We have made a number of improvements to multiplayer in Napoleon and The Peninsular Campaign in the latest update, and caught up with the Multiplayer team for the full scoop:
Since the update to Napoleon: Total War, what new units are available in multiplayer?
The whole Spanish faction has been completely revamped for the Peninsula Campaign, and this new Spanish faction is available in multiplayer for everyone, whether or not you buy the DLC. This includes new uniforms, as well as new and revamped units. Spain now gets horse artillery and lancer cavalry, as well as having their heavy cavalry and guard infantry options reworked slightly.
However, the biggest new addition to the Spanish faction is the guerrilla units. These units are experts at ambushing the enemy, and can deploy anywhere on the battlefield, except your enemy’s deployment zone. These units are only available to users who purchase the Peninsula Campaign DLC.
Can you tell us more about the guerrilla units available to owners of The Peninsular Campaign DLC?
The Spanish faction has gained 6 new guerrilla units, which are all capped at one unit each. These can deploy anywhere except your enemy’s deployment zone. This is a totally new concept for Total War, and the possibilities it creates for multiplayer gameplay, and the new strategies that will emerge, are really exciting. We can’t wait to see how players start using these new units and the interesting outcomes that will occur. We’ve been playing a lot with the guerrilla units in multiplayer internally within the studio, and they really are great fun.
What has been done to fix “failed to connect” issues in multiplayer games?
Players hosting games will now host on a fixed port, which is 51914. If this port is unblocked the game will use this first, before trying the old (much larger) port range. Players who are having difficulty connecting to other players should unblock this port and may find their issue fixed.
Previously, players can only do battle against people in the same geographical region. Has anything been done to address or improve this?
We’ve removed the Steam regional division between servers, so now everyone online can see everyone else’s games. This greatly increases the number of games available, and also increases the pool of players in quick battle, drop-in battle etc.
Can you tell us more about the new multiplayer maps that have been added to the update?
We added three new maps: Pyrenees Peak, Galician Ria and Salamanca Province. These are free for everyone, you don’t need to buy the Peninsula Campaign to get them. When making these maps we looked at a lot of the feedback on the forums, and looked at the statistics of which maps people were playing most, as well as what maps we most enjoyed during the making of Napoleon. We tried to make maps that reflected what the community most find fun, and best reflect the emerging gameplay trends. As a result we tried to make them balanced and reasonably symmetrical, to ensure competitive gameplay, but also to give them a strong real-world feel.
What has been done to refine drop-in battle searches?
The drop-in battle UI has been redone so now players can explicitly choose drop-in battles, quick battles or both, and whether they want naval or land battles. You can now search for as many or as few of these options as you want, depending on your preferences. And because of the removal of Steam regions the pool of players you’re searching for will be larger than before, which should make matching faster.
The game is also more generous when allowing you to choose the drop-in battle option during a campaign. Previously it only allowed you to opt for a drop-in battle when the game judged the balance of power to be very even. We’ve relaxed this requirement somewhat (not completely) as we found that, when choosing to enter a drop-in battle, players were more concerned about having fun than having a completely balanced experience (they have ranked games and regular quick battle for that).
Players will also find unit sizes are larger than they were previously in quick battles. Previously it was always choosing small unit sizes, whereas now it will look at each player’s unit size settings and choose the largest size supported by both players.
The Creative Assembly