Battle Brothers Dev Blog 58 - Factions Part two

Oct
30

Dev Blog #58: Progress Update – Factions, Part 2

Last week we’ve talked about the introduction of different human factions to the world of Battle Brothers, another important feature that will change how the game is played. We’ll continue this now and talk some more about noble houses, settlements and relations, as well as what place Orcs and Goblins now have. Let’s get started!

Settlements

We’ve already talked previously about how settlements on the new worldmap are quite a bit more numerous and diverse. What you probably don’t know is that those settlements are also small factions of their own. Whether independent or controlled by a noble house, these factions are represented by a mayor, elder or ruling council and have their own agenda – mainly revolving around protecting their people and trade opportunities. Consequently, they’ll offer different kinds of contracts to the player than noble houses might do. Less concerned with global politics, and more about what is going on in their immediate area.

Noble houses each start with a small region consisting of several settlements under their control. For most, that isn’t enough, however, so they’ll seek to gain control over more settlements, whether they’re neutral or need to be wrestled from the hands of other house. Depending on a noble house’s traits they have a variety of measures to bring a settlement in their sphere of influence. This can be precious bribes, intimidating village elders or helping settlements against threats like orc raids. The conflict between noble houses while competing over settlements will be one of the core drives behind the game by creating various contracts for the player to pick up.

banner_shields

Noble houses don’t rely entirely on mercenaries, of course, but can also muster troops of their own. The above image shows a selection of shields and armor bearing their banner for a nicely consistent look on the battlefield.

Relations

In order for the world to feel reactive to the player’s behavior and to introduce more consequences to your actions, we’re introducing a relations mechanic. The player will have a relation value to each and every faction, including independent settlements, and this value determines how positive or negative the player is viewed by them. For example, relations will drop if the player attacks a village’s trade caravan or does anything else detrimental to that village. On the other hand, relations will improve when the player helps out a faction by completing contracts for them.

Relations can have consequences all the way from lower prices, better contract conditions and more potential recruits, down to merchants refusing to sell anything to the player out of spite or even people attacking the player on sight. Because completing contracts for one faction may often be to the detriment of another, it’s up to the player to navigate in a way that they don’t make more enemies than they need to.

Other Factions

The enemies will also see some changes in order to fit into the new order of things. Much like the different human noble houses, Orcs and Goblins, too, now consist of several individual factions. Different Orc clans will act independently from another, and will for the most part also attack each other. The same holds true for different Goblin city states.

banners_orcs_02

For the new worldmap, we want the different kinds of enemies to feel much more distinct, both by where they appear and by what kinds of actions they can perform. To be more in line with our lore, Orcs will now truly be nomadic in nature; individual clans are massive hordes that never stay in one place for long and leave a wake of destruction wherever they happen to travel. Goblins, as per their lore, will now live in large underground cities in mountains.

undead_banner
What about the greater evil? As we explained in last week’s progress update, we want to shift the game’s focus away from the notion of a single great threat every game that also determines the winning condition of a playthrough. This concept just doesn’t fit well the open world approach we decided to go for. Not all is lost, however, as Orcs, Goblins and Undead can now experience special events causing a surge in power. As individual orc clans unite for a time and sweep across the world, or the undead rise from their graves, new challenges arise for the player. Repelling an invasion such as this will no longer end the game or be a winning condition, but will bring variety to the game and change the playing field without constricting you to follow a linear story.

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16 comments

  • Trig
    Trig
    Oct 30, 2015 @ 16:59 pm

    Ok.

  • Ulrich
    Ulrich
    Oct 30, 2015 @ 17:23 pm

    Nice.

  • Kern
    Oct 30, 2015 @ 17:28 pm

    Good stuff as usual. I am happy to see the shift toward open ended game play continuing.

  • wlievens
    Oct 30, 2015 @ 17:32 pm

    Those shields and armor pieces are stunning!

    Are those escutcheons (the flag graphics) manually painted on each shield, or do you geomagically transform a flat drawing on top of their surface?

  • drew1988west
    drew1988west
    Oct 30, 2015 @ 17:43 pm

    I eagerly await each update. I love what this game is evolving into, embracing the sandbox and simulation of a medieval/low fantasy world. The world map update serves to flesh out the game. The combat is so solid, and the world map now looks like its going to immerse the player.

