Nov
09

Dev Blog #111: Psychology & Resilience

The ‘Beasts & Exploration’ DLC is set to release on the 29th of this month and by now it’s essentially feature-complete. We’ve moved on to thoroughly test, balance and polish everything, but there’s still so many interesting smaller things we haven’t even talked about yet. Let’s shine a light on some more of these this week!

Mercenary Psychology

A mercenary’s life isn’t easy, and seeing the man to the left split in two by an orc and the man to the right mauled by an unhold does put a strain on the psyche. People react differently to this, and so we’re introducing several new traits that characters can gain and lose over the course of a campaign depending on how their time with the company goes, what their background is and what other traits they have.

For example, a devastating loss against orcs may result in a character starting to fear greenskins and having less resolve when in battle against them. A sentiment that most people who played Battle Brothers can sympathize with. But as he grows in experience and is hardened by battle, he will eventually overcome his fear and lose the trait again. At the same time, another character may handle the loss quite differently, become more determined and start to hate greenskins instead, gaining a bonus to resolve when fighting against them. All in all, the number of new character traits has now climbed to be 16 – good, bad, and combinations of the two. Most of them have event interactions, some unlock additional options in events, and many of them can be gained or lost by events.

Events

Speaking of events, we’re currently at 52 new ones for the game. There’s still time left until release, so it’ll likely end up to be even more in the end. Alongside these events we’re also adding a lot of new illustrations and updating a couple of older ones with more high quality artwork.

As you may have guessed, that illustration on the left is related to one of the upcoming legendary locations.

Resilience

As part of the free update accompanying the upcoming ‘Beasts & Exploration’ DLC, we’re doing a balance pass on all of the character perks. The objective isn’t to make the game any easier or harder, but to further improve build variety, especially in the late game. You’ll find a list of all perk changes in the changelog once the update is live, but there’s two perks, one old and one new, which we want to talk about in more detail.

The ‘Hold Out’ perk stands out as the least-picked perk in the game currently; it benefits you only in a specific situation you want to avoid as much as possible, while at the same time you can pick other perks instead that actually help you to avoid getting into that situation in the first place. We’re going to entirely replace the ‘Hold Out’ perk with a new perk called ‘Resilient’. If you’re one of the few people that liked to pick the old ‘Hold Out’ perk, fret not, for you can now get the same effect without having to spend a perk point for it by drinking an ‘Iron Will Potion’ which can be crafted at the taxidermist from relatively common ingredients.

The new ‘Resilient’ perk reduces the duration of any negative status effect with a finite duration by one turn, up to a minimum of one turn. For example, the ‘Bleeding’ or ‘Poisoned’ status effects both have a duration of two turns, which get reduced to one turn. Of course, with a shorter duration, those two effects will also inflict less damage to a character. And quite importantly, some new status effects, like being ‘Charmed’ by a Hexe, also get their duration reduced by one turn. It’s not necessary to have the perk in order to beat the Hexe at all, but it is one possible counter and can be quite helpful if you otherwise struggle against opponents which rely on negative status effects to make your life hell.

More Proactive Garrisons

And speaking of making your life hell, enemy bases are more proactive now in sending out parties to intercept anyone that threatens them and that they can realistically take on. Camping right next to a bandit hideout to wait for morning may not be the best idea anymore, and even locations infested by undead may send out parties come night. On the bright side, if a base sends out a party to intercept enemies, their garrison will be weakened, and in some cases only a skeleton crew will remain. You can use it to your advantage by splitting a large enemy force in two, or even attack while a third party is luring part of a garrison away!

Let’s Play!

Join us again next week for some moving pictures. Our very own Jaysen will start a new Let’s Play series with the ‘Beasts & Exploration’ DLC and explain all of the new features and content as he encounters them.

Share
Nov
02

Dev Blog #110: More Things

The ‘Beasts & Exploration’ DLC is set to release on the 29th of this month with a bunch of cool features that you can learn about here. That’s great, but there’s actually even more coming than covered by this feature list. Let’s take a look at some smaller things that come with the DLC and which we haven’t talked about yet.

