Topic: Questions on RP elements and character progression

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  • #526
    Weaver
    Participant

    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.
    Now to my questions.

    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?

    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?

    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.?

    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?

    #527
    Rap
    Keymaster

    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.

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    #528
    Weaver
    Participant

    Absolutely. At this time, the player can select 3 out of 6 stats to improve by a randomized amount (dice throw) on levelup.

    I know it’s a bit too early for this, but please add an “average roll” option! :)

    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.

    Looking forward to it!

    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.

    I absolutely loved this system in Battle for Wesnoth. Really added to the gameplay.
    Hopefully in Battle Brothers there will be even more uses for these traits. Will there be more to this game than tactical combat?

    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.

    Sounds fantastic.
    Do you plan to release modding tools so that players could construct their own narratives?

    #530
    Rap
    Keymaster

    I absolutely loved this system in Battle for Wesnoth. Really added to the gameplay.
    Hopefully in Battle Brothers there will be even more uses for these traits. Will there be more to this game than tactical combat?

    More to this game than tactical combat regarding the character traits, you mean? Good question, but I don’t have a good answer yet. It would depend on whether we can come up with traits that influence the strategic gameplay in intuitive and meaningful ways, enough so to justify blurring the lines between tactical and strategic elements on this. As for more than tactical combat in general, take a look at this.

    Do you plan to release modding tools so that players could construct their own narratives?

    We’d like to. The game is engineered in a way that modding support could be added without any substantial changes necessary. It’s still work, though, writing a documentation, extending the scripting API beyond our own immediate needs, making sure our tools can be used by anyone, etc. Our priority therefore is to our core game first, but we’ll keep modding support in mind and might attend to it later depending on community demand and, well, budgetary feasibility.

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    #555
    Weaver
    Participant

    More to this game than tactical combat regarding the character traits, you mean? Good question, but I don’t have a good answer yet. It would depend on whether we can come up with traits that influence the strategic gameplay in intuitive and meaningful ways, enough so to justify blurring the lines between tactical and strategic elements on this.

    Well, that shouldn’t be hard. I mean for example fat brothers could require more food on strategic map, while keen-eyed could give scouting bonuses.
    And traits don’t have to be all beneficial or all bad. For example there might be a tactical benefit to being fat – there’s a bigger chance you’ll block a missile fired by an enemy into a brother who’s standing behind you. :D Triple that if a character hiding behind you is himself tiny. ;)

    We’d like to. The game is engineered in a way that modding support could be added without any substantial changes necessary. It’s still work, though, writing a documentation, extending the scripting API beyond our own immediate needs, making sure our tools can be used by anyone, etc. Our priority therefore is to our core game first, but we’ll keep modding support in mind and might attend to it later depending on community demand and, well, budgetary feasibility.

    Sounds good!
    Will you start a crowdfunding campaign at some point? Or can we just somehow preorder?

    And another question: When shall we see some battle sisters? :)

    #556
    Rap
    Keymaster

    And traits don’t have to be all beneficial or all bad. For example there might be a tactical benefit to being fat – there’s a bigger chance you’ll block a missile fired by an enemy into a brother who’s standing behind you. Triple that if a character hiding behind you is himself tiny.

    They aren’t necessarily all beneficial or all bad, just the example ones are. Still, you make a good point even with them. I didn’t think about it this way before.

    Will you start a crowdfunding campaign at some point? Or can we just somehow preorder?

    We’re currently weighting our options on doing a crowdfunding campaign. We really have to get this game a budget somehow in order to have it move forward with pace, and crowdfunding seems a good candidate. If we’ll do it, it will be only after the combat demo is released, though, and we get some more public attention.

    And another question: When shall we see some battle sisters? :)

    Not anytime soon, I’m afraid. Allow me to copy-paste a previous reply from me regarding this (sometimes controversial) topic:

    It’s not like we’re opposed to having female characters in the game. However, our resources are stretched so thin that we can’t even afford our characters legs – adding female characters in a proper way would burden us with a lot of additional work like new heads, female versions of all light to medium armors, extra sound effects and all texts refering to both genders. Since early medieval battles were predominantly fought by men, and adding females to the game, while offering more variety, would add nothing to gameplay we decided that we’d rather focus our energy elsewhere (like more unique types of enemies). Should our resources allow, we might re-evaluate this in the future.

