Latest 8.0 release of VC Balance Mod, a saved game compatible comprehensive gameplay, balance, and bugfix mod. Hundreds of improvements, see complete changelogs below.
VC Balance Mod Version 8.0, a saved game compatible modification for the latest release of Viking Conquest (2.036), including Bug Fixes by EvilSquid and Dark Age Village Names by Philippe at Bay
Taleworlds mod development thread: Forums.taleworlds.com
Nexus download page for alternate versions: Nexusmods.com
Feel free to comment here, or visit our discussion threads at other forums!
Reddit 1.0 release thread: Reddit.com
Reddit 2.0 release thread: Reddit.com
Reddit EvilSquid bugfixes (included in 3.0) discussion thread: Reddit.com
Reddit 4.0 release thread (including discussion of traits): Reddit.com
Reddit Berserker changes for Balance Mod 4.0 discussion thread (over 100 comments, thanks everyone!): Reddit.com
Reddit 5.0 changelog thread: Reddit.com
Reddit 6.0 release thread: Reddit.com
Reddit 7.0 release thread: Reddit.com
Reddit 8.0 release thread: Reddit.com
IMPORTANT NOTE 1: Travel speeds are now realistic in the main download based on:
1) mounted travel times between London and York vs speeds achieved in the Tevis cup;
2) sea travel speeds from Ribe to London vs historical guesses at longboat speeds;
3) historical records of roman army marching speeds (couldn't find anything closer in time)
If you want to restore vanilla VC 2x as fast as realistic speeds, download the alternate full install version posted on Nexus.
If instead you like the new realistic in-game travel times, just not the real-world extra waiting for movement, install the main version and then download the optional "alternate make time flow faster" add on file.
IMPORTANT NOTE 2: Bandit spawns are now truly random. If you want them smaller in the beginning, select "Less" bandits game option. You can always switch it to "More" in the camp options menu later when you have leveled up.
Installation: If you have not modded VC yourself, you can just drop the text files from the full install archive into your VC directory and overwrite. Backup your original files in case you want to remove the mod later. If you tweak VC yourself and want to preserve your own tweak choices (instead of using the included ones from the 2.0 changelog), use the module installation optional file, or use winmerge on the full install text documents.
Always just install the latest version--all updates are full working releases, not patches.
8.0 alternate full-install versions available to:
1) Restore vanilla VC 2x as fast as realistic travel speeds
2) Slow down renown gain to lengthen the early and middle game
8.0 optional add-ons available to:
1) Restore vanilla VC upgrade trees (mostly)
2) Restore vanilla VC village names (If you don't like Philippe at Bay's mod)
3) Speed up timescale on world map (sort of like an automatic quick time)
4) Make 8.0 compatible with ha3481's excellent Dark Age Graphic Modpack Lite version
5) Compatible Module files for if you wish to use Kalarhan's amazing VC Tweaks Tool to do some modding yourself
Difficulty settings: I highly recommend “Normal” campaign AI difficulty, “Hard” tactical AI, “hardcore” leveling and “hardcore” finance, for a balanced and challenging game. Here's why: In VC, if you want difficulty, you want better parity between player and AI lord army composition. That means better party templates for AI lords (added in 5.0), and hardcore finance setting (vanilla VC bug fixed so it works as intended in 5.0) and hardcore leveling (this setting really helps preserve parity with AI lords). 5.0 also removes all ways in which the game cheated for the player on Normal Campaign AI, and rebalances most relevant mechanics under Normal to the old Hard Campaign AI (for example, tax inefficiency). You can use Hard Campaign AI if you like, no problems will arise, but I consider the rebalanced normal campaign AI to be the most balanced and immersive experience. If you do choose Hard campaign AI, you will have: faster replenishment of defeated AI lords and weaker player kingdom vassal lords.
Changelog 8.0 (as always, save compatible--full release version, no need to install prior versions first):
Incorporated Philippe at Bay's Dark Age Village Name Mod. If you prefer original village names, optional download available.
Expect to see large differences in AI speed on water between Norse and non-norse lords, as navigation skill differences are now large. Laithland, Frisian, and Northymbrian lords now as good as their counterparts in denmark and Norway.
Laithland now has a better chance of holding on to its territory, with better personalities for itslords (heavy martial presence, given they picked up and went over there). More importantly lords have set fiefs carefully chosen for less travel time to recruit, more time to follow marshall (their journeys didnot patrol their own kingdom, so they were dead time). Heavy presence around dubh lin to protect it. Still in a bad situation with their far flung empire, but somewhat better.
