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The trio from Overhype deserves a lot of praise. This is an exemplary early access: They keeps their fans informed and are making steady progress. In consequence, I keep coming back to this game. It is stunning how much better it has gotten since they first published it.
If I may add a wishlist as well:
– More late game contracts that allow you to change the world in significant ways (like conquering watchtowers, villages, etc. for an allied faction).
– Perhaps even the possibility of setting up your own permanent base at some point and becoming your own faction.
– Higher level cap for battlebrothers.
– Perhaps a world that isn’t entirely male. Battlesisters were promised once.
I had some time to try 0.5.0.3 over the weekend and the small adjustment since 0.5.0.1 have improved balance considerably. Thank you! Good work!
– The early game is still a lot harder than the mid-game. The start (until you have level 3-4 mercs) is the biggest challenge. This is a bad difficulty curve; it should be the other way around.
– A lot during the early stage depends on luck. Do you run into goblins/werewolves that you can’t outpace too early?
– Some enemies are a lot more useful than others. Early on you want to fight bandits because they give you valuable equipment. Werewolves only provide meager plunder and orc weapones/shields are horrible fatigue-wise. Goblins and skeletons are somewhere in the middle. In others words: early game success largely depends on finding the right enemies – bandits! It would be nice if the factions were better balanced loot-wise.
– Most goblin parties I have met so far were ranged (ambushers + skirmishers); these bands are easy prey during the night but can wreck you during daytime. Perhaps the nighttime penalties are a bit too steep whereas goblin ranged units are a bit too accurate during the day?
Another unfortunate side-effect of the changes to the economy is that now the boring “messenger boy” phase lasts much longer. This is the worst part of battlebrothers: your party is too weak to defeat most enemies or take out their hideouts and all you do is go from city to city delivering messages while avoiding orcs, wolves and now goblins and desperately hoping to stumble over some bandit thugs so that you can gain some xp and steal theri equipment.
So much awesome new stuff but such terrible balance now.
I love the update. But some critical comments nonetheless:
1. The game also got considerably harder in the early stages. Lethality amongst my brothers is higher than ever. The new armor system + an AI that focus fires fairly well means that I suffer losses in engagements that I would have considered “easy mode” before this patch.
2. Early game balance might be off. With higher prices, your brothers tend to wear weaker equipment for much longer – which is good – but it also means that there are more enemy bands running around the map that a low-level mercenary band can not defeat. Result: you spend a lot more time running away!
3. The new stat system for backgrounds has made weaker backgrounds lose value. Under the old patch, I used to take chances on weaker backgrounds. If the stats proved unsatisfactory, that battlebrother got to suicide in battle or was simply fired as soon as I could afford a better replacement. I have found some pretty amazing talent that way.
Under the new patch, you will still hire a few cheap guys to get your company started but they tend to suck. Only the expensive backgrounds seem to give you real quality. In contrast, these backgrounds now give much better stats than ever before.
Simply put: I think you went a bit too far here as well. Weak backgrounds tend to be too bad now, while the elite backgrounds are so good anything else is simply not worth hiring … unless you are too poor.
4. I hope the next point on your to-do-list is a world map overhaul: A larger map with more locations (cities/villages/etc) but also other more exotic stuff (the hut of a heremit, an isolated abbey (perhaps offering some healers that could patch your band up?), a fair (a loaction where you get a really great market with good prices or even some exotic goods – however this location woulnd’t be permanent but only available for a week or so), the construction site of a big castle (you might be able to hire some stoneworkers there), broken down bridges, the ruin of an old city (perhaps with some rare treasure?), the forge of a mastersmith (rare weapons/armor available for sale against truely hefty prices)). There are countless possible locations that would make the world feel more varied and more alive.
5. Another long time issue: it would be nice to have more contracts available. Too often there are none available at all – but your mercs depend on contracts to keep the band running (especially early on). More choices would be nice as well.
Last but not least, a big compliment: This is an exceptionally well run early-access! Your small team does a fantastic job communicating with the people who bought your game: Frequent blog updates, Paul’s art corner, …
Keep up the great work!
Jesus, they are hard. Keep getting attacked by bands of werewolves on like day 5 -_-
Can someone give me some pointers as to how to survive such an encounter???
You should count yourself lucky. In my first playthrough, I didn’t even manage to get to the second village before a werewolf pack hunted me down. Beat it but it was prohibitively expensive. By day 4 I had two battles against raiding werewolves under my belly costing me a total of 5 mercenaries including evyr single founding member.
Use Spear wall. Use shield and terrain to make you hard to
hit. Use sword and riposte skill to return more missed
blows than you could otherwise deal yourself. Terrain
advantage will give to-hit bonus for riposte. Once in
melee, concentrate on one opponent until his death
causes others to break, then hit with free attacks when
routing from melee.
Great theory, but the reality of a band of scrubs facing werewolves looks differently:
1. The wolves tend to have better initiative enabling them to close the distance before you get to set up spearwall or pick your terrain. You pretty much fight where you spawn. Or perhaps I was just unlucky that they spawned extremely close?
2. Your only advantage is that the wolves spend all their AP closing the gap which gives your band one turn to kill as many wolves as possible – after that it is shredding time. Scrub battlebrothers with mediocre equipment aren’t good at absorbing werewolf attacks. Casualties are unavoidable. If you are lucky, a wolf misses some attacks – if not you can only hope that you have a gravedigger in your band …
But please don’t mistake me – I had a blast with the wolves. Fun fights – just not very profitable.
Solid game for an early access – and the potential to become great until full release is definitively there. Thank you!