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    #602
    Dohon
    Participant

    Just a few more questions with regards to RP-elements:

    * We can change the name and appearance of a specific soldier. There might even be a short “history” behind each battle brother and each will have their own traits. Will there be something like a “kill-sheet”? Perhaps even an event-log (Brother Bernhard, killed 3 goblins on date X, killed 4 zombies on date y, …)?

    *Are all Battle Brothers “normal” men? Or are there nobles (meaning, people with titles and properties) as well? Can we give battle brothers a title? Perhaps one can recruit an experienced and well-equipped character called Herr Friedrich von Hohenstaufen? :)

    * Will we be able to have a “hall of legends” or a “memorial wall”? Just a list that shows all your battlebrothers that died and where you can view their stats and background (and “killsheet”)? Not a very important feature, but perhaps you might have a few free moments to implement it? If you guys (and gals) decide to implement it of course. :)

    * With regards to character relations, it was stated that Battle Brothers wouldn’t know any “special” relations, such as love, hate, … But will there be some allowance for intra-group relations? The title refers to battle brothers, a band of soldiers/militiamen who fight alongside one another and forge a special bond because of it. This could translate to increased morale bonuses when two “veterans” fight close to eachtoher, a strong decrease in morale when one of the old soldiers dies, … Perhaps there can even be a trait-influence of some kind (a good “friend” dies due to a zombie, his surviving buddy becomes a “zombie-slayer”)? Or isn’t this something that is planned for BB?

    Thanks in advance!

    #604
    Rap
    Keymaster

    Will there be something like a “kill-sheet”? Perhaps even an event-log (Brother Bernhard, killed 3 goblins on date X, killed 4 zombies on date y, …)?

    Definately. We keep statistics for every Battle Brother, including a kill count, and noteworthy feats like slaying an especially powerful enemy or being the sole survivor of a battle gone wrong. They can be browsed in the history tab that can be seen briefly in the recent video on the inventory screen (but they aren’t implemented yet and won’t be featured in the combat demo).

    Are all Battle Brothers “normal” men? Or are there nobles (meaning, people with titles and properties) as well? Can we give battle brothers a title? Perhaps one can recruit an experienced and well-equipped character called Herr Friedrich von Hohenstaufen? :)

    All Battle Brothers can not only earn titles but potentially also character traits (i.e. actual gameplay effects) for achievements, both good and bad. A character having slain dozens of undead, for example, might earn a title (“the Undead Slayer”) and a character trait that makes him less prone to morale failure when fighting undead again. Titles will probably be freely editable by the player, though, and are considered to be more like suggestions based on what the character experienced (and his peers know him for).

    Since we’ll probably also allow for hiring a few more experienced men to join the player’s ranks (for a higher fee), I think it’d be a cool idea to have some of them come from noble backgrounds, already have titles like you suggested, and perhaps come with some non-crappy equipment. However, noble men would, at least for as long as they’re part of the Battle Brothers, relinquish their noble privileges, and the gameplay effects of their noble birth would be limited to some character traits that are mostly for flavor.

    Will we be able to have a “hall of legends” or a “memorial wall”? Just a list that shows all your battlebrothers that died and where you can view their stats and background (and “killsheet”)?

    It isn’t high on our priority list but I agree with you that it would be a cool feature down the road.

    But will there be some allowance for intra-group relations? The title refers to battle brothers, a band of soldiers/militiamen who fight alongside one another and forge a special bond because of it. This could translate to increased morale bonuses when two “veterans” fight close to eachtoher, a strong decrease in morale when one of the old soldiers dies, … Perhaps there can even be a trait-influence of some kind (a good “friend” dies due to a zombie, his surviving buddy becomes a “zombie-slayer”)? Or isn’t this something that is planned for BB?

    Simulating character relations for individual characters within the group isn’t within the scope of Battle Brothers; we just assume that all members are more or less equally close. That said, we do scale morale loss depending on who it is that falls in battle (recruit or veteran), and we have passive skills in our leadership skilltree for veterans that give a morale bonus when fighting near them. Like I mentioned above, we also intend to hand out character traits on special occasions, like seeing countless brothers die. It’s just that these traits don’t depend on the relationships of individual characters to each other.

    Thanks in advance!

    Thank you for your interest in our game and welcome to the forums! (:

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    #629
    Dohon
    Participant

    Thanks for the reply! Looking forward to the combat demo. :)

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