    I wonder, will there be an end game as such, or is the game now gearing entirely towards player freedom? dropping the Xcom end game, for the freedom of mount and blade?

    Im loving each update. Keep it up guys :D

  • Holy.Death
    Holy.Death
    Oct 30, 2015 @ 18:07 pm

    Battle Brothers: The Game of Thrones is coming.

  • Meeky
    Oct 30, 2015 @ 20:22 pm

    I really hope there’s a clear-ish endgame eventually, though, even if it’s just multiple goals you can choose to achieve. A game that’s JUST “open world, go have fun” can feel kind of empty and meaningless. I’m glad you’re having events that surge enemy faction strength, and that the noble houses should be distinct from one another in playstyle. those things should keep each scenario alive.

    I’m really liking the art that’s coming out of this. Those banners, that armor – it all looks really nice. I’d love to see orcish warlords wearing those banners on their backs.

    I find it interesting that there’s a flag with a dragon image that has a horned skull atop it. Are we looking at some monsters coming out of the Beast faction, perhaps…?

  • Bottlebrother
    Bottlebrother
    Oct 30, 2015 @ 20:39 pm

    You are doing great and those are amzing ideas! I am so happy for you guys as it seems you best yourself with every update! Let us see something of it in the game soon, please! And I am so looking forward to what you’re up to with the skills and perks! If I were a girl, and 15, you would be my Justin Bieber! I am a Bieliber in Battle Borthers — and proud of it!!!

  • JayneCobb88
    JayneCobb88
    Oct 30, 2015 @ 22:25 pm

    I’m seriously diggin’ the Game of Thrones inspired heraldry. With the change to the overworld your game is poised to become my top strategy game. Right now you’re in my top 3 along with Shogun 2 and XCOM.

  • Drygord
    Oct 30, 2015 @ 23:53 pm

    Must…play…NOW!!!!

    It’s totally awesome what is being done BUT! I would love to see a definitive endgame where you can still continue playing even after “beating the game”, unlocking new adventures and being able to recruit legendary mercenaries. Just a big, huge castle in the middle with 50 elite Knights, 30 crossbowmen from above and pouring vats of boiling oil all over your guys as a final boss. Or, a deep underground dungeon teeming with undead Overlords that you must kill. I think this would be absolutely awesome if implemented along with the open-world play style.

  • RusBear
    RusBear
    Oct 31, 2015 @ 10:11 am

    I like the trend of the game. No new swords with rhinestones as paid DLC but full-scale development and strategic component of the gameplay. Clearly noticeable that the developers have a solid game plan and what they were able to focus on the game after the good sales in steam – just great and the game went to benefit (as opposed to 90% of the rest of the EA). We can only be patient, and I very much hope that the next in terms of development – is the revision of the development strategy of mercenaries, perks, abilities, and the principle of the scheme to increase levels. The game is developed – it’s time for to grow and guys with cropped Level cap 11 :)

  • Asterix_von_TWC
    Nov 1, 2015 @ 7:46 am

    An excellent dynamic with great re-playability… seriously why did it take Bannerlord so long to not reach this point :D – I am extremely looking forward.

  • OldGreyBeard
    OldGreyBeard
    Nov 1, 2015 @ 18:29 pm

    A merc company with a solid reputation for fulfilling contracts and standing with their current employer should have an easier time “switching sides”.
    To carry it to extremes, having an opposing faction try bribe the Brothers into switching sides. I don’t even want to think how difficult that would be to code, but at least a “Sweet! They want to work for us!” reaction on switching sides.
    Anyway, something like instead of a “-5 relations” because of the contracts against the faction, a “-3.5” because of the Brothers’ reputation for never breaking a contract.

    • OldGreyBeard
      OldGreyBeard
      Nov 1, 2015 @ 18:30 pm

      Oh, I totally forgot to say how sweet this game is turning out to be!

  • Sarissofoi
    Sarissofoi
    Nov 2, 2015 @ 0:31 am

    Looks good.

  • Dwarvenale
    Dwarvenale
    Nov 17, 2015 @ 4:43 am

    beautiful

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