Patch 3.1.5 sees the introduction of our new Barbarian ranged commander, Ambiorix. We've been waiting for this moment for a while, and we're all excited to see what synergies you're able to discover. Many thanks to everyone who tested Ambiorix on the PTS! With the introduction of Ambiorix, it became necessary to rework Boudica's abilities. You'll find all the details of this below, along with the details of the new cosmetics and Premium units we've added. Until next time, Commanders, we'll see you on the battlefield!
— Buff, Affects Self
— Move at a heightened pace with increased Mobility and reduced Reload Time.
— Affects Self
— 60s Cooldown
— 10s Duration
Attributes— Launch Projectile, Ground Target, Resets Reload Timers, Knockback, Knockdown
Description— Fire a volley of debilitating missiles that can Knock Back enemies.
Usage (Base)— Available to Missile Infantry
Effects (Base)— -15% Missile Weapon Damage
Usage (Base)— Available to Archers
Effects (Base)— +20% Missile Weapon Range
Ambiorix's story starts with an ambush. He and his men attack a nearby foraging Roman force and drive them back to their camp. Here, the Romans launch a counter-attack and defeat Ambiorix who, as joint leader of the Eburones, takes responsibility for the attack, claims he was forced to attack the Romans and lies about a huge Germanic horde heading their way. The Romans panic and prepare to leave, but on their way to a nearby fort, Ambiorix ambushes them again, attacking both sides of the marching column. He orders his men to skirmish, to hit the Romans without getting hit themselves and to use every projectile they have. After hitting a Roman lieutenant in the face with a rock, their forces surrender.
Ambiorix promises them safe passage out of his lands and starts a long-winded speech about how he guarantees their safety. During this speech, his men encircle the Romans, who are too focused on what Ambiorix is saying to notice the rustling of bushes. Then, the trap is sprung. The entire 14th Legion is massacred. Caesar hears about this and brings 10 legions to find and kill Ambiorix. They ambush him and slaughter the Eburones, but Ambiorix manages to escape their clutches with some of his men and they cross the Rhine, never to be heard of again.
In celebration of Carthage's most feared warrior, we've added a new cosmetic item set modelled on Hannibal's own armour. This set consists of five pieces:
Based on our metrics and your feedback on Boudica's Ambush ability, and considering the introduction of Ambiorix as a dedicated ranged commander, changes to Boudica's playstyle have been made. These changes make her more focused on War Dogs instead of being split between them and archers. Overall, we have shifted her playstyle towards a more Charge setup style, with the ability to increase the survivability and Charge Impact of War Dogs if you are willing to keep the handlers disengaged.
This patch brings four new Premium units, available soon in the Premium Shop:
The Belgae were famed for their bravery - Caesar thought them the bravest of all the tribes he encountered in Gaul. These archers come with the Tales of the Belgae ability, which can buff your allies.
Ambiorix's closest brothers-in-arms, these archers are capable all-rounders. Like the Belgae, they have access to the new Tales of the Belgae ability.
Back from a long absence, the Thureos Swords reintroduce Sword Infantry to the Greek faction. These fast swordsmen are excellent flankers, and come armed with several deadly javelins. Their Pathfinding ability allows them to navigate difficult terrain with ease, and even forge a path for heavier allies.
The Cimbri Spear Warriors are skilled combatants with excellent support potential. Portents of Victory is a potent support ability, buffing all allies in a substantial radius at the cost of the Cimbri's own Speed.
We've performed a pass on firing animations, to help tighten up the visuals, and increase the sense of feedback when using projectiles. This includes a number of improvements:
We've been working on optimising our terrain to help increase performance. This reduces the graphical complexity of the terrain meshes, whilst retaining visual fidelity. This should result in an increased FPS on low and recommended spec machines.
There should be no gameplay effects associated with these improvements.
This patch also features three separate matchmaking improvements we'd like to test, the first focused on improving matchmaking from a technical standpoint, the others on improving the gameplay experience of battles.
1. Per match region selection:Previously players were grouped by their ping to the various relay servers and then matchmade. We have made significant back-end changes to prioritise grouping together players who have good pings on the same servers as part of matchmaking and then put them on the server that they collectively ping the best to.
