Dev Blog #92: Late Game Crises - Battle Brothers Developer Blog

Dec
16

Dev Blog #92: Late Game Crises

Here we go with a dev blog many of you have been waiting for. After ambitions and retirement, late game crises, also known as the ‘Greater Evil’, are the third aspect of adding more purpose and challenge to the game that we’re going to introduce with the upcoming update. Let’s find out what it’s all about! 

The Greater Evil

Older players may remember that when Battle Brothers first entered Early Access, enemy factions would keep on growing and eventually overpower the world of man, if not kept in check by the player. For all the many balancing issues this raised, it certainly had a cool thing about it: the world was changing around you, and what you did had a tangible impact on the world. As we’re nearing the point now where all of the game mechanics are done, we’re going to re-introduce the ability of enemy factions to start an invasion and overrun the world. Only this time, it will be part of one of three different late game crises, and it will be supported by unique contracts, events and gameplay mechanics.

So, where to start? A late game crisis happening is not optional, but you do have some options on customizing them for your campaign. As you start a new campaign, you’ll be able to choose between a random late game crisis (the default), a war between noble houses, a greenskin invasion or the undead arising. A random crisis is probably slightly harder, because you can’t prepare for a specific enemy right from the start, but if you prefer fighting any particular enemy, or just want to see them in action, you can determine the flavor of your future challenge here.

As the name implies, a late game crisis only really kicks in until after some time into your campaign, allowing you to build up your company to a respectable level first. Once the crisis starts, it occurs in two phases.

The first phase is the buildup where you’ll encounter warning signs – like events about more greenskin sightings, greenskin camps creeping up closer to settlements, and more contracts that deal with their presence – and can choose to prepare accordingly. Not that long after the first phase, the second phase will start, and this is where the crisis really begins. What happens exactly depends on the type of crisis;

In the event of a greenskin invasion, orcs and goblins will combine forces and no longer fight each other, even sometimes attack in mixed units, which will challenge even experienced companies. They will aggressively expand into human territory with new camps, send raiding parties to pillage any attached locations (e.g. wheat farms, mines, watchtowers) and ultimately burn settlements to the ground. Attached locations act as hitpoints for settlements – only after every single such location has been destroyed, can the settlement itself be destroyed. Burned-down locations will eventually be rebuilt, if you defend a settlement for long enough, but settlements destroyed entirely will remain so permanently. Contracts against greenskins will be more frequent, and there’ll be several new contracts in the game specifically for the greenskin invasion, as well as around a dozen new events.

In the event of the undead arising, the ancient dead will combine forces with necromancers and wiedergängers, which otherwise are independent factions. The air will be filled with dark magic, and there’s a chance that anyone, no matter how they died, will return as a wiedergänger. Like with the greenskin invasion, there’s several new contracts in the game specifically for dealing with the undead, as well as around a dozen new events that focus on them. The undead, too, seek to destroy the world of man and will burn down locations attached to settlements. Unlike greenskins, however, they won’t destroy settlements entirely but rather turn them into an undead necropolis – a heavily fortified base from which the walking dead pour down to sow dread and despair.

In the event of a war between noble houses, regiments will be sent forth from fortifications not to destroy settlements, but to capture them in the name of their lords. Contracts and events will allow you to partake in the assault on fortifications and large battles, but siding with one of the warring factions will make enemies of the other. You’ll more frequently have to face other mercenary companies on the battlefield, and bandits and deserters, too, will thrive. All three late game crises will introduce new mechanics and objectives with their contracts – such as the greenskin siege engine shown below.

The late game crises tie into both ambitions and retirement; you’ll be able to choose the ambition to repel a greenskin invasion, for example, and doing so will make sure that the name of your mercenary company will live on for a long time, unlocking a new step on the retirement ladder. Ending one of the crises is a ‘soft end’ to the game – you’ve basically won and will be asked if you want to retire from the company at this point, but you can also choose to keep on playing if you want. If you do choose to keep on playing with your company, a new and different late game crisis will eventually start, and you’ll be tested in a different way, and so on.

There’s a lot of work going into these late game crises, so we’ll be working for several weeks exclusively on those.

See You Next Year!

With the Christmas holidays rapidly approaching, this has been this year’s last dev blog. We’ll resume our schedule of weekly dev blogs starting with a new one on January 6th, 2017. Take care and see you next year!