Renamed Hubbi Ragnarson to the more common Ubba Ragnarson spelling. And Ubba is even more fearsome--fighting Ubba is the greatest 1v1 offered. Heed Ravn's warning.
Low-tier enemies will be somewhat less likely to reenact Thermopylae, as routing is now slightly more likely: applied former anti human side penalties to all, disabled 1% coward chance, increased threshold for cancelling retreat, removed morale bonus for defenders, decreased base courage, increased rate of increase of courage with level
Diplomacy code for slowing down injured horses added, balancing the strength of solo player cavalry. See this post and the follow-up questions for a full discussion: Forums.taleworlds.com
AI Lords now only court within their own faction (no more Briton lords in long distance relationships with Danish girls)
Lots of lord stat and skill adjustments, as well as WP. Now most every lord is a little bit different. Less distinction between kings and lords in ability, but much more distinction between lords, often based on demonstrated abilities in history (Harald Tangle/Fairhair, for example, is tougher due to his childhood, and a brilliant leader).
Ketill promoted to Jarl
special tournament fighters strengthened
dwyei companion skills reworked to fit tracker background
Renamed one of the two Bacseg named lords
Reworked arena weapons, including adding 1 1/2 handed axes, and no more staffs with shields
Added some fief assignments to keep fathers above sons in some instances in the hierarchy of castle to village
Added Ivarsson's in laithland's father relationship to Ivar the Boneless in northymbria (had slipped through when 6.0 added relationships)
changed some set personalities
Some minor adjustments to troop equipment and stats. Norse bodyguards now have a small chance of getting the 2handed dane axe (along with their shields, they seem to switch weapons intelligently enough)
A few more personalities set
dane axe changed to 18 str requirement
Reworked air friction ratings:
Vanilla VC: arrows .006, bullets .002
Balance Mod: arrows .005, bullets .004
slight tweaks to difficulty levels
From diplomacy, the following taken
- fixed a warband bug in gold rewards for leveling up troops quest
- lowered cooldown for quest to capture lord
- added check to ensure lords switching factions don't get stuck inactive
- Horse slows with damage (discussed above)
Changed the cutoff for being allowed to buy peace from -10 to -50, so you can now buy peace even if you have committed several offenses against the nation. However, it is VERY expensive to buy peace at the newly enabled lower relations (we can make it cost less later if needed, at any rate, this should only increase options for the player).
Made wealth loss to lord owning a raided village more severe:
Vanilla VC: 20% of lost wealth
Warband: 100% of lost wealth
Balance Mod: 50% of lost wealth
Otherwise raiding was often being a net positive to total wealth (the raiding lord gets 1000, the raided lord only loses 200...) I agree it shouldn't be 100%, after all the village does lose prosperity to reflect things taken from the villagers, but 20% was too low.
Bebenburgh's christian ruler's wife and daughter are made christian (vanilla VC had them as pagan)
Norway's fiefs assigned to better reflect reality of it not being a unified kingdom at this point (so lords don't share fiefs across regions)
More AI lords now carry swords instead of langseaxes. Their soldiers could afford swords, so why can't they as well.
Saxon, Angle, and Briton horsemen guranteed helmets
Companions WP modified according to starting level and skills. Now warriors with 9powerstrike won't have 100 WP (let me know if I missed someone). For simplicity I used a standard set of possible WPs, one for skirmishers, one for warriors, one for untrained (left those alone, like brunhild, asbjorn, beda, ones like that), then modified up a bit depending on things like powerstrike and level.
removed more hats from ladies
Briton bodyguards are increased in strength. The rest of the Briton tree is mostly subpar (though somewhat buffed in prior versions of Balance Mod),but if they promote all the way to top swordsmen at least there is the possibility of some top elites for Briton King Arthur revival playthrough.
Saddless horse versions now take a -5 hit to manuverability (saddless ponies -4). Slight speed increases (+1) and riding skill requirement (+2 horses +1 ponies). Realism, and helping to bring the overpowered Pict troop tree down a tiny bit. Pict noble heavy cavalry unaffected, they use saddles. Saddless horses now slightly cheaper, reflecting this as well as a presumed greater supply vs demand in Pict lands where sold
Horse and pony prices adjusted to be sensible given troop upgrade alternatives and economics of game. Previously they were far inflated, perhaps intended as a money sink or to encourage the player not to use them, but we are balancing them in better ways and a couple thousand extra is not going to delay a player (one more tournament victory, part of one more trading run). Besides, the economy as a whole is more sensible and balanced now, and money sinks like this aren't needed anymore (especially when it doesn't sink much money anyway, and breaks immersion when villages have horses in their scenes and basic units upgrade to using them).
