On 21st of April we had conducted our second developers stream. Evgeniy Grygorovych, the lead developer of Cossacks 3, answered your questions, explained how to play Scotland and elucidated details in AI adviser`s behaviour. Questions were asked by well known streamer and magnificent anchorman Lord Eagle. Here are the questions and answers from our stream: 1. Will you work further on optimizing the game? Yes, we have two ideas on improvements: 1) Graphics optimizations, which would allow our players to train more units, maintaining good fps. 2) Improving random map generation and game loading speed. 2. Would you organize new game key raffles? Well, this question should be redirected to our PR-department. They're creating such contests periodically, so it`s possible. 3. Could you add the standard bearer unit to the game? Currently we`re using two units to form a squad - officer and drummer and that's hard enough to constantly control. Adding third unit would render this task even harder. It`ld make sense only after implementing simpler mechanics of squad forming. 4. Can you provide us with further details on AI adviser and it`s (his) functions? First of all, adviser was created with new players in mind, which aren't familiar with our demanding game mechanics. For example, game punishes forgetful players with starvation mechanic. Using AI adviser they're getting acknowledged with importance of having stored food, gold; default build orders et cetera much faster. Our veteran players also would be pleased, as new players would be able to provide better resistance, leading to more interesting games. Such features as reminding about key upgrades, commanding peasants to gather resources after finishing a building and filling empty mines automatically would help everyone, not only the newcomers. 5. How exactly does adviser commands peasants? For now he`s choosing peasants semi-randomly from the ones which`re gathering wood or stone. We`re working on further improvements, to suit players with different build-orders and tactics, where taking peasants from some resources is more critical. 6. Would you add cooperative mode to control 1 nation via 2 players? Yes, we would do this, though it won't be in the next month at least. It could be added in the most basic mode fast, but we want to make this feature as bug-less as possible. 7. Question about Scotland - you`ve promised that all nations would be free to the buyers of basic game, why this one is released as luxury mini-expansion? We've promised to provide access to all 20 nations from Cossacks 1, deluxe players are able to play new nations earlier than basic version players. Scotland is absolutely new nation to Cossacks series, therefore it`s added as mini-expansion. We're also planning to add new unit-packs to existing nations. Adding such a unique nation is much harder task, since we have to invent, test and balance new units and their interactions. More nations like this could be added in future, as they're expanding game experience, in comparison with other european nations. 8. Could you tell us about next new nation to be added into Cossacks 3? There`are some ideas, but nation is still not 100% sure chosen, so I won`t voice it, as our fans may be disappointed if we would choose the other one. In the next deluxe edition dlc we would add Portugal and Hungary, with some new units for Turkey and Spain. 9. Would you change units from default European nations ? It`s possible, but only with addition of new unique units to existed nations. 10. Do you plan to add new naval units and improve existing ones? We`re testing naval rebalance now, as we hadn`t added these changes to last rebalance patch. 18th century units aren`t in development right now, they exist as concepts only. We do hope to provide further improvements on navy in free patches. 11. When would you fix dark edges on the map? There`re some possible fixes: for example, we can render grass further. We think that trouble would be with pointing these areas as unplayable(impassable terrain) to our players. Dark edges isn`t the most aesthetically pleasing solution, though they provide clear border between game regions. 12. Is it possible to add Scotland shooter from English barracks to Scotland`s castle and why each next castle costs 4x comparing to previous one? First of all, this unit is England`s unique one from 18th century and we won`t “steal” him to add to Scotland. Our vision of Scotland is as of unique nation without 18th century with its own strong and weak sides. For example, Scotland would most likely lose in long perspective, so it`s strong side is in dynamic early game and mid-game. Players should keep harassing their enemies with clans swordsmen and raiders. This nation requires different mindset. Castle isn`t another 17th century barracks, it acts as viable alternative to 18th century barracks during mid-game, as clans swordsmen have insane high attack with all upgrades. 13. Why Swedish 18th century pikemen are weaker than European ones? This revision of rebalance isn`t perfect, and has some errors. This inequality is probably one of them. Good news is, after rebalance rarely used units, such as musketeers, reiters and other units became much more viable. 14. What are you planning to do with misusing officers as attack units? After our latest rebalance officers got nerfed, and this tactics is no longer as widely used as it was. Before nerfing officers even further we should analyze top-players tactics on countering them. Nowadays this units are only part of players armies, not the whole army in itself. 15. Do you plan to add 18th century requirement to mercenary 18th century dragoons? I don`t think that this is a good idea, as dragoons aren`t imbalanced units now; I suppose they may even got nerfed too much. This requirement would decrease amount of 17th century strategies. 16. Will you fix unobtainable steam achievements? We are acknowledged of this bug, it`s harder to fix than we thought. We`re patching the game actively, and in time would fix achievements too. 17. Would you change the rating system? Many top-players aren`t pleased with existing system and are wishing to use ELO system, like the one used in MOBAs and chess. This system has negative feature :if you`re high level in ELO, it`s better to abstain from further games, as you would only lose rating. Our current system is similar to Cossacks 1, and it`s imperfect as players who`re able to play frequently are getting higher rankings. Next rating reset is planned on next dlc release. We would work on it, to make it better. 18. Could you provide us with paper on mac and linux porting, and why it`s so hard? We do want to write and publish it after finishing this task, as linux version is ready, and mac one has good progress too. It`d be an interesting reading for both programmers and gamers. 19. Is it possible to create map-option prohibiting peasants to finish other nations builidings creation? Yes, it`s possible. Though, I don`t suppose it`d be positive to our game dynamics, as capturing other nations peasants and leading them to base is hard. Modders should be able to do it, as they`re provided with same tools as we`ve used in game creation. 20. Will you add allied player-to-player trading functionality? Yes, it`s required. 