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|''Europa Barbarorum'' Development Team|
|Real-time tactics, Turn-based strategy|
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Europa Barbarorum (or EB) (Template:Lang-la) is a modification of the PC game Rome: Total War (RTW) based on the desire to provide Rome: Total War players with a more historically accurate game experience. Similar to the original game, the player controls an empire with the goal of conquering as much territory as possible and eliminating rival factions, which are controlled by the computer, or AI.
The basic gameplay mechanics of the original game remain the same. The main campaign is split between two gameplay modes: a turn-based strategy map for moving whole armies and managing the empire, and a real-time battle map for fighting battles on the ground between two or more armies. The two game modes are linked, with success or failure in one game mode influencing the chances of success or failure in the other.
Europa Barbarorum is a total conversion modification as it replaces all the aspects of the original Rome: Total War game that can be replaced, such as unit models, statistics and the musical score. It covers the period from 272 BC to 14 AD (a period only slightly different from the original game's timespan of 270 BC to 14 AD), and introduces a four-turn-per-year system on the campaign map (as opposed to the two-turn-per-year system of Rome: Total War) to better represent the flow of history.
- 1 Development history
- 2 Features
- 3 Reception
- 4 References
- 5 External links
Development history[edit | edit source]
Concept[edit | edit source]
The Europa Barbarorum project began in January 2004, eight months before Rome: Total War's release, when the Europa Barbarorum development team who were following the game's development became concerned that its "barbarian" factions such as the Gauls and Germanic tribes were being portrayed in a historically inaccurate manner as stereotypical hordes of unwashed savages. The Europa Barbarorum team felt that such representations conformed more to a sensationalist Hollywood stereotype than to historical fact, maintaining that ancient "barbarian" cultures are often judged and possibly misunderstood based on an interpretatio romana or interpretatio graeca due to the nature of ancient historiographical conventions. The true nature of these civilizations, says the Europa Barbarorum team, is better revealed through archaeological evidence and what remains of their own ancient texts.
The developers of Europa Barbarorum tried to convince the Creative Assembly (CA), the developers of Rome: Total War, to alter their depiction of the period to make the whole game more historically accurate. Whilst some suggestions were taken on board and adopted in the final release of Rome: Total War, most were disregarded by the Creative Assembly due to publisher pressures and financial expediency. Some Europa Barbarorum members continued to offer their services as historical advisors but due to inherent concerns over intellectual property rights, the Creative Assembly declined the offer.
Development[edit | edit source]
Having exhausted this avenue for change, the Europa Barbarorum members then resolved to modify the game themselves upon its release. Once Rome: Total War was released, the Europa Barbarorum development team immediately began work on the modification, recruiting a large team of volunteer skinners, modellers, coders, and historians to have the modification better reflect historical reality and subsequently commenced research and preliminary work for the modification.
After leaving its alpha phase, Europa Barbarorum was released as a public open beta, with the first such release being version 0.7.2 which was developed for patch 1.2 of Rome: Total War, and released on 27 December 2005. After three more minor releases in March 2006 which mostly fixed bugs and made small adjustments in the modification, the next major release of Europa Barbarorum was version 0.80 on 6 December 2006. The release marked the start of the 0.8.x series of releases, and was the first Europa Barbarorum release for patch 1.5 of Rome: Total War. It included the addition of the Sabaean faction, new music, the addition of the provisional military government level, the inclusion of a new MIC system and other changes. The release of version 0.8 was also announced by the Europa Barbarorum development team on a third-party computer modification review website. There subsequently followed three more minor 0.8.x releases during the first half of 2007, all of which primarily made minor adjustments to the modification and fixed bugs. In total, over 135,000 downloads of the 0.80-0.81 versions were tracked.
Release and further versions[edit | edit source]
The next major release was version 1.0, which was released on October 12, 2007 and included new government options for the Pahlava and Hayasdan factions, the addition of a new type of wall to the battlemap, new units, new music from Prehistoric Music Ireland, a more challenging start to campaigns for the player and other changes. The 1.0 version was downloaded over 90,000 times in the six months following its release.
