Jump to content
  • Sign in to follow this  

    DevDiary 9 - The Royal Court Part 2: Skills

    Hello friends, and welcome to the 9th DevDiary for “Knights of Honor II: Sovereign!” In this Diary we shall return to a more gameplay-related topic – the characters’ skills. We already talked about the knights’ classes, but there is much more that makes each knight unique besides just his class.

    What we first wanted to figure out was the sweet spot for how deep and complex the progression of characters should be in our game. On one hand, the knights are an important part of the KoH series and we felt we could add a bit more content and flavor by expanding their functionality. In the first game, most classes had only ranks (stars) and only Marshals were able to learn unique skills. Though some of these skills were not as useful as others, it turned out they make the Marshals significantly more interesting than the other classes. This seemed like a good direction for us to explore in the sequel. As we now have more depth overall in the economy features and the other classes, we decided merchants, diplomats, clerics and spies all deserve skills as well.

    DD9_02.png.8cf352b2431a3f7b1a583e9214c59f41.png

    Another risk we had to be careful with was the importance and attachment to a particular knight. As in the first game, the knights are a valuable asset to a kingdom, but not a permanent one. They get assassinated, imprisoned, bribed, die in glorious battles, or simply become venerable and pass away. Losing an experienced knight shouldn’t be overtly painful, since that would force the players not to take any risks with their knights – and we don’t want that either.

    Thus, we reached the following conclusions:

    • Number of skills shouldn’t be too high: a knight can learn up to 5 skills;
    • Progression of skills should also be rather limited: each skill has 3 ranks;
    • Progression should be fast: each knight can learn a skill immediately after being hired, and learning new skills or ranking them up should be just one click away, provided that the kingdom has the needed resources;
    • Progression should be available on global, kingdom resources: knights can learn or improve a skill, by gaining experience from their deeds, but a price in “gold” and “books”, paid from the kingdom’s resources, is an option to instantly improve them as well;
    • Skills should have supplementary effects: they should open new opportunities and strengthen the abilities of knights, they should feel rewarding and provide valuable benefits, but not earth-shattering effects.

    So, each knight, regardless of their class, can learn skills, and the skill set is shared between the different classes. They have strong affinities, though – the skills are “primary” and “secondary” to specific classes and many of the benefits of a skill are received only by a knight from a specific class. For example, Cavalry Tactics: an additional benefit Cavalry Tactics provides to Marshals is the “Hit and run” tactic. Imagine how valuable this can be for a marshal of a steppe kingdom, having large variety of mounted units and often fighting in vast grassland terrains.

    Post02_DD9_03.thumb.jpg.0059edfd39cccc9982016e06df2649fa.jpg

    Additionally, knights have significantly higher chance to have skills, primary to their class, available to learn in the first place. When a new skill can be learned by a knight, they have a few choices that are presented. Now besides the aforementioned class-related affinities influencing the random skill options available, there will be mechanics where players can make a specific skill available to learn, but without taking advantage of those mechanics, the available skills will be random and weighted towards their class’s preferences. You’ll have to wait to learn more about how this works in a later DevDiary though, since these mechanics are part of other game elements and systems.

    Post03_DD9_04A.thumb.jpg.4399beff1b6026dcd4d79d347f6fe124.jpg

    Once learned, there are different effects a skill can have. Some provide statistical or production bonuses, others increase chances of success when performing related actions; many unlock specific abilities, effects or even battle tactics. Usually a skill provides a combination of all these features with a variety of factors determining how useful it will be for a knight. This depends not only on their class, but on other factors as well – for example there are governor-related bonuses or even some skill effects that only apply if the knight is a King himself!

    As an example, let’s take a look at the “Bargain” skill. It is primary to Merchants and increases the gold from trade to merchants. Spies and Diplomats can also learn this skill of course, but their benefit is the cost reduction of certain actions, e.g. bribery and others. But if the knight, skilled in bargaining, governs a province, there will also be an additional gold income, generated by the goods, produced in that province, and if that character is king, the price for hiring knights in the royal court will be significantly reduced.

