Reply To: Demo experiences

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Thank you for the encouragement! I really enjoy reading those stories about how you guys are playing the game. Reminds me why I work on it ;)

The combat log could maybe use a bit more detail. I once had a Brother get insta-gibbed when I was fairly sure he had almost full hp/armor but all the log said was that Widerich had been killed.

The combat log in the demo feels a bit halfhearted I suppose, but we’ve since added more information and will continue to do so. We may also introduce some filtering options so that the spam doesn’t get out of control. Very important for us, though, is that reading the combat log should never be required for playing the game. All essential information should be accessible from reading the action itself and the log is merely an optional way for people to read up on more detail if they are so inclined – hence also its non-prominent position in the top left corner.

In the final mission one of the Vampire’s graphic was replaced by a black vampire-shaped outline for the duration of combat. I didn’t think to take a screenie at the time.

Yikes. I’ll look into it. Seems to be a rare bug.

I really liked the Billhook. The pull ability was quite situational and difficult to set up but I did manage to setup a sweet triple-hit for my two-hander guy with it as well as save an archer’s life once. I think it would be neat if a pulled enemy was slightly easier to hit for a turn by being disoriented after stumbling forward.

Being pulled (or for that matter, knocked back) is already quite powerful because it also cancels skill effects like shieldwall, spearwall and riposte. Riposte isn’t used by enemies currently, but that’s only because I felt it didn’t really fit skeletons lore-wise and didn’t synergize with vampire tactics at all. Other enemy types will make use of it when surrounded.

Status effects like the stun. I’m sure you have more to come. I think they add some nice depth to your tactical options and give prolonged use to weapons that have less base damage.

We’ll definately have more status effects later on. For example, being blinded or rooted. Some of those will be exclusive to enemies and some can be employed by Battle Brothers as well, if only via rare magical items.

Was it just my imagination or do club weapons do more damage on the Skellingtons?

Just your imagination, I’m afraid. Skeletons are more resistant to ranged weapons but take the same damage from all melee weapons. Not in the combat demo you’ve played, but in the current build, skeletons of the armored variety (like skeleton guards and fallen heroes) are easier to beat with club weapons, though, because those are more effective against armor and do increased damage to it (but not to their hitpoints).

I’m hoping you are thinking of allowing certain Brothers to dual-wield things like small axes. Unrealistic perhaps but loads of fun!

We had quite a long debate about this but ultimately decided against dual-wielding. First, like you said, it’s not a realistic fighting style on the battlefield – though admittedly that may seem kind of an arbitrary reason in a world where undead roam. More importantly, though, we also didn’t find a way to integrate this in a satisfying way with our skill based system. What we’ll have instead will be a few offhand items that provide utility. From the obvious one, shields, to things like throwing nets that goblins like to use (and that apply a rooted status effect).

I read somewhere that you were planning on adding some more info in the tool-tips for enemies such as the abilties they have. In a way I kind of like the fact that exact enemy hp numbers are not displayed. It’s refreshing since most games will give exact numbers but sometimes it’s nice to have to use memory and logic to know how hardy an enemy is.

Yeah, we want to have a small popup window with a paragraph describing the enemy and listing their status effects and passive skills. Currently, you see status effect icons dropping on enemies (e.g. enrage on zombies) and have no idea what they actually mean. And this is only going to get worse as we intoduce more enemy types, status effects and passive skills. We feel that the player is left in the dark here a bit too much.

That said, we won’t give out actual numbers for things like hitpoints and will continue to only show relative values as is. We decided early on that fighting enemies shouldn’t be about numbers and min-maxing, and that enemies would feel less like a bunch of stats but more of an opponent you can never really be sure about by hiding the numbers. It already worked well for the original X-Com and gave more mystery to the aliens, in my opinion.

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