Naturally, I'm going to reach the part you most want to hear later, so suck it up and read the whole post, it would make me very happy face.
Now that I have a central news-giving-out...place, I'd just like to state that I do not like Faction Suggestions. Do NOT suggest a faction unless you have good English skills and have read the Faction Idea Submissions text file that comes with the Wad when downloaded from the thread, or click the link at the bottom of this page. NOTE: There will, in time, be new Factions, but not for a long time, and not without a formal announcement. I will not inundate you with them, each one will be planned out and spaced apart a great deal. Will they land fully balanced? No, but they will have their particular master plan laid out. As before, you'll need to help as you have with feedback, etc. Ideally, the other Factions will be balanced enough that the New Faction won't cause too much trouble.
Of course, you will want to hear what Factions I actually have planned. For those that haven't heard me rant about it in a server, I intend to make a Faction of Harmony, and, if the monsters are ever finished, a Faction of Hacx 2.0. These two are the only Factions confirmed, though Happy Time Circus 2 has been under consideration. DON'T FILL THE COMMENTS THREAD WITH FACTION SUGGESTIONS AND QUESTIONS AAAAAAAAAAA
I usually aim to make new things underpowered if anything, so as not to destroy the gaming experience. Still, I need new content to be played enough for me to be able to fix it. This goes for other content: If it isn't used, I can't make it better to the point that it is used. So you fellows who like picking a single unit and seeing if you can spam your way to victory? That's actually pretty useful for me! This also applies to maps - if you don't like it, tell me why in the thread! There are many good maps available, but the ones that aren't good won't be improved without feedback, except in obvious cases (such as Weird Bases).
Now, as has been stated in-game, I intend to hold a ZDoom Wars tournament. The time frame for this is amorphous. I intend to begin it when I personally feel that the wad is balanced enough, and when Map Pack 3 is familiar to you guys. As far as I have it planned, it will run like so: You sign up, and choose ONE faction to use in every battle for the whole tournament. Games begin with 3 or so players each, the winners of these first battles continuing on and being combined into fewer but larger games, until the final battle. Each Tier of the tournament will have certain maps fitting the number of players per game for that Tier. The number of Tiers and the Tier progression depends on the number of people that sign up. A single loss means you are eliminated from the tournament. Each match will last an hour, and any commanders who survive the hour are taken to Blazing Colosseum for a 20 minute Sudden Death round, in which the Commander with the most health wins if multiple Commanders survive the 20 minutes.
This Tournament will be hosted by The Best Ever on a server with a password. There are other sundry rules which will be posted when the time comes. Don't join if you have a cruddy or unreliable connection to The Best Ever server, since it would be no fun for the other competitors. If you intend to join the Tournament when it happens, post a comment. This isn't a sign up, but it will help me plan if I have a better idea of how many people will participate.
And finally, what you've been waiting for, and may have skipped the entire rest of the post for: The skinny on version 2.5! 2.5 signals the release of Map Pack 3. Map Pack 3 will have at least the author variety of Map Pack 2. Authors Mik57 and the team of Omegamax and CKeen return, while there are other map submissions from other more or less acclaimed map authors, including Xaser with a redo of GVH00, Continuum of Silence, made to work with ZDoom Wars. It is a good mix of attractive and mid-size maps with support for a range of player counts, with brand new themes introduced into the generally Medieval/Tech/Hell mix that has been seen before. The new sights (Such as a Virus-themed map by Grymmoire) are accompanied by a renewed sense of what a ZDoom Wars map should accomplish. The maps all appear to have a good natural flow, and an improved sense of balance and attention to detail on par, or exceeding, many of the current maps.
But this does not nullify the old maps. In fact, several have been refitted for 2.5 to play better and provide a superior playing experience. Weird Bases has been redone from scratch by the original author, Xutawoo, to support 4 players. It looks and plays better (the middle is easily navigable now), while still using only vanilla doom textures. Xutawoo has also improved his other map, Battlefield 1994, with some improved texturing, and extended areas and structures, including an entirely new one in a new space near the Auditorium (which actually has seats now). Deja Vu, aka that map you never play, has been entirely replaced by a map by the same author, Captain Bighead, called Da Void. It has the same interesting visual, Void-like theme, but is an entirely new layout. Lesser Crucible has been replaced by Greater Crucible, which has been replaced by an entirely new map based on the Crucible theme, and by Leonan, the original author, so you could consider Map Pack 3 to bring in 9 maps, instead of the normal 8, without using up a new slot.
As far as gameplay, Firewolf has made a custom HUD for ZDoom Wars which displays both health and both mana types with bars and numerals. It works much better than the default HUD. Mana items will blink for a few seconds before disappearing, and the cost of the Cyberdemon has gone up for the first time in a LONG time, to 130/115. Hexen's Enchant ability is getting a much needed buff, and Ghost Wave is getting a radius increase. Various adjustments have been made to every Faction alongside cosmetic improvements and bug fixes. Overall a good version, I would say.
Version 2.5 will (more than likely) be released on April 1.