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2 hours ago, BackToTheBrickStudios said:

Before I say everything else, I would like to preface it by saying I wish no hate on Lukasz, I just think there is so much he could have done to avoid coming to this point.

(Also sorry for the text being bolded, I transferred it from Google Docs and some things are weird.)

Age of History 2 is in a sad, sad state. Since the launch of the game in late 2018, the game has seen little to no updates in the past 4 years since it has come out.

There has never been a worse time for mods, either. Except for a select few, most mods are announced, and then fade into obscurity or are never released due to things involving the creator.

One example of this is Addon SC. For the past 2 years since it was announced, it was said that it would revolutionize the game. Everyone thought that it would save it, that it would bring it back to life, that it would basically be like AoH3 (More on that later.)

But yet, it never was. The release date was pushed back farther and farther, with the deadline being missed every time, until this point, where the release deadline specified as “Before 2022” has been missed, and paired with the creator’s inactivity on the forum for the past 1 and ½ months, it is almost certain that the mod is dead.

During the time of Addon SC’s “Development” many other great mods came and went. Some notable examples are @Italian PeC’s Age of Imperialism, which came from the same creator as the similarly critically acclaimed The Second Great War mod. The mod is still in active development, but the update schedule has slowed down, with Italian PeC going silent for a little bit. The difference was that at the end of this silence, he didn’t just delay the release date again, he came out with a good update and has stated he intends to keep working on it. This seems to be a very rare thing, with most developers just seeming to disappear and moving on with no notice.

Another example is @Kerems2434's World+. The mod was supposed to be the successor to Project: Alpha, another Turkish community mod with a massive world map. The Turkish community was one of the biggest AoH2 communities for a long time, releasing many big and popular mods such as Conquerors, which seemed to die without explanation in early 2021. Unfortunately, the mod just never was completed for an unspecified reason. The Turkish community has largely left the game, and has moved on to other things, with even Kerem seeming to cease development of mods and moving away from the community as a whole.

The last example is 11:59. This was the first big mod released for the game and while basic compared to the AoH2 mods of today, it pioneered many elements that would go on to be used to great success in later mods. Unfortunately, the creator, @11:59 Development Team, like so many others, realized that AoH2 could not be used to fulfill the true potential of the mod. So, he moved on to another game (A version of Paradox’s unreleased East vs West: A Hearts of Iron game, if anyone is curious.) And when that didn’t work out, development on any form of the mod ceased. There have been attempts at reviving it, but none have ever worked out.

I have come up with a few reasons why mods seem to either die out or just go unfinished. 

The first one is the constant harassment of mod developers for download links and release dates. I don’t think any mod developer has not experienced this. Asking for the download link when the mod isn’t even released yet, getting mad when the mod is taking too long, and stuff like that. Why should we develop mods for people who don’t know how difficult and time consuming it is to make a mod for this game, and are constantly asking for release dates and whining when a release date isn’t given. It's a different story when the mod creator just leaves the community with no notice whatsoever and doesn’t tell anyone that the mod is canceled. I feel that anger is justified when this happens, but harassment of the owner is not, just like it is not in anything involving the community.

The next one is over-saturation of the mod community. So many mods are just announced, and then abandoned overnight, as the creator moves on to another mod only to do the same thing when it does not get any attention. This makes the gems in the community harder to find, and the moving on from one mod to the next very frequently could be a direct result of the reasons why mods don’t get released. I also think many just feel as if their mod won’t get any attention due to the large amount of mods already on the forums, and just don’t bother making their mod ideas into reality.

The last reason is the game itself. It is buggy. It has a lack of features beyond the base game editor. It needs more. It has been abandoned by the developer, so there is no chance of him just coming back and saving the game. There are a blessed few mod creators with the ability to code great new features into the game, such as @Mega4oSS's Nuclear Age, and @HUSKYFRESKO's World Crisis, both of which make groundbreaking additions to the game But alas, these advanced mods are few and far between. (More on this later) I have felt this so many times while working on my mod. The event system in particular is very buggy, with problems being so bad that for example, the "Decision Taken" trigger can break every other event, and has caused entire mods to cease development. Needless to say, the game itself is in a pretty bad state.

So, why don’t we just wait for AoH3?

Because it is never coming out.

Age of History 3 was announced 2 ½ years ago as a way to respond to a thread asking where AoH3 was (The thread was closed soon after.) My theory is that either no work has been done on the game, or it is progressing painfully slow. If it was in active development, why haven’t we heard anything about it since the initial 1 sentence announcement of it. I believe that it possibly was a quick thing to get people to stop asking for AoH3. Even a second thread like that in September failed to yield any results. It is time to accept that Age of History 3 is never coming out. If you’re looking for a game to fill the gap for modding, you can either go the more complicated route of modding for HoI4, or wait for Grey Eminence, (Truly psyched for it, big thanks to @Chairman Baad for making us all aware of it) which is the only game coming out that could truly fill the gap of Age of History 3, but even then there will be a huge experience gap, with Grey Eminence needing much more manual coding to mod it. The point is, AoH2 is not getting any more updates, and AoH3 is never coming out.

