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Mathew Steel

Stronghold Warlords - The Next Stronghold Instalment

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Nicely said, Crusader.

Nigel, it's so good to hear from you! You're right. I myself am one of those who want to wait a little bit. Although, the biggest reason for myself is a lot of work that I have at the moment. So, I should meet you on the battlefield just after the summer sale.

If you find some time, it would be great to hear some of your impressions about the game.

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Posted (edited)

Hi EaglePrince,

I actually just posted a review on Steam. You should be able to see it here:
https://steamcommunity.com/profiles/76561198021871235/recommended/907650/ 

 

Beyond that, I can say that I am really enjoying it.
Some of the hardcore players say that the AI is too easy, but for a casual gamer like me, the "hard" difficulty setting of the missions is just fine. I find that I can complete most missions on the second attempt and even had to go back to "normal" on one occasion so far. I guess easy and normal are more for players that are new to SH and there is extreme difficulty now for the pros. I h
aven't tried much multiplayer yet. As always, there are reports of instability in MP after launch and I am waiting for some more patches, before I go into that area. 

I also like their discord channel. The mods there keep it nice and constructive. And the devs are posting there and asking for feedback and questions. For sure a step in the right direction for FireFly.

 

Edited by Nigel
no idea why the text is highlighted.

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Nice review, Nigel!

My entire impression with Crusader 2 as well was that it was too easy. Although I'm not a good Crusader 2 player, it is not easy for me to win the games, but my feeling is that one can learn to wipe the floor with the AI pretty fast. Mostly because the game seems much simpler than Stronghold 1 and Crusader 1.

And what I disliked too was the fact that a weak PC affects how good you can play too much. For example, with lowest possible graphics settings you don't see fire in Crusader 2, you can only see the ashes as if the fire had been gone for a while. So you don't notice your army burning...

Hopefully, they addressed this issue, but I don't lay my hopes into that. Now I have better desktop PC than when we used to our play Crusader 2 games. So, hopefully, it should be fine once I get the game.

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I bought Warlords as soon as it came out. Unfortunately my PC broke pretty soon after so I haven't had a chance to get any content or articles done yet. But, I do have to say that I really like it. Firefly have done a great job with it, the overall theme and depth of the game is very impressive.


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The fields have eyes, and the woods have ears.

⁠— Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales: The Knight's Tale

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For those who are interested: there is currently a 20% discount on Steam for this game.  Offer ends 10th of May.

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AAron from FireFly has just started a new series of videos: The Stronghold Show.

Welcome Sire! - The Stronghold Show - YouTube

 

It is a new format where FireFly is combining updates on their games with spotlights on community created content.
Check it out and support it if you like it. If it is successful, they will make it a monthly show. 

I really think that is a good concept, in particular as they are giving recognition to what the community is creating. 🙂
This issue is highlighting Jergy's wonderful SH2 maps and Udwin's work on YouTube videos for Stronghold.

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For everyone interested, Stronghold Warlords is on sale at Steam, now it's 33% off. It is the biggest discount for this game by now.

Also, I'm somehow surprised to see Stronghold Crusader 2 with 90% off. Few bucks only.

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Great news! It's a wonderful game I'm sure you'll enjoy it. I still need to get around to looking at the various Campaigns and getting some articles up but I've only just got my computer back again.


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The fields have eyes, and the woods have ears.

⁠— Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales: The Knight's Tale

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Indeed it's great! Unlike Crusader 2, this one seems very interesting. Crusader 2 misses a lot of small stuff, and they seem to have taken time into those in Warlords. Although, from what I've seen, the landscapes could be better, but I expect to see tons of fan-made maps "fixing" that issue.😎 Just like @Lord Vetka made tons of maps for Stronghold 2, Stronghold 3, Crusader 1, etc., which are way better than the original maps!

Now, another thing that could be here is that I am playing Warlords on my newer computer, while Crusader 2 and Stronghold 3 I was mostly playing on an older one.  Nevertheless, I feel that if Crusader 2 was more interesting with regard to gameplay, I would have played it much more despite of small lags and low graphics. Just like when I was a kid, I was playing Empire Earth on a computer which just wasn't powerful enough, but I still played it because the game was fun. I ignored the bad graphics and I avoided gigantic maps, and that was it.

Still, Warlords do seem to have some issues. For example, I haven't seen an option to change my crest - if there is any? And, why am I not able to change the lord from the main menu, but only before starting a skirmish game. Plus, the game doesn't even remember my previous choice, it always switches back to the default one. If I am wrong, I would like to be proven wrong.😁

By the way, for now, I have decided to play all the from the beginning: I'm not skipping the campaign. I think it is going to be better for me to get used to this game step by step through the campaign, as this way I will be forced to try varieties of things without any rush: fighting with different types of troops, feeding people with different types of food, etc. It just feels much better for me at this moment than to play from the beginning with everything enables.

