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.