I’m in two minds on this one. Currently Battle Brothers has a certain amount of things that can be done in the game. First and foremost this is a game about managing a mercenary company, but it is also an RPG, and somewhat of a realtime sandbox outside of combat.
Currently the game plays out in this fashion (when outside of combat):
– Players move from one village to the next to find quests and replenish supplies.
– Companions can be hired in many varieties.
– A number of dwellings and sites can be attacked.
– Quests come in four varieties (find _____ or travel to _____ or raze _____ or protect the caravan)
– Players level their Battle Brothers, equip them, and select perks.
– Players can join or initiate battles.
Now, this is all good, like you say simplicity is good. Theres nothing too complicated, and as of now the player is limited to these processes on the world map. But simplicity can also be a detriment, theres a fine balance that needs to be achieved I think. This game is – after all – a sandbox. Even with the addition of the overarching story, and the ‘Greater Evil’ the world of Battle Brothers will still be free roaming, and more importantly alive. Simplicity can, as a negative side effect create sameness and repetition for the player.
The game does need more to do, in my opinion (despite loving the hell out of it at the moment). I worry that the processes we are currently limited to could become stale.
Heres a very basic list of things I think would work (but in a non-detrimental way):
– I think the game needs diversified settlements and a deep deep economic system. Different shops in towns, and resources/goods that could be bought and sold. I don’t really know how this could be accomplished in a purposefully way (see my last point for a possibility). But something needs to be done about the sameness of the map locations and towns. I’d like to see different shops such as blacksmiths, tailors, taverns, town halls etc.
– More quest variety – ‘Collect _______’ or ‘Slay and return the head of *insert monster* or ‘Find *insert name* and take them to *insert location’ or ‘Defend the town for ____ days’ or ‘Ambush *insert company name* and bring me the head of their leader* or *ambush and kidnap *insert random lord or lady’s name* or ‘*insert random factions name* have captured and occupied *insert random city name* kill the bastards and liberate the city’. There are a lot of different kinds of quests that could be incorporated which would go a long way to keeping the game fresh and replayable.
– Reputation. This for me, outshines the idea of a crafting system (in terms of realism and the thematic nature of Battle Brothers). Each town should have a governing body (a house or family) a lord, or housecarl, A capital city governed by a king and so fourth. The system doesn’t really need to be complex. The only information the player would need is, which faction owns which city and the level of respect they have for you. The players reputation with that lord/house is diminished if they fail or break a contract; it is improved if they a complete the contract. The higher the reputation the greater the reward for your services. Here, there are two types of quest givers, those of nobility and those of the common folk. Quests done for commoners, would not effect the company’s reputation, they are also unlikely to generate substantial amounts of coin. The town, village or city halls, are home to the other sort, the quest givers of the noble kind, these quests will be more taxing (and risky), but the pay off is usually better.
– Quality of weapons, I’m with you here Kalanar. I think weapons, and armour should have a quality to them, which reduces in combat (Paulsen has already created the visual representation of the torn and damaged armour). Instead of percentages, I’d prefers ‘states’ i.e. Broken, Damaged etc.
– Which brings us to crafting (crafting is a mainstay in most RPG games). If it was to be implemented, I’d suggest adding more resource types (instead of adding a million different herbs, ores etc. Alongside ‘coin’, ‘provisions’ ‘tools’ ‘ammunition’ and ‘medical supplies’; ‘Resources’ could be exchanged at blacksmiths, tailors, and herbalists for weapons, tools or medical supplies. They could be harvested from unique locations on the map (i.e. mines, forests). ‘Goods’ could be an investment resource, one that has a higher value in the settlements most in need of them. A nice little way to make more coin on the side, when not doing quests. A market, would function in a town, village or city as a place to buy or sell goods in exchange for coin.