The next release was version 1.1, which was released on April 7, 2008 and included new battle map landscapes, new units, the addition of the Pahlavi voicemod and the inclusion of an introduction video for the Saka Rauka faction. The current release is version 1.2, which contains the addition of the Punic voicemod and bug fixes; the development team had previously stated that future releases of Europa Barbarorum for the Rome: Total War engine will not include any major gameplay changes.
The Europa Barbarorum development team is also developing a new version of the modification for the Medieval II: Total War: Kingdoms engine which will be named Europa Barbarorum II. Europa Barbarorum II is scheduled to include many changes and new features, such as new government and recruitment systems, an improved trait and ancillary system, faction migrations, horde factions, limits on elite units, free unit upkeep for some garrisoned units, a larger campaign map, ten new playable factions including the Kingdom of Pergamon, a new system of province integration and new units of better graphical quality than those of Europa Barbarorum I, with greater variation among units.
Features[edit | edit source]
Even though Europa Barbarorum is set in a similar time period and geographical area to the original Rome: Total War game, it is a total conversion which offers a very different gaming experience. All units, buildings, map features and other moddable parameters of the game have been reworked from scratch. New features not present in the original game have also been added.
Units[edit | edit source]
One of the areas in which the greatest amount of change can be seen is that of the units present in the game. Reviewers have commented that the differences between Europa Barbarorum and its parent game are "immediate" and "striking" and that the modification is different to its parent game "in look and in play". The same review also noted that all the units that were present in Rome: Total War have been removed and replaced in Europa Barbarorum. Specific examples include the removal of several units that the Europa Barbarorum team considered to be historically doubtful or only marginally used in warfare, such as Arcani, incendiary pigs and camels, as well as the "Oliphaunt" Easter egg unit from the original Rome: Total War. A new unit recruitment system based on governments and assimilation, and set up by the player on a region-by-region basis, has been introduced.
Faction changes[edit | edit source]
Europa Barbarorum includes several factions not present in the original game. The overall theme to the changes in factions has been one of increasing historical accuracy, with the more familiar-sounding, English faction names of the original game being replaced by factions' own names for themselves. Examples of such name changes include the renaming the original game's Armenia faction as Hayasdan and renaming the Germania faction as the Sweboz.
Many of the changes introduced have had a greater impact on gameplay than renaming factions. For example, the original game's Gaul faction has been replaced with two new factions: the Aedui and the Arverni. The Scythia faction has been replaced by the Sauromatae, and the Greek Cities faction has been replaced by the Koinon Hellenon (Template:Lang-grc), a faction which represents the Chremonidean League of Athens, Sparta and Rhodes. Entirely new factions include Baktria, a Central Asian Hellenic empire, Epeiros, an empire famous for producing Pyrrhos of Epiros, a heavily cavalry-based faction in the far west of Greece, across the sea from the Apennine peninsula.
Despite initial speculation that Europa Barbarorum would contain four playable Roman factions like the original Rome: Total War, the original SPQR, Brutii, Julii and Scipii factions have all been merged into one faction, the Romani, again out of interests of historical accuracy. Although early releases of Europa Barbarorum included the Yuezhi as a playable faction, it was later dropped as the Yuezhi people had not yet migrated to the area of the world depicted on the Europa Barbarorum campaign map by 272 BC. They have since been recreated through scripted events in the modification, but have never re-appeared as a fully playable faction.
Europa Barbarorum has also made changes to those factions from the original Rome: Total War that it has not replaced entirely. These changes include creating a new unit roster for the Egyptian faction in the game (named Egypt in the original Rome: Total War and the Ptolemaioi in Europa Barbarorum), a faction which the Europa Barbarorum team felt was previously ahistorical, calling Rome: Total War's Egyptian soldiers "Mummy Returns Egyptians", to correspond to the Ptolemaic period of history. The Europa Barbarorum team has also given Nomadic, desert, and steppe cultures their own government buildings, which some say has helped differentiate between Europa Barbarorum's factions and make the differences between Europa Barbarorum and the original Rome: Total War more than just cosmetic. Earlier releases of Europa Barbarorum featured player alerts representing the major stages of the breakup of the Seleukid faction, if that collapse occurred in the game, but such features became impossible to implement after the removal of the SPQR faction of the original game, which had been used in Europa Barbarorum for scripting purposes, but was then replaced by the Saba faction. On the other hand, the Numidia faction of Rome: Total War was entirely removed.