The Beast Slayer

There’s a new character background in town: The Beast Slayer. Experienced in both melee and ranged combat against beastly opponents and monstrous adversaries, the beast slayer is a versatile background similar to the sellsword, but more affordable. Of course, he comes with his own events and interactions with other backgrounds, and some expert knowledge on beasts and their lore to share with you.

Wage Changes

There’s several changes incoming on how wages for characters work, so let’s break them down.

First off, the base wage for a couple of backgrounds has been adjusted to be more in line with their actual worth as defined by how often they’re picked by players. In addition, every individual character now has a certain idea on how much they want to get paid – there’s a small random factor on the daily wage demands of all characters, and so you’ll find cheaper and more expensive recruits also within the same background, and even if they don’t have the ‘Greedy’ trait.

Finally, the wage progression has changed. While previously you paid 2 additional crowns per character level, you’ll now pay a cumulative 10% of a character’s base wage for every level after the first and until the 11th, and then 5% of a character’s base wage for every level afterwards. In effect, there’s less wage pressure in the beginning, which gives you more leeway to actually explore the world earlier and find all those new beasts and locations. Low tier backgrounds have also become cheaper to employ in the long term, but high tier backgrounds have become significantly more expensive to keep around if they reach veteran levels, which gives you more of a reason to diversify your company composition in long campaigns.

New Named Weapons

As you’ve previously learned, the DLC will introduce a bunch of new weapons. People have been asking about whether there’ll be named variants of those weapons as well – and the answer is yes, of course. Take a look!

New Armor

It’s not just new weapons, it’s also stylish new armor, all of which can be further customized with the new armor attachment system. We’re filling some gaps in the armor progression, and we’re also introducing some high tier light armor as part of a larger effort to make light and medium armor more of a viable choice for some character builds.

Join us again next week to learn about even more changes and additions of the upcoming DLC and the accompanying free update to Battle Brothers!

Share
Oct
26

Dev Blog #109: The Kraken

We round off our collection of new opponents for the upcoming ‘Beasts & Exploration’ DLC with the introduction of our largest enemy yet. It’s a giant beast, a creature that has lived throughout the ages and is at the very top of the food chain. Unleash the Kraken!

The Kraken

As an attentive connoisseur of last week’s release date announcement (November 29th!), something might have caught your attention: There’s three fearsome boss type enemies coming. Each one is guarding a different legendary location, and as it so happens, one of them is the Kraken. We’re not going to spoil the other two in dev blogs, but we’re taking a closer look at the tentacled horror today as an example of what to expect.

The Kraken is a remnant of a different era. Its age numbers in millennia, and it has spent much of its life slumbering beneath the surface of the swamp it inhabits. The tentacled horror is myth and a legend that few have seen with their own eyes, and people have been born and grown old living atop a slumbering Kraken, for it awakens only every few years to feast. The Kraken has countless tentacles that stretch on forever below the surface, and each tentacle has a dim light to lure prey. Those lights are the origin of many a tale; in the thick fog of the swamp, Irrlichts, or ghost lights, promise company and a warming fire, only to lead men to their doom. Worse still, the tentacles will wrap around their prey, crush them and drag them through the muddy water into the gaping maw of the Kraken, where they will meet a gruesome end.

The Kraken is firmly situated in late game territory. It’s an opponent to test your veteran party against, and quite possibly the end of many an ironman run. Most of the Kraken is below the surface when fighting it, and you can only guess as to its actual size. Individual tentacles reach all over the map, and they will disappear into the mud and water of the swamp only to appear again at another place. As the Kraken feeds, a many-toothed maw will slowly rise from below the waterline to gorge itself.

From the perspective of this giant beast, your group of tiny mercenaries is but food, and so it will start combat by moving its tentacles to wrap around your men and drag them towards its maw to feed. Being dragged through the swamp is a hellish ride, and your men better start attempting to free themselves along the way by hacking at the tentacle that holds them tight. Nearby brothers-in-arms can help as well. If you fail at freeing your men in time, and they end up next to the maw at the end of their turn, they’re done for. The maw will shred them mercilessly in a single turn.

If you hurt a Kraken enough, either by destroying several of its tentacles, or by injuring the head, it will get enraged and let you know with an ear-deafening roar. The Kraken understands now that this is no longer about feeding itself, but about defending itself. The tentacles show teeth and begin to snap at everything and everyone. They continue to wrap around your men and drag them towards the maw, but they do it so tight now that they slowly crush and suffocate their victim along the way, meaning that your men will lose hitpoints at every turn they end while entrapped like this.