    Post04_DD9_05A.thumb.jpg.0d65fd10a63a09bfaccabf277054d848.jpg

    Now for some good news for our fans that want to get creative: skills, and their balance and even which effects they will have, are completely and easily moddable – this part of the system is rather straightforward for modding and very powerful. So, if you are fond of creating your own “house rules”, you’ll be able to change a lot here and have some fun!

    We will talk more about Skills in our DevStream on Thursday, August 6th, @ 4:00 PM GMT / 12:00 PM EST. Note the time is one hour later this DevStream, we’re trying a new timeslot as some have mentioned the previous time was a little too early. 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.

    Needless to say, we are still testing different possibilities and balances of skills – making changes big and small – which might and probably will continue even during the beta. So, as always, we’d love to hear your opinion on this topic and we are open-minded to suggestions! What is the preferred depth and complexity of the skill system in such a game for you? Would you prefer to focus on your kingdom and not manage knights’ progression at all? Do you think knights should gain experience from their own deeds, or do you see their progression and “education” as something, that is more of a function of the kingdom itself?

    Next time we will continue this topic and shed some light on Kingdom Traditions – a different system, yet strongly related to skills, and a very important part of the game!


    • Like 2
    THQN Brad
    Sign in to follow this  


    User Feedback

    Recommended Comments

    Yavor

    Posted (edited)

    Hello there dear Devs,

    As you did not have a specific topic for the Dev Diary, I hope that this question is not out of place. Here goes:

    Is there going to be a Custom Battle mode, where we can just play a customized battle with the AI? (Out of campaign context. Just a selectable single battle from the main menu)

    The custom battle is a very important tool for unit testing, mechanics learning and just simply practicing, so I would be very glad if it is included.

    This is all I need to know for now. Thank you for your hard work and determination and keep up the good work, and the news!

    Stay safe and Kind Regards!

     

    P.S. Sorry again Ivory Knight! 🙂

    Edited by Yavor

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    LOL Its all good Yavor.

    What is the general age of death for "court members" (We calling them knights now? or Court members?). It can be annoying for an experienced court member to quickly die after recently maxing off his leveling. What was the goal with regards to this game play experience? Do you want it so that after maxing a character by natural experience they die off due to age, or can you max a character in quicker time such that the court member will stick around for a reasonable number of years?

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites
    Yavor

    Posted (edited)

    With regard to what Ivory Knight said, I support the paid "education" of the knights in books and gold, just because this will speed up the process and give the knight a more healthy and productive life spam. I also have a suggestion about knights dying in their beds of old age - what if they can be succeeded by their own lordly sons? Just like the kings do. And since they are family, the son can also keep (some of) the skills his father had before him, as the father could have taught him the ropes of his own business and craft. Of course there may be penalties for the sons' skills as they are not as good as their fathers in the beginning. This way the old, venerable knights are still valuable assets, immortalized by their offspring and so on, and so on.

    Edited by Yavor
    • Like 2

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Thank you so much for doing this awesome work on KoH, dear Frujin (and the rest of the gang)! I'm sure you know how much love there is for the game, both home and abroad. As for now I am listening to the original KoH OST and watching the few new screenshots of KoH 2. Can't wait! (Needless to say) Please keep us informed on the beta, and if you can, please give us more gameplay soon (or perhaps some more screenshots). By the way the artwork looks just gorgeous! I can get lost in the streets of these awesome towns you have crafted. The sieges will be amazing. The whole game will be amazing! Thank you and Godspeed!

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites
    4 hours ago, THQN Brad said:

    Progression should be fast: each knight can learn a skill immediately after being hired,

    I disagree with this part.  A new knight should just be a generic knight.  Skills are learned through experience.

    I found nothing wrong with having a Knight start out with zero stars.