AI lords now use horses rather than ponies (as they are available for sale in every town anyway, the player always towering over them isn't as much fun, and many of them commanded troops riding on horses). Some other minor changes to AI lord stats and equipment.
Debauched switched for Pitiless/selfrightous as the dominant personality trait in VC (seems to reflect the times better, self-serving independent ruthless lords, isntead of sadistic ones)
Idle soldiers no longer get loot shares from raiding bandit lairs--it is entirely split between player and the 6soldiers accompanying him.
Changelog 7.1 (as always, save compatible--full release version, no need to install prior versions first):
Norse Standard Bearer renamed to Norse Axe Warrior
Troll Axe renamed to Dane Axe
Norse Huscarls replace old norse standard bearer/new norse axe warrior as source of leadership bonus. For pagan players, these elite household guards bring greater prestige, and having them function in this role allows the pagan player a slightly higher proportion of combat troops, in asymmetric balance with the various ways a pagan player has more difficulty (less effective conversion, religious recruiting penalties in most towns, less access to cross-faction troops, etc)
Camp menu updated to reflect change, now says "Standard Bearer or Huskarl" and counts the bodyguards (NOTE: this one cosmetic menu change is not present in the alternate "restore vanilla 2x as fast as realistic speeds" version)
Armor performance against piecing/blunt/cutting changed to native Warband values. This will make spears perform substantially better against armor, and swords perform slightly worse.
Soldier xp for kills changed from VC 2.0x to Warband 3.0x. This will make promotions from actual combat somewhat faster, making fighting battles more important than simply using Companion trainer skills and the refuge training system. This balances well with some of the recruiting changes in prior versions, that made elite recruits harder to get directly from recruiting. Now getting elite troops will place more emphasis on combat, less emphasis on getting them for free by letting time pass.
Realistic speed versions (default download and alternate slower renown download) ONLY: Adjusted spotting range to new realistic world map scale (like speeds, now 50% of original, to reflect the scale of the Viking Conquest map compared to real world Britain)
Horses in Briton/Pict tournaments now use both normal colors of horses (instead of all being the same color of a weaker horse). Saddless versions are used.
Increased prevalence of horses in player faction tournaments to 20%
Made 2 and 1.5 handed weapons more competitive. All 2 and 1.5 handed axes given +3 slashing damage. All 2 and 1.5 handed swords given +3 damage to both slashes and stabs
Changelog 7.0 (as always, save compatible--full release version, no need to install prior versions first):
refined fix for vanilla Warband glitch that sometimes made low level troop gear fill up the loot buffer and crowd out better items, unless the player killed enemies in an unlikely order (now Balance Mod sorts killed enemies by descending level prior to looting, ensuring player always gets the loot they deserve no matter what order they kill the enemies. Earlier Balance Mod versions used caps for low level troop loot as a workaround.) See complete details here: Reddit.com
Removed the crazy high sale prices for equipment in refuge/bandit camps (now they pay reasonable amounts). The prior prices effectively broke the economy for anyone who sold heavily in bandit camps.
Companions now slightly easier to keep in party (grievances go down faster)
Repurposed Norse standard bearer into 2 handed Dane axe (using troll axe as it fits well) wielding troops. Norse tree could use additional unit variety given the enhanced effect of religion on recruiting. Name staying same for now to avoid having to test saved game compatibility issues (haven't tried to see if it would actually create problems to change name, just for now playing it safe making 100% sure it will work fine with current saves), so for now they serve both roles, presumably carrying the standard outside of combat (they still have the trophies for looting purposes). This gives an option for players who want some dane axe troops, even if a bit early historically, and varies up the troop types a bit. Changed upgrade paths around. Gave helmets. All changes fully save compatible (no troop stats modified to preserve save game compatibility, the standard carriers already had good 2 handed skill, that's largely why they were picked).
troll axe removed stabbing animation (now swing only), reduced cost
Increased berserkers and repurposed standard bearer/dane axe wielders in pure norse recruiting templates (danish, Norwegian).
Increased discount for goods at production centers (timber camps, stone quarries, salt mines)
Increased most quest alloted times by 2x (some by 1.5x or other values). Earlier quest timers were fine even for the new realistic travel speeds in almost all cases, but good deliveries could be too tight on time with the flat 7 days regardless of distance, so to avoid any issues easiest to just double almost all the times. Haven't changed the conversation dialogue descriptions to match the new days yet.