So, what can be done to save it?

I think mod developers need more cooperation between each other. With the way AoH2 is set up, it makes it impossible to collaboratively make events, which form the backbone of many mods, but there are elements of mods that can be collaboratively developed, like UI, and civilizations. But I think that we all need to work with each other more to find ways to help other people bring their mod ideas to life. We need to make tutorials on how to code in advanced features, how to polish your mod and make it look nice, and things like that. Giving this knowledge to everyone will once again bring truly great mods back to the forum, and revitalize the modding scene, which has been in the midst of a slow, agonizing decline for years now.

We should also stop relying on the forums to serve as our only source of communication between the entire community. It has become unreliable with its large number of Chinese spambots and hundreds of pages worth of dead mods. That is why I have created a Discord server for the entire Age of History community to use. (As of January 5th, 2022, the link will go up in the time from 4-6 PM, Eastern Standard Time.) I feel that increasing communication between every corner of the AoH community will bring attention to many new mods, and increase the quality through the power of help and cooperation.

Those are my thoughts on the state of the mod community. Constructive criticism would be good, and I would like to know what you all think of the points I made, and various other things mentioned in her.

Thank you for your time.

- BTTBStudios (RTECH)

The day will come when the community dies completely but until that day comes, we will have to enjoy the good mods that were released and will be released in the future. 

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14 minutes ago, Chairman Baad said:

In my opinion, it's a race between Addon SC and Grey Eminence to be the future of the community. And I don't even play AoH2 on Android anymore so GE is the only thing I'm interested in at this point. Not even AoH4 could take me off it.

I completely agree. I think most of the community is going to be split, with one side wanting to stay with AoH2 and keep playing the mods for it and hope that things like Addon SC will come out, and the other half is going to go straight to Grey Eminence when it releases. I know I am. I don't care what the state of my mod is, the second Grey Eminence is released I'm jumping from the sinking ship that is Age of History and leaving it all behind for GE.

I do feel bad for mobile players, though. If GE comes out before Addon SC then the mobile community is going to be completely left in the dust, with most mod devs moving on from the game entirely, causing less mods to be developed, and even less to be ported to Android.

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11 hours ago, BackToTheBrickStudios said:

Before I say everything else, I would like to preface it by saying I wish no hate on Lukasz, I just think there is so much he could have done to avoid coming to this point.

(Also sorry for the text being bolded, I transferred it from Google Docs and some things are weird.)

Age of History 2 is in a sad, sad state. Since the launch of the game in late 2018, the game has seen little to no updates in the past 4 years since it has come out.

There has never been a worse time for mods, either. Except for a select few, most mods are announced, and then fade into obscurity or are never released due to things involving the creator.

One example of this is Addon SC. For the past 2 years since it was announced, it was said that it would revolutionize the game. Everyone thought that it would save it, that it would bring it back to life, that it would basically be like AoH3 (More on that later.)

But yet, it never was. The release date was pushed back farther and farther, with the deadline being missed every time, until this point, where the release deadline specified as “Before 2022” has been missed, and paired with the creator’s inactivity on the forum for the past 1 and ½ months, it is almost certain that the mod is dead.

During the time of Addon SC’s “Development” many other great mods came and went. Some notable examples are @Italian PeC’s Age of Imperialism, which came from the same creator as the similarly critically acclaimed The Second Great War mod. The mod is still in active development, but the update schedule has slowed down, with Italian PeC going silent for a little bit. The difference was that at the end of this silence, he didn’t just delay the release date again, he came out with a good update and has stated he intends to keep working on it. This seems to be a very rare thing, with most developers just seeming to disappear and moving on with no notice.

Another example is @Kerems2434's World+. The mod was supposed to be the successor to Project: Alpha, another Turkish community mod with a massive world map. The Turkish community was one of the biggest AoH2 communities for a long time, releasing many big and popular mods such as Conquerors, which seemed to die without explanation in early 2021. Unfortunately, the mod just never was completed for an unspecified reason. The Turkish community has largely left the game, and has moved on to other things, with even Kerem seeming to cease development of mods and moving away from the community as a whole.

The last example is 11:59. This was the first big mod released for the game and while basic compared to the AoH2 mods of today, it pioneered many elements that would go on to be used to great success in later mods. Unfortunately, the creator, @11:59 Development Team, like so many others, realized that AoH2 could not be used to fulfill the true potential of the mod. So, he moved on to another game (A version of Paradox’s unreleased East vs West: A Hearts of Iron game, if anyone is curious.) And when that didn’t work out, development on any form of the mod ceased. There have been attempts at reviving it, but none have ever worked out.

I have come up with a few reasons why mods seem to either die out or just go unfinished. 

The first one is the constant harassment of mod developers for download links and release dates. I don’t think any mod developer has not experienced this. Asking for the download link when the mod isn’t even released yet, getting mad when the mod is taking too long, and stuff like that. Why should we develop mods for people who don’t know how difficult and time consuming it is to make a mod for this game, and are constantly asking for release dates and whining when a release date isn’t given. It's a different story when the mod creator just leaves the community with no notice whatsoever and doesn’t tell anyone that the mod is canceled. I feel that anger is justified when this happens, but harassment of the owner is not, just like it is not in anything involving the community.

