Topic: Character Generation

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  • #2322
    Ryan
    Participant

    Crusader Kings 2 has a similar character creation DLC. It does seem to lead to min-max’ing (lots of advice online about being inbred being worth it to free up points for something useful, like being really tall…).

    If not that, then something as simple as Oregon Trail’s 3 ‘class’ system (banker has high starting cash, but poor life skills, IIRC).

    On my second play through I totally went down Sarissofoi’s “Noble Adventurer” route by buying a Knight in the first town, then a Squire, and then only hiring expensive militia, deserters and hunters.

    I would have much preferred to have selected at least the Knight and Squire characters at start up, rather than having 3 rubbish starting brothers whose faces didn’t fit in the company I wanted to create.

    Although I have had some great fun in CK2 when randomly picking a character, then RP’ing him/her regardless of what would otherwise be my prefernce, and then RP’ing whichever successor, but it is also nice to have some control over what you’ll be getting, to an extent. In CK2 i might somehow justify to myself sending my first son away to be tutorred by someones with good stats in the hope he won’t turn out TOO much like ‘me’!

    It would also be nice to accept a massive starting malus to be able to lvl up at least one of your brothers to become more of a leader or figurehead (or Sargent if you want to consider your command role as being more remote [like the lieutenant in Aliens!]) or simply be able to mark him as such (say with a militia style armband?) without having him buffed in any way.

    Although I do appreciate what GOD wrote about the banner/name/regiment perhaps being the more important identity. I think I’m more in favour of the company having a physical leader which you then RP. If ‘you’ get killed you just RP as the second in command. To me, not having a character to represent me in game feels a bit odd, and forced.

    #2351
    Xoatl
    Participant

    I feel like outright creating your starting mercenaries puts too much focus on them in a game with such high lethality. Kind of like how you don’t choose the looks of your troops in the original x-com. In most RPGs you’re going to spend a lot of time looking at your initial character because you as the player are meant to identify with them, so having them be customisable makes sense. In this game there’s a good chance of all of your starting members dying, so having the start of the game give them a disproportionate amount of attention feels wrong. The banner and name of your company should be more important to its identity than which mercenaries you start with. It also clashes with the atmosphere that the game currently has where all the game elements are abstractions of what feel like ‘real’ actions. Outright creating characters clashes with this.

    I really don’t think it’s a huge balance issue to let you specify your first 3 brethren. They are, after all, only 3 people, out of the 12 you will be fielding.
    Also, if you’re using This War of Mine as an example, the players that want to start with two old teachers for the challenge can choose to do so, and the ones that want to start with a scavenger, a trader, and a cook for easytimes have that option as well.

    It’s the gear that feels like the biggest unbalancing factor. Take that away and it’s much less of an issue. I also like the idea of ‘buying’ your starting characters, though I’m rather enjoying the completely random start that the game has right now.

    Why not have an option to do both?

    #2382
    Buce
    Participant

    I love random aspect in everything in Battle Brothers :) Character generator would kill it! I would even go further and give random traits after level up (only we could choose branch of trait tree)! :)

    #2396
    Trig
    Participant

    Could easily have both ways.

    A character generator, but with a “Randomise” button.
    Level up manual picking and a “Random select” button.

    Why not keep the game open and everyone play as they like?

    #2430
    screeg
    Participant

    Why not keep the game open and everyone play as they like?

    I don’t know how successfully I can argue this in a blog thread, but: it’s up to the developer to create a consistent, enjoyable play experience. If the devs attempt to create a game where “everyone plays as they like”, you’re likely to end up with a muddled, unfocused, or at the very least, unbalanced mess.
    Creating a game where the player decides who he’s going to start with, how powerful they are, what backgrounds, perks etc. is fundamentally different from what they’ve got now, and 99% of players are going to start with three professional fighters every single time. Overhype has so far developed a challenging, brutal game where the player experiences real consequences. Diluting aspects of that potentially changes BB from a tense, suspenseful experience that people will talk about for years (Dark Souls) to a good tactical combat game that people thought was fun (so what?)
    Look at what the devs of Darkest Dungeon are doing. Do you think people would be raving about that game if they could save whenever they want? If they could get a do-over whenever their party was wiped out?

