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KOH2 my thoughts on the changes compared to the first game


Xdarious
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First off I do enjoy this game and have played it as much as possible during my free time so far but as someone who spend quite a lot of time playing the old one (still have the disc somewhere :D) there are some noticeable changes that were made that i very much dislike/have an issue. For now i decided to compile them and write them down here in this post to see for the future whether stuff changes or not as well as to get some opinions on these changes from other people. Thanks for reading and giving me your time 

1. Building slots - 4 building slots for every province and 4 more that you can unlock? why? what was wrong with  the old system where you actually build what you need in said province i remember the variety of buildings was so much more interesting than in this game, like for example a necessary building was the watchtower (or whatever it was called) that alerted you if someone else entered the province now it automatically notifies you? why? 

2. Castles and walls - why is every castle walled and with archer towers? what happened to having to build a pallisade and then upgrading that to a stone wall which would unlock ballista towers cauldrons etc. - i miss my catapults on walls oil gates, ballista towers 😞 

3. Siege battles - I get that i have to wait for a while to assault the castle if i dont have any siege machines, but like if i have a catapult/trebuchet hell even the ram why do I still have to wait so long before i can start the siege why not give me the option of just storming the castle. Now every time i wanna take a castle it is such a long process and gives the enemy so much time to send reinforcements even though i have the equipment and manpower to storm the castle straight away. 

4. Marshalls/clerics/diplomats/merchants/spies - with the new addition of the diplomats i would expect  the number of slots to increase to accomodate for some being taken by the diplomat but instead the number is more limited? Why? it is so much more punishing in the late game to be forced to exile all the other classes so you can wield 9 marshalls and actually wage war/quell rebellions 

5. Battles - Yes leaders are important but whose bloody idea was it to make it so the battle IMMEDIATELLY ends if the leader dies - what was wrong with the old system where the side with no leader or a dead one gets like a massive morale debuff (50-75%) but keep fighting. In this game with the AI as it is all battles are way too easy - AI charges their generals YOLO into you > build army of mostly archers and spearmen to hold the line > snipe general > easy win almost every land battle

6. Governors - ok 0.1 is a little bit too brutal no? Like what even is the point of expanding past the 9 cities other than to roleplay and conquer the whole world for the lolz. Of course it has to be reduced to prevent snowball but with the current numbers it completely breaks the point of building up an empire. 

7. Diplomacy - why cant i offer and demand something at the same time? in the old one i believe I could have offered a trade offer and demanded some payment for it. Or i could offer peace to the last enemy and demand vassalship in return. Now i can only wait for the enemy to offer me peace, decline and hope they offer vassalship? What was wrong with making it like a list system/ like total war where you can balance the offer. 

8. No custom battles? I remember in the old game when i didnt feel like playing a campaign i could just randomize an army and fight the AI in either land battle or siege battle. Why is that gone? 

9. In-battle interface - its great that you are showing me morale and the individual stats of each unit but why did you remove the stamina bar that was present in the first game. Now i have no idea how tired my troops are and just have to guess whether they are fresh and can charge or not, also why is the double click = charge/run system gone and now everytime i tell my troops to go somewhere i have to manually press R and even then they run for like a bit and then they stop without telling me. 

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I kinda disagree with a lot here after playing a bunch of hours, but should specifically call out point 5.  In KOH1, if your opponent started a battle with a general, and you sniped the general, you won the battle.  With the bad AI, it was even worse, you could have their army chase your general to one corner, and surround their general with peasants and win the battle that way.

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15 minutes ago, Lisotte said:

I kinda disagree with a lot here after playing a bunch of hours, but should specifically call out point 5.  In KOH1, if your opponent started a battle with a general, and you sniped the general, you won the battle.  With the bad AI, it was even worse, you could have their army chase your general to one corner, and surround their general with peasants and win the battle that way.

Huh my bad I guess i havent played the old one in a while so dont remember that part too well, but could say what specificly you dont agree with since i wanna get other opinions and see it from another perspective just seeing that you disagree with a lot doesnt help that much in that aspect 

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I'll try and give a quick rundown on the points.  Basically I rarely have time for most things....  In general, most of your criticisms are things I also didn't like for like the first 5 hours, then found that the changes they added, added a lot of depth to the game.

1.  I like the new building system.  The old system had just barely enough slots, but each province seemed pretty much self-reliant.  The new system where you build up your trade goods, has trade good dependencies that spread throughout the empire.  Not to mention cathedrals are actually achievable, instead of being available in only a handful of provinces.

2.  Towns being walled right off the bat actually make the pace of a war make sense.  Gone are your crazy early game blitzkriegs with peasants just assaulting a relatively undefended village.  Now you need to siege them, which is more realistic.  I do agree it was cool specializing the defenses for your provinces in KOH1.  But I rarely did since building slots were so limited.

