The free weekend on Steam is coming to an end, so don’t waste the time and go play while you can! There are also some cool changes coming to Hold Your Ground before the holidays, and you can find out about them in the dev frame!
For the last four days, there was a free weekend going on with new players trying out Of Kings And Men completely free on Steam! We hope you all had fun butchering the bots in Hold Your Ground and Arena and participating in PvP battles, as well as raids and sieges!
There are just a few hours left before the end of the weekend, so make sure you check all the things in the game if you haven’t done so yet. If you decided to keep fighting alongside other players in wars and participate in other activities like clan diplomacy, there are some interesting development news for you down below, specifically about a great mode to practice your fighting skills!
Protect the Gate
The free weekend came to an end, and there are new players roaming the world of war and unexpected headshots. As anticipated, and as it turned out in the end, many of those who tried the game during the free weekend spent quite a lot of time playing Hold Your Ground game mode. It’s definitely the most friendly of the modes, since all the enemies are controlled by AI, allowing players to help each other in cooperative waves.
With that in mind, it was decided that spending a little time on improving the mode that’s liked by less experienced players would be a good opportunity to make their experience better, allowing to practice in a more fun environment. Also, Hold Your Ground should obviously be interesting to other, more experienced warriors, so it was taken into account as well.
The idea behind the changes is to create a mode with more structure and interesting progression as the waves get harder, requiring a different approach with every stage. Some of the mechanics like bosses were previously suggested by the community too, so it’s very possible that you’ll find something you suggested yourself!
The first thing that changes about Hold Your Ground is how bot classes work. Previously, every enemy was simply given a specific difficulty, which determined a number of stat points they had assigned and how expensive their gear was. With the change, AI controlled soldiers will have predefined classes with chosen builds, equipment, and behavior.
The first and the easiest class to fight is peasants. They wear their cheap clothes like a tunic or a hosen (some don’t even have those!), while swinging self-made small axes and pikes.
It’s extremely easy to defeat a single peasant, since they always die in just one hit, while not being able to block due to their lack of military training, unless, of course, your weapons meet during a swing.
Peasants, however, are present in every wave, even the very last ones. They create a large mass of enemies, making them quite dangerous when fighting alone, especially because you could get stunned by their weak hits and miss a really hard one by the harder bots.
In your attempts to beat harder waves, it would be wise to try to get rid of the peasants as soon as possible. They make it not so easy to fight even a single difficult enemy by swarming you from every side, so don’t assume they’re not worth your time in a battle!
The warrior is the second class in the new update. They don’t wear much armour and are not very fast with their swings, but make no mistake ignoring their heavy weapons! They hit extremely hard, using only the heaviest two-handed weapons around like a maul or a morning star, and having very good damage stats to their disposal.
Not blocking even a single attack of the warrior might be deadly, and they’re even more dangerous when in group, so either focus on blocking their heavy hits or use footwork to avoid them altogether. Due to light equipment used by the warriors and high melee skills, spamming them with hits usually fails, making them serious enemies even in a duel.
The third class will likely keep you awake at night after getting hit by their extremely fast attacks. It’s the assassin and he is truly the fastest enemy on the battlefield at any time. Being equipped in armour only slightly heavier than the peasants, he compensates by swinging very light weapons like a lenticular sword right at your face.
Assassins don’t hit very hard and have very low health stats, but keep your eyes opened when you notice that one of them is sneaking around! They have the fastest attack speed possible and move swiftly through dead bodies they leave behind.
With such speed, avoiding attacks is probably not an option, as they will always turn and hit faster than you can move. Instead, try to hit as precisely as possible and block. Lack of good armour on their side is your advantage!
The knight is like a combat tank of the medieval times. Equipped in the toughest equipment he found in the armoury and having enough health to withstand a hit from a trebuchet, he crawls towards you with his extremely low movement speed.
Knights also swing very slowly and don’t hit too hard, but while you’ll be trying to go around his huge shield and hitting him for what will seem like eternity, he’ll likely have enough time to hit back more than enough times to kill!
On the bright side, their slow movement doesn’t allow them to turn quickly enough to avoid being outplayed by a skilled fighter who knows his footwork. Simply doing a step to hit his back won’t be a problem with even a moderate movement speed, and he’ll have a hard time blocking due to all the weight he’s carrying.
Scouts will quickly become your worst enemies if you don’t have a handy shield in your hand. They’re the only ranged enemies in Hold Your Ground now, using either bows or crossbows, and trying to stay at the back while their melee allies are swinging at you in close combat.