    #2433
    GOD
    Participant

    Why not keep the game open and everyone play as they like?

    I don’t know how successfully I can argue this in a blog thread, but: it’s up to the developer to create a consistent, enjoyable play experience. If the devs attempt to create a game where “everyone plays as they like”, you’re likely to end up with a muddled, unfocused, or at the very least, unbalanced mess.
    Creating a game where the player decides who he’s going to start with, how powerful they are, what backgrounds, perks etc. is fundamentally different from what they’ve got now, and 99% of players are going to start with three professional fighters every single time. Overhype has so far developed a challenging, brutal game where the player experiences real consequences. Diluting aspects of that potentially changes BB from a tense, suspenseful experience that people will talk about for years (Dark Souls) to a good tactical combat game that people thought was fun (so what?)
    Look at what the devs of Darkest Dungeon are doing. Do you think people would be raving about that game if they could save whenever they want? If they could get a do-over whenever their party was wiped out?

    This is basically my worry as well. It relates to the ‘feel’ of the game that is created through all the details spread througout the game. Details like no damage number above units, subdued bust colours, no Elves or Dwarves, etc. Part of why we probably all like this game is because of this atmosphere. Grit without the grimdark. And part of this atmosphere is also that the game starts with you as the founder of a company of mercenaries, many of whom will die, and not as the leader of a party of adventurers. Adding full-on character creation has too many heroic connotations to it and puts too much emphasis on your starting group. This clashes with the tone and style of what they’ve build up so far.

    #2435
    jimcrowley
    Participant

    Why not keep the game open and everyone play as they like?

    I don’t know how successfully I can argue this in a blog thread, but: it’s up to the developer to create a consistent, enjoyable play experience. If the devs attempt to create a game where “everyone plays as they like”, you’re likely to end up with a muddled, unfocused, or at the very least, unbalanced mess.
    Creating a game where the player decides who he’s going to start with, how powerful they are, what backgrounds, perks etc. is fundamentally different from what they’ve got now, and 99% of players are going to start with three professional fighters every single time. Overhype has so far developed a challenging, brutal game where the player experiences real consequences. Diluting aspects of that potentially changes BB from a tense, suspenseful experience that people will talk about for years (Dark Souls) to a good tactical combat game that people thought was fun (so what?)
    Look at what the devs of Darkest Dungeon are doing. Do you think people would be raving about that game if they could save whenever they want? If they could get a do-over whenever their party was wiped out?

    I fully agree with this, particularly if the game is going to stick to the notion that the player is not represented as a brother.

    This is not a party based FRPG, where you are likely to retain your created party for the long haul. Here, there is the potential to lose some or all of your men so custom characterisation is not required.

    Working on a character generation system is going to take time better spent, IMO, on the areas that the devs have already spoken about.

    However, I still think that the player ought to be able to choose the initial three players from the same list that the random picks are made. Why?

    Well, a starting captain is more likely to kick off with the best men he can muster at the beginning or the type of men that he prefers to hire. You will still get the negatives along with the positives, so that the underlying theme of the game is not broken.

    #2439
    Kahsm
    Participant

    Personally think it should skew more towards Mount&Blade style. Where you can generate your first guy, which is “you”. Then the rest can be whoever’s available. It never makes sense to me that I’m playing a mercenary party, but am I not _IN_ the merc group?

    Someone mentioned that your starting guys should probably match your background, so there’s some narrative cohesion that explains why you’re together. I liked that too.

    So if you can generate the name, look, background, and maybe trait of 1 guy. Then the rest can be hired people where you take what you can get.

    That said, I’d prefer if every character could have their looks edited as well as the name.
    Like in my mercenary company, I want us to all have the same haircut and beards. We’re very professional.

