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Age of Wonders 2 Heaven » Forums » General Discussion & Suggestions » FAQ: Patch v1.4
Topic Subject:FAQ: Patch v1.4
posted 10-28-05 04:41 PM EDT (US)         

Get it
here or here!
(The above is a direct download link and Internet Explorer might block this download: you can then change your options (XP has it in the popup window itself) and go ahead. It's about 40 MB.)

A detailed online document is also online. Make sure to read the FAQ below if you have any questions.

~ The development Teams

The following is a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) about the patch. I will update this post during release and post frequently asked questions and answers.

Q1: Why don't the new units and Structures show up in the Random Map Generator, campaign or existing maps?
A: This project was designed primarily as a patch and changes are strongly in line with v1.3. This is not an expansion Pack, nor a MOD that is intended to change the game experience. This patch only supports these new graphics and units for mapmakers and modders to use. As said before, the original gameplay remains largely unchanged.
We do have 4 maps that are shipped with the patch for you that contain these new structures and units. They are called: Secrets of Marlenia, Baffled Intentions, Return of the Lizards and Choice of Weapons and you can already play them right now.

Q2: Will I be able to play, edit and continue games and mapmaking on maps that were not made with v1.4 but with Aow2 or AoW-sm1.3? How about my old PBEM's?
A: Yes, yes and yes, the Unofficial Patch is specifically designed to do this. There will be no compatibility issues.
For continuing games: Because the balancing was done specifically with this in mind, consequences to gameplay are (tested to be) minimal. Of course there will be issues, but you can compare this to the v1.2-> v1.3 situation.
In terms of continuing old pbems: transitions are seldomly 'easy', so study the changes well, if you are worried. Only a few units have changes that might significantly impact existing running games (Slither and Changeling/ ShadowRunner).
Also note when continuing pbem's that a patch cannot remove abilities that were already on a unit on the worldmap; it can only add. Newly built units in cities will immediately be per v1.4 design.
For a more precise write-up: click here.

Q3: Where is a list with all the changes?
A: This list is present in your main directory where you have shadow Magic installed. It is a notepad file called 'Unofficial Patch v1.4-Changes'.
It is very detailed but it does not contain documentation (yet) of extra units, structures and new terrainfeatures. These are regarded as intuitive to use.
There is a webpage version available that is made by Timelord that is more complete. You can view that here.
Heavengames will update the game-information-pages soon as well.

Q4: V1.4 patch will overwrite my v1.3 Resources but I want to start and/or continue my game/mapmaking with the official v1.3 resources. Can I still do that? Can I still easily go back?
A: Yes, you can go to the 'AoWSM Setup' and select from Custom Resources, the 'Patch_13' Resources. Now, you can mapmake, continue (pbem) games and do everything like it was before. This is the easiest method that I would recommend. Note that the v1.3 resources are accessable as a normal mod but cannot be editted as a mod.
The following I would not recommend but: the unofficial patch will come with a specific v1.4 uninstallation program. This is located in your main directory and called: UPatchV14Uninstall.exe. As a last resort, you can simply de-install AoW-Sm and start over.

Q5: Will there be an unofficial v1.5, made by the same team?
A: I honestly don't know, but I do know that there is a lot of potential for it. On the other hand, this does feel like one of these 'one time'-things.
I don't think it is wise to start right away and have several patchversions buzzing around the community every 6 months. The teams and I need some well deserved rest and enjoy all the new possibilities.
If there is gonna be another, it will start at least a year from now and it's gonna be HUGE (and even more unofficial then this one... )! It will incorporate and build upon all the new things that are learned and made after v1.4. It may very likely be in the form of an expansion pack.
Made or not? Suggestions, of course, are always welcome -> Idea Bin

Q6: Copyrights?
A: Although this is an unofficial patch, we did our best to respect copyrights. Allowing ourselves almost no liberties, nearly all new structures and units were taken from the Age of Wonders series. Most were simply recolored or recomposed. Especially the AoW1 graphics were a rich source for both units and structures.
When we could not find it there, we mostly used non-copyrighted fanmade work used from other games or sometimes even made from scratch by our own teammembers. All the art you see in the patch is either AoW1, non-copyrighted or with the explicit permission of the author.
If you have any questions regarding the origin of some animations or structures. You can email me at: swolte at gmail dot com, or simply ask in the modforum where to get some. As a tip: fantasy miniature websites, garden appliances websites do well.

