Can you tell us more about the customisation options in multiplayer that you mentioned above?
Chris Wren: We have put a lot of work into making sure that all of the customisation options available in the game are shown in all their glory in a multiplayer setting. So you can fully customise the look of all of your units, including their paint schemes and banners, you can save of customisation options and apply these to any army you create.
You can create/save/trade any options banners or armies that you have created and when you play people online you will see them on your screen exactly as they were created on theirs. To this end we have also put in a lot of clan support into the game. We have the ability for players to create and manage clan within the game, promoting people, establishing some basic rules and assigning a banner to the whole clan. There are even unique chat channels and other benefits for clan members.
We are also releasing a tool at launch which will allow you to create your own maps, everything from building and tree placement to raising and lowering the terrain where you can define roads and rivers. While we are launching with a huge number of multiplayer maps, I'm guessing the players will come up with some amazing stuff we never thought of to keep the multiplayer space ever-interesting and evolving.
What about online tournaments and stat tracking, for example?
Chris Wren: For online competition, we have made sure that stats for all online games will be recorded in a secure environment. This means that all of your victories and losses will be available for others to view online. With clans, we allow for stats to be tracked for the whole clan as well as for individual players. Each player will have a profile describing their favourite armies/maps/units and their track record online. We plan on hosting many tournaments and arranging for ladders and ranking within the game so that people can easily show off their accomplishments.
We already have dozens of clans forming on our forums with hundreds of members each. We expect this will be a big feature for multiplayer fans.
Many thanks for your time, Chris.