Europa Barbarorum (or EB) is a Mod of the computer game Rome: Total War (RTW) based on the desire to provide RTW players with a more historically accurate game experience, without sacrificing fun. Europa Barbarorum is a total conversion—replacing all unit and building stats, for instance, and all unit models—though it covers roughly the same time period as the campaign included with RTW.
History and goal
EB was originally founded in January 2004, eight months before RTW's release, when several individuals following the game's development became concerned that barbarian factions such as Gaul and Germania were being portrayed as stereotypical hordes of unwashed savages. These individuals felt that such representations conformed more to a sensationalist Hollywood stereotype than historical fact, maintaining (as many modern historians do) that the ancient "barbarian" cultures are often viewed through the paradigm of Greco-Roman bias. The true nature of these civilizations, says EB, is better revealed through archaeological evidence and what remains of their own ancient texts.
These individuals, concerned as they were for the “barbarians”, were joined by others with concerns for other ancient cultures / factions. Together, these EB members tried to convince the Creative Assembly 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 RTW, most were disregarded by CA due to publisher pressures / financial expediency. Some EB members continued to offer their services as historical advisers but due to inherent concerns over intellectual property rights, CA declined the offer.
Having exhausted this avenue for change, the EB members then resolved to modify the game themselves upon its release. To these ends they began what ended up being several thousand hours of research and preliminary work.
On released, EB immediately began work on the modification, recruiting a large team of volunteer Texture mapping, skinners, 3D modelers, coders, and historians to make the game better reflect historical reality. EB’s vision of edutainment was endorsed by CA, who offered limited help when able.
Slightly over a year after its release, the EB team finally made their initial open beta public on 27 December 2005. Almost 50,000 tracked downloads have been recorded since then, and many other untracked sites also host the mod. The mod has also been included with demos and mods on PC Format, a computer magazine published in the United Kingdom and South Africa.
Even though EB gives the players the opportunity to experience the same age and (roughly) place as original RTW, this mod is a Total Conversion, which offers a completely new feel / gaming experience. All units, buildings, map features and other modable parameters of the game have been reworked from scratch and many new features added.
- All existing units have been removed and replaced
- Unit recruitment has been changed to a new system based on governments and assimilation, set up at region-by-region basis
- The Arverni, a new faction of Gauls
- Baktria, the central asian Hellenic empire
- Pyrrhos and his Epeirotes are now playable
- Saka-Rauka, a heavily cavalry-based faction based in central Asia
- The Egyptian army has been changed to correspond to the Ptolemaic period in history
- Sauromatae takes over as the regional superpower in ancient Russia, instead of the Scythians whose power was in decline
- The Gauls are split into two factions, the Aedui and the Arverni
- The Koinon Hellenon represents the Chremonidean League of Athens, Sparta and Rhodes, instead of the Greek Cities which were made up of cities who only shared being called Greeks
- New families for all factions with members' ages and relationships accurate (as far as modern scholarship is able to reconstruct) to current knowledge of the year 272 BC
- Diplomatic relationships between factions are accurately mapped out for the game's start in 272BC, accurately representing the state of diplomacy for the start date.
- Unrealistic "fog-of-war" constraints partially lifted at the game's start to show a more realistic understanding of political geography specialized for each individual faction's point of view
- More than 4,900 new names for generals and family members of Hellenic factions, transliterated from ancient Greek
- Faction-specific alerts and messages for the capture of the most important unique buildings for those peoples
- Diplomatic relationships of rebel cities with existing factions accurately represented, with severe consequences for AI and human players who violate those alliances.
- Rebel forces now have accurate ethnic names and strengths.
- No more fantasy units.
- Procedures and goals for attaining a Roman triumph
- Special alerts and graphics representing the major stages of the breakup of the Seleucid empire, if the collapse occurs
- A new faction-specific and historically based faction victory condition system, with each faction required to achieve goals as diverse as conquering provinces, raiding cities, capturing unique buildings, and destroying other specific factions
- Nomadic, desert, and steppe cultures much more accurately represented in government types and resource development
- A new map as the base for our campaign mode, with greatly expanded eastern and southern regions, and with Arabia, India, Central Asia, and the Upper Nile all receiving many new territories.
