DevDiary 31 - First Post-Release Improvements
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.
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.
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.
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.