News Archives: 2005

Poll Round-up!

In the previous poll we asked about the monks in Stronghold 2.

Which do you prefer, the fighting monk or the warrior monk?

The warrior monks beat out the fighting monks by a large percentage, while a quarter of the voters were surprised that the game has monks! Seems like the monks might be a bit under-used at present. 😉

The results:

Fighting monk: 15.8% – 130 votes
Warrior monk: 57.0% – 470 votes
The game has monks?!: 27.2% – 224 votes

In the current poll, we are asking whether you would participate in a multiplayer ladder if we had one. Vote here!

Mission 7 PoP Walkthrough Finished!

Stratego has completed Mission 7 of the Path of Peace – the Outlaw Camp. This is the first mission in the Path of Peace where you have to build forces and defeat an enemy.

The mission briefing:

Now you have cleaned up this territory, I want you to deal with those other rats, namely the Outlaws in the next estate. An old friend of mine, Sir Grey, tells me they have been extorting money from his people. You are to kill their leader, then destroy their camp.

The walkthrough is available here, as well as the save file for the finished mission. Good luck!

Wolf Spawn Rate

A number of questions have arisen regarding the spawn rate of the wolves. They appear very fast, and can quickly overrun your map. I’ve tested and have found that over the course of a year a single wolf will spawn to seven! A table with a month-by-month breakdown can be found at the bottom of this page.

Castle of the Week 115 – Berwartstein Castle, Germany

Berwartstein Castle is located on a pinnacle of rock in the southern Rhineland-Pfalz region of Germany. It is unique because originally the only entrance was a single “chimney” in the rock on the east side. One person at the top could defend the castle by pulling up the rope ladder and pouring boiling oil on the head of any would-be attacker. Read more about this castle here.

Happy Holidays from Stronghold 2 Heaven!

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah from the staff at Stronghold 2 Heaven!

We hope you are able to enjoy the holidays with family and friends, and if you have traveled far afield to do so, a safe return. Seasons Greetings!

Rise of Legends Heaven Opens!

HeavenGames proudly presents Rise of Legends Heaven dedicated to bringing the latest news and information about Rise of Legends to the fans of Big Huge Games, and those eagerly anticipating the release of Rise of Legends.

Following up on their hugely successful Rise of NationsTM. Big Huge Games has stepped it up a notch with stunning visuals and great gameplay to develop the spiritual successor to their premier title. Rise of Nations:
Rise of LegendsTM is now in development due out in early 2006. The game is inspired by the works of Leonardo Da Vinci, the steampunk genre and tales of 1001 Arabian Nights in an epic battle between Magic and Technology! Real Time Strategy rises to a new level once again!

HeavenGames LLC, based in Lombard, Illinois, is a privately owned web-content publisher geared towards the creation of special-interest sites for Real-Time Strategy and City-Builder games. Its sites, contents, vast amounts of resources, as well as a dedicated staff & management team make HeavenGames’ sites the premier destination for gamers worldwide.

Poll Roundup!

horse archer1305 people voted in the last poll in which we asked, “What is your favorite mercenary unit?” Horse archers were the winners, with assassins coming in a not-too-distant second.

The votes:
Assassin: 19.5% – 254 votes
Axe Thrower: 9.8% – 128 votes
Berserker: 12.4% – 162 votes
Horse Archer: 31.6% – 412 votes
Light Calvary 7.4% – 96 votes
Outlaw: 9.2% – 120 votes
Pictish Boat Warrior: 4.6% – 60 votes
Thief: 5.4% – 70 votes

We’re keeping with the military units for our next poll, this time asking which kind of monk you like the best – the fighting monk or the warrior monk. Vote here!

Castle of the Week 114 – Manresa Castle, Washington

Today’s Castle of the Week is the second one we have done from the United States. Manresa Castle is a newer castle, built in the 1890’s by Charles Eisenbeis, an immigrant who began as a baker and became a prominent businessman. To read more about this castle located in the Pacific Northwest, click here.

Path of War – Chapter 8 Walkthroughs Complete

Sparrow has been working overtime, and has just completed all three missions of Chapter 8 in the Path of War!

The mission briefings:

Mission 1 – Lady Seren has convinced the king of Sir William’s true allegiance and rides out with renewed vigor to raise an army. A message has arrived from a desperate Sir Grey. William is trapped in the Hawk’s lands. I must ride to their aid immediately.

