June 2 Meet The Combatants Jun 2, 2015 13:58:17 GMT -8
Post by Chrissy The Blesser on Jun 2, 2015 13:58:17 GMT -8
MEET THE COMBATANTS
Last week, we talked about our development philosophy and how we intend to tackle the combat milestone (i.e. the iterative process and “Finding the Fun”. If you missed it, you should check it out so that you will understand the method behind our madness!)
As we mentioned, the first key tenet of that approach is: Do Less, But Do It Better. This idea applies not just to the environment, but to the design and testing of archetypes, as well.
We have a big chart that describes the unique role of each archetype: In which situation(s) is this character supposed to be strong, and (by inference) in which situation(s) will they be weak? Customization will vary this, of course, but we need a baseline for each character.
So, we wanted to begin with a small number of combatants. Three sounded like a good place to start, but which three? Ideally, ones that would allow us to test elements fundamental to the combat experience and that will teach us lessons we could then use when creating the other archetypes. On top of that, there are other testing and art creation considerations, as well — stuff like, "We should include one female, one male, and one character with odd movement to test the boundaries of our animation system and style," “What is the current status of the art and animation pipeline of each archetype?” and “What do we not know yet that would increase the risk of doing work now that we might have to change later?”
Suffice to say, a lot of factors went into this decision, but eventually we settled on three. They are:
- The Confessor (human/female)
- The Knight (human/male)
- The Legionnaire (centaur/male)
Will we have more archetypes in this initial test? We could, perhaps... but should we? Again, remember the goal: limit the number of variables to the minimum that you need in order to test what you need to test and to learn what you need to learn. (In other words: Do less, but do it better!)
This tenet also applies to the feature set. We'll be concentrating on the basics of combat (hitting opponents, movement speeds, powers, physics interactions) and holding off for now on things like environment destruction, caravans, siege mechanics, etc. This doesn't mean that we aren't moving forward on that stuff in the background — it just means that we won’t add it to the testing cycle until after we’ve learned what we need to about core combat**.
In the near future, we'll be drilling down into each combatant to give you more detail on the design: art style, lore, powers and skills. In the meantime, here's a quick summary of each one and why we selected them:
...is our first damage-dealing caster. The confessor is all about firepower — both figuratively and literally. Thematically, she fits the "glass cannon" role, and is capable of dealing massive amounts of damage from a (preferably safe) distance. In addition to direct damage, she has a number of tricks and combos that revolve around either damaging her opponent directly, burning them over time, building up "sin" in her opponent (and subsequently “absolving” it through fire), or scorching the earth in a hail of Holy Fire.
...is our first heavily armored tank. The knight is a heavily defensive fighter; capable of dealing a lot of damage and absorbing a hell of a lot more. Rather than get out of the way when a big hit or fireball is coming, he plants his feet, throws his shield up and takes it on the chin. The knight's powers and combos typically center on blocking, shield slams, and movement control – but what he gives up in mobility, he makes up for in affecting the mobility of others. Often by killing them.
...is our battle commander — making him our first support class. His support powers are geared towards close combat, requiring him to be in the thick of battle to make the best use of them. He can rally his team with increased combat capabilities while using his mighty polearm to lay waste to any enemy foolish enough to stand in his path. His centaur body makes him an interesting mix: He has increased mobility (in both powers and movement speed) that seem at odds with his increased mass (powering his ability to charge, and making it very hard for other players to move him around the board with their physics-based powers).
That's it for today! Hope you enjoyed this combat update — and stay tuned for more information about our first three combatants (and the combat milestone in general) in the weeks to come!
** That said, there are a host of "wrapper systems" that WILL be included, because they are needed to facilitate the test. Stuff like, "I need to be able to login to the game," and "I need to select which archetype to play." There is enough meat here to warrant a future update, so we’ll talk about that later!