Q7: Will there be a small update to v1.4 (v1.4.1?), that fixes some issues?
A: No, this should be prevented unless there are some issues that make the game unplayable. Writing this a month after release, with not one single serious bug discovered, we can be pretty sure that it won't happen.
v1.3 had issues, v1.4 has less. If not in one particular area, it will in another.
Do not underestimate the issues involved with releasing a patch and all the things that can go wrong (and didn't the first time). Not to mention that everybody should play with the same resources (pbem, online) to be compatible. There is a logistics issue here as well.
One thing that would not affect gameplay/compatibility are changes to the textfiles. A language update, therefore, would be more possible.

Q1: I have found a new bug!
A: First, do not panic.
Age of Wonders Shadow Magic crashes once in a while and certainly when people start playing it more, this will happen. The first thing you will think about when it does: it is probably the patch. Well, most real bugs we found during the 8 month testtime were not... We have tried to fix a few, but some old bugs would have required breaking the code, so we will have to continue to live with them.
Anyway, do report but keep the above in mind.
If you have a one, please go to the Tech Help Forum. and make a new post if you can't find you bug here. Please post as many details as you can remember. Even the smallest indication can help us. A savegame is great because it has to be reproducable!

Q2: The new maps seem to miss animations and contain no extra units, structures or terrain!
A: Close all applications and double click the AoWSMUPatch1_4.exe again, READ everything and just wait until it is installed.
It is very likely that you did NOT have the official v1.3 installed before and forgot to read. Our installation program has the service of installing v1.3 automatically for you, but it aborts the v1.4 installation that you must restart later.
Remember that the resources must be on DEFAULT.

Q: My problem is not on this list, what do I do?
A: Go to the Tech Help Forum Search for a similar topic and check if your question has been answered here. If it hasn't, start a new topic and we'll help you out shortly.
Q1: How did the Patchteam managed to do this or that?
A: For questions regarding how exactly we were able to give extra abilities, make new units or structures, etc... There is an entire forum here where you can post. We'll do our best to help you on your way there (although give us a break right after release... ). Hopefully, one day, someone will write a good and comprehensive modding guide.

Q2: I want to have MOD XXXXX to have the things the v1.4 patch has as well!
A: Ask the author of the mod to do the next step.

Q3: How do I update my mod to v1.4.
Step 1: Create a new v1.4 mod
You create a new 'blank' mod, save it and give it a name (For example, LizardMod-Version3). IMPORTANT: You do this from the standard (now v1.4) Resources when you have the patch installed! To check: in the SETUP window, the Custom Resources should be the 'default' when you press the 'customize...' button in the Editor later on.

Step 2: The double Editor-trick.
Now, close the new LizardMod-Version3 Editor. Activate and open your old Mod that you want to update in the editor through the Custom Resources section in the SETUP (It was probably called: LizardModVersion2). Next, change the resources through the SETUP screen to your new 'LizardMod-Version3'-mod and start the Editor again. You now have 2 Editors running at the same time!

Step 3: Copy frenzy
Copy (use: cntr c -> cntr v) the slots from your old mod into your new one at the place you want them. Unit Bodies, Units, etc... Switch between windows.
Tip: remember that you can copy 'areas' in certain places!

This should take about half an hour of work, depending on how much content your old mod had! Don't forget to save! Please note that if there are maps made with your old Lizard2 mod, they might need to be updated. This can be done by opening them under your new mod, correcting and saving.

Q: My question is not on this list, what do I do?
A: Go to the Mod Forum. Search for a similar topic and check if your question has been answered. If it hasn't, start a new topic and we'll help you out shortly.
Q1: Some sentences or words don't seem to make sense. For example; the 'Church' is called 'Critters Den'
A: Make sure you have the 'English' Language selected and not 'Auto'. You can select this by using the 'AoW SM Setup' (accessable from your startmenu). It should be automatically set to English (or the language you want), if you downloaded the patch.
This allows us, and future modders, to easily change words that are usually not moddable. There is no harm at all in leaving 'auto' on, it may just seem odd in certain occasions.

