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 Post subject: French forum highlights
PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2009 12:41 am 
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Joined: Wed May 13, 2009 4:37 am
Posts: 5
Hi all,

Since not everyone might be able to read the French forum, and it has been quite active lately (probably due to the prominent feature on the game in French gaming mag Ravage, or maybe they're all looking for a new game to play after confrontation :)), here's a very brief rundown of the nuggets of information dropped by the developers:

(Disclaimer: Errors or omissions are quite likely due to me doing this in a frenzied bout of insomnia, so take the below as a general synopsis of the developer's posts, not gospel.)

Q: How will the personality system work? Will your models just develop on the field of battle, or will there also be a 'camp life', where you can make decisions on how your troops evolve?
A (Friedrich): The personality system won't be finalized until they can devote enough time to it after polishing off the basic release and the economy system, so specifics are not available. However, the intention is indeed to have such a camp life. Personalities will be a feature for veterans, that can safely be ignored by novice players so as not to overwhelm them, but will allow expert players to squeeze that extra bit of performance out of their armies after mastering the basics.

In a followup on whether it is realistic to promise all these ambitious features, he replied that they're very careful not to pull a 'Peter Molyneux' :) The good thing about Ex Illis is that it doesn't have a set release date, they can keep adding features on as the development progresses.

It's very important to them that there would be 'layers' to the gameplay, so that it is possible to play (without penalty) without knowing all of these advanced features, but that they are available to offer new depth to gameplaw when the player is ready to disoover them.

(note by me: An additional benefit of this layered approach seems to be that the developers can add new features without altering core gameplay and potentially annoy veteran players).

Q: Will the longbowman be in the basic box? What will the sprue be like?
A (William the Conquerer): Yes, all the figures currently on the site will be in the basic box. As it is a starter kit, the poses will be a little more basic to help with assembly. The sprue will consist of the body and 2 accessories for each of the two poses (the head is not seperate).

Q: Will the client work on Android?
A (Bonifacius & William Wallace): Considering it, but still to be confirmed.

At launch, the PC version will be immediately available, and the Mac version should be put online around that timeframe. The Linux version will follow after. For iPhone/iPod, it depends on the approval process at Apple, they have no control over the exact release date.

For PSP, the development kits were prohibitively expensive in the past, although recently the terms have changed and they may investigate it for the future.

Q: How will death be handled? What about factions?

A (Friedrich): Models are considered to be revived after battle, you will not lose your troops if they die on the battlefield.

All models are available to all armies, but there will be associated bonuses and penalties. Heroes and generals have Motives (eg. France +30, England -10, Nobility, Demons, etc.), and troops will have Affinities that can resonate with these motives (eg. French 1, English -0.5). The product of Motive x Affinity = Influence, ie. the morale the general accords to his troops. William Wallace might not be the best choice to lead an English army, as this Influence can be negative, but you can do it if you're perverse :)

Generals could also unlock special bonuses or extra rules or abilities in troops that correspond to certain criteria. All heroes can become a general (by promotion), so you could change generals between the Marenne and Decurion in just the starter set. In this way, it is possible to make a great many different types of armies (more than 20 just focusing on France and England at release, with more to come as the scope expands).

Q: How will experience work?

A (Friedrich): It's a tricky subject, as there are many considerations. It has to be both feasible in gameplay, and have elements of RPGs, without causing disincentives to add new models or to have new players join in with experienced players.

The simple expedient: All normal games will add 100 points to all models in your collection. Special games (tournaments, first time playing a scenario, etc) will be worth more. It will be easy to level up in the beginning, but an entire army at maximum level will take you several games a week for over a year.

Every time you level up a unit, an existing ability is augmented. If you decide to specialize the unit, you will get a Mastery Skill halfway, and if you continue specializing, even a powerful Final skill. Units that do not specialize will not get these, but will be very good indeed at their basic function.

Yes, this system means that the loser of a battle gets as much experience as the winner. Good players will be recognized in other ways, such as the competitive system they will set up, some bragging rights on your profile, and to some extent in the Economy system (which will not make for more powerful units, but different and more personalized ones).

Players will have a level too, so you can't buy a unit of a level you couldn't have raised yourself (or rather, the extra levels are lost). (note by me: In another post, it is also mentioned you can use 'your own XP' to quickly level up newly acquired models.)

Q: Can heroes join any unit? Can they change units in the middle of the game?
A (Friedrich): Any hero can join any unit, but units move at the slowest movement speed of any of the models in that unit. Heroes cannot be reassigned during a game. If a hero's unit gets wiped out, protect them well!

Q: How will balancing work across experience levels?
A (Friedrich): You can always play a model at an earlier experience level.

There are several preset templates for games, like 'Skirmish' (Level 10-20 models, <2500 pts) or 'Heroic Battle' (Level 40-50, ~25000 pts).

The intention is to provide balance within these game templates. That being said, you can pit a Lvl 60 character against an entire Lvl 1 army if you like, but this is considered to be in the realm of two friends goofing off rather than a competitive game.

Q: What about reselling your models?
A: There will be a small transfer fee of a couple of euros. You can assign one person to be your brother-in-arms, and all transfers between you and this person will be free.

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