Other faction-related changes in Europa Barbarorum have concerned not just one, but many in-game factions. These include the addition of historically accurate family trees for all factions, as well as the inclusion of historically accurate diplomatic relationships between the game's factions at the start of the main campaign, including representing existing treaties between different states through scripting, and a revised "Fog-of-war" to show more realistically each faction's understanding of the world in 272 BC. In addition, rebel forces have been given ethnic names and strengths, more than 4,900 new names for generals and family members of Hellenic factions, transliterated from Ancient Greek, have been added to the game, and new victory conditions have been implemented for every faction. The Europa Barbarorum team has also introduced faction-specific player alerts for when the player captures a building important to their faction.
Cartography[edit | edit source]
Europa Barbarorum features a campaign map altered from that of Rome: Total War in several ways. Its eastern and southern regions have been greatly expanded, with Arabia, India, Central Asia, and the Upper Nile region receiving new territories, and provinces have been given accurate names in the language of their controlling peoples at the game's start. Relief, province boundaries, snow boundaries, vegetation types, coastlines and areas prone to natural disaster in 272 BC have all been researched and implemented into the campaign map. The Nile-Red Sea canal linking the Indian Ocean and Mediterranean Sea has been added to the campaign map, as have the great trade routes of the ancient world, such as the Amber and Silk Roads, which can be captured and exploited. Europa Barbarorum also includes new campaign map and battle map tree models, resulting in denser forests in both gameplay modes. Special buildings in provinces at the edges of the campaign map representing trade routes with provinces outside the campaign map have also been added.
Traits[edit | edit source]
The original trait system present in Rome: Total War has been expanded upon by Europa Barbarorum. The trait system in Europa Barbarorum is based on a combination of upbringing, ageing, relatives' traits, and health, factors which affect trait acquisition and development over a character's life. Europa Barbarorum contains both more traits overall, and more faction-specific traits, than Rome: Total War. Each adult male character in Europa Barbarorum receives, upon "coming of age" at sixteen, six primary traits: Intelligence, Charisma, Vitality, Selflessness, Temperament and Loyalty. These traits determine the personality of a character and can also influence which other traits they will acquire in future and which tasks they will perform well at and poorly at.
In addition to the six primary traits, there are also traits which can only be acquired by characters from a certain faction or of a certain ethnicity. The trait system for Hellenic characters, for instance, is based on Theophrastos' Characters and Aristotle's teachings on the Golden Mean. In a similar fashion, the Roman trait system in Europa Barbarorum is partially based on the moral tales of Valerius Maximus. Traits related to special events, such as the Olympics which a Hellenic character can compete in and possibly even win an event in – something which would lead to the acquisition of more positive traits – or a Triumph held in Rome to celebrate a Roman General's victory against a specific faction which can increase their influence. Hellenic characters can also complete training in the Spartan Agoge, which can earn them traits of various levels of utility, depending on their performance during their training. The personalities and traits of all starting generals in the game have been made to mirror those of their historical counterparts.
Buildings[edit | edit source]
Europa Barbarorum adds a number of new building types to the turn- and campaign map-based part of the game.
The game's core buildings, usually referred to as "government buildings", represent different ways of ruling a newly-conquered province. In decreasing order of cost required to install them in the game, the four government types available in Europa Barbarorum are: a homeland government, a government of a colonised province, a subject state government, and an allied state government. The four different government types carry with them different bonuses and penalties, and the greater the autonomy allowed, the greater the shift in focus for the ruling faction from their own factional buildings and units to the construction of native buildings and recruitment of native units. Allied state governments have been further differentiated in later releases of Europa Barbarorum through the introduction of the "client ruler script", which automatically installs a puppet ruler in such a province, further limiting the player's direct control over it.
Europa Barbarorum replaces separate facilities for training different troop types with an all-encompassing line of military-industrial complex ("MIC") buildings, which are responsible for the recruitment of virtually all troop types in the game. There are two different, independent complex systems in Europa Barbarorum: a "factional MIC", for recruiting the faction's own troops, and a "local MIC", for recruiting troops native to the province the complex has been built in. How far the two types of complexes can be upgraded is dependant on the government of the province: those with greater autonomy can upgrade the local complex further while expansion of the factional military-industrial complex is limited, and vice versa.
