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Fishman786

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Download HERE for Better Mountains II v3

Download HERE for Better Mountains II v1 (for pre-Charlemagne patches)

Current supported patches:

All patches from the most recent [2.6.3] to Rajas of India [2.1.1]


This mod alters CKII's topology file to reduce the overall height of the land and make the mountains more aesthetically-pleasing. In the base game the mountains are based on an actual Digital Elevation Model (DEM) and although the land height is realistic, it doesn't look nice. The mountain ranges appear as big, sort of ugly humps and many provinces are difficult to see due to strange elevation quirks (eg. the north coast of Spain is obscured by Cantarbia).

In the mod I have redrawn by hand the entire topology.bmp file to make most of the land flat or nearly flat. In the foothills the land rises slightly, and then gives way to dramatic snowy mountains which are somewhat shorter than the big humpy mountains of vanilla CKII. Crucially, these mountains are also jagged and 'high-res', turning the rolling hills of vanilla into forbidding and rugged landscapes. Many of the mountains are incised with deep valleys and canyons, pockets of flat land surrounded by high slopes. These are quite prominent in the Atlas mountains and in Iran.

This mod DOES NOT attempt to move the mountains or add new ones in more realistic places. The new topology.bmp file is based on the existing terrain.bmp file (the land height and the amount of snow/grass/rock are governed by different files). So if you notice that a mountain range is missing in X province or there's too much snow in Y, that problem's on the base game's end, not mine.

The effect is rather difficult to see in screenshots, because it's 3D of course. I've created a diagram to explain...
nps68i.png



COMPATIBILITY:
This mod changes the following files:
  • topology.bmp
  • world_normal_height.bmp

This means that the mod does not affect gameplay at all, and should be compatible with the vast majority of mods that do not change any files in the /map/ folder. In addition, this mod is included in Painterly CK2 v3 and is definitely compatible with all other mods of mine.


CK2 PATCHES:
This mod was designed for CK2 with the Charlemagne patch (version 2.2) and should be compatible with any future patch as long as the map topology isn't changed dramatically (I hope they don't do Crusader Mings!).
Owing to the new snow gimmick, I've had to make a slight alteration the mod. None of the terrain is changed, but the normal map is more intense and steeper. If you don't like the change, you can still download the old version.


Goats not included in this mod either.

Version History:
Code:
v3 (29/09/16)
- Re-uploaded for the sake of consistency, not sure whether there are any changes

v2 (21/10/14)
- Updated for Charlemagne

v1 (26/09/14)
- Initial release
 
Last edited:

Fishman786

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Also, Painterly CK2 has been updated for Rajas of India, and now includes Better Mountains II. But It's not been released yet.
 

Fishman786

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BETTER MOUNTAINS II v2 now released for CK2 version 2.2 and above. Download here.
No point in downloading this now, use v3 instead.

Changes:
New world_normal_height_map.bmp


Explanation: after studying how the snow works, I discovered that the world normal map is used to help determine the thickness of accumulated snow. In parts of the map where world_normal_height_map.bmp is steep, the snow cover is thin, and in areas where it's flat the snow cover is thick. This means that the slopes of mountains are mostly black rock, whilst the peaks and the adjacent plains are white. In the previous version of Better Mountains, the normal map wasn't steep enough to create these bare slopes, and a lot of the mountains just ended up as thick white expanses. The new version has an entirely new normal map, which fixes this issue.
 
Last edited:

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Before the mountainous regions indeed looked like "ugly humps" to me, not like land with naturally formed mountains. Your "stylistic" approach feels much more authentic. Very nice work. Thanks for sharing.
 

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I always felt something is wrong with the map but couldn't really put my finger on it. This mod really shows how ugly the vanilla map is - excellent job good sir!
btw: the checksum is altered unfortunately
 

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Hi.

I did indeed once have screenshots for the previous mod, but they really don't do any justice, you can't see the difference. The mountain terrain is 3D and you really need to look in the game to see how well it works.

That said, I'm not sure about where my progress with this was. I don't have Photoshop any more so I haven't been working on this lately. Probably it will work, but there are some issues with the Painterly mod though I think.
 

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Any way to get this to work without altering the checksum?
 

Fishman786

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Any way to get this to work without altering the checksum?
Don't think so, in fact I'm surprised it does alter the checksum. It only changes two files, both of which only have visual effects on the game.

I haven't been working on this lately due to not having access to Photoshop any more. There haven't been any major changes to terrain for a while so it should work, but I can't remember where I left the snow issue. I know that the latest version of Painterly CK2 (which includes Better Mountains II) works.
 

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Yeah strange about the checksum change. I'm using it in combination with Lindbrooks Texture Map (vanilla) version and the snow seems to look ok to me.
 

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New (?) version available:

http://www.mediafire.com/file/91dlhr3mkm1qrdk/BMIIv3.7z

I've kind of lost track of the changes to this mod since mainly I use the version included in PCK2, but for the sake of compatibility I've uploaded a new version which definitely, 100% works with version 2.6.x and probably all versions before that back to RoI. This is now the current version of BMII. Not entirely sure whether there's anything different between this and v2, but there we go...