New and improved! Now with more Lu Bu!
Dynasty Warriors Patch 2.3 Changes (or, changes since DynastyWarriorsThree
- Cao Ren, Zhou Tai, and Yue Ying (Zhuge Liang's wife, supposedly) are the new playable characters.
- There's an "edit officer" mode, but this is largely cosmetic (the move sets are taken from various characters). It does allow access to Fu Xi and Nu Wa, who have been otherwise removed from the game.
- Female bodyguards are back.
- Bodyguards are significantly hardier.
- There are four bodyguard "units", and they are not associated with particular characters.
- Musou modes are now by kingdom/faction, rather than by character. You may change characters between battles.
- Each playable character has access to at least one musou mode (and in some cases as many as three).
- The order of battles in the various musou modes is not set in stone, and some battles may be skipped.
- All characters have had their charge attacks revised. The first charge (formerly the block breaker) is now either a throw, a projectile toss, or (in a few cases) something else. The third charge (formerly the stun move) is now a multi-hit combo, the last hit of which either staggers the enemy or stuns them. In a few cases other moves have been changed as well.
- Weapons now gain experience, so that advancement is a smoother curve than in DW3. The highest-level weapon still requires bizarre heroics to unlock.
- Any level of weapon may have an elemental orb affixed to it, and there are now six elements (fire, lightning, vorpal, ice, blast, and poison). Elemental damage is applied to almost all charge attacks, but only when the musou bar is full. 10th-level weapons are free of that last restriction.
- Enemy officers may challenge you to a duel.
- Saddles and elemental orbs now have their own equipment slots (in addition to the item slots).
- There are a goodly number more levels, including three large new final battles.
- The individual enemy AI has been improved. Sadly, the strategic level is no better than it was.
- Enemy officers (in particular, the playable characters) are, on the whole, scarier.
- It's got the shoes.
A couple more:
- Enemy grunts actually matter. You can't completely ignore them and just kill the officers.
- This varies quite a bit by battle: arguably many levels are still subject to this, and on a few others (He Fei, Wu Zhang Plains) it seems to be the only viable way to start the level.
- There are some places you can still do this with some or all of the characters, its true. But I'm talking more about the circumstance in which you have 50 grunts and an officer in there somewhere. In 3, you march into the center and start juggling the officer, and the grunts... stand there and watch. In 4 you need to either split off the officer or thin the grunt pack to get some breathing room (unless, of course, you're Nu Wa in which case you run up and kill the officer before the grunts realize your there). But there are still places where the grunts are sparse enough that you can sprint the officers; its just that there are a lot of places where you can't as well, which is new.
- You can look up the location of subofficers on the map.
- Different characters have different numbers of item slots, and the number changes based on level. In theory this is based on how good they are otherwise, but their are a few notable errors. For instance, the edit rapier character (i.e. Nu Wa) gets the most slots theoretically possible, which is ludicrous given that she has one of the better move sets.
Just a bit more:
- The voice acting is a lot better this time around. Very few, if any, make me want to cringe.
- The localization is pretty goofy, however. Sun Ce is perhaps the most striking example, but there are others (the exchange at the beginning of the Wu version of Cheng Du, for example).
- Many more events. For instance, the attack at Chi Bi now has several parts: Pang Tong linking the ships together, Zhuge Liang summoning the wind, and Huang Gai actually starting the fire. Any combination of these events can have different results. There are many more ambushes, surprise attacks, and other special events.
- A lot of these are cool, but they do sometimes have the effect of restricting the viable strategies one can employ on any given battle, turning the game into an action-puzzle game rather than a more strategic one. In many cases, they also serve to make the battle utterly unfair (*cough* Shi Ting *cough*).
- Similarly, choosing not to do a given battle may have effects on another battle. Again at Chi Bi (from the Wu side), not completing the Defense of Nan means that you have fewer allied troops to work with, since the others have to protect your kingdom from attack. Or, immediately doing the last Yellow Turban battle will open up a special side battle that cannot normally be accessed.
- Strategy matters. Running up to the end of the level and immediately finishing off the enemy commander is no longer realistic.
- Multiple ending movies, depending on such things as the average length of a battle, average number of grunts killed, and whether special requirements were completed.
- Note that DynastyWarriorsThree had multiple endings as well, although it isn't and wasn't clear what had to be done to trigger them.
- Does anyone else feel like the Battle of Chi Bi is the best map in the game? The environment is really well done and unique, and it feels like it has a more intricate event line than any of the other maps? That or Tian Shui's Prodigy, I suppose. Zhuge Liang's plan to make the enemy officers defect is pretty awesome.