Europa Barbarorum also introduces a number of unique buildings representing both man-made objects of wonder and features of the landscape. The former can be destroyed by the player for a monetary pay-off, but then cannot be rebuilt and the province in which they stood loses the bonuses they provided; the latter type of unique building is indestructible.
Other new building types include shrines, clinics, granaries, theatres and stupas. The modification also features new temple systems which represent the most popular temple types of each of the depicted factions. The temples provide historically accurate bonuses and also come with their own descriptions and images on the campaign map.
Non-Unit Graphics[edit | edit source]
As well as adding new units to the game, the Europa Barbarorum team has also included new non-unit graphics in the modification, such as faction-specific graphics for the faction selection menu, a new campaign minimap, faction icons, faction selection buttons, faction-defeated graphics, advisor images, campaign map standards, and battle map banners. Europa Barbarorum also includes new campaign map siege, ship, unit, general, watchtower, and resource graphics in addition to its new battle map graphics.
Game Mechanics[edit | edit source]
Europa Barbarorum's mechanics differ noticeably in several ways from Rome: Total War's. One of the most obvious differences is the fact that in the original Rome: Total War campaign, one year passed after every two turns on the campaign map; in Europa Barbarorum, one year passes after every four turns, meaning that turns represent seasons in Europa Barbarorum – indeed, they have been renamed as such – with characters facing restrictions on how far they can move during winter. In addition, the Europa Barbarorum team has designed new custom battle formations in order to encourage more realistic behaviour from the AI and has also added new battle map unit animations, such as those of two-handed lancers and horse archers.
Audio[edit | edit source]
Europa Barbarorum features its own soundtrack and does not include any songs from the original Rome: Total War soundtrack. Europa Barbarorum's music comes from a number of sources. Some of the tracks were composed by Morgan Casey and Nick Wylie. More recently, authentic music for the Celtic factions and reconstructed and recreated Roman music, created by Prehistoric Music Ireland and the German group Musica Romana have been added. Europa Barbarorum also includes its own "voicemod", an attempt by the developers to replace the English cries of Rome: Total War's soldiers with ones in their native languages. To date, voice recordings in classical Latin, Celtic, ancient Greek, Pahlavi, and Punic have been added.
Europa Barbarorum Modifications and Ports[edit | edit source]
There are a number of fan-made sub-modifications for Europa Barbarorum of varying scope which modify different aspects of the game. Europa Barbarorum has also been ported to run using the Rome: Total War: Barbarian Invasion or Rome: Total War: Alexander executable. Playing the modification on the new platforms has been reported to have made the campaign AI utilise more complex strategies.
Reception[edit | edit source]
Europa Barbarorum was featured and reviewed in a number of video game magazines. It has been reviewed in PC Gamer (UK) twice, in March 2005 and February 2008. The 2008 review was overwhelmingly positive, saying that "EB feels like a whole new Total War game", and going on to praise the modification's "stunning" scope and the "striking" extent of the differences between it and Rome: Total War. The review was somewhat critical of the modification's graphical user interfaces which "[occasionally]" had a "home-made" feel to them, as well as its lack of accessibility and steep learning curve, although it adds that the second point is not a large problem as the modification is largely a "master's challenge for accomplished Rome players". The review finished on a positive note, summing Europa Barbarorum up as a "superior game".
Other magazines which have reviewed Europa Barbarorum include the Italian PC Gaming magazine Giochi per il mio computer, which reviewed the modification in April 2005; the French PC Gaming magazine Canard PC in 2005, the Romanian PC Gaming magazine LeveL in 2006, the German magazine GameStar in April 2007 and the Portuguese magazine BGamer in December 2007.
Europa Barbarorum has also received several online reviews. The modification received a review early into its development process on HeavenGames.com, which said that it was an "ambitious" project and praised its commitment to historical accuracy, even stating that the Europa Barbarorum development team was going to use satellite imagery and climate change statistics to accurately portray the world as it was in 272 BC. More recently, the modification has been reviewed on Boomtown, which praised the modification's "incredibly well-researched and -devised" unit stats system, as well as its "legion of historians".
