Feb
14

Dev Blog #126: Alchemy

After last week’s introduction of a new opponent to get crushed by, this week is about a new building found only in the southern city states, new alchemical contraptions coming with the ‘Blazing Deserts’ DLC, as well as changes to existing potions. There’s a lot to cover, so let’s start!

The Alchemist

Travel south as far as your feet can carry you and you’ll come upon a strange land where the sun reigns eternal. These lands are not ruled by houses of nobility, but dotted with magnificent cities that govern themselves. Here, the rulers are patrons of art and of science. And because alchemy is an important science of the medieval ages, it is here and nowhere else that you’ll find the new Alchemist building.

Naturally, the Alchemist feels right at home with decoctions, philters and elixirs, so if you own the ‘Beasts & Exploration’ DLC, he’ll have a varying selection of potions to sell you without you having to craft them. More importantly, however, the Alchemist has several things on offer that are entirely new to the game. One of them will be introduced with its very own dev blog in the coming weeks, while the others are what we’re taking a closer look at today. They’re essentially throwable bombs.

The Fire Pot

A fire pot is highly combustible liquid inside a ceramic pot, intended to be thrown, that will shatter on impact and set an area of seven tiles ablaze with searing flames for several turns. It works similarly to the ‘Miasma’ tile effect of Ancient Priests in that everyone ending their turn inside the burning area will take damage. Unlike ‘Miasma’, however, the fire doesn’t ignore armor but melts first armor and then flesh. It can also inflict entirely new injuries, such as burnt hands or legs.

Wood burns pretty well, so Schrats take double damage from fire, but Ifrits, being living rocks forged by the fire of the eternal sun, are unaffected by it. Not only are Fire Pots effective against tight formations of opponents, but they can also prove an effective way to deny access to tiles or funnel opponents towards a particular part of the map. That being said, some select opponents will make use of Fire Pots themselves!

The Smoke Pot

A smoke pot is throwable pottery as well, but instead of fire it quickly creates a dense cloud of thick smoke on impact. Inside this cloud of seven tiles, zones of control no longer work, and all characters can move freely without incurring attacks of opportunity. Useful for repositioning during battle, but also to cover retreat when you’re already engaged.

Additionally, the thick cloud of smoke also protects against ranged attacks. Anyone inside the area covered with smoke is harder to hit, but also has a harder time seeing clear and hitting any targets outside the area themselves with ranged weaponry. The Smoke Pot can thus provide valuable protection against ranged-heavy enemy compositions for a limited time, but at the cost of limiting the effectiveness of your own ranged characters as well.

The Flash Pot

The flash pot is filled with mysterious powders that react violently on impact to create a bright flash and loud bang, dazing anyone not immune within an area of seven tiles. Because the ‘Dazed’ status effect was already a bit too dominant even before the Flash Pot, it’s going to be slightly weaker with the 1.4 update, but applying it to a whole group of opponents at once can still make for a huge swing in how the battle goes. Careful, though, as all these alchemical marvels can affect both friend and foe alike!

Potions

Introduced with the ‘Beasts & Exploration’ DLC, the Taxidermist allows the player to craft various items from beast trophies, among them potions. With the upcoming 1.4 update, many potions are going to work a bit differently.

In their current incarnation, many potions tend to be somewhat hard to use because of their restrictions; they can only be used in combat, they can not be used while engaged in melee, they cost action points to use, and their effects only last a couple of turns. We’re changing them to be strategic tools that are used on the world map and no longer during combat, and their effects to last for the whole next battle. Imagine you’re about to engage an enemy at night – part of your preparations for battle could now be to have your archers drink a ‘Night Vision Elixir’ before battle starts in order for them to be deadly even under the pale light of the moon. If you’re about to engage Geists, you might want to have a key character drink a ‘Lionheart Potion’ instead in order to bolster their resolve. Preparation is key!

At the same time, antidote now not only removes any stacks of poison, but also grants immunity to poison for several turns. This means that you’ll no longer end up in situations where you spend your antidote to cure a character only to end up poisoned again the very next turn. You can choose to make preemptive use of it, or you can wait to use it until you’ve actually been poisoned, just as before. Unlike potions, however, it’s still usable in combat, because you can neither know beforehand who’s going to need it most, nor can you be expected to inoculate every single one of your characters. The full list of changes to potions and other consumables will be part of the changelog posted once the update is released.

Share
Feb
07

Dev Blog #125: The Ifrit

We’re back with another dev blog to take a closer look at what the upcoming ‘Blazing Deserts’ DLC for Battle Brothers brings to the table. As we’ve established last time, the world map will be expanded with new lands to the south. Even though the focus of the DLC will be on fighting human opponents, those new southern deserts wouldn’t feel quite complete without their own bestiary loosely based on middle-eastern mythology. The Ifrit is one such beast that you’ll soon be able to face, so let’s delve in!