- Faction specific naming practices with accurate unit names and accurate province names in the language of the controlling peoples at the game's start
- Accurate terrain reconstructions, snow boundaries, vegetation types, and coastlines
- The Nile-Red Sea canal linking the Indian Ocean and Mediterranean Sea
- Province boundaries carefully reconstructed to represent the political geography of 272BC
- New campaign map vegetation models include palms and denser forests.
- Ancient trade routes (such as the Amber and Silk Roads) which can be captured and used
- A new trait system based on and including a complex interaction of genetics, aging, family members, and health, affecting trait acquisition and development over the life of your characters. The number of new traits themselves is greatly increased and faction specific.
- Hellenic trait system based on ancient Greek perceptions of personalities.
- Roman trait system partially based on the moral tales of Valerius Maximus.
- All starting generals' personalities and traits mirror their historical personalities.
- Special Events Traits, like the Olympics where a Hellenic general can compete and even win them gaining a significant Influence boost.
- A complex new government system to more accurately reflect the choices of government types available within factions for the provinces they begin with and conquer. For example, Sparta's government is much different from Athens at the game's start, providing different benefits and unit recruitment capabilities, as well as different disadvantages.
- Many new faction specific buildings, including colonies, shrines, clinics, granaries, new barbarian governmental structures, new theater trees, stupas, and many, many more.
- Over 50 new unique buildings or "wonders" for the map, present at the game's start, and affecting everything from trade and population growth to generals' traits and faction recruitment abilities, bonuses of which many are specifically tailored for and limited to certain factions.
- Temple systems representing the most popular temple types of each of the depicted factions, not just a sampling for variety. New descriptions of the numerous deities.
- No more fantasy bonuses, like equipment upgrades from temples of Vulcan.
- Capes, straits, mountains, and other terrain "unique buildings" provide bonuses to represent their historical importance
- All new faction specific special graphics for the faction selection menu
- New campaign map minimap and faction starting point maps in the campaign selection menu
- New faction icons, selection buttons, campaign map standards, and battle map banners
- A new campaign map siege, ship, unit, general, watchtower, and resource graphics
- Culture-specific advisors.
- New faction-defeated graphics for every faction.
- A fleet system with many more new ships and more accurate strengths and weaknesses in battle
- Custom designed formations give the AI greater flexibility and incentive to perform actual battlefield maneuvers
- Four turns per year gameplay, with the winter months limited to one of the four seasons.
- New animations created, like two-handed lancers and better horse archer animations.
- As of April 2008, EB features its own music, composed by Morgan Casey & Nick Wylie
- New classical voicemods, in Latin, Greek, Celtic, proto-Germanic and Pahlavan
Awards and reviews
- Best Mod
- Best Modding Team
- Best Gameplay
- Best Map
- Most Promising Mod
- Favorite RTW Mod
- RTW Coding Award
- Favorite Original Audio Award
- Favorite RTW Roman Era Award
- Favorite RTW 2D Art Award
- RTW Scripting Award
Europa Barbarorum was featured and reviewed in the April 2005 edition of the Italian PC Gaming magazine Giochi per Il Mio Computer, French PC Gaming magazine Canard PC in 2005, and PC Gamer (UK), March 2005 and again in February 2008.
Members of EB include:
- Aymar de Bois Mauri
- Teleklos Archelaou
- Vandal Carthage
Version 1.2 is mainly concerned with bugfixes, but also includes a new Client Ruler system, new punic voicemod and the previously released historical battles. Released on 21st November 2008, release thread and list of changes
As with older versions, the amount of script in the mod can make it lag (A lot), so closing down all non-essential processes and running the game on low-settings is still recommended for low-end configurations.
Version 1.1, with several new units, many new traits, music, reforms and celtic, Pahlava and proto-germanic voicemods and AI improvements was realeased on 7th April 2008, release thread and list of changes
As with older versions, the amount of script in the mod can make it lag (A lot), so closing down all non-essential processes and running the game on low-settings is still recommended for low-end configurations.
The EB team released version 1.0 of their mod on the 11th of October, 2007 (over 3 years worth of work). The mod folder which is downloaded is probably one of the biggest ever created due to so much detail being included.
