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The Lucky Bastards are still going strong as my main company that I hop to when I want to goof off and kill things on Normal Mode. Fun group. High level presently. Only rarely does someone die. Their first iteration was called the Lucky Laggards, but I decided Bastards sounded way better.
The Marchers are a company I made but haven’t really developed yet. I may come back to them shortly.
I’m about to make a company called the Hammer Brothers. Y’know, for reasons. I think they’ll be hard mode and I’ll try to play ’em straight (I.E. no saving or loading except to jump off / jump on the game).
That falcata made me swoon. I WILL find that falcata in my game, and there will be glorious head-choppings.
Definitely liking the undead weaponry. Out of curiosity, are you going to be reusing the old Fallen Hero armor anywhere? I.E. the current one which I’m assuming won’t be used for undead after the skeleton rework comes about?
It’s easy to make Nimble fighters able to avoid 1-shot death from orcs, though. Give ’em heavy armor.
In my current game, I have 3 different nimble fighters. Each is wearing Scale Armor. One was hit by an adult orc with a single-handed axe. He wasn’t even fazed.
Scale Armor + Full Helm + Swordmaster = high in all defenses, really good armor, and with the right perks you never run out of fatigue.
I haven’t gotten a chance to use the warbow, but while I DO like the crossbow more in general, you need to discuss perks when comparing the two. Namely: Perfect Focus.
Yes, a Crossbow has more oomph. Bows, however, can potentially hit four people in a single turn versus 2 for a crossbow. If you’re targeting lightly-armored or injured opponents, this could lead to 4 kills for your archer in a single round. Quick Shot on a guy with high Ranged Attack is perfectly useful. A crossbow can hit two guys in one turn with Perfect Focus… or only 1 with Perfect Focus if you have to reload BEFORE you shoot (since having 1 AP left means you can’t act in a round even though you’d theoretically be able to fire your crossbow with Perfect Focus when you have 1 AP).
Typically, I run 2 crossbows for every 1 bow I have, since bows are much more situational and crossbows are generally better all around.
Side note: Devs, I’d love it if y’all allowed Crossbows to act with 1 AP left if they have Perfect Focus activated. I dunno if that’s possible, but presently you HAVE to fire first (not reload) in order to get 2 shots in a single round. This does silly things to a crossbow user’s action economy. But then again, you’re changing the entire perk system soon, so…
BACK TO THE TOPIC: ART.
I was wondering: do you have plans at any point to make short/tall characters visibly short/tall on the screen? I know there’s a short traits, and I know Hedge Knights are frequently described as massive. Do you plan on making them have slightly different scales in size at any point, or will you leave the traits text-only?
Also, since you’re working on unique weapons soon: I was thinking that the flamberge would make a great rare/unique two-handed sword. I could also see a falcata being used as a rare Military Cleaver. And I’d definitely point to Persian weaponry for rare weapons in general, as they’re… they’re just gorgeous weapons.
Besides that… I dunno if you can make it look good on the screen, but a sword that looks like Damascus Steel (also known as Wootz) would instantly deserve to be a badass weapon.
First off: LOVING the art.
Secondly: LOVING the news.
That is all.
EDIT: Well, if I were to say anything else… On the topic of non-named weaponry: what are your thoughts on slings as a combination of “Poor man’s ranged weapon” and “Actually decent against undead ranged weapon”? A sling would be pretty piddly but could be used with round/heater shields, and a staff-sling as a later tier weapon might be fun against undead. Of course, I’m not expecting a resounding “YES!” because these are, well, not exactly typical of the High Middle Ages.
But on that note: might we see some more potent thrown weapons, too? Maybe even poisoned ones wielded by goblins, lootable by players?
I mean, goblins need more poison anyway, right? Why not give their melee guys some poison attacks via poisoned bolas or poisoned spears?
*Queue Benny Hill Theme + running away from angry forum-goers*
My inner Spaniard would still love to see a morion, but my inner Spaniard also wants me to make a group of Battle Brothers called “El Tercio” and go marching across the world map with nothing but swords, pikes, and crossbows.
Also, do you have any art available for unique weapons we might find yet? Such as unique two-handed weapons, etc.?
