Topic: Character Generation

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  • #2933
    Kahsm
    Participant

    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 :)

    And yet XCOM, in it’s recent form, lets you rename and design the look of your troops. They realize how important that is to a large group of people who play these types of games, and that it did not take anything away from those players that don’t care. Seems like a no-brainer, if resources permit.

    As for the “we have more important things to work on given our limited time and resources” argument. I certainly get that. Adding something somewhat tangential to the main purpose of the game seems wrong at this stage. But it could increase the broader appeal, which might result in more resources. Get those Mount & Blade people.

    If you don’t think people are starting, quitting, and restarting over and over to get the people they want to play, you’re kidding yourself. So it’s already happening. And it would be nice if they(we) didn’t have to get frustrated by how annoying that is to do.

    This whole, “but people die a lot in this game” argument makes no sense to me. Yes, that’s true and fine. And I’d like to actually care that they’re dead and not shrug it off because he’s a random farmer whose name I can barely remember. I think customization makes the dangerous atmosphere even more powerful.

    The fact that you’re able to change their names suggest that there is already a nod to those who want some personalization, and to feel more connected to their Battle Brothers.

    Another option is modding capabilities. Rimworld has a similar design, where your first settlers are randomly generated. But there’s a mod you can get that changes that. Let the community help with the personalization tweaks.

    #2934
    PsenBattle
    Keymaster

    Solving this issue by modding would of course be a good solution. The only downside is, that we cant yet say when we will be able to implement the mod support.
    Cosmetic customization is still on our discussion agenda by the way. The only thing I really want to avoid is hand picking your perks and traits etc. Cant give you any more information at the moment unfortunately.

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    #2935
    Hethwill_Khan
    Participant

    I am not against the individual ways to play the game or if you re-roll. It is of no consequence and I only praised one of the things that make the game great.

    So to have it ( custom tailored chars ) or not is all down to the devs, but not having it implemented diminishes absolutely nothing the value of the game. Having it included will change nothing to my gameplay, but will surely taint the soul of it ( just a bit ).

    Also I play TLW without generating my troopers, It is a personal preference. I am not a fan of “space marine” clones, it bores me to death the lack of individual traits and interesting stories unfolding for each on of them.

    Devs know better, the game is great and whatever their decision will not affect the pure-random fans.

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

    #2936
    GOD
    Participant

    Going to quote some parts of my own posts in the other thread:

    Min-maxing is always going to happen, but that doesn’t meant that it’s a good idea to make it easier to do. The degree to which this is possible and what form it takes is very important to how a player learns to play the game. Right now, looking for the best possible synergy in traits and backgrounds isn’t really a thing, because it would take a long time to get it right and then your starters might die anyway. Making it easier would suddenly make it much more of a factor in how the game plays and how it should be balanced.

    The point of mentioning Dark Souls is that it is a great game that doesn’t allow everyone to play as they like. Take for example how it has no save at will and no multiple save slots for the same playthrough. You could argue that putting it there for people who want to use it couldn’t hurt, because they just want to try to play in a different way and everyone else can choose not to use it. However, this would result in a fundamentally different game with a different atmosphere to it, even if you don’t use it, because choices that cannot be taken back are different from choices that you could take back if you wanted to. You cannot skip out of restarting at a bonefire if you die. You cannot take back attacking Gwynevere. You cannot see both endings without playing the game again. This adds a weight to the actions that you take that is only possible because of how the game does not offer you a reset button, which would result in the game undermining the sense of inevitability build up with the games overall design.

    Jagged Alliance 2 is a very different game in terms of setting and how it handles recruitment within that setting. Custom characters there are essentially the player using their network to call in mercenaries that fit their needs, because you as a person are larger than the conflict that you are now a part of. It’s the difference between a player that acts more globally and a player who acts more locally. It fits the setting and kind of conflict that is central to the game (hiring foreign mercenaries), so it doesn’t clash with the design. A rough equivalent of this would be to have the player in Battle Brothers be a noble who’s sending out a mercenary company to handle the situation of the area where the game takes place, which would be a different kind of game.