Mission 2 – Three of the Hawk’s men control the majority of the estates in this county. If we are to survive his coming onslaught, we first need to consolidate our position here.

Mission 3 – Pascal will soon finish his bridge. We need to work fast at strengthening our defenses for the coming attack.

Check these out in our walkthrough section!

SH2 AI Editor Now Available

Lord Britian has uploaded the SH2 AI editor that he, HicRic and others at Stronghold Knights created.

From the download description:

Edit the castle layout and priority settings, troop rally points and defensive weapon placement. Edit the existing AI (Add rolling logs to Edwin, or give Lady Seren a moat) or create one from scratch. This editor will do it all. And with in-game graphics used to produce the editor, you will see exactly what the castle will look like, down to the spike traps, rolling logs, gatehouses, poleturners and all the other buildings that make Stronghold 2 so great.

Looks fantastic, guys – can’t wait to try it out! You can download the editor from here.

In the forums…

It’s Secret Santa sign-ups time! This is a first for Stronghold 2 Heaven (and thanks to City Builder’s Heaven for the idea ). Head over to this thread for information and to sign up!

Mission 6 PoP Walkthrough Finished

Stratego has been busy finishing the next in the Path of Peace missions! The latest, Mission 6, is the one where you must battle rats and gong in your own estate as well as the neighboring estate, and you only have 24 months in which to do it. Stratego’s walkthrough can be found here.

Castle of the Week 113 – Olavinlinna Fortress, Finland

This week we are going to look at Olavinlinna Fortress – the first write-up we have done on a castle from Finland. Olavinlinna Fortress, also known as Olofsborg or Olaf’s Castle, is located on a small rocky islet in Lake Saimaa in Savonlinna, Finland. It was built during the 15th century, at an interesting time in the development of castles. Olavinlinna Fortress is an example of a late medieval defensive castle, built for both medieval and gunpowder warfare. Read more about this castle here.

Contest Deadline – One Week Left!

That’s right, there’s only one week remaining to enter the Stronghold Historical Castle Competition! The contest is open to entries for all three Stronghold games. Contest details are in this thread.

Poll Roundup

Looks like The Queen narrowly beat out Sir Grey in the last poll, while The Bishop lost the popularity contest… but not by a great deal. Here is how the vote ended:

Which of the new AI characters is your favorite?
The Queen: 37.1% – 169 votes
The Bishop: 27.0% – 123 votes
Sir Grey: 36.0% – 164 votes

The new poll asks which of the mercenary units is your favorite – vote here!

Mission 5 PoP Walkthrough Finished

Stratego has completed another walkthrough – Mission 5 of the Path of Peace. This is the infamous one where you are trying to figure out which granaries you have to keep full.

The official mission briefing: It would appear that something has delayed Sir William on his return from the Crusades, and his people are beginning to run low on food. Make sure you keep them well fed until he returns.

Stratego’s walkthrough can be found here.

FireFly releases Shader Bug Fix

FireFly has just released a fix for the shader bug which causes the buildings to appear black.

… a zip with the fix for the shader 0.0 black buildings bug. All users need to do is extract it to the root of their Stronghold 2 install (default:
C:\Program Files\Firefly Studios\Stronghold 2). It’s only needed if you are running the game using shader 0.0 but it won’t hurt if other people install it.

It’s available in the Utility section of our downloads, here: SH2 Shader Update.

Castle of the Week 112 – Eltz Castle, Germany

Eltz Castle (Burg Eltz) is a fairytale castle of turrets, towers and timber-framed walls, built on a rocky crag above the Eltz River. The castle is unique because it has been owned and lived in by the same family since its construction, only partook in one armed conflict, and managed to survive at a time when other castles in the Rhine were being destroyed. Read more…

Another Path of Peace Walkthrough Complete

Another walkthrough for the Path of Peace is finished! Stratego has completed the walkthrough for the fourth chapter, available here. The mission for this chapter is to come to the aid of Sir William, who has gone on a crusade, by ridding his estate of wolves while recruiting archers at the same time.

Poll Roundup

Well, appropriately enough for Stronghold 2 Heaven, the results of the previous poll showed that most of you play Stronghold 2 more often than Stronghold or Crusader. 😉 The exact breakdown:

Which game do you play most often?
Stronghold 2 60.1% – 485 votes
Stronghold 11.6% – 94 votes
Stronghold Crusader 28.3% – 228 votes
Total: 807 votes

The new poll asks which of the three new AI characters (in Stronghold Deluxe and the 1.31 patched version) you like the best: The Queen, The Bishop, or Sir Grey. You can vote on the front page or here!