Yeah, I’m going to avoid talking TOO much on this topic, but I’d say the randomness feels like it’s in about the right place when I play. Good strategy wins the day, and stacking bonuses in your favor works, but you always do have at least a slight risk of failure… which keeps things exciting. I like it.
Personally, one thing that I’ve pondered in the past is if “graduated” successes / failures might be good. In one of my favorite tabletop RPG systems, Dungeon World, every action taken has three different kinds of results: failure, success with a cost, and outright success without cost. For instance, a Hack and Slash attempt in Dungeon World varies from a simple failure to both you and the enemy taking damage to JUST the enemy taking damage. I keep wondering if this principle – degrees of success, let’s call it – can be applied to Battle Brothers in some way.
…But then you’d still have complaints about the RNG if degrees of success WERE implemented. Besides people having outright bad luck sometimes, confirmation bias is also a thing. And Lord knows I’ve had some HORRIBLE luck in certain games. I guess I just like the feeling of tossing the virtual dice every time I go in for a kill. It keeps things tense.
But one thing I REALLY hope gets done? I hope the injury system allows Battle Brothers to sometimes be knocked out in a fight without actually being killed. I think if THAT was done, we’d have a lot less complaints about the RNG of the system, and frankly a chance of being knocked out instead of killed would allow the devs to make the game less forgiving in other areas.
I think there WERE tougher vampires before? I forget, but I remember early on fighting Withered Vampires and some sort of other, less emaciated looking vampire as well. I might be going crazy, though.
That said, yeah: vampires are really freaking predictable to fight. They’ll turn into bats and attack the weakest member of your party. Really, the ONLY viable solution I found to facing them when I have weaker folks in my group is to make a big circle with no gaps and let my beefy dudes take the hits. Even though, DAMN do they hurt, and DAMN am I jealous of their mobility.
And then their loot is REALLY boring, yes. Vampire dust – that’s all I get is vampire dust? It doesn’t sell very high, either. I’m cool with getting ghoul’s teeth for murdering ghouls; they’re easy to kill; but simple vendor trash for killing one of the hardest opponents in the game? That makes me sad every time.
I think they’re gonna be reworked hard, note. There was a picture I saw a while back that had undead in more Roman-ish equipment with ancient looking weaponry. Assuming I’m not a crazy coconut, it’s very possible vampires will get reworked alongside them.
But until then, I’m going to be very, very disappointed with the loot table every time I fight a band of vampires.
Sariss, I’m pretty sure Danubian meant we should change the color of the “glow” to be blue or green. And I agree with Danubian: that’d make the rares a lot easier to see. Although… a yellow would be perfectly fine as well, but the right shade of yellow would need to be found to make it stand out.
Also, you know how food items have a color that tells you when they’ll go bad? That needs to be changed somehow. As of now, if the right food is in the right stage of spoiling, you can barely – or not at all – read the amount of provisions you have for that specific food item. Perhaps if a little black box were put in the bottom-left corner of items and the number of the item / price of the item were displayed there? Or a semi-transparent black box?
Two-handed axes already have an ability to attack all 6 adjacent characters, just like the spiked chain the orcs use. Greatswords can sweep and hit 3 opponents at once.
@Sky Ah, okay. I see what you’re saying – you were pointing at my post a lot, but really meant to point at the anti-RNG commentary more. Got’cha. No harm no foul.
And as I already mentioned you as a player have opportunity to modify the rolls in variety of ways. You seemed to skip that part.
I read that part. The reason I didn’t comment is, well, I agree. Between Overwhelmed bonuses, using the terrain properly, picking the right stat upgrades, right weapons for the right situations, etc., you can increase your chances of success and thus help swing the RNG in your favor. The RNG still determines the result in the end, but essentially the more precautions you take = the more likely things will work in your favor. Things can still go to Hell, but that’s… normal.
Misses being hits would only make heavy-hitting weapons even more powerful – think about Orcs. Or skeletons with two-handed weapons, etc. – and remove any reason for having nimble characters. Regenerating HP is just a poor fix here to cover the fact that this change would only encourage being tanky.
This is an interesting point, and I won’t argue with it. There are probably ways this could be fixed (damage caps on misses), but you’re right about not fixing what’s already not broken.