The Ifrit

The south is a harsh land, and the southern city states do not tolerate dissent. Criminals, expended slaves and bothersome political rivals all may find themselves expelled to the blazing deserts without a drop of water. There, so folklore claims, the sun shall burn away their impurities and distill their spirits to their very essence. Forged by fire and tempered with heat, every once in a while, an Ifrit is born. A cursed creature, if folklore is to be believed, a spirit saved by basking beneath the gilded shine of the eternal sun, if the priests speak true, and a strange and alien creature in any case. Made not of flesh and blood, but of rock and stone, of shifting sands, it roams endlessly where the blistering heat of the sun has baked the land into endless barren wastes that stretch between the horizons.

In battle, the Ifrit comes in three sizes of living rock. The larger, the more dangerous. Unique among all creatures in Battle Brothers, several smaller Ifrits can assemble into one larger one, and several larger ones can assemble into one gargantuan. These shuffling behemoths are slow, but they can strike powerful blows in melee, and they can also rip out parts of themselves and fling them at enemies. Not only is getting a living rock thrown at you a dangerous ranged attack, but whether the attack hits or misses, the rock thrown is itself a small Ifrit that can attack in melee once it has crashed at its destination – which may well be at your backline. Worse yet, if there’s three or more smaller Ifrits being thrown around, they can then assemble again into a larger one elsewhere!

If your men manage to destroy an Ifrit, it will crumble into two smaller parts with one part lost, until it is down to the smallest size where destroying it will end its existence permanently. If there happens to be a third part around of a fitting size, however, the Ifrit can again assemble itself to a rocky monstrosity, so fighting it is as much about dealing damage as it is about smart positioning and denying access to tiles. While large Ifrits are too heavy to be pushed around, smaller ones can be both pulled and knocked back to your advantage.

The Ifrit is a powerful opponent best taken on by experienced companies towards the later parts of a campaign. There’s a new contract dealing with Ifrits, but there’s also incentive to challenge them on your own terms, and perhaps even earlier in a campaign. Ifrits drop rare and expensive ingredients which can be used to craft some of the powerful alchemical contraptions that are coming with the ‘Blazing Deserts’ DLC – including one shown in this wallpaper.

Share
Jan
30

Switch Announcement

Instead of having a dev blog this week we bring you a special announcement.

For a long time now you guys have written to us how you’d love to play Battle Brothers on your Switch and take your campaign on the road. Both the game and the community have grown a lot over the past couple of years, and these days there’s nary a dev blog without you guys asking for Battle Brothers on your Switch. Being able to play a hardcore tactical turn-based game with lots of replayability wherever you are? Let’s make it happen! 

We’re excited to announce that Battle Brothers is coming to the Nintendo Switch later this year!

That’s right! Soon you’ll be able to lead your own mercenary company through the perils of a gritty, low-power, medieval fantasy world even while traveling. You’ll get to decide where to go, whom to hire or to fight from the comfort of a relaxing couch. And it’ll be your choice what contracts to take and how to train and equip your men in a procedurally generated open world campaign whether you’re commuting or flying ten thousand feet in the air. You’ll get to play with all the content and features of the PC version, and you’ll have access to all available DLC – including the upcoming ‘Blazing Deserts’ DLC and the free 1.4 update which will release in Q2 of this year.

To bring Battle Brothers to the Switch in the best way possible, we’ve partnered with Ukiyo Publishing for this. This means that we can focus all of our energy on developing more content and gameplay features for Battle Brothers, while Ukiyo Publishing, with over a decade in industry experience, will make sure that it is just as enjoyable an experience on the Switch as it is on the PC. Good thing then that they’re fans of Battle Brothers themselves!

Share
Jan
24

Dev Blog #124: New Lands

The upcoming ‘Blazing Deserts’ DLC for Battle Brothers will expand and enrich the world with new lands to the south. But it also brings a significant addition to tactical combat maps. Let’s find out more!

The world

With the ‘Blazing Deserts’ DLC we want to add more flavor and variety to the southern part of the map. One part of the recipe to achieve this is a different geography, and so we’re going to expand the world map with new lands to the very south to create one large and continuous world. These new lands are made up of blistering hot deserts, barren rocky hills towering seas of sand, and lush jungles that hug the coast. You’ll be able to reach them both by traveling as far south as your feet can carry you, or by taking the sea route from a northern port town.

Even though the world is going to be larger, frequent auto-saves in ironman mode will actually become faster thanks to some parallelization.

Combat

The new sand is about to turn red with blood as these new types of terrain will of course also make an appearance during combat. Behold the desert.