Listen to the music

Hear ye, hear ye!

I have great news for all you music lovers out there. The great Robert Euvino has found time to treat us to something wonderful. Not only did he provide us with all of the songs, he also found time to share some of his thoughts on each track.

The files are to be found in the Miscellaneous section of our downloads.

You can listen to the following tracks:

  • The Lamb
  • The Smith
  • Labyrinth
  • Minstrelosity
  • Fiddle Solo
  • Wedding Song
  • Harpy3
  • Harpy2
  • Harpy1
  • Pig Roast
  • O’Carolan’s Draft_arranged
  • O’Carolan’s Draft_solo
  • A New Beginning
  • A Day in the Life of a Gong Farmer


Halfway Point for the Historical Castle Contest

Yes, we have reached the halfway point for the 2nd Stronghold Historical Castle Competition! Maps may be for any of the three Stronghold games, and the entries must be submitted by the end of November. Details of the contest are in The Jousting Ground.

Castle of the Week 111 – Nauplion, Greece

The castle in this week’s write-up is actually a collection of forts and castles, all located in and around Nauplion, Greece. Nauplion is a harbor city located on a peninsula in the Argolic Gulf. This article focuses on the ancient city, Acronauplia, the sea fort, Bourdji, and the most strategic of the forts, Palamidi. You can read about them here.

New Mapmaking Essay by Lollard

Lollard has written an opinion essay on map design, and how simpler yet more realistic maps can be more enjoyable to play than more complex maps.

An excerpt:

We are creating “art” when we design and publish maps. We imitate nature (landscapes) and human endeavor (castles) in map design… I’m not attempting to define “art”, but more importantly show that Stronghold maps are “art”. And therefore, to make a better map you need to incorporate more art into it. But how? This article looks at imitating history as an example.

While the examples he uses are from Stronghold Crusader, the ideas he puts forth are equally applicable to map designers playing Stronghold 2. The entire article can be read here. Thanks Lollard!

1.3.1 Patch is Released!

The long-awaited and long-promised patch is here! It is available as auto-install when the game is started, or you can download it from Take 2’s website. Note that the U.S. version of the patch is at the top of Take 2’s page, and the European version is at the bottom.

New features include:

– 8 New Historical Castles – Including Windsor in England, The Heuneburg in Germany and Fougère in France
– 3 New AI Players – The Queen, the Bishop and Noble Sir Grey
– 4 New Kingmaker Maps – Including maps based on Europe and Korea
– ‘The Conquest Trail’ – A whole new game mode where you must battle through a collection of Europe’s mightiest castles!

The following changes have also been made:

Game Balancing

– Pheasant hunting less productive but deer hunting more productive
– Apple Farms more productive
– Dairy Farms more productive
– Pitch production now twice as productive
– Crossbowmen’s firing range and shot damage increased
– Knights cost more to build
– Axe throwers now less effective against metal amour
– Assassins not effected by traps – invisible at closer range
– Monasteries cost less to build and provide more honour
– Gong Farmers or Falconers are no longer affected by crime.
– Towers are more expensive to build
– Gatehouses cost a little more to build
– Statues provide less honour
– Tunnelling range reduced
– Cannot now tunnel under water
– Moat costs reduced
– Rock throwers and baskets now have triple damage.
– The range of burning logs has been halved.
– Torture devices now give honour every month

Bug Fixes

– Fixed occasional crash in War Chapter 4 and 6.
– Fixed a crash when selecting the map type in editor.
– All objects in editor can now be deleted
– Fixed crash to desktop experienced playing War Chapter 4 and 6.
– Fixed issues with knights mounting horses
– Fixed controlling gatehouses bug
– Fixed pitch workers turning to crime bug
– Fixed invisible outlaws bug
– Fixed Lord walking on keep bug
– Fixed speech when placing pitch
– Fixed rocks sticking through buildings
– Fixed stone tippers on walls bug
– Fixed catapults not firing stone bug
– Fixed mangonels firing at long range bug
– Rock baskets can now be placed on towers and gatehouses
– Honour from punishments is now displayed in the interface
– Various other bug fixes

The forum discussion about the new patch is here.