    • Like 1

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites
    5 hours ago, Yavor said:

    With regard to what Ivory Knight said, I support the paid "education" of the knights in books and gold, just because this will speed up the process and give the knight a more healthy and productive life spam. I also have a suggestion about knights dying in their beds of old age - what if they can be succeeded by their own lordly sons? Just like the kings do. And since they are family, the son can also keep (some of) the skills his father had before him, as the father could have taught him the ropes of his own business and craft. Of course there may be penalties for the sons' skills as they are not as good as their fathers in the beginning. This way the old, venerable knights are still valuable assets, immortalized by their offspring and so on, and so on.

    It might also be interesting to be able to follow their royal lineage and maybe incorporate that into the game some how? Like trading lineages for money and land? Idunno.

    • Like 1

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Can knights/court members still earn their skill points through success of their actions so paying for them would not be required all the time?

     

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites
    1 hour ago, Field Marshal said:

    Can knights/court members still earn their skill points through success of their actions so paying for them would not be required all the time?

     

    I believe they can, yes, as far as I read. I also believe that skills earned through deeds should be faster (or better) than just paying for it, as it is actually harder to implement.

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Will city improvements like libraries, universities or military academies give experience or skill point to knights/court members that are hired in cities with those improvements?
    Will some of city improvements be available to governors with specific skill to unlock it?

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites
    6 hours ago, Field Marshal said:

    Can knights/court members still earn their skill points through success of their actions so paying for them would not be required all the time?

     

    Yes, of course. Join us for the stream. I guess we will share more info about that...

    • Like 3

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Are pictures of members of royal court gonna look like as those above? If they do, then they are awfull.

    Can we keep the old ones instead? Just add some new...

    Damn, that dark behind them is horrific...

    • Like 1

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites
    Yavor

    Posted (edited)

    I don't know, I actually like the new character portraits. It's just that they could be a little bit brighter, that's all. I love their new look, otherwise!

     

    P.S. The Devs didn't answer my question, so my guess is "no" to custom battles. Oh well...

    Edited by Yavor

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Damn, I missed the dev diary, but I hope the devs still read this. (I haven't watched the stream,yet , to be clear.)

    I definitely support the idea that any court members can die at any moment, be it of old age or in battle etc.. But loosing a marshal to the flu and then your formerly highly skilled army turns into a bunch of amateurs, because their skilled leader is no more, is a terrible thing. It might also take a long time to get it up again. Therefore, I would like to see a mechanic that allows to prepare for this moment. Like to have a semi-skilled character available to replace the recently demised one. There was the idea of the son of the lord replacing the lord and inherit some of the skills. That would be one option. I would suggest that at after the first lord/court member reaches a certain level, he can take on an apprentice that costs a little bit of upkeep (he needs to be fed), but does not give any bonuses to the court member or his actions, but can replace him in case of death and inherit some of the skills or start at a higher skill level according to the time he spent as an apprentice and his masters skill level. Or he could also gain some bonuses over time that buffs his master and later himself. That way, a loss of an court member does not provide too great frustration. And the fact that you, as a player, will have to assign the apprentice (or son) by yourself gives you options. If you don't assign the apprentice you save some upkeep and if your court member dies you start at 0. Also, if your army gets wiped out completely, you should also start at 0, because your apprentice is most likely killed as well.

    Another thing I was wondering about: What about traits? Like, a certain character performs a certain action a certain amount of times, so he gets a constant buff to this action regardless of his skills. Or he gets some follower which buffs the character. The apprentice could be one of them and he could inherit them ones his master dies. Traits can be applied to units in an army, as well. So, if the marshal dies the army has still some buffs that makes them not to become amateurs again (even if he next marshal starts at 0).

    I don't like the option to just pay a large amount of money to make the character more skilled. No one gets better in anything just because of money. The availability of education however could influence the starting  level of characters. For example, having universities in your kingdom raises the starting level by 1 for each university (or any other number).