    Mods are fine because they aren’t part of the core game. In fact, I’d say it would make for precisely the kind of thing that modders should make. Modders don’t need to think about whether or not what they’re making fits the design, because what they’re making is not part of the core experience, so they can make things that the developer can’t. The developers, however, are the ones actually responsible for this core experience as conveyed through the design of the game. They make what everyone will play and what mods can build on, so they have to be consistent in what tone they set. They are also just a small team and need to carefully decide what features are worth the effort of implementing, because that means not spending time on something else. Custom character creation is simple nowhere near as worthwhile as some of the other things that I’ve seen them mention of considering and would undermine the tone of what they have so far.

    You are free to do anything you want within the framework of the game. However, that framework has to be set up by the developer. The job of the developer is then to accurately assess what freedom is meaningful to the game and what isn’t. I’ve yet to see anyone talk about how they want accurate defecation mechanics, because they want the freedom to role-play an incontinent hedge-knight who soils himself in combat.
    That something is convenient also doesn’t neccesarily make it a good feature. Fast travel is convenient, but putting it into this game is a bad idea.

    What I’m emphasising is the need for good, tight design. That’s how you make a great game, rather than a forgettable one (people still play HoMM 2 and 3, while HoMM 4 is barely mentioned). A feature that seems fun on its own can ruin the kind of play experience that you’re trying to create. I’ve yet to see anyone actually address my arguments regarding that, just that they think it would be a fun addition. There’s tons of things that I think would be fun to add on their own, but that I wouldn’t want to see implemented because they don’t suit the game, would take too much effort and ultimately make it less enjoyable. Stuff like having a group of eldritch abominations drive the populace of a city mad, so you have to kill them or the city turns into a new faction of twisted monstrosities. Having party members who turn undead be recruitable. Recruitable werewolves. Recruitable necromancers. Undead Roman legions rising from their graves to cull the living. Language mechanics for all the different spoken dialects. Orc mode – work your way up to chieftain of all the Orcs and make the human lands burn. Necromancer mode – carefully build up your undead horde; levels and skills of the raised transfer to your minion so finding powerful graves to use or slaying mighty enemies becomes vital. Ally yourself to one of the enemy factions and defeat both the humans and the other factions. Undead Alexander with his army wants to conquer the world once again – highly tactical and well-equipped undead that are always at confident morale, with a powerful leader. Long play games – games that take decades of in-game time and that can have you play as the descendants of your original band; new technology gets introduced as time goes by and new cities will rise and fall. Be a freedom fighter who has to balance undermining the rulers, while stopping the enemy from killing you all (intentionally letting bandits kill a caravan transporting a noble). Start as a small company and build yourself up until you are an army, with scaling gameplay (from individual control to unit control). A far larger world map that shows multiple nations which function as separate factions. Far more diversity in the enemy units – different Orc tribes should actually be different from each other and have different units and fighting styles. Cultural effects that spread and affect things like unit choice, aggression and gear worn (an Orc base that has been next to humans for a long time establishing minor trade and using some human style weapons and tactics, or humans that taken to the hunter-gatherer ways of the Orcs). Lots of other stuff that I think would be really cool, but you get the point.

    XCOM is a pretty different game (you are a global player, not local) and in my opinion also not nearly as good as the X-COM games (though Long War helps a lot). The way they added character customisation was also pretty lazy. They could have had you do it while recruiting (you are a world wide orgnisation, it’s to be expected that you can pick from a wide range of recruits), but instead you do it afterwards.

    Solving this issue by modding would of course be a good solution. The only downside is, that we cant yet say when we will be able to implement the mod support.
    Cosmetic customization is still on our discussion agenda by the way. The only thing I really want to avoid is hand picking your perks and traits etc. Cant give you any more information at the moment unfortunately.

