Stronghold 3 Patch Adds “Free-Build Panel”

Poor old Firefly are looking a bit beleaguered after the disappointing release of Stronghold 3, to the point where the top thread on their forums is titled “We are listening and we are working”. Anyway, some of that listening and working seems to have gone into yesterday’s patch, which has added a “free-build panel” to allow players to experiment with their fortifications a little more: “Although Stronghold 3 wasn’t designed with a skirmish mode in mind,” announced Simon Bradbury, lead designer, “we have listened to what the fans have been saying, so beefed up the Free Build mode to give players lots more flexibility and the ability to have increasingly powerful invasions attack their castle.” Quite why it wasn’t designed with what seems like the most obvious possible mode for a castle-building game is beyond me, but at least they’re having a crack at it now, eh readers?


  1. Feldgrau says:

    I had a feeling I was buying into a work in progress when I purchased Stronghold 3. I have the utmost confidence they’ll be able to make something of it given time. I only wish they’d taken that time prior to releasing the game.

  2. Maldomel says:

    I was interested by the game before release but waited to see some reviews and make an opinion about wether it was worth a buy or not. It was not, apparently, but if they update it I might give it a try one day when it’s cheaper.

    And yeah, why would a castle-building game be designed towards a skirmish mode rather than a free-build one? It’s nice to see they wanted another orientation for their game, but endlessly building huge fortress and see how it develops is what players would like to see, rather than scenarios restricting the full building part.

  3. MellowKrogoth says:

    Here’s hoping those poor guys manage to fix the game, so I can buy it without feeling I’m wasting money. Maybe they should have gone for an HD remake of the original, still in 2D, with slightly improved game mechanics. Actually, they should still do it, I’d pay for that.

    With this game it sounds like they went for an awesome but over-ambitious mix of a full physics engine for destructible walls, and having units actually pathfind on those, with all the real-time updating that implies. That could take them a while to get working… in most games you don’t get to walk on huge piles of destructible stuff, Havok can start freaking out with just a few crates or a ragdoll stuck in the wrong place. I guess Firefly took some shortcuts such as making the walls static objects until they collapse.

  4. Carra says:

    I really loved the original Stronghold so my hopes for this game were up. Sad to see that it’s not just a mediocre game but from what I’ve read a terrible one. I’ll spend my money somewhere else.

    • Zarunil says:

      It is indeed terrible and a massive disappointment. Quite sad, really.

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      lurkalisk says:

      It sounds to me like it could be as great as we want were it simply patched a bunch. Work-in-progress releases are never good, but if someday I have a quality Stronghold 3 to play, I don’t care.

    • paterah says:

      Or you could just wait till the patch up this game if you are a Stronghold fan. I believe the game will be descent at some point.

    • aleander says:

      I believe the game will be descent at some point.

      Oh god, I would totally pay for a new Descent!

  5. cliffski says:

    This was a must-buy for me, until the reviews slated it, and i don’t recall seeing a demo, so I skipped it. Now I own battlefield 3 AND anno 2070, I just don’t have the time, but like others say, if the consensus is that this fixes it, I might check it out later.

  6. Real Horrorshow says:

    I get the distinct impression that they had to release the game or go out of business.

  7. SpinX_911 says:

    I had no idea this wasn’t even included! And I was so hyped about this, and then I ended up buying something else, just to forget about it. So much talk, to release a half-baked product?

    Maybe after quite a couple of patches I’ll buy it. Maybe.

    • Real Horrorshow says:

      Honestly, I don’t think patches can save this game.

      It’s literally 50% complete.

  8. Cooper says:

    I’m still hoping a expand-alone of some sorts comes out. This is clearly an unfinished game, but it’s also clear that there -is- a game there…. Somewhere…

  9. sventoby says:

    I hope a better developer copies the Stronghold formula and makes a worthwhile game. Until then at least we have Dwarf Fortress.

  10. Mijit says:

    Whilst it was a total mess on release, Firefly’s post launch support has been nothing short of incredible, patches have been released routinely, communication with the community has been outstanding and the progress they’ve made is phenomenal, even more so for such a small studio.

    I’ve easily got my moneys worth in the editor alone & if Firefly remain as committed as they have been since release Stronghold 3 will be fantastic……..

    … around three months.

    • matrices says:

      Fuck that noise. Don’t release a broken game for $50 and then tell me you’ll eventually sort of have some of it working maybe three months from now. That is deceit, plain and simple.

      They can take their patches and shove it up their asses. Never buying a game from this studio, period.

    • meatshit says:

      Sometimes the only alternative to releasing a half-finished game is going bankrupt and releasing no game.

  11. pacificator says:

    I did spend the 50euros on it. More fun would have been generated by just lighting the money and watching them burn. It is AWFUL. Where I work it wouldn’t pass an internal pre-Alpha stage. It really makes me sad to see this.

    Ah and waiting for a patch is simply not my thing any more. I can understand issues with games from indie teams and newcomers, they just can’t test it right on PC because it’s a complex platform.
    But charging as much as Battlefield 3 for a game and just giving me just some used toilet paper is simply unacceptable. I hope they just go bankrupt so they can spare us from seeing further abominations that they are calling games.

  12. Navagon says:

    Well on the bright side it might be a really good game by the time it’s being sold for less than a fiver.

  13. michaelar says:

    Didn’t we just have this problem with Sword of the Stars 2, where the developer had to release whatever they had or go out of business? It’s a shame, as these two games come from highly respected franchises. Maybe those indies are on to something with their “early beta access pre-orders”.

    Best of luck to the Stronghold 3 and SOTS2 dev teams, then. We want to buy your games.