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Jaysen
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« Reply #220 on: February 05, 2016, 07:06:55 AM »

Time for a new progress post, this time we have the long awaited visual character customization in the mix:

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Dev Blog #70: Progress Update - Customizing Appearances, Nighttime Vista

Work continues on balancing, bugfixing and adding more content to the game for the update on February 29th. We’re also adding some more minor features, one of which we’ll take a closer look at today: the ability to customize the appearance of your Battle Brothers.

The Barber

The barber offers his services in a building you’ll be able to find at the larger cities around the world. Whether you’re looking for someone to cut hair, trim beards or sell you dubious potions to lose weight, the barber has you covered for a modest fee.



With the barber we’re adding the ability to customize the appearance of any characters in your roster to your liking. Getting to know your Battle Brothers and bonding with them as they accomplish heroic feats or flee like cowards is part of the fun, and now you’re able to grow that axe guy who saved everyone a suitably majestic beard, or shave clean the head of the coward who runs at every battle. Some players have expressed that they’d like to mold characters to their likeness, or to that of characters from their favorite book or movie, and that’s possible now as well. And like all buildings in the game, the barber, too, helps settlements feel more distinct in the services that they offer.



Nighttime Vista

As the sun sets and the moon rises, as your men drag through the snow in the dark, settlements are now visible as beacons of civilization from afar, for they light torch and candle.


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« Reply #221 on: February 05, 2016, 09:49:31 AM »

I'm simultaneously looking forward to this huge update and dreading how much its going to eat into my schedule...
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« Reply #222 on: February 12, 2016, 07:28:47 AM »

Here is even more to eat in your schedule Wink
In this weeks update we have the new tavern building and also parties lieaving tracks on the worldmap:

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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.



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.



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.



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.



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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« Reply #223 on: February 12, 2016, 08:34:11 AM »

I'm simultaneously looking forward to this huge update and dreading how much its going to eat into my schedule...

Mr. Oldblood is spot-on as usual. Nearly all of us have BB on our Steam accounts (it was one of two games we handed out as XMas gifts). And I am sure I am not the only one in the studio who is looking forward to what you guys are adding next. Great stuff.

Best.
Joachim @ Sunburned Games
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« Reply #224 on: February 13, 2016, 02:41:16 AM »

Hi Joachim,

how come i never heard of your game? Seems to be really awesome, especially the setting and the character design. - following
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« Reply #225 on: February 19, 2016, 08:36:50 AM »

We are almost there! Just 10 days until the worldmap update so here is a final progress update:

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Dev Blog #72: Progress Update - Tutorial, Music, Experienced Mercs

With the finishing line in sight, this will be our last regular progress update before the big update on the 29th. Today we’ll cover some more changes to the game and our reasoning behind them: A new introduction and tutorial, new music and the ability to hire experienced mercenaries.

Over the course of next week, our very own Jaysen will start a new Let’s Play series to showcase and explain all the new features, additions and changes made to the game. But for now, read on!

Introduction and Tutorial

What's the first thing you're greeted with when starting a new campaign right now? A big wall of text. And then an even bigger one as you pick up the tutorial contract. Being dropped into an open world with little idea of what to do and what the game even allows you to do can be daunting. In fact, the tutorial contract was actually missed by quite a few people in the beginning as they attacked the nearby bandits without hiring a single man, only to get slaughtered. That makes for an odd first impression. What the game needed was a proper introduction that gradually helps the player get into the game and gives context to their role in the world, without being overbearing.



The above is the new very first thing you see when starting a new campaign. This leads into a first battle and a short story about how you end up being the commander of a mercenary company, sets a suitably grim but not hopeless mood, and gives you a tour through the core gameplay loop. It’s presented as a short contract involving several steps and a series of events and dialogs with manageable bits of text and pretty pictures. And it also gives some explanation as to why you aren’t fighting on the battlefield yourself.

During the tutorial the player is introduced to basic combat mechanics without the danger of being instantly slaughtered, learns about hiring new men and buying equipment, camping and repairing, as well as other important aspects. It’s presented as individual characters explaining things and giving their opinions, and it’s all things specific to this game and doesn’t tax your patience with basic stuff like moving the camera. Although we recommend playing through the introduction at least once, it can be skipped after the first few minutes and you’re free to go anywhere in the world you want.