2. New system for keeping the player tier divergence closer within a match:
3. Optimised unit types in matchmaking
Improved distribution of unit types in matches
This patch also brings updates to the ability loadouts of several existing Premium units. We felt that certain Premium units had been left a bit behind as a result of changes to abilities elsewhere, so we've updated them to keep them in line with standard units and ensure that they offer a distinct and interesting alternative to units in the tree.
|Mercenary Scutarii||Defensive Testudo -> Shield Screen||With the recent updates to Shield Screen, Defensive Testudo felt a bit underwhelming. We've swapped it out for Shield Screen to bring the Mercenary Scutarii back in line with other Carthaginian infantry. They're now a perfect option for Tier VI Carthage players who want a tankier alternative to the speedy Iberian Rebels.|
|Bloodsworn||Thrown Javelins -> Vicious Strikes||The Bloodsworn felt a little bit too similar to the other Barbarian infantry at their tier. Swapping Throw Javelins for Vicious Strikes should help them feel a little bit more distinct.|
|Druids||Presence -> Portents of Victory||The Cimbri Spear Warriors, released in this patch, bring with them the flavourful and powerful Portents of Victory ability. We felt that this ability was equally fitting for the Druids.|
— Duration 2 -> 4
— Now causes Unorderable instead of Silenced
— Impact Damage 1.05 -> 1.1
— Charge Impact 1 -> 1.1
— Acceleration 1.1 -> 1.4
(NB: also affects the Samnite Warriors and the Insubres Swordsmen)
|The Berserkers were unique for having two unit charges. However, we felt that both charges were a little bit too similar in theme and function. |
We've altered Reckless Charge to make it feel a bit different: its boosted Impact and Impact Damage will give it a potent punch, but the addition of Unorderable means that players will have to be careful not to over-extend.
|Heavy Horse||Dash -> Vicious Strikes|
Unite -> Presence
|The Heavy Horse was designed to be a tougher, brawlier alternative to the fast Shock Cavalry that characterises the Barbarian tree. But without a Strike ability, they struggled to fill this role. We've taken away Dash and replaced it with Vicious Strikes. |
We've also swapped the morale-boosting Unite for the combat buff Presence, further boosting their combat potential.
|Triarii||Raise Shields -> Roma Invicta|
— Speed 0.25 -> 0.4
— Melee Attack 0.85 -> 0.95
— +5% Melee Damage
|Raise Shields felt somewhat redundant on the Triarii; their high Armour, high Missile Block and easy access to Testudo meant that it was often a wasted ability slot. We've swapped it for Roma Invicta, an AoE combat buff that represents the discipline and experience the Triarii bring to the field.|
We also felt that the Speed penalty on the Spear Phalanx was too severe given the unit's low base speed and lack of access to speed-boosting equipment and consumables. We've decreased the speed penalty of Spear Phalanx and slightly boosted the combat stats it offers.
|Myrmidons||Thrust -> Spear of Ares||The Myrmidons are a popular choice, but their ability loadout felt a bit bland for such a legendary unit. The Spear of Ares strike, with its distinctive animation and extra little punch, should make them feel a bit more unique.|
|Spear Brothers||Barbarian Phalanx:|
— Speed 0.3 -> 0.5
— Turn Speed 0.25 -> 0.4
— Fatigue added per attack 2 -> 5
— Fatigue when retreating: 12 -> 8
— Remove Melee Attack Penalty
— +15% Melee Damage
|The Spear Brothers have often felt a bit underwhelming: going into Phalanx meant giving up the core Barbarian advantages of speed and aggression.|
The addition of a new Barbarian spear unit, the Cimbri Spear Warriors, gave us the perfect opportunity to revisit them. The new Barbarian Phalanx is much faster and more damaging than its previous iteration, but will build Fatigue more rapidly.
|Auxilia Palatina||Spear Phalanx:|
— Speed 0.25 -> 0.4
— Melee Attack 0.85 -> 0.95
— +5% Melee Damage
|As with the Triarii, the low base speed of the Auxilia Palatina and their lack of access to speed-boosting equipment and consumables meant that the speed penalties from Spear Phalanx felt particularly punishing. We've decreased the speed penalty of Spear Phalanx and slightly boosted the combat stats it offers.|