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Jaysen

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28 comments

  • Schwoermal
    Schwoermal
    Dec 16, 2016 @ 15:30 pm

    Nice.
    One question: Will the Human factions battle each other on a smaller scale regardless of which late game crises I choosed?

    Reply
    • Rap
      Rap
      Dec 16, 2016 @ 15:38 pm

      Outside of an all-out-war as one of the late game crises, the noble house are in a state of ‘cold war’. As such, for most of the game, they oppose each other with subterfuge, some of which the player can partake in via contracs, but not open warfare.

      Reply
  • Trenton
    Dec 16, 2016 @ 15:41 pm

    I’m sensing some very cool stories being woven by these! This is probably evil of me to ask, but how fast wouldn’t the “cool down” time be between crisis if you decided to go all out? Could there be crisis at the same time?

    Reply
    • Rap
      Rap
      Dec 16, 2016 @ 21:30 pm

      Timing is still to be determined. There can be only one crisis at a time.

      Reply
  • RusBear
    RusBear
    Dec 16, 2016 @ 15:43 pm

    You “Take care” too. We need such devs like you…it is so rare )
    Good holidays!

    Reply
  • Kuroi_Kaze
    Dec 16, 2016 @ 16:48 pm

    And still.. Do you plan adding other mercenary companies to be seen roaming along the lands? Being the only one company looks a bit strange.

    Reply
    • Rap
      Rap
      Dec 16, 2016 @ 21:29 pm

      Yes.

      Reply
      • Kuroi_Kaze
        Dec 17, 2016 @ 20:45 pm

        Wow, that will be amazing =) Thank you.

        Reply
  • Ulrich
    Ulrich
    Dec 16, 2016 @ 16:50 pm

    Really good stuff, cant wait for that :) Well, cya next year!

    Reply
  • Dec 16, 2016 @ 18:20 pm

    I love the fact that a further late-game event can happen after surviving the first. I do have to ask though, will there be a way for settlements to grow back after being fully destroyed? Maybe once the ‘end-event’ has fired. I think even at my best I couldn’t keep much of the map alive following 2/3 of these new Greenskin/Undead end games.

    A lofty idea of a late (post-release) update that I used to have was one adding in a start option where there is just one town in the North and you are an opportunist defending the frontier as it forms – occasional events firing to say a Noble House has risen, or expanded to the new lands.

    Reply
    • josvein
      Dec 24, 2016 @ 23:19 pm

      I am also curious on this, I would really like to see regrowth and not a final end

      Reply
  • JoyRogue
    Dec 16, 2016 @ 19:24 pm

    PLEASE tell me that the renown won’t be what triggers the crisis. THat would be ripe for abuse, cancelling quests to delay the invasion…

    If that was your idea, PLEASE at least include a time-bound crisis so that hardcore players can enjoy the time pressure instead of abusing the shit out of the badly balanced reputation system.

    PS Love your game, can’t wait!

    Reply
    • Rap
      Rap
      Dec 16, 2016 @ 21:28 pm

      The player’s renown has no bearing on when a late game crisis occurs.

      Reply
  • Asterix_von_TWC
    Dec 16, 2016 @ 19:38 pm

    Merry Christmas good people of Overhype!

    Reply
  • Oh Brother
    Oh Brother
    Dec 16, 2016 @ 21:08 pm

    If you choose the Undead Arising, I would imagine the necromancers would not only raise the humans, but any faction that gets in their way including orcs and goblins. You would need catapults and ballistas to deal with the combined hordes of undead goblins, orcs, and men.

    It is interesting to watch this project develop, I think this game has much more potential to be realized yet! Keep up the excellent work, and see you in the new year!

    Reply
  • screeg
    screeg
    Dec 16, 2016 @ 21:14 pm

    Sounds fantastic! But “Undead Arising” should be Uprising or Rising.

    Reply
  • Wanderer
    Dec 17, 2016 @ 1:33 am

    Looking forward to playing the End-Game Crises.

    Echoing comments above, it does sort of the beg the question: if settlements fully destroyed in a greenskin/undead invasion are not rebuilt after the crisis is resolved, what happens in the case of a war where only one noble house actually has settlements left on the map? Would we just see another greenskin/undead invasion?

    As another corner case: if we did so poorly during the crisis that literally only a single handful of towns are left on the map, are we forced into retirement because those towns cannot give us enough contracts to support an entire level 11 company?

    Reply
  • sqw
    Dec 17, 2016 @ 2:25 am

    How would, for example, an orc patrol handle a undead horde? Is it strictly human vs non-human or would players be able to stumble across an existing fight between non-human factions and pick off the two weakened opponents?

