Dev Blog #68: Progress Update - The Little Things - Battle Brothers Developer Blog

Jan
22

Dev Blog #68: Progress Update – The Little Things

Amidst all the sweeping changes to the worldmap, like different human factions and an entirely reworked contract system, there’s also a lot of smaller improvements and additions that will come with the update later in February. These are little things that address some lingering issues or are simply quality-of-life improvements, and it’s some of them that we’ll take a closer look at this week.

Camping

That’s right – you can now make camp. Put down your tents, build a nice bonfire and enjoy some of the smoked ham you got at that little hamlet two days ago. When encamped, time goes by faster, so if you’re waiting for it to become daytime, or for someone to arrive, making camp is the way to go. Your men will also recover faster from their injuries and have more time to maintain and repair their equipment.

camp during day

To make it a more interesting strategic decision when and where to make camp, there’s also some drawbacks to it. Enemies will be able to see your bonfire from afar, especially at night. You’re immobile while camped and can not attack yourself – but you can easily be caught in a surprise attack by the enemy. Best not to make camp in the middle of orc territory, then, but if you must, do so on high ground, like hills, to have a better view of the surrounding lands and to spot approaching enemies before it is too late.

camp during night

We’re adding the camping mechanic as a way to reduce on the downtime you’d otherwise spend waiting for your men to heal up and their equipment to be repaired – but in a way that makes sense in the context of the game world and adds some decision making. There’s also always the option of adding more depth to camping, of course, and we may decide to do so at a later time.

Paying for Repairs

Handling attrition is part of the gameplay we’re aiming for, and while making camp is a good way to maintain and repair your gear, there’s another way now that’s even faster. Smithies across the world can quickly repair both weapons and armor for you – but generally at steep prices.

repairing damaged items

Scouting the Enemy

Players need a good way to judge the strength of enemies on the worldmap in order to make an informed decision on whether to fight or retreat. Yet, attaching any kind of strength rating to enemies isn’t as easy as it may sound with a game as complex as Battle Brothers, as there’s a lot of unknowns we can’t really account for. What experience and skill does the player have? Is their group equipped or skilled in a way that handles certain types of enemies, like orcs or goblins, better or worse? No matter how we shuffle numbers with the current system, there’s no way we’ll arrive at a satisfying level of prediction, so we’re going another way.

scouting enemy parties

Ultimately players always fall back to judging for themselves what enemies they can take on, so we’re supporting this with a new scouting mechanic with more in-depth information to replace the relative strength label. As enemies or allies get into visual range, you can now see their troop composition and approximate numbers when hovering the cursor above them, just like it is in the engage screen before combat. In addition, their total number is shown in their name tag to see at any time and without hovering over them. It takes some experience judging what your company can take on, and probably some failed attempts along the way, but who better to make the call than their commander, anyway.

scouting a friendly party

Do keep in mind that this change comes in the context of a new worldmap that has more clearly defined regions as well. With what are safer hinterlands or war-torn regions bordering on orc and goblin territory, you now have a greater level of control over what enemies you’re likely to face, depending on where you have your mercenary company seek their fortune.

Inventory Filters & Sorting

There’s quite a bunch of different weapons, armor and other gear in the game to use already, and we’ll keep on adding more. Add to this the all-new treasure items you can plunder, and the new function to filter your inventory by item type comes in handy as not to waste any time managing it. You can choose between showing everything, only weapons, only armor and helmets, and only supplies and treasure.

filters and sorting inventory

Also, no need to change screens anymore to sort your inventory while browsing the wares of merchants. Both sorting the inventory and filtering it are available at the shop interface as well. Speaking of the shop interface, performance has been improved and it should feel more responsive now.

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21 comments

  • Sarissofoi
    Sarissofoi
    Jan 22, 2016 @ 15:42 pm

    Good.
    Great changes and needed ones. I hope that you buff militia(some of them are too aggressive on global map and too weak) and add some place where player can get informations, rumours and lore(inn for example but adding book store when player can buy part of ingame brotherpedia – info about enemies and lore would be nice) .

    Waiting for big update. Hope it will be first February not a 28.

  • Hans
    Hans
    Jan 22, 2016 @ 15:49 pm

    Look like awesome work, can’t wait.

  • Sarissofoi
    Sarissofoi
    Jan 22, 2016 @ 16:21 pm

    Also one more thing. Any chance for speed up animation or skip animation option?
    Fighting numerous enemies or worse running from them take a lot of time. It would be really great to have a option to skip or speed up their actions.

    • Rap
      Rap
      Jan 22, 2016 @ 16:35 pm

      Yes, but it won’t be part of the worldmap update.

      • Sarissofoi
        Sarissofoi
        Jan 22, 2016 @ 20:48 pm

        That is fine.
        More custom options is always better. Do you plan some options that affect world generations and threat of the enemy factions?

