Good news, everyone. Last year's sequel to the beloved, olden, indirect-control strategy game Majesty is to receive an expansion pack. Well, of course it bloody is. It's an RTS. An RTS without an expansion pack is unthinkable. Where else would we get our new maps and units from? How else will we find out what ultimately happens to some supporting character we didn't really care about? What else would we possibly do with that £15-25? RTSes get expansion packs? IT IS WRITTEN. That said, I wasn't at all sure Majesty 2 would - despite being heir to a landmark game, it was a little underwhelming. A little too similar to its parent, and a whole lot too samey. Question is, does the upcoming Kingmaker fix any of that?
Not a lot's being let on in the initial announcement, while the ever-crusty website bears no mention of it, but we'll have an interview with someone on the dev team up soon that should shed more light as to how receptive they've been to complaints about M2, and what direction they're taking with this expansion.
For now, what we know is this: goblins. Lots of goblins. Eight new maps full of the little bleeders, headed up by someone called Lord Blackviper, who's planning to reintroduce a plague god called Grum-Gog into the semi-satirical fantasy land of Ardania. I always thought it was entirely satirical, but Googling for 'Grum-Gog' turned up a frankly frightening amount of Majesty lore. I guess a fantasy game without an extensive and slightly tedious backstory would be like an RTS without an expansion pack. You might not necessarily want it, but by God it's gonna happen anyway.
In other Majesty 2 news - and possibly more exciting than Kingmaker - there's a third patch on the way, which adds two things that definitely will shore up some of the game's holes. First up, a random map generator: a much-adored feature of the first game, and a way of adding big happy dollops of replay value to the game. On a similar note is the second goodie, a map editor.
In other words: there's a cartload of extra Majesty content en route, for free, so Kingmaker (which is due for download-only release 'soon') had better have something pretty significant up its sleeve to seem worth its $20 pricetag in the face of this. No mention of new units yet, but I'm guessing those goblins will eventually be recruitable as well as killable... The screenshots certainly suggest they're something more organised and base-based than the usual fire'n'forget Majesty 2 creeps.