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  1. 8 points
    Hello friends, and welcome to the fourth DevDiary of the “Knights of Honor II: Sovereign” DevDiaries! Today we start talking about the military aspect of the game, covering the invasion process, which includes battles, occupations, and assimilation. Though there are different strategies that players can explore to defend and broaden their empires, wars are almost inevitable, and they are undoubtedly the most straightforward expansion method as well. However, victory is not always easy to accomplish, as you will soon see. Let’s first sidetrack a bit and take a quick look at the territorial structure of the world in KoH2:S. As in the first game, the world is divided into roughly 300 provinces, which vary greatly in size, settlement types and count, natural resources, geographical features and more. Each province is centralized around a single town, representing the province’s seat of power. Ownership over the town equals ownership over the entire province, including all their settlements, so, regarding control, it is all or nothing. There is one interesting exception of this rule in KoH2:S – Keeps can be controlled separately from the provinces, which reduces the overall defensive capabilities of the province and provides some attrition damage against the enemies of a keeps’ occupier (including armies of the province’s owner). In a future DevDiary, we will take a closer look at the provinces, settlements and towns from an economy perspective, but for now, let’s leave it there. Back on overtaking an enemy town and thus – a province. Conquering a town requires good preparation and a strong army. It always starts with a siege. Sieges are long, with different ways in which the defenses can crack. One primary factor is based on the defender’s resilience. Another major factor is how strong and experienced the enemy troops and marshal are at siege warfare. You also take into account many elements of the town itself: is the town well-guarded? Are their strong walls? How long will the food supplies last? Starving and hopeless, the defending armies can be driven into a desperate attempt to break the siege or forced into surrendering. Once the defenders are lured in a break siege battle or the attackers start a full-fledged assault (costly action while the defenses stay strong), things develop quickly. If the attackers win, the province is now occupied. They now have control, but not yet ownership. In this specific state, they cannot substantially benefit from the province, but neither can the owner – all constructions, production, trade, army training and otherwise are put on hold. The occupier controls the military facilities, though, and benefits from the fortifications. They can visit the town with an army and deploy garrison troops. These are often dark times for the population – there is no civil government, the stability drops, there is a high chance of migration, rebellions and such. Note the stripes in the image above. The world view in KoH2:S is a beautiful miniature and we want it to stay that way, but it's easy to lose perspective over the political situation. As in the old game, we’re adding advanced political view UIs with different modes, filters, etc., which provide plenty of information to the player. However, we are also working on quick, easy, and clear ways for players to see what’s most important in the world at a glance, without needing to switch views. So, we’re adding additional layers of information in the world view itself, which players can toggle on/off with the press of a button or see while a hotkey is held – whichever they prefer. In the example above, we can see that the town of Barcelona is owned by Aragon but controlled by enemies of the player: the province of Catalonia is occupied. Once occupied, the original owner and their allies can attempt to drive back the invaders and restore control of the province. If the population hasn’t lost its loyalty, inevitably some of the people will rise up and help in the battles for liberation, forming militia squads. Loyal rebel armies can also arise. If a kingdom friendly to the owner faction performs a successful counter-attack, the owner regains control and everything starts returning to normal. Restoration of stability does take some time, since the population is usually quite agitated at this point, to say the least. The occupier, on the other side, has several different methods to take full control of the province and become the new owner. If all the initial owner’s territories are occupied, the occupier can forcefully annex the lands they control. This is easier if they solely control the defeated kingdom, and more complicated if there are multiple kingdoms involved in the occupation – it is a bit unpredictable how the separation of the kingdom’s territories will go if the spoils are divided among multiple parties. Even if the owner kingdom is not completely occupied, a peace treaty can lead to exchange of some lands as well. While a war is going on, an individual province can be annexed in several different ways as well. Some of these options are more forceful than others, but all require the time and attention of a trusted Royal Court knight. These methods shouldn’t be used haphazardly, however, as they all have their cost and some may have various severe repercussions, not the least of which is being “frowned upon” by other kingdoms. There is risk, as being too ruthless could have the world start viewing you as “The mad