Dev Blog #71: Progress Update - Taverns & Tracking - Battle Brothers Developer Blog

Feb
12

Dev Blog #71: Progress Update – Taverns & Tracking

Two more features join the list for the update on February 29th this week. Taverns are a hub for information and mood management of your men, and tracking allows you to follow or avoid other parties on the worldmap more easily. That leaves us with only one more feature left following these that we really want to include in the update, and that’s a better tutorial as you start a new campaign. But for now, let’s take a look at taverns and tracking!

Taverns

Taverns with the capacity to serve a mercenary company can be found in larger settlements, cities and castles, and the odd small village along trade routes. Laughter can be heard coming from it pretty much around the clock, as it’s one of the few buildings that can be entered both day and night. It’s also the first instance that we’re using small atmospheric images in the UI, as you’ll see below, and the idea is to have a whole bunch of them complement the events in the game as we skin the UI later down the road.

tavern_folks

Although taverns aren’t the most critical of buildings, they nevertheless fill with the services they offer what was previously a vacant spot in the world of Battle Brothers. These services revolve heavily around beverages, and they’re talking to the patrons for news and rumors while sharing a beer, and paying a round for your own men in order to get their spirits up. We’ll look at each of them in detail.

As you enter the tavern, you’ll immediately pick up some talk amongst the patrons. What they talk about comes in different categories, and we may add additional useful ones as the game progresses in development.

tavern_at_night

Patrons can talk about potential work for you that they’ve heard about – as the world has become a bit larger now, it’s quite useful to get directions to people that are looking to hire sellswords so that you have a better idea of where to head next.

Patrons can also talk about nearby hidden locations. If you’ve played previous versions of Battle Brothers, you may remember contracts that have you find locations based on vague directions. Those type of contracts aren’t in the game anymore, but that same mechanic is now used for entirely optional locations, potentially full of treasure, you may head out to plunder on your own. The level of directions that individual people can give will differ, so it’s sometimes useful to get directions from several people in order to better pin down where a location might be. You can pay a round for everyone in order to loosen their tongues and have them share more news and rumors with you.

Finally, patrons will also give you flavor responses that tell you more about their situation, the lore of the world and the settlement you’re in, and news about what’s happening in the realm. They may also share light gameplay tips, such as soldiers explaining the advantage of high ground or talking about their experience of fighting goblins and how best to approach it. These types of responses depend heavily on where you are, so you’ll more likely be talking with soldiers at castles, and fishermen at fishing villages. We want the world to feel more lively, more lived in, and this is another step towards that goal.

rumors and news 1

The other service available at taverns is paying a round for your own men. This will generally lift everyone’s spirits and make them forget the horrors of battle for a while, but it comes with its own risk and reward.

Every time you pay a round and the men cheer to different things, there’s a chance that the mood of people improves, but also of them getting drunk. Mood is more important now as we attached additional benefits and penalties to it, and it should become more interesting in general as we do a minor rework of how the mood system works in the future. Being drunk, on the other hand, is a new status effect quite detrimental to combat effectiveness, although it does make people more brave. It doesn’t persist for long, but is succeeded by a hangover, which is a more mild debuff. Whether people get drunk or not heavily depends on their traits. For example, strong and tough characters don’t get drunk easily, whereas tiny and fragile characters do. All this then comes down to the decision of how many rounds you want to spend for your men in order to increase the mood of the company vs. the increasing risk of them getting drunk and being severely handicapped the following day.

Tracking

All parties now leave tracks for you to follow that look like footprints on the map. Different factions use their own footprints so that you can see at a glance whether it’s humans, orcs or beasts who moved though. Footprints also scale with the size of the party, so you’ll have a rough idea on how many individuals it is that you’re tracking. Note that we’re still experimenting with the visuals right now, so it may end up looking slightly different in the game.

footprints1

We’re adding the tracking mechanic in order to give you a better idea on what’s happening around the limited radius of vision you have on the worldmap, and to introduce new gameplay opportunities. Even if you lose sight of a party now, you’ll still be able to follow their tracks. You can also potentially follow the tracks of the bandit raiders you just bested back to their camp, and you have more options to both find and avoid parties on the worldmap. Don’t follow large orc or goblin tracks if you aren’t prepared for what lies ahead!

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12 comments

  • Asterix_von_TWC
    Feb 12, 2016 @ 16:40 pm

    Lovely polish! Can’t wait for the update lads!

  • Ulrich
    Ulrich
    Feb 12, 2016 @ 16:52 pm

    Love you guys so much :)

  • Bananenbaum
    Bananenbaum
    Feb 12, 2016 @ 17:20 pm

    Awesome-sauce!

  • JayneCobb88
    JayneCobb88
    Feb 12, 2016 @ 17:45 pm

    Looks awesome! My one question though is a balance one regarding the random events.
    There is one event where the men want more money and it looks as though I’ll be able to counter this through a one-time round of drinks. Will this be rebalanced or will the reworking of the mood system account for this?

  • Rosinante
    Feb 12, 2016 @ 18:33 pm

    Love it! Getting more and more excited with each update! Keep up the great work!

  • BaronHarkonnen
    Feb 12, 2016 @ 18:39 pm

    Oh, I see Ghosts incoming…..Schnell Fritz, get the Schnaps !!!

  • scaryned
    Feb 12, 2016 @ 19:32 pm

    This will be awesome. I’ve stopped playing because I get flustered knowing that the update will be way better than what I have right now.

    also, I’m worried about the update because I don’t know how my Iron Boars will be integrated into the update. they are my first band of brothers and they’re also the only band who hasn’t completely died yet (admittedly they’re also the only band played on normal difficulty, but still :P)

    when the update comes will my brothers seamlessly blend into the new update, spawning in the new world? or will they be gone forever :'(

    • Rap
      Rap
      Feb 12, 2016 @ 19:43 pm

      They’ll be for the history books. Old savegames won’t be compatible with the new version, unfortunately.

      • scaryned
        Feb 12, 2016 @ 22:18 pm

        noooooooooooooooo

        at least I have time to say goodbye :’S

  • RusBear
    RusBear
    Feb 13, 2016 @ 0:03 am

    I like “tracking”. it can gives us big new parth of gameplay.
    Very promising for the future development of the game. It opens a new layer of gameplay and the opportunity for interesting quests. Nite town in snows looks excellent. Paul, my regards!

  • daelf3
    Feb 14, 2016 @ 21:46 pm

    Drunk Battle Brothers? Welp, time to get me a brawler and teach him way of the drunken fist. Tracking also sounds like a good idea, maybe if you had certain brothers (such as hunters) be able to track better than others while having them.

    • scaryned
      Feb 15, 2016 @ 1:10 am

      That’s a good idea!

      I believe the studio talked about having non combat brothers who can repair armour or apply medicine properly. Better tracking would fit that we’ll.

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