DevDiary 3 - The Royal Court Part 1
Hello friends, and welcome to the third entry of the “Knights of Honor II: Sovereign” DevDiaries! In this one we will take a look at one of the most emblematic features for the KoH series – the royal court. We love both the atmosphere it creates and the “deck-building” element it adds to the gameplay. The royal court plays a fundamental role in our game, thus it’s not much of a coincidence our teaser trailer had the concept front and center!
With this feature we are not trying to make a realistic depiction of medieval rulership. Think more of the famed King Arthur’s Round Table – the king is the central, most important figure, and by his side stand the most capable and trustworthy knights. Dynasties and the royal family also play an important role, but we’ll tell you more about the royal family in a future DevDiary. For now, let’s focus on the knights.
The royal court consists of the king, who is now always a member of your court (unlike in the previous game), and up to 8 more knights, which you can recruit during the course of the game. Each knight has a class, which defines his strengths and abilities and thus they play a completely different role:
Marshals: These are the most efficient army leaders and they are good at solving matters in one way only – by force. Marshals can lead bigger armies compared to other classes and usually focus on skills that improve their troop’s capabilities in battle.
Merchants: Building, development, diplomacy, espionage and war – besides other things, they all require a lot of gold. Merchants are the best knights to take care of this need by exploring profitable trade opportunities with other kingdoms.
Diplomats: Regardless the strength of a kingdom, it needs allies to ensure its safety and to prevail against strong enemy factions. Diplomats’ function is to make important friends and help bury the hatchet of war with enemies, before all Hell breaks loose.
Spies: The usage of cunning spies is more of an offensive function. They can infiltrate enemy kingdoms, corrupt and build networks of puppets in their royal courts, and then create chaos. Kingdoms can shatter from within as a result of their actions.
Clerics: A strong clergy improves the stability of the crown and calms the people, halting the spread of heresy and foreign religious influences. Clerics are also the ones to keep and protect the ancestral knowledge and wisdom.
In the first game there were also Builders and Farmers, but since these turned out to be underused, we decided to skip them and instead focus on a smaller, but significant, number of classes. For example, a new feature for knights is the ability for each knight to be appointed as governor of a province, making that province become part of the Royal Lands. This increases the benefits your kingdom receives from a province and is another area where a knight’s class can play a role – different knights boost different aspects of a province, e.g. gold income and production, defensive capabilities, etc. We will share more details of the classes in upcoming DevDiaries where we have time to dig deep into their unique features.
Of course, all that aid doesn’t come for free – knight wages are certainly not trivial. Players should also be careful with their actions and keep the crown authority high. Who knows what disasters might befall a kingdom whose knights lose trust in the rulership of their king and decide to serve another…?
With the choice and usage of knights, players open up different possibilities to craft and shape the strategies of their kingdoms to fit their playstyles. Whether you like to overwhelm your enemies with a dreadful army, destabilize their kingdoms through espionage, influence them culturally and wait for their rulers to beg themselves for your wise rulership, or buy your way to victory with economic dominance over Europe – it is all up to you. We’re trying to make the number of combinations and different ways you can leverage your Royal Court quite expansive, and we’re excited to see how players try different strategies with the tools at their fingertips.
We will talk more on this topic in our DevStream on Thursday, February 6th, @ 3:00 PM GMT / 10:00 AM EST. The Twitch stream will be hosted on the THQ Nordic channel: http://twitch.tv/thqnordic and we’ll be grabbing responses from this post as well as answering questions live during the stream.
So, jump right into the discussion and share your thoughts in this thread, or join our Facebook and Discord channels and talk there too. Do you find royal court management interesting and challenging? What were your favorite knight strategies and combinations from the first game? Share with us what is your preferred playstyle in grand strategies and what features you find most enjoyable.
Next time we will focus more on the art of war – Marshals and armies. Until then, we bid thee farewell. Go forth and conquer!