References[edit | edit source]
- Europa Barbarorum Development Team (2005-12-27). Europa Barbarorum needs your help! The Open Beta is here.. Retrieved on 2008-08-24
- Europa Barbarorum Development Team. Europa Barbarorum mission statement. Archived from the original on 2008-02-14 Retrieved on 2008-02-14
- Europa Barbarorum. Rome: Total War mods portal. HeavenGames.com. Archived from the original on 2006-05-11 Retrieved on 2008-08-24
- Meer, Alec (February 2008). "Europa Barbarorum". PC Gamer (UK) (Bath: Future Publishing) (184): 92.
- Europa Barbarorum. ModDB.com. Retrieved on 2008-09-13
- The Creative Assembly. History. Rome: Total War information. TotalWar.com. Archived from the original on 2007-12-16 Retrieved on 2008-09-19 Click on the "History" tab.
- Rome: Total War (PC). Games. GameSpy.com. Archived from the original on 2008-02-05 Retrieved on 2008-09-19
- User: Ace Cataphract. Europa Barbarorum interview with Khelvan. HeavenGames.com. Archived from the original on 2006-05-11 Retrieved on 2008-09-19
- [User: Calvin] (2008-08-26). Interview with Foot of Europa Barbarorum II for Medieval II: Total War. The Eagle Standard Vol. VI Issue XI. The Eagle Standard. Retrieved on 2008-08-27
- Europa Barbarorum Development Team (2006-03-05). EB v0.73 (hotfix now available). Retrieved on 2008-09-01
- Europa Barbarorum Development Team (2006-03-06). EB v0.7.3a (patch + hotfix). Retrieved on 2008-09-01
- Europa Barbarorum Development Team (2006-03-20). EB v0.7.4 (patch). Retrieved on 2008-08-25
- Europa Barbarorum Development Team (2006-12-06). The EB v0.8 Release - Get it here!. Retrieved on 2008-08-26
- Europa Barbarorum Development Team (2006-12-04). Light Reading: New 0.8 MIC system explanation. Archived from the original on 2008-02-14 Retrieved on 2008-08-25
- Europa Barbarorum Development Team (2006-12-06). EB 0.74 to 0.80: What's New?. Archived from the original on 2008-02-11 Retrieved on 2008-08-25
- Europa Barbarorum Development Team (2006-12-11). EB 0.8 released. ModDB.com. Retrieved on 2008-09-13
- Europa Barbarorum Development Team (2007-02-18). Europa Barbarorum v0.81 released :: Grab it here. Archived from the original on 2007-12-23 Retrieved on 2008-08-24
- Europa Barbarorum Development Team (2007-03-05). EB v0.81a Hotfix released. Archived from the original on 2007-05-11 Retrieved on 2008-08-25
- Europa Barbarorum Development Team. EB Full-Install MOD. EuropaBarbarorum.com. Retrieved on 2008-08-24
- Clifford, Graham (2008-08-18). The World of Total War Mods. BoomTown.net. Retrieved on 2008-08-24 Cite error: Invalid
<ref>tag; name "Boomtown review" defined multiple times with different content
- Europa Barbarorum Development Team (2007-10-11). EB v1.0 Released. Retrieved on 2007-10-12
- Europa Barbarorum Development Team (2008-04-07). EB v1.1 released!. Retrieved on 2008-04-13
- Europa Barbarorum Development Team (2007-12-21). EB December/Christmas Preview. Archived from the original on 2008-02-08 Retrieved on 2008-08-25
- Europa Barbarorum Development Team (2008-06-22). Re: EB v1.1 released!. Retrieved on 2008-08-31
- Europa Barbarorum Development Team (2008-03-16). Stele #4. Retrieved on 2008-08-25
- Europa Barbarorum Development Team (2007-07-29). Stele #1. Archived from the original on 2008-01-19 Retrieved on 2008-08-25
- Europa Barbarorum Development Team (2007-08-05). Stele #2. Archived from the original on 2008-02-09 Retrieved on 2008-08-25
- Europa Barbarorum Development Team (2007-11-26). Stele #3. Archived from the original on 2008-02-13 Retrieved on 2008-08-25
- Europa Barbarorum Development Team (2008-05-04). Stele #6: Pergamon. Retrieved on 2008-08-25
- Europa Barbarorum Development Team (2008-04-11). Stele #5. Retrieved on 2008-08-25
