Monthly Archives: April 2019

Development Log 6 – the Tactician and the Sage

Where the Mercenary and Healer are fairly standard RPG skill sets and fill obvious roles, the Tactician and the Sage jobs are a bit more unique. They both focus on more indirect skills and are meant to provide secondary support – either as extra party members or a second or third job. That’s not to say you can’t have them as main party members but that’s probably for more advanced players or those looking for a challenge.

The Tactician learns skills that improve their teammates, helping them act better in combat and in the world. Let’s look at their skills:

  • Rally – An action that cause a single ally’s readiness meter to charge, letting them act sooner
  • Leadership – An aura that improves the party’s effectiveness in battle, increasing everyone’s reaction time
  • Tactical Readiness or Inspiring Speech – An upgrade to Rally so it either affects the Hero too (reducing their recovery) or an upgrade to Rally the make the target act immediately
  • Offensive Tactics or Defensive Tactics – An upgrade to the Leadership aura that give either offensive or defensive bonuses in addition to improved reaction time
  • Logistics – A passive skill that increases movement on the world map
  • Charge! – An action that makes every party member make an melee attack at the same time

You can see the focus isn’t so much on direct damage or healing as much as the Tactician focuses on improving the effectiveness of other party members. These skills make a good addition to any team but still give the Tactician some nice direct actions especially when they learn Charge!

The Sage learns skills that help their teammates learn, but can also learn to use skills by studying monsters. Now let’s look at the Sage’s skills:

  • Research Target – This action is a bit different, the Sage can use this skill and has a chance to learn a monster’s ability. However they can only learn one ability at a time (and can choose to Research another monster to learn a new skill). The skill learned will depend on the monster that was researched.
  • Teacher or Scholar – Choice between the boosting party EXP with the Teacher skill or a boost to the Sage’s EXP rate with the Scholar skill.
  • Disciplined or Enlightened – A one time boost to INT or WIL
  • Monster Biology – Passive skill that makes learning monster weaknesses easier (reduces the number of monsters defeated to learn their stats)
  • Examine Target – Same as Research Target, this skill provides another potential monster skill slot.
  • Knowledge is Power – An Aura that provides a boost to party stats

The Sage’s skills are even less direct than the Tactician’s skills, they help your heroes gain levels faster or let your adapt by learning monster skills. Monster skills are interesting but possibly not immediately useful. If you’re fighting a Fire Elemental you’d be able to learn fire based skills from them, however those skill won’t be very useful against a fire-based enemy. This makes the Sage’s skill more of a long-term investment than other jobs we’ve looked at so far.

These last two update have meant to give just a taste of variety that the new jobs system can add to Heroes of a Broken Land 2. There are dozens of other jobs planned – many of which are sill somewhat undefined. My goal is to ensure that each different jobs bring a unique set of hero skills. More importantly they should each bring a unique approach to tactics and each job should expand on player options while ensuring that no single job is so important that each hero ends up selecting it.

Hopefully a look at the Mercenary, Healer, Tactician and Sage jobs gives a sense of the variety that I hope to achieve with HOBL2’s job system. These are only 4 of the 30+ planned jobs available in the full game. The number of combinations of different jobs should really increase hero variety and help make for interesting choices when building parties.

Development Log 5 – Hero Skills

I’m current working on the save game system, which is mostly making sure you can load and save your game properly. That’s pretty boring to blog about so I thought I’d discuss the new skill system in Heroes of a Broken Land 2 instead.

Heroes will no longer have a single class, instead they will have multiple “jobs”. A job is essentially a set of specialized skills that a hero will unlock as they gain levels. You could also think of this as a multi-class system. Each job represents a fairly narrow progression path, with a few opportunities to specialize and customize as the hero progresses. I gave some reasons for this change in a previous devlog.

We’ll look at two of the most basic jobs in HOBL2: the Mercenary and the Healer. These are two of the most generic jobs in the game so far, most other jobs are more specialized. These roles are so common in RPGs I think they’re make a good introduction to the Jobs system in HOBL2. Note: Skills and jobs aren’t finalized yet, and I expect a lot of changes once play-testing and early access begins, so take the details here with a grain of salt.

The Mercenary’s skill tree looks like this:

  1. Strike – Attack twice with your equipped weapon.
  2. Offensive Tactics or Defensive Tactics – passive boosts to the Hero’s Attack or Defense stats.
  3. Critical Strike or Quick Strike – passive boosts to the Strike skill, either increasing critical damage rate or reducing recovery time when the Strike skill is used.
  4. Weapon Training or Armour Training – passive skills that reduce the requirements to equip weapons and armour.
  5. Veteran Aura – aura’s are passive boosts that affect a group, in this case a Veteran Mercenary provides a small boost to their allies combat stats.
  6. Whirlwind – Melee attack that targets all enemies for multiple attacks.

The Mercenary shows a basic pattern that all jobs will follow: Unique actions such as Strike and Whirlwind, choices between skills at certain levels like choosing between Weapon or Armour training and skills that modify the behaviour of existing skills such as the Critical/Quick strike skills

Let’s look at the Healer’s current skill tree:

  1. Heal – Restore health to a ally
  2. Shield – Increase the defense of an ally for a time
  3. Improved Heal or Mass Heal – Skill that modifies Heal to restore more health or heal the entire party for a lesser amount
  4. Defensive Aura – Passive aura that increases the defense of your party
  5. Reinforced Shield or Mass Shield – Skill that modifies Shield to increase defense more or affect the entire party for a lesser amount
  6. Resurrect – Bring a Hero back to life

Again you can see the similar pattern to the Mercenary – unique action skills like heal, specialization with choosing Improved Heal vs. Mass Heal, and more powerful skills at higher levels. This forced specialization is meant to enforce the need to multiple heroes and to build parties to deal with specific encounters and dungeons.

In the next installment we’ll look at two more interesting jobs the Tactician and the Sage.