What was done: In this latest patch, 2.11, there was an abundance of changes with most receiving positive feedback from the playerbase, with complaints about a couple of the changes but overall it being, we believe, well received. It is our goal as the development team to keep up the development of this 10 year old mod and bring it into the future to be played for hopefully at least another 10 years.
In this latest patch, 2.11 or the "Sound and Weapon overhaul", there were a variety of new features. Here, I will detail all the changes that have happened and give some examples, screenshots, and sound recordings of the changes that have happened.
The UI: As seen in a previous post, there was an overhaul on the UI to bring it into this century. The previous UI still has remnants in the game, however they are going to be eventually replaced in an effort to make the game appear new. Here are a couple of examples:
The Weapon Overhaul: The weapon overhaul, designed to make heavies even more potent, add balance to the game, and extend the game time of mid game has officially been added. This update did exactly as intended. Mid game now lasts much longer, which we believe increases the fun of the game. No longer is it a "rush to heavy tanks", because now to have good heavy tanks you must also research weapons for them to be usable. Below are some screenshots of the new heavy tank weapons:
Along with this patch, there is now the first infantry research upgrade, to allow Grenadiers to be more potent in the late game. This, again, increases the combined arms feel of the game by making infantry viable in the late game stages, in the effort to hopefully create a new environment that is more friendly and fun to those who love to play infantry.
The Sound Overhaul: The old sound's for Empires were growing dated and not really going well with the game. On top of this, there was the issue that was starting to form of weapons no longer sounding unique, leading to confusion into figuring out exactly what weapons the enemy has researched. This issue has been rectified, along with an overhaul of every other sound from Infantry to Tank weaponry. While the old sounds were more dynamic, the new sounds are tailored specifically for events so there is little re-use between different actions. The sound update will continue to happen to fix some of the newer sounds and get them all on par with each other, along with varying them even more, but for now we hope this adds a breath of fresh air into the mod.
Below are some examples of the sounds:
Bugfixes & Misc improvements:
Achievements: Achievements are once again available for Empires, offering 8 different achievements. While what you have to do for the achievements is hidden, the names offer some idea as to what you have to do, they are:
- Back from the Dead
- Drive me Closer
- Free Market
- Just in Time
- Never give up, never surrender
- Partybus - Get in a full APC
- Quid Pro Quo Pro - Revive a friendly engineer who recently revived you.
We hope the community tries to figure out what has to be done for these achievements and then posts what they did to get it to inspire cooperation within the community. There will also be new achievements to come in the future.
Commander Features: Increased the research tree animation time and allowed a mass selection tool for the commander to select all units of one type on screen at once. Also fixed the bug that alerted you that your commander was under attack when it took a stray pistol shot.
Map fixes to remove exploits.
Of course there are a ton of other features that were added, and you can check them all out in the 2.11 Changelog.
The Path Ahead is looking bright. People have been stepping up to redo multiple aspects of the game. These aspects are:
Bot Code: Bots are once again under production for Empires, this time looking promising as the bots can now select a spawn point, spawn, and then run around. The path ahead for bots is making them follow navmesh instead of waypoints to increase their viability and make them perform like actual players. We will hopefully soon be setting up some sort of bot server for players to play against the bots in an infantry conquest style map. Here you can see a video regarding one of the newer features with the WIP bots, the ability to revive them.
New maps: There are a slew of new maps in production with mappers stepping up to begin mapping. This is highly encouraged in this rather small community because it brings in a fresh new feel to the game and makes it so we can all be entertained with different playstyles and different environments. You can check out some of the newest maps in development here on the forum.
Tank Destroyers: In the far future, a new chassis will be added to remove the gridlock of late game heavy spamming and will hopefully be used to counter them and make the game more dynamic and teamwork oriented.
New Models: People have been stepping up, and we hope to be introducing new models in the future to reinvigorate and improving the aging appearance of this game. We believe new models would be one of the greatest updates we could provide, though it would appear we are still short handed with the current modelers.
If you would like to help out with the development of this beloved mod, contact us! We do appreciate any help people can offer!
We are also aware this game has a small community and we encourage you to check out the steamcharts, located here (Click me!), so you can maximize the most out of playing. Do not be discouraged if you see a few people on, check the steam charts and see when people usually get on to have the most fun while playing.
Also, we recommend subscribing to the mod on Reddit and checking out the Empires website to stay up to date, see funny posts, and to engage in the community and have your voice be heard.
Wishing you all a happy New Year and a better Empires experience!