Increased gold rewards dramatically (4x) for caravan and cattle escort quests. Increased gold rewards for some delivery quests by around 2x. These paid far too little previously.
Rearranged foot armor assignment (giving top tier spear units from saxons, angles, frisians, and britons better boots, as opposed to vanilla VC where they are downgrading leg armor by going from boots to shoes when upgraded Tier IV ---> V). Also improved Old Captain and Frankish horsemen boot selection
Increased price of leather gloves (partly to reflect value of leather and distribution on non elite units, but also to reduce their spam into loot, since low value items loot so much more frequently)
Rearranged some color schemes of footwear assignment
Lowered leg armor on all footwear to better reflect unprotected legs (both matching what is sensible given the items and the historical reality of less leg protection in the time).
Adjusted bandit spawn, lair respawn, and book reading times
Implemented DeSoto's suggestion to remove throwing weapons from tournaments
Switched out the "practice lance" (worse version of the tournament spear) with the better version, and made 1/2handed axe a bit more common.
Slight difficulty level tweaks (hard difficulty no longer gets reduced tariffs, normal gets same AI target evaluation treatment as hard)
Gloves no longer can be improved in quality. Since the AI didn't get the benefit, it was too cheap easy one-sided armor boost for player and companions to just harden gloves.
Caio changed to pagan to reflect conflict with Beda, as well as provide an additional pagan companion
Some stroyline vanilla vc set personalities not working fixed by making them always occur (it seems the storyline condition wasn't registering when lord personalities were set--Hrodulf Haraldson was supposed to always be cunning in storyline for example, but it wasn't occurring)
a slight slowing of player relative to ai on water restored, easily dwarfed by likely player advantages in navigation, ship type, or sailor unit mechanics
Rebellion changes: No cap to charisma reducing rebellion chance, and relation drop changed from -30 to -5 (should make rebellions from happy lords only 1/6th as frequent or less).
Changes to relations penalty for granting fiefs (primarily to make AI kingdoms more cohesive)--base drop reduced from 2 to 1, drop for bad relations between AI lords only half as high. Before -24 relations already got the max drop, now generally relations drops will be less severe and responsive to truly terrible relations.The player could counter these drops easily enough, by either focussing carefully on the best personality lords, or tediously going around requesting people's input into fief granting decisions (which gives a bonus), but the AI couldn't, and there was a ton of treachery in AI kingdoms late game as a result. This serves mainly to make the AI bad personality lords less often end up in a spiral of treachery, and to close the gap just a bit between personality desirability, since the player is the only one in a position to carefully select. It also allows retaining the day-to-day behavior of vanilla VC bad personality weighted AI lords, when they make strategic decisions or interact with the player, while keeping total treachery and instability to something closer to what the Vanilla warband martial weighted personalities might display.
Finetuned all AI party templates for greater variety and better match to faction background (similar to the 5.0 Balance Mod more elite templates in overall challenge). For example, Northymbria is the principal employer of the new dane axe wielding troops, Frisia has large numbers of hired frankish cavalry mercs, the pure norse factions (danmark and northvegr) have larger numbers of berserkers, etc. Should give more variety when fighting the various factions
Changed tutorial battle axe to better fit new tournament templates (allowed use on horseback, removed thrusts)
Added and removed some upgrade paths
Added special pictish hornmen unit into the pictish upgrade tree, and gave it better javilins while removing knife to reflect tier. Previously it was very hard for the player to obtain this unit.
Adjusted AI lord recruiting speed
Tournaments vary by faction, including horses in Pict/Briton lands and throwing weapons only in certain factions
5.0 Changelog was too massive to post here--I hit the character limit. See the following links
5.0 Changelog Part 1: Forums.taleworlds.com
5.0 Changelog Part 2: Forums.taleworlds.com
Changelog 4.1 (as always, save compatible--full release version, no need to install prior versions first):
Berserker player ability buffed to +10% damage, +30% movement speed (does not speed up attacks), and lasts for entire battle.
If this seems strong, remember that the other traits give:
Leadership, +5% damage to entire player army
Tough, +10% movement speed to entire player army
Strong, -5% damage to entire enemy army
Berserker only affects the player and therefore needs to be much stronger in effect. Berserker should now be a balanced trait against the other choices, and a great trait especially for a player who does not fight mounted, and so will benefit from the movement speed.
AI units do not use the same mechanic as of 4.0, and so are unaffected.
Changelog 4.0 (as always, save compatible--full release version, no need to install prior versions first):
Dialogue option to change lady equipment added back in, after removal in 3.1. The option to change lord equipment is still removed.