Ranged units of the nameless attacking army have a very good attacking speed and their light equipment allows them to be quite mobile on the battlefield, but overall, they’re not the strongest enemies you’ll encounter. Their advantage is their range and accuracy.
While you’re trying not to get killed by a heavy hitting warrior or a quick assassin, scouts will continue shooting, making your life much more difficult. Unless you’re playing the mode alone, try to have at least one team mate going to the back to hunt the scouts down, since they’re very capable of eliminating the whole team from a safe distance, even though not hitting that hard.
Don’t run in a straight line!
Guards are very skilled polearm users from Byzantium, which can be seen by their pointy helmets and elegant black armour. They make an accent on hitting hard and having more than enough protection and health, but their speed is also not too bad.
Most of their stats are pretty balanced, and their equipment is neither very light nor extremely heavy, making a guard on a battlefield a jack of all trades. Their melee skill, however, is one of the highest among all the classes, so beware their sharp axes, as they won’t go easy on you even in one on one combat.
A shielder like the knight, but with no other similarities, the charger is a fast and deadly enemy. He has a rather light armour, but the big shield brings a lot of protection to the bearer. Chargers have the second highest movement speed among the new Hold Your Ground opponents, and their attack speed is higher than the average as well, while damage and health are a bit lower, yet good enough for a battle as well.
Be wary when chargers start attacking, as they can easily cover a lot of ground in a very short time, and their long spears bring certain death to those who neglect to block. Chargers also have the best melee skills on the battlefield, so even though they only mail as body armour, it won’t be easy to defeat them, especially in a group.
The last and certainly the most dangerous class – the boss. Bosses appear very rarely on the battlefield, but there is no doubt that they’re the most dangerous enemies you’ve ever encountered. What’s there to say when they have the maximum ranged skill without even having a ranged weapon to shoot?!
Bosses use the absolute heaviest armour in the game, which makes them the most protected enemies in Hold Your Ground. But wait, there is more! They also have significantly higher stats than the system allows, keeping only the movement speed at an average value.
Their weapon of choice is a unique Royal Voulge – a gold plated ornamented polearm with very good stats. And believe me, they’re as good at using it as it gets, since their melee skill is also the best one around.
As if it wasn’t enough of a challenge, bosses, just like it is in every other wave, are also surrounded by their allies, who range from just a few easy peasants at the beginning, to specialists like knights or chargers at later stages. And yes, harder waves do have multiple bosses spawning at the same time. Certain death.
The number of specific bots per player is predefined, so if you’ll have two peasants and two specialists spawning at the wave 11, you’ll have the same setup every time you start that wave. Specialists, however, differ from wave to wave, so while the first one to spawn at the wave 6 might be an assassin, the next time it will probably be someone else, keeping it more interesting by being less predictable.
The other change in the system of Hold Your Ground is what the objective of the AI on the battlefield is. In the current system, bots only want to hunt you down and put your head on a pike as a trophy. That’s not very fun, and not very realistic either, since the surroundings of the mode suggest that the AI army is attacking a castle.
What the change brings is how the bots behave when they have no immediate threat to them. Whenever you run away from the horde of evil raiders or try to hide under a bridge to avoid a beating, the enemies won’t be chasing you forever, but instead will go straight into the castle to steal your grain and a sack of gold.
The castle, being completely undefended from the inside, can has only 10 integrity points, which are deducted with each enemy coming through the main gate. While peasants take only one integrity point, specialists will take twice as much, and bosses, being the most powerful warriors, will take whole five points.
If you get unlucky enough to get fewer than five integrity points in total, they will be recharged up to five points every 10th wave. You don’t want them to drop to zero though, since it would mean that the castle has fallen and you will instantly lose!
Overall, the new mechanics of the mode will provide a much more interesting experience with multiple unique bot classes and a new behavior for AI. While it’s quite easy at the beginning with peasants dying in just one hit and specialists not spawning more than once per wave, later stages of the mode will be very challenging even for experienced players!
In addition to all the global changes for Hold Your Ground, there is also a new quest chain with increasingly harder objectives to complete, specifically made with the new system in mind. Completing them all would be a great opportunity to learn how the mode has changed and gain some sweet rewards.
Hope you’re excited about the new changes, because you’ll get to try all of them in just a couple of days when the first nightly comes. Also, while we previously said that there won’t be more updates before the holidays due to a high risk of issues being discovered during the time coders aren’t around to fix them, the changes to Hold Your Ground is the holiday surprise that comes very soon!