Posted on behalf of Kester

Mission 10 POW Walkthrough Finished

Stratego has completed the walkthrough for Mission 10 of the Path of War. The objective for this mission is to kill Lady Seren and, of course, avoid being killed yourself. 😉 Read Stratego’s strategy here, then check out the other available walkthroughs.

Poll Roundup

The poll question was: What would you like from the staff at SH2 Heaven?

The answers were very interesting:

More historical articles: 8.8% – 34 votes
More frequent contests: 4.1% – 16 votes
Eye candy threads and articles: 12.1% – 47 votes
More scenario design/scripting articles: 18.8% – 73 votes
More in-depth reviews of maps: 12.4% – 48 votes
Gameplay strategy articles and walkthroughs: 43.8% – 170 votes
Total: 388 votes

Gameplay strategy articles and walkthroughs was the big winner, keeping pretty steady at 40-45% throughout the poll. Knowing this will help us to set our priorities. Thanks for voting!

For this week’s poll, we are asking which of the three Stronghold games you find yourself playing most often. Vote here!

AI Castle Builder from Firefly Studios

FireFly’s Darren Thompson sent us an AI Castle Builder file, which is available from the Utility Programs section of our downloads.

The AI village editor is used to create a castle template for the AI player in kingmaker mode. Once the castle has been loaded into Stronghold 2 the castle will appear as if the AI player is creating the castle themselves.

The zip file includes instructions on its use, along with considerations of how it could effect gameplay. The file can be downloaded here.

Castle of the Week 110 – Rasnov Fortress, Romania

This week’s castle was not the home of kings and queens, but was built by the Teutonic Knights as a place of refuge for nearby villagers during times of invasion by the Tartars and Turks. It held through many sieges, but was damaged by fire and an earthquake, and is currently undergoing reconstructive work. More about this castle can be found here.

How to Make Ruins and Fire

Yellek has created another article for our scenario design section. This one focuses on how to create ruins and add fire to your map. Check out his illustrated tutorial here. Thanks, Yellek!

First Poll is Up!

Stronghold 2 Heaven’s first poll is ready… and unless you’re reading this news from HeavenGames’ main page, you’ll have seen it already. 😉

For this first one we are asking for feedback from you, so that we can find out what you would like from us, the staff. We have a number of things in the works, but the results from this poll can help us set our priorities. So please vote away!

New Design Article by Yellek

Want to make walls for your castle higher than what the editor allows? A new tutorial by Yellek will show you how. Check out “How to Make High Walls” here. Our thanks to Yellek for his work on this!

Castle of the Week 109 – Toompea Castle

This week’s castle comes from Estonia – Toompea Castle, overlooking the preserved medieval Old Town of Tallinn. The first fortification on the hill was made of wood, only to be replaced by one of stone by the Danish after a successful invasion. You can read more about Toompea and its legends here.

In the Map Room . . .

The Lord of the Rings Map Pack for the original Stronghold was a popular mod, containing 31 scenarios. Now new forummer Jaime Medrano has announced his intention of creating maps based upon the Lord of the Rings books for Stronghold 2, and has requested help with reviewing the summaries. To read more about his project, click here.

Stronghold Historical Castle Competition Prizes

Hey! The prizes for the new contest have just been decided upon. Check them out in the game thread!

Announcing the 2nd Stronghold Historical Castle Competition

Thanks for all of your contest suggestions! Now, at long last, we are announcing the start of a new contest. This will be a historical castle contest, which seemed to be the most popular idea… or at least the most requested ;-). It will be open for entries from all three games: the original Stronghold, Stronghold Crusader, and Stronghold 2. The deadline is at the end of November, so you’ll have plenty of time to work on your entry! Details and rules can be found in The Jousting Ground.

Castle of the Week 108 – Devín Castle

Devín Castle is located very close to the previous Castle of the Week, only about 7 km away. Devín Castle is dramatically perched on a rocky cliff above the confluence of the Danube and Morava rivers in the Slovak Republic. You can read about this castle and see more pictures here.

Castle of the Week 107 – Bratislava Castle

This week’s castle is Bratislava Castle, located on a hill above the Danube in the Slovak Republic. Though it may look like an upside-down table, it was built for defense, and withstood many sieges through the centuries. You can read more about this castle here.

Castle of the Week 106 – Dunnottar Castle, Scotland

Arn de Gothia has written the current Castle of the Week, which is about Dunnottar Castle in Scotland. Dunnottar Castle earned its place in history during the 17th century, when the Scots held out against a siege by the English for 8 months. Read the whole story of the “Miracle of Dunnottar” here. And our thanks to Arn de Gothia for a fine write-up!