WARNING: EB 1.0 may still play with a significant amount of lag, its recommended that you shut down all non-essential processes and run the game on low settings
Here is the list of older versions of EB:
Changes from 0.7 to 0.8 as listed by Teleklos Archelaou here
1. New Faction Yes. The new faction is the Sabaeans. Sab'yn, more precisely. As'Sab'yn wal'Jau, most precisely. They are not completed yet though so while we have a handful of new units for the faction we also have a number of placeholders for the time being that will be removed when their other units are finished. We do have ethnicities, accurate names, many building descriptions, and as I said a handful of units, but you may want to wait till 0.9 or another update to play a full campaign as them if their unfinished nature worries you greatly.
2. The new music is in the game, and there is a mix for each culture. To keep from playing one song over and over, each culture group has a few songs from similar culture groups, or at least a few songs that we thought might go well with it. You can see the arrangement easily by going to descr_sounds_music.txt and taking a look. Feel free to alter that file with a text editor to come up with your own preferred arrangement for a given culture group. It's a piece of cake to change them; just cut/copy and paste. Enjoy!
3. There is a new government level. When you first capture a province, you still have to destroy the old government building (which is 100% damaged), just like before. But now, there is a one turn "Provisional Military Government/Regional Pacifcation" level that will allow you then to pick from among the possible correct governments once it is constructed. It's basically a level one from which we can branch the government levels but keep them in one complex instead of spread out over four (wasting three complex slots). Not a big change really, you'll get used to it very quickly indeed, and it gives us three free complex slots to use for other things which we badly needed. As with the 0.74 build, we strongly recommend totally destroying any government buildings that exist in a province when you take control of it. They should be damaged 100% by scripts, but we cannot totally destroy them, so make sure that is the first thing you do when you capture a new province. Then we suggest immediately installing the new Regional Pacification level and moving on to your choice of government.
4. The new MIC system may be the biggest change. Take a look at my in-depth post on it here: http://forums.totalwar.org/vb/showthread.php?t=73928
5. The Nomadic system is a big change too. The battlemap items have not entirely been inserted into the game yet either, but the building progression is now in place. The best way of understanding the system is to refer to this flowchart till you get the hang of it:
6. There is a lot of other new content in many different areas, all of which we hope you enjoy: -Many new buildings, including a new group of gymnasia for Greeks, new local MIC's, Buddhist Stupas. -New constructed images for some older buildings to emphasize culture group differences. -Plenty of new ships and enhanced ship unit cards and unit info images. -Lots of new loading screens with more to come. -Our brand new soundtrack already mentioned above by Morgan Casey and Nick Wylie. -Ethnicities for some factions that didn't have them before and expanded ones for some others. -New province summaries for Greek factions taken from Strabo. -Lots of new ancillary portraits, especially for certain culture groups. -New Graphic User Interfaces (GUI's) for each culture group. They include some new event pics and others filtered to match the GUI for that culture group. -Many new building descriptions, although they aren't finished yet. -New and different short building descriptions for some factions (Carthage, Maks, some Ptolemaic and Pontic ones).
7. Culture groups are changed. You will notice big differences. Battlemap cities are different now for some cities and you will feel more like you are in an eastern Greek city instead of just a Greek one. The new GUI's, and new music, and new (and filtered) event pics will all make the culture groups much much more distinct. Romans now speak Latin. The groups are: Barbarian - Casse, Aedui, Arverni, Sweboz, Lusotannan, Getai Roman - Romani Semitic - Qarthadastim, Sabyn Greek - Koinon Hellenon, Epeiros, Makedonia Eastern Greek - Ptolemaioi, Arche Seleukeia, Baktria Eastern - Pontos, Hayasdan, Pahlava Nomadic - Saka Rauka, Sauromatae
8. The Lusotannan are our other new faction, as you already know from the preview.. They are not complete yet either, but have a lot of wonderful new units as you have recently seen in our faction preview. They have new building descriptions also, and the faction team will continue working on other regional Iberian units and completing this faction in the very near future.
9. Campaign map changes: In case you hadn't downloaded the resources update for your 0.74 build, you will see a huge difference now on the campaign map. The resources have been changed from the small symbols to graphics that are more realistic. Instead of a marble block, you will see a marble quarry. Instead of a fish, you will see a fishing village. Instead of pots, you will see workshops. In 0.81 (an update that will be ready quite soon and in which mostly just further bugs will be ironed out), on the campaign map you will also notice a big change if you have not played Res Gestae before - Prometheus has allowed us to use his city and port models and shifty has streamlined them even further by removing many of the rear polygons that are not visible. The result is that Prom's wonderful cities will be in the build and won't cause any real lag (maybe on some of the slowest systems, but we have not seen a difference).
