it. The Roman Dock has been a vexing problem for us, and to finalize it, we needed to reconcile a lot of conflicting information.
In some places in the game files, the Merchant Transport was conspicuously missing. For instance, we have what appears to be a full set of unit icons, but none for the Merchant Transport icon.
However, it appears in other places in the game files and we have concept art for it. The full roster of Ships fluctuates in the record, and in some places includes up to six different Ships (a Fishing Boat, a Merchant Transport, a Basic Warship, a Small Warship used for Scouting, a Large Warship, and a Very Large Warship.)
Since no civ has more than five ships, we were very skeptical about giving the Romans six.
Historically, Rome has a very strange naval history. Our Romans aim for the Roman Republic to mid-Imperial era (perhaps 500 BCE to 300 CE) with more emphasis on the classic late Republic/early Imperial era (150 BCE to 150 CE). Until around 260 BCE, the Romans sometimes had no navy and other times had a terrible one. Starting in the Punic Wars (about 260 BCE), they copied Carthage’s navy, but even then it was subpar. However, eventually the Romans dominated both the land and the waters of the Mediterranean, so history could be interpreted any number of ways.
From a gameplay perspective, though, in order to keep the Romans balanced we can’t just casually give it a giant armada. To give the Romans six Ships would necessitate sacrificing at least one or two of their land units (and, as we will discuss more in our forthcoming Unit Design Blog, their land unit roster was already too large and required us to make a few very difficult roster decisions). To cut even more units just to give the Romans a crazy navy would have been awful.
So for several reasons we were tempted to cut the Merchant Transport and assign its duties to a different boat, perhaps that Small Warship used for Scouting.
But ultimately, we could not find a way to make that work without feeling like we were needlessly creating a unit that tries to be two different units but ends up missing both targets and being neither. Meanwhile, since no other civ has ever deviated from one of the four Common Units, such a groundbreaking move should be reserved for the perfect situation and not done frivolously. So the Roman Merchant Transport lives another day and makes it onto the Tech Tree. In a few weeks, we will explain how we solved the Roman naval dilemma. But for now, here is the Merchant Transport Ship.
And now let's take a look at it next to its cousins from other civilizations, shall we?
Centurion's 3D ModelMeanwhile, PF2K and Chaos have finished the Centurion model. As you can see, we are using a large body for the Centurion, similar to that of the Norse Berseker. In the picture above you can see the Centurion in full Legendary gear.
Below you can see the Centurion next to a Berserker and in the next picture, next to a group of Legionaries (who are wearing Epic gear).
We also wanted to create a Centurion that was both similar in costume to the Legionary but also obviously superior.
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 20, 2019 at 1:54 PM
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