How to Make Custom War Maps

Yellek has written a tutorial on how to make custom war maps. He shows the process for creating a map with 3 territories, 1 enemy, 1 enemy invasion, 1 wolf attack, and gong production reset to a new level. If you’ve had any questions on how to do any of those things, be sure to check it out here. Nice job, Yellek 🙂

Shallow Water Tutorial

Several months ago Wize1 created a video tutorial describing how to create shallow water in the map editor. Now Yellek has written a tutorial on the subject and illustrated it with screenshots. This will be appreciated by anyone with a slower Internet connection! This new tutorial can be found here. Thanks, Yellek!

Castle of the Week 105 – Ayasuluk Castle, Selçuk, Turkey

This week’s Castle of the Week is just 18km down the road from the previous Castle of the Week. Ayasuluk Castle is in present-day Selçuk, Turkey, which is also one of several locations of the historical Ephesus. With a few thousand years of history (not to mention lots of travel pics), this article is longer than the ones I usually write. But not to worry, you’ll have the option to jump past the section on Ephesus in Antiquity if you’d rather go straight to the medieval section! 😉 The castle (and more than you ever wanted to know on the history of Ephesus) is here.

Walkthrough Section Opens

Our Walkthrough Section is now open! Merepatra has started off the Path of Peace missions, while Stratego and Sparrow have joined forces to write the Path of War missions. The Path of War is halfway done, with the first six missions ready. Check them out here. And if you’d like to write your own walkthrough, you are welcome to do so in our downloads section.

Updates to our Downloads system

Recently Pecunia has given all the HeavenGames downloads systems an update and we now have a couple of new features. Firstly html has been enabled, meaning it can be used in the description section of new uploads. There is also a new advanced search feature which allows searching by Category, Author, Title, Keywords or Rating or any combination of these. Hope you enjoy these new features and thanks Pecunia.

Castle of the Week 104 – Citadel of Küçük Ada

This week’s castle is the first one from Turkey that we have written about. It’s a citadel on an island, which despite being quite small, has been of strategic importance over the course of several empires. The island on which the Citadel of Küçük Ada is located is just off the coast of Kuşadası, Turkey. Kuşadası has transformed itself into a resort city on the Aegean Sea, which was regrettably in the news recently following the terrorist attack on a mini-bus. More on the Citadel of Küçük Ada can be found here.

Forum downtime – July 23rd and 24th

The forums will be unavailable for most of the July 23rd-July 24th weekend for database maintenance and updates. Sorry for any inconvenience.

Move Ship Event

The use of ships in SH2 can be confusing. Where do they come from? How are they placed? What can be done with them? Fortunately, Deluphusin wrote an article about the use of ships and illustrated it with screenshots. Take the guesswork out of your ships, and check out the article here. Our thanks to Deluphusin for writing it!

1.3 Patch News

Darren, Firefly Studio’s Quality Assurance Manager, made a post about the hoped for 1.3 Stronghold 2 patch today in our forums today.

We want to let all our loyal customers know, that we are working on a major patch. As soon as the patch is ready it will be released but this may not be for a couple of months.

Free Build Articles Updated

The article on getting started with free builds has been divided into two articles: one for using the default keep, and one for when you want to select a keep yourself. There is also now an article on how to assign territories if you want to add AI estates to your free build map. The index for all of these articles is here.

Rise & Fall Heaven opens

HeavenGames LLC announced today that it has launched Rise & Fall Heaven ( ), the latest in its series of special-interest sites for Real Time Strategy & Citybuilding games.

Set to be released during Q4 of 2005, Rise & Fall: Civilizations at War (TM) is a Real Time Strategy (RTS) game developed by Stainless Steel Studios and published by Midway. Stainless Steel Studios’ third game, Rise & Fall encompasses a time period from about 1000 BCE to 0 CE, following four of the most well known and historically prominent civilizations of that time, the Egyptians, the Greeks, the Persians, and the Romans. Rise & Fall features innovative new gameplay that includes Hero Command; the ability to assume a virtual FPS perspective with your faction leader and lead your armies to victory, a naval battle system that sets a new standard in the RTS genre, and graphics that are unrivaled by a game of its type.