1. Add a deployment phase prior to tactical battles: A minor annoyance for me is that my battlebrothers never spawn in the formation, I would like them to. In particular, the AI tends to put all my spearmen on one end of the line and all the sword/axe/club guys on the other end. This could also flesh out the difference between attacking and being ambushed since the player wouldn’t get a deployment phase in the latter case.
2. Autopause on the worldmap: I think someone else suggested that elsewhere. Please copy the feature from Mount&Blade where time automatically pauses if the player stops moving his stack. Makes life so much easier.
And since I hijacked Trig’s thread some thoughts on his comments:
Enemies (on map)
1. First the difficulty. For the enjoyment of a progressing company career, there should be more locations to attack, but with scaling difficulty. On level 1 it tends to be nigh impossible to beat even a “Weak” outpost, while At level 5 many “Average” ones will still be unreasonably difficult. I am a rather good tactician so I did win also 8 to 20 encounters, so I’m not complaining it’s too hard, but it is a bit unforgivingly hard and losing men you took a long time to build up for some orc junk is rarely worth it. Some “Puny” outpost for early game would be welcome, later on, more scaled outposts, probably in concentric circles. “Puny” in the centre of the map, “Very strong” at its edges.
2. Second, rate of spawning of parties. There was this stretch of road through a forest between two town, that seems to have been worked by two bandit gangs at once so there was always a double ambush in the same spot, leading to several 8 to 18 battles. I found the camps nearby which had strength “Strong” so I didn’t dare attack them (since I was still getting destroyed by “Average” ones), but what I could do was to keep “milking” the “Weak” raiding and scout parties coming from them for easy XP an loot. There was a few new ones there every day, enabling easy money. Probably after taking out a scout party the enemy should rest a while before producing a new one, or send out a strong patrol first, to see who killed theirs. The rate of spawning kinda prevents the player from travelling to the other side of the map to take care of business there.
My first run was even worse: After beeating the opening mission, I travelled to the next village. Half way to it, a wearwolf-pack (power-rating average) attacked. Since you can’t outrun werewolves for long, they caught me before I made it to the village. Surprisingly, I managed to beat 6 wolves with my 7 scrubs … but at the cost of 3 men. So I bought more scrubs and continued my travels. One day later, yet another pack of wolves attacked me (different area). 2 more dead battlebrothers, all my founding members were dead at that point. All I had left were 4 raw recruits. The constant need to refill numbers also screwed with my cashflow forcing me to take the only contract available which turned out to be a caravan mission across the entire map. Sadly, all went to **** when the caravan pathfinding turned out to be very quirky (it lost a day avoiding an orc party raiding a hamlet and another day crossing a mountain ridge (supposed shortcut). I went broke and my first soldier deserted … at which point I called it quits and restarted.
Second run is the exact opposite. Day 13 and I haven’t lost a battlebrother. The band is full, money is plenty and I haven’t had to deal with anything but a seemingly endless supply of bandits (some raiders but mostly thugs).
In short: difficulty seems to depend very much on the quirks of each particular random map. Run into the wrong enemies early on and it gets insanely tough. Get a good start and the game is almost too easy since you quickly get to a point where the average raiding party is no danger but rather free ressources and xp. Whereas you can pick when/if you attack the tougher enemy outposts.
1. Types of troopers. All throughout history the greatest majority of mercenaries are people with military experience. In this game it’s mainly peasants, miners, riff-raff, etc. While those do join mercenaries too, at least half of the unit types should have some sort of military experience. There is a reason why commanders usually hated peasant levies as anything more than cannon-fodder, so we shouldn’t depend on millers and rat catchers as the core of our little army. Guardsmen, bowmen, halberdiers, arbalesters, catapult engineers, lieutenants, sergeants, captains, etc should all be looking for mercenary work.
Actually the game seems pretty realistic from what I have read about medieval mercenaries. The rank and file seems to have come from humble origins. Granted most leaders had a more professional background (soldiers, minor noblemen) – but others had lifes that look to be straight out of battlebrothers: just google John Hawkwood (it seems he was the son of a tanner who became a tailor before he started his career as soldier and rose to lead mercenary bands in France and Italy where he eventually died an extremely rich man praised as savior of Florence which earned him a state funeral and a monument by Ucello).
2. Unit costs. I think the upkeep cost of hiring the “better” units is prohibitively high. I don’t mind paying 1000 crowns to hire a knight, but 25 per day is then just crazy. Particularly since his advantages are something like +10 in skills, which I can buff up also in a rat catcher in 2 or 3 level-ups. And some disadvantages, such as -10 fatigue for some old veterans, combined with asthma which they often have, makes them pretty useless in the end with any kind of armour anyway. I’m fine with high hiring costs, but daily costs should be made more sensible to correspond to the sort of money you can even make…
I second that: In fact, I have received expensive recruits with worse stats than my millers, graverobbers or the other scum I tend to recruit. Currently the way to go seems to recruit cheap. There are some good backgrounds in the 6-8 gold/day range (miller, graverobber, gravedigger, fisherman, farmhand) and even the real trash like cultist and monks can turn out surprisingly decent (especially since it doesn’t hurt much to just fire them if their stats are too bad).
I understand that you have to pay for the better equipment when you hire people with more sophisticated backgrounds but the per/day costs make them bottomless moneypits.
3. Jobs and money. As with most economies nowadays, there are simply not enough available.
Agreed but that is certain to get more flashed out as development continues.
Do you have poleaxes (“Mordaxt” in German – which sounds really awesome) in the game. It’s definitively a late Medieval weapon but as far as I know it appeared during the 13th century. For medieval carnage it seems like the best of all worlds: a hammerhead for stunning, a spike for poking people and an axeblade allowing to chop things. No wonder that thing became popular once medieval combatants started to resemble tinned cans.