- Europa Barbarorum Development Team. Features. EuropaBarbarorum.com. Archived from the original on 2008-01-31 Retrieved on 2008-08-24
- Europa Barbarorum Development Team. Factions. EuropaBarbarorum.com. Archived from the original on 2008-02-15 Retrieved on 2008-08-24
- Factions. HeavenGames.com. Archived from the original on 2006-11-12 Retrieved on 2008-08-24
- Europa Barbarorum Development Team. Romani. EuropaBarbarorum.com. Archived from the original on 2008-02-13 Retrieved on 2008-08-24
- Europa Barbarorum Development Team (2006-07-11). EB July Preview :: Saka-Rauka (and music!!). Archived from the original on 2007-11-17 Retrieved on 2008-08-24
- Europa Barbarorum Development Team (2006-04-11). EB April Preview. Archived from the original on 2007-11-17 Retrieved on 2008-08-24
- Europa Barbarorum Development Team (2007-07-16). EB July Map and Features Preview. Archived from the original on 2007-12-24 Retrieved on 2008-08-24
- Europa Barbarorum Development Team (2005-07-11). Countdown to Open Beta - Tabula Orbis Terrae. Archived from the original on 2007-11-17 Retrieved on 2008-08-24
- Europa Barbarorum Development Team. An Introduction to the Traits and Ancillaries System. EuropaBarbarorum.com. Archived from the original on 2007-12-25 Retrieved on 2008-08-25
- Europa Barbarorum Development Team (2007-06-15). EB June Preview. Retrieved on 2008-08-25
- Europa Barbarorum Development Team (2005-12-27). EB vs RTW: What is different? A Guide!!. Archived from the original on 2008-02-13 Retrieved on 2008-08-25
- Europa Barbarorum Development Team. Buildings. EuropaBarbarorum.com. Archived from the original on 2008-01-24 Retrieved on 2008-08-25
- Europa Barbarorum Development Team (2007-05-08). Europa Barbarorum FAQ. Archived from the original on 2008-02-04 Retrieved on 2008-08-25
- Europa Barbarorum Development Team (2007-05-12). EB May Preview. Archived from the original on 2007-05-24 Retrieved on 2008-08-25
- Europa Barbarorum Development Team (2006-09-08). EB Preview :: Resources. Archived from the original on 2007-11-17 Retrieved on 2008-08-25
- Europa Barbarorum Development Team (2006-07-20). EB Music Preview. Archived from the original on 2007-11-17 Retrieved on 2008-08-25
- Europa Barbarorum Development Team (2006-08-19). EB Music Preview Strikes Back!. Archived from the original on 2007-11-17 Retrieved on 2008-08-25
- Europa Barbarorum Development Team (2006-09-28). The Last EB Music Preview. Archived from the original on 2007-11-17 Retrieved on 2008-08-25
- Europa Barbarorum Development Team (2007-06-21). EB Music Announcement: Prehistoric Music Ireland. Archived from the original on 2008-02-09 Retrieved on 2008-08-24
- Europa Barbarorum Development Team (2008-03-14). EB Roman Music Preview (Musica Romana). Retrieved on 2008-08-24
- Europa Barbarorum Development Team (2006-11-02). ΗΧΩ ΤΩΝ ΑΡΧΑΙΩΝ or the ANCIENT GREEK voice mod.... Archived from the original on 2008-02-09 Retrieved on 2008-08-25
- Europa Barbarorum Development Team (2007-08-27). EB: Voicemod Preview. Archived from the original on 2008-02-09 Retrieved on 2008-08-24
- Cite error: Invalid
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Europa Barbarorum 1.2 release announcement
- Europa Barbarorum for Barbarian Invasion. Retrieved on 29 July 2009
- [User: Maksimus] (2007-11-08). ALEXANDER EB. Archived from the original on 2008-01-18 Retrieved on 13 December 2008
[edit | edit source]
- Official Rome: Total War Game Website
- Official Europa Barbarorum Website
- TotalWar.org Europa Barbarorum I forum
- TWCenter.net Europa Barbarorum I forum
- TotalWar.org Europa Barbarorum II forum
- TWCenter.net Europa Barbarorum II forum
- Musica Romana - ensemble for ancient music who did parts of the soundtrack