And, now when I told it about Warlords, maybe this is what should do with Crusader 2 as well.😄

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Glad you jumped on the boat and made your way to Asia, EaglePrince. 
I hope you will like the adventure. 

I myself am half way through the campaign so far. Taking in at a leasurly pace.

Hit me up if you want to do something on multiplayer 🙂

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Certainly, that would be great! For now I just want to get used to the game some more, to have a grasp about different types of units, managing the castle, controlling popularity, etc.

Although, I must say, it worries me a bit to see how few people visit Steam Discussions. I hope that people didn't give up on this game so soon.

And, by the way, I must say that, after some time of playing it, I have started seeing some things that I wish Firefly did better. Minimaps are not so great for example, especially the ones that we see in Steam Workshop. Although that could be our chance - we wouldn't force people into posting those minimaps with so little information.

Woodcutters now cut bamboo only... Why is that, when in the map editor there are some many other tree types... By the way, do you know if bamboo forests regenerate? I think they don't?

We have no option to choose a crest... Nor we have an option to choose which lord (Mongol, Chinese, etc.)  we want to be right from the main menu.

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Yea, unfortunately the Steam Forum is in a pretty bad state.
It was dominated by haters right after release. They were bashing FireFly for the bugs that the game had. And yes, to remain honest, there were many bugs and balance issues on release and there still are. But I even so, I do not think that the game deserved the s******m it was getting. But as a result of it, the Steam Forum is pretty deserted right now.
 

I am mostly on the official FireFly discord. The people there maintain a positive attitude and try to give criticism in a constructive way.
If you want to join it, the link is  https://discord.gg/qMG7Zae.  You have to join one of the "factions" to get full access to the site. Type  ?dynasty, ?horde OR ?shogun in the chat box.
I am with the Shogunate, but the other factions are also cool. You can't go wrong, whatever you choose. 

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Thanks, I think I'm going to join. I really don't get it, I think this game is actually better than Crusader 2, and Crusader 2 is still more popular. Do you agree? I mean, you've seen more aspects of the game by now, I'm still learning, but my impression is that they put more effort in details in this one.

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Yes, I think this game is better than Crusader 2. In so many ways it has improved: unit collision, the warlord system, different levels of housing to name just some of them.
Unfortunately it also has a few points, where it falls behind Crusader2: game balance and exploits.

 

Regarding exploits: There are some really strong ones, which allow to play with a cheesy strategies. But yea, I dont understand the complaints about this: if you don't like exploits, don't use them. Of course this is a problem in MP, when people want to win at all cost. But like you said on the Steam forum: it has always been better to play with friends. Playing randoms can often just be annoying and a waste of time.

 

Regarding balance issues: it is actually possible to create a very strong, but one-sided economy. I won't go into details here, because I don't want to spoil it for anyone reading this. But again, it is the same as with exploits. If you don't like it, don't use it. For MP however, it means that we will need some good house rules to make it fun and exciting. At least for competitive MP. For casual, just for fun MP games, it is not a problem at all. 

 

Ah, well, I am not bothering to try fighting the trolls. I respond to those players who give fun and constructive feedback and just enjoy the game 🙂

 

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I see. Well, we can claim Firefly for making these exploits possible, but on the other hand, many other games, in which there are almost no exploits, are way simpler than Stronghold. Sure, there are fewer exploits in Age of Empires, but it's way simpler. Even Warcraft and Dota are way simpler in my option. Yes, they have tons of potions and what not, but that's just messing up with numbers. What we want to have from Firefly is a castle sim, and being able to make castle defences. Much more complex than the stone-rock-scissors thing... Although we would like to have even more of that in Warlords, such as moats, but oh well...

As for those cheesy tactics, have yet to see them. I have noticed for example flamethrower doing his business from the siege tower for example. It seems unnatural, but I shall see. Maybe I just want like it like that combination of horse archers and portable shields. Or maybe not - if the flamethrower can be easily killed... It may also depend of the price of these units, and the cost of damage they can deal.

But I wish Firefly did something at least with those numbers from economy. It shouldn't be like in Stronghold 2 where players can just produce bread, and simply buy everything else, and actually be more efficient this way than by producing all things on your own.

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This is cool, thanks Nigel!

They are bringing some nice features into the game. I like the way they are introducing the hospital for example. Some suspect how now is everybody going to fight for the warlords with the hospital, but I think it's yet to be seen. Those who just want to rush their opponents might not care much about it, while those who like to "turtle" during the game will love the new feature, I think.🙂 Either way, it is something I wanted to have in every single Stronghold game.😎

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Yea, I love the field hospital.
Not so much for it's strategic benefit - I don't know yet if that is big or small.

But you know I like to role-play my games. And finally I no longer have to make this tough decision about what to do with my veteran heros, that return from a battle with 10% HP.
Do I send them to their deserved retirement and thereby loose the value of their equippment?
Or do I keep them for another battle, and thereby send them to their certain death?

Decisions, decisions.... but with a field hospital, I know what to do 😄

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