3.  Partly answered by 2, but also it would really suck if enemies can attack and immediately storm your province, take it over and you need to retake it.  In actual history, siege battles lasting potentially a long time were super common.  It feels more like IRL (also more like Paradox games) to have to siege down settlements.  With siege equipment, it takes time to wear down their battlements.  I appreciate when I get a town sieged, I can get reinforcements from a distance away, which lead to some fun battles.  Like sieging with 1 army, then 2 reinforce the enemy, now I'm 1v3 on 3 sides with the two armies and the garrison attacking.

4.  Honestly, I have never understood the "you need 9 marshals!" argument for KOH1 or KOH2.  Maybe if you love to paint the entire map, but that's never been how I play.  Even with a very large empire, like a fullsize Ottoman Empire, 3-4 marshals are enough for me to make things work.  Thanks to sieges lasting a bit longer, and garrisons, you can make do with less.  Don't forget your other knights, your merchants etc. can also lead armies in a pinch which seems more efficient than fielding 9 armies.

5.  Partly answered before.  AI is a bit smarter with their general than KOH1 - they get exposed sometimes, but in KOH1 it was a joke to lure them out, surround them with peasants and immediately win.  Not to mention they had a smaller general squad size.  In KOH2 you can charge the enemy with your general and they will last a while.  So I often just kill their army first, which makes more sense.

6.  Specialization of provinces, and governors, adds depth as if every province was able to be developed with governors, you'd just upgrade them all with no thought.  Here you need to pick your specialized provinces, and that list will change as you expand your empire.  There's plenty of reasons to keep expanding though.  You need to expand further for more trade goods for your kingdom advantages.  You may want an empire shaped in a reasonable way.  You want to conquer the holy site for your religion.  Or you are trying to unite Russia, so you want to conquer everything in Russia.

7.  You totally can offer peace and demand vassalization of your opponent in war.  I do it all the time.  You just say offer peace and demand tribute.  Unless you offer white peace, someone needs to get something to end the war.  Also I think you misremember KOH1 - if you want a trade route, you can just offer a trade route, and that's that.  Demanding gold would be a separate action, and can't connect that to the trade deal.  I played most of a KOH1 campaign two days ago so it's fresh in my mind 😉

8.  Dunno about quick battles, I never did them in KOH1 or wanted to in KOH2, but if they totally have no option for it in KOH2 that is indeed a downgrade.  I wouldn't be surprised if it's in some menu somewhere.  Or maybe you can start a multiplayer battle and select AI opponents.  I haven't looked at it myself since it's not what I'm in to so you may have a point here.

9.  Double right click is charge, I haven't tried to run that way so unsure on that.  I haven't paid too much attention to the unit cards or the battle UI, I could ask on the discord and get back to you.  I'd be surprised if there's no stamina anywhere.  I swear I remember seeing some number or bar go down when running - I do charge with double right click, and run by hitting a destination, then hitting R usually.  I like to hold down the right mouse button and drag to set the location and depth of my units, so it makes more sense to hit R after that.  And that holding down thing is a BIG upgrade over KOH1 where it was super finicky to make them face a specific way in a specific depth.  I also tend to fight defensively since spears and archers are OP so I mostly only run to charge a few feet.

 

In the end most of the things I disliked about the game initially, I found out that I was wrong about, or found out new info to mitigate them, after playing longer, getting more experience, coaching from viewers and just learning all the new, in-depth systems.  I also played like 4 hours of a Normandy KOH1 campaign recently, in 4 hours I conquered and formed England, got all trade goods, became 2nd strongest empire (after Byzantium which is super strong in that start) and pretty much was more than halfway to winning the game.  KOH2 has a more "grand" pace, in 4 hours I'm just picking up speed, building my empire, not even getting all the trade goods yet.  I encourage playing more, I got totally hooked after like 10-15 hours.  And after playing some KOH1, it really feels like KOH2 is the deeper, more fulfilling game.  I love KOH1 for nostalgia, but KOH2 will keep me here.

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I agree with points #4, #6 and #7 the most. 

 

On #4, I don't necessarily think it's a must to have more than 9 slots to manage your empire, but it would both improve quality of life and give more gameplay depth. Also, having to exile knights is especially annoying -- as in not a "game enhancing" feature.

 

On #6, a 90% debuff is just completely off.

  • Starting point should be higher
  • A mechanism whereby specialized buildings improve town output would be an option
  • Another option would be to hire a "Governor" with no special bonuses (unlike knights) but who can manage the town in a vanilla way
  • Some traditions should improve these scores, for example something around "centralization of power/authority" 

 

On #7, the audience trade options are a bit limited at the moment. The negotiation part of the game needs more depth, if only with counter offers as an example and priority.

 

Edited by HLBB
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#7 is something I really hope will be worked on. To add to that, the AI is currently able to make counter-offers and it just would make sense for the player to be able to do the same. I realize that this will likely require a massive expansion of the AI logic backend since the AI would now have to be able to evaluate counter-offers, but I feel like it's kind of necessary to have for diplomacy to be a bit more lively and less frustrating.

Edited by monsterfurby
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