#1: Personality Plus
In TEW07, a character's behaviour was defined by a combination of Personality and Attitude. This has been significantly upgraded to become the new Personality Plus feature.
Instead of two static categories, every single character in TEW08 has their own Personality, which takes the form of a modified version of a neural network. This network consists of ten traits, each defined as a scale moving from one extreme to another. These ten traits are:
Humble - Egotistical
Generous - Selfish
Compassionate - Ruthless
Optimistic - Pessimistic
Naive - Manipulative
Dependable - Flaky
Social - Antisocial
Loyal - Mercenary
Timid - Bold
Hesitant - Driven
In each case, the trait is defined by a sliding bar - the closer it is to one end of the scale, the more extreme the character's bias. For example, if a character's Humble-Egotistical bar is set almost entirely to the left hand side, he will be virtually entirely without ego. Setting it near the middle would result in a well-balanced character who is neither lacking in self-esteem nor an egotistical jerk.
In any situation where a character must "think" - which can be anything from considering a contract offer to deciding whether to form a relationship, from demanding a better push to how upset he has to be to walk out on a promotion - his (or her) Personality is consulted and his response based upon his network as a whole (this is a key point; their response is never based on just one trait, meaning that you never get one-dimensional responses).
The important factor is that, like any neural network, this personality can evolve over time. Pushing a young worker to the moon may result in what was once a sweet kid developing a monsterous ego. Blasting a free spirited worker with a huge fine because he was late may help him straighten out into being a more dependable figure (or may just push him towards becoming a more anti-authority figure). For this reason, dealing with character's becomes more like dealing with a real person - with all their quirks and personality - and less about getting the same response each time.
The TEW08 editor comes equipped with many "personality templates" that allow you to quickly assign a certain type of personality to a character, taking out the hassle of having to define a personality each time. All the traits are described in more detail in the help file.
#2: Bad Blood
TEW08 introduces a new relationship type called Bad Blood. This is essentially a "negative Blood Relative"; it allows the game to know that two people are related to each other, but also that they should not get the positive effects that a family connection normally brings.
This is ideal for scenarios where family feuds need to be simulated.
#3: National Battle
One feature that should prove an additional level of strategy to the game is the new National Battle system. In layman's terms, "this town ain't big enough for the three of us!"
A National Battle scenario occurs whenever a game area becomes home to three or more promotions who are above Cult size. As no industry can support that many titans, it becomes a war zone. At the end of every month all the eligible promotions are rated based upon the best show they have produced in the past four weeks. It then becomes a domino effect: whichever promotion comes first damages everyone below them; the second-placed promotion damages everyone below them; and so on. Of course, the worst place to be is last, as that means you take damage from every promotion above you, but don't get to damage anyone else.
"Damage", in this situation, entails a loss of popularity in each region of the area in question. The amount is greater if the winner was already more popular, smaller if the winner was less popular. If the winning promotion has less prestige, it can also steal some from the losing promotion. Of course, the cumulative effect of this is that eventually the losses will cause one of the promotions to fall back to Cult size and out of the battle.
There are certain extras at play. Firstly, if two promotions already have a War relationship, any damage done during a battle is automatically increased by 50%. If two promotions have a friendly relationship, no damage is done.
There are also 'warming up' and 'cooling down' periods. When a promotion first rises to National size, it has a one month warming up period to get ready for the coming battle; during this time, it is exempt from taking part. This allows the company time to get ready. Furthermore, when a promotion falls back to Cult size, it enters a mandatory cooling down period. This is a six month time frame where the promotion cannot rise back to National size (even if it achieves the necessary popularity). This stops promotions zig-zagging between Cult and National, and makes losing the national battle all the more painful!
The monthly "battle results" are available for everyone to see, in the form of a league table of sorts.
The reason for this feature is to stop games becoming "top-heavy", i.e. loaded with big, successful promotions. In previous games it seemed to be the case that once you'd attained National status, your worries were over; or as King Louie eloquently put it, "I've reached the top and had to stop, and that's what's bothering me." Now you will have things to deal with; establishing yourself in the first place, potentially having to fight the big dogs that are already there, and then watching your back as up-and-coming promotions try to take you down.
It also adds a huge amount of strategy when making your company a power player; it's no longer good enough to reach National size and then start slowly enhancing your roster, as chances are you might be just 28 days away from having to fight established super-powers. Furthermore, having your star workers stolen becomes even more dramatic, as not only does their loss hurt you, it actively helps your opponents attack you.
In short, this feature adds a whole new set of strategy, worries, and challenges for the big promotions, putting an end to their relatively easy life.
#4: Injury Realism
A small feature that has been added in order to improve realism, injuries now have the option of being defined as In Ring, Out Of Ring, or Either. As the definitions suggest, this means that the injury can be restricted to occur only in certain situations; this stops people getting Food Poisoning, for example, from in-ring activity.