Bonus to accuracy from sneaking removed. Crouching shouldn't make you aim a bow better.
Berserk mechanic heavily reworked. Now lasts entire battle. Only for player, +20% bonus movement speed for player, will help for infantry. AI berserking units already have high stats that reflect their berserker power, and this allows removing extra checks from battle..Trait and berserker units should now actually be useful. No more berserker units turning traitors or constantly being tired. See discussion at modthread or reddit for further details on all of this.
Fixed Vanilla VC inconsistent mechanic where martial pagan lords hate low rep players. They now behave the same as pagan upstanding lords--they don't care.
Druid sacrifice now always give an attribute point, no more randomly missing out on a permanent point. I get the idea the developers had, gods being capricious, but attribute points are incredibly rare and valuable in VC, and permanently missing one out of nothing but random chance with no player control is not my preferred style of game design.
Luck reduction from days passed removed entirely
Troll axe strength requirement reduced from 21 to 20. The axe isn't really that good, but is kind of fun, so let the melee player try it out without having to be inefficient in stat distribution.
A couple of bugs that were carried over from the tweaks tool are fixed. First, merchant min and max cash corrected from incorrect tweak tool calculations by restoring vanilla values (this disables the ability to fully use the merchant cash tweak if using the module files, but corrects the numbers for everyone else). Prior to this, even if the user did not enable that tweak, vanilla behavior was still altered. Second bug from tweaks tool fixed: corrected a pict armor incorrectly getting ritual bonuses. That armor is now restored to all units that used it (it was removed temporarily from units in a prior changelog entry, pending locating the source of that bug).
Player no longer gets an unrealistic special bonus to decapitation chance over other bots. Chance overall reduced. It just isn't that easy to chop a head off. Also in game effect the special bonus punished the player with high skills--more deaths, less prisoners.
Lowered religion relation requirement for a quest, to give a player a better chance of seeing (was 50, now 10)
Changelog 3.1 (as always, save compatible--full release version, no need to install prior versions first):
Bowing to popular demand, conversation options for changing lord and lady equipment are removed
EDIT: changing lady equipment dialogue option restored in 4.0, I realized it was only the lord one that people wanted removed.
Changelog 3.0 (as always, save compatible--full release version, no need to install prior versions first):
Tons of EvilSquid bug fixes for Vanilla VC bugs! Feasts now work correctly, surrenders as well, and many others. Thanks to him for fixing so many things, and giving permission to include. See complete list here: Reddit.com
Revolt chance from tax collection quest reverted to native Warband behavior, to fix far too high revolts from VC system
Being a vassal shouldn't block quests any longer (the greater variety is nice, and you can always refuse yourself with the no relation loss tweak
enabled, and the old list was incomplete of what quests should be allowed)
A few quests have their refresh timers shortened:
track down bandits - 30 days to 10 days (annoying enough to track them down, if you want it more frequently, why not)
rescue prisoner - 5 days to 2 days (hard enough to actually find a family member wanting someone rescued given VC's missing family relationships)
Removed some level requirement caps from quests (ie, where above a certain level you wouldn't ever see the quest again).
Removed renown limits on letter delivery. Play postal service for lords if you like.
Lords no longer block player from permission to court lady if not of same faction. Increases player options and roleplaying variety. And I don't
think an absolute bar on such marriages makes sense--there are tons of diplomatic alliance marriages between kingdoms. Religion is already a
bar anyway. If the faction dislikes you though they will use this same "not a vassal" dialogue to say no to you being a suitor anyway.
Changelog 2.0 (as always, save compatible--full release version, no need to install prior versions first):
The big 3 changes:
1) High level unit loot is no longer crowded out of the lootbox by peasant gear, as looting low level units is capped. Kill enemies in any order you like, even if peasants die first you will still get the good loot.
2) "First claim on all loot" option now actually does that, you see all the loot exactly as if you fought solo. Before it just gave 4x standard loot, which made no sense and alternated between magically creating more loot than would have existed solo and giving far less than it should.
3) Bandit party spawns no longer depend on player army strength. This means that Ireland won't have tiny 3 member bands just because 4 weeks ago you left your army in a troop camp in Norway for awhile. The old system rivals Oblivion as a nonsensical leveled world, except at least in Oblivion the leveling generally happened when you met the spawn, and didn't jump backwards and forwards constantly. Bandit spawn settings from camp options and campaign AI setting still influence their size (if providing feedback on bandit strength, please report your settings for those options). Thanks to Reddit user LordIronToe for discussing the leveled world issues with me a week or so back.