    #2464
    BobHound
    Participant

    Different starting party can be adressed in this options too.
    Like:
    >Noble adventurer – lead character is Disowned noble/Bastard with two servants/other connected people to him
    >There is no salvation – party made from people of religious backgrounds(monks, flagelants, cultists)
    >Time for redemption – party made from former(or current) criminals(thief, raiders, killers etc)
    #throw some more
    It can be nice especially for RPG play if you want lead for example company made from nobles/military only. Or from criminals only. Etc.

    I’m a fan of this idea personally. It would let you pick your starting difficulty, sort of Dark Souls style, while getting a bit of flavour for your roleplaying wants.

    #2521
    Sky
    Participant

    Lots of good ideas, and most can be done and left for each player to decide individually how he’d like to set the game up. As long as there is no forcing in a specific way other than it is now, everything should be dendy. Keep as many options open as possible, a bit more customization at the game start than name difficulity and banner could go a long way, especially if they will go random by default as it is now.

    #2575
    GOD
    Participant

    But that’s the thing, having certain options or conveniences available can undermine what makes a game special because it conflicts with the established design. Imagine putting quest markers in Morrowind; it would utterly clash with the actual quest structure. Stuff like optional fast travel, toggable hit/ miss indicators, toggable floating damage numbers, even when optional, drastically change a game. The same goes for customisable character generation.

    More choices are good when they are choices that fit within the design of the game, so having more options isn’t always a good thing. Full-on character creation would dilute this game’s design because of how it is strongly associated with a kind of beginning (the heroic kind) that doesn’t work here. Part of what makes Battle Brothers so interesting is the design that they’ve constructed so far and I’d hate to see it lost. We also have to keep in mind that the development team is small and that they have to pick carefully what they decide to work on. Full character generation would eat up time and resources better spent elsewhere.

    #2579
    Kahsm
    Participant

    I think people are responding to the strange narrative at the start of the game created by 3 totally random characters. I think the problem really stems from the “original member” trait.

    3 characters are made special, when they aren’t special. As a matter of fact, they’re usually pretty crappy compared to the hedge knights I’m hiring later on when I have money.

    If you let people pick a starting background and design their faces, there isn’t any min-maxing going on, so that should be fine for everyone. Other traits could be random, or just not apply to starting members.

    #2927
    Hethwill_Khan
    Participant

    The three founders are not special. They are simply three dudes that met in some tavern and decided to work together. Yes, the Founder trait sets them apart and that’s it.

    The play-with-what-comes factor in BB is very strong in its appeal and fun factor, due to the generated characters and also the unexpected, is one of the things that actually buys me into it.

    I would like less a great fighter tailored by me in a custom screen than I love my epic warrior Falk Earthside which was the least promising of the bunch.
    Pretty much how I remember it from Xcoms. That random grunt that simply went over the top and saves everyone :)

    I like the surprise and the own story of the band unfolding each time you start.

    Probably would not have thrown the money to the development IF not for this simple factor of random characters, random world.

    If you are not under under attack you are not at your post.

    #2928
    PsenBattle
    Keymaster

    Pretty much how I remember it from Xcoms. That random grunt that simply went over the top and saves everyone :)

    This was exactly what we were going for. Im happy that it seems to work :)

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    #2929
    Sky
    Participant

    Yep, this is also one of the things that I like about the game. Still I do understand that even in this actual setup many players would like to have their say in char creations, it is fine as long as it does not interfere with gameplay. Maybe to have a limited “starting” backgrounds to chose from but still with random traits and equipment would be fine, but if the players are able to chose not only the backgrounds but the traits aswell, that is far beyond the acceptable. There would be absolutely no reason whatsoever not to chose the most powerful ones.

    The unexpected surprise is a very fine characteristic of the game, that comes from the very start. Again, it is not a hero saga, but a dark age mercenary game where the money rules over the ethics.

    Anyway time to get lost in the work.

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