Map Editor Guide Finished

It’s been slowly building over the last two months, and now the guide to using the map editor is finished! It has sections explaining what the various toolbars are for, and what all the icons mean. Additional guides for scripting events with the editor are upcoming… this guide focuses on the map design elements. The main page for it is here.

Castle of the Week 103 – Peleş Castle

For this Castle of the Week, we will go to Romania, where nestled in the hills above Sinaia is the beautiful Peleş Castle. Built by the first of the Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen kings, King Carol I, Peleş Castle was their summer residence until the last one was deposed by the communist regime. Read more about this castle here.

Understanding Olaf Grimtooth

The first in a planned series of articles about the attributes and playing styles of the different Stronghold 2 AI characters is now up. It gives details for Olaf Grimtooth the fierce Viking character and you can find it here. Our thanks go to Grimbold who wrote this.

Kingmaker Ranks table

We have added a section on Kingmaker Ranks to the Game Info section today. This includes a table detailing the different buildings, units and siege equipment that become available as you progress through the different ranks of a game in Kingmaker mode. You can find the article here

Castle of the Week 102

Cochem Castle in Germany is our latest Castle of the Week.

“Once again we travel into Germany, this time down the Mosel river, a tributary of the Rhine, as we explore the beautiful Castle Cochem. It is a breathtaking sight as you approach Cochem on the meandering Mosel river as it winds from Koblenz to Trier. Once used as a royal residence it now keeps watch 100 meters above the river, over vineyards and the picturesque town of Cochem.”

You can read the rest of the write up by Lady Arcola and see more pictures of the castle here.

Frequently Asked Question section opens

Our Frequently Asked Question section is now up on the site. This is a list of some of the most frequently asked questions about Stronghold 2. This list will be expanded as more questions are asked and answers become available. If your question isn’t answered in these pages then please ask it on our forums.

Castle of the Week – Meersburg Castle, Germany

This weeks Castle of the Week is Meersburg Castle in Germany and was written by Kester, you can read the rest of the article here.

“Meersburg Castle dates back to 628 when Dagobert I, the Frankish king, built a military tower on granite overlooking Lake Constance. Features were added to the castle over the years, including the main tower which dates from 1509.
The castle has low ceilings and granite floors, as seen in this picture of Knight’s Hall. There are 28 fully furnished rooms, which give the visitor the feeling of everyday life in a medieval castle.”

1.2 patch auto update now working

The automatic update for the 1.2 Stronghold 2 patch is now working as announced by Lord Suicidal in this thread in our forums.

I am pleased to announce that the in-game auto update system is now live, so now multiplayer games are safe from patch-conflict crashing! #spontaneous cheering#
Anyone wanting to play multiplayer will now have to be patched to Version 1.2 and will not be able to play otherwise. Its easy enough to download, as the game itself will do it for you, or it is also available to download seperately for those who want to.

Any problems, dont hesitate to contact Darren

Hope to see some of you in there.. we will be testing it more next week and you are welcome to play against us if you like. (or if you dare !)

Hopefully some of our members will get to take him up on his challenge.

1.2 Patch available for manual download

The Stronghold 2 1.2 patch is now available via a manual download. There is no word on when the automatic download will be available yet.

There are 2 versions available, a 1.0 (original game) to 1.2 update, which is 24mb and a 1.1 to 1.2 update which is 16mb, and both are available in multiple languages. Make sure you download the correct version for your game. You can find it on Take2’s Game Support site by selecting Firefly Studio’s Stronghold 2 from the drop down list.

From the readme for the patch the issues it addresses are –

Improved connecting to games
Improved game stability
Kick Player feature implemented
Country Identification implemented
Password Protected Games implemented
Direct IP Address feature implemented
System for finishing games tweaked
Gameplay tweaks to siege towers, stone towers, tower mangonels, armoured units

Honour now received for using less lenient punishments
Time until redemption bar on torture equipment panels
Other tweaks to the crime system
Fixed memory leak on higher end systems
Reduced memory footprint
Additional sfx added
Various bug fixes implemented

Joglars and Minstrels history article

To fill in the time while waiting for the 1.2 patch how about checking out our History Articles section? Kester has written a new article about Joglars and Minstrels that you can find here.

1.2 Patch information

Darren, the QA Manager from Firefly has posted on our Stronghold 2: Game Help and Strategy Forum giving some details on the forthcoming 1.2 patch and what it will contain.

