Adding mods to the game is interesting and has been a thing since the ancient times of the pussywood mod. From just aesthetics to very practical visuals (the grid mod, the cube mod, idle pointer mod, etc.).
Now there is this age of mandala mod that has passed the line, and gives unfair advantage to the players using it. Either make it official and add it (like the grid mod) to the config menu, or ban it for the ranked and tournament games.
So this could be an interesting QoL feature (not sure if yet brought to the table) and a solution to the unfair situation we have now.
When you click tower in the villager build menu (no foundation put yet) the tower can cast a shadow or a line indicating its range as you move the cursor on the map, so you can properly put the foundation and build it in the correct place.
There is no difference. And by adding the grid mod and small trees to the game, the developers seem to even encourage the usage of efficiency improving visual mods.
To ban such mods would be highly problematic: Where do you put the line between legal and illegal visual mods? Would something like Age of Cubes be legal? Also it would be very difficult/impossible to implement technically: How do you want to distinguish a QoL-mod like Age of Mandala from new architecture style mods, as they both use the same files.
So you have to either ban every visual mod (which many players might not appreciate too much) or allow every visual mod, as they currently do. And as long as everybody has the chance to download/create such mods, how can this be considered to be unfair?
It seems unfair. If was a data set, sure. Knock yourself out. A data set mod everyone in the lobby needs to download it so it’s fair. This mod is only on your end, thus unfair. The other guy only has normal vision.
Grid mod or small trees are also only on your end. Isn’t that the beauty of the modding system? That everyone can customize the game to his liking? You just have to evaluate if you want to accept the ugliness of grids/small trees/tower ranges just to improve your gameplay. If one player does and the other doesn’t, why shouldn’t they be allowed to play against each other?
I sincerely don’t understand, why it “seems unfair” to you, since both players have exactly the same possibilities to mod their game.
With visual mods, it is not possible to see unexplored terrain or generate ressources. That’s only possible with a data mod. So the game sets the limit, you are asking for, at this point: Visual mods are legal in ranked play and tournaments, while data mods aren’t.
If you think that some visual mods are giving to big advantages and should be forbidden, it gets very difficult to define this limit. In my opinion, for example, small trees give a much bigger advantage than visible tower range. And is there anyone, who honestly wishes small trees to be forbidden?
Sorry, I really don’t get it. Why is Mandala not just a visual mod? The visual appearance of towers is the only thing it changes.
Of course it gives you the advantage of estimating the range of a tower quicker than normal. Grid mod does the same: instead of selecting a villager and use the “build palisade” command to count tiles, you can count them much quicker.
And exactly as grid mod, Mandala doesn’t give you any information, that you didn’t have access to. You know the range of a tower and can count the distance. Mandala just skips one step by eliminating the necessity to count.
And it might well be that in 10 years, Mandala might be the standard for competitive play, as well, “dude”.
It actually gives you LESS information than you already have access to, as it doesn’t use the actual range of the building, it draws the building the same way all the time. It is quite handy, but you need game knowledge on top of it to know when buildings will differ from what it’s showing you, and to know which of the multiple lines is relevant at a given point in time.
I support banning this mod, but only if you support banning every other visual mod in the game too. And I wish you the best of luck in convincing enough people into thinking banning every visual mod is a good idea.
I don’t like it either. Visual mods are fine, but there is a line in how much you shold disrupt the game look in order to play more effectively. I like the game aesthetics as they are, so I don’t use small trees (I’ve used them for a time and didn’t seem like a big improvement) and only use grid for placing buildings. But if more visual mods are needed in order to be competitive then the game is being spoiled for me.
Just imagine 10 years in the future, where the standard for competitive play is an optimized cube mod that represent every entity in the game with clear and easy to identify geometrical figures. Terrain is replaced with a grey background and water with a blue one, trees are green 3D-rectangles, sheeps are pink spheres and buildings are geometrical versions of the original structure. Then, if I don’t use this horrible mod which is not Age of Empires anymore, I am in a disadvantageous position.
I know I’m exaggerating, but it’s a good way to explain the direction things may be taking.
As small trees, grid and (to some extent) idle villager got to be part of the game, then I would say the way to go is to make those mods available as optional settings, and to ban visual mods for ranked play.
Hi thanks for the constructive feedback.
I developed the mod. My motivation for the mod is to make the game easier to play for everyone, who likes to learn the game but doesn’t want to study manuals, wikis or stat databases to get the information.
Aoe2, even DE, is an old game and many of the implementations of the game developers aren’t up to todays standards of intuitve gameplay. With this mod it is easier for everyone who wants it to better gauge the problem of an tower. This, hopefully, helps beginners to see that not every tower or castle is a problem and it is also possible for them to place them without not having a clue who they will shot.
The mod can even be missleading for a player using it, when placing a castle to range a building instead of building it on stratigc hill or thinking a chain of towers is strong, although they are barely in range of each other.
Good job on the mods, Johannes4468 I’ve never really payed much attention to the attack-ground cursor before. I’ll see if I notice anything I don’t like about it next time. I might wish to try your cursor mod
For ranked games, though, I think mods can and do provide an advantage that shouldn’t be there. Case-in-point, this tower range mod. So, I think Microsoft should disable all mods for ranked games. How high up a player gets in the rankings should be based on their abilities with the vanilla game; not, to some extent, who has the most advantageous mods running.
PS: In the AoE4 side of the forum, there was a screen-grab from one of the dev videos that made people think it was maybe showing a tower attack radius: Ability to see Tower Range visually in-game?. If so, I really hope it was for testing and development purposes only, and not an actual feature they’re considering for the game.
I said it there, and I’ll say it again here:
The ability to see tower range happens in one’s mind after you play the game a bunch, and you get a general feel as to what’s too close and what’s a safe range. Having a HUD graphic to say exactly doesn’t sound fun or advisable for AoE, imo. Why stop there, why not see the firing radius of archers, ships, trebs, catapults, castles, etc? It becomes too much paying attention to a HUD overlay and not enough to the actual game landscape and items within it. Kind of like how I pay way too much attention to the mini-map and icons in Rockstar games rather than watching the actual road I’m driving, riding, or walking on."
As well, it just provides absolute line-art perimeters of things that should be more nebulous/unknown in nature.