And the rest:
4) Ship Captains now count as sailors for the sailing speed bonus. (companions with sailing skills will be added in later version)
5) Tournament rewards are more consistent and reasonable (smaller town relationship boost, but now can increase relationship past 30, more lasting small renown boosts rather than going to +0 by mid game, culture-generic mail armor rather than every town giving Norse armor)
6) Train peasants quest temporarily set to 1 hour per training cycle, balancing with small rewards, lower training cap of 5 in VC, and need to kill bandits yourself. Dialogue statements not updated (so will still report 10 hours or so, but it will only take 1), as this is temporary until the quest can be properly updated to involve training shielded militia units that might actually help against bandits.
7) Some minor loot changes (no more 1/3 loot penalty when party is below 40 men, too binary, and companion loot shares change from 3 to 1, since player has to equip them out of his loot anyway. Mostly relevant in the early game, and counteracts the occasional early game times when the new loot caps might reduce loot a bit)
8) Bandit spawn frequency increases by 50% to adjust for a VC system where spawns are capped earlier when large, and so adapt to the new random spawn sizes from the deleveled world
Given the complexity of this round of changes, tweaks are now incorporated into the mod full install. If you would like to use your own tweaks, look for the optional Module installation download in the nexus files page, and you will find instructions within.
The included tweaks from the tweaks tool are: keep morrigan in party, battle continuation after KO, (EDIT: included in 2.0 modify lord gear from dialogue option removed in 3.1), 0 relation loss if you refuse most quests from lord, no troops stealing from you (ie, ale, jewelry), no marshall levying your troops, bandit lairs visible from twice as far away as normal, 99% ship capture in battle, random captured ship HP, prisoner hire waiting period of 6 hours, disable stat loss from long games, use horse in town scenes.
Thank you to all contributors of past tweaks to VC, and in particular Kalarhan and Kraggrim for their work on the tweaks tool.
Some personal tweaks of my own are also included: edit wife dress/hat from dialogue option (EDIT: as of 3.1, only wife has this option), keep horse in docinga defense and farmland scene, keep your normal equipment when sneaking into towns and castles (instead of pilgrim robes and staff, which seems so much more suspicious than just wearing armor, especially in a Norse town).
If you prefer the much lower default VC ship capture chance, an optional file is included to restore it on the nexus files page. Just download and copy it into your VC folder after installing the main install. Thanks to Reddit user BunnyPoopCereal for conferring on this and other release issues.
As always, fully save compatible with vanilla VC campaigns. Please report any feedback!
Changelog 1.2 (as always, save compatible--full release version, no need to install prior versions first):
1) A pictish normal clothing item that incorrectly gave the ritual skill bonus for naked tattoo armor has been removed from units, pending locating the source of the bug. EDIT: found and fixed the bug in 4.0, it was from the tweaks tool using some incorrect code.
2) Veteran mercs given the standard tier IV spearmen melee item upgrade from the mod's 1.0 changes, as well as the glove chance given to all units with mail armor. Thanks to Reddit User Mathias_Bianchi for convincing me to include them.
Changelog 1.1 (as always, save compatible--full release version, no need to install prior versions first):
Quality wrapping boots that weigh 2.0 now have +1 armor when compared to those that weigh 1.5. Special thanks to Reddit user EricAKAPode for suggesting this.
Changelog, 1.0 (save compatible with vanilla VC saved games):
1) Angle Bodyguards now have the sword selection of Saxon/Norse Bodyguards. Before, they had only the worst swords in their inventory, which makes no sense given the faction balance/stats, where angles are supposed to have better swordsmen than the saxons, and is otherwise unheard of for a max tier faction swordsman unit.
2) Chance of leather gloves added to frankish horsemen, storyline only heavily armored mercs, and any faction unit with mail body armor.
3) Old captains lose the seaxes, gain some spears. Their swords are too short to be spearless while mounted, the AI can't handle the 81 length swords from horseback.
4)Tier V bodyguards/champion swordsmen lose the langseaxes, broadseaxes, and knives, and now all have swords.
5) Hunting knives and plain little seaxes removed from tier III and IV swordsmen line units. They now all have the decent broadseaxes, langseaxes, axes, and such.
6) Angle tier IV swordsmen have their broadseaxes replaced by longseaxes. Tier III angle swordsmen have these, it made little sense to downgrade on advancing tier.
7) Knives and plain little seaxes removed from units provided they have alternative close combat weapons in their inventory, or need the space for missles (if also having a good spear and mounted). A noble with fine mail armor can afford something a little better, at least a broadseax, for goodness sake. And a couple of the skirmisher cavalry now has a better chance to function in that role--the additional missles are much better for them, they didn't need a little seax in case their horse dies AND their spear breaks, at that point it wasn't doing them any good anyway.
