This patch is the first to be delivered through our new patching process. This process will allow us to react faster to your concerns while still creating great content. In this patch, we've addressed your concerns about an unintended buff to missile units, the changes to caltrops and we're introducing a new Dynamic Mixing system (alongside other audio improvements), which we've shared the details of below.
In the last patch, we increased the accuracy of missile units. Our goal was to give ranged players much more control over their missiles and reduce the amount of frustration caused by friendly fire. Our initial data shows that we have achieved this goal, reducing friendly fire damage at all tiers.
However, this, combined with other changes, resulted in an unintended shift in power for ranged units. Low-armoured units, particularly Barbarian infantry, were the most affected by this shift. This began to become apparent during the PTS stage, but the sheer number of changes in 3.1.0 meant that we needed a bit more time to sort through the consequences and come up with an appropriate solution.
We’ve made a series of three changes intended to rein back the power of long-range missiles, particularly against light infantry, while preserving the reduction in friendly fire.
However, in order to reduce missile damage enough to improve the situation for lightly-armoured infantry, we risked making missiles incapable of dealing damage to heavily armoured units, even when attacking their rear. This eliminated much of the incentive for missiles to flank and made shooting into melee from behind allies too viable a tactic. As a result, we have made a second set of changes:
These two changes will reduce the effectiveness of attacking from the front but will ensure that ranged units are rewarded for taking risky flanking manoeuvres.
This should make all units – particularly lightly-armoured units - more resistant to missile fire overall, while still allowing ranged units to deal fair damage if well-placed.
In 3.1.0 we implemented some changes to make caltrops easier to use. As with ranged, we made several changes to counterbalance this: reducing their speed debuff, introducing a short wind-up time and reducing the degree to which they could linger on the battlefield.
However, your feedback has made it clear that this was insufficient, so we’re introducing another change:
This change should make it easier for skilled pursuers to identify when caltrops are being deployed and react accordingly.
This patch sees the introduction of our Dynamic Mixing system. This system tries to determine which elements of the game are contextually most important for you at any given time and makes room for them in the soundscape.
For example: when looking at your units, the sounds around them in the 3D space are lowered slightly in volume, so their actions cut through the battle mix more than enemy units of a similar type. Additional layers of emphasis are put in place when your unit is selected or has just received an order. This increases your connection to the units you're currently controlling. Additionally, the system identifies threats and creates space in the mix for the appropriate sounds.
In this first iteration, incoming enemy charges are identified and given different amounts of emphasis, depending on whether yourself or an ally is being charged.
Alongside this system, we have undergone a full...
This remix has been focused on cleaning up the soundscape while adding definition and clarity. HDR (high dynamic range) audio functionality has been introduced, which allows certain louder sounds (catapult impacts, elephant vocalisations and hits, …) to relatively lower the volume of quieter sounds instead of simply playing on top of the full mix. This creates a more consistent mix, making the listening experience more pleasant and less fatiguing, which is especially valuable during longer play sessions.
Until next time Commanders, we'll see you on the battlefield.