Raid Battle Track

While working on all the new features you’ve read about these past months, our talented musicians from Breakdown Epiphanies haven’t been lazy, either. We’re happy to say that several new music tracks will come with the update, among them one you can listen to right now.





This one is titled the ‘Farm Raiding Battle Track’ and is intended to play when slaughtering peasants and burning down their farmsteads, which is a new thing you may be asked to do with contracts now. It sets a dark and somber mood fitting a scenario like this, and it’s a great track in its own right that will play on various occasions throughout the game - including the very introduction you’ve just learned about.

Hiring Experienced Mercs

Here’s a dilemma: Battles are supposed to be deadly and you’re supposed to be losing men every now and then, yet losing men can hurt a lot in the late game because of the difference in power between fresh recruits and veterans, and because it takes a long time to train up again starting from level 1. We’ve talked about an extended roster as a way to cushion the impact of this in the future, but there’s another thing we’re introducing with the upcoming update: Hiring people that come with a few levels already.



Depending on their background, recruits may now come with higher starting levels. Finding a fisherman or farmhand with combat experience is pretty much out of the question. Not so with a raider, a retired soldier or a sellsword. These backgrounds can be found with some or even a lot of combat experience under their belt, but they’ll ask to be paid handsomely for it. It’s generally cheaper to build up people on your own than to hire ready-made veterans, and you won’t be able to afford any higher level hedge knights in the beginning. In order to not take away too much from the progression of characters, the maximum level at which recruits may come is currently at 5, and that’s already only for a select few backgrounds.

You’ll be able to distribute the attribute points and pick perks yourself upon hiring one of the more experienced recruits. By alleviating the severeness of losing an experienced man and having to start with a new one, we’re hopeful that players are more open to living with the consequences of their men dying in battle.


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« Reply #226 on: February 19, 2016, 08:57:36 AM »

Freaking love the amount of emotion B.E. puts into each track. Totally feel the sorrow that can come from a battle commencing on the homefront of a poor, hard-working farmer.

Amazing stuff, guys! Keep up the awesome work!
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« Reply #227 on: February 19, 2016, 09:58:13 AM »

The intro text sets the tone of the experience perfectly I think. And gives a plausible explanation why you've a bunch of people following you. The tutorial you're describing reminds me of the opening of NEO Scavenger which I think does this well too, though I reckon you don't freeze to death as much in this game in your first playthroughs. Wink
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« Reply #228 on: February 24, 2016, 07:26:17 AM »

Here is something to shorten the wait:

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Let’s Play - Worldmap Update, Episode 1
Here we go again! In anticipation of the big update hitting next Monday, the 29th, our very own Jaysen starts a brand new Let’s Play series with developer commentary to explain all the new additions and changes to the game. You can expect the second episode to hit later this week. Also, spoiler warning.





We’ll have a written summary of all the new things together with the update itself.

Preview Twitch Stream with ZiggyD

Youtuber and Streamer ZiggyD will do an exclusive preview live stream of the update this Saturday, the 27th, around 8:30pm GMT / 7:30am AUS / 12:30pm PDT - exact time will follow!

At least one of us developers will be hanging around in the Twitch chat as well, so if you want to talk to us or ask us anything about the game, this is a great opportunity. You can find ZiggyD’s Twitch channel here: http://www.twitch.tv/ziggydlive

Important Reminder

The upcoming update will break savegames! If you want to keep playing your current campaign you should disable automatic updates on Steam for Battle Brothers!



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« Reply #229 on: February 29, 2016, 05:37:42 AM »

Finally it's out! The Worldmap Update:

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Worldmap Update Released

Finally, the big worldmap update has arrived!

Battle Brothers has made a huge step towards completion and to how the finished game will play. Below you’ll find a list of all the major changes and additions to the game.

And we're not done yet! Once the dust from the update has settled, we'll return to smaller and more regular updates again so that you're likely to find something new in the game every week. There are several more features (yes, including formations!) and loads of more content we'll be adding until the game leaves Early Access later this year.

As a very small team we depend on your feedback to make this game as good as possible. Please leave us your thoughts and feedback on balancing, progression and gameplay in the forums!

With so many changes, introducing new issues is also pretty much inevitable. If you encounter any bugs, problems or crashes, please let us know in the forum following the instructions there.