Q2: I see something that is not, or badly translated/described
A: It's intended that not all unit descriptions are translated into Polish and French. This would have taken too much time and Swolte got very impatient about releasing the patch. Remember that other languages (except German and English) were not supported for AoW-SM in the first place (except for those that were in AoW2-TWT).
If you still notice any mistakes, please write them down and send an email to 'swolte at gmail dot com' and they will be corrected in a next installment or a seperate language patch (optional to download).

Q3: Why are certain names for structures changed?
The reason for this is that all extra structures that come with the patch are built upon existing structures. Unfortunately they keep their name.
For example, the 'Critters Den' function and TC map, will be called Critters Den. Since a lot of structures are based on the Critters den TC map, the 'Church', would have been called: "critters Den'.
So we made a LOT of structures have a more generic name. This is not ideal, but it prevents worse issues and opens up more possibilities for modders in the future as well.

Q1: Why have balance changes? Aren't these only for multiplayer? I do not agree with some changes!
A: Although it is an unofficial patch, we had the privilege of having the same team do the balance changes that did the original game. This time, there were several advantages: tons of ideas (feedback) from the entire community, the addition of expert players to the team, and a lot more testing time and try-outs (over 100+ games: single player, pbem and online). As with every patch (v1.1, v1.2 and v1.3), the aim is general acceptance and therefore ALL types of play were taken into account, even existing maps.
As usual, the balance changes are not intended to make every race as strong as the other nor to change a unit 'because we can'. They are intended...
- to make every race play more unique within it's own strengths and at the same time trying to keep within the original concept!
- to fix 'broken' units (that were highly underused because of intra racial balance)
- to tweak units that posed exploits to the AI and/or human-human gameplay.
- to make units more unique and allow more interesting medal upgrades.
- to stimulate unit diversity in the game and increase the strategic depth of the game!
- to keep 'Age of Wonders: Shadow Magic' a competetive and fun game!

I am sure that there will be things that you would have liked to see different and possibly even unchanged! For future installments, we will certainly take a look at this! I recommend putting your suggestion here *link will follow* or simply make your own mod!

Now, most changes are minor and testing shows that these will hardly affect the balance. There are, however, a few changes that do seem large and have often raise questions. I will describe a few here:

Q2: What happened to the Humans? Aren't they too weak/strong now?
A: The situation before was that 'Crusader' had no use, the Airgalley left most AI helpless and players frustrated, and in competetive games the focus appeared mainly on massing only knights.
The intention of the changes was to make the humans more interesting by allowing more strategic choices within their own units and buildings, and stimulating more diversity in army-building.
More on the Airgalley change

Q3: Archers and strike?
A: Archers recieved a weak strike ability and this is meant to make them a bit more situational. The effect is that it makes them weaker when in direct combat (more historically correct as well and creates more strategy) because attackers can drain retaliations. It keeps them effective behind walls and creates a need to defend them more with trained melee troops.
They were far more popular then the other lvl-1's already, both for offense and defense. It's indirectly a 'small' relative boost for infantry, Halberds, Humans and Dwarves in general (crossbow didn't recieve this).
The effect against lvl3's and 4's actually appeared minimal. Those usually kill them anyway.

Q4: What happened to the Skills!?
A: The changes to the skills are intended to create more variety in startchoices of skills then was the case before. Especialy pacifist and explorer are made less attractive as a choice when starting. Both these extremely popular skillchoices caused:
- less significance in medals and hero development
- an unfair speed distribution that favoured the faster units (36+ MV units).
- Clear advantage to those (AI)-player that did not start with these choices when playing competetive and responds bad to speed differences anyway.
This is currently more balanced. Tweaks to start-choices could only be made by having certain skills exclude others.

Get the unofficial Patch v1.4. here!
My best AoW-Sm map: Drums of Death (This is the multiplayer version; for single player, or AI use different version)
Other proud AoW-sm maps: The Key of Kharzul, The Fight for Light, Waikiti Island, Goldrush Mountains
My proud AoW2 maps:The River Arne
Coordinator of the v1.4 and v1.5 patchteams, Seraph of AoWHeaven, PBEM Singles Champion 2008

[This message has been edited by swolte (edited 07-18-2006 @ 00:37 AM).]

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