Topic: The Missing Features of a Love Child

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  • #3044
    drew1988west
    Participant

    So by now the influences of franchises such as XCOM and Mount & Blade are quite glaringly obvious (not to mention openly stated by the devs).
    I wanted to revisit these two classics in particular to look at whats not yet found its way into Battle Brothers (a game I have little to no doubt will be just as much a classic).

    Trade and Economy: in Mount & Blade, trade is a very profitable enterprise. The lack of some goods in one town or village, means that they fetch a higher price than those well stocked in said resource. Although the mercenary band is predominantly occupied by quests, given the nature of their occupation. Trade seems like a good and viable option for making cash on the side. While a crafting system, to me, seems very grindy (and a bit of a chore). Trading seems like a good way to determine the types of items, certain villages, towns and cities have. So for example, a city well stocked in Iron will produce higher quality gear of the metal variety. A town well stocked in Hides will produce more leather based armour for the player to purchase. Looting by NPCs will effect the general wealth of cities, and towns. Draining the town of resources, weapons and even hireable mercenaries. Protecting settlements thus becomes a priority for the player, or it is at least in their interests to protect settlements. The abundance of certain resources could also translate into what types of brothers (and eventually sisters) could be hired. A town well stocked in Iron, may generate more ‘blacksmiths’, one with more hides, may produce more ‘hunters’ etc. So there could be a very strategic (but not overly complex) system for generating mercs and items. The player could manipulate this economy through trade, which would not only reward gold, but benefit the settlements (particularly those that are underdeveloped) in the long-run.

    Bases: so in XCOM, theres a Hub – a HQ – that is upgradable. For Battle Brothers to have such a feature would be counterintuitive to the ‘roaming band of mercenaries’ the devs are going for. This has been outwardly stated on numerous occasions, and it makes sense. But, I can understand the counter argument. The key terms here, are ‘progression’ and ‘customisation’. Not just in XCOM, but in Mount and Blade, the player could own property and upgrade these bases, there was a sense of progression because these bases upgraded and to some extent could be customised. So, how then could such a feature make its way into Battle Brothers in a way that matched the theme. I think this could be achieved through the recruitment of NPCs which are unique and upgradable, who’s skills are accessed through a sort of camping mechanic (having followed the forum, I think such a feature is something the devs have very much in mind). These NPCs (Cleric, Bard, Smith, Merchant, Scout, and Emissary) could be upgraded, unlocking skills that benefit the whole party or individual Brothers. The Cleric for example, could unlock a skill that speeds up the recovery of an injured brother, or perhaps a skill that saves a mortally injured brother (one still with a head attached) from death. This Cleric, could also perhaps unlock a skill that is activated in camp which holds a Sermon, temporarily increasing melee and range damage against those of the undead variety (not magically, but rather, or even perhaps a boast to morale via a religious sermon etc). The bard could specialise in boasting morale, and negating the negative effects of the battle brother traits; the smith could upgrade and improve the quality of weapons and armour, and minimise the tools used for repair said gear; the Merchant could improve the buy/sell prices in settlements and interact with trade caravans in interesting ways; the scout could improve the parties vision, alert the party at night when camping, and create ambush opportunities for the player; the Emissary, is key to the next feature on my list of absent features.

    Renown/Reputation: In Mount and Blade, the player and his warband has a Renown rating, and a reputation with the factions running the various settlements. If, each village, town and city was governed by a lord, housecarl, or king then this feature could really work – plus it fits the theme. Each settlement would have a governing body, completing quests for this ‘faction’ would increase the renown and reputation of the mercenary band. A Higher reputation means a higher reward for completing quests given be factions that favour the player. Breaking contracts or failing them would have a negative impact on the players reputation with said faction. In XCOM, if a player neglects or upsets (a country in this case) they withdraw support, this could translate to less quests in certain cities whereby the players reputation is dubious. To negate having no quests to complete, there could be two types of quest givers, those of the noble variety and those of the common folk. Of course those of the noble variety may tend to be more rewarding in terms of payout. But quests for the common folk could improve the economic state of a town/city and therefore also have a significant reward in terms of longterm investment. Here Emissarys could work to improve the parties reputation, to repair soured relations, and secure the recruitment of expensive mercs (knights, former nobles, man-at-arms) for a fraction of the price.

    A Greater Evil: this feature is from XCOM, and its a planned feature. I think it bears mentioning that the presence of the Greater Evil when it finally materialises could have a significant impact on the economy of the world map, and the actions of the Battle Brothers could feed into the suggested ‘Renown/Reputation’ system.