10. Province changes and their effect: The AI has worried us in places, but it is behaving a lot better recently, in terms of expansion on the strat map. Baktria has two new provinces to represent the areas under the control of the Baktrian Satrap in 272, and for a while it was expanding constantly into the steppe instead of into India. But with map changes we have recently seen it much more interested in the east instead of the north and west. We hope this continues. The Ptolemies also have a new province at Ptolemais Theron on the Red Sea, but it is very simple and won't be a major factor early in the game. We have also been working on keeping Hayasdan out of the steppe too and thanks to some creative map work have seen better results in this area as well. You will also notice that the AI does not go after the Sahara as much because the city has been moved far away, and further border changes of this province have also benefitted the diplomatic relationship between the Qarthadastim and Ptolemaioi, lessening the chances for continual war between them. One other item: the province Gaetulia will be removed in a future build, so the borders it shares with other provinces were shrunk to lessen its impact on the game. - Here are the maps for EB also: The small ones are on the thumbnails below (hosted by imageshack), but the large ones are (for now) downloadable through our website. These might be good to keep on your desktop for easy 'preview' viewing (i.e., save them instead of using our bandwith over and over please), or you could print them out if you're particularly insane. ~D
Here are the files:
Antique JPG Map:
11. Oh yeah, there is rumored to be a fully functioning Ancient Greek voice mod in the build as well for all Hellenic factions. I can't say much about it yet though as I haven't been able to hear it yet - it has only gotten in on the most absolute recent version of the build, which I'm still slowly downloading. :grin: Those voicemod guys deserve mad props for it I am told. :laugh4: Can't wait to hear it personally.
This is a beta still. You are all officially beta-testers in the widest application of the term's meaning. We would like you to help us figure out what needs work, *but* don't worry about immediately flooding us with things your first day or two. Enjoy it. It's going to be a lot like 0.74, but better. If you liked 0.74, you should really like 0.8, but if you hated 0.74, then instead of berating us or those who do enjoy it, don't bring yourself down. Go play something else and have fun there :grin:. 0.805 or 0.81 should not take very long and it will smooth out a lot of issues that folks might object to if they are expecting something totally polished or without any CTD's at all.
If you are shocked, surprised, bewildered by anything else in the new build, we'd probably like to know. What else is there for future builds and updates? Some of the things, among many others, we are working on still include: -recruitment work (currently fixing recruitment areas is incredibly easier than it was in the past. Some old recruitment problems might remain, like gaps in places, but with the new system, fixing problems will be a lot simpler.) -more faction and regional units and some additional variations of current units -more detailed ethnicities for some factions and generally better building descriptions for some factions that are a bit thin -more scripted events (won't say more about these since they'll be some of our bigger surprises for the next updates) -possibly more music -more voicemod work -more nomadic buildings on the battlemap -more loading screens as additional downloads -more work on the government system -more work on where you can and cannot obtain regional MIC's -more editing of text descriptions -more ancillaries and traits, specifically culture-specific ancillaries -more historical battles -totally getting rid of all vanilla captains, generals, standard-bearers (as these do not make up entire units, they have been towards the end of our to-do list. We have included many more in this build, but we aren't done yet.) -working on ways of solving some problems that continue to plague us, like why some buildings placed at the start of the game insist on showing up as another culture's variant
Finally, a word about the build's -mod format: We decided over the summer to use the -mod format for EB 0.8. This format gives us a number of benefits, but a few drawbacks. Benefits include the incredible ease of dropping files into the UI folders and having them immediately work instead of packing them first. This also will make EB more moddable if anyone wants to personalize their build. One drawback though is that some files absolutely will not work in the -mod files, like the loading bar. A few other files have had to be left in the "base" build, but the loading bar is the only one that we are aware of that would affect other mods installed in different -mod files. It is our recommendation that EB still has its own separate build on your computer, and that other -mod format mods be installed on an entirely different build, but we are not aware of any other direct conflicts beside the loading bar. Alter other base files at your own risk though after EB has been installed.
- Wikipedia article on Europa Barbarorum
- Official Europa Barbarorum Website
- TWCenter.net Europa Barbarorum I forum
- TotalWar.org Europa Barbarorum I forum
Copied from Wikipedia, thanks to them!