    Sorry for the lengthy text. I was just brainstorming a little bit. 😉 But especially late game, loosing a skilled character and replace him with a total noob is just frustrating. In a well developed kingdom, the player should have the option to start with a semi-skilled character to replace another one in the mid to late game. I just put down some ideas which could be implemented in many ways and combined the way you like.

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites
    On 8/6/2020 at 11:55 AM, Camerlengo said:

    Are pictures of members of royal court gonna look like as those above? If they do, then they are awfull.

    Can we keep the old ones instead? Just add some new...

    Damn, that dark behind them is horrific...

    I agree totally!!! It looks very basic. I think royal look court should not be changed too much. Also, kingdom power bar and treasury bar should be kept as in the KOH1.

    Court members should look much more brighter just like in KOH1. I would also increase number of characters i.e. pictures of court members.

    Would you be able to choose picture of your court member or they would be assigned randomly as in KOH1. Option to choose would be nice... 🙂    

    • Like 2

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites
    On 8/7/2020 at 3:34 PM, Fafan said:

    Damn, I missed the dev diary, but I hope the devs still read this. (I haven't watched the stream,yet , to be clear.)

    I definitely support the idea that any court members can die at any moment, be it of old age or in battle etc.. But loosing a marshal to the flu and then your formerly highly skilled army turns into a bunch of amateurs, because their skilled leader is no more, is a terrible thing. It might also take a long time to get it up again. Therefore, I would like to see a mechanic that allows to prepare for this moment. Like to have a semi-skilled character available to replace the recently demised one. There was the idea of the son of the lord replacing the lord and inherit some of the skills. That would be one option. I would suggest that at after the first lord/court member reaches a certain level, he can take on an apprentice that costs a little bit of upkeep (he needs to be fed), but does not give any bonuses to the court member or his actions, but can replace him in case of death and inherit some of the skills or start at a higher skill level according to the time he spent as an apprentice and his masters skill level. Or he could also gain some bonuses over time that buffs his master and later himself. That way, a loss of an court member does not provide too great frustration. And the fact that you, as a player, will have to assign the apprentice (or son) by yourself gives you options. If you don't assign the apprentice you save some upkeep and if your court member dies you start at 0. Also, if your army gets wiped out completely, you should also start at 0, because your apprentice is most likely killed as well.

    Another thing I was wondering about: What about traits? Like, a certain character performs a certain action a certain amount of times, so he gets a constant buff to this action regardless of his skills. Or he gets some follower which buffs the character. The apprentice could be one of them and he could inherit them ones his master dies. Traits can be applied to units in an army, as well. So, if the marshal dies the army has still some buffs that makes them not to become amateurs again (even if he next marshal starts at 0).

    I don't like the option to just pay a large amount of money to make the character more skilled. No one gets better in anything just because of money. The availability of education however could influence the starting  level of characters. For example, having universities in your kingdom raises the starting level by 1 for each university (or any other number).

    Sorry for the lengthy text. I was just brainstorming a little bit. 😉 But especially late game, loosing a skilled character and replace him with a total noob is just frustrating. In a well developed kingdom, the player should have the option to start with a semi-skilled character to replace another one in the mid to late game. I just put down some ideas which could be implemented in many ways and combined the way you like.

    They mentioned in their facebook-post that a mechanic like this would exists. So if a knight dies there is a chance (maybe even 100%?) that he will or can be replaced with his heir, which has similar but reduced abilities.

    • Thanks 1

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites
    3 hours ago, Zerg said:

    They mentioned in their facebook-post that a mechanic like this would exists. So if a knight dies there is a chance (maybe even 100%?) that he will or can be replaced with his heir, which has similar but reduced abilities.

    Did they mention that in a facebook post? 

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites
    1 hour ago, Ivory Knight said:

    Did they mention that in a facebook post? 

    image.png.c2d4fc63f9ad56707524645483924a2b.png

    Yes, heres the source.

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.