There is precedence for miss damage in various genres, however. There are Tabletop RPGs which use a similar mechanic (and again, I’d say Battle Brothers leans toward RPG on the RPG-Strategy spectrum). I want to say I’ve seen turn-based strategy games based on tabletop wargames do the same as well.
Again, though: I’m not saying this is what I WANT, but it’s an example of what COULD be done and made to work for the present system if someone really wanted to reduce RNG.
You are forgeting that the average of a dice is not the same as the average of same variety program algorithms never was and never will be. Nor will you have enought time enought rolls to get that average in a BB fight(each statistics is based on X number of tries, the more you roll the more correct the average will be). There will be not enought hits done by one person. While you statement is theoreticaly correct it does not apply practicaly to a BB fight.
Actually, this particular point WOULD work just fine. I’ll happily say that miss damage would introduce a host of problems, sure, but including extra attacks for a total of the same damage as present WOULD mean you’d get an amount of hits – and an amount of damage – that hits the “average” result more often.
If I have an 80% chance to hit someone, I’m more likely to get at least SOME damage in with two attacks than with one. That’s just basic math. I’m also more likely to get a miss, singular, because I’ve got more attempts to potentially miss. These things DO apply to a Battle Brothers fight, too, and it’s why I’m very careful about sending a low HP guy who’ll only get one attack to finish off the last enemy who can die in one hit. Even if my success chance is 70%, I’d rather put someone else in there to do the killing because if I DO miss, he’s going to murder my low HP guy. (Okay, he might miss, but I try to look at things as a worst case scenario.)
One way to make more weapon attacks work without factoring in more durability issues and so forth? Just have every attack action be divided into two attempts with the exclusion of specific abilities like Repel, the hooking ability on the Billhook, Shield Bash, etc. Primarily damage-dealing abilities would get two attacks per attack action, each dealing 1/2 damage, and their weapon durability, fatigue cost, etc. would be calculated as it is right now (I.E. as a single attack). There might be some slight modifying to be done, but the point is you’d get more “average” results than before. RNG reduced. Yes, this applies to Battle Brothers.
And, again: not the solution I personally advocate, but it’s an example of how you COULD reduce RNG.
Overall? I like how the game’s core mechanics function right now. I agree with you two, @Sky and @Holy.Death, on that. It ain’t broke; don’t fix it. But if someone DID want to change it, there are ways they could do so, and I don’t think we should immediately dismiss the prospect of doing so.
Firstly, you seem to have missed the parts – the lots of parts – where I said, and I’ll quote…
RNG is actually GOOD in a strategy game
…and how the majority of my post was in DEFENSE of RNG being in a strategy game.
However, I think there are things which can reduce RNG if people want that reduced, and there is precedence for these things. Let’s talk about some of the points you brought up one by one, Sky.
You say give miss dmg, how the hell is that fair? So my heavy tanks in full armor will now be killed by ghouls? How is that fair in your mind? Nimble fighter ruling the field? Who are you fighting against, zombies and robbers? There is no way you can rambo in endlessly with one nimble guy.
Because you’ll have miss damage too, and miss damage will be TINY compared to hit damage. Think of it this way: ghouls don’t do much damage anyway, right? Imagine what 5% of that damage might be. If you’re actually wearing really heavy armor – such as the 300 armor scale and a solid helmet to boot – do you really think even a miss from a ghoul is going to significantly harm you? Five misses (25% of a ghoul’s attack)? Ten (50% of a ghoul’s attack)? And if you could recover miss damage by resting, wouldn’t that help a lot as well?
One nimble fighter doesn’t break the game. However, I have an easy time winning when I have, say, 3 or maybe even 4 nimble fighters to act as meatshields while my polearm fighters and archers do their dirty work. When you’ve got 100+ defense on multiple guys, or at least 80+, tell me that we don’t have a problem with Nimble fighters. They’re awesome, and I love the build, but they’re still a very easy way to win and I expect them to be changed somewhat when the devs put out the sweeping changes for perks I’m sure they’re gonna do eventually.
