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Stronghold: Warlords

Platform(s): PC
Genre: Strategy
Developer: Firefly Studios
Release Date: Jan. 26, 2021

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'Stronghold: Warlords' Details Major A.I. Improvements - Trailer

by Rainier on Oct. 16, 2020 @ 9:00 a.m. PDT

Besiege Great Khans, Imperial warlords and Shōgun commanders in Stronghold: Warlords, the latest in Firefly's classic 'castle sim' series.

Stronghold: Warlords will allow players to control AI commanders across the battlefield.

From the 3rd century BC China through to the coming of the Mongol Empire in 1200 AD, Stronghold: Warlords allows players to relive famous historical battles and sieges against great khans, imperial warlords, and shogun commanders.

Stronghold: Warlords is Firefly’s first Stronghold to recreate the castle economies of the Far East. Stronghold: Warlords lets you take command of Mongol hordes, imperial warriors, tribal fighters and samurai clansmen as you lay siege to Japanese castles and fortified Chinese cities. Besiege historical rulers using new gunpowder-fueled siege weapons, classic units and a completely new way to play Stronghold.

This new entry in the historical real-time strategy series will usher in major improvements and refinements in how computer controlled opponents interact with the player, each other and any warlords present on the map.

Firefly Studios’ Designer Stephen Richards and series creator Simon Bradbury have revealed four major improvements to AI behaviour found in their upcoming ‘castle sim’ sequel Stronghold: Warlords. This new entry in the historical real-time strategy series will usher in major improvements and refinements in how computer controlled opponents interact with the player, each other and any warlords present on the map.

“Suffice to say, the AI no longer cheats” said Simon Bradbury, Lead Designer at Firefly Studios. “It no longer needs a helping hand to provide the fun gameplay that a Stronghold game must provide, allowing you to disrupt their economy and pin them down. We know we’ve done our job properly when a warlord coordinates a pincer movement and players sit back thinking ‘That’s what I would have done!’”

AI behaviours related to castle management, skirmish combat and city building have been completely revamped for Stronghold: Warlords, in addition to being able to work with the new warlords system. Much like the archetypes of the warlords themselves - such as the Ox, Tiger and Crane - each enemy AI will adhere to a distinct style of play over a set of predetermined behaviours. The decisions made by computer opponents will now be made according to map layout, tactical positioning of warlords, available resources, current army composition and their priorities at different stages of gameplay.

In practical terms this means less hard coded, predictable behaviours and more flexibility in how AI opponents can outmanoeuvre the player, but also how it deals with the evolving situation within its own castle. Independent of the player, AI will build, sell resources and train their army according to changing priorities over the course of a skirmish match. Just like a human player the AI will adjust its focus between city building and RTS combat, while also battling it out with the player for control over each map’s selection of warlords. Just remember... While major advances in AI can be scary, human players can always just hit the power button. Take that evil robot future!

For the first time ever Stronghold: Warlords allows you to recruit, upgrade and command AI warlords across the battlefield with their own unique perks and characteristics. Each warlord under your command boosts your control of the battlefield allowing you to fortify borders, forge weapons or team up for a pincer attack! Each campaign mission, skirmish game, and multiplayer battle means a fresh set of warlords to command and new strategic depth. By unlocking more powerful castles, armies and abilities each Warlord has the potential to disrupt the flow of battle and turn the tide in your favor.

Stronghold: Warlords is scheduled for release for PC (Steam) on January 26, 2021.


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