    Thanks for reading, and feel free to comment :D

    #3050
    Spare
    Participant

    Those are all very good suggestion to me as they would fit right into the game and bring a lot !
    A base/camp/city making feature would be really great =D

    #3051
    PsenBattle
    Keymaster

    Good stuff here, I moved it to the suggestions forum :)

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    #3052
    drew1988west
    Participant

    @Spare

    I dunno about base building. It could perhaps feature as an expansion down the line, but like the devs have said – I don’t think it fits. An expansion featuring outlaw behaviours, and landownership could be made to work. But the base game is about running a mercenary war band.


    @PsenBattle

    Thanks for moving the thread, I thought I’d posted it in the wrong one after posting it!! :)

    #3059
    Sky
    Participant

    An economy would be great for sure, always wondered where do the villages get the money to buy off all my loot when they themselves have nothing to offer nor start any caravan anywhere. They shouldn’t be able to buy off my stuff endlessly while being raided by bandits orcs undead. And if they wouldn’t able to buy off all the loot, the play would have a reason to try and defend or do caravans at all. Now as it is, there is just no point in defending the settlements.

    #3065
    drew1988west
    Participant

    @Sky

    In Mount & Blade the shop owners and merchants have an indicator showing how much money they have to purchase things from the player. When the settlements change from rich, to poor, and visa versa the shop owners money changes with it. This is usually altered based upon how many caravans successfully trade with said village. So if a lot of the cravens to Ulman (the only city in my game) didn’t make it to there destination because of pesky bandit raiders, then that city would ultimately diminish in wealth, this could then be reflected in how much the shop keepers are willing (and able) to purchase from the player.

    If OverHype decided to adopt an economy similar to Mount & Blade, a system that includes the shop owners wealth would really work.

    #3070
    mark_valley
    Participant

    Thumbs-up for the reputation suggestion!

    #3247
    drew1988west
    Participant

    To continue on in light of the last dev blog…

    Random Party Events: In Mount & Blade random events occur for the player whilst traversing the world map, or whilst visiting settlements and locations. Once triggered, these random events (generated from a pool, dependent upon specific triggers) offer the player a number of choices. These choice can have positive or negative effects. None of these effects were so punishing that they crippled the player i.e perm death for random characters. The way they worked in Mount and Blade could work well in Battle Brothers, except instead of effecting the player (in the case of mount and blade) they instead impact individual brothers. I don’t know they extremes to which the devs plan to go to in order to implement such a feature – however – I do believe events will help the story telling in the game, and prevent the world from feeling static.

    One suggestion I do have is perhaps a bit controversial. People whinge about RNG. But I really strongly believe random events, and their effects need a good triple dose of RNG. One action should not always have the same outcome. For example, if one scenario involves stumbling across a bunch of prisoners on the run. the options to ‘leave them be’ ‘detain’ or ‘let them go at a cost’ should yield different outcomes the next time that same event occurs. The ‘detain’ option could commence a battle, or it could give a new trait to the brother who caught the quick little Hugo who tried to escape, or it could yield you two new brothers for free.

    What I’m suggesting is a complex multi-prong events system whereby the options have different outcomes to prevent predictability. A random (yet invisible) roll of the die, gives us unpredictability, which translates into replayability and believability. The world of Battle Brothers is unpredictable and this should translate into the events system when it is finally implemented.

    World Map Interactions: The events system can also impact the way the player interacts with the world around them. In Mount & Blade, all things on the overworked map are to some extents intractable. Trade caravans, roaming parties, patrols – you name it, they all can be interacted with. If events work through specific triggers, then in game dialogue and interactions could involve a matching system of triggers. An event triggered by a patrol recognising a battle brother with the ‘deserter’ backstory, here the deserting brother is the trigger for the event, this could also be adopted for the NPCs (when they finally make it into the game). When entering a dialogue with a trade caravan, having a merchant in your party could open up dialogue unavailable without them, i.e. the ability to trade (manipulating what resources get exported and imported between settlements). An event that involves stumbling across a wounded hedge knight, could have an additional option if say, a healer was in the player’s party (an option that may yield more desirable results).

    #3270
    Sky
    Participant

    @drew1988west

    I do not know who you are but you start to frighten me. You basicly by posting your thoughts at the same time make a summary of mine shattered across these forums. Tho the reasonong at many places differs still chilly. Funny but… Hey… HEY. ;)

    #3273
    drew1988west
    Participant

    @Sky
    …they say great minds think alike ;)

    In all seriousness though. I just recently started playing Mount & Blade Warband, and have been a huge fan of XCOM for ages. I’m like that person that has always been praying two people would hook up and have that beautiful baby with the perfect genes. FINALLY, Overhype have delivered that baby. All I want is for it to grow up and deliver the immersion and setting of Mount & Blade (with the gritty fantasy creatures seen in franchises such as the Witcher), and the brilliant turn-based combat of XCOM.

    The idea behind this thread was simply to look at whats missing, and to make suggestions about what to add, without sacrificing what Battle Brothers is trying to be.

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