Fight Control and the Backbone of an Army

Knowing how fights are started and controlled is an invaluable but often poorly understood part of RoN’s combat.

Stemming from the above you end up with a broad category of units that can be considered the “backbone” of an army because they must exist for an army to be able to negotiate control of fights.

Crossbowmen are a classic backbone unit due to their good fight control. Image credit: Morelanuensis

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The Most Absolutely Absurd RoN Bug I’ve Ever Found

For most of this year, I’ve been working on getting the next version, Alpha 7, of the Community Balance/Bugfix Patch out. One bug in particular relating to Barks and Triremes was especially difficult to pin down, but last night I was finally able to figure out the bug’s trigger and get a 100% reproduction rate.

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CBP: What’s Been Left on the Table

Rise of Nations is not a perfectly balanced game, and CBP doesn’t make it one either.

RoN is a reasonably balanced game though, and (by most people’s counts) CBP is a net-improvement of that balance.

There are a lot of areas which I’d like to probe further for CBP but am unable to due to lack of playtesting and quality discussion. This isn’t intended to be a comprehensive list of literally every possible change, but it can be used as a somewhat comprehensive starting point. Here’s what’s been left on the table.

Image credit: Elena Mozhvilo via Unsplash.

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CBP Alpha 7 Patch Notes

To try to better communicate the reason behind changes, I’m trying out a slightly more fleshed-out set of patch notes to accompany the summary published on the mod’s Workshop page.

Each balance change will include a few lines providing context as to why the change was made, something that was often difficult to do within a single cell on a spreadsheet.

All the minor bugfixes etc which don’t affect gameplay are also listed in their entirety.

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Extracting RoN’s Damage Modifiers Matrix/Table

You can tell a hacker is legit when they’re using an RGB mouse. Image credit: Anete Lusina via Pexels

The damage calculations for RoN are, in short, complicated.

Units have a base attack value, which then goes through potentially up to at least eight unique damage modifiers12 depending on the units (and/or buildings) and circumstances involved. After all the modifiers, the defending unit’s armor is applied as a flat reduction and you end up with the final damage value.3

All of the static modifiers are calculated on game load, allowing for the values that are hardcoded into the game to be modified further by its game files, such as through official patches and user-made mods. The resulting calculation is a 493×493 table made by the game featuring every unit and building in RoN, even some that can never enter combat (Bison, Whales), or that are never used in the game (Siege/Catapult Ships).

This 493² matrix is part of the enormous header located in save game files, meaning we’re able to extract and view it. Here’s how to go about that.

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