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DevDiary 31 - First Post-Release Improvements


THQN Brad
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  • THQ Nordic

Hello friends and welcome to the first post-release DevDiary for “Knights of Honor II: Sovereign”! We hope all of you are enjoying your campaigns, as much as we are watching you play and explore the game for the first time!

The road to Knights of Honor II’s release has been long, but that doesn’t mean it’s over, and in this diary, we’ll hopefully shed some light on the immediate future of the game as we go forward.

For starters, we managed to address some of your feedback and already made certain tweaks to the game, which some of you may have noticed as part of the update which was rolled-out last Friday. Its main focus was to offer more variety to different difficulty levels when it comes to the game’s diplomacy and warfare, as we noticed that some of you had a tough time in the early parts of the game. These few key changes should hopefully shape the gameplay to be more approachable on easier difficulties, and then more challenging on harder ones, especially when player led empires grow big and with numerous vassals.

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We also removed the gold cost for hiring mercenary troops, which belonged to your kingdom recently, as many players felt that to be too punishing. On the military front, AI army leaders should also no longer charge in to battle without support, which was an evident issue when their side’s estimations were really high. The update also tackled some immediate issues such as game crashes, low performance in tactical battles and various problems related to changing the game’s resolution. For a full look, check out the patch notes here.
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This isn’t our only patch we’ve been able to get out, either. Earlier today, we also released a small patch which addresses some military related issues – we are planning to reduce the strength of Varangian Guards and all crossbowmen a bit and boost longbowmen and templar knights. Most importantly, at the moment the desert heavy archers are completely broken (they have the wrong attack values) and we are going to fix that by severe decreasing them to the correct values that were intended..

Also, to reduce the exploity tactic of quickly taking control of the enemy capture points, we are increasing drastically the time needed for capturing them when many enemy squads are alive. The AI already pays attention and tries to counter these maneuvers and there is a dependency between time needed and enemy squads alive, but with the current values it seems it was still too easy to achieve for some players. We are making this more difficult to restore that part of the  challenge Tactical battles should provide.

As we are constantly reading your feedback and assessing it, we will continue to tweak and improve the game. With that being said, a bigger update with many more fixes and improvements (that still require further testing and localization) is currently under preparation and hopefully we will manage to complete it before the holidays. It will address many usability issue and bugs and also include additional improvements of AI behavior in battles like better protection of the army leaders on lower difficulties – we made the AI intentionally a bit suboptimal in its decisions, especially on easy and normal difficulties, but the balance here is not quite hitting the mark, so we’ll be increasing the difficulty.

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There’s also a plethora of quality-of-life additions that we’ve planned to introduce in the upcoming months, ranging from better explanations for certain mechanics to improved visual feedback for various elements of the game.

One topic we’re investigating is additional zoom-out levels, as well as the possibility of directly transitioning from world view to political view depending on the zoom level. We know this is a highly requested area of improvement, and we’ve been doing analysis of both technical impact on performance as well as feasibility from an implementation perspective. No promises, but we’re actively exploring what improvements we can make here.

If you want to hear more or share your opinion directly with us live, be sure to join us in our DevStream on the 15th of December @ 4 PM GMT / 11 AM EST  on the THQ Nordic channel: http://twitch.tv/thqnordic, where we will discuss these changes in further detail, talk about some future plans and gladly answer your questions about Knights of Honor II.
 


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Two suggestions.
Hello everyone, I would like to suggest that when a general dies his soldiers do not disappear but disperse among the different cities of the player, unless the general dies in foreign territory. On the other hand, I recommend that the battles have the graphics that you showed in the first trailer and that can still be seen in the same trailer on Steam or your official website. Greetings.

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We'll be happy to see you, guys! Here's my question - how is the mood around BSG and THQN? We all know that you are very busy, but are you happy, did you achieve your goals, are you looking forward with hope or with fear?

It was a great party last time, sorry for leaving early! I'm glad you're still with us in these cool devstreams and diaries! 🙂 

 

Best Regards to All!

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First of all thank you for your efforts. After some "emotional struggle" at the beginning i have really started to love KOH II and think it´s definitely a worthy successor to KOH. Knowing that it will improve even more over time (which i hope) makes it even better 🙂

However i would really like to know if you intend or at least think about to implement (optional) real time battles in multiplayer for i am playing with a friend at the moment and we would really appreciate the option to fight battles alongside or against each other. I´m sure it´d be an enriching new dimension for multiplayer matches with friends.

Keep up the good work! 🙂

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The problem with Varangian Guard are not their high stats(they are suppose to be ELITE Guard unit formed from high ranking AngloSaxons, Scandis and Rus warriors) but the fact that they are dirt cheap(they cost less than a mercenary Light Swordsman) and cost ZERO LEVY which make them spammable. 

The right solution(within current game limits) would be increasing their recruitment cost(a lot - and price them similar to troops hired from mercenary camps) and maybe add gold upkeep for them(to make them less spammable).

Cheers

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I really love the things you've done and the balance we currently see in the royal court, but I think diplomats need some of their more impactful actions (e.g. spouse search, rebel/loyalist aid) appear slightly more frequently. Is there a way to make that happen?

Pacts, peace talks, and keeping good relations just become meaningless later in the game—when you can just pay or threaten your way into claiming land or gaining other great powers' favors. Compared to the merchants' infinite pool of gold, the spies' unmatched options for support, and the clerics' adaptability (AND pagan warrior shamans), diplomats just fail to keep their contributions relevant throughout the game.

It's not like I'm asking for these more frequent actions to be failproof, but to make a small change that would merit keeping them in your court rather than completely replacing them with something more useful (i.e. any other class) in the late game is good enough.

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