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Battle Brothers Pre-Release Thread

Norfleet

Moderator
Joined
Jun 3, 2005
Messages
11,316
They generally have a very defensive behavior regardless of your involvement. Their priority is in protecting the caravan and not to chase after enemies or charge into them for greater glory. I'm sorry for your psychological trauma regarding AI allies.
You've never experienced this before? You're tasked, in some way, either as a mandatory or bonus objective of some sorts with keeping various guys alive when they decide to participate in some battle (although you'd rather they didnt). You have a firmly defended position and the enemies are dying by droves as they charge the line. Those guys then promptly rush through the line, block the line of fire, and get themselves killed for no really useful purpose, mostly because they absolutely MUST stab the enemy with their swords, even though there's a perfectly fine line of ranged units with sufficient stopping power and range to force the enemy to come to us and then mow them down dead in the field before they can.
 

Agesilaus

Antiquity Studio
Patron
Developer
Joined
Aug 24, 2013
Messages
4,261
Grab the Codex by the pussy Codex USB, 2014 Steve gets a Kidney but I don't even get a tag.
LP 3 was great, sad to see the mercenary company suffer so badly. Hope LP 4 will be out today, and that it won't be the final episode. Better yet, I hope the game is released on early access so that I can start throwing money at it!
 

rapsdjff

Overhype Studios
Developer
Joined
Jan 31, 2014
Messages
330
The new Let's Play episode is out. The visual glitches present in the video are actually the result of savegame incompatibility with the current build, not bugs per se, since we added new layers to the characters to allow for tattoos and such. So that's one more reason to end this series and start fresh.

Lets-Play-Battle-Brothers-Episode-4-Pre-EA-Version-Final-Episode-YouTube.png

Dev Blog #39: Progress Update – Background and Trait Icons, Escorting Caravans, Final Let’s Play Episode


Over the last week we’ve been focusing on filling up missing content, playtesting and balancing the game. Most changes and additions are rather small by themselves but the game as a whole is making big progress as a whole. Furthermore we have the fourth and final Let’s Play episode of our little series for you!

Background and Trait Icons
Backgrounds and traits have been in the game for quite a while using placeholder icons. We just now started replacing all those placeholders with actual icons.



On the image above you can see the first batch of icons for the character backgrounds. Among them you can find ‘the farmhand’, ‘the fisherman’, ‘the lumberjack’, ‘the disowned noble’ and many more. As a quick reminder, character backgrounds are sort of ‘professions’ of the characters that you can hire and tell you what they have been doing in their life before becoming a mercenary. These backgrounds can have positive and negative effects on the character stats and are therefore important when deciding who to hire. Adding these is not really essential for gameplay but it does add a lot of atmosphere and also makes deciding which recruit to hire a bit easier.



Here are some trait icons to give you an idea on how they’ll look like. You can find the icons for ‘eagle-eyed’, ‘bright’, ‘bleeder’ and many more. Traits are randomly assigned to characters depending on their backgrounds and give small changes to character stats, and add a lot of flavor and personality to the characters you are hiring. They make them just that more individual and special.

Bridges and Fords
No more crossing rivers on magical roads! From now on we have decent wooden bridges to cross rivers on dry feet as long as you stick to a road. Out in the wild you will find a ford across a river from time to time where you can cross it.



Just like the icons these are not essential for gameplay but they do add a bit to the look and feel of the game and are another step towards our Early Access launch. As the layout of roads and rivers is procedurally generated, there are countless assets required for them. Completing all the possible directions and combinations for these elements was a straining task.

Caravans in Tactical Combat
Trading caravans now show up on tactical combat maps. Thus if a caravan gets ambushed, you can now actually rush to its aid (and save that poor donkey from getting slain!). These assets also allow us to implement a new ‘escort caravan’ contract where you have to ensure the save arrival of a caravan, which adds a new tactical dimension to battles as you’re defending an objective.