Just to reiterate: I am NOT talking about using one guy to win the game. I’m talking about using nimble fighters in conjunction with other characters. Nimble fighters hit hard, are incredibly hard to kill, and can wear heavy armor like everyone else. They’re tough cookies.
The bell curve. So I suppose you have recorded several of your matches having a statistic for every men in every match. Where you can see that the more RNG hits he does the less RNG it becomes?
Actually, this doesn’t require bookkeeping or a spreadsheet or anything of the sort to explain. What I’m about to explain is basic statistics – namely, probability.
Let’s say I’ve got a die that can roll any result from a 1 to a 20, or a d20. If I roll on that die, my range is 0-20, and my average is 10.5, and I’m just as likely to get any one result on the die as the other. There is no bell curve here.
Let’s change things up. Say that I have two ten sided dice, or 2d10s. Instead of rolling one of them, I’ll roll both of the d10s and add them up. So, if I get a 5 and a 6, I can actually get a result of 5.5. Etc. If you plot out ALL POSSIBLE OUTCOMES, you get the same range, only a slightly different average, but you get a bell curve instead of a straight line. You get more results around the middle because there are lots of ways to get an 11 total (5+6, 4+7, 3+8, 2+9, 1+10) than to get a 20 or a 2 total (10+10 for 20 or 1+1 for 2).
Let’s apply this to RNG in a video game. Let’s say that I’ve got a character who can hit for 10 damage but only gets one attack, and I’ve got a character who only hits for 5 damage but gets two attacks per turn. Both of them are attacking each other, and both have a 50% chance to hit with each attack. The first guy’s attacks are going to be much “swingier” than the second guy’s attacks. I.E.: there’s a lot more left up to chance, and he only has a 50% chance to hit in a given round. The guy who only deals 5 damage actually has a 75% chance to hit at least ONCE in the round. There’s a calculation of probability you can use to check this out. He’s less likely to get 10 damage, but he’s more likely to actually get results.
Let’s talk Battle Brothers now. Let’s pretend we could make all the attacks in Battle Brothers cost 1/2 the action points they do right now with a snap of our fingers, BUT each attack only deals 1/2 the damage. Suddenly, we’re seeing more of the “average” outcome happening – less RNG involved – but we still have meaningful amounts of RNG.
I’m not saying this is what we SHOULD do, note. I’m saying that if this WAS done, it’d be a totally acceptable way to reduce RNG while still keeping a healthy dose of it. As I said in the post before this one, RNG is good for strategy. RNG makes provides obstacles. Overcoming obstacles is what strategy is all about.
The shield thing. If you do that then you will make the big shield heavy armor dudes the OP ones who can go in with secoundary shields and be just terminators. But again, if they are alone that will not help, if they are in party then it does not matter, it yould only make the early game harder and bearing a shield a must have at least at the very beginning of the start, discouraging the trying other things and making it frustratingly hard to fight enemies early on.
We haven’t even discussed how many damage reduction I was talking about.
I don’t know exactly how much damage reduction I’d apply, but right now sword-and-board is the MUCH weaker of the two defensive styles. It really is, and NOTHING stops a Nimble Fighter from putting on a kite shield to fight off archers. A small bit of damage reduction wouldn’t be a bad thing.
*hint* There are at least two well known pure logic no rng games, chess and GO.
This sincerely makes me think you didn’t really read my post in its entirety. I expressed several times that RNG was GOOD, RNG is what strategy NEEDS, RNG simulates real world situations, etc. You seem to think I want a game devoid of strategy.
Let me quote myself next:
Now, with all that said, I do think there are a few things that could be done that could reduce RNG without removing it. And I think they’d be fair.
What I’m saying there is that if you WANTED to reduce the RNG, there are ways to do so without actually taking it out of the game. And you shouldn’t take RNG out of the game. RNG is, again, GOOD FOR STRATEGY. But if someone wanted to know what you could do to make the game less swingy, the above examples are ways you can do so.
Also, I hate chess.
This is what we call “asymmetrical gameplay,” and frankly I think the present use of magic is a good thing. The enemy has mages and we do not. This provides us with a strategic obstacle – and we need those obstacles because the AI is limited in what it can do whereas we, as players, have a whole wealth of strategies we can bring to the table.