We are very sorry for the delay on releasing this patch. As you already know we’re doing more in depth testing on it. It’s possible the patch will be released on Friday although that is not an exact release date. The patch is primarily a multiplayer update but it does fix some issues, such as memory issues and some much smaller issues such as:

Stronghold 2 – Version 1.2 – Fixed List

Various multiplayer fixes.
Crime system fixed.
Treasury, tutorial fixed.
Multiplayer – Added password protect option.
Memory Issues – Various crashes issues.
Focus (Cannot click to skip the intro)
Assigned group number, doesn’t focus on the group
An engineer repairing a wall returns to the stockpile holding stone when he has none).
Traveling fair can give negative 5 when you are 100% popular
Game speed is not saved when you exit.
Deleting the courthouse doesn’t give you back any stone.
Thieves count as population.
War Chapter 5 mission 2 – The lord has no way to dismount
Siege Towers are now stronger.
Siege Equipment: Difficult to change between mounted & unmounted trebuchet
You are now able to change destination for soldiers when on spiral stairs
Laddermen can no longer capture a village.
Pressing the assigned group number key, doesn’t focus on the group.

1.2 Patch delayed further

Firefly Studios have announced that the 1.2 patch has been delayed further due to extra testing being needed. No firm date has this time been given but they promise that the patch will be released as soon as possible.

New Scenario Design Articles

In the Scenario Design forum, Wahnsinniger compiled a list of all the trigger events in the SH2 map editor, along with some examples of scripted events. That helpful information has now been turned into two articles: Triggers and Events and Examples of Scripted Events. Be sure to check them out!

Thanks to Wahnsinniger for his hard work!

Mapmaking Video Tutorials

Redmoon has graciously offered to host the video tutorials created by Wize1 and Drakkheim. He has put together a blog for the tutorials, and the tutorials themselves can be seen from this page.

Wize1’s video shows how to make shallow water that troups can walk through.

Drakkheim’s shows how to use the editor and make a kingmaker map.

The videos are also now indexed on the Scenario Design page.

Thanks to all of you!

1.2 update delayed until Tuesday

Firefly Studios has announced that the 1.2 patch has been delayed a day to allow for additional testing. The announcement is here.

Castle of the Week 100 – Marksburg Castle, Koblenz

Well, we’ve reached our century. The hundredth castle is another from the siege section of Stronghold 2 – Marksburg near Koblenz in Germany

Lady Arcola takes a brief look at its history here.

1.2 Patch coming Monday

Firefly Studios have announced on their site that the new 1.2 Patch should be available from next Monday the 16th of May.

The 1.2 update improves multiplayer stability and connection issues and adds multiplayer functionality including the ability to kick players and create password protected games. Also the crime system has been tweaked, memory issues has been improved and various other bug fixes have been implemented.

Once the update has been released, the game will auto-update if you are connected to the internet. Manual downloads should follow closely behind the automatic update.

Wool in the Middle Ages, a new History article

Kester has written a new article for our History section on Wool Textiles in the Middle Ages.

Cloth manufacture in the Middle Ages took a lot of effort, and engaged the time of men and women, peasants and nobles alike. Cloth was made primarily in the countryside and small villages, but some of the more specialized work was done in urban centers (weaving in particular). In the larger towns, the craftsmen were organized into guilds.

You can find the rest of the article here

Welcome to our newest cherub

I’m pleased to announce that Sparrow has agreed to join the staff of Stronghold 2 Heaven. For his first job he will be assisting with the Walkthroughs as well as giving game help and given the quality of his Crusader skirmish walkthroughs I’m sure he will be an asset to the site.

Stronghold 2 Downloads Section Opens

We are pleased to announce that our Downloads section is open and awaiting its first uploaded maps!

We invite our members to submit their maps and download others. Please make sure that your maps have been tested before submission and that you give it an adequate description to help others choose which maps they wish to download.

If you download and play maps then please consider writing some comments or a full review of the map to assist both the designer and others looking for maps. You can read our reviewing guidelines here.

All maps must be approved before they will appear in the downloads list, so please understand there will be some delay between you uploading them and them appearing. Enjoy.

Map Editor Video Tutorial

drakkheim has made an 8 minute video tutorial on how to use the map editor. It begins with editor basics, and continues through the making of a kingmaker map. The thread with the link to the video can be found here.

Second Patch Under Way

Darren, the Quality Assurance Manager from Firefly Studios, posted a thread this morning saying that a second patch is in the works, and that the game will continue to be supported in the future. That thread can be found here.