    • Asterix_von_TWC
      Jan 22, 2016 @ 16:53 pm

      I vote against speeding up the animation :) – It’s just fine now in my opinion

      • Tercero
        Jan 22, 2016 @ 16:59 pm

        To have such option will not be a harm to anyone =)

        And news are wonderful as always – very useful and curious inventions.

  • Agathocles
    Agathocles
    Jan 22, 2016 @ 17:13 pm

    Fantastic additions to the game, I had stopped playing for a little while waiting for the update but recently got back into it and I’m still having fun (when the companions don’t die horribly).

    One of the things I absolutely love in the game are the random events; it’s often a hit and miss in some games but they are really great in this one because they are based on the companions backgrounds and traits, history of the random folks you meet and that give you some insight of the Battle Brothers world and your own company. Also, the writing is great.
    I really hope that you find a way to expand a bit on this, especially with the new camp system as you already have some people that approach your camp in the current events and ask if they may spend the night in it before resuming their travels. It’s a good way to introduce bits of the lore through banter between the companions and/or travellers, plus how the background/traits influence more than just their proficiencies in battle.

    I once beat a companion into sobriety after he drunkenly misplaced some of the good items I had, that kind of made me feel bad, it made me wonder if a morality system would benefit the game but most things in life are ambiguous and in a grey area. Beating him surely wasn’t a nice thing to do but now he isn’t a drunkard anymore and I just raised his life expectancy (probably) and he’s now the best ranged companion so he’s got that going for him even if he hates and distrusts the rest of the company.

    • Rap
      Rap
      Jan 22, 2016 @ 17:27 pm

      Hehe. The update will add a few more events, but we’re focusing our writing efforts on contracts for now. After the update, we’ll sprinkle in more events as we go along, some of which may also reference the things we just now introduced to the game world, such as noble houses.

      • Agathocles
        Agathocles
        Jan 22, 2016 @ 18:20 pm

        Glad to hear, I remember reading about an influence system with the noble houses and I’m eager to see what you will come up with in term of events and how they’ll view the noble bastards and adventurers in my company. So much room for possibilities, keep up the good work!

        One of my companions had the “dumb” trait and found some magical herbs, it’s totally my fault for things not going well but I had a good laugh out of the situation. Little anecdotes and good atmosphere can go a long way and so far I like your approach to it.

  • Return
    Jan 22, 2016 @ 17:33 pm

    Nice. I´m looking forward to the update.

  • Rajiphun
    Rajiphun
    Jan 22, 2016 @ 17:52 pm

    Can you guys give a hint about what date is the update going to be released? Like, in the beginning of Feb or in the middle or in the end…
    These little teaser-dev-posts are killing me lol

    • Sarissofoi
      Sarissofoi
      Jan 22, 2016 @ 20:50 pm

      2nd
      That would be nice.

      • Rajiphun
        Rajiphun
        Jan 22, 2016 @ 21:12 pm

        In fact the best date would be Feb 4th for me, since it would be a great birthday gift hehe

        • Sarissofoi
          Sarissofoi
          Jan 22, 2016 @ 21:58 pm

          I would prefer 1st but 4th is fine too.
          Better 4th than 31th.

          • Holy.Death
            Holy.Death
            Jan 23, 2016 @ 13:10 pm

            I think we can reasonably expect the release date to be around 15-20th of February. Rather later than sooner as they have a lot of work to do. Otherwise they wouldn’t keep the release date as big a secret.

            • Rajiphun
              Rajiphun
              Jan 23, 2016 @ 18:23 pm

              Yes, probably it will be between these dates, but, hell, I’m a calm and patient person, but this game is really something else, I wish I wasn’t that anxious about it lol

          • kjellstor
            Jan 25, 2016 @ 1:56 am

            31th of february would be a pretty special date to release on, though

  • Holy.Death
    Holy.Death
    Jan 23, 2016 @ 13:13 pm

    Does the surprise attack on the encampment means an ambush? Will it affect our deployment? Will we see “the encampent map”? Will there be an ability to fortify the camp a bit (quite like the Roman Legions did)?

    • Rap
      Rap
      Jan 23, 2016 @ 15:57 pm

      Yes, it means an ambush and will affect the deployment. Even more so later, as you won’t be able to pick a formation / make use of the deployment phase once one of those has made it into the game.

      You’ll eventually see the camp on tactical combat maps as well, but not with this update.

      There won’t be an ability to fortify the camp for now. Maybe at some point.

  • mrbunnyban
    Jan 26, 2016 @ 15:01 pm

    “With what are safer hinterlands or war-torn regions bordering on orc and goblin territory, you now have a greater level of control over what enemies you’re likely to face, depending on where you have your mercenary company seek their fortune.”
    This was a very much needed change! Excellent. Since you have taverns now, perhaps the tavern can have rumors of attacks and dangerous areas before players go scout it out themselves?

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