Now, the devs HAVE mentioned there being legendary items in our future, like the Fangshire helm you can start the game with right now. Some of these may make a Battle Brother seem almost magical in his own right. I dunno. However, we’re not going to be seeing human wizards fighting goblin shamans any time soon, and that’s a good thing.
Note how a lot of stories of yore had evil witches and warlocks but very few good wizards. In Arthurian lore, Merlin was kind of the exception rather than the rule, and he wasn’t a good guy. If we stick with those guns, we get a world in which we ought NOT get wizards, but instead should fight them, and we get a world where we can paint this fantasy Germany as a traditional fantasy setting with a dark, bleak stroke of paint.
The idea, really, is that if you want there to be a beacon of hope in this setting, you have to be that beacon with what resources you have available. The current mechanics fit that pretty well. You can be as nasty as you like, but in the end you have to fight evil with steel. Evil doesn’t play by the rules and can do whatever it wants. Figure out how to make it work and your band of mercenaries becomes a band of heroes.
If you’re talking about when you have, say, Mushrooms in your inventory and there’s 25 of them but the number is red… That means, yes, that the mushrooms are going to spoil soon. They’ll be the first thing to be eaten because of that (unless you have multiple foods about to spoil).
You can also hover your mouse over the food and see how many days it’ll take before it spoils.
If I’m wrong, could you post a screen shot?
On the dice vs. no dice thing…
One of my favorite games to bring up in a discussion of this topic is a game called Battle for Wesnoth. It’s a free game, and a strategy game at that. Like Battle Brothers, it has RPG elements, but its focus is more on the strategic side whereas I’d argue Battle Brothers is more on the RPG side. In Wesnoth, you get a unit that usually has a couple random modifiers (like “quick” or “strong”), and a lot of units have alternating level-up paths you can choose. Each unit has attacks which deal flat amounts of damage but often make multiple iterative attacks in a series of strikes. You use melee attacks to respond to melee attacks and ranged attacks to respond to ranged attacks. If you lack one, you can’t do it. And each unit has a certain defense stat – a percentage – which clearly shows what your likelihood of being hit is based on where you’re standing. I.E. Elves have high defense in forests, dwarves have high defense in mountains and hills, etc. If an elf’s defense is 70% in the forest, that means an attack (without abilities like Magical or Marksman) only has a 30% chance of hitting the elf.
You can probably see a few similarities to Battle Brothers and some very stark differences, too.
So, let me just start listing reasons why RNG is actually GOOD in a strategy game.
1. It forces the player to adapt.
Now, I love Wesnoth, but once upon a time I thought the RNG factor was so stupid because I could be attacking a guy with 20% defense and miss four times in a row. I used to imagine that as happening all the time, too. One situation I recall pretty vividly is when I had an elf archer attacking some unlucky dude who got caught off-guard in the water. I had 4 shots with my bow, and I just needed one hit to wipe him out. One. Period. If he survived, however, he’d get enough XP to level up. That would be that.
Guess what? I fired four arrows. Whiff, whiff, whiff, whiff. No damage, no kill. Guy levels up, and later I lost the game and I blamed it on that there RNG.
But then I played more games. I found myself on both sides of the coin, sometimes winning or losing after the match. And I began to realize something: I didn’t lose because I had bad luck. I lost because I didn’t know how to work the system.
The real reason I was losing matches was because I didn’t know how to position my soldiers properly. I didn’t take advantage of weaknesses in the enemy line, nor did I utilize the terrain right. I bit bait every chance I got. I would over-dedicate and over-extend my forces. Most importantly, I didn’t do enough “worst case scenario” planning. I was always figuring that a 70% chance to hit = I should hit. After all, it’s the most likely outcome. Why shouldn’t it have happened? But that’s just not how the game works.
So, I started doing things like having units in reserve, moving my guys into defensive positions rather than throwing them at the enemy – some of this must sound elementary, but I tell you it’s damned tempting to launch a suicide attack when the enemy’s toughest units look pretty beat up and all you have to do is break through part of the front line and kill the healer in the back. I learned to always prepare for the worst outcome. I tried not to take actions that my whole game depended on, but instead took opportunity shots, picked the best possible terrain, tried to keep my enemy out of his terrain… In other words, I learned the system. And through learning the system, I started winning more in the games I’d play with people.