king who must to be stopped”. Even gaining full control and ownership of a province is not the end. Yes, at this point order is restored and with it economy, development and army training, but culture, religion and loyalty of the population are key factors for the stability of the province. If a kingdom cares too little for these factors and expands quickly and recklessly, tension within the kingdom’s borders can rise and chaos may follow. It takes time and proper measures to reduce the tension, possibly converting the local religion and culture and in the end – gain the loyalty of the population to assimilate them properly. Only then can the province be fully considered as a stable, fully functional part of the kingdom. In the end, it takes a good strategist to build an empire. Poor decisions can cause kingdoms to crumble from the inside, so wise actions are needed when problems arise. Whether players choose to tackle problems by gaining the sympathy of their subjects or by crushing any disobedience with an iron fist, it is completely up to them to forge their people’s future. In comparison to KoH:1, we are working hard to enable even more playstyles to bring out additional strategies when players start Invasions. However, we want to preserve the aggressive conquest playstyle too – yes, there will be different obstacles to overcome compared to expanding slowly – but it will still be a valid strategy for those who prefer it. If you want to organize a military force that makes the Old World tremble, and disregard what the other kingdoms like and find “civilized,” you certainly can! We will talk more on this topic in our DevStream on Thursday, March 12th, @ 3:00 PM GMT / 11:00 AM EST. The Twitch stream will be hosted on the THQ Nordic channel: http://twitch.tv/thqnordic and we’ll be grabbing responses from this post as well as answering questions live during the stream. We really want to hear your thoughts, as Invasions are a defining element of the core gameplay loop and we are still iterating here. Jump right into the discussion and share your thoughts in this thread, or join our Facebook and Discord channels and talk there too. Would you rather try to make a rapid expansion, overwhelming your enemies and dealing with the population uproar later on, or slowly and steadily acquire new territories, ensuring the stability of your lands before taking new ones? Would you rely on cultural and religious influence to convert your new subjects, or show that any resistance against the crown will not be tolerated? Would you like more depth in the process of conquering territories, or do you find everything besides maintaining a strong army and crushing your enemies in battle more of a boring and tedious activity? Your feedback is critically important. You never know what comments may help us build the best KoH2:S Invasion feature set we can! Next time we will take a deeper look on the pawns of war – Marshals and Armies. Until then, we bid thee farewell. Go forth and conquer!
  2. 3 points
    Hello friends, and welcome to the fifth entry of the “Knights of Honor II: Sovereign” DevDiaries! Today, we will be talking about one of the game’s most fundamental aspects - warfare. More precisely, the focus will be on marshals, their role, and the types of troops which can fall under their command. Being one of the five main classes in KoH2:S, marshals play a very specific and important part in the game, and that’s to lead armies across provinces, fight enemy forces, and paint the political map with your kingdom’s colors. As conquest and expansion were arguably amongst the most important aspects of the original game, we have made sure to encapsulate what marshals were and expand on their concept further. Each knight in the royal court may lead a number of squads depending on his class and specialization. This is a major change compared to the original game and means that you can turn merchants, spies, diplomats and even clerics into somewhat efficient commanders. The ability to lead troops is unlocked for these classes by certain skills – in specific, all military ones. So, if your trusty merchant learns Infantry tactics, this means he can now muster up a hefty army and replace the quill with a sword at any time. However, marshals possess a major advantage to these classes, and that’s the ability to control a larger number of squads. For the time being, marshals can lead up to 9 squads, which is 3 more than what other classes may have within their retinues. Kings and crusaders also have an additional bonus on the number of squads they can control, making encounters against their forces particularly challenging. An additional military advantage of marshals is the skills the class can acquire. Specifically, marshals can learn more military-related skills than the other classes. These mostly focus on aspects of warfare such as siegecraft, archery and leadership, and usually grant additional battle tactics and actions that knights of other classes wouldn’t normally gain. As marshal are natural-born leaders, they also tend to inspire their troops more, which results in higher morale and more epic battles. It’s important to note that not every skill is necessarily locked to marshals, as other knights may also end up possessing them in one way or another. To explain this best, let’s take Archery as an example. For all classes, having the skill means ranged squads under their command gain higher attack values. However, if a marshal owns the same skill, he has the added benefit of recruiting