Patch Notes - Open Beta 3.1.4

06/06/2018
Greetings, Commanders! This patch brings along some improvements to abilities and UI. Alongside this, it introduces Tier III Premium units, which allow you to cheaply try out a new unit type or commander. These changes are joined by buffs to Falxes, Infiltration and nerfs to Light Artillery and Spears. For the full details, read on.

New


Tier III Premium Units


For the first time, we're introducing Tier III Premium units to the game. These units are intended to offer players a cost-effective way to try out a new unit type, commander, or faction.

This patch introduced four such units, one for each faction. Each can be purchased in-game for 950 gold and can be played immediately in either PvE or PvP.

Rome - Swords - Ghosts of Cannae


twa screenshot rome unit ghost of cannae III 1 1317x767

The Roman survivors of the slaughter at Cannae were cruelly exiled to Sicily, where they were forced to linger until Scipio Africanus recruited them for his decisive invasion of Africa.

We've represented the legiones Cannenses with the Ghosts of Cannae, a resilient sword unit who trade speed and damage output for strong defensive stats. Their unique 'Vengeful Strike' ability boosts their morale and delays death for a short period, allowing them to soldier on in the face of great odds.

Abilities:

  • Vengeful Strike - Strike at nearby enemies, dealing Damage and causing Knock Back on successful attacks. The unit then gains Grim Determination, greatly reducing its Speed but increasing its Morale and Delaying Death.
  • Heavy Pila - Throw a heavy javelin at a targeted enemy, dealing Damage and reducing their Speed with every hit. This javelin has decreased Range but increased Damage.

Carthage - Swords - Carthaginian Marines


twa screenshot carthage unit carthaginian marines III 1 1308x758

Carthage was famed above all for its powerful navy, which was crewed by professional, well-trained Carthaginian citizens.

The Carthaginian Marines allow players early access to the Carthaginian sword line. A capable, flexible melee brawler, the Marines are an excellent complement to either Hannibal or Hasdrubal. They carry a complement of flaming javelins - perfect for raining death upon an enemy trireme.

Abilities:

  • Slash - Order the unit to Strike the nearest enemy, dealing Damage and Knock Back on successful attacks, but reducing the striking unit's Speed for a short time.
  • Flaming Javelins - Throw a volley of flaming javelins at a targeted enemy, dealing Damage and reducing their Speed with every hit.

Barbarians - Melee Cavalry - Getae Horsemen


twa screenshot barbarians unit getae horsemen III 1 1319x753

The Getae were among the most formidable of the Thracian tribes, known for their ferocious courage and skill in battle.

Armed with a large shield and the sica, a vicious curved sword, the Getae Horsemen offer Barbarian players a slower but more melee-focused alternative to the standard cavalry line. Their Sunder ability allows them to support allied infantry by shattering enemy shields with powerful blows.

Abilities:

  • Cavalry Charge - Surge forward in a powerful Charge.
  • Sunder - The men Strike with shattering force, dealing Damage and Knock Back and reducing the Shield Armour of any enemies hit.

Greece - Archers - Attendant Archers


twa screenshot barbarians unit attendant archers III 1 1319x753

Greek Hoplites were supported by a skueophoros: a slave, family member or hired servant whose role was to carry their master's gear while on campaign. Once battle was joined, these men were expected to take up weapons and fight alongside the hoplites as skirmishers.

Players will now be able to recruit some of these men in the form of the Attendant Archers. Their shield and armour means they trade well against enemy ranged units, and their Attendant's Care ability allows them to support friendly melee units. Beware, though - their average speed and lack of caltrops mean they're vulnerable if left in the open.

Abilities:

  • Focus Fire - Instantly launch a volley of powerful flaming projectiles at a targeted area.
  • Attendant's Care - Endure an ally is ready for action, increasing their Melee Defence and Melee Damage for an extended period.

Changes to Free XP Costs to Unlock Commanders


We like making commanders. We spend a good amount of time discussing and planning how we can give commanders unique mechanics and abilities. The execution of this, however, takes a lot of time, and while we’ve done our best to make commander creation more efficient, their Free XP cost is still too low for how much work is put into them, as it is actually cheaper to buy them with converted Free XP than to use gold.

As such, we’ve split the commander costs into four bands, low, medium, high and new. While the ‘new’ band is still being worked out, you can see the other bands below.

CommanderGold PriceFXP PriceConverted XP Gold price
Vercingetorix95028,5001,140
Miltiades95028,5001,140
Scipio Africanus95028,5001,140
Boudica2,00060,0002,400
Leonidas2,00060,0002,400
Julius Caesar2,00060,0002,400
Alexander the Great2,50075,0003,000
Sulla2,50075,0003,000
Hannibal2,50075,0003,000
Hasdrubal2,50075,0003,000

GFX & Performance Tool


We've also added a tool that starts on launch. It gives you some limited graphics and performance options to be set before you load. The aim here is to make the first time load experience as smooth as possible, allowing you to set some key settings before the game is fully loaded.

