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Stronghold: Warlords wants to improve the series' issues with walls and unit formations

A new developer diary from FireFly Studios explains some of the updates it's making with Stronghold: Warlords, a new entry in the classic RTS series. Here, marketing director Nick Tannahill explains how unit pathing and formations are getting tweaked to feel more realistic, and how the all-important wall system is getting back to basics.

In past Stronghold games, individual members of a unit would walk through other friendly units rather than find a path around. This meant troops would overlap and phase through each other as units moved through chokepoints, and that large groups had an unfair advantage in battle—friendly troops would ignore each other and thus there wasn't a physical limit on the number that could be present on a fighting line.

In Stronghold: Warlords, troops will take up space, and moving one group through another will result in displacement. It looks much more realistic this way, and as Tannahill points out, it's actually kind of pleasant to watch, even in this alpha build.

Walls have gotten a redesign as well. Warlords is using the old grid system from the 2D days of Stronghold and Stronghold: Crusader. Firefly has also simplified wall health system by ditching the small half-tile walls created every time you put down a single wall segment. Another nice change is that walls now hug terrain, which looks much more pleasing than the old "stair step" version in previous titles.

FireFly says they'll continue making these "feature spotlight" videos as they head toward Stronghold: Warlords' release next year.