The next one is over-saturation of the mod community. So many mods are just announced, and then abandoned overnight, as the creator moves on to another mod only to do the same thing when it does not get any attention. This makes the gems in the community harder to find, and the moving on from one mod to the next very frequently could be a direct result of the reasons why mods don’t get released. I also think many just feel as if their mod won’t get any attention due to the large amount of mods already on the forums, and just don’t bother making their mod ideas into reality.

The last reason is the game itself. It is buggy. It has a lack of features beyond the base game editor. It needs more. It has been abandoned by the developer, so there is no chance of him just coming back and saving the game. There are a blessed few mod creators with the ability to code great new features into the game, such as @Mega4oSS's Nuclear Age, and @HUSKYFRESKO's World Crisis, both of which make groundbreaking additions to the game But alas, these advanced mods are few and far between. (More on this later) I have felt this so many times while working on my mod. The event system in particular is very buggy, with problems being so bad that for example, the "Decision Taken" trigger can break every other event, and has caused entire mods to cease development. Needless to say, the game itself is in a pretty bad state.

So, why don’t we just wait for AoH3?

Because it is never coming out.

Age of History 3 was announced 2 ½ years ago as a way to respond to a thread asking where AoH3 was (The thread was closed soon after.) My theory is that either no work has been done on the game, or it is progressing painfully slow. If it was in active development, why haven’t we heard anything about it since the initial 1 sentence announcement of it. I believe that it possibly was a quick thing to get people to stop asking for AoH3. Even a second thread like that in September failed to yield any results. It is time to accept that Age of History 3 is never coming out. If you’re looking for a game to fill the gap for modding, you can either go the more complicated route of modding for HoI4, or wait for Grey Eminence, (Truly psyched for it, big thanks to @Chairman Baad for making us all aware of it) which is the only game coming out that could truly fill the gap of Age of History 3, but even then there will be a huge experience gap, with Grey Eminence needing much more manual coding to mod it. The point is, AoH2 is not getting any more updates, and AoH3 is never coming out.

So, what can be done to save it?

I think mod developers need more cooperation between each other. With the way AoH2 is set up, it makes it impossible to collaboratively make events, which form the backbone of many mods, but there are elements of mods that can be collaboratively developed, like UI, and civilizations. But I think that we all need to work with each other more to find ways to help other people bring their mod ideas to life. We need to make tutorials on how to code in advanced features, how to polish your mod and make it look nice, and things like that. Giving this knowledge to everyone will once again bring truly great mods back to the forum, and revitalize the modding scene, which has been in the midst of a slow, agonizing decline for years now.

We should also stop relying on the forums to serve as our only source of communication between the entire community. It has become unreliable with its large number of Chinese spambots and hundreds of pages worth of dead mods. That is why I have created a Discord server for the entire Age of History community to use. (As of January 6th, 2022, the link will go up in the time from 4-6 PM, Eastern Standard Time.) I feel that increasing communication between every corner of the AoH community will bring attention to many new mods, and increase the quality through the power of help and cooperation.

Those are my thoughts on the state of the mod community. Constructive criticism would be good, and I would like to know what you all think of the points I made, and various other things mentioned in her.

Thank you for your time.

- BTTBStudios (RTECH)

RTECH, I can agree. But a good example without lots of events is Bloody Europe 2. As of now, it's my favorite mod to play (maybe just until soviet horizons is out ;), I follow development in your Discord server) 

We'd need the game source files and then the community with some coders could fix events bug and such. AoH2 is annoying to work with (random crashes for example) 

 

-KerbMario

 

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As much as flags, ideologies, musics, civs and even scenarios are important into making a good mod, i think the new barrier stopping most of us from completely changing aoc2 and creating something totally new are the code changes, as theyre the only thing capable of truly changing aoc2. The problem is that the majority of the modders lack the necessary knowledge to code, and those who do are not in co-operation to help the rest of the aoc2 modder community.

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20 minutes ago, PHZanoniGamer said:

As much as flags, ideologies, musics, civs and even scenarios are important into making a good mod, i think the new barrier stopping most of us from completely changing aoc2 and creating something totally new are the code changes, as theyre the only thing capable of truly changing aoc2. The problem is that the majority of the modders lack the necessary knowledge to code, and those who do are not in co-operation to help the rest of the aoc2 modder community.

I agree. Most of the coders are also on the VK/Russian side of the community, and the VK side doesn't seem to want to be involved with the Forum community at all.

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On 1/5/2023 at 4:17 PM, Amogus sussy imposter said:

The day will come when the community dies completely but until that day comes, we will have to enjoy the good mods that were released and will be released in the future. 

I don't think this community will completely die, we will at least have scenarios popping out here and there which will keep the community in life support.

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On 1/28/2023 at 7:52 PM, DenizMert2008 said:

I don't think this community will completely die, we will at least have scenarios popping out here and there which will keep the community in life support.

Yeah. The main community will have moved on, but there will be an extremely small portion of it still active, mostly working on scenarios for their own use and posting them for fun.

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