archers with an increased squad size. We can even go further and look at spies, which instead have their own unique take on Archery, both on and off the battlefield. As an example, they might have a higher chance to “snipe” enemy marshals on the battlefield, or obtain an affinity for arranging “hunting incidents” on foreign grounds. These are just a few cool samples; skills are a compelling aspect of how classes work, and we’ll talk about skills more in a future diary. Squads and armies can normally be recruited from any town within your kingdom. In general, the resources which are required to produce troops include food and population, which are gathered in each town - just like in the original game. Additionally, some squads may also require specific goods produced or imported within your kingdom. A typical example are horses, which are needed for producing all sorts of cavalry. Each squad then consists of a varying number of units, depending on what fits the type of troops from both a balance and historical point of view. In general, we aim to have numbers similar to those in the original games, as we favor smaller squad sizes and more dynamic battles. As a rough orientation, most infantry squads currently consist of 30 units, while the majority of cavalry squads have 21 horsemen. Militia type squads are also the biggest, since their only combat advantage is their strength in numbers. However, players will be able to control larger numbers of squads, so expect to see significantly bigger battles compared to the original game. Now, let’s see what it takes to maintain a marshal with a sizeable army. Like other classes in the game, marshals don’t work for free and cost gold to be hired. (The only exceptions to this rule are members of the royal family, which may enter the court for free.) After hiring a knight, players must also pay his wage, which increases progressively with each additional knight of the same type recruited within the court. In other words - having too many knights of the same class is really costly. Additionally, each army squad also has an upkeep cost, with the exact resources depending on what recruiting strategies players decide to utilize. All recruited armies take up some amount of food upkeep from the kingdom’s global food reserves. Mercenary squads prefer more gold, though. One significant addition is that squads now also have their own level, which also increases as they participate in successful battles. Each level increases various squad statistics such as attack, defense, stamina and morale. This means that as you find the right synergy between your knights’ skills and their armies’ characteristics, you’ll want to make sure specific squads are kept alive for longer periods. All of these factors play a deciding role in close battles, where numbers might not seem to be in your favour. When developing an army, picking a healthy mix of varied unit types is often the best approach if you want to be equipped to handle all types of invading troops. For example, you might want to include a bunch of spearmen to defend against enemy cavalry squads charging against your archers, as you have your sturdy infantry troops maintain the frontline. On the side, you could also throw in some highly mobile horse archers for flanking and harassing purposes. Of course, focusing on one type of units may also be beneficial. For example, fast horsemen can quickly deal with weak rebel armies across your kingdom or harass and pillage enemy provinces, avoiding heavier but slower armies. The composition of armies affects not only their speed in battle, but also the traveling speed in the world map. There’s so much more we can talk about when it comes to combat, but this should at least cover the essentials of what it takes to manage skilled commanders and fearsome armies. Be sure to tune in to our DevStream on Thursday, April 9th, @ 3:00 PM GMT / 11:00 AM EST, where we will try to answer any questions you might have about marshals and squads in Knights of Honor 2: Sovereign. As usual, expect to see us on THQ Nordic’s Twitch channel over at http:/twitch.tv/thqnordic. Are there any specific new units you wish to see in Knights of Honor 2? Can you name your most preferred army setup? What’s the perfect number of marshals to have in your royal court? Feel free to ask any questions in advance on our forums, or join our Facebook and Discord channels. Next time, we will discuss culture, and how it affects different aspects of the game. Until then, we bid thee farewell. Go forth and conquer!
  3. 2 points
    Welcome to the new home for the Knights of Honor community! We've been hard at working setting up this community hub where we can come together and chat about all things Knights of Honor. This is where we'll be posting regular DevDiaries about the game, giving you insights into the development process and exclusive first looks into the specifics of Knights of Honor II: Sovereign. We also want this to be YOUR community, a place where you can discuss everything from games to history. We know that KoH fans are a passionate group of people and we're eager to join in on the conversation. So settle in and get to know each other. Be good to one another, engage in enlightening conversation, and help us create the best game we possibly can. Gaming communities are special, and we can't wait to see how this one comes together!
  4. 1 point
    We translated this diary into Russian: https://strategycon.ru/knights-of-honor-2-sovereign-dd-4/ Перевод дневника на русский.
