Reply To: Questions on RP elements and character progression
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Hello and welcome to our forum!
First of all, hello and kudos on the great job you’re doing. I’m an avid fan of this genre and so far I like what I see.
How will recruitment work?
Shall we have a large but limited pool of characters like in W40k Chaos Gate? Shall we just freely recruit up to a limit like in Mount&Blade?
I never played W40k Chaos Gate, so I’m not sure how it compares to that exactly. There won’t be a limited pool of premade characters like in, for example, Jagged Alliance. Instead, all characters will be random generated. There won’t be a hard limit to their numbers, but the number of characters that can be hired at any one place at a time will be limited and likely depend on how that place fares. In other words, the player won’t be able to hire two dozen men at once, but will be able to hire more at a rich city than at a poor village. There is a one-time fee for recruiting new Battle Brothers (an incentive to leave their old lifes behind and to see that you can back up your words with silver coin, if you will), and they also expect to be regularly paid from then on. At this point we haven’t decided on a hard limit for the maximium number of Battle Brothers one can have at a time or on ways to increase that limit.
From what I’ve understood there will be no classes. But will there be any meaningful choices as characters progress?
Will character’s stats just grow with level as in Chaos Gate? Will they improve with use as in JA? Shall a player assign stat points and/or buy perks like in Fallout? Or shall their abilities be defined by level and current equipment only?
Absolutely. At this time, the player can select 3 out of 6 stats to improve by a randomized amount (dice throw) on levelup. This is still subject to change, however. In addition, the player may select one passive skill (which are basically the same as perks in Fallout or feats in D&D) to further specialize the character each levelup. These passive skills are currently organized into 9 trees (such as Leadership and Mobility) and should allow for specializations not covered by stats alone. For example, there is a passive skill in the Mobility tree that reduces movement penalties on difficult terrain such as swamp, and another one in the Leadership tree that reduces morale penalties from bad events (such as allies being slain) for nearby Battle Brothers. We’ll do a blog article on character progression and details on the passive skills once we have everything a bit more refined and are satified this really works the way we intend it to.
Shall the RP element be minimal like in Myth series, where you only have a unique name for a character? Or like in Mount&Blade where you have a unique look and several stats shuffled around? Or like in JA where certain character like or dislike each other/various assignments based on personality traits? Or like in Dwarf Fortress where characters fall in love, create bonds of friendship and enmities, go berserk when their friend is killed, etc.?
In addition to the things I mentioned above, all characters also come with 0 to 2 randomly assigned character traits from the start, which should help define these characters as being unique among their peers. Character traits are essentially also passive skills but can’t be picked on levelup and aren’t necessarily all positive. Current examples are being athletic or fat (mutually exclusive, increases or decreases fatigue recovery rate, respectively) or having eagle-eyes (i.e. slightly increased view range). A character with good eyesight would make a good candidate for a scouting or ranged combat role, but even a fat man with poor eyesight could make a valued Battle Brother – he’ll just probably be the first to be out of breath in a prolonged engagement and not the one to spot incoming enemies, which, in my mind, adds to his character.
We’re also toying with the idea of giving each character a short biography of sorts, a single paragraph somewhat randomized to fit a character’s traits, to tell about how he fared before becoming a Battle Brother. However, we have no plans for character traits to influence character relations, as you mentioned, or indeed for there to be any special kind of relationships or gameplay effects based on character relationships.
Will there be a protagonist or are all squad members equal? Will there be any random personal sidequests for squad members based on their backstory? (wouldn’t that be cool? :P)
Is there a final goal or is the game 100% sandbox?
There is no protagonist, so in that sense all squad members are equal. If players prefer, they’re free to rename any one of their Battle Brothers and customize their apperance in order to claim them as their personal character, although there are no gameplay mechanics that come with it.
I really liked the personal sidequests that fleshed out my companions’ background in some RPGs – but I just don’t think that this is something that fits our overall game design well.
There will be an end goal and several milestones on the way, and we’ll present them as part of an ongoing narrative related to The Greater Evil (the exact nature of which varies from game to game). However, the story will be kept rather loose and non-linear to support the open world sandbox gamestyle and not get in the way of replayability.