Scots, Free: War Of The Roses Gets Huge Update

By Nathan Grayson on January 24th, 2013 at 10:00 am.

I’ll admit that I haven’t been back to War of the Roses since shortly after it launched, but maybe now’s finally the time for me to de-rust my steed and feed my armor some of the good carrots. Or wait, no, the other way. Feed my carrots some armor. There we go. Anyway, Paradox’s medieval melee’s seen yet another free content drop – this time taking the form of armor and weaponry forged in the image of the Scottish Gallowglass mercenaries. Apparently, they “brought brute force and fighting spirit to the battlefields like none could,” so probably get ready to smash first and ask only the most necessary of questions. But, even though the update’s named after them, the mercenaryfolk aren’t the main event of today’s update. Rather, it’s complete reworks of core systems – for instance, armor, weapon speed and power, and movement – that stand to make the Middle Ages feel young again.

There’s a bastard-sword-sized list of patch notes over at ye olde Paradoxe Plaza(e), but the biggest hits definitely stem from this particular portion.

  • Armour has been revamped
  • Armour reduces incoming damage by:
  • Cloth removes 10% damage
  • Leather removes 20% damage
  • Mail removes 30% damage
  • Plate removes 60% damage
  • Damage needs to end up over 15 to pass through and is then modified by hit zones
  • Hit zone damage has been modified

Among other things, weapons also had to be tweaked to accommodate the changes, so now maces go right through armor but do less damage, axes dice skulls with tons of power but very little grace, thrust attacks move more slowly, and armor-absorbed hits no longer result in interrupts.

Perks and movement have also gone under the knife to better suit players’ new suits, so the changes ought to be fairly pronounced. Whether or not they’re for the best, however, I can’t really say at this point. Do we have any regulars among the RPS ranks, though? If so, is this a much-needed evolution for Paradox’s game of decidedly non-modern warfare? Or are we looking at fixes for a few things that weren’t quite broken in the first place?

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17 Comments »

  1. abandonhope says:

    I got War of the Roses around the same time I got Chivalry, played for about 30 minutes, and then never touched it again. Meanwhile, Chivarly ate up 40 hours of my time in two weeks. Clearly they are very different games, but WotR wasn’t what I was looking for at the time. For some reason, playing it didn’t feel anything like it looked in all the gameplay I’d watched. I guess I should give it another try.

    • thesmileman says:

      I had the exact opposite experience and only played Chivalry for an hour and then never touched it and I put it probably 50+ hours in WoTR. Chivalry just fell flat for me and the archery was just crap. In Chivalry you can shoot a guy in the head with an arrow from 50 feet, have it stick in his head, and he won’t go down. Also the graphics felt very subpar in Chivalry.

      • Aardvark_Man says:

        I enjoyed Chivalry far more than War of the Roses (The more I played WotR the less I liked it), and in fact the only reason I have it now is someone gave it to me for Christmas.

        That said, I’ve gone back to M&B over the two of them. With any luck M&B 2 will pick up the good things from WotR (eg. very specific hit zones) and cover all bases.

        • Mattressi says:

          I never got Chivalry, but I gave WotR a good go for a few months, but it just never excited me. I ended up leaving and going back to M&B. I really hope they don’t make M&B2 like WotR and that they just improve upon M&B instead.

      • arrow says:

        Same here, Chivalry feels like CoD… its just bland… not interesting at all. While I’ve sunk about 40h into WoTR… Had no time to check out the changes yet. But weekend is close.

      • Eddard_Stark says:

        Yeah I much prefer (or prefered, we’ll see) War of the Roses to Chivalry too. Well in all honesty I liked both and they felt different enough to enjoy both, but in the end I stuck by WorR. Chivalry just felt too arcady. A fun game but a bit too shallow.

    • MrLebanon says:

      I watched TBs breakdown on the two games – and the combat and chivalry looked to be a lot more skill based and that is what I went for.

      Haven’t regretted. I may get WOTR if it ever goes for 5 bucks

    • AlKaPwn says:

      I hated WoTR because without any sort of stamina system, servers were full of people who had full plate mail and a big sword, and would just walk into battle waving it haphazardly up and down, making all the battles look like humorous wind up toys slowly waddling their way into a long bout of hitting everything until someone fell down.

      Also best not forget their dumb execution system. Helplessly laying on the ground as a man runs over to you, shoves his sword in your face, but does not grant the sweet release of death because he didn’t get a chance to twist it after shoving it in your eyehole, and having it happen over and over again, is what I imagine hell must be like.

