We had a new update for Of Kings And Men released earlier this week, which added a lot of interesting things like a new Battle Scheduler, new combat mechanics, and lots of other things! Check the dev frame for some information about the features we’re planning for the next one!
In addition to the big update, we also had a hotfix to address small issues that were discovered shortly after it was released, and add the last two custom clan heraldries from those submitted on our forums. The next update, which will bring the Raid Mode, the fortress lobby map with new mechanics, and some other changes, is planned to be released in about two weeks from now. All help with our nightly tests will be very much appreciated!
As promised before, we’re now trying to regularly upload new official videos for you, making following the development closely even more interesting! Last two included a teaser for the update that included clans and heraldry, and a video dedicated to the lobby map update. Why would we bring videos up? You guessed it, there is a new one ready!
Since this week’s update had some serious combat changes related to blocking with melee weapons, and some of the previous patches were tweaking and improving other weapon classes like bows, crossbows, and shields, we’ve decided to show some of the combat gameplay, instead of the usual cinematic teasers. Have a look and don’t forget to comment! There was no event planned specifically for recording, but thank you everyone who decided to take part regardless!
Raid Mode is already being tested on our nightly server if you’d like to try it out before it get added to the official live version! There are quite a few bugs we’re aware of, including both UI menus and battles themselves, but it would be very helpful if you could organize a couple of raids of your own and let us know if there are any issues or if there is something you’d like to change in the new mode.
There’s been a couple of questions and some minor confusion about specific mechanics of the mode, so it might be helpful to go into details about mode-related things that weren’t thoroughly covered in previous dev frames. Firstly, there is player balance and troop numbers on both attacking and defending sides that never appeared in the game before.
Player balance system is rather simple, while still providing fair fights. There can never be a difference bigger than four between the number of players in each team. Let’s say there are five players that signed up for the Attack, while only one signed up for the Defense. In order for attacking commanders to be allowed to accept more players, there has to be at least one more player signing up for the Defense.
While defenders get automatically accepted once they click a button to sign up, assuming there is enough space, players who sign up for the attacking side have to first be approved by commanders, who are, of course, a player who started a raid and his clan leader. We are also planning to introduce clan ranks later in the future, so clan leaders are able to appoint officers that will be allowed to be battle commanders as well.
Even though player count is always more or less balanced between the teams, attackers have a full control over the number of troops they’re willing to send to their battle, while defenders have a set garrison of troops in their fief. It means that even though there is a minimum required number of troops to start a raid and a maximum number that can fit into a battle over a specific fief, raid initiator can decide to have more or less troops than there are in the defenders’ garrison.
Keep in mind that even though it might be easier to win when you have a troop count advantage over your enemy, there will be a much bigger loss if you lose after all!
You always have to make sure that as many players join your side as possible, even if you have a troop count advantage over your enemy! While you’re free to decide on your number of troops participating in a battle, it only means you’ll get that number if every slot on your side is used by a player.
For example, if you choose 600 troops for a 24v24 battle, your side will have 600 troops only if 24 players actually join it. Technically, your number of troops gets divided by your maximum player count, and every player gets his share of troops per battle. It means that if 12 players out of 24 join, you will have 300 troops on your side, making it 25 troops per player. The system has been implemented this way so situations when only 2 players end up joining a battle and wasting thousands of troops can be avoided.
For now, once you scheduled your raid and join it, you will find yourself playing a usual round of Conquest. There is, obviously, a difference too, since every time you or your team mates die, a single troops is lost on your side, and you will lose a battle if you run out of them completely. We will be tweaking some of the maps to make it feel more like an actual raid of a settlement, but we’ll be keeping bigger changes for later.
There is some planning going on for a completely new mode, specifically for the Raid Mode, and, in the future, for the Strategic Map. We would like it to be a very tactical-based battle, with mechanics heavily encouraging team play and serious planning by the commanders. Lack of direct command over your troops would mean an imminent disaster on your side, so you, as an army commander, will always have to be on the edge, and making sure your troops know what to do on the battlefield.
