As we were not able to cover all questions in our last FAQ posting we decided to do another one. You will definitely learn something new about the game when reading through them. If you have any questions not covered, have a look at the full FAQ here or feel free to head to our forums or to leave a comment!
Also, you might want to try our tactical combat demo to see how the game plays! Get it from here: Download.
Q: What is the general setting of the world?
The setting is an unnamed middle european medieval low fantasy world wherein magic exists, but is rare. The classic fantasy races of Elves, Dwarfs and Halflings don’t exist in this world, but a few other intelligent humanoid races do. We’ll flesh out the setting more once we’re further along with development of the strategic worldmap. Variations of the setting, such as a middle eastern themed expansion, might also be added at a later date.
Q: How does the game deal with the passing of time? Do characters age and get physically weaker over time and age?
The whole game takes places over a period of several months, not years. Aging isn’t a part of the game and most of the Battle Brothers will die before having the chance to grow old anyway.
Q: Will the game have flavor content or extra content like background stories for characters, areas, special weapons, statistics and so on?
Yes! We’re big fans of all those little details that come together to give a game that extra bit of atmosphere, sense of wonder and exploration. It’s one of the reasons we liked both the original X-Com and Jagged Alliance 2 that much. There will be short, proceduraly generated backstories for all Battle Brothers that also influence a Brother’s combat stats and traits.
We will also have unique named weapons that come with a paragraph or so of backstory (similar to how it is in Icewind Dale and Baldur’s Gate), and we’ll keep a healthy amount of statistics (like the number of kills, battles, injuries, special foes killed, and such) for every Battle Brother in the history tab. Every Battle Brother also has some character traits with a gameplay effect (like being craven or ambitious) of his own and may earn additional ones based on what he experiences.
Q: Are there multiple groups of Battle Brothers on the worldmap?
There will only be one group of Battle Brothers.
Q: Will a campaign feature parts of all the factions?
Yes, all factions will be featured on the worldmap in every campaign. Even if the invading force isn’t orcs, there will be an orc encampment here and there and orc raiding parties travelling the lands. The invading faction, though, will act more centralized, will be much more prevalent as time goes on and may have a few powerful units that don’t normally show up.
Q: Will there be multiple nations in the game each with their own diplomatic ties to each other?
Different towns, cities and strongholds have their own pool of resources. They also have their own banner, which is carried by all their units so that they’re clearly identifiable as being from a stretch of land all the way across the map. They’ll be somewhat selfish on occasion, offering the player coin to protect them over other lands, but they won’t fight each other. There won’t be multiple nations that conduct in diplomacy and intrigue for now, and the player won’t be able to resort to banditry and the like. It’s something we’d like to explore, but something that, if done, should also be really fleshed out. We just had to draw the line here as the game already is quite ambitious as is. For now, we try to keep a tight focus on the player leading a band of mercenaries and have clear fronts on who is on the players side and who isn’t.
Q: Will there be “events” on the worldmap that the player can run into?
Indeed we plan on having events. Events are a great tool to bring some variety for gameplay and support the atmosphere. On the other hand, we have to make sure that they’re no hindrance to our open world gameplay and replayability; randomizing them to some extent seems a good option. At this point we’re still pretty much at the “it would be cool to have events” stage and just bouncing ideas, so we can’t tell how our events will work exactly yet. They probably won’t be very dialogue-heavy heavy, though.
Q: Will the player be able to take prisoners?
Good question. Unfortunately we don’t have a good answer yet. We’re still in the process of designing the strategy/worldmap part of the game as we implement it, and we’ll see where it takes us. We like the idea of being able to rescue captured Battle Brothers, though, assuming the enemy you’re fighting is taking any prisoners at all. It’s something we may want to consider once we’re further along with the strategy part and see if it would fit well with everything else.
Q: Are there other enemies than zombies and skeletons in the game?
Definately! Those opponents were a good starting point because zombies didn’t require a sophisticated AI to feel convincing. We’ve since added other undead opponents to the game, such as vampires, ghosts and ghouls, and we’ll soon expand to other factions. You’ll be able to fight a variety of human and humanoid opponents in the final game, from different types of bandits to orcs and goblins that all come with unique skills, equipment and AI behavior. In addition, there will be some unique beasts and monsters that haven’t been in other games.
Q: Regarding morale, will there be an active ability to rally Battle Brothers or is morale all about passive skills and traits? Will the player be able to specialize one Brother as a leader or captain?
We’ll have a few accessory items that offer morale-related skills. For example, a battle horn that, when blast, triggers a positive morale check for all allies in the vicinity. It’s not guaranteed that blasting the horn will rally fleeing men, but there’s a chance it does, as well as a chance to lift the morale of all the others.
Also, we currently have a few perks that support the idea of tailoring leader characters. One, called “Captain”, adds a percentage of the character’s bravery to all allies in the vicinity. Another, “Inspiring Presence”, improves the efficiency of nearby allied troops directly. Since both scale with bravery, having a specialized leader or support character that sacrifices combat skills for high bravery to some extent could be a valid option. Unlike with character traits, we want perks to give a clear benefit and no trade-off (other than not being able to pick another perk), so we won’t add an inbuilt downside to choosing these perks. However, both perks require some investment into the utility perk tree first and therefore a veteran character. A character like this isn’t easily replaced, and losing him could have serious consequences if the players tactics depend too much on having a leader character (e.g. because other Battle Brothers have little bravery themselves but depend entirely on being pushed by a leader).