Battle Brothers operates on similar principles, although the risk is perhaps a little higher. You have to play every battle like you could lose everything. Use strategies that involve minimizing risk, and if you’re REALLY scared of a certain fight? Run away. The edge of the map is always there. Back up, back out, and just accept that not every battle can be won.
2. It actually simulates situations that would come up in real world strategy.
IF I’m a great fighter, there’s no 100% chance that I’m going to win a duel with a rookie swordsman who’s missing a leg. Let’s face the damned fact: in the real world, that guy DOES have a chance of winning that fight. It doesn’t matter how many accolades I have, how long a history of experience in war I’ve got under my belt, how quick I am or how impenetrable my manly thighs are. My blow can bounce off his shield at just the right angle to knock me off balance, or he might make a dumb move I didn’t expect that catches me off-guard, or maybe I’ll just make a good ol’ fashioned mistake. Whatever it is, I can lose the fight. I can miss, I can get killed, whatever.
Hell, did you know the U.S. Civil War might have been a Confederate victory if a Confederate messenger hadn’t, by chance, dropped letters outlying the ENTIRE CONFEDERATE BATTLE PLAN which the Union was then able to use to absolutely destroy General Lee’s army? He had to drop those letters, and they had to be found by Union forces. That’s what happened.
And that’s where RNG comes into play. RNG represents all those little things that happen in the real world summarized into a simple dice roll. It’s not always elegant, but it’s much better than assuming that strategy involves everything working exactly as planned. Which brings me to point 3…
3. Strategy is about overcoming obstacles.
Sometimes, things won’t work your way. Your charge is crushed. One of the flanks breaks and runs due to morale failure. Reinforcements don’t arrive. You get surprised and ambushed by archers you didn’t know were hiding in the trees. Suddenly, everything is topsy-turvy and you’re at a disadvantage.
However, you have not lost control. In a strategy game, you still can bring the situation to your advantage. It’s just a matter of figuring out how.
This ties back to point #1. RNG forces you to adapt because RNG presents obstacles. You CAN’T predict what every outcome will be, which makes you think of alternate solutions before you even attempt to solve the problem. You pick the best option, you ready the backup plan, and you proceed with your motions.
Battle Brothers has that element of presenting you with obstacles. Your enemies don’t play by the same rules as you. In fact, it’s unfair the advantages they have, sometimes. They have necromancers, orc warriors with massive HP, fallen heroes who can be resurrected by the aforementioned necromancers, goblin shamans who can entangle whole swathes of troops all at once… They’ve got numerical advantages (12 vs. 30), they’ve got gear advantages in the early game, they’ve got abilities you will NEVER OWN… You’ll be ambushed, and wolfriders will outflank you, and otherwise the point is you’re at a disadvantage in actual troop comparison in a lot of cases. Even the RNG will at times be an absolute asshat to you.
But you have the advantage of being able to develop strategies beyond the confines of what the AI can. You also can build your Brothers to specialize in different roles that make them really good at X or Y. You can get wardogs or hire throwaway characters to use as sacrificial lambs. You can minimize your risk, and you can make the numbers swing in your favor.
Can you still have your outcome decided wholly by the RNG? Certainly. But by and large, it’s strategy that wins Battle Brothers, and RNG is just the obstacle you have to overcome.
Now, with all that said, I do think there are a few things that could be done that could reduce RNG without removing it. And I think they’d be fair.
1. Give us Miss Damage. Make misses be glancing blows that deal puny damage, but at least do SOMETHING. Even if it’s just 10% or 5% of what a hit would be, it’d be nice to have, and it’d actually solve the problem of the Nimble Fighter ruling the battlefield in a lot of ways. Maybe couple this change with an ability to slowly regain HP lost due to Miss Damage? (Turns spent doing nothing at all?)
2. If you wanted to change the system, I could see having more attacks per turn for less damage each. The more dice you add to a simulator, the better a bell curve you’ll get. (This is partly why I love Perfect Focus: I can get 4 swings or shots in a single turn, giving myself more chances of hitting.)
3. Perhaps make shields grant slight damage reduction as well as defense?