Have fun with the update!

New Worldmap

A bigger and all-new procedurally generated worldmap comes with new terrain, oceans and shores, and wild and unexplored parts covered in fog. It’s teeming with life as peasants, caravans, ships, hunters, beasts and many more pursue their goals.

New Settlements

Settlements differ vastly in appearance, size, services they offer, men to hire and goods to buy. Fish is cheapest at fishing villages, more metal-based products can be found at mining settlements and you’ll find men with combat experience at castles.

New Contract Mechanics

Contracts are completely redone. You can now negotiate the terms of payment, and every contract comes with twists to spice things up and keep you on your toes. There’s 9 contracts in the game right now, double the amount of before, and we aim to have several times that for the finished game.

Factions & Relations

Noble houses vie for power and cities are ruled by corrupt councils. Meet the leaders of factions on and off the battlefield, make powerful allies or betray them and feel their wrath. All this in contracts we’ll be adding over the coming months now that the system is in place.

Tracking

All parties travelling the world now leave tracks for you to follow or avoid. Different factions use their own footprints so that you can see at a glance whether it’s humans, orcs or beasts who moved though.

Camping

Make camp to have your men recover from their wounds, repair their equipment and have time pass faster. But be careful, the camp fire will be seen from afar and may attract unwanted attention.

A Proper Introduction

The game now comes with a proper introduction and story to set up the mood and ease you into the open world gameplay with useful advice from other characters.

Additional Music & Sound Effects

Five new music tracks join the already hour-long orchestral soundtrack. Orcs got all of their sounds redone, and the game now has a rich ambient soundscape, from birds, to the wind howling, to people in the streets as you visit one of the many cities of the world.

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« Reply #230 on: February 29, 2016, 05:58:36 PM »

Loving the changes, especially the expanded miscellaneous loot and trade goods, it makes supporting the band less a matter of landing consistent contracts. Here are a couple thoughts after ~4 hours testing (and I hit 100 lifetime hours!):

Initially spotting the "contract" button in a town was difficult. Now that I know it is there, I will never forget it, but I wandered through 3 or 4 towns before I even noticed it. I believe I was too focused on looking at the new city-scapes and buildings. It is possible that those initial towns didn't have any contracts, but it seems unlikely. This isn't a huge issue, but it may well be off-putting for first-time players. It's strange that it is the only aspect of the town features that isn't controlled through some building/feature of the town map itself. I think the easiest fix would be to add a coloured and/or animated halo or around the contract button to draw the eye to it.

The patrol quest can, at times, require you to visit towns that are relatively close, as the crow flies, but that take many days to get to, due to ocean inlets. This can sometimes be avoided by taking a ship, but that effectively nullifies any payout from the contract itself. Is it possible to have the contract work in a somewhat smarter/more friendly way?

Finally, the progression, on Normal, seems a little slow/peaceful. It is too early to really tell, but that's the impression I am getting.

Still, great work on the update! It certainly revitalized my interest.

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« Reply #231 on: March 18, 2016, 06:39:13 AM »

Hey there, we have been working a lot on bugs, balance and progression since the update. Now we came back around to start adding more content. Here are the latest two updates to the game including a changelog:

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Worldmap Update 0.6.0.16

This update adds a reimagined version of the 'Escort Caravan' contract to the game. You're now part of the actual caravan and don't have to manually travel alongside it anymore. While the caravan travels, controls are locked from you, but time will pass faster until the destination is reached. The contract doubles as a way to fast-travel around the world and may also give you added safety with the caravan hands and guards in the beginning of the game. Be sure to take ample provisions before you start your journey!

The contract system has seen a general change. Contracts now vary in difficulty and payment as indicated by a rating of between one and three skulls. If you've taken some losses and need to rebuild your company, taking on easier contracts with a one-skull-rating might be a wise decisions. On the other hand, if you don't feel challenged enough, take on a contract with a three-skull-rating and get paid handsomely. Note that the skull ratings are rough estimations and don't necessarily mean that a contract has to always be easy or hard for you. In an open world you can always run into roaming enemies, and how you fare against certain opponents will depend heavily on your equipment, leveling and tactics.

Finally, this update also adds our first all-new combat environment: the dry and flat steppe. Here's how it looks in the game.



