Your rivals just became a fair bit more expressive! Watch them react to your actions! Be it with love, awe or despair 🙂.

Some tweaks to the AI behavior have landed as well. You should see a bit less suicidal aggression from the AI and fewer facepalm-inducingly stupid moves. If you’d like to know more about the changes and what’s coming next, continue reading here.

The most significant AI changes include:

  • AI may now choose to wait and conserve coins when there is no good expansion opportunity; it’s less likely to attack allies just because it has no better attack opportunity.
  • AI no longer has the habit to use knights as town guards.
  • AI acts less unhinged when losing badly, still pays some attention to defense and economy.
  • AI no longer completely ignores rich bandit camps in some situations.

(for exhaustive list see changelog)

What’s next?

I have some fairly ambitious plans for the campaign(s) redesign, but I think I’m going to take some more time to focus on the AI first. Since the AI behavior can have a big impact on level balance, I’d like to make sure I’m really happy with it before adding a bunch more hand-crafted islands.

There are a few main areas that still need attention in my opinion:

  • Defensive tactics
    • AI should organize its defenses better in late game, it should not be leaving its entire army blatantly prone to being cut off
    • AI should be able to better recognize and defend choke points instead of falling back to towns
  • Strategic expansion: AI should actively expand in the direction that gets it closer to valuable objectives.
  • Player feedback: The feedback animations are a nice first step, but I have more plans to make the diplomatic layer of the game more readable to the player

I realize I’m messing with the very core of what makes the game fun here, so I definitely won’t make any major changes lightly, and I’ll be attentively listening to all feedback along the way! Don’t hesitate to use the in-game feedback button!

And just in case you really dislike the newest AI changes, you can still play with the old AI on