An oft-requested feature for Battle Brothers is to portray any location that you’re fighting at, such as a graveyard or a brigand camp, also on the tactical combat map. Fighting Wiedergängers between fallen tombstones and not just on empty plains can add a lot to the atmosphere and flair to that tight battle that will decide the future of your company. We’re happy to announce that with the ‘Blazing Deserts’ DLC we’ll introduce a wealth of new location-based environments in combat to make possible just that.

The combat system of Battle Brothers – one of its strongest features, as most of us will agree – was designed for small scale infantry combat on open or mostly open maps, and that’s where it works best. Having the odd fight in more enclosed environments, such as in forests, can shake things up every now and then in interesting ways, but doing this too much can also wear on a player’s patience. For example, the initiative system that works well in open field battles can become frustrating in tight quarters where 12 or more characters are constantly blocking each other. So with that in mind, let’s talk about how environments based on location are going to work.

Fighting brigands at their base camp will bring a dynamic to combat that is different from fighting them in the open field. That’s a good thing, because it adds more variety to combat in general, and because it adds another strategic dimension to the world map where you’ll now have to weigh the pros and cons of luring an opponent out of their base or fighting them at home. But while there’ll now be walls, palisades and gravestones shaping some of the maps, we also won’t turn every attack on a brigand camp into a siege, or a fight in a dense forest of tents and barrels. It’s not what the combat system was designed for, and consequently it just wouldn’t be fun. All combat will still take place outside, and most location-based objects are in fact cosmetic, meaning they’ll provide a flavorful backdrop and tell a story of where you’re fighting, but they won’t get in your way and won’t block your men from moving. On top of that we’ll be adding a smaller selection of objects which actually do block tiles to change the dynamic of combat in a controlled way. For example, a brigand camp may be surrounded by palisades to create chokepoints, but there’ll be also enough open space both outside and inside to have a proper battle.

While we take care to make it visually apparent which objects block a tile from being entered, and which objects are merely cosmetic, we’re also aware that it won’t always be intuitively readable for everyone and in every situation. Again, it’s a problem that you may have already encountered when fighting in the woods. To alleviate this issue, we’re introducing a new quality of life feature with the free update that comes along with the DLC. You’ll be able to toggle at any time to have highlighted in red all tiles that are blocked by environmental objects, such as trees, by pressing a button on the top right or by pressing a hotkey. Useful for navigating those new environments and any forest alike.

Join us again next week for a very special announcement regarding Battle Brothers!

Share
Jan
17

‘Blazing Deserts’ DLC Announcement

We’re excited to announce that we’re working on another DLC for Battle Brothers called  ‘Blazing Deserts’.

The focus of the DLC will be on expanding and enriching the existing world with a new land of burning deserts and lush jungles to the south. Across these lands you’ll find a unique culture loosely based on historic Arabian and Persian cultures of the medieval ages built atop the ruins of the Ancient Empire in the world of Battle Brothers. You’ll find new lore and a different political system, equipment not seen anywhere else, and fresh contracts to earn your stay with. There’ll be a new late game crisis, new legendary locations and several new beasts roaming the wilds. This DLC will be our biggest one yet for Battle Brothers.

Here’s the rough list of features we’re aiming for:

  • A realm of independent southern city-states with their own lore, equipment and services, as well as entirely new character backgrounds to recruit
  • A new late game crisis that tests the mettle of your company in the fires of religious turmoil
  • A gallery of company feats that grant permanent boons with which to customize your company to your playstyle as you progress throughout your campaign
  • A variety of new opponents with their own fighting styles – from exotic beasts to desert raiders and southern armies quite unlike those in the north
  • New environments both on the world map and in tactical combat
  • Several new origins to pick for your company for a different campaign experience
  • New banners, weapons, armors and helmets inspired by historic Arabian and Persian cultures of the medieval ages
  • New legendary locations and legendary rewards
  • New contracts and events
  • New crafting recipes for owners of the ‘Beasts & Exploration’ DLC
  • Several new music tracks by Breakdown Epiphanies to accompany you on your travels south

In addition to these major features, the DLC will also include countless smaller additions. Just like in the past, we’ll explain all major features and most minor ones in detail in future dev blogs as we go along, so you’ll always know what we’re working on and why. We expect to be finished sometime in Q2 of this year and will announce a release date and final feature list once we’re closer to the finish line.

Alongside the DLC, which will not be free, the game will also receive a sizable free update again. This update will contain a whole bunch of improvements, quality-of-life features and balancing changes, as well as some minor content additions.

Join us next week for our first dev blog on the new DLC!

Share
Jan
10

A Prophecy Fulfilled

Where the sun reigns eternal, burned to cinders and reborn from ash, fire shall lead the way once again.

Read all about it in next week’s announcement!

Share