If you have suggestions about specific mechanics for such mode, we would love to hear them! Official Discord or forums would be the best place for such posts.
If you look at the new Raid menu, there are always at least ten battles available for you to raid with your fellow clan mates and loyal friends, even if there is a number of battles scheduled already. Every name on that list has been submitted by the community so far, so we’d like to thank everyone who participated in the naming contest! There are more than a hundred fiefs currently available, and all with names suggested by the players!
New lobby map
The new lobby map, which is coming in the next live release, by the way, is progressing and getting closer to the first testings! The original technical concept from previous posts stayed the same, as we still have a fortress zone and a village zone, but the design changed quite a bit since the last update. After doing some measurements in terms of size and other aspects, and a couple of lengthy discussions, it was decided to do some drastic adjustments to it.
Firstly, the previous design had areas that served no gameplay purpose and would simply force players to walk much longer to get to their desired destination. And secondly, expanding the area would have become a serious issue once we need more territory to include additional content.
In the latest form of the map, it’s very easy to access every part of the fortress right from the start without a need to run around for minutes. The fortress itself has a well sectioned structure, making it clear where a player should go if he needs something or wants something done.
The village, while still being the main hub for merchants and some other interesting characters, isn’t as distant from the fortress as it used to be. Now, it partially surrounds the fortress, allowing us to easily expand the area later, which would look very natural, as if a medieval settlement was actually growing in size with more settlements coming in.
You can have a look at the latest planning map, based on the actual map draft. As visible on the map below, specific buildings, objects, and NPCs have their own logical areas to make navigation easier even for those who have never been on the new map before.
As you can see, each area has a number of gameplay-related things placed inside of them, and each will have its own unique look to create interesting environments all over the fortress. Here is an example of an area marked on the map above.
- Training area – will have dummies to practice your melee combat skill, ranged targets (with a new mode!) to practice with your bow and crossbow, and a trainer NPC, who will bring you to a secluded area outside of the fortress, where he will be able to teach you how to fight with different weapons. The area will generally look like a part of a castle where army recruits learn to fight.
Hold Your Ground and The Arena are, of course, also getting their areas done in such way that it creates a subtle backstory. For example, the fortress is constantly being sieged by never-ending forces of enemies, and you, as a brave warrior, would be greatly rewarded for helping protect the gates. Imagine siege shields covered with arrows, dead bodies of fallen fighters, and a group of fearless soldiers standing tall on the bridge that leads to the keep they swore to defend. Mindless raiders rush towards you aiming for kills, and you have to withstand their attacks as a group or alone.
As you must have guessed already, it’s what the current idea for the Hold Your Ground’s setting is, but additional suggestions will also be appreciated!
One thing that used to be present previously and is currently being discussed is a dynamic day/night cycle occurring in the lobby. At the moment, we’re looking into a possibility of having a real time cycle based on the time in a server’s zone. It would mean that when it’s 12:00 AM in Europe, it would be 12:00 AM in the lobby, and the lighting with weather would be seen as such.
It would add greatly to immersion, but there are also downsides for players who always play at the same time every day, since they would only see a single cycle setting. It would be very helpful if you could share with us your opinion on that!
Artists are likely to be making more screenshots and concept arts, so expect more of them posted in the future! We will also try to push the map to our nightly server as quickly as possible, so you’ll be able to check how it looks and report issues if any are present.
Sound is personal
Fin has been working on a whole lot of new sounds that are specifically created to be used in a personal soundscape! The term means that those sounds are only played for players when actions concern them directly. Such sound triggers would be being hit, dying, sheathing a weapon, leveling up, and so on.
While most of those sounds are already in the game in their basic form, meaning being played for every player who is close enough to hear them, it makes it harder to distinguish between sounds that are produced by other players and your own sounds. The system is meant to improve how well you can understand what’s going on in the game by simply listening.
Here are two brand new sounds Fin recorded just this Friday! The first one is drawing a steel melee weapon, and the second one is sheathing it. It was recorded with a real sword, of course, so it’s as authentic as it can be.