Changelog
Added new 'Escort Caravan' contract.
Added two new events.
Added steppe combat environment.
Added more debug output to logfile in order to help track down some remaining issues.

Changed contracts to vary in difficulty (and payment) as indicated by a rating of between one to three skulls.
Changed larger settlement factions to potentially offer more than one contract at a time.
Changed Orc Line Battle scenario to take place in the steppe.
Changed Riposte appearing as a negative factor in the hitchance breakdown only when the opponent is actually in range to execute a counter-attack.

Fixed potential crash on worldgen.
Fixed destinations for 'Armed Courier' contract not being uncovered on the map in some cases.
Fixed issue with AI of Withered Vampires that prevented them from using the Darkflight skill in some cases.
Fixed issue with AI of Orc Warriors that had them use the Line Breaker skill when they shouldn't.
Fixed armor for helmets displayed as floating point value in some cases.
Fixed wrong effectiveness vs. armor of pitchfork.
Fixed various text errors.

Worldmap Update 0.6.0.14
We close the second week after the big worldmap update with a larger update.

There are a few changes of note: We now support Steam Cloud saving, direwolves have finished their transformation from the werewolves of old to a new identity with visuals of their own, balance and progression has been smoothed out a bit to make for less rocky gameplay, and the level-up system for attributes has changed.



The change to the level-up system isn't necessarily permanent, as we'll look at leveling as a whole again together with going over all the perks later on during development, but we felt that this was a change we needed to make now. The system previously in place lacked transparency and thus led to some confusion and ultimately frustration as people misinterpreted how it worked. The new system should be easier to understand and offer a better strategic choice on levelup on how to best develop your Battle Brothers. It works like this: You can now see all levelup rolls right from the start (without going through the pick/cancel motion like most players did) and pick three values you want. Levelup values are re-rolled for each level and no longer stick until picked.

We'll continue to work on any technical or balancing issues that may pop up, but with most now out of the way we'll transition to adding new content to the game again come next week. What new content is that?

Our next major milestone is redoing all the combat environments already in the game, as well as adding new combat environments for every terrain type found on the worldmap. Here is an early preview.



While we're at it, we'll also look at some usability issues in combat (primarily with forests) and add some quality of life improvements (like an option to end combat early once all enemies are fleeing). Finally, we'll keep adding additional contracts to the game. There are 11 more already written and waiting to be implemented, and we have plans for even more.

Changelog
Added automatic synchronization of savegames on Steam Cloud.
Added a chance for Withered Vampires to carry named weapons.
Added new visuals for Direwolves.

Changed level-up system for attributes. You can now see all levelup rolls right from the start and pick the three values you want. Levelup values are re-rolled for each level and no longer stick until picked.
Changed chance to get drunk on paying for rounds in the tavern to be lower.
Changed opposition in contracts to better match player strength throughout the campaign.
Changed roaming enemies to be slightly easier to take on in the early game and scale better into the lategame.
Changed treasure items to be sold at full value, like trading goods are, and be somewhat more valuable than before in order to make exploring and looting locations on your own more worthwhile.
Changed 'Patrol' contract to have the player be more likely to face opposition on the road.
Changed 'Patrol' contract to have a time limit of ten days and show both the time remaining and the number of heads collected in the objective panel.
Changed a few perk descriptions to make things more clear.
Changed name of 'Fletcher's Hut' on the worldmap to 'Arrow Maker's Shed' to avoid confusion about its relation to the 'Fletcher' building inside settlements.