    That makes mod tools getting added sound a lot more definite than the last time I heard about it! :D

    #2951
    Sky
    Participant

    Mod support will go a long way with this game definetely. There are so many variables that even as cool company as Overhype can not make all happen. Nor should it.

    #3210
    thenewromance
    Participant

    Character generation is indeed a difficult topic. I like the possibility to customize, but I also like playing the cards you are dealt. Perhaps some middle ground could be found?

    I would like to suggest one such option. I read that non-combattant Brothers are likely to be introduced – smiths, healers and the like, who are part of your company, but not represented as fighters. I think in this lies great potential, for the game as-is right now but for character creation as well. You as a player are at the moment not represented in-game. Of course, you give the orders and make the decisions, like a sort of “invisible general”, but you can’t see yourself and don’t have any stats. Now, if a “court” or “staff” or “council” that featured the members of your company who do not fight was introduced (like the above-mentioned smith), that would exactly be the place where you as a commander could be represented. You could have your own picture and maybe a few stats or skills that would influence your company and that could be chosen at the set-out. Of course, you’d still appear on the battlefield, but I actually think that is a good thing as that way no one gets frustrated when their “player character” dies.

    I think this suggestions has a lot of advantages. The player has a representative, there’s a possibility for customization that influences the game, the (possible) non-combattant “staff” gets another element, and there’s no risk of creating supersoldiers or min-maxing the fun of the beginning away.

    #3212
    PsenBattle
    Keymaster

    Hey thenewromance,
    great idea, let me put that on my notepad :)

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    #3217
    thenewromance
    Participant

    Of course, you’d still not appear on the battlefield, but I actually think that is a good thing as that way no one gets frustrated when their “player character” dies.

    I do of course mean this. :)

    #3218
    GOD
    Participant

    Character generation is indeed a difficult topic. I like the possibility to customize, but I also like playing the cards you are dealt. Perhaps some middle ground could be found?
    I would like to suggest one such option. I read that non-combattant Brothers are likely to be introduced – smiths, healers and the like, who are part of your company, but not represented as fighters. I think in this lies great potential, for the game as-is right now but for character creation as well. You as a player are at the moment not represented in-game. Of course, you give the orders and make the decisions, like a sort of “invisible general”, but you can’t see yourself and don’t have any stats. Now, if a “court” or “staff” or “council” that featured the members of your company who do not fight was introduced (like the above-mentioned smith), that would exactly be the place where you as a commander could be represented. You could have your own picture and maybe a few stats or skills that would influence your company and that could be chosen at the set-out. Of course, you’d still appear on the battlefield, but I actually think that is a good thing as that way no one gets frustrated when their “player character” dies.
    I think this suggestions has a lot of advantages. The player has a representative, there’s a possibility for customization that influences the game, the (possible) non-combattant “staff” gets another element, and there’s no risk of creating supersoldiers or min-maxing the fun of the beginning away.

    That’s actually not a bad idea, though I still have my doubts. I like not having a face in the game, as it takes away the confusion between what the UI is supposed to represent and who the player character is meant to be. That is, am I actually the character when I am inputting the commands or am I inputting commands for a character, who then executes them as if he were me. Abstracting this to the UI being the player is how it is currently done. Giving you an avatar reinstates the seperation, since you can now see ‘you’. It would also be strange how the enemy leaders do take to the battlefield, while your mercenary leader does not.

    Come to think of it, are companions planned for enemy factions as well?

    I like it better than customising your starting party, though. This would be your actual avatar, rather than a surrogate, while you avoid the problem of the player focusing their attention on the avatar in battle, since they don’t take part.
    Just spitballing here, so I might actually come to vehemently disagree with myself, but you could have the player need to choose between useful traits for the strategic map. Like Mountain Expertise allowing you to reduce the movement penalty of mountainous terrain. That might put too much emphasis on how important you are as the head of the company though and infringe on the abilities of other companions (I can imagine there being a Mountain Guide companion). I’m not sure yet how you’d implement it in both a meaningful and balanced fashion. It’s important thought that the direct influence of an avatar like that in battle should only ever be felt through the players their tactical choices. No stats buffs or special abilities.