  2. Sgt.Knumskull says:

    Played it yersterday after i thought STEAM re-downloaded the whole game for reasons unbeknownst to me: the changes seem -to me- to be in place although many of the “old palyers” lament it would break the game-bla-bla. So -as always- the player are of two minds ’bout it. I think it improves the game but im ony a casual player. Some of the items were re-categorized (new added!) and some were fix’d but i think i discoverd some bugs in the item selections. And the custom profiles bounced AGAIN!

  3. Eddard_Stark says:

    I am a bit concerned about the game now. I really liked the… hardcoreness, shall we call it, in the way the armour worked, especially heavy. Yeah it got silly sometimes when two tin cans with swords could dance around each other for ages without making a lethal blow and it was frustrating trying to penetrate full plate, especially when you’re running in mail and they cut through you like butter unless you dance like a madman and keep them at the point of your sword (or just get a mace and crush them). But hey, to tell the truth I really enjoyed it. It felt awesome when you finally caught the moment and penetrated the tin can in a conjunction.

    Now you can just run around and slash everyone with a 2-hander and reap the fruits without much effort. It’s fun but I am feeling like something is amiss.

  4. Zealuu says:

    I’ve spent a lot of time on both Chivalry and WoTR. I’m not sure I love them both equally, but I do feel qualified to, like, have opinions about them. Chivalry is easier to get into, and feels more kinetic and punchy both thanks to the perspective and the “weight” of weapons. Chivalry also has a higher skill threshold for melee classes as well, with the timed parries and feinting, ducking and jumping – and while the engine isn’t a technological wonder, both the level design and general aesthetic is much more solid and coherent than in WoTR, which lends itself well to Chivalry’s very enjoyable objective mode. Between the relatively uninspired TDM and Conquest modes of WoTR and Chivalry’s team objectives, the latter decidedly comes out on top as far as game modes go.

    Because there are fewer permutations of armour/helmets/weapons/perks, Chivalry doesn’t suffer from the balance issues that have plagued WoTR since the alpha (I was there). Fatshark balances in a fairly ham-fisted way – if something’s a little too common on the field, nerf it to oblivion while wantonly buffing other things and just see how it pans out. Then a new flavour of the month setup emerges, and the process is repeated. That’s not really iterative, or very sensible, and it kind of destroys the simulatory, historical approach to medieval combat they’re going for. Not to mention that custom profiles seem ot be erased once a month because of this.

    So, yeah, right now it’s not hard to see why a lot of people would prefer Chivalry (if they do, I have no idea about actual population numbers) – I’d certainly include fewer caveats in any recommendation of Chivalry to someone with a hankering for medieval combat than I would for a recommendation of WoTR in its pre-patch state.

    I haven’t gotten around to playing with these new changes in effect, but a total overhaul of the core design of armour and weapons seems, at least to me, like a much better solution than haphazard tug-of-war balancing of a system that was quite possibly fundamentally flawed.

    I mean, War of the Roses was and probably still is fun, but the flaws present were so much more obvious and aggravating than Chivalry’s current issues.

  5. Gwyddelig says:

    *Pushes glasses back up bridge of nose*
    “Gallowglass” by the time of the War of the Roses was more a fighting style than a nationality and were as likely to be Irish as Scottish (in the sense that we understand these things today).

    • Wizlah says:

      Aye, at school we were taught about Irish gallowglass soldiers and mercenaries being common throughout 15-1600′s. fought all over the shop.

    • Homercleese says:

      Well wasn’t Scottish culture just exported Gaelic Irish? Dal Riada and all that?

      P.S. Nice Killer-Willie photo. Our former Minister for Defense everybody!

  6. Reapy says:

    Will have to give the game another shot. I still prefer m&b of the 3 games. I liked chiv a lot more than wotr, but something about it didn’t sit right with me for long term playing, though for people looking there definitely is more there than when you first look.

    I think my major problem with wotr were parries working inconsistently, odd animations, and armor making people invulnerable. I think parries not working all the time, being the main game mechanic and all too, was really what drove it back up on the shelf for me.

    *Edit* Just saw this note:
    “To remove network related issues there’s now a slight delay before parrying activates”

    So the solution is no solution. At least what you see on screen will be possibly be more representative with what is happening in the game.

  7. Thurgret says:

    Purchased the game just a few days ago. It’s almost dead, in terms of player numbers, and that’s a big problem for a multiplayer-only game.

    When I can find a game, a majority of people seem to have full plate and two-handed weapons that they spam constantly, or they’re playing archers (often in heavy armour too), or they’re playing lance-armed cavalry. A few play unarmoured people with the fastest-swinging two-hander they can find. My own bloke with his sword and shield often feels a bit useless.

  8. bstard says:

    One of those titles. Played the beta, loved it, bought a 4pack for me & my co-alcoholics, but never got to play the final more as 30mins. It just was missing fun competition. It was about some naabs abusing OP stuff and ruining the game for all. Good idear, proper design, bad implementation.