Since we started the Early Access in August, we have been releasing new patches in a steady flow. While following the Early Access Road-Map, we have also listened to player feedback, adding and reworking features, improving the game play experience.
The first mile-stone from the Road-Map has been reached, and the game now allows mid-battle saving during both the historic battles and campaign battles. Thanks to players' reports we've been able to quickly fix related bugs as well, and keep doing so as we move forward.
The next steps have also been under development simultaneously. Map Pack #1, introducing 10 new historical battle-fields, has already been partially implemented during patching, with maps of Winchester, Olustee, Mine Creek, Cumberland Gap, Honey Springs and Honey Hill already added in the game, available for campaign battles. After three more historical maps, the next step is to start adding the randomly chosen non-historical battle-fields to increase campaign battle diversity.
And while adding maps, new historic battles have also been added: Shiloh (1862), Olustee (1864), and Wilderness (1864) are now available as stand-alone scenarios. A few more historic battles are also coming with the 1864 campaign.
Also on the Road-Map are the tutorial videos. We're proud to announce that we have teamed up with the one and only History Guy Gaming, who has already produced the first tutorial video about the game's Information and Options, and continues to produce new ones as we speak.
One of the most requested features by Early Access players along with AI improvements has been the weapon upgrades. First we added a standardization feature, which limited number of available weapons, but this alone was not sufficient, as hinted by the players. In the latest patch we've reworked the standardization feature completely, and now newer and more advanced weapons will be available in smaller quantity at start, and will slowly become more common when equipping more units with them, increasing standardization. Re-arming the whole Army of the Potomac with repeating rifles is no longer possible, and as the Confederate player you may be stuck with heaps of obsolete weapons only available to your troops for some time - making capturing of Union weapons from the battle-fields after victories more important. At the same go we added improved tooltips for weapons and perks, which should help players when choosing weapons and specialization for their units.
And while the economic model has been improved in the background, we've added further information for player about the state of their economy. Credit rating is now shown on the main campaign view, and if the rating drops too low, further recruitment is no longer possible before taking steps to improve the rating via policies, taxation, government spending and so on. Also the economic hit of military operations such as blockading and raiding has been added to the strategy panel, along with information about weapon production efficiency.
Next steps will include, in addition to the items on the Road-Map, improved information about the policies and their effects, as well as possibility to choose the reinforcing units in campaign battles - both requested by the community.
The march continues. Thanks to our dedicated community, who are helping immensely with reports, suggestions and feedback, the work on the Early Access version has been progressing well. The work is not finished, but with each patch the game is getting more and more enjoyable. Public patches are to be expected, like before, approximately weekly or bi-weekly. We have also allowed Early Access players to opt for developer patches, which arrive at even steadier flow. Using the Steam betas, players can see the latest features and give feedback about them, before the public patches come out.
We are, sir, Your very ob't se'v'ts,
The Grand Tactician Team.