Live release is getting ready to be released with a battle scheduler, an updated lobby map, combat improvements, and much more! Read about some of the progress made during the past seven days in today’s dev frame, including some nice pictures of the upcoming features!
As many of you have already heard, a live update of the game is expected to be released sometime early next week. There’s been a nightly version patch last Thursday, and feedback about it is what will determine on what day the release will happen. If you have some time to download it and help us testing, your bug reports and suggestions will help it to get out earlier!
Now that a battle scheduler feature is finished, tested, and is awaiting a live release next week, we thought it would be useful to implement a system of notifications, which alerts you about all the battles that personally concern you. If you’re worried you might forget about an important event or would simply like a reminder every now and then, you will be able to get messages when battles that you signed up for are soon to start!
The first integration that we’ve already successfully added to our nightly server is a Discord notification system. Since it’s a quite popular communication tool within the community of Of Kings And Men, and most of the clans have their own channels there, it was an easy choice to make for a testing system.
It’s very easy to set up right from the game, but there are some minimal requirements you have to meet before starting. Firstly, you obviously have to have an active Discord account to take advantage of the system. And secondly, you have to be a member of our official Discord channel.
You can join our channel by clicking this link – https://discord.gg/DRqmAQ6
Once it’s all done, you can start receiving notifications by clicking Notifications in the Battles menu. It will open an additional window, asking you to confirm that you would like to use our bot, and then will ask to authorize the bot in order to see your Discord name. It will enable the bot to link your in-game character with the name you have on Discord. Now, once a battle you signed up for is getting closer, you will receive a personal message on Discord, notifying you about it!
We are also considering other integration systems to allow for more flexibility when it comes to personal notifications. Some of the ideas we’ve discussed include Steam, email notifications, and even Facebook or Twitter. If you have preferences for a system that can send you battle reminders, let us know what you’d like to see in the game, and what you would and wouldn’t use!
Keep in mind that even though simple scheduled battles are not that crucial if you end up missing one or two, Raid Mode battles could cost you plenty of troops if you don’t show up at all. We will be polishing the system and adding extended functionality in the future to make notifications even more convenient, so share your ideas with us if you have specific requests!
One of the things that’s being developed alongside a brand new lobby hub and an upcoming Raid Mode is an overhauled tutorial. We expect it to make learning the game’s basic mechanics an exciting and easy task, while also be interesting for experienced warriors to refresh their knowledge and practice.
With that in mind, the team is planning to develop two tutorial stages – Beginner Tutorial and Advanced Tutorial. Beginner tutorial, as the name reveals, is mostly for beginners to get to know the game. Advanced one on the other hand, will contain some mechanics and tricks that are not essential to quickly start participating in combat, but are extremely useful if you manage to learn them and utilize.
It’s also worth mentioning that both stages will be divided into three different combat classes, which are Two-Handed Melee Training, Ranged Weapons Training, and Shield Melee Training. All of them will be separate tutorials, accessible at any time.
Two-Handed Melee Training will, for example, teach you how to block incoming attacks, switch stances, and be able to win a fight against an enemy. Ranged Weapons Training will show you how to aim with your bow, shoot targets, and use your melee weapon when opponents get too close. And the Shield Melee Training, which is a little similar to the first one, will allow to master blocking both melee and ranged attacks with your shield.
It’s important for us to allow selecting any tutorial you want or skip them all together, but we highly recommend you to finish all of them, since they will teach you a thing or two, and also will grant some interesting rewards that include items not available in the shop and some experience points.
The first thing to be developed and tested is the Beginner Tutorial, while the Advanced Tutorial will be added later. One last, but important, thing that’s different from the tutorial we have in the game at the moment, is that it will have a narrated story to make the training immersive and interesting, instead of using boring task-like text boxes to teach the combat.
If you have suggestions for the tutorial about what should be included, what appeared to be more difficult when you first joined the game, or how some of the tasks should be structured to make it as easy to understand as possible, please use our forums or the official Discord channel!
Even though the new lobby map, which will serve as a unified hub for all game modes and activities in the game, has already been revealed from different perspectives, there are still many features and mechanics that are covered in shadows of mystery. Keep reading this section to find out about some of the details concerning specific areas like the village or the fortress, and other additions like interactable NPCs!
The map draft shown previously on screenshots and concept art drawings is being improved at the moment, but is helping by providing a general idea of zoning and art design, and allows coders to work freely on features specific to the new hub. Expect some more details about the artistic side of the new map in the next week’s dev frame!