Fixed issue with payment when at negative renown.
Fixed issue with cancel/engage potentially leading to fighting the wrong enemies.
Fixed issue with entities spawning on unreachable tiles in combat.
Fixed poor relations leading to better prices when selling items than with good relations.
Fixed money counter in UI not updating properly when buying food.
Fixed provisions counter in UI not updating properly when selling food.
Fixed direwolves looting other AI parties when they shouldn't because they're animals.
Fixed several issues with location placement at worldgen. Requires starting a new campaign to take effect.
Fixed cause of the game potentially slowing down on the worldmap because of poorly placed harbors, and ships unable to reach them. Requires starting a new campaign to take effect.
Fixed goblin camps spawning orcs in rare cases.
Fixed display issue in 'Armed Courier' contract negotiations.
Fixed issue with AI burning down locations while the player is tasked to destroy them in 'Raze Location' contract.
Fixed missing information on additional fatigue use for named orc weapons in tooltip.
Fixed action point bar not updating properly after picking up or dropping items during combat.
Fixed Goblin Wolfriders potentially becoming untargetable if their mount was killed using the 'Knock Back' skill in combination with the 'Shield Bash' perk.
Fixed issue with ranged AI potentially hanging in combat.
Fixed Arbalesters not having a backup melee weapon.
Fixed mood status effect sometimes not showing on characters after loading a game.
Fixed drunk debuff duration resetting on loading a game.
Fixed issue with change of master volume in the game's audio options not immediately affecting the volume of music currently playing.
Fixed wrong inventory icon for named greataxe.
Fixed various text errors.
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« Reply #232 on: March 26, 2016, 03:19:55 PM »

Quote
Freaking love the amount of emotion B.E. puts into each track. Totally feel the sorrow that can come from a battle commencing on the homefront of a poor, hard-working farmer.

Amazing stuff, guys! Keep up the awesome work! Noir

I echo everything Jasmine said. Can't wait to hear more of your work on this gents, cheers!  Beer!
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« Reply #233 on: March 30, 2016, 08:13:23 AM »

Thanks Kyle and Jasmine! Beer!
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« Reply #234 on: April 01, 2016, 03:11:06 AM »

Will we have a linux version at some point? The game runs ok on wine, but...
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« Reply #235 on: April 01, 2016, 04:46:00 AM »

Linux and Mac version where planned but due we have to push them back as we have to focus on actually finishing the game first... sorry for that!
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« Reply #236 on: April 01, 2016, 04:48:47 AM »

I think one of the guys that does your music mentioned the game to me at a party last year. I checked it out then, but cool to see you on the board.
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« Reply #237 on: April 01, 2016, 06:30:39 AM »

We are slowly getting there, not many environments left. This week it is the Tundra:

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Worldmap Update 0.6.0.18
This week’s update adds a new combat environment: the tundra. Flat and stony plains, sparse vegetation and a unique look make it stand out among the growing collection of different environments to do battle in. Here’s how it looks in the game.



Next up is a reimagined version of the forest environment. We have a pretty good idea now on what we want to do in order to have fighting there feel unique but at the same time get rid of some of the usability issues currently haunting it. While the new forest didn’t quite make it in this week, a related quality of life improvement did. You can now find an optional ‘Always Hide Trees’ setting in the game’s option menu to always hide the top part of trees, whether they occlude a character or not.

A large chunk of the last two weeks was spent discussing where we want to take the game from here, budgeting and planning things out. You can expect the result of this, a detailed blog post about what we’re going to add to or change about the game during the remainder of Early Access, right here next week.

Have a nice weekend!

Changelog

Added tundra combat environment.
Added optional ‘Always Hide Trees’ setting.

Changed smaller trees and boulders to only have their top part translucent when a character is positioned behind them, and no longer turn translucent as a whole, in order to make things more clear.
Changed noble house contracts to be bound to a single settlement once they’ve been fully negotiated in order to avoid some potential issues if the player accepts them at a different location later on.
Changed durability of some two-handed weapons and bows to be slightly higher.
Changed ‘Wolfriders’ scenario to take place on tundra terrain.

Fixed rare crash after loading a game from the worldmap.
Fixed potentially wrong ‘Bought for’ values in the tooltip of food and trading goods after looting them or loading a game.
Fixed issue with ‘Armed Courier’ contract.
Fixed another issue of characters sometimes appearing as injured after loading when having certain character traits.
Fixed barber missing a hair style.
Fixed various text errors.
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« Reply #238 on: July 22, 2016, 06:17:21 AM »

Here is another blog update from us, to read up on what you might have missed head over to our blog page at www.battlebrothersgame.com!

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Dev Blog #79: Progress Update - Injury Mechanics


Battle Brothers, as you know, is a game about managing a mercenary company. This week we’re talking about a new aspect to manage both on the battlefield and when travelling the world: the upcoming injury mechanics. There’s two types of injuries - temporary and permanent ones - and they both serve a different purpose in enriching the game. Let’s delve in!

