Dev Blog #111: Psychology & Resilience


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.


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.


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.

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About Jaysen


  • Avatar photo
    Nov 9, 2018 @ 15:49 pm

    Does addition of new traits mean that mercenaries can have more that two traits in upcoming DLC?

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      Nov 9, 2018 @ 15:51 pm

      They can’t start with more than two traits, but they can over time accumulate more than those two. This is true for the game now already, btw.

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    Nov 9, 2018 @ 15:50 pm

    Think the new perk is weak also. It definately lacks prevention in the first place. Something like 25% chance to resist effect outright.
    May even deduct time from temp injuries/resist temp injuries that whould be a kicker and a point to consider factoring it into a build

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    Nov 9, 2018 @ 15:51 pm


    But if we routinely poach said orks, is there any effect on brothes who commited orcocide?

    Some softhearts may even feel pity for those poor green bastards.

    Buy the way, may you share the stats on most/least used gear/perks in current version of the game?

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      Nov 9, 2018 @ 16:14 pm

      And most intetesting: backgrounds. Really, is only I feel non hands/brawlers/wildmen/thives as suboptimal cheap hires?

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    Nov 9, 2018 @ 15:51 pm

    Any news about DLC caster’s meh? Don’t think that each turn of shaman’s -50% to all – is good point.

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    Nov 9, 2018 @ 16:47 pm

    I am very excited about this DLC. Great work devs! Looking forward to the changelog for perk rebalancing – it’ll breathe some fresh air into the builds :)

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    Nov 9, 2018 @ 16:58 pm

    Love all this (Garrison behaviour, psychology and events) except the new Resilience perk. I never used hold out for reasons explained above, but i don’t think i’ll ever use Resilience either as its also very situational and there are already decent counters for the effects (e.g bandages and strong resolve). Perk points are too valuable (and scarce) to warrant a spend on it imo.

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    Nov 9, 2018 @ 17:17 pm

    “by now it’s essentially feature-complete.” -Great!You have plenty of time to add something else!!!

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    Nov 15, 2018 @ 2:39 am

    Any chance you guys might change your mind about removing “holding out”? I used the perk frequently, and going by the description I still consider it better than the “resilience” perk.

    Why not have both as options? Just keep the old one and add the new one. The more build variety one can have, the better.

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    Nov 19, 2018 @ 9:22 am

    The garrison changes are great. Reminds me of the old (OLD) game Darklands. When your party reached a fortification, you had several options. Challenge the leader to come out and fight, attempt to sneak in at night, or besiege the place. Various outcomes could come from each, of course, just like many of the mission and event trees in Battle Brothers.

    It’s frustrating to have a mission to destroy some encampment, and once you reach it, realize there’s no way to beat it. Options to try and weaken it over time strike a good balance: parties have another option (aside from abandoning the mission), but have to spend extra days to complete, so they don’t net as much profit.

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