    Personally, when an end game crisis occur, I’d like to feel that sh*t hit the fan and all factions in the world are scrambling and not just relying on one little merc band.

    Reply
    • Rap
      Rap
      Dec 17, 2016 @ 2:29 am

      They’ll fight each other the same as they always do.

      Reply
  • Reiter
    Reiter
    Dec 19, 2016 @ 11:31 am

    I believe, that next patch will be in 2017. :D That´s totally ok, you devs really deserve your christmass/new year holidays. Great job, guys!

    Reply
  • Dec 19, 2016 @ 13:34 pm

    Great work. Really adds depth although it is still fun to run around without a specific purpose(much like life).

    Here are a few suggestions though, not necessarily related to this update:

    1. How about fights in castles/villages/towns? Maybe a little wall or palisade tile around or fights within buildings etc?
    2. How a water like environment except swamp? Maybe shallow water or beach fights with their specific mechanics? Maybe in the future(long term) fights on ships?
    3. Prisoners and Jails? Maybe exchanges of prisoners/ransom between factions. Some sort of diplomacy could be achieved with goblins and orcs as they are human like creatures.

    PS As a vegan, I really enjoy that you introduced different types of food for the mercenary team, allows me to supply the men with berries, wine, mushrooms etc

    Reply
  • Asterix_von_TWC
    Dec 22, 2016 @ 21:27 pm

    Dang I miss the Friday posts. Merry Christmas Overhype! Merry Christmas everyone… may you stay warm and safe from Wiedergangers and Orcs

    Reply
  • josvein
    Dec 24, 2016 @ 23:18 pm

    Will there be away to take the war band to a new map or to eventually have dead cities regrow for people who want to play forever? I understand the idea of punishing for failing to defend but maybe not have something so permanent, and to have it just take a really long time to resettle, or maybe resettle new areas? I love the game and I like playing as one warband, it seems a bit harsh to have cities perma kill with no way to move on or rebuild in my opinion. I think it would be nice to have an option for people who want to keep going indefinitely to be able to do so, but maybe I am in the minority with this. The game is really amazing easily one of the best I’ve played!

    Reply
  • John U.
    Dec 25, 2016 @ 14:20 pm

    Good Morning,

    Well I am about 15 hours into multiple camapigns and get killed off by about day 20 each time in (Beginner Mode). Not sure about the play balance, I have been playing these type games all my life (I am 52) was once a playtester and later a scenario designer for Talonsoft and have taken classes in Tactical Wargame Design for my masters (a little backgrund). Not sure what i am doign wrong.

    Once you run into a bandit group you are screwed, you cannot get away without taken serious losses (I buy troops and have never been outnumbered yet in the game)

    Reply
  • Lucas
    Dec 25, 2016 @ 16:29 pm

    I am watching the game development in the last months and after this end game system i decided to buy it. Question is, i am buying from steam, will this patch be added to the deluxe edition only? Great job guys! If u add other mercenarie companys, the game will be 100% from my point of view.

    Reply
  • ThePinkPanzer
    ThePinkPanzer
    Dec 29, 2016 @ 10:36 am

    Love the game and the progress you’ve made.

    I’m curious, assuming a launch goes to expectations, will we be seeing content after? It’d be awesome to see cut features be reintroduced or things like crises expanded upon.

    Reply
  • Tyler
    Jan 4, 2017 @ 21:24 pm

    I recently picked up Battle Brothers, and I absolutely love this game, logging countless hours in the first few days of my Xmas vacay (which you all deserve). It brings me back to the old Warlords / Might & Magic days where you roamed a pre-generated map filled with loot, hordes, creatures, and warring factions, each time through discovering a new tactic more effective than the last. You guys really nailed it, and everything is pointing to an excellent release with the finishing touches being implemented in the next patch.

    Reply
  • RahKhoon
    Jan 5, 2017 @ 18:29 pm

    Hi there, best dev’ team of the world. I must admit, i start to become really mad while waiting for the next update. As a Mordheim / X-com nerdz your game trully have the 500h (1000h+) potential. Will you release the patch soon ? Tomorrow maybe, with the next blog ? I don’t want to start another campain before the patch and Battle brother is the only game i wanna play actually. Silly situation.

    Anyway, you made the perfect game for the kind of gamer i am. I trully thank you for this.

    Reply

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