Temporary Injuries


Temporary injuries add complexity to both combat and worldmap gameplay. They are effectively status effects that represent serious injury that diminish a character’s ability to fight effectively, different from lighter wounds by loss of hitpoints only. Depending on where a character is injured, they may suffer from various disabilities; for example, an injured leg may impede movement, whereas an injured arm may lower offensive capabilities, and a swollen eye may lower vision.



In combat, injuries are inflicted if an attack surpasses a certain threshold of hitpoint damage relative to the maximum hitpoints of the character hit. The higher the maximum hitpoints of a character, the more difficult it is to inflict injury upon them, and the more damage inflicted, the more serious the potential injury may be. This applies to both your Battle Brothers and your enemies - it’s easier to inflict serious injury to fragile Goblins than sturdy Orcs, or to those of your men that have a lot of hitpoints. A select few enemies may also be immune to some or all types of injuries. The type of injury inflicted depends on the weapon used, with blunt weapons inflicting different injuries from cutting or piercing ones. With the new injury mechanics, combatants will no longer be able to fight to their fullest at even just a single hitpoint left, but will now progressively get weaker as you beat on them.

Outside of combat, temporary injuries take a certain amount of time to heal - how long exactly depends on the specific injury, with a broken leg taking quite a bit longer to recover from than a light concussion. While you can send your injured right back into combat, it’s a good idea to make use of the reserve roster so that they can recover and don’t have to limp onto the battlefield. Injured characters have icons shown right next to them in the roster view, allowing you to see at a glance who’s fit and who may need to sit out a contract. In order to make the best out of the men available to you at any given time, you’ll now have to shuffle your roster every now and then, which should help to shake up what could previously become too static a gameplay element once you had assembled a good team.



If you’ve played Battle Brothers before, you’ll be aware of certain events that may end in fists flying amongst your men, particularly with certain party compositions, or combat drills ending in accidents. Consequences were previously limited to a loss of hitpoints very quickly healed by passing time. Now, events can also come with injury as a consequence, like a broken nose as your men beat on each other, which should make for a more serious concern as you weigh your options.



Finally, the upcoming update will also have the temple building serve a function. In temples across the land, devout followers of the gods will pray for and treat the wounds of the pantheon’s children as mandated by their faith. Your men will recover faster from injuries expertly treated here, and you don’t run the risk of developing gangrene like you do in the field. The bandages shown on your characters are even visibly replaced by clean ones.

Permanent Injuries


Life expectancy can be short for mercenaries. But while permadeath is and will remain an important part of Battle Brothers, not every downed character has to be quite dead. Assuming a character isn’t decapitated, has their skull bashed in or suffered a similarly gruesome fate, there’s now a chance for them to survive with a permanent injury that will accompany them the rest of their lives.



A character may get lucky and suffer an injury that has only a minor impact on their abilities, such as missing an ear, or they may suffer a more crippling disability, such as missing a whole hand. Permanent injuries all have negative effects, but some may also include positive ones. Brain damage, for example, doesn’t make a character any more competent, but it may make them just dumb enough not to realize when it’s time to run, effectively lowering their chance to break and flee.

Depending on the injury sustained and the role of the character in your company, a permanent injury may be anything from a small reminder to be more careful next time, to a crippling disability. From a design perspective it is a tool to cushion the impact that losing important characters can have on your campaign. Whether you choose to ultimately replace that character or not, they’ll be around for a while longer to help you succeed - especially useful with the optional Ironman mode we’ll be introducing next update. Also, of course, missing noses make for distinct characters and contribute to the emergent story of your very own mercenary company.


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« Reply #239 on: August 05, 2016, 06:50:27 AM »

This week we have news on the big perk rework that we have talked about before:

Quote


Dev Blog #80: Progress Update - New Perk System
This week we’re talking about the other major change coming with the next update: a revised perk system. We’re doing extensive changes both on how perks are acquired, and the individual perks themselves - new perks have been added and almost all of the existing ones have seen changes. Let’s learn more!

Why change it?

We’re happy to see that the concept of having perks in Battle Brothers worked out in general. They’re a good fit for the game in how they allow you to customize your men according to your own strategy, they make individual characters feel more unique, and they make up a large part of why leveling up and developing characters is fun.

