After months of hard work, atWar is finally open to everyone. We have said our goodbyes to Afterwind, and are now looking steadily into the future. Some of the players are rather overly-nostalgic - but this is always unavoidable, unless we decide to halt all progress on the game. Personally, we are rather pleased with the result and are really excited about all the custom maps and scenarios popping up.
We'd like to specifically thank all the players who are patiently going along with the changes and offer their ideas and criticism without being overly-dramatic about it. We are here to continue making the game better, thanks for understanding this.
And here's the list of what's new and what's changed between Afterwind and atWar - if you notice something is missing, please tell us.
New name and URL
The game is now called atWar and the main address is atwar-game.com (afterwind.com and atwargame.com also work). Not everyone is fond of the new name, but the situation would've been identical if we were changing the name from "atWar" to "Afterwind" - it's just a matter of personal attachment, really. Colors and graphics have been updated both on the website and in the game.
Game interface and animation
Lobby got a facelift with the new open games list and the new maps list. They look more modern and show more information.
Toolbars and buttons, unit and city icons all became a bit bigger. This should help players with higher resolution and (upcoming) tablet support. Selecting a unit and attacking now has some extra animation and sounds. Battles now end in a spectacular boom with floating SP.
End game stats have been spiced up with the 3 neat images for victory, defeat and surrender. Also, the displayed stats have been changed to: Population casualties, Cities occupied, Units destroyed, Units built, Units lost, Income.
Medals have been reworked to accomodate unit roles, so they would still work in custom maps. In addition, medals and receiving a new rank now look a lot sexier.
All the tools you need to create your own map, complete with fully customizable countries, cities and units. Upload a map background, draw borders, create countries, cities and units. Create presets and scenarios for you map.
Scenarios serve the same function as before, but you can apply them to custom maps as well. Also, presets, a limited version of a scenario, allow to create sets of countries and cities for maps. This system replaced the old rigid presets system.
City population now receives collateral damage when a city is attacked. Casualties depend on the scale of the battle and on the type of attacking units. Units now have a new stat: Collateral, which is added to regular attack damage and only affects civilians. The casualties are shown in the city menu, battle menu, in the end game stats and sometimes in the events menu (when the damage is particularly high). Population affects the city income and reinforcements. If the population drops to 50%, you will only be receiving half of the income and half of the reinforcements.
All income is now calculated from cities only, there's no bonus from owning an entire country anymore. We decided that with the added population casualties the income system was getting too complicated, even for our own understanding.
We completely removed the ARB system that nobody was able to fully comprehend, and instead added critical hit chance. Critical hit chance can be 1-100%, which is the chance to deal additional damage - in addition to regular attack/defence roll, the unit deals it's maximum attack/defence damage. So, if your Tank (max attack 7) rolls 3, the critical hit would be 10 (3+7). Simple?
You now have an option to see the damage units deal in battles. If you want to fully understand battle mechanics, this will surely help. You can set 3 different battle speeds in your settings. There's still an option to have quick battles - with only casualties shown.
SP you receive from battles is now calculated with ranks taken into account. If your opponent's rank is a lot higher than yours, you will get a lot of extra SP, and the other way round. Neutral troops always have the rank of 0, so the further you get in your ranks, the less SP you will receive from fighting Neutrals. We hope this will help in preventing SP farming and discourage high-ranking players from harassing newbies.
To allow the creation of custom units which are still attached to strategies and upgrades, we added unit roles. For example, Infantry is Ground Main Defence, Submarine is Naval Stealth, Spy plane is Air Support, etc. Strategies and upgrades now affect unit roles, as opposed to just individual units. So, if in your map you create a new unit and assign a role to it, it will still be affected. Each role has margins in which you can modify unit stats. In addition, there are Rare and Other roles, which don't have such limitations. Rare units can also be created and will only appear randomly when a city is conquered, the same way it works now.
Strategies and upgrades have been changed to affect unit roles instead of individual units. Tank General has been changed to a more generic Relentless Attack. Some additional upgrades have been added to unlock additional unit roles (none of them are used in the Default map though).
Duels now affect Elo rating instead of SP. We have retroactively calculated Elo for all previous duels.
There were some minor changes in Premium packs. Scenarios pack is now called 'Maps and Scenarios' and unlocks both. General has replaced Anti-Aircraft in the Exclusive weapons pack. Game options pack is now required to start games based on custom maps and scenarios. On the positive side, whole world games are no longer Premium-only.
I think I like pretty much all new features and changes. Except for one, that is. Ironically, it's the one that has no impact at all on pretty much anything.
(Actually, you could argue that as it's the topic hanging over the whole thing, it has the most impact, but as it's not really relevant to what I want to say, I won't.)
Yes, it's the name. And I am not saying this because I'm against a change, because of just being attached to it. I love the old name, obviously, but that's not why I'm upset. You devs are absolutely right when saying it's time for a new name. There are plenty of reasons for that, and I agree that Afterwind is not a suitable name any more.
So why am I complaining then? Because of the new name, because of what you are changing Afterwind for. You might like it and not be willing to reconsider, as it's new and descriptive and you thought it up yourselves, not some random anonymous person on the internet, but there's just no way atWar is a suitabe new name for Afterwind. You guys can do better. You already have, the first name was brilliant!
I already wrote about why Afterwind was good and atWar is not good enough here: http://atwar-game.com/events/news_comments.php?news_id=77&page=&message_id=.
A short summary: Afterwind was unusual and interesting, inspired thought and was just ambiguous enough to actually become a name, while atWar is so generic you just can't take it seriously. It sounds gimmicky, not like the name for a strategy game that can be taken seriously. It's a project title, not a name.
It's most probably too late already seeing you even acquired the new websites and everything, but I want to make clear I will always regard the new title as inferior, as too bland. I will get used to it, certainly, but only in form of frustrated resignation. I will never accept it, and I don't think I'm the only one who feels that way.
Many of us are, obvioulsy, whiny trolls and dismissive nostalgics, but what about the ones who genuinely care about what happens to the game they love? You have thousands of people who already like this game, who are happy to suggest and discuss alternative new names for it. You want a new name to make it accessible to new players? Ask the old ones how they came to like it. It certainly wasn't because it was generic.
The new medals are nice. I particularly like how they are more colourful while still being recognisable.
However, I think that now Gold and Crimson Medals look a bit too similar. Before, Gold and Bronze were kind of similar (not too much, though), so it's higher status is definitely more apparent, but with a more purple crimson or a yellowy gold it'd be easy to tell the difference at first glance.