  5. 1 point
    I think they meant "knights" as an overarching category. Like knights could be marshals (lead bigger armies), diplomats (manage relations with other kingdoms), spies (you get the idea) and so on. So in the first game they only let 3 out of the 6 categories be governors of provinces (which were clerics, builders and farmers), now every knights, no matter his skills, can govern a province and give it bonuses. And I have to disagree with ivory knight, even tho in his last stream he sounded like a nice guy. I think islamic nations should play a big role in KoH2, simply because the medieval times were just one big conflict of religions. If I try to think about the biggest events in that time following things come to my mind: The Crusades (against islam), Reconquista (against islam), The Rise of the Ottomans (payback-time for islam), Battle of Hastings (only big non-religious conflict), the Northern Crusades (against pagans) and the Eastern Crusades (against pagans). For now the devs should concentrate to implement improvements every realm will benefit on. Things like special skill-classes for knights for specific realms could be added in by the modding community later on. So please ahmet, write down what you think a vizir and/or janissary-comander should be able to do (what a diplomat or generic marshal cannot) and maybe it will happen sometime. Greetings!
  6. 1 point
    That image up there is part of the Knights of Honor Manual (see https://steamcdn-a.akamaihd.net/steam/apps/25830/manuals/manual_english.pdf?t=1447351680). Sadly i do'nt own that Total War game so i can't look up what governors do there, but maybe you can explain? I've read about janissary and that they were practical military slaves, but what do you think a commander should do, or what mechanic do you expect in the game? I still see no difference between a vizir and a diplomat governing a province, maybe you can share your thoughts what mechanics should be introduced with vizirs?
  7. 1 point
    Your post is far from comprehensible.. As far as I can tell a vizir is nothing else than a diplomat for inner affairs. Janissary were already in the first game aswell. Also, you could assign governers in the first game and will most probably be able to in the second game. For people who don't know what you mean by "a Total war system", this makes no sense at all. Maybe you want to clarify what you exactly think should be different?
  8. 1 point
    Thanks! Another russian translation of another great devdiary - https://vk.com/@-188842829-dnevnik-razrabotchikov-knights-of-honor-ii-4-vtorzheniya Перевод на русский язык этого дневника
  9. 1 point
    Presale with alpha acess would be nice for community feedbacks.
  10. 1 point
    No, keeps are just additional points of interest within the province. It was already hinted in the gameplay trailer. What we learned from this dev diary is, that invading others provinces will be more dynamic than before, with more possibilities to choose from. But it seems to be mostly the same. Politically, I expect it to stay the same for the most parts. I think it's very likely that if someone is called into war as part of an alliance, and the realm that asked for help from his ally can end the war for both. But it is only speculation at that point. This was kind of answered if the dev diary aswell.. My guess is that every war will have an invisible tracker, which tracks what kingdom contributed to the war and then will split the spoils of war (gold, population, provinces, etc.) accordingly. Greetings
  11. 1 point
    Thanks for sharing another dev diary with us! I do think the mechanic to drive back invaders will be a great addition to the game. I'm also very excited to see how the new joint occupation with allies will play out, especially in multiplayer with friends 😁. About the feedback you asked for: For me Knights of Honor was always superior to other games from the genre because it was simple. It didn't throw hundred dialog boxes and tables at you where you had to micromanage everything all the time. I just had a great time enjoying my kingdom, developing my realm, sending my armys and sometimes jump into battles. And just to be clear, simple does not equal simplistic, so there can be deeper, more complex mechanics. They just should be easy to grasp and control. So for me, everything I read is great. Bonus-Question: Will/can you give us information about how the development of provinces will look/work like in the new game? Are there any big changes in this area? Greetings!
  12. 1 point
    Name/Handle: mammix, in reality Marcin Country: Poland Games I like to play: Mafia: City of Lost Heaven, KoH, Heroes 3, EU2, CK2, Football Manager... I'm now a very causal gamer, don't really have time to play. Pets: cat and 2 budgies @Yavor - my wife is from Ruse! What a small world...
  13. 1 point
    Hello Zdenek 🙂 I´m Pavel and I´m from CR too 😄 I love KOH like you and played some mods from you i think 🙂
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