The Strange Parallels Between Torn Banner and Unkown Worlds

  • These companies have some incredibly striking similarities, lasting for years since they first started up until now. This is going to be a lengthy, but interesting post. I would appreciate it if you read the whole thing.

    Both companies were a simple group of modders who made a popular, competitive mod for Half Life 2. Torn Banner made Age of Chivalry, while Unknown Worlds made Natural Selection. Both of these games became very popular and played very competitively. However, Torn Banner nerfed AoC with the Toe2Toe fighting system. But Unknown Worlds never nerfed anything in their game, and only expanded on it, perfecting it.

    Now we move on, and both companies (around the same time) release a kickstarter for the sequel to their popular mod. Torn Banner was making Chivalry: Medieval Warfare. While Unknown Worlds released a kickstarter for Natural Selection 2. Both kickstarters were successful, and they became official companies.

    Both TB and UW released the alphas and betas for their games around the same time too. Now here’s where it gets VERY weird. Both of them released their full, finished sequel in late October of 2012. Chivalry on Oct. 16th, and NS2 on the 30th.

    That’s incredible when you really think about it. All those years, they were both perfectly parallel in their development. For almost a whole DECADE. With only 14 days apart. Also, both of their mods were free, while the full sequels are both $24.99. (They also had many co-sales on Steam)

    Now we move on, and here we can see the mirror that reflects these two companies unto each other. NS2 in the beginning was a fantastic game, but was a little shallow. The meta was quickly established and became very stale. Slowly, but surely the comp scene, even the pub scene in NS2 was dying.

    But if we look at Chivalry, it was only getting better! New maps, new weapons, good balance changes, and the game’s skill ceiling was almost limitless! The comp scene was growing exponentially, with big tournaments happening quite often.

    Then, the most incredible thing happens in July. We’ll start with NS2.

    One of the developers from Unknown Worlds saw that the game was slowly dying, and he decided to take action. For months, he worked on a mod for the game. It was called the Balance Mod. It changed the game COMPLETELY. Not a SINGLE mechanic was left untouched. It was literally a different game. The skill ceiling went to the heavens, the meta was extremely dynamic, the overall balance was much better, it was truly incredible.

    Slowly the comp scene began to move over to Balance Mod, seeing it as the savior of the game. Then, the ENSL (which is very popular for NS2 players to use) created a tournament for the Balance Mod. Here’s the link.

    This tournament was a VERY BIG DEAL. I mean, when it says “Fight for the balance of NS2” you know it’s serious. (I actually played in Div. 2 of this tournament back when I played NS2 comp. It was a ton of fun.)

    The tournament was a huge success. It drew in almost 1,000 viewers on Twitch, with a big cash prize to the winning team. Unknown Worlds saw that the comp players knew that this version was better, and now the began to see that their game was indeed dying. So you know what they did? In early July, Unknown Worlds made an update to the game that made the official game the Balance Mod.

    Let that sink in. They changed their entire game to cater to the COMPETITIVE PLAYERS. NOT THE PUBBERS. Of course the pubbbers were furious with the massive change, claiming they spent all that time learning the game for nothing, just so it could be flipped on its side. There was even a poll on the forums (can’t find it for the life of me, never went on the UW forums except a few times) where people voted whether to keep the Balance Mod or revert back to the old build.(see the similarity?)

    Because it was mostly pubbers on the forums, and not comp players, the vote was massively skewed to the pubbers. But UW basically gave them the finger and told them if they didn’t like the change they could gtfo in a developer podcast after the new build was released.

    Guess what happened? The game’s popularity skyrocketed! The comp scene had massive growth, with new metas, different tactics, sky-high skill ceiling! Doesn’t this sound like the exact opposite of a certain other game?

    The game’s comp scene continues to thrive today, with their most recent tournament snagging almost 10,000 viewers, landing on the front page of Twitch.

    Now, let’s look at what happened to Chivalry. We know the story, so I’ll keep it short. The game was great before July, and it became shit after the July patch, which did the exact opposite of what UW did. Torn Banner did not listen to their comp players. They instead nerfed the game to cater to the pubbers who left anyway. The comp scene pretty much died because of this. There are no streams of tournaments. And when there are they rarely get over 20 viewers.

    The skill-ceiling became so much lower. Communication from Torn Banner completely disappeared and we have barely heard from them since.

    Let the similarities sink in. For over a decade, their development paralleled perfectly with each other, up until early July, 2012. One company killed their game listening to the pubbers. While the other saved it when they listened to the competitive players.

    It’s truly incredible. I wonder if Torn Banner has ever noticed this.

    All I can say is Torn Banner, you done fucked up.

    Nothing but god damn sadness.

  • Everything was fine, except that last bit, so I took care of that for you.

    Unknown Worlds is a great bunch of guys, everyone is really nice and genuine. Hugh is a hilarious and bundle full of energy xD

  • +1


    Everything was fine, except that last bit, so I took care of that for you.

    Unknown Worlds is a great bunch of guys, everyone is really nice and genuine. Hugh is a hilarious and bundle full of energy xD

    I’ve noticed some chemistry between Kimiko and Hugh.

  • Talk about choices I actually purchased that but got caught up in Chivalry at that time. Did I chose the wrong path?

  • @rumpelstiltskin:


    I’ve noticed some chemistry between Kimiko and Hugh.


  • maybe this will inspire torn banner

    someone should contact unknown worlds :D

  • Interesting story. Seems like Tibbs sold his soul to Satan and he done got tricked.

  • The biggest difference between the two:
    Unknown Worlds is capable and smart enough to support Crossfire and SLI technologies… Tornbanner is not.

  • @rumpelstiltskin:

    I’ve noticed some chemistry between Kimiko and Hugh.

    Hah. Hugh is my buddy, that is all.

    NS2 is a lot of fun though. Took me awhile to get into it and it’s definitely more team oriented, but definitely fun. I prefer playing Marines though cause Aliens still make me dizzy :(

  • This post is deleted!

  • Hugh never accepted my steam friend invite.

  • I guess the difference is TBS decided to build a standalone game called Deadliest Warrior which expanded nothing in CMW.

    A few things trickled into CMW - team damage respawn seconds, skulls on LTS. I think they added more bugs than they fixed though so all those dweebs who said “oh yes CMW will get better code because they will fix both” were full of yellow sour shit as usual.

    I am sure I would have made DW as well, but with TO mode. I guess they didn’t have the resources to add TO and naturally didn’t involve the community.

    Still we shall see what the next project will be. Maybe TO mode for DW, maybe horses for CMW who knows.

  • @gregcau:

    Still we shall see what the next project will be. Maybe TO mode for DW, maybe horses for CMW who knows.

    How about some fixes for the shitty everlasting bugs that have stunted the growth of the community for god knows how long now.

  • @SlyGoat:

    Hugh never accepted my steam friend invite.


  • +1

    no, no…


  • Reading this makes me want to pick up NS2 again.

  • This is pretty much what should’ve happend with Chivalry. Reading it makes me sad. From all the necro’s I can safely say that they once had the same vision and were steering on the same path until they changed course to what where we currently are.

    Haven’t played NS2 but I’ll sure as hell going to look into it after reading this. I always love games with big tournaments which offer prizes.

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