Caravans aren’t entirely helpless on their own. In combat, they are protected by Caravan Hands and, if they’re large enough, Caravan Guards, that will take defensive position around the carts and do their best to defend them. They’re not that great at fighting, and their morale can be broken, but they can hold their own against easier opponents and may buy you some time. Also, their survival isn’t essential – making sure the carts arrive is the important thing. In order to not make you go mad, we’ve also improved the defensive AI, so that Caravan Guards can position themselves in a way that intercepts arrows and bolts from hitting the donkey. They’ll also use their shields to knock attackers away from them. Other opponents can make use of that improvement as well, of course – Necromancers, too, are now a bit better protected by their undead minions.

Let’s Play Episode 4
Here is the final episode of our short Let’s Play series. Although there is still a lot left to discover and more adventures to seek out, we have to make this the last episode for now. There have been a lot of changes on the game since we started the series, and many can not be shown in the videos as they would require the start of a new campaign. Also, it’s getting difficult to keep the savegame compatible with our current build. However, there is a good chance we’ll start a new series not long from now which will show you more and different things about the game!

Don’t forget to comment on the video and subscribe to our Youtube channel.

 

Norfleet

Moderator
Joined
Jun 3, 2005
Messages
11,316
NIce, I see you've made some amount of effort for those of us who have trauma from terribad ally AI.
 

rapsdjff

Overhype Studios
Developer
Joined
Jan 31, 2014
Messages
330
NIce, I see you've made some amount of effort for those of us who have trauma from terribad ally AI.
Of course. We're well aware that this game can only work if the AI holds up and provides an actual challenge, and we wouldn't be satisfied with an AI that can merely move its units in to attack. Rather, we want one that actually feels intelligent and can pull off some tricks, one that feels different for different types of opponents. Many of those opponents have access to the same skills the player has and so the player can make a good judgement on how well the AI makes use of them. Creating the AI is a rather time consuming task, and even though I've already invested a lot of time into it, I'm sure it can still be improved a lot. It's an important issue for me personally that the game has an actual good AI, however, and I hope to be able to improve it further all the way until final release and possibly beyond.
 

rapsdjff

Overhype Studios
Developer
Joined
Jan 31, 2014
Messages
330
Overhauled the Zombie visuals to make use of existing human assets for a lot more variety. I believe Zombies were our very first enemy in the game, so they did begin to look kinda off compared to the more detailed later ones.

new_zombies.jpg
 

Alienman

Retro-Fascist
Patron
Joined
Sep 10, 2014
Messages
14,705
Location
Mars
Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy Codex Year of the Donut Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 Steve gets a Kidney but I don't even get a tag.
Even in death the rasta lives!

I mean it, when I analyze the stench -
To me it makes a lot of sense:

How the dreadlock rasta was the zombie soldier,
And he was taken from life, brought to death,
Fighting on arrival, fighting for survival.

Said he was a zombie soldier, dreadlock rasta -
Zombie soldier in the heart of the living.
 

rapsdjff

Overhype Studios
Developer
Joined
Jan 31, 2014
Messages
330
:lol:

Current estimation is a release by the end of next month. It's mainly just UI stuff that's missing and has messed up our schedule a bit.
 

Agesilaus

Antiquity Studio
Patron
Developer
Joined
Aug 24, 2013
Messages
4,261
Grab the Codex by the pussy Codex USB, 2014 Steve gets a Kidney but I don't even get a tag.
Sooner the better, it looks like it's already fit for early access, judging by the let's play videos.
 

Jack Dandy

Arcane
Joined
Feb 10, 2013
Messages
3,039
Location
Israel
Divinity: Original Sin 2
The battle demo is already fun, no doubt there.

What will the early access version include?
 

rapsdjff

Overhype Studios
Developer
Joined
Jan 31, 2014
Messages
330
The battle demo is already fun, no doubt there.

What will the early access version include?
Sorry for taking so long to respond. The Let's Play videos gave a decent overview of what the game will include and play like at Early Access launch. The demo was released in April last year, and the game has evolved into much more than just preset combat scenarios since, although they're still included and have been updated with new equipment we added.

