This week’s dev frame has a little different format than usually. The Strategic Map feature is progressing nicely, and internal tests will be starting shortly, followed by public nightly tests that will be available for everyone to access.
There migh also be some in-game screenshots shared pretty soon, so keep an eye on our Discord server and later posts on the website.
There’s been quite a lot of questions about the Strategic Map and some specific features and mechanics related to it, so check the dev frame for many answers to the most frequent and interesting questions!
Raid Mode Trailer
The next live update is coming next week and the Raid Mode is the main part of it! We’ve been testing it for quite a while, since it’s a pretty big change and most of the code will eventually be used in the Strategic Map, so it has to be in the best shape possible for the patch. If you’ve been following our progress with the new mode, you already know how to play it and what it adds to the game.
The video shows basics of the Raid Mode. How to gain more troops by playing other modes and getting loot chests, organizing raids via special menu and have other players sign up for your side to help fight in a battle, and finally fighting over a settlement against its defenders.
Thanks everyone who’s been helping us by testing and providing feedback on nightly server! The footage of the video is from the Friday’s battle, so double thanks to those who managed to come to the test!
Strategic Map Questions
- How big will the map be?
- This questions has been answered in one of the previous dev frames already, but some players would still like to know more about it. Basically, the map is completely generated automatically, including terrain and fiefs placed on it. The first time the Strategic Map starts and one clan joins, it will be a rather small area available for them to conquer, but each new clan joining the mode will force the map to get bigger, technically resulting in an infinite map.
It will allow to make the mode interesting for every region at any time, no matter how many players there are. Less populated regions won’t have to move around for days to find each other, while more populated ones will always have enough territory to feud about.
- How do new clans start on the map?
- Once your clan gathers some members to join the mode, a new area will unlock on the map, populated with neutral fiefs owned by no clan. A stronghold will also be placed in that area, which will automatically become your clan’s capital. Some of the fiefs in the area will be closer to your stronghold than the others, which are currently called inner fiefs, and in order to continue your conquest on the map, you will first have to capture those as a kind of a testing ground for your clan mates.
We decided to start the mode with a more player-friendly environment, allowing both regular players and hardcore ones to start without a need to read 50 pages of user manual about how not to lose within the first week. We will then gather all the feedback about the mechanics, and will tweak them accordingly, in order to achieve both easy to get into but interesting game mode.
- How will movement work on the map?
- The whole map is split into hexagonal tiles, allowing movement in six directions from your starting point. Since the movement on the map will be quite slow compared to games that have defined sessions (like a round in Age of Empires for example), having a very straightforward visual representation of where a fief or an army is located on the map allows for a better understanding of their placement and how to get to your chosen place.
While field battle won’t be introduced in the very first version of the mode, as the team is focusing on the territory conquest mechanics at the moment, in order to move to a desired fief, all you’ll have to do is to click on it and select your action (attack, of course, go get it!)
- Will the mode be continuous or split into seasons?
- In order to keep things fresh on the map concerning territory control and diplomacy, the mode will be split into seasons, making it restart in a set period of time. The final time frame for a season hasn’t been decided on yet, but will likely be between three to six months.
Mode restarts will also be great opportunities for the team to bring some interesting changes related to the map itself like tweaking fief placement rules or introducing new terrain features, so the map’s integrity doesn’t suffer if those changes are added in the middle of a game.
- Will the Strategic Map replace any other modes?
- While we want the Strategic Map to be the main part of the game once released, bringing clan warfare and other cool features with it, it will still be an addition to other growing sides of Of Kings And Men, instead of replacing already existing mechanics.
There will be one feature that gets removed once the mode is live, which is the Raid Mode, but it was planned initially to only be an intermediate mode before the full Strategic Map is released. The rest of the game and all other expected additions like the new lobby or wilderness will remain the same and continue to be improved upon.
- Are there reasons not to join the biggest clans?
- Short answer – yes. Bigger clans will undoubtedly require more from their members when it comes to combat training and team playing than smaller and more casual ones (unless there is a clan of elite sword masters that can win battles against armies with just three of them). It might be interesting for some more devoted players to be a part of a very organized and hardcore clans, but make sure you’re up for the task first.