Should you manage to beat the Kraken, you’ll not only get the treasure it guarded, but you’ll be able to craft items from its remains, and you’ll unlock it to appear as a regular albeit rare enemy in swamps across the wild for your epicly long campaign.

DLC Supporter Edition

Thanks to the overwhelmingly positive response to last week’s release date announcement, and many people expressing their desire to support us even beyond the asking price of the ‘Beasts & Exploration’ DLC, we’ve decided to also offer it as a special Supporter Edition. This Supporter Edition will be priced at $19.99 and include a new player banner and shields with a Kraken motif as a thank you from us to you.

Share
Oct
19

Release Date Announcement

We’re happy to announce that the ‘Beasts & Exploration’ DLC for Battle Brothers will be released on November 29th, 2018, for the price of $9.99 or your regional equivalent. You can already find and wishlist it on Steam right here.

The artwork above can also be downloaded as a wallpaper here.

The ‘Beasts & Exploration’ DLC for Battle Brothers expands the game with a larger world, full of unique hidden locations throughout that offer new possibilities and rewards to the daring adventurer, as well as challenging new beasts roaming the untamed wilds. Craft your own gear from trophies you collect, customize your equipment with a new system for armor attachments, and engage in profitable beast hunting and exploration!

Features

  • Legendary Locations – Hidden legendary locations offer new possibilities, lore, unique opponents, and unique rewards for the daring adventurer in a world that is 25% larger.
  • New Opponents – Five challenging new beasts populate different parts of the wilds, and three fearsome bosses guard valuable treasure. All of them come with unique mechanics and loot.
  • Crafting – Trophies from slain beasts can now be crafted into cloaks, armor plating, armor for your wardogs, shields, potions and other items to customize the look of your hardened mercenaries and benefit them in combat.
  • Customize your Gear – Wear cloaks, shoulderguards and more for additional benefits with the new armor attachment system, and use the new paint items to paint shields and helmets in the colors of your company.
  • New Weapons and Armor – A collection of new weapons and armors allow for new play styles and character builds.
  • New Contracts, Events and Ambitions – Engage in profitable beast hunting and exploration. Immerse yourself in leading a mercenary company with even more illustrated events.
  • New Music – Two new music tracks accompany you on your adventures.
  • New Achievements – Challenge yourself with new achievements on Steam or GOG.

Please note: You’ll be able to continue your current campaign with the DLC, but you won’t have access to all of the new content until you start a new campaign.

Share
Oct
12

Dev Blog #108: Consumables

As you’ve learned in our dev blog about crafting, you’ll soon be able to create potions. How do these fit into the game and the gameworld, and how do they work? And what about the ability to paint shields and helmets while we’re at it? All this and more in this week’s edition of our devblog for the upcoming ‘Beasts & Exploration’ DLC. Let’s go!

Consumables

There’s two types of consumables you’ll be able to use.

The first one you’re already familiar with – take, for example, Antidote or Goblin Poison into combat, use them in combat, benefit from them in combat. Apart from adding lots of new consumables, there’s one thing we’re changing about these in general: They no longer go into the accessory slot, but instead can be used from any of the bag slots. This way, it’s a lot more convenient to carry and use things like bandages without having to switch things around in the inventory, and using accessories like wardogs no longer prevents you from also using bandages at the same time.

The second and new type of consumables are those used exclusively on the worldmap. They can’t be equipped by your characters, but while on the worldmap, you can drag them onto the currently selected character to use them on this particular character. These include armor attachments, potions and paint items. You can identify these types of consumables by the ‘+’ on their inventory icon, and there’s also a new filter category so that they don’t get lost betweenst your other possessions. Let’s take a more detailed look on potions and paint items, then.

Potions and Drugs

Battle Brothers has always been low fantasy, and we’ve deliberately established this asymmetry of a mercenary company composed of ordinary men, led by the player, who sometimes have to fight even supernatural enemies with their earthly means. That’s a pillar of the game’s setting, and it’s not going to change. That said, we still believe that in a quasi-medieval world there’s a place for alchemy and potions while keeping things grounded for the player.

