Quick thoughts on the recent overhaul patch for Chivalry: Medieval Warfare

Torn Banner Studios just released a major revision for Chivalry: Medieval Warfare. The game has been out awhile now. While it has been a very good game, some very irritating bugs have irked fans. The biggest of these was an odd leveling bug that wouldn’t carry over data properly. This would cause players who had unlocked weapons to lose the ability to use them. Why? Because the bug caused an almost delayed reaction time scenario. The game wouldn’t sync up with the leveling data, and end up thinking players were at level 0. The strangest part of this is that eventually the data would sync over, and then give off a catch up feeling. It didn’t happen to everyone, but there were a significant amount of players who did experience this. This patch seems to have finally remedied that annoyance.

The patch also seems to have fixed a number of clipping issues in some of the maps. In the past, some cheaters, and pranksters would use them to get into inaccessible areas. Or use them to hide in the geometry. Some of these glitches have come, and gone between patches in the past, but hopefully they’re gone for good.

The most notable change is the overhauled user interface. The title screen has been updated with a direct link to the workshop. It also adds a new look to everything, not the least of which includes the browser. One of the best changes is that the game now has a native LAN tab in the browser. This is wonderful news for anybody who likes to set up local tournaments. With one caveat. You still have to use the Dedicated Server tool to set up the matches, which works well.  But now you won’t have to search through all of the internet games to find your network game. This is nice for those of us who like to have private matches with friends. It’s also a little bit easier to run tournaments or LAN parties with Chivalry.

I do wish the new UI would allow an individual player to be able to set up a LAN game though. Some people find running  dedicated server software daunting. It would have been nice for those who live in a house or apartment with a two or more computers. In most of these cases, family members or roommates are on a peer-to-peer setup through a router. A quick set up for a local game would have been a nice feature. Granted, with so many games focusing on 32 to 64 player matches, it’s a fading thing. Still, I would have loved to have seen the LAN tab fleshed out for local P2P a bit more. As it is, at least it is easier for people on a network to find a game without having to search all of the online games. The browser update also makes the color coding a little bit nicer for sorting the beginning player servers, custom content servers, and modified servers too.

Some of the UI changes also seep into the game. The class, and load out screens have been streamlined. Now instead of one huge splash page, the stats, and weapons are icons. Clicking the icons allows you to change your load out. It is nice, however I do miss the more detailed descriptions of weapons, and items. Novices could have used those to know what weapons might suit their particular style of game play better. The game now shows you not only your Kill/Death ratio, but shows you individual skirmish numbers. When any given player kills you, you will see how many times you’ve killed each other. So if you have a certain rival who seems to show up in every game you join you can see which of you has the upper hand. Team Death match, and Last Team Standing  were back ported. So some of the strange bugs that developed in earlier patches are gone. The oddest of which would keep TDM matches from ending when they were supposed to.

Character customization has again, been updated. Now you can change your Free for all death match versions of your classes with few restrictions. The Icon images are now in a list form so you have to look at the player model instead of hoping for a stand alone sprite. As before, the Agatha, and Mason versions of your classes can’t be tweaked as much. This is likely because of past confusion leading to friendly fire situations.

As far as post update performance goes, it’s mostly pretty good. The game seems to have a faster run speed, things seem to run smooth most of the time. But there does seem to be an issue where sometimes the game’s frame rate will begin to drop at an alarming level after a time in some maps. Lowering graphics settings doesn’t seem to help. Eventually the problem goes away, but can be really annoying when it happens. Hopefully Torn Banner can address this with the next patch which is supposed to address balance, and other issues.

Overall the update is a very good one, and it is wonderful to see a developer continuing to support their game two years after release. If they can iron out this latest performance bug it will go a long way to keeping veterans, and newcomers interested in the title.

For a full list of all of the updates this patch brings to Chivalry, visit Torn Banner’s own forum post:

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