Little knives still widely used by tier III spearmen. This change didn't add weapons to units (see below for the few limited related changes that did), it just removed the knife option when they already had better stuff available.
8) Tier IV spearmen get upgraded from plain little seax/hunting knife to basic axes or broadseax. Frisian max tier (tier III) spearmen also received this, as their level and proficincies approaches the tier above them.
This not being the case was partly why Norse Tier IV spearmen were oddly often better than saxons--the saxon tier IV was previously forced to rely on nothing more than a tiny little plain seax. That made little sense for the unit, and threw off faction balance.
9) Several high tier skirmishers get a second quiver of missile weapons, of the variety they previously lacked (both the 12 ammo horsemen javilins and the 8 ammo heavy javilins have good points, with the higher damage on the latter). Since change 7 removed the tiny seax from a few of these if mounted and having a good spear, they now have space for that second quiver, making them better skirmishers, and giving skirmisher cavalry a better chance at viably functioning.
10) Pictish crossbowmen type units give up their javilins and shields, hopefully to get more room for bolts. Seriously, you shouldn't be sending these guys into melee much anyway, their shields were terrible and couldn't be used with the crossbows, their javilins don't compare to their crosssbows...any commander would just order them to carry an extra quiver.
1) club now has +1 damage, giving it some reason for existing alongside the less expensive, longer reach tree branch. They both are terrible of course, but the balance between them previously made little sense.
2) basic low tier swords (swords, 2 types, short swords, 2 types) have +4 slashing damage. They were absurdly underpowered before, and generally inferior to axes, when in the Viking Age swords were immensely valued and treasured family heirlooms.
None of the swords players themselves tend to use are affected--these are only the most common, lowest level swords. As a side effect, this also greatly helps faction balance among units, given their seemingly random assignment of these previously trash swords among units vs the actually viable swords and axes.
Briton swords now also have something of a rival in early game--trade a bit of length vs a bit of damage on cuts and more on stabs. The similar pricing of these swords to the briton sword is now sensible (the difference in thrust damage alone never justified it, as thrust damage isn't as relevant to combat performance)
Irish short swords also given +4 slashing, though they were already great, in the hands of a player who only stabbed, but the AI being what it is a 13 slashing damage rating was inexcusable even given the great stabbing damage. They need to be able to at least disrupt the attack of someone they are hitting if swung. So, they get the +4 slashing as well, up to a whopping 17c now.
3) Two unique swords, draguandil and blynjubtir, have +4 slashing damage. Now, you might actually want to use one of these special swords. Perhaps not, though, as they are still often worse than easily available alternatives, because their length is significantly shorter than alternatives. But at least now special unique swords aren't trash weapons and have a chance at seeing use. Why create unique special swords that are inferior to everything?
The false Ulfberts also get +2 slashing. They are special and rare enough to be a bit better than plain briton swords, especially given their appearance on top tier units.
4) Orm's Lorrica nerfed to be comparable to a bear lorrica. It was an overpowered to the point of being a cheat item before, and only available in storyline--two fatal flaws. If you disagree, you can easily use winmerge to remove this change. Or just copy this line over the relevant portion of the item file to restore vanilla:
itm_orm_byrnie Orm's_Lorica Orm's_Lorica 1 thor_armor 0 553648141 0 20440 167772196 19.000000 10 12 58 28 11 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
It remains an incredible armor even with the nerf to the level of bear lorrica (1 more leg armor, 1 less head, rather than the previous +10 body, +2 leg, and much lighter), which is an amazing and incredibly hard to get item anyway. Indeed, Orm's is much, much easier to get than a bear lorrica, so getting it in the storyline is still a wonderful event.
5) One norse light armor and one norse long cloth armor get a +1 or +2 armor, bringing them equal to saxon and angle equivalents. Now, if the player wishes to go the light and medium armor route, he can choose to dress either in the anglo-saxon or norse styles with no loss of performance.
6) Gloves are now +2 armor rather than +6. It was far too high at +6, little gloves could be made hardened and obtained for around 150 gold that dwarfed the contribution of much more expensive armor, it generally acted only to favor the player (since only they and companions would be wearing gloves mostly, as many troops lacked them most of the time), and created a nonsensical differentiation among troops (ie, your veteran warrior can afford expensive mail armor, but not spend a trifling amount on gloves that would hugely increase their armor?).