The biggest reason to try and find a place in smaller clans though is a per-member upkeep. Basically, every clan member has to pay an upkeep tax for being an honorable member of a clan, which then goes for maintenance of your shared capital stronghold. With more members being a part of the same clan and using a stronghold as their base of operation, the more each of them has to pay to keep it in a good shape. Neglect to pay an upkeep might even lead to your capital falling apart!
- Can players without a clan participate in the mode?
- Yes, but not as fully as clan members. If you decide not to be a part of any clan, you’re still free to sign up for any battle you like, both attacking and defending sides, gaining loot if your team wins. You cannot own fiefs on the map alone though, so you’re limited to being a mercenary in other wars.
We do want to include more mechanics for “lone wolves” in the future, so let us know what you think about it!
- Who controls what a clan does on the map?
- Some players seem to be thinking that a clan will function a single entity on the map, meaning that either a clan leader or clan member collectively will decide what will a clan do. While it might be true for a global clan’s strategy, depending on its hierarchy and rules, each player is his own ruler on the map.Clan members will each have their own armies and will be able to decide on their own what to do with them.
There will be no restrictions for single clan members when deciding how to use their armies, but keep in mind that only by working together as a clan you will be able to conquer enemy territories! Also, remember that clan leader will always be able to kick you from the clan if you go against his command.
- What happens when a clan becomes inactive?
- There will be an algorithm in the game, which will decide if a clan is active or not. It will be quite forgiving, so only completely inactive clans will be affected by it, but it should be effective when it comes to a territory such clan might own.
When the game decided that a clan is not active anymore, but it still has fiefs on the map, they automatically become neutral fiefs, like ruins of the old civilization, now inhabited by new settlers. Everyone will then be able to capture those fiefs and become their rightful owner.
- How will the map be accessible from the game?
- The Strategic Map will be accessible primarily from the barracks like any other mode. It’s the quickest option if you just started the game and want to check on things that happened in your absence. Another possibility, a much more immersive one, is to go to the War Table in the new lobby, which location will be visible when you spawn. Looking at it will reveal the map, and going back will put you in the lobby again.
- Will there be any bots in the mode?
- No, the Strategic Map is planned to be a fully player-driven game mode. While there will be battles against neutral fiefs that don’t have clans as their owners, those battles will still be fought against players defending them, similarly to how the Raid Mode function at the moment.
It might not be obvious why would anyone want to fight to defend a neutral fief when it’s not owned by you or your allies, but it’s actually a very good idea if you want to hurt some other clan, since you’ll be able to kill their troops without having an actual war.
- Is economy planned for the mode?
- Yes, even though the Strategic Map is a deeply war-based mode, economy will play a huge role in it in the future. We would love to gather your ideas and suggestions about how you would like to see it implemented and what should be affected by economical power of each clan.
For example, each fief could have a special resource provided by it, so clans that lack that specific resource would have a very legitimate reason to declare a war in order to control that fief, which would later allow them to become even more powerful.
- Will there be any customization or upgrades involved?
- Not from the beginning, but yes. While there is already a form of personal customization like having your own equipment, unique character, and a visible clan heraldry, we would also like to see other mechanics like upgrading your fiefs to more easily withstand against enemy’s attacks. It all will most certainly require a whole new economy system first though, which is the main reason it’s not being added in the first version.
- What type of fiefs will there be?
- In the first version of the mode, there will be three different types on the map, but there is a pretty good chance that we’ll increase that number in the future, possibly after introduction of economy. Village is obviously the smallest type, and also the easiest to capture. Castle is a much more fortified and easy to defend fief, so it would make sense to try to capture more castles around a territory to get more control over it. The last type is a Stronghold, which is a capital of each clan, and the most fortified fief in the mode.
- Will there be diplomacy in the mode?
- We decided against a UI-based diplomacy, since even the least structured system would involve some level of limitation for clans. Instead, diplomacy can be managed directly between players, either publicly or privately. For example, if a group of smaller clans would like to create an alliance to attack a bigger clan, they would need to agree on it by discussing the matter, instead of simply clicking a button to ally in the game.
The Strategic Map will be a much more social environment than other game modes in the game, encouraging interesting diplomatic relationships between clans and providing diverse experiences all the time.