dev frame – Strategic Map When
The team has switched the main priority towards the Strategic Map feature, as it’s been one of the most requested additions by the community. Read some more information about it in the dev frame and a detailed explanation of a new game mode, made specifically for capturing fiefs!
Strategic Map is one of the biggest parts of the game, which provides a lot of meaning to battles by allowing players to fight each other for control over territories, capturing fiefs, and dealing with in-depth diplomacy. The very first version of the feature will be a rather simplistic implementation of a much larger idea, providing persistent war mechanics like conquest of your enemy’s land, and introducing much more advanced and interesting things with later updates.
Features like player-driven economy, fighting over resources, and many more are currently being considered, but there are likely countless ideas more that the community will come up with and we will decide to implement in the game, as it’s been done with some of the features in the past.
If you have interesting suggestions, please share them with us! Even though we’re focusing on the first release of the feature at the moment, and probably won’t be able to fit any more than we planned within our schedule, we are still very much interested in your opinions, at this stage as well.
If you have any questions about the Strategic Map itself or anything related to it, feel free to ask them on our Discord or forums! We’ll be happy to answer them, but keep in mind that features that are not expected to be released very soon might change their concepts later in the future when more community feedback is gathered, and influence of other features, integrated with the map, starts affecting it.
In addition to the Strategic Map itself, we are also developing a new game mode that will be used instead of the Conquest mode when players attempt to capture a fief. It will have some similarities like spawning on specific flags and capturing them, but a number of additions and major changes makes the mode very unique.
We expect the first version of the Strategic Map to be available in our nightly testing version within two months from now, and will push it to the official live version as soon as all major bugs are discovered and fixed. Testing process of the feature will be as important as its development, and we will appreciate all the help with this task!
In case you’ve never been interested in testing the game until now, here’s a step-by-step guide on how to activate a nightly version.
- Go to your Steam Library and right-click Of Kings And Men.
- Select Properties and open Betas tab.
- Enter the code: ofkingsandmennightly
- Click Check Code and select nightly instead of None.
You’ll never see them again
A nice surprise from Fin has been posted yesterday on his channel! While the new main theme of the game, which is played in the main menu, resembles the song used in the past, the lyrics version has never been revealed before. A couple of players have already noticed a change in the nightly first time they launched it, but here’s a full song for all of you to enjoy!
Protec and Attac
As mentioned in the Strategic Map’s announcement above, we’re also developing a new battle mode, which will be used when a player attacks a village or a castle. The mode will be built around one side attacking a fief and the other defending it from invaders, creating interesting encounters between the two by giving a lot of tactical freedom to players. While defenders will obviously be starting with the whole map owned and protected by them, and attackers will only have their siege camp to launch attacks from, the end result of the battles will likely be different almost every time.
The basics are quite simple. Attacking side has to capture objectives on the map, and defending side has to protect them. There are multiple mechanics on top of that to create as interesting situations as possible, but it all comes down to the strongest side being victorious. Whether simply by numbers, combat experience of the fighters, or tactical superiority.
The map above is a visual representation of how objectives might be placed on the new game mode. Big red and blue crests are the bases of attackers and defenders respectively. Defenders are initially allowed to spawn on any objective they choose, preferably the closest one to the biggest fight, and attackers spawn only on objectives they successfully capture.
While attackers are free to choose any objective to attack and capture, defenders will be able to recapture it back if they push hard enough and beat the enemy’s forces in the area, unless captured objectives are adjacent to each other and can form a line from the main base of the attacking forces. As an example, dashed lines represent a path that attacking troops are following, blue shields represent objectives held by fief’s defenders, and yellow ones are objectives captured by attackers.
In this particular situation, defenders can’t recapture objectives B, D, and G, since they form a line from the base of the invaders. While it’s much easier to progress by capturing only adjacent objectives, there are many tactical plans that could be used by battle commanders to gain advantage on the battlefield.
For example, half of the troops on the attacking side could attempt to capture objective A, and the other half could go around and take objective E while it’s not being defended. It would weaken the forces of the defenders, making them either split into groups or accept a loss of one of the objectives. If two of those objectives were captured, attackers would be able to easy capture objective D, since they would have an option to attack from two sides. You, as a commander, would have to be very careful when performing such actions though. Defenders could recapture objective E and make you fall back all the way to your base!
There are two win conditions for each side. Defenders have a little less options for maneuver, since they have to play very defensively. Their objective is to defend the fief until the time runs out and attackers give up or to kill all the enemy troops. For attackers it’s more complex, since in addition to killing all the troops, they can also capture the main base of the defenders.
There is a requirement though, so it’s not as easy as sending a swift soldier to capture a base while defending troops are distracted. In order to capture a base, a line of other captured objectives has to be made. The example above shows exactly the situation when attackers can start capturing the enemy’s main base, since they hold all the objectives on its way.
Those are not all mechanics in the game mode of course. For example, capturing each objective gives more time to the attackers, while they initially start with a relatively low counter, so going back and capturing objectives that were left uncontested might be a very useful tactic in situations when there isn’t enough time to continue with your conquest.
Another interesting thing is players on the defending side having longer respawn times based on a number of captured objectives adjacent to their base. It could sound complicated, but is very easy in reality. There are three objectives adjacent to the base on the map above, so capturing each will make defenders spawning less frequent. Attackers might go for all of them to make capturing a base much easier, so you have to always have at least some forces defending those objectives!
There are plenty of other ideas we are discussing, including community suggestions, but we’ll be focusing on the base of the mode and gathering more feedback before we start expanding on it. Some of the things we currently consider are a minimap to make it very clear which side owns which objectives and allow for easier commanding, supply crates that can be destroyed to quickly deplete the enemy of their forces, and so on.
If you have interesting ideas about the mode or would like to ask some questions about the implementation, please use our forums or official Discord channel!
While the Strategic Map is now the main priority of the team, the lobby had to be slightly delayed, but it doesn’t mean that there is no active work being done to get closer to its release. Artists are currently working on creating a multitude of assets such as buildings, merchant and war tents, castle walls, towers, gatehouses, and many more.
The game’s artistic style has been shifting towards a more dark and grim feel to make it look like a destructive war has been going on for a long time. It doesn’t change for the lobby either. Both the fortress and the village beside it look sinister and as if people there are living in constant fear for invading forces. The enemy may come any day!
There are some of the Work In Progress assets in the dev frame that will be used to create the new lobby map! Go ahead and ask more about what they are and where they will be used if you’re interested!
Unfortunately, the new lobby is likely not going to make it into the next live release, which will have a new Raid Mode ready. Both coders and artists are quite busy with the Strategic Map to make sure it can be introduced as soon as possible, but the team will most likely be including the map itself and all the new features related to it in the update after the next one.
Expect more sneak peeks of the assets and the map itself later in the future, and we’ll make sure to notify you when it becomes available on our nightly testing server!