Played the first game a lot and loved it when it originally came out and just recently decided to start another playthrough in preparation of the KoH2 release.
The biggest things imo in terms of suggestions for KoH2:
- Improved AI. The game just gets too easy when you can easily exploit and outmaneuver the enemy AI in terms of army movement and in battles. Enemy AI just does not know how to deal with armies stacking ranged units. On the map, it is often too easy to fortify a camp and wait for an enemy army on its path. Another easy exploit - while in peace with another kingdom, you can position your troops inside enemy territory with the AI not really reacting, and then just declare war when you've positioned your troops and get an easy win. The list goes on - the main point is: the AI in the original was too easy to exploit which diminishes some of the fun. I hope it's something the devs are going to try and improve on, even though I understand there will still be exploits and AI weaknesses.
- Improved diplomacy and QoL for diplomatic decisions. I can't tell you how many times I've wanted to be able to negotiate with the AI when they ask me to go to war with another kingdom, or to be able to have a more detailed peace negotiation etc. However, my only options are either accept or decline. Same goes for when I request the AI to attack, ask for a royal marriage, money etc. - I wish I could pay them or offer them something (e.g. give them money to attack another kingdom, offer for me to attack their enemy if they pay me or let my prince marry their princess etc.). There was also an issue in cases where the diplomacy message blocks you from looking around the screen. As an example, a kingdom that I have an alliance pact with has invoked that pact. This blocks me from checking my relations with the kingdom they're asking me to attack so I can't make an informed decision whether I wish to honor my alliance pact or not. Allow the player to still access the rest of the UI in situations like that.
- Improved Royal Court. The limited royal court slots pretty much guarantee that you will never use some of the roles that don't do much. E.g. I think I've only ever used marshals, spies, traders and sometimes clerics. Either make those other roles more viable, or have limited slots per roles so that players don't feel they're wasting a marshal slot when they hire a builder, for example.
- Improved crusades. Crusades never really worked well in the original game and seemed like a missed opportunity. I think I only ever bothered letting one of my marshals go on a crusade once, saw how pointless it was and have rejected that option every time sice then. There are also issues with AI kingdoms sending marshals on a crusade - too often I see the AI sign peace with the enemy before the crusader army has even managed to attack which just ends the crusade. I realise crusades pretty much failed historically, so I guess in an ironic way this makes sense, but I imagine there are better ways to do represent that 😛
- Music. Less of a suggestion and more just something that I think really made the original memorable - the music was phenomenal. I understand Borislav Slavov - the original composer - is unavailable due to his work on Baldur's Gate 3, but I hope that the music in KoH2 is able to recapture the feeling of the original.
These are some of my main suggestions, I'm really looking forward to Knights of Honor 2 and hope the game will be awesome.