As mentioned before, the map will include fortress areas, where activities related to combat will be placed, and village areas, where non-combat feature are planned to be added. Creating clear zones will make exploring more structured, and will make it easier to find exactly what you’re looking for. Since one of our goals is to create an immersive settlement where everyone feels like in a real medieval town, there will be plenty of new essential implementations that we’re currently planning.
One of such features, aimed to increase importance of the hub and improve immersion, will allow to open menus by interacting with NPCs, objects, and buildings in the game. For example, interacting with an Armour Merchant will open a shop, where you can buy yourself a nice set of new armour or sell your old pieces. Same goes for a Melee Weapons Merchant and a Ranged Weapons Merchant of course, but there are many more we would like to eventually add.
Going to a War Table in the fortress will open a menu that allows to schedule or sign up for battles, including the ones in the Raid Mode, and pressing F when near a building, possibly a tavern or a guild hall, will open a clan menu, which would then allow creating a new clan or joining an existing one.
Basically, every gameplay-related menu in the game will be accessible from the hub, but there are also other things, specifically game modes, that will be placed somewhere on the new map. Hold Your Ground and The Arena, which are functioning similarly already, will slightly change their joining interface by becoming their own unique game modes. After entering either one of them, you will be spawned on a separate map, and will be able to wander around or spectate battles in progress, and, by entering a combat area, also participate in those modes.
A new mode in the lobby, which wasn’t previously available, is a new tutorial described in the section above. Both beginner and advanced one will be accessible from the same place. Joining it will move you to a location without other players, where you’ll be able to train and practice without a fear of being interrupted.
Getting back to NPCs, we would like to have a wide variety of them imitating a lively environment of a medieval settlement. It’s still a matter in question whether we’ll be able to add them for the live release after the one next week, but it is one of the things we currently plan as an extension for the hub. Even though there is still a discussion ongoing about what mechanics NPCs will contain, we would love to share some examples of our ideas!
Here is a short list of NPCs that could possibly be added in the future.
- Villager – a peaceful character living in the village. Isn’t concerned about the events in the fortress, and is simply living his live in the settlement. He sometimes greets known soldiers and lords when he sees them passing by.
- Guard – a well-built warrior guarding the fortress and the settlement. Can have either melee or ranged weapon equipped while idly defending a position or marching along his patrol route. If a player attacks any NPC in the area, guards will gather and attack that player until he’s dead. As a side note, killing NPCs is still a controversial topic in the team, so let us know what you think about it!
- Bard – plays his musical instrument on the streets of the hub map. Can start playing a different tune if requested by paying him some gold.
- Bandit – a shady individual living in the village. Usually hides in dark alleys until an unlucky passerby approaches him. After that, asks for gold and threatens to kill his victim. If a player doesn’t pay a requested amount, bandit will attack a brave (or poor) warrior.
These are obviously just ideas, and are not specifically defined in the design, so there is a serious possibility that some of them will either be changed drastically or not included at all. If you have interesting ideas for other NPCs, both friendly and hostile, feel free to suggest them on our Discord channel or the forums. You can also define an interactable part, which would allow players to feel as if NPCs were actually living their lives there and have a useful function.
The hub is a rather big implementation for us, making a system for co-op and solo missions possible in the future. We would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions about it or anything that is related to its features, mechanics, or the map itself. Thanks for all the mission ideas you’ve already shared on our forums! We will be considering them once the three ones mentioned earlier are finished, but many are already looking interesting!
Get Raidy for Raids
Raid Mode, which was revealed some time ago, will be an advanced continuation of the Battle Scheduler system, and the second step gameplay-wise, after the Clan system, towards the Strategic Map feature. It’s supposed to bring some more meaning to battles by introducing troops mechanic, and allowing to raid settlements for loot and glory with your loyal clan mates and friends.
It’s getting along nicely, with much progress made since coders started working on it, and (surprise, surprise!), is almost ready for the first nightly testing! The team will be finishing some of the tasks they have left in order to release the first testing version, and we’ll try to put it out as soon as it’s working properly.
Even though the testing is coming so soon, the feature overall will still require some more additions, polishing, and, likely, fixes before it can be considered ready for a live release, but you can be sure that it will be available in the live update after the one next week!
While waiting for the new game mode, take a look at the pictures of a new User Interface, which will be used once the feature is released!