7) A saxon light armor changed from +19 leg to +10 leg. This was an obvious typo by the VC devs, no light armor goes that high, and the fix brings it to be equivalent to other armors of which it is graphically identical but with a color change.
8) A pictish light armor has it's head armor rating reduced to 0 from +8. Another clear error--it lacked a hood or any basis for head armor.
Credit to tweaks and the use of the VC Tweaks Tool from the taleworlds forums, and its creators Kalarhan and Kraggrim, who generously grant permission for use of their tool in other mods. Find their wonderful VC Tweaks Tool here: Forums.taleworlds.com
Credit to EvilSquid for all his great bugfixes, included in Balance Mod with permission, permission granted via both email and personal message at Taleworlds forums.
Credit to Philippe at Bay for his wonderful Dark Age Village Name mod, permission to include in Balance Mod granted here: Steamcommunity.com
Credit to Diplomacy mod and Taleworlds users Waihti and zParsifal, for several incorporated changes, including horse slowing with damage. Diplomacy mod page and use permission: Forums.taleworlds.com
Special thanks to the following people whose suggestions and discussions have improved this mod:
Reddit user EricAKAPode, who suggested improvements to the weight/armor distribution of quality wrapping boots
Reddit user Qidder, who holds an excellent Faction Units Highlights discussion series at reddit
Reddit user Mathias_Bianchi, who convinced me to include veteran mercs in the glove and melee upgrades applied to faction units
Reddit user BunnyPoopCereal, who offered advice on several 2.0 release issues
Reddit user LordIronToe, who helped clarify bandit spawn and world leveling issues through past discussions
All contributors of past tweaks to VC, and in particular Kalarhan and Kraggrim for their work on the tweaks tool
Taleworlds user Entaro and Reddit user Glorious_Jo for requesting changes to the tax collection quest
Reddit user Azura13e for discussions contributing to warnings on lord inventory option and bandit setting
Reddit user Joaquin823 for finishing the job of convincing me to remove lord inventory option
EvilSquid bug fixes are included as of 3.0. Thanks EvilSquid for granting permission!
Reddit users Syn7axError, EricAKAPode, and everyone else who contributed to the berserker changes discussion!
Steam users Windrider and Pode for consultation on second outfit vanilla VC bug
Steam user Adabr Brcol for bringing my attention to the vanilla VC bug with Odin's cave and high athletics
Taleworlds user Zeqe for requesting village defense changes
Talewords and Reddit user Maluxorath for reporting the vanilla VC bug about hardcore finance and suggesting giving Norse Bodyguards guaranteed helmets
Reddit user EricAKAPode for frequent consultations on a range of topics, including throwing weapons
Taleworlds user Cokjan, Reddit user Peppiping, and Steam user Windrider for discusion on archer issues.
Steam user Tuidjy for lending his expertise as both a real-world and in-game archer to the bow rebalance
Taleworlds user EvilSquid for Vikingr upgrading to danish and norwegion elites
Taleworlds users Scar1981 and EvilSquid for ideas for proposing upgrade path for Svear Warriors
Reddit user EricAKAPode for suggesting upgrade defenders for peasant trading parties
Reddit user D_Pear and BallioLeno for discussions regarding siege accuracy mechanics
Reddit user Lynxbuckler for suggesting several missing family relationships
Reddit user Joaquin823 for suggesting rebellion changes in optional add-on
Taleworlds user Kalarhan for suggesting changes to timescale in optional add-on
Reddit user Joaquin823 for suggesting changes to rebellions
Taleworlds user Rubik for making his Custom Commander code available for all to reference
Talewords user DeSoto for suggesting changes to tournaments
Reddit user Syn7axError for suggesting lowering leg armor strength (way back in the 1.0 release thread)
Nexus user Karth Galin for suggesting changes to quest timers
Reddit user D0UB1EA for also suggesting quest timing issue
Nexus user Karth Galin for suggesting many changes to 8.0 including making bandit lair loot not include idle soldiers and consulting on a wide variety of issues, including buffs to laithland and lord placement
Reddit user ObeseMcDese for discussions on morale system
Taleworlds user Zakarum for discussions regarding late-game lord defections and personality
Steam user Tuidjy for discussions on horse changes and morale
Steam user Philippe_at_Bay for giving permission to include his excellent Dark Age Village Name mod
Zakarum for noting there were two lords named Bacseg and suggesting a name change
Diplomacy mod (http://forums.taleworlds.com/index.php/topic,116424.0.html) and Taleworlds users Waihti and zParsifal, for several incorporated changes, including horse slowing with damage.