21. Question on Scotland`s build order – is it better to construct castles or stables first? I don`t think there`s definite build order for all possible situations. In some games castles would be better, while in other stables would dominate. Castle is oriented on longer games, as you can have less upgrades, cause you have only 1 castle at start, and you can't make several upgrades at once. So slow unit upgrades would stagger your army quantity. If you`re using stables, you won't have such problem but, wood resource collection upgrade is must-have in that case. 22. When would you release the Mac version? Mac version is almost ready. It`s going to be released soon after Linux version. Sadly, i can`t say that it`s going to be released today 23. Why mortar`s shooting range is 3 times longer now? It`s able to hit buildings across half of the map. I suppose the question was about howitzer, since mortars range weren`t changed. In rating games, however, map size is smaller, so it may look as mortar`s range is much longer. Howitzer`s damage was lowered, and it`s not the mass destruction weapon now. Missing with howitzers shoot is much less devastating for nearby units, while direct hit damage is still good. Actually, howitzer should be played as totally new unit. 24. Do you plan to develop American Conquest 2? AC was a good game, and i would like to create sequel. However, we`re focused on Cossacks 3 right now and i can`t make any promises. 25. Do you plan to develop new games? Yes. 26. When you would fix towers and mines mass upgrades? We are working on it, and will provide a fix, but it`s not on the top of the list. 27. Are there going to be any new multiplayer modes? For example custom sea/land battles, or capturing some points. I`ve heard modders were talking about them, though there weren`t any complete ideas on definitively fun and interesting new modes. So, it`s possible to implement by our users, but we would add them to base game only after some proofs on their efficiency. User mods may become even popular than base game (DotA, Counter Strike), so modders may try it. 28. Could you add cobblestones near buildings, similar to Cossacks 1? Currently we`re using different textures under different buildings. Some of them are using ground/dirt instead of cobblestones. We can add cobblestones to all buildings, but we won`t, since current solution seems good to us. 29. By any chance, do you plan to change ranking system? It is unknown whether the new system would be better than current one. We`ll have to clear ratings and experiment, while other tasks on bug-fixing and polishing mechanics would be delayed. We have very many single players, which would appreciate balance changes or new content. Creating new system would mean our single players are getting robbed of patches. 30. Will you change the trades on market? Is it possible to nerf the market? If you`re talking about reverse trades (for example, if you have 1000 gold and would like to trade stone to gold, it`d be much more profitable to exchange 1000 gold in stone, and then sell all existing stone in exchange for gold), than it`s the side-bug of our economic model.After all previous balance changes market isn`t as important as it was. We have another market model, but it isn`t implemented as we`re afraid of breaking the existing balance. And there`s the other idea: one player is focusing on market, while other is spending their resources on something completely new, which would provide him with similar benefits. We`re thinking that creating new ways of progressing would be better than nerfing market. 31. What chair are you sitting on? That`s NaVi branded chair. 32. Is it possible to re-release Cossacks 1 campaigns in Cossacks 3? It is possible, but we`re definitely against reusing old campaigns. In Cossacks 3 we`ve even used new plot-schemes. 33. Which benefits has the attacker, in comparison to defending player? In my opinion, attacker is able to constantly harass defender with raids and diversions. That would lead defender to making errors, while attacker is enjoying more safe environment. Capturing buildings is also extremely effective. 34. When would you improve the palisade stats? It was made a lot more effective in latest rebalance. 35. How should you play with Scottish archers? They`re unplayable, just like chasseurs, pandurs and English highlanders. It`s a question to pro-players. In my opinion they`re usable. Chasseurs and pandurs were also improved in latest rebalance patch. 36. Is it possible for you to implement “invite friend” button for steam? Yes it is must-have feature, but it isn`t our top priority. 37. Can you add some delay in game starting process in multiplayer? We`ll definitely add it. 38. Would you create the ingame encyclopedia, with all units and nations features and statistics? New players should browse patch-notes and forums as for now. We have this table and are planning to incorporate it ingame. I`m not sure on how it`ll look, but we`re working on this. 39. Any new DLCs with improved naval units mechanics this year? We`d like to do it, but it depends on time constraints 40. Do you plan to add day-night cycle and precipitation? It is possible to add day-night cycle via modifications. We are not planning to add it to the base game, as it would make game look worse and render problems in visibility of some units 41. Do you plan to add Japan with original samurai units? I don't want to answer this question 42. You should improve burgomeister`s resource collection options. I was training peasants and sending new ones to mine stone, while AI has changed their orders to “gather food" This is definitely a bug. We`re working on further improvements to AI assistant. Only peasants without player orders should be redirected to resources . 43. Would you stream with mods in future? It`s possible. 44. Why the AI adviser isn`t free? This is game`s expansion and result of hard work. Work should be paid off. This allows us to release new patches and provide further support to game. You may try adviser for free in multiplayer games. In order to do this you should join game where host has Guardians of the Highlands DLC. 45. Would there be any swamps or other obstacles on the map? We`re going to add lakes and rivers (which are almost finished). 46. Is it possible to add pirates nation? Maybe you`ll release special program to create custom nations? It is possible to add custom nation right now and it isn`t technically difficult. We will try to make some tools or wizards to make this process easier, but it isn`t in high priority right now. 47. Will you implement the system of giving unit controls to ally? No, we don`t think it`s a necessity. Such system could be used for cheating purposes. For example, one player could waste all his resources on upgrades and other would train an army and give it to first one. Upgrades are tied to player, so it may be used for cheating. 48. Using drummer as scout is abit farcically. Maybe you should add new scout unit? It wouldn`t make the gameplay more interesting, the only improvements would be in visuals. While choosing between scout or new gameplay units for European nations – we`d choose new units, as they`ve much more worth for our players.