That said, there’s a couple of issues with how the system currently works. By implicitly forcing you to specialize in one of three categories, we’re imposing too much of a limit on how you can develop your characters, and ultimately on the number of possible character builds. Over time it also became evident that some perks just didn’t work out. It may be because they’re not worth picking, whether they’re conceptually flawed or the game evolved in a way that made them obsolete, or because they may be so strong that they unhinge entire combat mechanics and dominate any other strategy. Both of these points demand action, so here we go.

We’re revising the perk system at this point in development because the game is now pretty stable in terms of combat design, and we have gathered enough knowledge on what works and what doesn’t. Because balancing the new perks is still going to take quite a bit of time, we want to enable you now to try out everything, discover synergies and new strategies, and to give us feedback while we have ample time still to act on it before the game is done.

What is changed?

While individual perks can still be described as being offense-, defense- or utility-oriented, you no longer have to pick perks from within a specific category to unlock other perks in that category. Instead, all perks are now sorted into rows that require a number of previously invested perk points to be unlocked. For example, while you can pick any perk from the very first row from the very beginning, the second row will unlock once you’ve picked any perk from the first row. It currently looks like this in the game.



This means that every time a character levels up, there’ll be new perks to pick from. And because there’s no longer any restrictions between categories, you now have much more freedom to experiment with character builds that fit your strategy, and to discover synergies between any of the available perks. The total number of perks sits at 51 currently, up from 42 previously, though that number may still change.

What is new?


When looking at how any perks work and what changes may be necessary, we’re looking at a couple of criteria. Ideally, a perk would support a player strategy or play style, it doesn’t invalidate combat mechanics but it may change them, it’s worth picking more than once for the company, and it should require player skill to make the most out of. Clearly, not all of the existing perks fulfill these criteria. Covering all the changes made to rectify this in detail is outside the scope of a single blog article, but we’ll take a look at some of the most important changes concerning fatigue, morale and weapon masteries.



Management of both morale and fatigue should be important combat mechanics. Unfortunately, fatigue easily becomes a non-issue with the repeated use of the ‘Rally the Troops’, which then also tips the scales on the balance of other things, such as heavy vs. light armor. Morale, likewise, is somewhat trivialized due to how the ‘Holdout’ and ‘Inspiring Presence’ perks work.

So what’s changed? ‘Rally the Troops’ still exists, but it now does what most people would expect it to do: it may rally fleeing allies and improve the morale of others. It’s become a tool that the player has to have the skill to make use of at the right moment. ‘Inspiring Presence’ has been cut from the game - you’d only have to pick it once for the whole company to benefit and it conflicts with other game mechanics such as mood on the worldmap. ‘Holdout’ largely invalidated the morale mechanic, so it’s now an entirely new perk that only shares the name and icon.



We’re introducing 12 different weapon masteries that allow you to specialize your characters. These include things like axe mastery, but also dagger mastery. Mastering any weapon reduces the required fatigue for using them and comes with a unique effect depending on the type of mastery. For example, axes have their shield damage increased significantly, whereas with daggers you’ll be able to attack three times in a single turn due to reduced action point cost. Picking weapon specializations for mercenaries not only makes a lot of sense thematically, but it also allows for building more unique characters and specialists, and it helps with fatigue management. As you see with the axe mastery example, we’ve also merged some of the previously very specific perks into the new masteries. Yes, there are masteries for light and heavy armor, too!

There’s also another new perk for fatigue management called ‘Recover’ that unlocks a skill of the same name. A character using it will spend a turn to, well, recover, and will see their fatigue reduced by a large amount. Why is that better than before? Because characters can no longer just keep on attacking with no regard for their fatigue, and using ‘Recover’ isn’t something you just automatically do every turn like with the old ‘Rally the Troops’. If you’re building up large amounts of fatigue, you’ll have to make a choice at some point on whether now is the right time to have that character spend a turn recovering, and if it’s the wrong choice, it’ll cost you.

When will it be done?

All 51 perks are in the game and working, though some are still missing assets. We’ll keep on iterating to balance these and iron out any bugs. We’re also poised to introduce some additional content and improvements to the game with the coming update that we’ll talk about in our next progress report. Once everything is done, we’ll again put it on the beta branch first. You can expect it to arrive later this month - we’ll keep you updated!

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