We really don't want to blow this and so we're taking a bit of extra time for polishing, bugfixing and adding things here and there. Although the EA will still be somewhat light on content initially and more sandboxy than the eventual finished game, we want it to be very much at a playable, fun and stable state. We'll be able to tell you what exactly will be included at launch soon. Also, we'll do another Let's Play series shortly before launch to give you an impression of what has changed since and to help you in deciding whether the game is worth buying for you at this point.
 

Jack Dandy

Arcane
Joined
Feb 10, 2013
Messages
3,039
Location
Israel
Divinity: Original Sin 2
I'll most probably buy just to support you guys- since I can see it will end up great, and I got enough games on my plate :)
 

crufty

Arcane
Joined
Jun 29, 2004
Messages
6,383
Location
Glassworks
definitely take your time, just excited for the project as it looks smart & fun
 

rapsdjff

Overhype Studios
Developer
Joined
Jan 31, 2014
Messages
330
Progress!

Dev Blog #40: Progress Update – Campaign Customization, Retreating and Desertion, Men-at-Arms, Zombie Overhaul

As always we’ve added a bouqet of new features and content over the past two weeks. This time we have a new start campaign screen with difficulty and banner selection, more in-game mechanics with the ability to order retreat from combat, and mercenaries deserting you if you run out of money and/or food. And that’s not all. Let’s go into the details.

Campaign Customization
When starting a new campaign you’re now able to name your mercenary company, select a banner and choose a difficulty level. We believe it is important to allow you to brand your very own mercenary company here as you want to. The name you enter will be referred to in a lot of texts in the game (such as in contract offers and events) and the banner will be shown all the time on the worldmap.



You may remember from a previous update that we want to provide the ability for creating custom banners by choosing shapes, colors and emblems. It’s not off the table but we decided to postpone this feature until later and concentrate instead on more significant things as we get the game ready for launch. For the time being you have 22 different premade banners to choose from.

One major point of feedback we took away from playtesting so far was how different testers rated the difficulty of the game and importantly also how different they felt about that challenge. Instead of streamlining the game into a one-size-fits-all, we’ve now added three difficulty levels. Those levels do not affect the AI and do not affect how strong enemy types are. Instead, they focus entirely on the economic aspect of things. Depending on difficulty, you’ll have different starting funds, availability and prices of equipment as well as recruits. The exact differences between the difficulty levels are shown via tooltips here in order to help you decide what level best fits your preference.

Retreating from Combat
With an open world map that doesn’t scale to the player’s strength it’s quite possible to end up in a battle that can’t be won. Not every battle should need to be fought to the death, however, and so we added the option of retreating from tactical combat. It’s better to flee and fight another day than to die pointlessly now, as the saying goes, and this should provide a good in-game alternative to just reloading an older savegame.

To retreat from battle, you’re best advised to first move all your Battle Brothers to the very edges of the map. If you give the order to retreat, anyone on the edges will make it out alive and join up with you again on the worldmap. However, anyone not on the edges is going to be left behind and is likely going to die. Of course, how you start battle – whether surrounded by enemies or in formation with all your opponents in front of you – can have a big impact on whether you can make it to the edges in one piece. Likewise, it’s not hard to escape from slowly shambling zombies, but it can be difficult to escape from more mobile opponents, such as vampires that can transform into a flock of bats to cut you off. Sometimes it might be necessary even to sacrifice some of your men in order to save the others. Thanks to the simulated nature of the worldmap, killing even a few opponents and then retreating will still have a real impact on the world and means that your opponent’s faction is now missing some men for future engagements.

Desertion
Mercenaries in your ranks expect two things for risking their lives on a regular basis – daily payment in silver crowns and food. If you fail to pay or feed them, they will eventually desert you. On hard difficulty they also take their equipment with them, but they’re nice enough to dump it into the stash for now on easy and normal difficulty before leaving you. If you run out of men completely, you’ll lose the game.