Take the ‘Potion of Knowledge’. It’s a fancy name and what it promises borders on the mystical. Take a look at the accompanying status effect, and you’ll see that things aren’t always what they seem. It’s a matter of perspective, and it’s how we’re handling potions in Battle Brothers. They’re essentially drugs.

So, with that established, here’s the deal: You’ll be able to craft both potions for use in combat, as well as potions for use on the worldmap. Potions for use in combat give benefits such as a temporary bonus to a specific attribute, let the user ignore freshly suffered injuries or see at night. Potions for use on the worldmap include faster experience gain, as you’ve seen, wound treatment, and one particular effect that many people have been asking for for a long time. Of course, the more powerful the potion, the more rare the ingredients. And because all of those are essentially drugs, there’s always the chance of overindulgence and addiction.

Paint Items

Another type of consumable which can’t be crafted, but can be bought and looted, are items with which to paint your shields and helmets in the colors of your company. Helpful also, perhaps, to establish specific color schemes for specific roles in your company.

Share
Oct
05

Dev Blog #107: The Alp

The upcoming ‘Beasts & Exploration’ DLC will add a variety of new beasts to the world of Battle Brothers, and we want to provide a good mix of opponents that are straight-forward to fight, and opponents that offer a more complex challenge which can’t be solved with heavy armor alone. This week we’ll take a look at the second and last spellcaster of the expansion coming soon to haunt your dreams: The Alp. Let’s go!

The Alp

In German folklore, the Alp is a malicious creature responsible for nightmares. In fact, to this day the German word for nightmare is ‘Alptraum’. It shouldn’t be a surprise then that the themes for the Alp in Battle Brothers are sleep and nightmares.

The Alp is a pale and haggard creature. It encroaches on settlements in the cover of night, invading the sleep of its helpless inhabitants with ghastful visions, and feeding on the fear and anguish of its victims like a parasite. Scholars speculate that Alps didn’t always look and behave like they do now; most Alps have eye sockets, but no eyes, and mouths with teeth, but only a rudimentary digestive system. Their pale skin peels like old parchment, their bones are frail, and their insides are dark and show signs of decay. Perhaps the Alp is the victim of an ancient curse, or perhaps it simply evolved from a different creature to the nocturnal predator it is now. Whatever it is, don’t fall asleep!

The Alp has two synergizing skills. The first one is called ‘Sleep’ and is an area of effect spell that can have multiple targets at once fall into an unnatural sleep. The spell can be resisted with a successful resolve check by those determined enough to stay awake, but anyone failing it will gain the ‘Sleeping’ status effect. Sleeping characters can not act, and they can’t evade or block attacks. There’s a chance that characters will awaken on their own each turn, based on their resolve and on for how long they’ve been asleep already. In addition, taking damage will wake a character immediately. Most importantly, however, any characters next to them can use the new ‘Wake Ally’ skill to reliably wake them – making cooperation and smart positioning essential when trying to beat an Alp.

The second skill of the Alp is called ‘Nightmare’ and can only be cast on a single target which is currently affected by the ‘Sleeping’ status effect. A character trapped in one of these unnatural nightmares can not act and, as dreadful visions slowly eat away at their sanity, will continually lose hitpoints each turn, the amount of which depends on their resolve. Unlike with the ‘Sleeping’ status effect, a character will never awaken on their own, and not even taking damage will break the nightmare’s hold. The only way to make it stop and save a character from eventually dying in their sleep is a nearby ally using the ‘Wake Ally’ skill. Because only sleeping characters can be affected, you can see at a glance who is threatened by the Alp, and there is a clear counterplay in denying the Alp the opportunity of using its most powerful skill.

Alps feed on the fear and terror of the victims they haunt, and grow stronger by it, but the only way they can actually hurt someone is in their sleep. The more characters sleeping and suffering from nightmares on the battlefield, the otherwise physical body of the Alp shifts into the realm of dreams, where he is untouchable. Alps have relatively fragile bodies, and no means to fight in melee at all, but existing partly in the dreams of their victims, they can become very hard to kill. Mastering your own fears and not letting your brothers succumb to sleep, then, becomes essential in order to take away an Alp’s source of power, lest you want to fight a nightmare come manifest.

Share