Castle of the Week – Craigdarroch Castle

For this week’s castle we will travel to Victoria, British Columbia. Built in the last decades of the 19th century, Craigdarroch Castle has been put to many different uses, from the home of a wealthy family to a World War I military hospital. You can read more about its history here.

Map Editor Tutorial – Free Builds

For the first of a planned series of tutorials on how to use the new Stronghold 2 map editor, we have one on how to get started with free builds. Many of us have encountered the problem of instant defeat when trying to play our custom-built free builds. The solution is to assign the territory to an estate. You can read more about it here.

Manual download version of Stronghold 2 patch 1.1 available

There is now a manual download version of the Stronghold 2 1.1 patch available for those who were unable to get it automatically. You can find it on Take2’s support site here. The top link is for the US version only, if you have the UK version or other language version then they are linked at the bottom of the page.

1.1 Patch for Stronghold 2 released

The 1.1 patch for Stronghold 2 has been released for automatic download. If you are connected to the internet when you start the game you will get an option to either play or download the update. We have asked FireFly if there will be a manual download available but haven’t had an answer yet.

From the readme the patch fixes the following issues –

  • User selectable invasions added to Free Build (F1)
  • A few campaign chapters have been made easier
  • Increased feedback of impending invasions
  • Formations now place shields at the front and weaker units at the back of the formation
  • Non-missile troops now respond to more aggressively to missile attacks
  • Additional speech added to Carter Post system
  • A.I. more effective at using mantels, cats and burning logs
  • Health bars on buildings added
  • All units of one type are selectable by double-clicking
  • Advanced patrols implemented
  • LAN support for Multiplayer added
  • Various bug fixes implemented

Game Information section Opens

Stronghold 2 was today released in the US, we have a number of members who have reported they now are playing the game. To go along with this we are pleased to announce that our Game Information section is now open.

It contains information about the Buildings and Units in Stronghold 2, honour, resources, AI characters and more. Some sections are still works in progress, and we will continue to update with new information as we discover more about the game.

Bonus SH2 Maps Now Available

If you pre-ordered your copy of Stronghold 2, you can now download your bonus map from here. I just downloaded my copy of the Edinburgh map. 🙂

First Stronghold 2 Review

Games Domain, Yahoo have put up the first review of Stronghold 2, giving it 8 out of 10.

Of particular note is the way almost all the impressive quantity of buildings have something to watch. Zoom in close, and you’ll notice a wheat farmer tending his crops, a fletcher taking a new bow to the armory, or a citizen being hauled off to the dungeon. While combat isn’t particularly spectacular, watching catapults smash down a gatehouse is either spectacular or horrifying, depending on whether you’re dishing out or taking the beating.

You can find the full review here. With the game due for release in the US tomorrow, the 19th, and Europe on the 22nd I expect we will be seeing many more reviews in the near future.

Stronghold 2’s 3D Engine Preview

FireFly Studios have a new article on their site, “a preview of some of the graphic technology developed for Stronghold 2’s 3D engine”.

This article talks about the development of the engine, called DragonFly, which FireFly made specifically for Stronghold 2. They then give details and show images dealing with pixel shaders, bump mapping and truform. Its a very interesting article, you can find it here on FireFly’s site.

The Opening of a New Heaven

After several years of thoroughly enjoying FireFly’s original castle building game Stronghold and its sequel Stronghold:Crusader it is once more time to move on. FireFly have spent a tremendous amount of time and effort on creating a sequel that is going to outshine the original game in a multitude of ways. Not only have they moved the game into a 3D environment they also increased the size of the maps, added to the available units and professions and to the economy; they also added a whole series of scenarios concentrating on life in the castle, rather than conquering your neighbour. However the latter is still there of course, and a siege of your opponent can still be laid and enjoyed.

Stronghold 2 Heaven will offer you information about the game, walkthroughs and soon we will be opening the download section which we hope will be home to as big a collection of Stronghold 2 maps and scenarios as Stronghold Heaven has for the original game.

Staff wise we had a few changes which includes the addition of Stratego but also sees Merepatra in all new colours. Yes, as you have probably guessed, she’s going to be (co-)seraph of the site, which should mean that your questions and suggestions will be acted upon that much quicker.

And for those of you who would like to continue enjoying the original game, don’t worry, we’re still going to spend time on maintaining and improving the original site.