Luckily, your men won’t desert you the instant that you’ve spend the last of your crowns. A check is performed daily based on their bravery and a multitude of other factors. If you have an active contract going, people are a bit less eager to leave you, since there’s payment on the horizon. If they have the ‘Loyal’ trait they’ll generally stick a bit longer with you, whereas if they have the ‘Disloyal’ trait they’ll be quick to leave you. If you run out of money, characters with the ‘Greedy’ trait will take this especially serious, whereas running out of food, while certainly not a good thing, isn’t that serious for characters with the ‘Spartan’ trait who consume less food to begin with. As a general rule you really shouldn’t run out of either money or food.

Men-at-Arms
We’ve finished the final faction allied to the player for our Early Access release: the Men-at-Arms. They’ve been active on the worldmap for a while now, chasing bandits back into the forests and duking it out with orc raiders, but now they’re also able to fight alongside the player in tactical combat. Those usually well-trained and well-equipped professional soldiers are garrisoned in watchtowers and strongholds across the land and send out patrols to guard roads, villages and cities from raids and marauding beasts. You’re not the only one out there getting work done!



The Footman is the standard infantry type and makes up the bulk of most units. They are relatively young men conscripted into service, decently trained and equipped but lacking in actual combat experience. They wear light weapons and armor, usually gambesons, and wooden round shields.

The Arbalester, like the Footman, is a young man conscripted into service but trained in the use of the crossbow as opposed to melee weaponry. A relatively new weapon that requires less training than bows to use effectively, the crossbow makes Arbalesters dangerous opponents to face at range, even though the time needed to reload their weapon can leave them vulnerable.

The Footman Veteran started out as a regular Footman but has since become a professional soldier with better equipment subsidized by his lordship. They wear basic chainmails, kettle hats, kite shields and decent weaponry, sometimes even heavy two-handed weapons.

The Sergeant is an older and well-experienced man in command of smaller units of Men-at-Arms. He’s skilled as much in the use of weapons as he is in small scale tactics. In true movie fashion, the Sergeant often foregos wearing a helmet, prefering instead to be able to shout orders all across the battlefield. In gameplay terms, his presence raises the bravery of other Men-at-Arms quite a bit, boosting their confidence and making them less likely to flee. Should he fall, however, this can easily result in a ripple effect of morale plummeting.

The Knight is the most powerful combatant among the Men-at-Arms and usually in command of large units. Knights belong to the nobility of the land and always have a unique name. They boast the most expensive equipment available and sport the banner of their house on their shield in combat. Lifelong training at a quality only available to nobility and the attendance of tourneys have helped him hone his combat skills a great deal. A knight can usually take on several lesser opponents at once and still come out victorious.

Zombie Overhaul
Zombies were the very first opponents that made it into the game back at the end of 2013 when we were still prototyping the tactical combat. A lot has happened since – for one thing, we overhauled how Battle Brothers look and added human opponents with a lot of visual variety. Those old zombies were beginning to look quite a bit out of place.



To address this, we’ve overhauled the zombie visuals to make use of the existing human assets with zombified colors and additional layers of skin missing, blood and zombie mouths. The result is a cool new look on par with everything else, a lot of variety and some gameplay improvements as well. See that zombie with the chainmail? It’s a real chainmail now, meaning that zombie can take a beating but you’ll also be able to loot that armor after combat, even though it’s damaged already and may need some repairs (and a good disinfection) before wearing it.
 
Weasel
Joined
Dec 14, 2012
Messages
1,865,661
Really impressed with the rate of progress, this just looks better and better :salute:
 

Jack Dandy

Arcane
Joined
Feb 10, 2013
Messages
3,039
Location
Israel
Divinity: Original Sin 2
Aweeeesome!

Are these all gonna be GoT-style zombies that can use weapons, or will we also get classic-styled ones who just shamble around and try to bite you?
Needs more zombie mouths, btw
 

rapsdjff

Overhype Studios
Developer
Joined
Jan 31, 2014
Messages
330
They often have weapons of some kind but can only use the basic attack, never the special skill (like riposte for the sword). Sometimes you'll find some without weapons who'll just try to bite you, like the two in the top of the image above.
 

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