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Lords of the Shattered Kingdom update for 8 March 2021

Enemy leaders

Share · View all patches · Build 6345849 · Last edited 8 March 2021 – 09:09:05 UTC by Wendy

Patchnotes via Steam Community

Enemy leaders update

In this patch, NPC armies have received a leader. This leader will now have skills, depending on how far the player has progressed, of the command/heroic + adventure types. There are some significant consequences to this new feature.

Enemies are more powerful

Because the leaders of these NPC entities will give them boosts coming from passive skills, the enemies will be much tougher.
Furthermore, it will be much harder for the player to build an "immune" soldier type, equipped with armor, that will not take damage at all from NPCs. With the skills coming into play, even swords might be able to penetrate armor.
The leader HP, damage, and defensive stats will be based on the members of its group. So if the player finds a high damage group dressed in leather, it is very likely that the leader will also have high damage and be dressed in leather.
Note: NPCs on the main maps will not have leaders, making them much easier to kill now. Also the player that chooses the easiest difficulty for quests will also face leaderless armies. Just a bit of difficulty will add the leader with no skill points and then the harder the difficulty setting the more skills the leader will have.

NPC group size

To compensate for this, the size of the enemy packs has been dramatically reduced, especially on the later tier enemies, and the AI will now be forced to follow similar rules regarding how many groups it can have on the field and how big of a group.
If the group has a huge number of soldiers, but the enemy leader is not skilled enough to deploy them all, then the AI will deploy them in waves, just as a player would.
For this reason, a player that is aggressive on the field may reach the enemy reinforcement lines and attack, even kill them, as they are being deployed. It is very possible that the fight is won without killing everything, if the player manages to clear the battlefield without giving its opponent the chance to deploy backup.

AI changes

The AI has been improved and will now perform, if possible, flaking attacks.
Archers will now move around the field and kite, or get closer if they are out of range.
NPC lords/leaders will be generally defensive, and not rush into combat, but they will still engage targets if given the chance.
Because of the buffs the heroic leaders give to their armies, it is generally a good idea, sometimes even a necessity, to first kill the enemy lords, even at a high price, to remove these buffs.

Resource balancing

Having to deal with fewer but tougher enemies means less drops. Some changes were done to counter this:

Resource quantities increased

For some quests, in particular the ones that require a quest item to start or are part of a chain, will drop significantly more resources. The only exception to this rule is the "Secure the area" quest from the Knight Mission Outpost or from Gargyle, which have high resource drops even if they are not part of a chain.
Most quests will now also contain crates of weapons/armor which are relevant for that level of player development, easing the burden of building weapons.

Auto pickup

When a lord reaches the entrance of a quest area (or leaves a quest area and interacts with the entrance again), if the area contains no enemies then an option to "autopickup" the resources inside will be given in the entrance interaction window. If used, the lord will begin the process of collecting all the loot in the area, of all types. The length of this process depends on how large the map is (not the number of resources), and how much of the area was explored. If the entire map was explored already, the process might only last a few seconds, usually around 10, even for very large maps. If however the map was not explored, the process can last much longer, 20-30 minutes or more.
If the process is interrupted, no resources are collected and the process must be restarted as if nothing happened.
This feature allows the player to focus on killing enemies on quest areas and ignore resources, since it will only take around 10 seconds to autopickup once all enemies are killed and the player leaves the area.
Also, "Collect resources" areas that are available from all quest givers can now be farmed by secondary lords that are sent to the entry points of those areas and just ordered to collect the resources.
When the timer reaches 0, all resources will be collected. If the lord inventory overflows, the resources will not be collected but will not be consumed. The lord may deposit the loot in a castle and return for more.

Army actions monitoring

The above mentioned timers will be displayed for the player. If a lord/army is currently picking up resources, an icon will be displayed on the army button on the top bar and a small colored frame will show the progress of the action. If an army is selected, the exact completion time will be displayed on on the main play area.
This feature was also applied to army movement, so the player knows how long a move will take and, can now cancel the move order.

Fixes and player experience improvements

Some problems regarding multi army engagements, or armies joining late, have been discovered and resolved.
Several player experience features were introduced:

Season duration time

As players evolve, conquer more castles and are comfortable with their conquests, they have a tendency to demolish buildings in their home castles (the one on the starting island and on the barbarian island), to reduce season times. This was not intended behavior, as those two castles are designed to act as a backup in case more advanced outposts are overrun by enemy players.
To fix this, the castle season time will now be based on the minimum value of Storm's Howl, Desert Storm and All other castles. So, when the player starts developing Desert Storm, for example, doing this will not make the seasons longer, and once the castle becomes better then Storm's Howl the Storm Howl time will no longer be added. A player with, let's say, a fully developed Desert Storm, will have a 7-10 minute season timer, and a player with a Knight Keep that is fully developed will have a timer of 10-15 minutes (depending on how workers are assigned and building types).

Building overflow warnings

All castles will now show a warning when the blacksmith, mage tower or barracks will be close to their maximum storage of goods, recruits and mana respectively. The player will no longer have to check the castles frequently for overflowing buildings.

Worker allocation

All buildings that require workers will now have the allocation bar size match the maximum number of people that can be allocated in that building, ignoring population restraints. If there are not enough people to allocate at a moment in time, then a part of that allocation bar will be blacked out. This gives the player an idea on how close to capacity the building is working.

Deposit resources button

Lord to lord and lord to castle trade windows have received a couple more buttons with implicit filters. It is possible now for the player to click a button to store all resources (and nothing else) or store soldier weapons (and nothing else), ammo or lord equipment. The "Store all" button is still there and works in the same way, but this is more convenient if, let's say, a player wants to store resources in some castle and weapons in another.

Map loading time

To make the experience more immersive, the decision was taken in the past to only show the map once all the characters on it were instantiated and armed. This had the unfortunate consequence of leading to high "loading" times for players running the game on older machines. In this update, the loading screen will open after all the player characters are loaded and armed, with the NPCs being displayed after the player is presented with the map screen. This will significantly shorten the loading times on the Knight domain and Knight estate maps, but may lead to "invisible" npcs for the first couple of seconds, until they are properly instantiated. This is only a temporary solution.

Quest giver shops

Quest giver shops will now give arrows in exchange for bows and some experience. The type of arrow and bow involved depend on the quest giver, with higher tier quest givers working with better arrows and bows.
Also, the trade slider will now scale with how many items the player might trade (capped at 1000) based on the favor value. However, if the player is lacking some other resource, part of the slider will be blacked out so that the player clearly sees how far the slider can be dragged. The player can still drag the slider on the black area so that it sees what resource is limiting the trade, so this is purely an informative change.

Army movement and object interaction

Resources will now be picked up when the army begins to enter the grid of the resource, not once it reaches the middle of it. This makes the process feel more natural.
Armies will now begin to move immediately on the client, without waiting for server approval. This makes the experience better for players with high latency connections.

Unit buffs

Almost all unit buffs of all types (including passive skills) will now be shown next to the unit details panel in battle. The only notable exception to this is the "Antimagic" skill for heroes.

Clearly marked leaders

All army leaders, player or otherwise will now have a round unit marker instead of the hexagonal one, making them more obvious on the field.

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