    I’d really need to see more of what the planned companion system actually entails before I can get a clear idea of whether it would fit, though.

    #3229
    Sky
    Participant

    If there is an absolute need for an avatar representation then definitely as an npc whom you could customize the hell out as newromance suggests. But if there is no need then it would just be more of a confusion than an improvement.

    #3231
    Rap
    Keymaster

    That makes mod tools getting added sound a lot more definite than the last time I heard about it!

    Just to avoid any misunderstandings – adding mod support has not become any more definite and is still something we won’t do any promises on.

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    #3238
    GOD
    Participant

    That makes mod tools getting added sound a lot more definite than the last time I heard about it!

    Just to avoid any misunderstandings – adding mod support has not become any more definite and is still something we won’t do any promises on.

    I guess my reading was too optimistic, but it’s good to hear that you’re only making promises that you feel confident about. :)

    #3245
    arcweldx
    Participant

    Let me start by saying I like the random selection, it’s the way I personally would choose to play. But I would argue for more customization, because I can see where those people are coming from. What made me back this game EA is that the devs really seem to “get” that a fair degree of customization and potential for role-playing is what made games like X-Com so loved. For a lot of people, it’s not just a tactical combat game, it’s about building a story with a set of characters. Things as simple as being able to choose your banner, name your mercs, etc., all contribute to that role-playing experience.

    So what are the arguments against starting character customization?

    1. Too difficult or time-consuming to implement.

    I can respect that. You need priorities. But I think there are some easy compromises that shouldn’t be hard to do (below).

    2. Choice over starting characters would make the game easier.

    There are already different difficulty settings, and nobody (sane) has a problem with that. Choosing an easier starting group is just another way of choosing an easier difficulty level. So no, not everyone would choose to do that, for the same reason not everyone plays every game on the easiest difficulty. But if someone wants to play the game on “easy” mode, why should anyone care?

    3. Devs have a vision of how the game should be played.

    Again, I respect that, but keep a sense of what people will actually enjoy. If it doesn’t significantly affect the quality of game play (noting my point about difficulty above), why not let them play the game how they want to play the game? As someone noted, we all know that some people are going to restart until they get a starting group that they like. Why not make this easier with a “restart” button at the beginning screen. Or better yet, start by displaying the backgrounds of your starting mercs, with a restart button on the screen so people can “re-roll” to their hearts content. If that would increase the enjoyment of a significant minority, why not?

    I hope modding does get implemented. It would make this game an absolute classic.

    #3258
    screeg
    Participant

    3. Devs have a vision of how the game should be played.
    Again, I respect that, but keep a sense of what people will actually enjoy.

    The devs’ vision is exactly what makes a game not only enjoyable, but truly memorable, the type of game people talk about for years (or decades, ie. X-Com). If the goal of making a game was to produce something everyone enjoys, all we’d have to play would be Candy Crush Saga and Angry Birds. Every allowance made on behalf of gaining a wider audience (allowing re-rolls, picking units from a list, etc.) dilutes the experience. In my opinion, in the end it won’t even result in more sales. If you want more sales, create a game that breaks the mold and does things differently, doesn’t give allowances for every type of player. A pure experience generates tons of word-of-mouth coverage, and draws in the casual gamers who might have been intimidated by the more roguelike experience. Making a vanilla game that goes halfway (hey, there’s a hardcore mode!) just doesn’t have the same impact on the community.
    I’m not saying the devs should or shouldn’t allow any of the suggested changes *BUT* to say “Let everyone play the game however they want! Who cares?” is no way to achieve great game design.

    #3268
    Sky
    Participant

    At this moment I belive it’s only a question of how much and in what ways the dev team will implement the customization. My only fear is that it will be overdone so that the gameplay suffers. In the end we won’t know till it’s here.

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