The following options are available:

  • Ability to select your resolution
  • Select the Graphics Card you would like to use with Arena
  • Change your power plan for Arena (Recommended, High Performance, Power Saver)
  • “Do not show me again” check box can be ticked so that the tool doesn't show on every single load
  • Can be turned back on in-game from the Options – Graphics menu: “Show startup options dialog”

Improved


Ability Animation Improvements

In 3.1.0 we introduced a wide range of animations that would trigger when a unit received a buff or debuff. At the time, our systems prevented us from playing a distinct animation on the unit 'casting' the ability.

Since then, we've added some back-end functionality that will allow us to expand the animation system further, adding more life to battles and giving you more visual cues about the state of the battlefield: now you'll see Scipio's men shouting when you cast War Cry and identify which of Caesar's units is the source of a Veni.

Alongside this, we've fixed the animation for Ad Portas, and added new sound effects to it.

Initially, we're updating the following abilities with new animations:

Commander Abilities

  • Rebellion
  • Veni
  • Vidi
  • Hold the Line
  • War Cry
  • Fear
  • Ad Portas (fixed animation)

Consumables

  • Brandish Heads
  • Share Rations
  • Share Wine
  • Tanit Banner

Unit Abilities

  • Andarta's Roar
  • Battle Cry
  • Call to Arms
  • Elite's Presence
  • Encourage
  • Fenrir's Howl
  • Fetch
  • Intimidate
  • Iolaus' Vow
  • Presence
  • Unite
  • Noble Bellow
  • Numidian Advance
  • Raise Eagle
  • Roma Invicta
  • Spartan Bond
  • Unleash

We hope to expand on this system with future patches.

Note: there is currently a known issue where units who are under the effects of an ability will not play the new animations if they themselves cast the same ability. We weren't able to get this fixed in time for this release, but plan to resolve it as soon as we can.

UI Improvements


Currency Conversion

The new currency conversion allows you to have much more control and vision over where the XP you're converting is coming from. Different tabs show you which units are 'safe' to convert from, and which still have potential upgrades available. You should now be able to make a much more informed decision about currency conversion.
twa screenshot lobby currency conversion 1920x1080

Unit XP Notification

A new Unit XP notification system has been implemented to remind players to spend their hard-earned unit experience to level their units up, similar to the commander upgrade notification we implemented in a recent patch. This system will guide you towards the main route.

Post-tutorial Commander Selection

This screen wasn't giving quite enough information for new players to make an informed decision, so we've added a bunch more information and tooltips to help make the decision as easy as possible!

  • Added text to make it clearer that commander choice is not final and can be changed at any time
  • Added a playstyle for each commander/faction Roman: “Take Ground” Greek: “Hold Ground” Barbarian: “Hit and Run”
  • Added the unit types available to each Faction
  • Added a commander speciality in the form of a unit type icon Germanicus: Swordsmen, Cynane: Archers, Arminius: Spear Cavalry
  • Added all three commander ability icons for each commander
  • Added both unit ability icons for each unit
  • Added tooltips to all icons as well as commander portraits and unit cards
  • Added a coloured difficulty rating for each commander Germanicus: Easy (Green), Cynane: Moderate (Yellow), Arminius: Hard (Red)
twa screenshot lobby commander selection 1163x634

Balance Changes


Commanders

Arminius.png

Arminius

Infiltration: The cooldown was too long considering the ease with which the ability could be deactivated.

— Reduced base CD from 280 to 180

— Reduced talents CD from 50 per slot to 25 per slot.

Units


Light artillery reload time increased by 1 second.

  • The main intent is to reduce their overall DPS output and at the same time slightly diminish the capacity to pin down enemies.

Spears bonus vs cavalry halved across the board.

  • The bonus vs cavalry particularly on the Greek spears was too extreme, resulting in very abrupt interaction between spear and cavalry.
  • The main intent when it comes to counters is to soften them up, and allow player skill to play a more important role in general combat interactions.

Falxmen role:

  • The units total DPS output was not sufficient when considering the concept of wielding a two-handed falx.
    — The falx is a purely offensive weapon to be used primarily against a broken or routing force.
    — Total damage increased by approximately 10% to emphasize better the lethality aspect.
  • Falxmen (Tier V) had Dash replaced with Intimidate.
    — The intention is to teach a player starting wtih Falxes the importance of routing/flanking rather than brawling like shielded swordsmen.
  • Decebalus' Guard (tier10) had Dash replaced with Cleave.
    — Better fit for the end of the falx line, especially considering the Tier IX Dacian Chosen Surge ability (AoE move speed).

Unit Abilities


Added the "can't use when in melee" flag on all focus fires.
  • The main intent for this change is to reduce missile units ranged DPS while engaged in melee, thus put more emphasis on positioning.

Consumables


Intoxicate:
  • The HP damage it would cause was too high reducing the usability context too much.
  • Halved the damage it would cause to the unit using it.
Brandish Heads:
  • The applied minus melee attack was not sufficient, making the consumable underpowered.
  • Melee Attack: -14% -> -30%.
Dirt Pouches:
  • The applied minus melee defence was not sufficient, making the consumable underpowered.
  • Melee Defence: -14% -> -50%

Bugs


  • Better error message for unable to initialise DirectX errors
  • Fixed an issue where the Pila cooldown would not activate if a player had any Roman infantry unit selected and right-clicked a nearby enemy squad holding Ctrl.
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